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 26 - January 1

Monday, December 26

We're off again today to see the sights. This time we are headed to Wales. On the way we drove to the British Church Historical Sites of Benbow's Pond and Gadfield Elm Chapel, and then drove by the little old Corse Church were Devon's ancestors were married. We arrived in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, in the evening just in time to check into our hotel and get some dinner. Then we played Wizard in the lobby until bedtime.
Benbow's Pond
Gadfield Elm Chapel

December 27 and 28

Wales is castle country so that is what we toured. Cardiff and Caerphilly Castles on Tuesday, and St. Fagan's Natural History Museum and Castle Coch (the fairy tale castle) on Wednesday. We also enjoyed seeing the beautiful Welsh countryside. Then back to Birmingham.
Cardiff Castle
One restored, painted ceiling in Cardiff Castle - there were many - so gorgeous!
Inside Cardiff Castle

Our knights in shinning armor - well, helmets!
Just one building at St. Fagan's Natural History Museum

The above two pictures are both from inside restored Castle Coch.

Thursday, December 29

We decided to try to see one of the National Trust sites we had seen before,  but were very disappointed to find out only the grounds and garden were open - not the house. Seems a lot of properties are closed this time of year. They told us of a property that was open so we drove there. Indeed it was open, but it is not restored, so mostly we saw bare rooms - still it was interesting.

Friday, December 30

We drove to Preston to do a temple session. It rained all day! We were all pretty glad to get safely home - especially Devon who was driving. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive each way. On the way home we drove through Manchester - Howard's mission area. Many of the sights were familiar, but of course many things have changed.
Manchester Stake Center

Saturday, December 31

Today we drove to Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeares birth and burial place. So interesting to see the room where he was probably born. We also saw a couple of houses his daughters lived in and his wife's, Anne Hathaway's, childhood home. It is amazing to realize you are walking in something build in the 1500's.
Back of Shakespeare's birthplace.

Then we came home, had dinner and a relaxing evening together. We did manage stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year.

Sunday, January 1 - HAPPY NEW YEAR

We had a regular schedule of church today. Enjoyed a nice meal together at the flat, then Edi tackled the job of packing for their return trip home.

I can't express how much we enjoyed the Winberg's visit and how grateful we are that they came. I'm afraid we would have been pretty homesick without them here. With them we were busy and having a great time every day. Christmas is about being with family and Edi and Howard are certainly family to us!