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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

JOURNAL - June 27 - July 3

Monday, June 27

Oh my goodness - today is our 6 month mark! The time is going really fast!

Woke up to Monday morning sun. Had a nice walk in Cannon Hill Park and stopped at Aldi for milk on the way home. We ended up also buying hummus and peanut cookies. Aldi is a really cheap grocery store. They don't sell any name brands, so you never know how the product will taste. We broke even this time. the peanut cookies were yummy (kind of tasted like peanut butter cookies and had lots of whole peanuts on the top). The hummus tasted like paste! 

Kinda of sad at FHE tonight. The lesson, treats, and activity were great, but we said goodbye to a group of university girls who are leaving for summer at home. The good news is that all but one is returning in September. The one not coming back, Kendall, graduated and is moving to Manchester to work. 

Tuesday, June 28

Today we did our first flat check. We decided to start with the missionaries we know the best, so we did the Harborne Elders. They live in a rather large, two bedroom, upstairs flat. We could tell they worked really hard to get it clean, and they did a great job. They gasped when I opened the microwave - had forgot to clean it, and it really needed it. It is fun to see where they live, and made me grateful for our nice flat!

Wednesday, June 29

One member of the Stake High Council is involved with producing media for the Church in Europe. He was contacted by the area authority and asked to film activities at an Institute, so he and his wife came with camera and tripod and filmed various aspects of our lesson - us teaching, the kids listening, reading their scriptures, and working in a group discussion. He also filmed the activities after the lesson. We all had to sign wavers, but it's anyone's guess what they plan to do with the film. 

Thursday, June 30

We picked up some bags from one of the YSA students to store in our garage over the summer. We drove through a part of town that was a little scary to get to her student housing. Thankfully she is in a nice, gated area. It's always very interesting to see different parts of the city. We met the Sisters and helped teach a lesson to Jack, a less-active YSA. He is on the fence - wants parts of both worlds. That's why he is having problems. It is either true or it's not - there really is no half way. He wants to keep meeting with them and studying. They are going to find an active YSA to teach with them, so he has the advantage of a YSA friend. After the lesson we took the Sisters to dinner at TIGF - yep they have one not far from our flat. It was fun and the food was pretty good. Service in the UK is really sloooow. It took forever to get our order and then we always have to ask for the check. Maybe it's slow because most people sit around and drink a little (or a lot). We always have tap water and are anxious to get moving on - not much time to just sit. Anyway it was a fun time with the Sisters and they enjoyed it too!

Friday, July 1

The day started with another flat check - this time the Sisters. It was very clean - they had worked very hard - even made us a lemon meringue pie (they are not past bribery). We gave them good marks. The only problem is mildew and mold on a ceiling and one wall - not at all their fault, but whether the landlord will do anything about it is anyone's guess. We'll turn in the report and see what happens. We also made a trip to Costco with the Johnson's to get the food for the Lichfield Gadfield Elm trip tomorrow, and got our hair cut.

Saturday, July 2

Gadfield Elm trip with Lichfield - great fun. Disappointing that so few Lichfield kids went. Most of the kids were from the Wolverhampton group. Still, everyone had a great time!
About midnight we joined the annual Onstott Family 4th of July Picnic through Skype. It was held in Lehi this year and looked like so much fun. The Skype connection was a little erratic, so we didn't talk long - still it was great to "be there".

Sunday, July 3

Attended Sacrament Meeting at Sheldon Ward. They were sustaining and setting apart a new YSA Rep and Bishop Stilger thought it would be nice if we were there. He was right, it was a special experience. This is one of the smaller wards in the stake and they haven't had a rep for months. Sharoon's father was the first person to join the church in Pakistan 20 years ago - so interesting to hear his story. He was Christian at the time. His pastor had a copy of the Book of Mormon and was criticizing it so so much that Sharoon's father asked if he had read it. He said, "no". So Sharoon's dad asked if he could read it. Upon reading it he was converted and has been strong in the faith ever since.

Today little Gracelyn was blessed. Afterward all the family gathered at Brad and Jenna's for lunch and visiting. We enjoyed visiting with them through Skype - so much fun!