Sunday, October 5, 2014

Elder Giles Passing

Such an unusual week.  If they are all like this, we are in for a real workout. Monday was beautiful and we had the day off.  Started out at Kensington Gardens (part of Hyde Park).  We visited Kensington Palace, the home of the Royal Family extended.  They actually live here.
Kensington Palace

We were contemplating spending our last few pounds (sterling that is) when Elder and Sister Giles walked in and told us about a Palace Pass.  For less money we could visit several palaces so we decided to hold off going in.  So more on this when we actually get in.  We went out through the gift shop and found that we must really close to royalty from the signs we were seeing.
Could be the Royal Head
We also found the Wiggly Walk just next to the Palace.  A beautiful stroll up toward the Orangery (elegant dining hall for formal occasions.  No picture.)

The Wiggly Walk
Royals have their privileges and beautiful gardens, all kept up by the staff. :-).  Wish we had a staff. 

Below we are seeing the actual Garden just before replanting for the winter season.
Gardens before changing Plants
Steven & Afton at the Gardens
The arts are really big here.  A guest architect was commissioned to do a work near the Serpentine Gallery in the park.  This is a very large snail shell.  It actually has a small snack stand and tables and chairs where you can sit and visit. 

Later in the day we visited the place where C.S. Lewis lived.  Not much to look at, but the street was interesting and very typical o this particular area within in 10 minutes of where we live.  Oops, can't get the video's to post.  Maybe next time.   Help someoe !

That's all the good stuff.  Now for a brief recap of the rest of the week. 
Tuesday morning, our friends, fellow missionaries, and neighbors went walking in Kensington Garden.  Arriving home, Elder Giles started working on breakfast and preparation for the day.  When his companion came back to the kitchen, he was on the floor unconscious.  She immediately panicked and came and banged on our door,  We sprang to action and crossed the hall to find Elder Giles down and out.  Scout training kicked in and I started CPR (first time ever for real).  We called for help and the Cardall's from upstairs came immediately and the police and emergency services were dispatched.  Elder Cardall and I continued CPR and the paramedics took over with oxygen, medications, and 
 other tools.   After about an hour doing all we could for him, it was called off.  It appears Elder Giles had a severe heart attack and was probably dead before he hit the ground.    

We will miss our new friend. It was a blessing that he was not taken while they were walking in the park where Sister Giles would not have had any support.  The funeral service was planned for Thursday and was very special. Sister Giles had two of her sons fly in from Utah and they spoke telling of Elder Giles' great service as president of the Haiti Mission and experiences of family life and gospel strength.  

Sister Giles, though grief stricken, was so strong.  President Jordan (Mission Pres) asked if Afton and I would step in and and help with the office finances and membership and missionary duties.  Sister Giles insisted on coming to the office to give training.  She could not leave anything undone or incomplete.  Because of her help, we will be able to keep the office running until future plans can be made and personnel secured. This has been a rough week, but full of service, emotion, training, work, and great spiritual help.  Conference is helping and with a wonderful staff, we move on to our first mission transfer.  More on that next time. 


  1. Thanks for the pictures and experiences. How tragic about the Giles; what a blessing for them that you were there to help where you could, and what a blessing to the mission that you have the training and experience and willingness to step in to help keep the administration of the mission going well. A hard but powerful reminder that we all need to be ready to both move on to the next phase of the Plan of Salvation, and also be prepared to help and serve at any time, in any situation.

    1. I hope this reply makes it --I've been trying for weeks. We are so excited to see your pictures and read about the amazing things that you're doing. You make it sound fun, inspiring, and POSSIBLE! I hope our turn will come soon. So sorry about the Giles -- That must have been difficult for the entire mission, but especially for those of you directly involved. What a blessing that you will be able to step in and help in the office. Not such a coindence; the Lord knows what He's doing. Say hello to the Cardalls for us. They'd never recognize the 5th Ward since our boundaries were realigned. God bless you! Love, Shirley and Gert 4ster