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.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

JOURNAL June 6 - 12

Wednesday, June 7

Monday and Tuesday are always lesson prep, laundry, grocery shopping days - the slower days of our week and this week was no exception. Tuesday was a little different in that we had the cable hooked up for our new little TV. Not sure there will be much time to watch it, but it will be nice to catch up on the news. We get the Fox channel so Devon will enjoy keeping up with that.

Tonight at Institute we posted the photos from our Gadfield Elm trip last Saturday. Later in the evening we noticed the picture below had been added.
Lauren Sticklen, a talented, sweet girl from Australia, drew it! I can't tell you how much it made my day! It is a real treasure!

Thursday, June 9

We thought tonight might be our last drive to Lichfield Institute, so I made K-squares to take for treats. We had dinner at our favorite little pub in downtown Lichfield (great omelets, salad, and chunky fries). It was so yummy! Met Elder and Sister Johnson early to show them how to set up the classroom and the Tuck Shop, then went over how to do the reports and lots of other stuff. They are trying to figure out this CES mission - quite different than the proselyting one they did in Taiwan. They asked if we would teach another week and we quickly agreed. We love spending time with the Lichfield YSA  so we'll gladly have another week with them! We got about half way home and Devon said, "We forget to get out the K-squares." Dang! They were safely tucked in a cupboard in the church kitchen. Rather than go back for them, we called the girl in charge of FHE and they will use the treats then. Oh well. it was a good thought!

Friday, June 10

We went to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley today. Birmingham played a big role in the Industrial Revolution here in England. That area was nick-named the Black Country because of all the soot from coal mining. It was a hard life. The museum is actually lots of old canals, houses, and stores that were relocated and restored. There are people in period costumes all over the village and in the homes to tell you about the history. Also there is an actual museum with wonderful exhibits of things made during that era. It cost us 11 pounds each for admission and another 5 pounds each to take the canal ride - but, our tickets are good for a whole year. That's a great deal! Warwick Castle, and Stratford Upon Avon are the same. I'll post pictures and tell a little more about them after I finish reporting on our week.

Tonight was the monthly YSA dance at Harborne. Again, about 300 YSA from all over England and some from Scotland were there. This time the YSA had a sign-up sheet for clean-up duties. It was wonderful!!! Everyone pitched in and we were out of there in good time.

Saturday, June 11

Solihull Ward YSA had a 25 mile bike ride and BBQ today. About 15 kids did the bike ride and another 15 (including us) showed up for the BBQ. The morning weather was great for the ride, but light rain arrived for the BBQ. They held a plastic tarp over the BBQ while they cooked the burgers. It was fun and I think everyone had a good time. Other happy news today - another of our YSA couples is officially engaged. Tasha and Joe plan an August 27th wedding in the London Temple. Yippee!

Sunday, June 12

Rain, rain, rain! Church was great - did I mention it rained?! I'm beginning the realize we may not have summer this year. They say it's like that some years, but I'm still holding out hope for sun - it is glorious when its here!
Streets in the Black Country Living Museum

There were a lot of school children also there on field trips to the Black Country. This boy is playing with a period toy. The hoop is attached to the straight metal piece. It's harder than it looks to keep it going.
This cute couple bought and moved this old two room house, brick by brick, and restored it to it's present condition. The fireplace is burning coal and they are roasting four potatoes on a spinning device hanging in front of the fireplace. The bedroom is in back of the fireplace wall. Notice the doily-like paper hanging from the top shelves.
 These "doilies" are hand cut out of old newspaper and placed on the shelves. It is typical for the time. 
 There is an authentic 1940's fair ground set up with period games and rides you could pay to ride.
This swing was part of the fair. Each rider pulls, in turn, on the rope she's holding to make it swing.
 Many canals were built to transport the coal and limestone. At one point Birmingham had more canals then Venice. There are still lots of canals in the city.
 There is a massive tunnel system for the canals.
 Inside one of the tunnels.
We rode on modern barges like the ones on the right. In the old days they would get through some of the tunnels by "legging it." Men would lay on their back on the barges and push them along with their feet against the walls of the tunnels.