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, July 31, 2011

JOURNAL - July 25 - 31

Monday, July 25

Sister Clark and Sister Baker wanted a lesson in making pie crust. Transfers are due in a week. We are all hoping neither of them gets transferred, but it could happen. So, we decided to spend P-day together at our flat and make a pie. They came over about noon, we had lunch, made the pie (triple berry using Costco frozen berries - yummy), and then played a game of Wizard. It was a great afternoon!

In the evening we went to FHE and gave our lesson about Pioneers. Afterwards we played Scum. Some were familiar with the game. It was lots of fun, but I think our group was a little big - 13 people. Will try it next time with fewer people.


Today is also Devon's mother's birthday - she would have been 103. She was pretty tickled that she shared a birthday with two of her great grandsons.

We did our final flat check today. It's hard to pick the best one. They all worked hard and were rightfully proud of their efforts - I'm proud of their efforts! But the winner has to be the elders who scrubbed their oven.

Wednesday, July 27

We spent the morning working on our final Institute lesson for the summer course. Our attendance was low at Institute. We are competing with youth camp this week. Many of our YSA have callings in their respective wards with the YM andYW, so they were all off to camp. With agreement from the Stake Presidency, we have decided to suspend our weekly YSA Council meetings until fall Institute starts. During the summer we have been lucky to have one of the presidency attend the weekly meetings and only Reps from 3 or 4 wards out of the 7 units. It is discouraging. The presidency are all great kids, but with very busy lives. The president works during the week at the Preston MTC - something he hopes will change if he is accepted to university here in Birmingham. He will know in a couple of weeks how that will play out, so we're just waiting and hoping he will be with us for the next school year. The 1st counselor is getting married the end of August. She has been working every shift she can to save money, so she is frequently not there. The 2nd counselor is a policeman with shift work that keeps him away some weeks. And the secretary is a student that has gone home for the summer. We are really looking forward to the new start in the fall with a full, functioning presidency. In the meantime we will be busy trying to keep in contact with and encouraging the Reps to continue with the work in their wards.


Part of our job with flat checks is to asses if the missionaries need anything for their flat. They haven't had flat checks for many months and so there were quite a few items they needed such as bedding, shower curtains, iron, mops, brooms, dish towels, ironing board cover, etc. So today we went to the mission office to gather up those items and take them to District Meeting to distribute. It was almost like Christmas for those cute missionaries. After District Meeting they go to lunch together. Today we joined them and went to Subway. We had to park a couple of blocks away. The sisters are amazing! As we're walking down the street they stop and hand out pass-along cards to anyone who would listen to them for a moment - no wonder they are having such success. It is fun to visit with the missionaries and find out more about their lives before their mission.

Friday, July 29

Spent most of the day getting caught up on paper work and email. Typed up and emailed the minutes from our meeting on Wednesday. Emailed the YSA Presidency about getting the new Activity Committee organized. Finalized and emailed information regarding summer Institute attendance. Notified those that need a little make-up work to get full credit for Institute. Emailed Coventry and Lichfield Stake Presidents and YSA Advisors regarding the tri-stake YSA choir for conference with Elder Bednar in September. And answered a few messages on Facebook from some YSA. It feels good to get this caught up.

Sad day - we got news that Brad and Jenna's dog, Max, died - very unexpected.

Saturday, July 30

We visited a less-active young man from Sheldon Ward today. We called a couple of days ahead to set up the appointment. He said to come at 10:00 a.m. - which we did. Well, when we got there he was still in bed and hadn't told his mom we were coming - SURPRISE! We said we could come back, but when the mom found out we drove about 30 minutes to get there, she invited us in and woke him up. We had a nice visit. He turned 18 about a month ago and although he and is family are not active, he said he was interested in coming to YSA activities. We are now "friends" on Facebook, so I can easily let him know about the activities. We will get the Ward Rep to start inviting him to things also. Hope he will come. They are very nice, friendly people. His mom told us a couple of times she wasn't interested in coming to Church, although she does have regular visits from her visiting teachers. They have lived in their house for over 20 years, but originally were in another ward and stake. When the boundaries were changed, they stopped coming. She has no objection to her kids coming to Church, so we'll see.

In the afternoon we rode the bus to Bull Ring (Birmingham city center) so I could go to my little knitting shop. Seems I didn't buy enough yarn for the sweater I am knitting. Looks like I will need at least 2 more skeins. I bought the amount they calculated I would need, but it is definitely not enough.
Normally I would just buy some more, but (1) it is quite expensive, and (2) they don't have 2 more skeins - would have to call all over England for it, or order it from Canada. Either way it would take quite a while to get more. So, after going home and thinking about my options, I have decided to pull it all out, find a new project that will accommodate the amount of yarn I have, and start on a new project. It's just something I do in the car when we are driving from place to place, so I don't mind starting over. I figure it is good practice.


I can't believe it is the last day of July. Also, I can't believe we actually have warmer weather. It got hot and stuffy in Sacrament Meeting today - no air conditioning. Once we were out of the chapel it was lovely! Madhi, our new YSA convert, was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood today and he was just beaming! So were the sisters that taught him. There is a big National YSA Convention in Nottingham for four days in August. The ward is going to pay his way and he is so excited about attending. It think it will be really good for him. We called a couple of less-active YSA to set up appointments to go visit them. They were not home, so we left messages. I hope they will call back.