Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Half Way Point

Typical country side Southeast Kent.

Ginny and Grahame and their two English Springers in their home Mersea
Island, Essex near Colchester.  Ginny is Janet and Collin's daughter.

Collin and Janet Henson in Lavenham, Suffolk.  Janet is Vorelle's cousin. 

Market Town Lavenhem, Suffolk.  The building in the back is the Guildhall which goes
back to the 17th century.

Janet and Collin's garden in Layer de Haye, Essex near Colchester.

Janet and Collin in their home.

Janet and Collin's home.

Missionary group sang to us at our Senior Couples Seminar in Hyde Park London.

Service project with the Elders and Sisters.  Holden's garden.
Saeed's baptism.  Saeed is from Afghanistan.

Elders Miller and Hart.  They taught Saeed.

Sister Ainsworth and Sister Sisters, granddaughters of Hugh B. Brown serving
in the mission that Elder Brown was Mission President.

Zone Conference of two Zones held in Hyde Park London October 23.

Natural Science Museum London.  Close to Mission Home.

Sonya and her Dad at Hever Castle Near Seven Oaks Kent.

Hever Castle

Sonya and her Mom at Hever Castle.

Courtyard inside Hever Castle.

Courtyard Hever Castle.

Grounds of Hever Castle.  This tree has several trunks and is from Iran.

Hever Castle.

Beautiful Fall colors Hever Castle.

Italian gardens.  Hever Castle.

Italian gardens.  Hever Castle.

Sonya Hever Castle.

Hever Castle.

Hever Castle.

Hever Castle.

White Cliffs of Dover.

White Cliffs of Dover.

Stake Disco Dance Gillingham.  YSA Ash, Oliver and Don.

YSA Service project for our precious Sabine White who is being treated for Cancer.  Left to Right  Oliver, Becky, Diva, Nathan, Ash, Don and Sisters Shalvis and Gorniak.

New table tennis for YSA.  Playing a game called around the world.

Stour River Canterbury.

Stour River Canterbury.

Elders from Ramsgate and Dover with Elders Miller (back) and Hart.

Banner to invite people to come in to see Mormon Tabernacle Choir Broadcast.

Sisters Allred and Gorniak cooked crepes for us after our District Meeting..

New Badminton Net for the Cultural Hall.

With Elder Lovell at Harrod's Food Court.
River Stour in Fordwich.  Smallest Town in Britain.

Fordwich Kent

Sue and Frank Martin treated us to lunch at the George and Dragon Fordwich.

Church in Fordwich.
Ward Meal (Carvery) Victoria Hotel Canterbury.

Bishop and Margaret Pemberton at the Ward Meal.
Canterbury YSA left to right, Oliver, Don, Diva, Elder Miller, Ash, Elder Hart, Becky, Staci, Lucy, Gillian
In front Sister Gorniak and Sister Allred
We have reached the half way point of our mission and really appreciate the love and support we have received from our family and friends at home and the beautiful saints and missionaries we serve with in Canterbury.  It is truly a blessing to associate with so many good people.

The end of September we took a trip to visit Vorelle's cousin Janet and her husband Collin in Layer de la Haye, Essex near Colchester.  We did have an anxious start to the trip.  Vorelle had a kidney stone attack which sent her to the hospital on Thursday.  We thought she was better so we left on Friday to Colchester but had to turn around since Vorelle had another attack.  Saturday she was feeling much better so we went and had a wonderful visit with Janet and Collin.  We had dinner Saturday evening at Ginny and Grahame's home at Mersea Island.  Ginny is Janet and Collin's daughter.  The dinner was very good.  Both Ginny and Grahame are excellent cooks.  On Sunday we went to the Colchester Ward which is in our Mission.  After Church Janet and Collin took us for a drive to Lavenham in Suffolk.  Lavenham is beautiful and has a lot of historic buildings going back to the booming days of the wool industry.  We came home and Collin and Steve watched on TV the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburg Steelers play in Wembly Stadium.  Collin is a big English Football fan so it was fun to catch up on all the English Football.   We also watched Downton Abbey.  Since we don't have a Television we caught up on watching TV which felt different.  The ultra sound shows that the stone was passed.  Apparently the water in Kent has a lot of calcium due to the Chalk in the area.  They told us there are a lot of kidney stone attacks here so we are now drinking bottled water.

Watching General Conference at the Chapel and at home on the internet is a wonderful experience.  It was uplifting to hear our Church Leaders speak. 

We had a Senior Couples seminar at the Mission Home in Hyde Park London.  There were 19 couples at the seminar.  The couples serve in the Visitor Center in Hyde Park, National Archives Family History, Church Farm in Huntington, member support, Mission Home and YSA.  Quite a variety of assignments.  Elder Whittaker who is serving with his wife as member support missionaries spoke to us about the early Church History in the British Isles.  Elder Whittaker is a retired BYU Professor who has written several books on the early history of the Church.  We also had a special group of Sisters and Elders sing to us.  There are a lot of Elders and Sisters who are musically gifted.  They go throughout the mission and perform at firesides.  We drove into London for the conference and went to Harrod's afterward with the Lovells, missionary couple serving in Gravesend and had dinner at a Lebanese Restaurant before we returned to Canterbury.

Saeed is a wonderful young man from Afghanistan who came into Church on a Sunday and wanted to be taught.  He had the lessons several years ago and felt impressed to come to Church.  He was taught the lessons again and was baptized so we are excited to have him join our YSA group.

We helped the Holden's with clean up around their garden.  There was a misty rain so we were pretty wet.  Sister Holden prepared a barbeque of chicken, ribs and sausage.  We played the game of Life with Paddy and Alfred and really enjoy being around them.  Paddy will be ordained a Deacon this coming Sunday.

We drove into London for our Bi monthly Zone Conference with President and Sister Jordan.  It is always a blessing to be around so many good missionaries and feel their spirit and love for missionary work.  President and Sister Jordan are awesome Mission Leaders.  President Jordan is quite the scholar.  He taught us about the Great Apostasy and the Restoration.  Frank was at his company's conference in London so he brought Sonya with him.  We picked her up after our conference and went to see the Natural History Museum which is next door to the Mission Home.  We then had a pretty good hamburger at Billy's and drove back to Canterbury.

The next day was absolutely stunning.  Brilliant sunshine and pleasant temperature.  We went to Hever Castle near Tonbridge and Seven Oaks.  This is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn the second wife of Henry VIII.  He courted her at Hever castle and was the reason he split with the Catholic Church.  He eventually had her beheaded when she could not bear a son but their daughter Elizabeth I became Queen of England.  The castle became run down and was rescued by the Astor family who restored it and built a little village behind the castle which is used today as a Bed and Breakfast and conference center.  What is amazing is the Italian gardens around the castle.  The best we have seen so far in beauty.  The Astor's brought over from Italy lots of statues.  The next day we picked Frank up at the Train Station and went to see the White Cliffs of Dover.  It was quite windy but beautiful.  Frank and Sonya were fortunate to get out of town before the storm of the decade St Jude hit.  We were fortunate that the storm was not as strong here.  Our Chapel lost some siding but other areas of England were hit quite hard with rain and high winds.

The Canterbury Ward  had an adult dinner at the Victoria Hotel.  It was a English Carvery.  A buffet of roast beef, ham and turkey and Yorkshire pudding.  We had a good turn out and it was great to be with the adults of the Ward.

We had a Stake Disco Dance for all adults of the stake in Gillingham.  We saw a lot of interesting dance moves.  The English really like to dance and sing.  It is very common that they sing the songs while they are dancing.  They have a lot of fun.  Also it is quite common to sing all of the lines in our Hymn book not just the ones with the music score.

We have a lot of new students this year and it has been fun getting to know them.  We got a new table tennis and badminton net.  The English really like table tennis and badminton so it is a lot of fun.  We do not have the traditional basketball court in our cultural hall.

I had some signs made up so we can invite the public into our Chapel for tours and Mormon Tabernacle broadcasts.

Frank and Sue Martin are good friends and we enjoy being around them and the YSA.  Frank is on the High Council and they live in Gillingham.  They came to Canterbury and treated us to lunch at the George and Dragon Pub in Fordwich which is just outside Canterbury and I sthe smallest town in Britain.  A beautiful setting.  It is on the Stour River and is considered a port since they brought stone up the river from Europe to build the Cathedral.  There were several large boats docked here so apparently the river is deep enough for larger boats to come this far inland.

For FHE we carved pumpkins.  This was the first for a lot of the YSA.  Halloween is starting to catch on in the UK.

Vorelle was sustained as a counselor in the ward Relief Society.  She is temporary while the other counselor is in the hospital taking care of her baby who has leukemia. Her previous training will add to this calling.