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, February 19, 2012

JOURNAL - February 13 - 19

Monday, February 13

Usual Monday including FHE. It is "half term" so many of the students were home which means low attendance at FHE. The girl who signed up for the activity also went home, so we decided to play "No Peekie" - a fun card game we play with the grandkids at home. We played it once before with the YSA, but that was many months ago, so it was new to many of the kids, including JP. It was so much fun! JP had the hardest time not cheating - we had to watch him like a hawk or he would peek at his cards. A couple of the girls said they needed to leave early, but were having so much fun they stayed till the end. I love FHE with the YSA!

Tuesday, February 14 - Valentine's Day

We had flat check this morning in Redditch and on the way home did a little grocery shopping. We worked on lessons for a couple of hours and then caught the #1 bus to Symphony Hall, and had dinner at a restaurant by the canal. We're checking out several restaurants and trying to decide which one to suggest the Senior Missionaries go to in March prior to the Osmond Brothers' Concert. After dinner we met up with some of our YSA girls to see a movie. Devon bought me flowers and we had a lovely Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 15

Today is the last district meeting before transfers - next week is Zone Conference and the following week will be transfers. As I sat in the meeting I was overwhelmed with the spirituality of these amazing missionaries. Here are these 19, 20, 21 year old missionaries - teaching and leading with such power. We attend the meetings, but we are participants - they are the leaders. It is such a sweet experience.

Institute was also good, though many students were at home due to the break. It was my turn to teach tonight - a lesson on repentance.

Thursday, February 16

Last flat check for this transfer - Kidderminister. They tried....but won't be winning the prize for cleanest flat. After the flat check we drove back to Redditch to visit a couple of YSA brothers. The youngest one has been attending church for about 6 months and comes to Institute whenever he can get a ride, but his older brother has not been active for quite a while - in fact we didn't know he had an older brother. The missionaries have been meeting with the boys and the older brother is starting to come out to church. So we wanted to drop by and visit and encourage them both.  It was a good visit.

We got back to Birmingham just in time for our hair cut appointments. I've let my hair grow and I'm sick of it!! Devon would say..."what else is new?" I was really looking forward to getting it cut and styled - even took a picture of what I wanted. Yipes! It's awful! She put in layers and they don't blend at all. For now I'll just endure, but may think about going someplace else next time.

We had another appointment to visit a less active young man from Sheldon Ward tonight, but his mother call us and said he didn't want to meet with us - he's not ready to make any changes in his life style. Disappointing, but not surprising. It did open up the evening. So we hopped in the car and drove to Lichfield to be present for Sister Leticia Corner to be set apart for her mission. She was called to the California Anaheim Mission but her visa is delayed, so they are sending her to London South until the visa comes. It was wonderful to go to Lichfield again - I love it there. It's out of the city and so lovely. It was Institute night, so we got to see some of the kids and that was great also. But the best thing was to share that special experience with Tish. She's going to be a powerful missionary!

Friday, February 17

The mission ordered new microwaves for two missionary flats in Harborne.. The old ones were so old that the coating on the inside had worn through to the metal. The missionaries are thrilled to be getting new ones. The plan was to have them delivered to our flat and we would take them to the missionaries. The delivery service was supposed to call us and give us a four hour window for delivery. Well, we sat around the flat all day waiting for a call (which never came). We had given up when finally at about 6:00 pm the delivery man arrived - totally unannounced. I'm glad we were at home.

The day wasn't a total loss. Devon worked on his lesson and I wrote letters to the various YSA that have left for their missions since we have been here. 

Saturday, February 18

Today is the much anticipated Stake Ball Game Day. The Stake rented a gym at one of the local colleges for four hours today (noon to 4:00). The various wards put together teams for football (soccer), volleyball, and badminton. Our YSA had 3 teams - one for each sport. There were quite a few people there from the stake just to watch...it was tons of fun. I've never watched soccer much, but after watching them play I have a new found appreciation for the game. It is amazing how well they can maneuver the ball with their feet. Everyone plays it here from an early age, so they are all very good.

We also delivered microwaves to some very happy missionaries.

Sunday, February 19

I had an interesting experience at church today. They asked me to play for Sacrament meeting. Every week the ward is VERY noisy during prelude. Today was no exception. There was so much talking that I wondered why I was even playing. I had decided to play sacrament hymns for prelude and about five minutes before the meeting was to start I noticed the talking seemed to start quieting down. Within a minute or so it was totally quite. All you heard was the sweet melodies of the familiar sacrament hymns. It was so amazing! The power from those sacred hymns about our Savior brought a spirit into the room that was undeniable. I love music, and have felt it's power many times, but today was an especially sweet experience.

We were invited to have dinner with President and Sister Wilkinson today after church. They also invited Mahdi and JP to come as neither of them have family here in England. Unfortunately Mahdi couldn't make it due to a job interview, and JP just flaked out. We took another YSA with us - a young man whose family is from Pakistan and is seeking asylum here in England. It was a wonderful meal and a great visit - a real treat!