Friday, June 6, 2014

Almost Summer

Canterbury Zone

Priyanka and Diva Nair, Oliver Smith and William Cleary
at the London Temple Good Friday 
Beautiful white Tulips London Temple

Canterbury Stake YSA Service Project Northfleet Children's center

YSA that participated in Project

Sister Gundestrup, Sister Sill, Sister Welc, Elder Call and Elder Choi

Sister Gibson from Reno Nevada took Sister Gundestrup's place in our District

Cobble Stone street in Rye, Kent

Sister and Elder Lovell at Rye, Kent

Rye Kent

Top of Castle in Rye Kent

Rye Kent
Rye Kent

Rye Kent

Dane John Garden Canterbury
Greyfriars (secret) garden Canterbury

Greyfriars (secret) garden Canterbury

Elder Paul and Sister Carolyn Taylor Cambridge YSA Couple


Elder and Sister Taylor with Elder Sill at Kings College Cambridge

Trinity College Cambridge

Kings College Cambridge

Kings College Cambridge

Students bikes, a well known sight at Cambridge

Kings College Cambridge

Kings College Cambridge

Niall and Grangia Haigh owners of Abbey B & B

The Abbey B & B part of the building dates back to 1400 AD

Sandringham House, (Queens Christmas Home) Norfolk County

Sandringham House walk 

Sandringham House grounds
Cathedral Ely Cambridgeshire

Bishop Pettman and family Deal Ward 

Windmill Herne Bay Kent

London Temple Grounds Diva, Oliver and Don

Warren Smit from South Africa baptized by Oliver Smith with Sister Gibson and Sister Welc

Torin Lewer in his School Uniform at Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration

William, Shannon, Torin, Paul, Leanne, Paddy and Brother Fowler at Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration
Brother and Sister Potter preparing for Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration

CES Stake Fireside Canterbury

Mike and Marion Harris after trimming Sister's garden

Family Home Evening Lesson being taught by William

Going away party for Diva

Children's School playground in the country, City of Gillingham for YSA BBQ

Ward Picnic St Stephen's Park Canterbury

Pancakes at our flat after Sunday meetings

Diva's farewell party

 Organ Recital Canterbury Cathedral (sister Sill giving a talk) 

Inside the Cathedral for Organ Recital.  Organ is on the upper level which you cannot see.
It is hard to believe we are down to our last three weeks in our mission experience.  The past months have gone quickly.  We had a very good experience with the Stake YSA over Easter weekend.  We went to the London Temple on Good Friday to do temple service and we had dinner which Vorelle prepared for the group and then we had an inspirational devotional with President Kenneth Johnson of the London Temple who talked about the Savior.  On Saturday we did a service project in Northfleet for the Children's center.  We helped plant a flower garden.  On Sunday we had a testimony meeting in Canterbury.  On Monday which was a bank holiday we met in Gillingham for a car treasurer hunt and BBQ.   It was a memorable weekend.

In April we took a trip with the Lovell's to Rye, Kent which is an ancient coastal city on the English Channel which is famous for pirate smuggling.  It sits on a hill with a beautiful church and Castle.  Most of the streets are still cobble stone with lots of shops and places to eat.  Vorelle found her favorite shop Edinburgh Woolen Mills and Elder Lovell and Elder Sill sat while she and Sister Lovell  shopped.  During the olden days the English channel was right up to the castle walls.  Now it is just a river which is a mile to the channel.  Due to the farming and flooding over the years the land has pushed the channel out.  The land is very fertile with lots of sheep.  It was a beautiful drive to Rye.  The May Flower trees all along the road were covered with white flowers similar to our bridal reef bushes.

At the end of April we went to the London Temple with Smanatha for her temple endowment.  She recently got engaged to Phillip.  It was a very special time for us to teach Smanatha the temple preparation lessons.

The last week of April was very busy.  We spoke in the Sacrament meeting at the Gravesend Ward and Warren was baptized.  We took a trip to Cambridge to meet the Taylors who are serving as YSA couple in Cambridge.  Paul Taylor is our age and lived in our ward in Layton so it was a pleasant surprise to know he and his wife Carolyn were called to England London mission.  They came out in February so they are just starting.  We had a wonderful day visiting the sites in Cambridge.  Cambridge reminds us of the Netherlands with all of the  bicycles.  It is a major University City with Trinity and Kings College being the major Universities.

From Cambridge we traveled north and stayed at the Abbey B&B in Stowbridge.  It has an interesting history going back to a Nunnery in 1400 AD.  It sits right next to the Ozze tidal river which is the largest tidal river in England.  The area around Stowbridge is quite flat similar to the Netherlands and is in Northfolk County also known as East Anglia.

The next day we went to Kings Lynn to see the Sandringham House which the Royal Family uses as their Christmas holiday house.  The House was a gift to Edward VI from his parents Victoria and Albert just before he married.  He became the King after Victoria's death.  When the Royal Family is there you are not allowed into the House, so it was special to take a tour to see how the Royal Family lives and see all of their collections and favorite items.  The grounds were sprawling with a nice walk through the forest to get to the House. The grounds were amazing...a little piece of Heaven.  They have converted the Horse barns into a museum and they had several of the carriages and antique cars on display that the royal family has used.

On the way home we stopped to see the Cathedral in Ely which you can see for miles.  It is almost as large as Canterbury Cathedral.

The first of May we went to the London Temple with Oliver and Diva for their own endowments.  We taught them the temple preparation lessons so it was special to share in their experience as their escorts.

For the commemoration of the Aaronic Priesthood our ward had a special camp fire and talks about the Aaronic Priesthood.  It was held at a Boy Scout camp outside of Canterbury.  We had chips (french fries) and baked chocolate bananas.

Also in May we went to a testimonial football match for one our ward members Ben Lassett.  Ben has played on the Ramsgate professional football team for 10 years and the tradition is to honor him with a special game where he chooses former members back to play on his team and he is the team captain.  They play a match with the first team of the football club.  Ben scored a goal on a penalty kick and his team won.  It was a nice tradition for a nice guy.

In May we went to a organ recital with the Lovell's in the Canterbury Cathedral which was 90 minutes long.  It was tremendous to hear beautiful classical music in the historic Cathedral. The guest organist was from Kings College.

We had the CES fireside in Canterbury and Vorelle was responsible for the refreshments.  Elder Ballard's talk on using the internet was very timely counsel.

In May we concluded the Institute class.  Twenty eight lessons on the Book of Mormon.  We did not want to see it end but Vorelle no longer needs to prepare any more meals so she is happy.  Our last meal was sloppy joes which they liked.  We also concluded our class with ward adults on the Book of Mormon and had a potluck dinner after.

The last Monday in May was a bank holiday and the Stake had a sports day in Gillingham for all of the members.  It was at the Olympic training facilities.  There were races for all age groups.  We walked two laps around the track.  We had a nice picnic just before it began to rain.

The last day of May we had a ward picnic in St Stephens Park in Canterbury.  It was a beautiful summer day.

Our tradition with the YSA and missionaries is to have pancakes at our flat on the first Sunday of the month  after our Sunday meetings.  We prepare pancakes and gammon (ham) till they were full.

We are anxious to come home and just like when we came out we have a lot to do in packing and making the transition for the new couple taking  our place.  We were able to meet the Jones who are from England and they are excited to serve in Canterbury.  We still have several places to see before we come home so our last post will be of our travels.  We are also finishing up helping the ward and saying our goodbyes to are good friends we have made here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring in the Garden of England

Elder Kopischke and Elder Davis gave Sister Sill flowers for her birthday.

Information why Kent is considered the garden of England.

Mount Ephraim.

Mount Ephraim wild daffodils.

Looking at Blean Wood from Mount Ephraim. 

President and Sister Jordan playing a relay game (YSA activities) at Elder and Sister Johnson's home in Watford.

Elder and Sister Sill playing the relay game.

Sisters catching up on Mission experiences a the Johnson home.

Elders catching up on Mission Experiences at the Johnson home.

Sister Gundestrup found a frog on our hike.  We came to a pond on the
hike and found hundreds of frogs.

Sister Gundestrup, Elder Choi, Elder Davis and Sister Welc on our hike for P day.  This trail goes
to Fordwich.

On the trail to Fordwich.
Enjoying one of Sister Sill's wonderful meals.  The students look forward to this each week before our Institute Lesson.

Students participating in Institute Lesson.

Skit Night.   Elder Sill and Hannah doing a spoof of the Great British Bakeoff.
 Elder Sill is Paul Hollywood the host of the Great British Bakeoff.
Canterbury Ward Skit.  Once upon a time in Diva's Flat.  Sister Sill won Best Actress.  Don holding the Book of Mormon
won Best Actor and our Skit won Best Show.
YSA participants in Skit Night and guest performer, our grandson Bryson.

Bryson on top of White Cliffs of Dover.

Nicole at Leeds Castle.

Sister Sill, Bailey and Nicole at Trafalgar square.
Sister Sill and Williams on the tube.

Curtain of Les Miserables.
Sister Sill and Nicole at the Tower of London.

Walk to Leeds Castle.

Black swan was imported from Australia centuries ago to Leeds Castle and is
the symbol for the castle.

Walk to Leeds Castle, spring wild flowers carpeting the ground, blue, pink and white!

Leeds Castle wild spring flowers.

Peacock at Leeds Castle.
Leeds castle wild spring flowers.

Flowering trees at Leeds Castle with two older plants in the front.

Leeds Castle.

Leeds Castle....a lovely lady of the castle.

Leeds Castle.

We stayed at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Gloucester Road.

Bryson on Lord Nelson monument Trafalgar square London.

Bailey, Nicole, Bryson and Elder Sill at Royal phone booths...calling home!

Tower Bridge London. This blue color was Queen Victoria's favorite color and is a color you see around London.

Looking at Tower Bridge from the Tower of London.

Beefeaters at Tower of London.

Replica of King Henry VIII Armour at the White Castle Tower of London.

Bailey.... Ad for Book of Mormon Musical.

Parliament square London.

Bryson at Kings Cross Station Platform 9 3/4...everyone thought it was Harry Potter!!

Les Miserables at Capitol Theater London.  Wonderful production.

Williams at Mission Home Hyde Park London.

Tube in London.  Elder Sill, Nicole and Bailey studying the tube map.  Kurt and Bryson talking up a storm.

Williams at Buckingham Palace.

St James Park London. 

Gardens across from Buckingham Palace. Building in background is offices.

Location of Sherlock Holmes flat 221B Baker Street London.

Ruins of the Castle in Canterbury.
Tulips we planted on our balcony.

St Mary Church in Canterbury.

Canterbury Museum.

River Stour Canterbury.

Walk to a park in Canterbury.

Old Mill House on Stour River Canterbury.

Westgate gardens Canterbury.

LDS Church on Forty Acres Canterbury.

Sister Sill at Faversham, Kent Market Day.

Thought of Garrett with this sign.

Lunch at sidewalk bakery Faversham, Kent.

Roasted chicken and Yorkshire pudding that Elder Sill cooked!

Our favorite Spring flowering bush close to our flat.

Flowers at the Chartham Garden Center.

Chartham garden center.

Pub in Fokestone, Kent.
Street scene Fokestone, Kent.

Elder Sill's puzzle. Helped him unwind from a busy day.  Took him most of the year to complete.

St Gregory Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury.   Oldest English church in continuous use.

St Martin Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury...someones back garden!

St Martin Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury.

St Martin Church Canterbury.

Ruins of St Augustine Abbey Canterbury.
Fields of rapeseed.  Absolutely beautiful and the fragrance is breathtaking.  Use as oils for many cooking and other products.

Priyanka Nair's baptism with Sisters Welc and Gundestrup.

Priyanka was baptized by her Brother Diva.
Spring time in the Garden of England is amazingly beautiful.  Hopefully you will see from our pictures why Kent is the Garden of England.  Mt Ephraim is close to Canterbury and we went for a peek during spring time.  We will be going back in late May when the roses and the garden are blooming.

We we were able to get together with several of the senior couples and President and Sister Jordan at the Johnson's home in Watford.  It was fun to eat and catch up on everyone's mission experiences.

There are a lot of hiking trails around Canterbury.  I took our missionaries on their Preparation Day for a hike to Fordwich.  We came to a Pond that had hundred's of frogs.  Sister Sill and I went back to this same pond last week and we did not see any frogs but hundred's of tadpoles.  What happened to the frogs?

Sister Sill prepares wonderful meals each week for our students before our Institute lesson.  The students really enjoy it since they are away from home and do not get a lot of home cooking.  It has been a wonderful experience to serve these wonderful young single adults.  They are so anxious to learn.

The Canterbury Ward hosted a Skit Night for all of the Young Single Adults in our Stake.  The theme was Once Upon a Time in.......  We had a lot of fun doing  our Skit which was a spoof on living in a student's flat.  Sister Sill won Best Actress and our Skit won Best Show.  Even Bryson and Kurt participated in the Gravesend Ward's Skit.

Nicole, Kurt, Bryson and Bailey visited us.  We went to the White Cliffs of Dover, Canterbury, Leeds Castle and London over a 4 day period.  We stayed two nights in London at the Crown Plaza Hotel and saw the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Kings Cross Station, Sherlock Holmes Baker Street, Mission Home at Hyde Park.  We also saw Les Miserables at the Capitol Theater.  We had a wonderful time and the weather was very nice.

There are so many churches around Canterbury.  We love St Martin's gardens.  It sits on St Martin's Hill.  King Ethelberg's wife had converted to Christianity and when St Augustine came to England in 597 AD he added to the Chapel already built by King Ethelberg for his wife.  The gardens are beautiful.  We like to walk there from our flat.

The River Stour winds throughout the city and it is beautiful.

We made several trips to cities outside of Canterbury.  We went to Market Day in Faversham.  Faversham is a typical traditional English city.  Canterbury is a University and Tourist City so you will not find the typical shops as you will find in Faversham.  We also went to Fokestone which is by the English Channel.  This is where you go to travel by car through the English Channel to Europe.  You drive your car onto a train and the train goes through the tunnel.

The rapeseed is in full bloom.  It is so breathtaking.  It is everywhere!

Priyanka Nair is from Malaysia.  She is a first year student at Kent University studying law.  Her brother will graduate in May and will be returning to Malaysia to begin his career.  They are wonderful converts to the Church.