Friday, September 25, 2015

A Visit to Old Street - EC1Y 1AU

On a recent preparation day, 15 Sept, we visited an area of London that has significance for early missionary work. It was on Tabernacle Square near Old Street that Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith preached to a crowd of 400 people and where the first convert in London, Henry Connor, was baptized 31 August 1840 in nearby Peerless Pool.

By February 1841 there were 46 converts in London and the London Conference (Mission) was organized with young Lorenzo Snow as President. From this small beginning in London, Preston and other areas of Great Britain by 1850 there were 34,000 members of the Church compared to 12,000 in America.

Bunhill Fields Burial Ground - favored by nonconformists, the cemetery contains the graves of many notable people including John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress; Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe; William Blake, artist, poet, and mystic; Susanna Wesley, known as the "Mother of Methodism" through her education of sons John and Charles.
Statue of reformer, John Wesley, in front of the Wesley Chapel, on Old Street. The Bunhill Fields Burial Ground is across the street.
Inside the Wesley Chapel

Walkway around the side of the chapel
John Wesley's grave is behind the Wesley Chapel

Inscription on the Wesley grave marker

Dilapidated building next to the Wesley Chapel which was recently purchased by the LDS Church to be the site of a future meeting house

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Didn't know you could play the piano in Portuguese!

Sister Ashby (Visitors' Centre Senior Missionary) rehearsed the special musical number for the baptism in the Portuguese Ward with the young elders and sisters. She asked me to play piano for the baptism since she wasn't available and I was on shift.

As the bishop welcomed everyone and announced the program, all in Portuguese, I realized that I didn't know what the opening song would be. The words of the songs were printed on the program, but no page numbers, and it was all in Portuguese.

Everyone became very quiet as the sister conducting the music stood ready to begin and I quietly asked the bishop what song this was.

Quando Eu for Batizado

Is it "When I am Baptized?" I asked. When he said yes, I then looked in the back of the Children's Songbook for the page number. It seemed like a very long pause, but all were patient and waited and then joined in singing this beautiful Primary Song.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Another visitor from China

At the end of our shift tonight, another visitor came in from Beijing, China. He was in London for a university conference. He said he had never heard of this church. He was so interested, asked many questions, took pictures of the chapel and paintings and left with a Book of Mormon in Traditional Chinese and one in English.

Mission Conference

On Monday we attended the England London Mission conference with Brother and Sister Clayton Christensen. It was special to watch the wonderful Elders and Sisters from all over the mission enthusiastically come together and be taught by these great real-life missionaries who have had so much experience sharing the Gospel around the world.

Just before we broke for lunch President Stevens had everyone turn and face the back of the Chapel so I could take a picture from the cry-room upstairs. After the conference we all walked to the steps in front of the Royal Albert Hall for an additional All-Mission picture.

 It was interesting that two members of the YSA ward were married Saturday before Brother and Sister Christensen came. Meg was taught the gospel by the Christensens and baptized by Brother Christensen while she was attending Harvard Business School.

Meg waits for her ride to the London Temple
Temple marriages in the UK are first performed civilly as was this one in the Hyde Park Chapel and are later sealed in the Temple for time and for all eternity.

Leaving for the Temple in a decorated Mini


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Time Flies

Wow, two weeks have gone quickly by! Last Sunday, Linda played violin with two other violin players and a cellist accompanying Paul Cardall at a musical fireside. Monday, we met Alessandra's lovely parents in Amersham! They are delightful! We look forward to many more visits with them.

Some of our excursions included seeing Hamley's Toy Store and M&M World, tours of Buckingham Palace, Mews, and Queen's Gallery.

St. Mary's Church in Old Amersham
J.Paul, Suzy, Pat, Alessandra, Linda, Hugh at Millar's home in Amersham
Door in Old Amersham. Watch your head!
Commit No Nuisance

Inside St. Mary's Church
Old Amersham
Life sized Queen out of Legos at Hamleys toy store
Gold Coronation Carriage in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace
Saturday we stopped to see J. Paul in the queue for Yo Yo Ma's concert at Royal Albert. He played all the Bach Unaccompanied Cello suites! two hours and 45 minutes. It was epic. The crowd went wild and called him back again and again for bows.

Our shifts at the Visitors' Centre are different each day. We love to answer questions and invite people to learn more. There are tender mercies often. The other day we were searching for a Book of Mormon in Persian. Couldn't find it anywhere. Kept searching and just as the man left the building, there it was in the sister's hand. She ran out the door and was able to give it to him.

Elder Williams was speaking with the bus driver who brought the new 25 new missionaries down from the Missionary Training Center in Preston, England. The bus driver was so impressed with these polite, genuine, kind young people. He just couldn't believe how they behaved. He was very complementary of such a fine group. Had never had such an experience like that before.
New Missionaries and their trainers with Pres. and Sister Stevens
Our new VC Sister trainers gave great training about standards of excellence.

We love getting messages, instagram pictures, facebook posts, skype calls, and facetime from our precious family! Sunday we were able to just stare at Timothy and watch him drink a bottle and burp:) Now it is Tuesday, and yesterday, we saw Timothy and all his siblings and Dan and Wendy! Cedar and Parker and Hazel got to hang out together in Moab for Labor Day weekend!
Monday, Mission Conference, Awesome! Wow!