Greetings from England!
Saturday January 21, 2017, we explored the Portabello market of antiques, clothes, food, and lots of people! Interesting! We tried some Greek Olives and fried potatoes on a stick. We then walked down to the Chelsea area south of Kensington. It is a very wealthy area. Mom found a purple jacket that is really cute! We also saw a BMW i8 parked on the street! Very neat hybrid car. We also saw lots of other BMW, Mercedes, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and other classy cars. We finished the day at the V&A museum and on to home, safe and cold!
Sunday we visited the Aylesbury ward for their ward conference. It was very good with all of our Stake Presidency speaking. They each had a great message. We love the YSA from Aylesbury! That evening we had a family from the ward over for supper. Katie Hughes is one of our YSA who we dearly love! She is the youngest in the family and is wonderful! Her mother is in the Relief Society and her dad, Steve Hughes works with the Stake. They moved from one flat to another on Saturday with the help of the missionaries and ward members so we thought that this would be a good day to have them over! Their kitchen was still in boxes so they appreciated the offer. We had a great time and learned much about English culture.
Monday, mom woke up with a bad case of the stomach flu! She stayed upstairs while Dad prepared for FHE. Because of other conflicts, we knew we would have a smaller group. We had six of our missionaries come and we had a great time together! Mom stayed upstairs and slept.
Wednesday, Mom is doing some better. We spent most of the day inside with Mom sleeping and Dad preparing for Institute. The missionaries from our district came over to the house at 5pm to watch a worldwide missionary broadcast. The church is giving more freedom to the missionaries to control their daily schedules. The broadcast was awesome!! Dad drove to the church (adventure!!) at 7:30 for Institute. He taught both lessons, prepared the treats, and helped with some Family Search. He missed being with his cute companion. Arrived home safely.
Thursday, YSA computer work, prepare lessons, get feeling better!
Friday, we went to Battersea Park to see a national antique and textile show. We really enjoyed the antique and vintage furniture! They had great paintings, jewelry, and rugs. We shared a lunch of chick peas, chicken, yams, prunes, etc. Small but tasty. Battersea Park was awesome. We will visit there again when the weather is good! They have a pond in the middle with rental boats. We then took a bus to the oldest medical operating theatre in England. They did not know much about germs so it was a large open room with wooden furniture attached to a hospital for poor people. They were not successful for major surgery so they just did operations on the exterior of the body. Lots of infections and problems. They had an awesome small spiral staircase which also lead up to the bell tower of the church! The museum final area was full so we did not get in to see all of it.
We then took the bus back to the Imperial War Museum. It was very well done and we loved it! They had a great history of the First and Second World Wars from England’s perspective. It was very interesting!
Saturday, we drove to Cambridge and took a bus into town because there is NO parking in Cambridge. We saw the Wren Library of Trinity College. It is in a fun building but very small for a library. We saw lots of original historical documents, both religious and secular. Sir Isaac Newton’s book on Mathematics, his walking stick, and an apple tree which was a descendant of the apple tree he was studying when he thought about the laws of gravity.
It is interesting to be in Cambridge. We did some shopping, grabbed quiche for lunch. Later we had some fun pastries (Mom had a fruit tart and Dad had carrot cake). We toured the old Round Church which was very interesting. We learned about the history of Christianity in Europe. There are many many colleges in Cambridge and many students. We found a great art gallery with wonderful work by local artists. Many Asian tourists were there in large groups. The city was originally a Roman settlement on the Cam river which extended North to the coast. The Romans built a bridge to connect their fortress with the city and of course they called it Cam Bridge. The colleges were started when students and professors left Oxford searching for more academic freedom.
We drove home with Dad not feeling well. It looks like he got Mom’s flu after all! The missionaries came over because the Sisters decided to fix supper for the Elders. It was very cute. They brought chicken, rice, potatoes, and onions and no idea how to put it together into a meal. Mom helped them cook an oriental stir fry to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Fire Rooster! They had a fun time with Mom while Dad stayed upstairs sick.
Sunday we spent inside with Dad sleeping most of the time. Mom did get in a walk to Cassiobury Park before it started to rain. We worked with our YSA on What’s ap, Facebook, text, and email, trying to get a plan in place for their trip to the Paris Temple open house.
Monday was also a sick day for Dad. He has been sleeping, and when he feels okay, he is working on his family history. There were several large Baron families in Lancashire from 1500 to the 1800’s. Most were involved in the textile industry with cotton and wool. I guess the Baron Woolen Mills was the end of 450 years of Baron cloth weavers. Interesting! We saw today that our work with the Watford YSA regarding self-reliance and temple work was featured in the European Area YSA newsletter sent out from Germany.
It is hard when you do not feel well! We miss you all very much! Next week marks six months since we entered the MTC. The time is going quickly. We are very busy with so much to see and do. We remind ourselves that our role is to help and teach the YSA to be leaders. That is much more difficult than just doing it all ourselves! We love these young people and the missionaries! It also seems that we have been in England forever! It is a great historical country with wonderful people. We love it here!
Love to you all!
Elder and Sister Baron, Clark and Joyce, Grandma and Grandpa, Dad n Mum