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 21, 2011

JOURNAL - March 14 - 20

Tuesday, March 15

I have been swallowed up with worry for our dear friend, Mike, and his family. The lesson I'm trying to prepare this week is about the brother of Jared and the simple, yet perfect faith he had in our Savior, Jesus Christ. It occurred to me this morning that my worrying doesn't help anyone - I need to be focused on exercising faith instead of wallowing in worry. I have assignments here that require my best effort; Mike needs my best effort; my best effort right now needs to be faith, prayers and work. It feels good to have a plan! We have good contact with Mike's family and although he remains very critical, tiny bits of positive are emerging.

Prior to Family Home Evening last night we helped teach with the sister missionaries - a nice man about 40ish. We have another appointment with him on Wednesday. FHE was great, as usual.

Wednesday, March 16 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIC

A tough, tough day - Mike not doing well and Susan sick with worry that he was slipping away. I went to Institute with a constant prayer in my heart and wondering if I would need to go home. Then about 9 p.m. I turned on my email and there was a message from Lori that Mike had turned a corner, was doing better - stable enough to go to surgery.

Thursday, March 17

So nice to wake up to good news- an email from Lori saying that Mike was much improved. His vital signs are stable and he is responding to commands. Talked to Susan and she is better, too. Doctors are confidant he will survive. I'm so grateful to be saying prayers of gratitude today.

We taught with the sister missionaries yesterday and again today - that makes three times this week. They would like us to help them again tomorrow, but we have S&I training with Brother and Sister Kleijweg all day. They are flying in from Holland to train us and we are really looking forward to it.

Institute was great last night and tonight. We enjoy the YSA kids so much and they return the feelings. The Birmingham FHE group taught us a fun game on Monday - "Signs" - and we taught it to the Lichfield kids tonight. It will be fun to play it with our grandkids when we get home.

We found a free March Madness App for my IPad so Devon is in seventh heaven tonight watching a live broadcast of the BYU game. Go Cougars!

Friday, March 18

A wonderful, but very busy day with Elder and Sister Kleijweg. They gave us a lot of great information that confirmed the inspiration we received about two weeks ago as to where and how to focus our reactivation work. We have been primarily teaching and supervising activities. Our primary purpose should be to reactivate the less active YSA - something we need to have more involvement with. The Kleijwegs' direction will be very helpful. It will involve working and motivating the wards to work closely with their YSA representatives. We start Sunday with meetings with Solihull Ward.

Saturday, March 19

Today is the most beautiful day we've had since arriving in England - warmer weather, blue skies, and sun. We had a nice walk in our park and bought ice cream cones. The park was full of people - even a group of folk dancers. Met a cute senior citizen, Jackie, who was walking her two little dogs and pushing a third in a cart - he's too old to keep up with the other dogs. He looked proud as punch to be out for a ride.

Found out that Mike, had a heart attack yesterday. Thankfully, and miraculously  it resolved quickly with no residual effects. His ICU nurse noticed the unusual heart rhythm and took action quickly. He is making good progress, but has a very long way to go. Should come off the ventilator early next week. I'm so grateful for our international phone line and the ability to keep in close contact with those we care so much for at home.

While doing dishes this morning I looked out our kitchen window and saw this bird. I've never seen another one like it. It was so green and had a very bright red strip on his head. We thought it was some kind of parrot at first, but turns out it is a Green Woodpecker - common to England.
Speaking of birds, they sing all night long in the trees outside our bedroom - sometimes waking me up. They're not so cute in the wee hours of the morn!

Sunday, March 20

Attended church at Solihull Ward today - Devon was the High Council speaker. We met another senior couple serving with the Addiction Recovery Program. They are from Sandy, Utah and arrived about a month ago. This is their 10th mission. Some were summer missions, but still amazing to have served so many. We had a great meeting with the YSA from that ward and then with the YSA Rep., Bishopric, and Missionaries to encourage increased involvement from the ward in YSA activation. It was a great meeting with everyone excited to become more involved.