Friday, March 21, 2014


We get free transport over here because we are seniors. We had a little time to kill the other day in Central London before Sister Adams' eye appointment, so we just jumped on the first bus we saw, and off we went. We sat right at the front on the upper deck of a double decker bus. What an education that was. We saw all sorts of interesting things as we drove through different suburbs. When we got to the end of the line, we jumped off, crossed the street and boarded the next bus back. The most interesting thing we saw was an enclave of Hasidic Jews. First of all we spotted one man,  then there were two, then more, and more and more. They were all over the place! All dressed identically! We saw a few women and children too, but it was the men who held our attention. We looked it up, and this is the largest enclave of Hasidic Jews in all of Europe - over 30,000 of them.

We would love to learn more about them, and plan to.

This is the eye hospital in central London that Sister Adams visits.  It is always packed.  We didn't know so many people had eye problems.  She is getting excellent care here.  One of her doctors who has been knighted by the Queen is amazing  He is so humble, kind and caring.

This green line runs all the way from the subway to the eye hospital to help people like Sister Adams find their way.

While in Central London, we stopped at Chinatown to pick up some chopsticks.  It felt good to see and smell some of the things we remember from our missions. Next stop was the oldest fish and chip shop in London - Rock and Sole Plaice. It was OK but the price was too high for our taste. Also, we prefer our fish and chips up North.

We were in Chinatown early before things got buzzing.

I don't know what those orange things are, but I'm not having any!

We had a beautiful baptismal service for our Chinese friend Shu Jie.  She gave a wonderful testimony telling how she had come from Atheism to Mormonism over several months. She returns to mainland China next month and that will be a trial for her with no established church there.

Shu Jie with the missionaries. 

One of our sweet Elders was transferred yesterday. We will miss him very much. Such a great and humble servant and only 18 years old. We become so attached!

We had a Senior Missionary outing to Hampton Court Palace last Friday. What a great day that was, to be with the other seniors and enjoy such a beautiful historic palace. Henry VIII was the first royal to live there around 1514. We missed the amazing Maze, but we will be going back - especially for the Flower Show in July.

Beautiful day - beautiful palace.

One of the many gardens at the palace.

I hope I didn't disgrace the 3 Graces.

Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell. How fortunate to run into these guys in the gardens.  They were very friendly, and we had a nice chat about some interesting things!

A shameless selfie as we headed out the door to start our day.

Another heartbreak.  My favourite boots are wearing out. I haven't worn out any shoes since my first mission!

Flipping pancakes for the young missionaries at Zone Conference.  Notice the trays are empty and waiting for refills.

We are still so happy and having a wonderful, enjoyable time.  The work is moving forward and we are glad to do our little bit!

Saturday, March 8, 2014


A friend from the US asked us if we had seen any bobbies on bicycles yet. The answer is no.  We live on a fairly busy street, which we are set back from quite a bit, but we very often hear screaming sirens as police cars and ambulances race by at breakneck speeds. You had better get out of the way if you hear a siren!  Elder Adams almost got hit in a zebra crossing the other day, as he didn't hear the sirens til the last minute.  Of course, the police may have thought they were encountering the Unajogger.

We had a great day at the London Temple Visitors' Centre with Shu Jye our Chinese friend.  She is a visiting professor here from Mainland China.  She has been studying the lessons from the missionaries for a few months, and while at the Visitors Centre decided she wanted to be baptised. What a lovely person she is (and she cooks amazing Chinese food!).  It has been good to polish up our rusty Mandarin a little too.

Shu Jye, the Elders and Sister Adams

We took a stroll around the south bank of the River Thames the other day with another senior couple, and ate at a waterfront cafe.  There is always plenty of walking to do and always something to see.

The London Eye.  It is 443 ft tall. It is currently Europe's tallest Ferris wheel, the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK with over 3.5 million visitors annually.  Did we ride it?  At almost $50 a ticket; no.

We attended this chapel for a baptism.  Quite a few of the chapels here seem to be 2 storey.  Our chapel is the Stake Centre and it is also 2 storey.  Real estate is so expensive here with an average flat in our neighbourhood costing about $680,000 and a detatched house costing over $2,606,000.  These are averages - nothing too fancy.

We had cleaning duty at the chapel this morning.  Oh how we love to clean - no seriously!

We buy these at the grocery store for £1. It is so fun to watch them open - almost like time lapse.  We sure hope they were ethically sourced!

We continue to visit less active or lost members - its funny how they all seem to live up a hill! We also go teaching with the Elders.  On Monday we are taking one of the Elders' golden investigators to the Hyde Park Chapel Visitors' Centre.  It is on the other side of the River Thames in the London Mission, and the Elders are not allowed to leave our mission.  Duane Cardall is the Director of the VC.  Some of us may remember him.

Headed down into the Underground (subway).

Dr Who?

Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday was last Tuesday.  It's kind of a fun day to celebrate in England.  It is the day before Lent starts and a traditional meal is pancakes, as people usually give up butter or eggs for Lent.  The YM/YW met together and played pancake games and races, and consumed numerous pancakes.  Lots of fun for all.

This is the traditional way to eat pancakes in England.  They are more like crepes and they are rolled up with lemon juice and sugar.  Pretty delicious.

We are still loving it here, and thoroughly enjoying the work.  We have been asked by our Mission President to study the missionary lessons in Mandarin.  It is really hard, just like it was the first time!  We are not sure how or where we will be using this Mandarin, but time will tell.