Our Final British Installment
Here it is a new year and all of the celebrations have been wrapped up and it should be quiet for a while. Let’s take a look. New Year’s Day was a lot of fun. We got to watch the Cotton Bowl (thank you ESPN) and set up for a farewell party for the Cardalls (our Visitor Center Directors). We billed the event as a Senior Couple Social Activity – however we pulled a little sneaky one. We wanted to get to know everyone better so we handed out a slip of paper requesting each couple to give a spiritual experience. On all of the papers, except the one given to the Cardall’s, we asked for a reminder of a spiritual memory relating to the Cardall’s. On the one slip given to the Cardall’s it only stated “share a mission moment”. It was a great send off for this amazing Visitor Center Director couple.
|Royal Albert Hall / Now with Ice|
|Nutcracker on Ice|
Things were really quiet for the first few days of January. We decided to trek out to Greenwich for the tour that we missed the first time we were there. It was a very pleasant trip. We were able to take the train to Canary Warf and then we walked through the tunnel under the Thames River.
|Portraying John Willis Owner of Cutty Sark|
We spent a few hours exploring the Cutty Sark, a memorialized sailing ship noted for its speed records in delivering tea from China and British goods around the globe. We walked briefly through the Maritime Museum and then climbed to the Observatory at the top of the Greenwich peninsula. At the Observatory there were a number of interesting things to do and see such as the Time Meridian Line. We have a picture of Afton standing in two different time zones.
|Afton, Stetched across The Prime Meridian|
On the top of the observatory, there is a ball that each day is raised to the top of the tower at 12:55 pm and precisely at 1:00pm it is dropped. This was a means of ships sailing the Thames River into and out of London to get a precise setting of time for their shipping navigation. We toured the clock rooms, the instrument rooms, and saw some of the very early clocks and timepieces designed for use at sea with special ways designed into them to overcome the ships movements and magnetic effects of the earth. Early telescopes were used with the goal of setting better ways to measure time and location.
One afternoon, our London Hyde Park Stake SR Specialist dropped in to our Model Resource Centre. He never just drops in, but on Jan 22nd, Daniil did. Turns out that working with lasers and very cutting edge technology is not keeping him busy enough so he was applying for a weekend job at the National Science Museum across from the HP Centre. He had had one interview and was waiting for the result and possibly for a second interview the same day. It was good to have him drop in, but we have found these things never happen just by chance. As Daniil was there visiting with us, three new clients came and they all needed help. They were looking for jobs and support in preparing their C.V.’s (equivalent to a resume’). The Lord always knows when we need help and he sends it just in time to keep the work moving forward. We were each able to help one of the three and give them direction on finding employment.
During January, we were able too visit one of London's unique wonders. This is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – Hindu Temple. It is properly known as the Neasden Temple.
In just 2½ years, 5,000 tons of
Italian marble and the finest Brazilian limestone were hand-carved and then
shipped to London to assemble this Hindu Temple. It is all stacked together like Legos to fit
perfectly (no mortar) and it was assembled on site in London. It is a regular place of worship for Hindu
followers and we were allowed to visit the interior and the shrines. (No pictures allowed inside). The intricate carved arch ways and the
formation of the shrines and walls was really very amazing and beautiful.
|Neasden (Hindu) Temple|
We had another powerful event in January. We had a most amazing couple that came to our Self-Reliance Centre in April–June of 2015. Alan Carter and his wife Rosalind, traveled from Croydon and offered their British experience and expertise to our clients in the SR Center.
|Alan & Rosalind Carter|
As we were out of London for the funeral, we also visited the Crawley Stake SR Specialist. Jules invited us to dinner and for the first time, we had a local speciality ‘Toads in a Hole’. This was a unique dinner with two sausages cooked inside of a Yorkshire pudding. She also served Trifle which was beautiful and delicious.
Finally, we must describe one of our days last week in the
Self Reliance Center. Feb 12 was a particularly Crazy Day. We have had a few calm days so we were overdue
for a hum-dinger.
|Toad In A Hole + Dinner|
- · Because it had been calm, I agreed to leave the Centre to help Cezary. We had worked with him and he was now employed, but the Home Office (British Government) wanted him to report in. He was summoned to be “detained” and this, as you might well imagine, caused he and I great anxiety. We had no idea what was happening. So, I agreed to travel with him to Croydon to the Home Office.
- · As I was preparing for the day’s work (including the trip to Croydon), a Greek client came in. No English, just Greek speaking. I spent about an hour with him trying to help him prepare a CV. My time was up and I had to leave to help Cezary so I turned him over to Sister Baxter.
- · Then a lady from Spain came in needing a CV – right, no English at all.
- · We have a sweet lady that comes in unexpectedly from time to time and she dropped in to meet with four deaf people that she interprets for. She needed assistance in building CV’s for these four deaf people.
- · Peter, unemployed and looking for work, came in needing computer help for his job search.
- · Brian, a recent Korean convert, came in to have Afton help him practice English.
- · While I was still on my travels, the missionaries brought in a new investigator. He had no CV, no job, had spent the last 12 years in prison, and was now turning his life around and needed assistance.
- · Finally, two ladies – one from Iran and one from Spain, both well-educated but without jobs, came in for help.
Fridays are the day we only have the Centre open from Noon until 4:30pm and most of this happened while I was off with Cezary traveling to and from Croydon. Afton is a miracle worker and she was still breathing and standing when I returned to lend a hand. By 8:00pm we had given service to all and they were on their way. We went home, and dropped on the couch.
Missionary service is great work. It is hard, demanding, and challenging. It is rewarding and brings joy as you see people getting help and assistance that moves them forward. You work with the best people, missionaries – juniors and seniors. The many tender mercies help build testimonies and enhance the great joy that comes from service. May you all get the opportunity to serve in your own particular way as you progress.
(SRS.LDS.ORG. Manuals and videos). This is a manual that will be coming to a lesson near you in the U.S.in the near future. Grab it now and grow from the simple beautiful lessons taught. In this installment we share with you the importance of “learning”, The Glory of God is Intelligence, and from lesson 12, Doing What Matters Most. Use the following videos in your own study and in your Family Home Evenings.
We love you all and hope to see you on Sunday, March 27th. Our Pinehurst Ward meets at 9:00 am.
Elder Steven and Sister Afton Baxter
We have been collecting what we thought were interesting names of Pubs:
Old Red Lion
The Black Horse
The Bears Head
Duke of Cambridge
The Draft House
The Beaufort House
The Cadogan Arms
The Cave of Plunder
The Three Johns
The Three Compasses
The Hen & Chicken
The Hare & Hounds
The Goat & Owl
The Royal Swan
The Brown Cow
The Golden Swan
The Golden Lion
Young’s Dog & Fox
Young’s Rose & Crown
The Famous Cock