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, May 16, 2011

JOURNAL - May 9-15

Tuesday, May 10

FHE last night was great, as usual. Samantha, a foreign exchange student from Wisconsin, gave the lesson on developing a testimony and it was amazing. She will be going home the end of this month and we will miss her! After the lesson we played "fruit salad" again - fun - except that on the last round Devon pulled/strained a muscle in his thigh - ouch. That will teach us to act our age! He has been icing it and it's much better.

Most of today was spent working on our lessons for this week. In the late afternoon we decided to go to city center to pick up an "over-the-door" exerciser. We looked up the store on a map, printed out the map, and with confidence headed to city center on the bus. After about an hour of walking in circles and getting directions from 5 different people (including a couple of policemen) we found the store! If someone would have said it was around the corner from the Gap we would have known exactly where it was! Anyway, we got it and are enjoying exercising in our flat.

Wednesday, May 11

Last Doctrine and Covenants class at Birmingham. We have been trying to train the YSA Reps and leadership to help spread the work around and make our meetings and fellowshipping efforts more effective. We are beginning to see the fruits of our labors. The YSA Council Meeting tonight was great, with wonderful participation, ideas, and organization shown.

On a sad note - our dear Sister Hedemark from Sweden was transferred today to a different area. We had a nice visit with her on the phone last night. She hopes to attend BYU after her release next April. We gave her all our contact info and hope she will give us call when she gets to Provo.

Thursday, May 12

Last Book of Mormon class at Lichfield. We had a good turnout despite the fact that the Stake AGAIN scheduled a stake function the same time as Institute. It is staying light longer and longer each day. When we were leaving Institute about 9:30 p.m. the sky was still a faint blue. There were birds chirping in the trees. We left the building about the same time as the Stake President. When he heard the birds he looked up and said, "They are enjoying our nice summer evening." Sounds simple, except that I was wearing a t-shirt, turtleneck sweater, cardigan sweater, lined skirt, and my warm stocking tights. Summer evening??? I certainly hope this isn't summer!

Friday, May 13

Tonight was the monthly dance at Harborne with about 300 YSA from all over England attending. They seemed to have a great time. We have to stop the music at 11:00 or else the neighbors call the police. By 11:30 we are actively trying to get them to leave the building - not easy. They would be content to stay there and visit until who knows how late? After getting them out and cleaning up the building we finally left about 12:15.

Saturday, May 14

It's been cloudy and cooler all week, but today the skies opened up and it poured rain most of the day. The locals say this more like usual - guess we've been in a dry spell.

We were up early this morning to go to Preston Temple (2 1/2 hour drive from our flat). Gemma, from Lichfield Institute, was doing her endowment. She and John are getting married in 2 weeks. She is the only member in her family, but had good support with John's family, her bishop, and us there.

We arrived back in Birmingham just in time to go to another YSA baptism for a Chinese student, Edward. His friend, Daniel was baptized about 4 weeks ago and was recently given the Priesthood so he baptized Edward. It was a very special event. Afterward, the YSA had a "munch and  mingle" for about an hour. I made K-squares - a BIG hit! You can't buy Karo syrup in the UK, so when I found it in a store with American products I was thrilled - even if it did cost about $5.00 a bottle. Now if only there were butterscotch chips.

Sunday, May 15

Devon had a high council speaking assignment in Woodsetten Ward - a very nice, small ward in Birmingham Stake. Came home and fixed a meal of stir-fry chicken and vegies with Yoshida's gourmet sauce (found at Costco - yippee). Then had a much needed afternoon nap before driving to Walsall Ward to speak at a fireside about preparing to serve a senior mission. We got totally lost - GPS didn't even get us close to the right place. I wonder if we had the wrong post code? At any rate we did finally find it with the phone help of a member. We have to speak at that ward's sacrament meeting next month, so at least now we know how to get there.