London - Fireworks
2015 opened with a BANG! London had the most spectacluar fireworks that I have ever seen. They were shooting fireworks from barges in the River Thames, from the shore surrounding the London Eye, and from the London Eye itself. It was truely amazing !!!
Guess who came to visit us over New Year's?
Kari's family from Oregon pictured here at the London Temple grounds in front of the Nativity Scene.
We had a lot of fun in between the work at the mission office. How about a little shopping - Harrods & M&M Store
|Harrods at Night|
|Grandma shopping with Princesses|
|M & M's the size you dream about|
|M & M's of every color|
We visited Kensington Palace & gardens and museums. While at Kensington Palace, exploring King Edward's wing of the Palace, we happened upon Sir Francis who explained the games of chance played by the royalty. Pictured are the grandkids getting instructions. Remind us and we will teach you how to play when we get home (5-4-3). In 1620, if you played this game against the King and you won, was that a safe move? If you won, you might really lose in the long run.
We loved to go walking and a favorite walk is through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Here the grandkids are feeding the ducks and geese.
A major attraction was their visit to Harry Potter World.
So, we were off to the Hogwart's Express. Platform 9 3/4, right?
|Chase, Ambri & Oakli off to get the train|
It was facinating being behind the scenes and walking through the original movie sets. We took lots of pictures by the props and on the actual movie sets. We had to stop and get some ButterBeer to top off our visit. We walked the actual Diagon Alley and saw the wand shop and other stores shown in the movies.
|Entrance to the Great Hall|
|The Great Hall with food all laid out|
|Actual Diagon Alley Set|
Below are a couple of shots of Hogwarts Castle which is fully detailed. It was explained to us that all of the flying shots and outdoor scenes were actually filmed on this Hogwarts Model.
|Winter at Hogwarts|
It took a large team of craftsmen over 6 months to build this castle. Doors, hinges, windows, and stones are all detailed.
|Walking around the model|
Afton and I were given a couple of tickets to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here in London and it was quite an amazing show. The staging was spectaular. At Charlie's home, his inventive father had repaired an old TV. Dad climbed on a bicycle power supply which cranked up the TV and the image on the TV was opened to our view in a larger than life TV above the actors on stage. Each of the winners of the golden ticket were shown in news flashes on that Big TV. The mix of graphics, imaging, and staging were amazing and brought the whole story to life.
|The girl promised this was the Lucky Bar|
|No golden Ticket in our bar but it was Really Good!|
In January we were very busy training four Stake Self Reliance Committies and seven Ward Councils on the Self- Reliance Initiative. This world wide initiative has gone to Mexico, South America, the Phillipines, South Africa and all countries outside of the US and Canada. The United Kingdom is the last country outside of North America to get the Initiative. Self Reliance is the ability to care for yourself and your family both temporally and spiritually. The Lord has declared, "It is my purpose to provide for my saints" (Doc & Cov 104:15). This revelation is a promise from the Lord that He will proivde temporal blessings and open the doors of self-reliance if we do our part. Heavenly Father knows us and loves us and is ready to extend to everyone the spiritual and temporal blessings of self-reliance.
We have witnessed many tender mercies from the Lord prompting us where to go, what to say and how to work in helping others. One example is a man named Francisco (from Portugal) who left his homeland because he could not find work. He came to London following his faith and hoped for a better future. Franciso only had money to stay in a hostel and came to our Self Reliance Center every day. We helped him rewrite his CV (resume) and this opened the door to gaining an interview for the very job that he was seeking. He is a very quiet and conservative personality so we convinced him to let us help him with his interviewing skills. We started with him coming to our office door as if approaching his appointment and the first time he came in he did not even get past our secretary because of his lack of confidence. (Afton is a toughy!) He was very teachable and humble and took instructions well. We spent a lot of time working on interviewing questions and giving him skills and confidence for his actual invertivew which was to be the the following day. We did not hear from him for a week.
A week later when we were working with several unemployed people at the centre, we had a fun surprise occur. Kari had taken her kids to a museum and on her return trip home on the Tube they missed their stop. When they got off of the Tube, they were face to face with a Krispy Kreme donut shop and of course the kids were begging for donuts. She was prompted to buy two dozen instead of the six she needed for her kids. She got back on the Tube to try and find her way to our flat. She decided to come to the Hyde Park Centre to see us and share the donuts. Prior to Kari's arrival, Francisco had come in and told us that he had gotten his job and had been working every day since his interview. He had been hired on the spot. While he was at the Centre, he helped two of our other candidates with computer links for their job searches. And in walked Kari and her kids. We all celebrated by helping Kari eat the donuts. Other office missionaries came and celebrated with us. It was a real blessing that Kari had been directed to quadruple her order. Francisco is now looking for permanent housing.
Favorite Foods this month: Pasteries, Fish & Chips, Flapjacks, and waffles. Take a look at these gourmet waffles.
We hope you enjoy our adventures and missionary experiences. We are working hard and loving every minute - well almost every minute. The Church is true, and we have some of the greatest people in the Church to work with. We love you all and hope you enjoy our blog.