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.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

JOURNAL - December 19 - 25

Monday, December 19

Busy house cleaning day getting ready for the arrival of our dear friends, Howard and Edi Winberg from Canada. My heart was singing all day in anticipation of their arrival. FHE was good, though a small attendance due to most of the student going home for the holidays.

December 20, 21, 22

Winbergs arrive! We thought about taking the train to London to meet them, but because the holiday prices were outrageous, we drove the car to Heathrow and parked in their long term parking instead. It end up being much cheaper than 4 train tickets this time of year.

Howard and Edi's flight was right on time. What a thrill to see them again! After many hugs we made our way to the underground tube where we took the Piccadilly Line to South Kensington, and then changed lines to Bayswater Street station. It was just a couple of blocks walk from there to our studio rooms. The rooms were pretty basic, but clean and had all the necessities.

We decided it would be best to keep Winbergs up until bedtime so they could adjust to the time change, so we caught a bus and headed into Central London where we picked up our London City sightseeing passes, and then went to Harrods to see all their cool/expensive stuff. Their Christmas window decorations were elaborate, but strange...more of a winter theme than Christmas.

After a good night's sleep we awoke, ate our cold cereal and pastries and then headed out to see the sights. For the next two days we enjoyed touring the Tower of London, Westminster Abby, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Thames River Cruise, Churchill War Rooms, and the Royal Mews (where the royal carriages are kept - very interesting). The evening of the 21st we saw a play - "Million Dollar Quartet" all about a jam session with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. The music was great and the show a lot of fun. The evening of the 22nd we met our good friends, Cheryl and Ken Fugal who are serving a Family History mission in London, for dinner. Also great fun!

Friday, December 23

We checked out of our studio apartments and retraced our tracks back to Heathrow to get the car. Then we drove to Windsor Castle for a tour. Unfortunately it began raining - not just a mist, but a heavy downpour, so we didn't get to see it all. But we enjoyed seeing the state rooms and especially loved seeing the Chapel of St George. Many recent monarchs are buried there including the current Queen's parents and her sister, Princess Margaret. Also interred there is King Henry VIII. It is ironic that he desperately wanted a huge monument built for him, but it was never completed and so he is buried in a plain wooden coffin under the stone floor of the chapel with other royals. I reckon it's about what he deserved! After our visit to Windsor Castle we headed for Birmingham.

Saturday, December 24

Today is a resting and shopping day. We enjoyed watching "The Christmas Story" movie with Howard and Edi - they've never seen it before. We also taught them how to play Wizard - love that game!

Sunday, December 25 - MERRY CHRISTMAS

Sister Louis and Sister Whitaker came over before church so Sister Louis could Skype with her family in India. They are several hours ahead of us. Because it was Christmas, we only had Sacrament meeting for an hour at Church. Later Sister Louis and Sister Whitaker came back so Sister Whitaker could call her family on our international land line. They stayed and had dinner with us. Both us and the Winbergs were able to either Skype or talk on the phone with our kids. It was a good day!