We have been called to serve a CES (Church Education System) mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the England Birmingham Mission. Our assignment is to work with the Young Single Adults - ages 18 to 30 years - teaching religion classes, supporting their activities, assisting in the day to day running of the institute, and anything else as directed by our Mission President. Our 18 month mission begins on December 27, 2010.

Monday, March 7, 2011

JOURNAL - February 28 - March 6

Tuesday, March 1

Monday was a typical, quiet day of preparing lessons and FHE in the evening. Today was a typical cold, cloudy day in the UK. We spent the day in jeans - so comfortable. We had a nice walk in Cannon Hill Park. When we came home we discovered that someone had hacked into our gmail account and sent emails to most of our contacts. We've never had this happen before, but decided we needed to take action. So we opened a new email account, transferred everything over, let everyone on our contact list know of the new address, and deleted everything off the old account. I hope this solves the problem and doesn't cause our friends/family too much inconvenience.

Thursday, March 3

Wednesday night's lesson at Birmingham Institute and Thursday night's lesson at Lichfield Institute went well. Sometimes it's hard to know what impact the lessons have on the students, but they keep coming, so I guess they are enjoying it. We had our monthly YSA Advisory Meeting in Birmingham on Wednesday with the Mission President and his wife, Stake President, S&I Director, YSA youth leadership, Zone Leaders, and us. We discuss investigators and less-active YSA and who is fellow-shipping/teaching them. Thursday morning as we were discussing the youth with Brother Dockrill (S&I Director) it was suddenly clear to me that we needed to pursue a different direction to help activate/strengthen the less active YSA. We are so excited to discuss our idea (which I don't think was "our" idea, but rather inspiration) with the Stake President and hope he will agree with us about this new focus. We have mentioned it to a couple of elders and they think it's a great idea...so we'll see.

Friday, March 4

Devon couldn't find his scriptures after we returned home from Lichfield Institute last night and has been worried sick over them - couldn't sleep very well. He's got so many notes/references/etc. in them that it would be a real tragedy if they were lost. We did our grocery shopping this morning. Very happy to report that we are finally familiar with the store and can find almost everything we want without asking every clerk for items. After that we had our hair cut - both happy with the results. Then we headed out to Lichfield to look for Devon's scriptures, and sure enough, there they were just where he left them in the Institute room. What a relief! Then we drove to Tamworth to meet up with some of the youth from Lichfield for dinner. The Tamworth YSA Reps. brought a less active girl (which was the purpose of the dinner) and we all had a great time. She said she would try to come to Institute. We will keep in contact with her and hope she comes. Another less active YSA girl that has been to Institute two times also came to dinner. She seems to enjoy attending YSA events, so we will keep encouraging her. All in all there were eleven people to dinner: 7 YSA, 2 elders, and us. We all had a great time and a great dinner.

Saturday, March 5

Today was a five stake YSA Volleyball Tournament. Well over 100 YSA came from the five stakes (Lichfield, Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, and Nottingham) to Lichfield to play volleyball from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm for the chance to win the tournament and take home the trophy. Birmingham had won it for the last two tournaments, so expectations were high. But in the end the trophy went to Coventry. Each stake entered two or three teams, depending on the size of the stake and number of YSA. Below are pictures of the teams from Lichfield and Birmingham Stakes. There were lots of other YSA in attendance cheering on the teams.
Lichfield Stake
Chris, Tish, Rebecca, Amy, James, and Alex
Lichfield Stake
Peter, Harriette (in front) Oliver, Catherine, Sarah, and Nick
Birmingham Stake
Johnny, Nathan, Kynna, Tina, Lucy, and Christian
Birmingham Stake
Japinder, Lauren, John, Joe, Sarah, Miro, and Kezia
Birmingham Stake
Daniel, Josh, Stephanie, David, and Tasha
All just GREAT kids!!!