Monday, March 30, 2015

March Madness

March Madness.  Mad, because BYU did not play their way into the NCAA tournament. The last couple of season games were available for us to see and they were fun to watch. We anticipated seeing more of them, and then they did not get through the play-in game. Oh well, next year.

So, we cannot crown the basketball team, but we discovered several other crowns. This month we were able to visit Windsor Castle to see some of the English Crowns.  Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.  It as been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years.  For more beautiful details, check out:  and you will get a professional view of what we experienced.  From the opening screen, go to the second picture and click on the link. 

We had a wonderful day taking the train out into the countryside to a village called Slough and then a short ride to Windsor.  We jumped off the train and right into the small village center of shopping and food.  As we came out of the shopping area we were at the foot of the castle looking up and it was a beautiful view.  Each visitor gets a personal head phone connected to a hand-held video of the rooms, information, and history of the Castle you are about to visit.  

According to the flags, it appeared that the Queen was in residence during our visit.  A fire  destroyed a large section of the Castle a few years back, but it has been restored to its original splendor.  This is a place you can visit often and enjoy the art work and scenery repeatedly.  During half of the year, when the "royals" are in full time residence, the tour is shortened and the personal residence areas are off limits.  However, as we toured the Castle, the residence was open. It is amazing to see how the royalty live.  I would be afraid to spill on the carpet.  But, then I am not royalty and I would have to pay for the clean up, not having a small army of support staff.  Be sure and watch the video listed above.

By mid-month, we were summoned for training to Preston, England.  This is a bit out of the mission (100 miles), but because of our mission assignment, we have permission to attend the specialized training.  We drove up to Preston on Sunday night and located Elder and Sister Lee who are a delightfuly Self-Reliance Missionary couple.  They opened the area so they had to find their own flat. It is a quaint old "British" cottage on the edge of town that sits on the edge of a golf course.  They have decorated their flat with furnishings that give it a warm and inviting feeling.  They often have missionaries and YSA come over for dinner and other events.  This is the Lee's base of operation (their flat) as opposed to our office that we work out of at the Hyde Park Centre.  After an excellent home-cooked meal we drove to the temple grounds at the Preston England Temple. We enjoyed the Temple Patron Housing during out stay.

Training consisted of a recap of the materials we have been presenting and new mentoring tools to be activated and used with candidates that need support.  We shared power point presentations and exchanged ideas of ways to present information to the Stake and Ward Councils.  Some of the missionaries are currently holding "My Path Devotional's" which are kick-off meetings to present the new manuals and workgroups.  

Tuesday morning we were up early to attend a session at the Preston Temple and then we had the wonderful experience of a personal walking tour of missionary sites in Preston, England. President Ulrich and his wife from the Manchester England Mission joined us for the tour. We started out our walking tour at Wadham Road, the flat which was previously occupied by Gordon B. Hinckley when he was a missionary. This is where he arrived in the mission field only to write home telling his father that he was not sure what he was doing in the mission field.  His father wrote back and told him to get to work and things would all work out.  He had to decide why he was there and let the Lord help him.  Elder Hinckley got to work, built upon his testimony and served a very successful full mission.  The other picture is a flat where the early Apostles lived and they were attached by legions of evil spirits.  With the Priesthood, the Apostles cast out the devils and went on to gather great spiritual strength and momentum for the Church.  

We visited the "cockpit" which was an area (originally a building) that was used for cock fighting. The Temperance movement had a great start here and eventually the Church took over the building and met there for 3 years. Preston is the home of the oldest continuous congregation of the Church. When the early Apostles started their work in England, the first baptisms were performed in the River Ribble. Within a week of their arrival they were asked to preach at a congregation. The preacher was a relative of one of the Apostles.  They were so successful with their preaching, members of the congregation were asking for baptism.  The Apostles were soon asked to leave that pulpit but many conversions happened that week.  On the day of the first baptisms, the story has it that two new investigator's wanted to be baptized "first" and they actually had a foot race to the River Ribble.  

Brother Watt won and became the first convert baptized in the UK.   By about 1845, there were more members of the Church in Northern England than in all of the United States. When the call to Zion went out, thousands left England with deep rooted testimonies and traveled at great hardship and sacrifice to come and build Zion.  

Other work continues here in London. President Jordan gave Sister Baxter and me the assignment to help a young sister missionary to get a plan in place for when she leaves her mission.  Sister Tshimanga is from the Congo.  She has taken all of the training and schooling available in the Congo and we have spent time helping her to apply for schools in Italy, France, the UK and BYU-Idaho.  Saturday we spent six hours with her as she took the IELTS (English entrance exam).  Stay tuned next month and we will let you know how she did. (We are still waiting too.)

Saturday for Elder Ohman's birthay celebration we had a delightful time at the Royal Festival Hall.  We, along wih the Jordan's, & White's attended the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and afterwards met Mark Oshida one of the violinists in the performance. While teaching at BYU, Elder Ohman met and instructed 3 of the 4 Oshida children, all very talented muscians. Mark became a good friend of the Ohman family. As a banker by trade, but muscian by avocation and love, he has become a world traveler sharing his talents with orchestras around the world. He left following this performance to head for Logan, Utah to work with Craig Jessop and will return to London a week later.  We walked over the Hungerford Bridge crossing the Thames River from the Embankmant tube station to the Royal Festival Hall (in the immediate background). Preston, our Civil engineer son, recognized this prominent bridge so I thought I would include a picture as we were crossing the river Saturday evening.

Finally, See Lesson 2, "My Foundation - Principles, Skills, Habits" as referenced last month.  (see SRS.LDS.ORG,  >  Self Reliance >  Manuals & Videos)   Use Time Wisely   This is from a manual that is not yet announced to the USA, but the skills are wonderful and can help all of us.  As you study the importance of time, you will find it a most valuable gift that God has given us, Evaluate the following principles:

   *  List Task
   *  Pray
   *  Set Priorities
   *  Set Goals, Act
   *  Report (to Heavenly Father)

See if you can apply the principles in your own life.  Check out "The Gift of Time" as a support video of the lesson.

We love the work we are  engaged in.  The people are wonderful and it is a joy to be here. The Church is true!!!!

1 comment:

  1. This is so great - I always loved visiting Windsor! So glad you got to 'say hi' to the Queen!