Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Crystal Palace Young Adults

One of the cool things we get to do on our mission is work with the young adults in our ward.  There are several and they are really strong in the Gospel!  We get to hang out with them every Monday night for a Home Evening.  Their lessons are inspiring and their activity's and refreshments are really good too.  Once they planned a Thanksgiving dinner for the Americans and the Canadians.  It was a lot of fun.  It was my first time having Yorkshire Pudding, which isn't a pudding at all, it's more like gravy poured into Dutch Baby cup.  My kids know what Dutch Babies are: its a mixture of eggs, flour, milk and butter that puffs up around the edges when you bake it. These young adults baked them in cupcake tins and so you have these individual bowls for the gravy.  They are not what I expected (who knows what I expected) but they are pretty good.

The Missionaries and some of the Young Adults of the Crystal Palace Ward.
We have a great missionary story that in my opinion is EPIC!  Deirdre, one of our young adults, was on a bus (everyone is one a bus, train or walking), when a young man also on the bus, named Terrance says to her, "thank you for dressing so modestly".  She is a little taken back because lets be honest, that just doesn't happen often enough.  She thanks him and they start talking.  He eventually asks her for her phone number and while she said she NEVER gives her number out she felt like she should, so she wrote it down on a pass-along card and told him to go to the website on it to see why she was the way she was, and IF he did, THEN he could call her and they would talk about it.  Well, he DID go look at Mormon.org, he called Deirdre and they talked about what was on that website.  He came to church and has been taking the missionary lessons and now has a baptism date set!  We are so excited.  He is a most humble sincere man and we are thrilled for him!

Terrance and Deirdre. 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Yum or YIKES?

So we stopped at Lidl's the other day.  It is a German store in our borough that sells food and miscellaneous items.  This week they were advertising fleece lined tights.  All I could think of was "SCORE!" How yummy is that!  Women clamored around the bin digging through to find their size.  They are in European sizing, so I don't have a clue what size I need, but I took a guess and hoped for the best. I bought two pairs thinking how nice it was going to be to wear these tights on the cold windy, wet days.  Then as we walked home, the thought crossed my mine, it probably doesn't bode well for me that they sell these out here.  I suspect that it will be a long cold winter. Sigh.

Beautiful (wet) Oxford

Once a month the Senior Missionaries get together and take a field trip (of sorts).  This month we went to the city of Oxford, where the famous colleges are. There are 38 total.  It was a beautiful, modern city surrounding the ancient and historic campuses.  This is where John Wycliffe (the reformer) studied and where William Tyndale translated the Bible from Latin into English.  But most importantly, at least to our grandchildren, this is where Harry Potter ate in the Hogwarts dining hall!  It rained so hard, but we still had a great time!

The Dining Hall at Christ Church University
aka Hogwart's Dining Hall
Us sitting at the head table enjoying afternoon tea (hot chocolate).
The picture behind us looks like it belongs in the haunted mansion at Disneyland.
It's just the reflections of the lights from the tables.

Terry took this shot from inside the upper library at Christ Church College. 
They have several libraries, but this is the original one and houses all of their oldest books.
I believe it was in this library, that King James commissioned the writing if the
King James version of the Bible in 1611.

Not sure which College this is.  Just thought it was a cool building,
showing the early architecture.
Unfortunately, Oxford IS a college town.  This sign leads to the
Turf Tavern, where Bill Clinton "smoked, but did not inhale" marijuana.
It says, "An Education In Intoxication".

Sunday, 10 November 2013

New Callings

We had a wonderful Sabbath today.  We are serving in the Crystal Palace Ward of the Wandsworth Stake. We meet in a small Catholic School.  There are about 200 members in our ward and we get about 45-50 people out each week.  They have land to build a new chapel on, but we need at least 80 people to come out regularly.  We are going to do our best to make that happen.  Today, I was called to be Young Women's President.  I have 4 potential YW and 1 Laurel comes.  Terry was called to serve as 2nd Councilor in the Bishopric.  The Bishop and his Councilors are also the Young Men's Presidency. There are 8 potential YM with 3 coming out.  We have also been asked to be in charge of the Ward's Roadshow. We have a fun idea that could be done with only a few people, but we are hoping on getting more out.  After Church today, we had dinner with the Bishop and his sweet wife and then went out on visits, trying to get more of the youth to be involved.  We perform on November 23rd.  We work best under pressure :-)

The members of the Ward have been fantastic.  Everyone is SO NICE and seems genuinely happy to have us there.  We are grateful for the chance to work with them and serve in anyway that we can.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

English Traditions

So we are learning new things during our time here is London, the first one I love, the second not so much.  First is the Poppy Appeal

The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields". Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers' graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that overlies parts of Belgium and France. The poem was written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on 3 May 1915 after witnessing the death of his friend, a fellow soldier, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December 1915 in the London-based magazine Punch. (thanks Wikipedia)

I Love Being a Missionary

So we had a really cool experience on our first day in London.  The couple whose flat we took over was showing us around town a bit, things like where the grocery store was and most importantly where and how to catch our buses. While we stood at a bus stop, a woman approached us and looked at Terry's badge and asked if he was from the Church of Jesus Christ.  He said he was, and she said, "the Mormons, right?"  He assured her that that was another name for our church.  She told him she wanted to learn more about us, (the Church).  Her name is Millie and she is from Ghana.  Her brother joined the church a few months ago and told her she should look into it.  Well she is.  We were able to go with the young Elders and teach her the first discussion about the Restored Gospel.  It was amazing. She is a spiritual woman and very familiar with the Bible. Any questions she had were easily resolved either by our showing her scriptures or by her remembering things that she had read.  It was amazing!  We are meeting with her again next week. 

We have lots of opportunities to answer peoples questions on the buses and hand out Pass Along Cards.  I love being a missionary!

We take busses everywhere, and spend a lot of time at bus stops.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Our New Flat

Here are a few pictures of our new flat.  Every day I love it!  It is so spacious (except for the kitchen).  At first I thought it was just in comparison to the place we lived in while we were at the London Temple Visitors Centre, but as I visit with other people in their homes, I realize it's just plan big.  It makes me feel guilty sometimes since it is just Terry & me and we aren't even home all that much, but it is appreciated everyday.  It is in a nice neighborhood and we feel safe regardless of the time we are coming back home at night.  It is close to the bus lines (about a 5-10 minute walk) and fairly close to the train station (a 25 minute walk).  A nice grocery store is about a 15 minute walk and for the most part, we can get any kind of shopping within a 15-30 minute walk.  Maybe you have picked up on the word "walk" several times.  We don't have a car, and truth is, I would not WANT to drive here in London, so we pretty much walk everywhere.  I'm hoping that I will be a size 4 when I get home, but I'd be happy to even drop a size or two.  P.S. I did buy some mole skin for blisters on heels today.  That is helping :-)

This is the front of our flat.  Built in 1896.  Ours is the second floor flat.
  The bay windows are our living room and window to the right is our kitchen.

Our bedroom.  It has a little sitting area also. I  love the fireplace but it's
 just for looks .  For those who come to visit, your bedroom is almost as big!

Our living room with a small dining area at bottom left corner.  There is a bookcase in the
far right corner (which you can't see) and another couch opposite the one shown.
Our tiny kitchen. Very modern and functional.  I only have one drawer and that is below the stove/oven.   
 I do have a washer and dryer though (to the right of dish washer)  which makes me very happy! 
 I have a new found appreciation for IKEA (or at least I understand it a little better now)

Did I mention I love my flat?!!!!!