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.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

JOURNAL March 5 - 11

Monday, March 5

Good Monday topped off with a good turn out at FHE! We really enjoy this time with our YSA.

Tuesday, March 6

Finally finished the sweater I have been knitting for the past year! Most of the knitting was done whilst riding in the car. Fortunately, I like it! Do I want to start another one....hmmmm, not sure.

Wednesday, March 7

District Meeting today was really good. I made Chelsey's Nutella cupcakes for the missionaries and they loved them! We met the new senior couple - Elder and Sister Morgan from Florida. They arrived here yesterday and are assigned to be member and leader support missionaries in Stourbridge Ward here in Birmingham Stake. They are feeling a little lost. We can remember our first days and similar feelings. We had Brother Dockrill by our side helping us - they are on their own. We plan to go to their flat tomorrow to answer questions and help them figure out life here in England.

YSA Council and Institute were good tonight, and we had a good turnout of kids. These late nights are not getting any easier. Felt so tired after getting home.

Thursday, March 8

We had a lovely day today with the Morgan's in Stourbridge. They have a darling little one bedroom cottage. It's very welcoming and full of charm. They are happy with it. We spent a lot of time answering their questions and telling them what to do about their medical, phone and internet, banking, etc. I'm so surprised no one from the mission did this. We had an appointment to set up our banking the first day we were here, and Brother Dockrill helped us with the rest the next day. We gave Morgans a page of typed information to refer to. Then we all went to dinner at Frankie and Benny's followed by a trip to ASDA (Walmart), and Poundland (dollar store) for them to stock up on some supplies.

Friday, March 9

Seems like we spent all day shopping for supplies for the tuck shop and YSA activities scheduled this weekend. Tonight was the monthly multi-stake dance. It was attended by about 250 kids - again from all over England. The theme was "Rockin' 50's" and our YSA did a great job with decorations. For refreshments they made milkshakes - a big undertaking for such a large group...but they did it! We had plenty of milkshakes for everyone and they were yummy! We had two senior couples there (Morgans and Johnsons), and a couple of priesthood brothers - nice! Also had good help from the kids with the clean-up.
Sisters Tufts and Morgan at the sign-in desk at Harborne Dance

Saturday, March 10

Slept in after our previous late night. This evening we went to a concert at Symphony Hall in downtown Birmingham - Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. There were at least 30 violins, 10 violas, 6 cellos, 6 bass fiddles, 2 sets of drums, 2 flutes, 1 piano, 1 organ, and 6 accordions! Along with the orchestra were tenor and mezzo soprano soloists, 3 Scottish dancers, and a bagpipe band complete with drums. They played, sang, and danced a whole range of Scottish songs. Most of the men were in full Scottish dress, including kilts, and the women all had beautiful plaid tartan skirts. A few in the audience also were in traditional Scottish dress. The cute little old man sitting next to me sang and "jigged" in his seat throughout the concert. It was a wonderful evening!

Sunday, March 11

We were enjoying our YSA Sunday School class when the bishop called us out. One of our YSA girls was at the hospital waiting to be admitted for treatment. She has some health issues we were aware of, and was up all night vomiting. Her sweet housemate was with her and was very drained from the time spent caring for her both at home and at the hospital. We stayed with her until her parents arrived. Her dad give her a very sweet and spiritual blessing. After that we took her housemate home and returned to church just after the last meeting ended.

This evening was a CES broadcast. They are usually broadcast a 6:00 pm our time, so that is what we planned on. When we got there we realized the broadcast was already in progress - it started at 5:00 pm our time as the US has switched to Day-light Savings Time and we haven't...yet. Fortunately Devon brought his computer so he was able to show the broadcast over the internet. We had a nice turnout of kids and used the left over milk and ice cream from the dance on Friday to make milkshakes.

We invited the Morgans to come to the broadcast and then to our flat afterwards so they could call and Skype with their family at home. Their internet and phone are not connected yet. Sister Morgan is really missing her family...I can relate! They enjoyed it and we were glad to give them the opportunity to see and talk with their family. Hopefully they can have these services soon in their flat. I don't know what I would do without them!