Friday, December 12, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

Christmas is coming soon, and sadly we haven't updated our blog since October.  We get busy and the time slips away.  It will be different not being around our family this holiday season, but we are so enjoying our service here.  We truly are involved every day in sharing the Christmas message of God's gift to us of His Beloved Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  It doesn't get any better than that!

We are occasionally able to get a free day or two and visit nearby beauty spots or historical sites.  Here, just about everything is “nearby”.  We particularly like visiting places where our ancestors lived or visited.  One of these places is the Isle of Wight.  This isle is just off the south coast of England and it is in our mission.  Another senior couple invited us to go over with them for a few days.  We booked a lovely B&B with delicious full English breakfast every day.  The body of water separating it from the mainland is called the Solent. Historically, this location was very important to England’s defence because of its strategic location to possible invaders from Europe.  It has a lot of old military locations and ruins.  In the 1960’s and 1970’s England had a top secret programme to build rockets there to launch satellites into space.  We saw some very interesting geology and beautiful seascapes including the “Needles” rocks that jut up from the sea.  To travel to the Isle of Wight, you must book a Ferry across the Solent.

A very beautiful miniature village at Godshill, Isle of Wight.

Atop the windy white cliffs of the Isle of Wight with the Needles in the background

When we arrived back home, we had a birthday party that evening at our place for one of our ward members.  We regularly hold FHE at our flat for the mid-singles in our ward as well as other single members.  We now have a new counselor in the Wandsworth Common Ward Bishopric.  It is great to have the bishopric now with 3 members.

A nice thing about a senior mission is that we are allowed to have visitors, including our own children.  We would love to have them all come if they had the time and money to make the trip.  Fortunately, Anne and Dan live in Boston, just on the other side of the “pond” and were able to schedule a visit.  They were here for 9 days.  We were able to give them a great London experience, as well as travel to some of our ancestral areas.

We love the many green spaces very close by.  London has preserved these spaces much to the benefit of the residents as “commons” or grounds that belong to the public.  The largest enclosed green space in all of London is Richmond Park, within our ward boundaries, and it is 2,360 acres, about 3 times the size of New York’s Central Park.  We drove through with Dan and Anne to see the deer and the beautiful forested and grassy area.  Two varieties of deer live there — Red and Fallow deer.  Afterwards we all enjoyed delicious Fish & Chips at our local chip shop on Franciscan Road.

 Dan and Anne with the deer at Richmond Park

London, it seems, has an unending supply of attractions, all very close to where we live.  The  London Eye (giant ferris wheel) provides great views of London.  Harrods is a well known upscale store, visited by many London visitors. Everything is super expensive.  We spotted some Caviar — one tiny jar was £1,725!  Mostly we just looked.  It’s like a museum itself inside.  We were able to afford some excellent Dosaunts and Cronuts there.  Then we went to the Hyde Park Chapel located on Exhibition Road near the area many famous Museums are located.  Our Stake President works for the Church in Security, and is often sitting at the front desk near the Christus Statue.  We entered the Science Museum and later had a picnic lunch on a bench nearby.  We fed a few pigeons, and then traveled to the Tower of London to see the marvellous Poppy display.  There were 888,246 ceramic poppies, each one made to represent one fallen dead from WWI.  It was very impressive and moving.

Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the River Thames from the London Eye.

We drove to Woodstock and nearby Blenheim Palace, by Oxford.  We walked around the quaint town and went in a local museum.  It was quite modest compared to the London museums, but still very interesting and reflected the lives of the local people over the last few centuries as well as displaying a number of other interesting artifacts.  We ate Welsh Rarebit at the Woodstock Tea Rooms, then visited a few lovely little shops.  

The next day we traveled to the Salisbury area and visited Old Sarum. People have lived in Old Sarum for over 5 thousand years.  We passed by Stonehenge on the way.  We returned to Salisbury where our ancestors, the Blake and Hollis families, lived before joining the church and emigrating to the US.  We enjoyed a visit to the Salisbury Cathedral where we saw the worlds oldest working clock and the best of 4 surviving copies of the original Magna Carta.

A misty day at Salisbury Cathedral with Dan and Anne. It has the tallest spire in all of England.

Elder Adams cooked us a nice English Breakfast at home the next day, and then we went off on a double decker public bus; we got seats right at the front sitting on the upper level so we could get a great view of the sights.  We went to the British Library to see their rare documents collection, including a number of very early Bibles, initial Beatles music scores, etc. One example of what we saw was a letter written by Michelangelo to his father, telling him he had finally completed the painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Later we went to the British Museum, which was absolutely spectacular, though we could only see a small fraction of the numerous displays. It was filled with antiquities from all over the world.  Truly it was a fascinating place.  The British Museum is free to enter as are most of London Museums.  We went to St. Pauls Cathedral where we attended evensong, a common practice held in many cathedrals in the evening.  

Another day, Dan & Anne wanted to go to Camden Market to buy English gifts for their boys, then we went to Brick Lane to eat Indian food at one of the many ethnic restaurants there.  We ate at Aladin, a famous Indian restaurant.  The restaurants all compete with each other for business.  People from the restaurants come into the street and offer free drinks etc to entice passers-by to eat at their places.

Sunday we attended our Wandsworth Common Ward with Dan & Anne.  They enjoyed meeting many of our ward members.  Elder Adams taught Priesthood Meeting.  We then took a trip to the always lovely London Temple grounds.  We went to the Visitors Centre and took lots of pictures.  Later we visited our Bishop's home where they had invited us for dinner.  

To wrap up the trip, we took a journey to Windsor Castle.  This is a large active castle, like a little town of its own.  500 people work there.  We enjoyed St. George’s chapel and Queen Mary’s Doll House.  St. George’s chapel on the site is where many of the Royals are buried including Queen Elizabeth’s parents and Henry VIII.  Queen Mary’s Doll House is a famous doll house made for Queen Mary in the 1920’s.  We enjoyed the train ride to and from Windsor Castle.

 Sister Adams had no idea when she was taking this selfie at Windsor Castle that she was being photo-bombed!

Trying to get friendly with the guards.

The visit ended all too soon.  We loved having family close by, but we know the Lord wants us to serve our brothers and sisters here as well.  They are starting to seem like family too, and we will miss all of them when our time comes to finally leave.  We drove Dan & Anne to the Heathrow Airport to drop them off.  It took us less than an hour to get there, much quicker than we anticipated, so we just sat in the car and had a most pleasant visit.  They flew home to 4 waiting little guys who missed their folks.  They had a suitcase full of English treats, so we know it all ended in the best possible way.

We had a senior missionary outing at the Temple Visitor’s Centre.  We drove down and had a “get better acquainted” session.  Everyone then had lunch at nearby Fayre & Square, a local pub & eatery.  We returned to the Visitor’s Centre where Elder Fowler taught a very interesting lecture on Gospel Symbolism.  He had a career as a Seminary & Institute Teacher and showed his love for the scriptures.  We attended a temple session, and then returned home.  We were all a bit hungry, so stopped at our favourite COSTCO for a quick inexpensive meal.

Most of our wonderful senior missionaries here in England London South Mission.

The Holiday season is coming on us.  Sister Adams and several of the ward sisters went to a presentation of the Nutcracker at Wimbledon Theatre.  Elder Adams went to the Stake Priesthood meeting which was part of the Stake Conference.  That evening, we attended the Adult meeting where the mission president and his wife spoke.  We learned that both of the Wandsworth Ward missionaries were moving elsewhere.  We are to get new missionaries — one has been here before and one is new.  Both are English (one actually from Wales).  Sunday was Stake Conference.  Lots of emphasis was given to living by the spirit, and on members and missionaries working together.

Sister Adams takes lots of eye drops, but we are grateful that despite limited vision, her eyesight has been preserved enough that we can serve this mission. We went St. George’s Hospital for a check with the Cornea Specialists.  This is a very large and world class hospital that is close by.  We were pleased to see that Sister Adams transplant still has some healthy signs, and hopefully will last a little longer.  Sister Adams also gave blood for tests to get ready for her upcoming eye surgery at Moorfields Hospital.  Two days later, she went for glaucoma surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital. A procedure to reduce the fluid produced in the eye was performed.  The wait was the worst part of the whole thing.  We were there at 11:30 am, and soon on the gurney, expecting a call any moment.  However, everyone else went first each time, and we eventually saw the workers begin to clean up the surgery for the next day.  Finally after a very anxious 6 1/2 hour wait on the gurney, we got the call.  She was the very last one summoned. Because she was able to talk them out of using general anasthesia and doing an eye block instead, she was moved to the back of the surgery queue until all the generals were done.  Sister Adams was alert and awake when she came out.  We were able to take the subway home instead of the anticipated taxi, and the surgery seemed to be effective, but left a very bloody red painful looking eye.  The next day we stayed home so Sister Adams could recuperate from the surgery.

 Guess which eye had the surgery.

We went shopping for the Wandsworth Stake multicultural evening where our ward was to represent the USA.  We bought hot dogs and buns along with a number of other food items with a USA theme.  We found some cowboy hats and had some US flags etc.  Others in the ward offered to bring brownies and pumpkin pie.  We planned a quiz with USA trivia, and put together a large bag of treats for those guessing the answers.  The next day we went to the Multicultural evening.  Several of the other wards had cultural dancing, particularly those from Africa and South America.  We were surprised at how popular the hot dogs turned out to be.  We later learned they were the most popular food item of the evening.

A couple of cowboys, a popular hot dog server, and some members of our ward.

Elder Adams usually teaches Priesthood Meeting.  Sister Adams also often teaches Relief Society and handles the Visiting Teaching organization and RS Bulletins.  We also had an amazing opportunity to hear one of the 12 apostles speak at Hyde Park Chapel.  We had Elder Quentin L Cook address nearly 500 missionaries from the England London and England London South Missions.  Before he began, he shook hands with every person in the audience. His address was very powerful and he spoke of his sacred calling to the apostleship.  He told missionaries not to get discouraged with rejection, and realise that everyone close to them would be blessed because of their service.  His wife led us in some special round singing of hymns and we felt the Spirit very strongly.  At the end, all of those missionaries, including many seniors, sang “Called to Serve.” It was very moving.

Thanksgiving day is not celebrated here.  However, we celebrated the day with another American senior couple.  We went to the River Thames and enjoyed a river trip between Westminster and Greenwich Pier.  We had a nice lunch, then returned home to get dinner ready.  We had a very traditional menu including turkey and stuffing with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, yams, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding etc. It was all very nice.  We finished up with several pies including mincemeat pie, which has become one of Elder Adams's favourites.

To completely get into the Holiday spirit, Sister Adams caught a bad cold, so Elder Adams went to our Zone Meeting alone, but was able to meet with our 2 new Elders.  This was a great experience.  We reviewed the ward issues and those members we have yet to identify.  We have had 3 baptisms in the ward in the last month.  We continue to visit less actives and other ward members.  On the 5th Sunday in November, the Elders presented on “He is the Gift” a church initiative for the month of December 2014.  Three of our five BYU students spoke on living by faith.  Our Stake President came and spoke.  He said the rumour that our tiny ward would be merging with another ward was not true, but that something might happen, yet to be determined, leaving it still vague.  He said we should live by the Spirit and have joy in the meantime, doing our best.  After the meetings we met jointly with the Clapham Common Ward and planned a two-ward Christmas Party.

We drove to COSTCO to pick up supplies for the Christmas Party.  This went very well, and we got home fairly early.  However, sundown is now coming around 4:00PM.  It seems like it should be later than it often is.  We will be happy to see the days once again lengthen.  Elder Adams is now sharing the Holiday cold with Sister Adams.  It's a pretty bad one.  We stayed home to recuperate and reminisced on our early years together.  Feeling a tiny bit better, we made a home teaching visit to one of our families.  They are in a new ward now, but will be coming out for a while to our ward until we can get their positions re-filled.

We attended the joint Stake RS & Primary Christmas Party.  This went well and we did some carol singing.  We then went to a baptism.  We participated by offering prayer and welcoming Helena into the ward. Later in the week we went to the Ronald McDonald house at St. George’s hospital to  attend an annual recognition meeting.  Our missionaries were singled out for the volunteering they have been doing there for sometime.  We have a Church member who is employed there and she facilitated the volunteer work.  The officials indicated that they wanted to forge the same relationship with the Church at another of the Ronald McDonald homes they administer.  We met the Mayor of Wandsworth who also favourably mentioned the Church in his remarks.

With the Lord Mayor of Wandsworth

Some of our missionaries being recognised, and a few members.

We wish all of our friends, family and neighbours a most glorious Christmas season, hoping for peace, good health and happiness for all.  Remember, HE is the GIFT and the reason for this blessed season.

Lots of love,
Elder and Sister Adams

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Our senior mission is so very enjoyable and fulfilling.  We always have lots of things to do, and we love them all.  Whether it be visiting or helping members, supporting our local leaders, helping the younger missionaries, or participating in the community, there is never really a "slow day."  We have become very attached to the members of the ward, and welcome every opportunity to be with them in one capacity or another.

The South Coast of England off Dorset

In our spare time we have been able to do some Familysearch indexing as well as reviewing our own family tree.  We learned that Benjamin Frederick and Harriet Hollis Blake, Elder Adams' great-great grandparents, joined the church in the Salisbury area, later emigrating to the United States and settling in St. George.  Benjamin was a furniture maker and replicated his business in St. George, building a successful factory that made much needed furniture for the early southern Utah settlers. The Salisbury plain is not far away; its most famous landmark is Stonehenge.  We took an overnight trip to visit the little villages where they lived, and also to tour the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral (repository of an original Magna Carta), Old Sarum (one of the oldest populated sites in England, and site of an older Cathedral used prior to construction of Salisbury Cathedral), Avebury (city built in an ancient stone circle, not far  from Stonehenge), and other nearby sites such as Durdle Door (a natural bridge on the south coast).  They would have been familiar with all these areas. Despite the impressive magnificence of the cathedral, a successful business, and an all around beautiful place to live, they forsook it all because of their testimonies of the Gospel and went to Zion.  We are so indebted to these faithful progenitors.

A few views of Salisbury

Old Sarum fort in the middle with 2 dry moats around it

Inside Salisbury Cathedral

The Magna Carta is 799 years old.  How exciting to view the original document. (Sister Adams could actually read some of the Latin after her many years of Old English and Latin extraction and indexing.)

The younger missionaries meet weekly in District meetings and every month or 6 weeks in Zone Meetings.  Senior missionaries enjoy preparing and serving a Pancake Breakfast for them all, then attending the meetings and presentations.  The missionaries love to use role play and demonstration to show how to approach and teach people.  They know they need to be obedient and dedicated in order to find people and make opportunities to teach them the gospel.

General Conference was a special time here.  Although many members now watch conference in their homes over the internet, the meetings are still shown in the chapels.  Many members come, and bring a lunch to eat between sessions.  They love gathering together at the Stake Centre and renewing their friendships.  Our leaders are always encouraging the members to bring friends to the meetings, where they are very likely to have a very significant spiritual experience.

We have two of our young people making application for full time missionary work.  It has been sometime since our ward has had a missionary, and now two at once!  One sister has been a long time member of the ward.  She was weighing her choice to serve a mission, but after a particularly moving musical spiritual fireside by Paul Cardall at Hyde Park Chapel, she knew she would go.  Another young man moved in with his family after a year away at school.  He has been a member less than one year, but his testimony is so strong, he wants to serve the Lord.  We have been helping them both with their applications.

Our beautiful little BMW bit the dust!  (We actually killed it!)  We felt it died at just the 'right' moment, however, as we had been taking departing sister missionaries to the Mission home and bringing new ones back earlier in the day, and it had been running "like a top."  We also had been out earlier in the evening for a home teaching/visiting teaching visit.  The coolant light had been coming on and off, but the temperature never changed, and the coolant level was always up.  We thought we would take it in for a check later, to see if the sensor was faulty.  Then suddenly, just a few hundred yards from home, in very busy London traffic, late in the evening, it heated up and shut down the engine.  We managed to pull it to the center of the street.  It was a miracle that there was a little island where we could sit without having to move the car.  The narrow roads in London rarely have spots like this, but that is exactly where we broke down.  We sat and talked for about 2 1/2 hours, calling and calling to get a tow truck. Buses and cars whizzed by, and even the police came, but they said they couldn't call tow trucks due to possible allegations of taking bribes.  We finally did what we should have done earlier and prayed.  Finally a fellow named Brush came with a very old tow truck, and got our car to a nearby garage for the night.  The next day, after being informed of the extensive damage to the engine, we decided to just sell the car for salvage rather than have a very expensive repair, and sold the salvaged car to Brush.  When he was pulling out of the auto mechanic shop, our beautiful car fell off his tow bar, hit a pole and was wrecked.  He hadn't paid us yet, but he did anyway, and restored our faith in mankind.  We were blessed to find another car within just a few days, and are back on the road.  Elder Adams passed the very difficult English driving test earlier with flying colors, so we knew we needed to have something to drive!

Our beautiful BMW wrecked

Our new BMW.  We love this one too

We took the train just outside London to Staines to attend the tri-zone conference.  Our mission is so large, there are 9 zones.  Logistics require that three tri-zone meetings are held periodically, rather than an "all mission" conference.  This time we had Elder Adler from Germany, an area authority Seventy preside.  He and his wife, as well as our mission President and his wife gave amazing talks to inspire the missionaries.  Afterward Elder Adler wanted to shake hands with every person in the meeting.  We came down first; Sister Adams told him we were from St. George, and he told us he had visited there and loved it.  It seemed to un-cap his trove of stories about St. George and the early settlers there.  We were fascinated, but then realized there was quite a line behind us, so we thought we had better cut the conversation short.

Having a car helps us to be able to take members to the Temple from time to time.  We recently took a trip with two members, only to find the route we selected was completely blocked in the direction we wanted.  We took the diversion route, and thought we were really making progress, when we realized we had been looped right back to where we started.  Even though we were just 15 minutes from the temple, it took an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get there.  We missed the session we had planned to attend with the ward, but were able to see some new countryside and get to know the members better.  We attended a later session.

In front of Westminster Abbey with Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye behind us

A selfie in the Westminster Abbey Cloisters (no photography inside)

One of the many side benefits of serving here in central London is the opportunity to be so close to so many cultural and historical places.  London is full of outstanding architecture, churches, castles, museums, and parks.  There are many green spaces, and despite the millions of people that live here and throng the streets, we see squirrels, foxes, and birds.  Each month, senior missionaries gather for an outing and have lunch together.  This month we enjoyed a visit to Westminster Abbey. The Abbey was opened in 1090 as the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, and became a Cathedral in the mid 1500’s.  It was built mainly in the Gothic architectural style. It is a fully functioning Cathedral of the Church of England, located in Westminster, London.  Henry the VIII broke ties with the Catholics and destroyed many of the abbeys in England.  This one was spared, and eventually through later construction became a significant cathedral in the Church of England.  Many famous people are buried there, and it has been a site for a number of royal weddings, funerals and burials.

Who is guarding the Palace?

We always thrill when someone makes the choice to enter the waters of baptism.  This month a young man in a part-member family was taught and was baptised.  It was a very spiritual time.  He and his mother brought some of his non-member friends to see the ordinance, and it was clear these children were moved by what they felt.  One wanted to be baptized too!  They were very rapt as they heard brief talks on Baptism and the Holy Ghost.  We gave them copies of the Book of Mormon and asked them to share them with their parents.

Another thrill was to obtain a high security pass and tour the Houses of Parliament, and view from the galleries the House of Commons and the House of Lords in session

Each year church members in London join the greater community in participating in the Poppy Appeal, similar to the American Legion Poppies in the U.S.  People donate to workers on the street and display a little paper poppy ontheir lapels as an emblem of their donation.  We enjoyed a stint on the street, participating in this worthy endeavor which benefits disabled veterans, helps with gravesite maintenance, and many other good uses.  We spoke with several people who thanked us for spending our time helping out.

A big thank-you to the Vets

The greatest benefit of a mission is the 24 hour contact we have with each other.  What a great experience we have had as missionary companions, sharing and treasuring each moment and strengthening our love for each other.  The Lord has truly blessed us beyond any expectations we may have had.  We feel His loving arms around us as we are busily engaged in His Latter-Day work.

So very, very grateful.

Lots of love, Elder and Sister Adams

Monday, September 15, 2014


Yes, summer is fading fast and our wonderful trees here are starting to change colors.  We so enjoy all the massive ancient trees that adorn this beautiful land. We arrived in the dead of winter, then enjoyed a rather cool spring with trees coated with brightly colored blossoms. Then came a hot steamy summer, (a wonderful summer nonetheless), but a wonderful shade tree was always close by.  Now we feel autumn coming on.  Our leaves are starting to turn, and even fall a little.  We have almost completed the cycle of life since we arrived here!  In a few days we will have been on our mission for 8 months.

Winter at the London Temple.

Spring on the streets of London.

Summer in the Cotswolds.

We still remain very busy with our ward duties and slogging around London looking for lost sheep.  We have fallen in love with the members here, and are apprehensive about ever having to leave.  London is a huge city of over 8 million people, and they all seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere, fast! 

Enjoying a lovely rainy day with another senior couple at Royal Tunbridge Wells.

We have some beautiful areas in our ward such as Wimbledon, Richmond Park, Barnes Bridge, Putney etc.  We so enjoy traveling around these areas.  We also enjoy going across the Thames to northern London and jumping on a bus on our Pdays.  We have found some very interesting sights and eating places on our travels.

This sign symbolises many of our treks to find our beloved members. 

Sister Adams really enjoyed the Womens' Live broadcast from Offenbach, Germany on September 9th, with 3 General Authorities addressing us.  Elder Bednar and Elder Ballard both spoke about pioneering women, and likened us all in this Europe area to the early pioneer women and said these sisters are pioneers who are moving forward the Kingdom of the Lord.  It was for sisters 8 and over.  We had a really good attendance and it was very inspiring.  We were also both able to attend the UK and Ireland YSA Conference held in Brighton August 22nd to 25th.  What a great group of young adults!  We assisted in various ways chaperoning, modeling for their art workshops, accompanying them on their service projects and helping decorate for their dance.  We particularly enjoyed their devotionals and testimony meetings.

Our Senior Outing for August was to the beautiful Windsor Castle, just outside London, where the Queen likes to spend most of her weekends.  The castle was originally built a thousand years ago. The resplendent interior is in the late Georgian style.  What a lovely break from the city.  Windsor is a quaint town nestled on the upstream River Thames.  We enjoyed a lovely lunch with the other Senior Missionaries, toured the spectacular Castle and grounds, and took a relaxing river boat ride. (Believe it or not, over 500 people live and work in the castle.)

If you look closely you may recognise a senior couple!

 A view from the former moat, which is now a beautiful garden.

Lunch with some of the other Seniors at the Duchess of Cambridge Pub.

 The interior of the castle is absolutely breathtaking.

Just a few examples of the interior.

Once again, what used to be the moat but now is the moat garden.

Taking a self-guided tour of the castle.

We had the opportunity to travel up to the Preston Temple to attend the wedding and sealing of a young couple from our ward here, and stay there for a few days.  It was so nice to be up north and see old friends and feel "at home".  It was a beautiful wedding and a wonderful trip all around.  We were able to drive through the Cotswolds on the way up, and drive through the Peak District of Derbyshire on the way back down.  Such beautiful and amazing scenery!

So thrilling for Sister Adams to be approaching Liverpool and Wigan, two of her hometowns.

Sister Adams has had some unexpected dental problems lately. After much extreme pain for many days, and many visits to the dentist we are finally getting things sorted.  Things get serious at our age when trying to retain teeth that will enable us to eat! Anyway, after some extremely expensive procedures, we figure the pain in the jaw will be nothing compared to the pain in the pocket! 

We got a lovely surprise at the Womens' broadcast.  Sister Adams saw the lady who was rebaptised a few weeks ago, (the one who asked her to talk at her baptism), and she said her non-member husband is meeting with the missionaries and is going to be baptised next month.  She is not in our ward so we don't see her too often.  What great news!

We also got some other great news from home - David and Sarah, and Ruth and Theo are expecting a new member to join their family in late March.  Yes!!!

Ruth, Theo and baby number 3.

We had a great ward BBQ on Saturday.  Elder Adams did all the cooking of hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and chicken, and the members brought salads and desserts.  A good time was had by all. 

 Some of our very faithful youth. We are losing two of these girls who are off to University - one to law school and the other to med school.

Beautiful weather for a fun day BBQ'ing.

Great sisters who really get things done.

How come these young missionaries always look so happy?! L to R from USA, England, Albania, New Zealand.

The work goes on and we couldn't be more thrilled to be doing our Member Leader Support Mission here.  We know the leaders and members appreciate all we do to help  No task is too big or too small.  The Gospel is true and we are here to move the work of the restoration forward.  As is stated in our Preach My Gospel handbook, 
"Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end".  
It's that simple.  This should be the credo for all members of His church. We pray it is.

Lots of love to all 'til next time (and we hope it wont be as long!),

Elder and Sister Adams

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

LONG HOT SUMMER...........

Yeah yeah I know, its not as hot as St George, but it has been unusually hot here. We have had a long streak of about 90 degree weather with 90% humidity. That may not sound bad, but we dont have air conditioning, and the buses, trains and subways can get downright swampy. We open most windows in our flat and have 2 fans going non-stop. Even the Brits, who crave hot weather, are starting to complain. Where is the rain??? It's actually only 79 degrees today, which is wonderful. 

If we turn one way from our flat, we might think we were in Instanbul, Mumbai, Africa or Baghdad.  If we turn the other way across the road, we have the beautiful Tooting Common -152 acres of beautiful grass, flowers, trees, lakes and wildlife.

Tooting Common

Tooting Lido is also across the road from us. It is the biggest swimming pool in all of Europe.  One lap in that pool would just about do us in!

We always stay busy with one thing or another. We have driven down to the Temple several times, and we usually take some single adult members with us.  It's great to spend time with these faithful members.  We have been teaching a Temple Prep class for Clapham Common Ward and Wandsworth Common Ward.  One of the couples that was in our class is getting married on August 9th, but in the Preston Temple, not the London Temple.  Preston is not in our mission.  After being invited to the wedding, we asked our Mission President for special permission to leave the mission and attend their wedding.  After requesting permission from our Regional Rep in Germany, he told us we could go.  Yipee!  We are so excited.  This young couple are going to be a great asset to our ward.  Plus, we are excited to head North to Sister Adams' home town, where we will stay for a few days.  Stay posted for some great pics as we travel up there through the Cotswolds and other picturesque areas.

We had the opportunity one P-Day a few weeks ago, to travel to Hartley Wintney to visit our old neighbor Dorothy Nolan's Goddaughter and family.  They live on a farm about an hour from here in a 400 year old farmhouse, and have several acres in a lovely rural setting. It was a lovely sunny day, except for a rainshower or two.

Hartley Wintney, as mentioned in a Jane Austen novel

We have been holding FHE here in our flat with YSA, SA and the other senior couple in our ward.  The last 2 times we had them all bring their laptops and we all got online and indexed.  After we got everyone trained and settled, we did some great indexing.  We both love it, and the others all had to admit that it is addicting.

We have discovered several ASDA stores around us, which is the UK version of WalMart.  Elder Adams loves WalMart, so he is thrilled that we now can enjoy ASDA.  We also discovered an Oriental Market next to ASDA where we can get real Chinese potstickers.  Mmmm so delicious.  With all the cream cakes and other English dainties, our waistlines are expanding.  Hopefully all our walking will counteract the effects of the treats.

Real potstickers

Elder Adams has been the only counselor in the Bishopric for several months, but a new counselor was just called on Sunday. Sister Adams teaches Relief Society, does the RS Newsletter, and is the Visiting Teaching Coordinator.  She was also just installed as the new Editor for the Senior Missionary Newsletter for the England London South Mission.  She was also asked to talk at the baptism this Saturday of a member who is coming back into the fold after having had their name removed from church records.  It should be a happy event.  

We went downtown to watch the Tour de France and got a front row spot after waiting there for 4 hours.  Obviously, we were confused as to when it was actually going to pass by, as we would not have waited 4 hours normally.  Elder Adams said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it just happened to be our P Day.  We stood right below Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.  Here's a video Elder Adams took.  (It may not work on a mobile device, but works on a laptop or desktop.)

We went to Kew Gardens for our monthly Senior Missionary Outing.  It is the most famous garden in the world with many venues including glasshouses, exotic rainforests, a Palace and the Princess of Wales Conservatory.  Also, we walked around acres and acres of beautiful gardens with the other Seniors.

Kew Palace

It turned out to be a lovely day after a few little rain sprinkles

Our Young Women had a Mexican Dinner fundraiser for camp, even though there is only one girl going from our ward.  We all helped set tables and decorate, and chop, chop, chop for a delicious dinner.  Mexican food is almost unheard of over here.  A good time was had by all. 

Elder Adams chop, chop, chopping (they assigned him the onions!)

One of our responsibilities is to clean up the ward list and find out who has moved and who is less active.  It is a time consuming job and requires lots of travel. We really enjoy it when we actually get to meet the people and have a good visit.  Several of the less actives have asked for blessings, and genuinely seem to enjoy our visits and invite us back.  We really love these folks here, all of them.

We had another opportunity to drive a missionary down to the mission office who was returning home to Spain.  We had a teary goodbye with the other Elders and Sisters before we loaded him and all his wordly goods into our car.  What great young people these missionaries are.

Missionaries from L to R: Australia, Netherlands, USA, Australia, Spain, Colombia, New Zealand, me, USA.  Happy in the work, but sad to see Elder Cantos going home

This blog has turned into a monthly event, sorry to say.  We get so busy and involved in all the missionary activities that it's hard to set aside the time it takes to compile this.  We are so happy in this work, we give thanks every day for this blessed opportunity.  Our assignment is MLS or member, leader support.  We feel really needed here, and we know the members really appreciate all the help we are able to give.  This is the Lord's work, building up His church, and there's no better way to spend our time. 

Cheerio until next time,
Love, Elder and Sister Adams