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, April 4, 2011

JOURNAL - March 28 - April 3

Wednesday, March 30

We have had a good week so far. Last week was sunny and beautiful - very Spring-like. But it seems that was just a tease. It is back to cooler temperatures, cloudy skies, and occasional rain. Still it is nicer than January/February, and everyone assures me it will keep getting better and we will even have some hot days this summer. We have enjoyed nice walks in our local park wearing only light jackets.Tuesday we taught with the sister missionaries. So sad...Sister Nadasdy (from Scotland) is being transferred to Wales tomorrow. We will miss her!

Institute was nice tonight - Devon was teaching. I will teach tomorrow in Lichfield.

Thursday, March 31

Had another meeting with Brother Kleijweg from Sweden this evening in Lichfield prior to Institute. He was here to give them the training he gave us about 2 weeks ago. President Odgen (Mission President) and President Gardner (Stake President) were also at the meeting. Looks for sure that a senior couple is coming to work with the Lichfield YSA the end of May. We don't know what, if any, involvement we will have with Lichfield after they arrive. That makes me a little sad - I enjoy those kids so much, but it is probably best. We are spread so thin!


Spent all morning organizing YSA Outreach notebooks for Birmingham and Lichfield. I'm trying to get all the information about the Stakes, Wards, YSA leadership/Reps, assigned missionaries, etc, etc, etc in one place so it will be easier to find information. In the afternoon we met with Sister Hedemark (from Sweden) and the new Sister Clark (from San Francisco) to teach two different people. We enjoy teaching with them, but neither of these investigators are YSA. So, as enjoyable as it is, we probably need to limit our time to working with YSA potential.

Our good friend, Mike, has developed new problems - acute kidney and liver failure - common problems with severe trauma. He is getting great care and hopefully things will turn around soon. Until then he is on dialysis and bili lights - trying to avoid a liver transplant. We are constant with prayers for him and his family.

Saturday, April 2

Today we drove to Stratford-Upon-Avon (about a 40 minute drive from our flat) - the birth and burial place of William Shakespeare. It's a very nice town located on the River Avon. We took the tour bus to the various sites outside the town - Anne Hathaway's cottage (his wife's childhood home) and Mary Arden's farm (his mother's childhood home and now a working tudor farm) and of course saw the sights of the town. We learned some very interesting things about life in the 1500's - so glad I live now! They only took a bath once a year - whew, one can only imagine....
 Birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Back of William Shakespeare's home with actors performing a scene from one of his plays.
Folk dancers and band. They represent a poorer class of people who would sneak away from their masters to dance and sing. They painted their faces black as a disguise so their masters wouldn't find out what they had done. They would pass a hat hoping to earn a little money.
Row of bed and breakfast inns. In front of each inn is a beautiful little English garden. This is typical of row houses on an English street - only usually no gardens.
Front of the theatre William Shakespeare build in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Most of the theatre burned down and has been rebuilt, but this side is original.
Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Originally it was much smaller - additions have been made over the years. 
Old Trinity Church - Shakespeare's burial place. Part of the tallest portion of the church dates back
to the 1200's.
Tomb of Shakespeare. To the left is Anne Hathaway. It was his request to be buried here. He was worried about having his bones dug up if he was buried in the graveyard. He was a lay minister - never preached, but it qualified him for burial inside the church.
So British! The shorter red container on the left is a mail box.

After our lovely day in Stratford-Upon-Avon we enjoyed watching the Saturday morning session of Conference on the internet which was televised live here at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 3

I love Conference! It is my favorite two weekends of the year. Devon went to the Stake Center to watch Priesthood session. Then he came home to get me and we returned to watch the taped Saturday afternoon session and the live Music and the Spoken Word and Sunday morning session of Conference. There were quite a few people there - some members, all the missionaries, and several investigators. I think a lot of members stayed home and watched it on the internet. Between sessions we ate the lunches everyone had brought and visited - very nice. We especially loved the thought that when we were watching the live sessions we were doing the same thing, at the same time that our children and their families were doing. Afterward we came home and watched the Sunday afternoon session live on the internet and Skyped with some of our kids. It was a wonderful day!!!!