"And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!.........."
This beautiful poem by William Blake, and set to music, is our England London South Mission anthem. We sing it at Zone Meetings. It always brings a tear to my eye. We love being in this mission - it is a joy to wake up every morning to face another missionary day. Each day is filled with new missionary adventures. We truly love the opportunity to serve, and are learning to love our new friends here just like family.
Where does the time go, however? In a few weeks, one third of our mission will be over. That's a scary thought, because we feel as if we just got here. June has been a busy month but we will try and cover some highlights here.
On June 6 we met with some of the senior missionaries in the beautiful seaside town of Brighton. It turned out to be a glorious sunny day, and after a lovely lunch together and sharing some tearful thoughts with couples who were leaving for home soon, we toured the town and surrounding places of interest.
This was taken before we got smart and took our coats off!
In front of the Royal Palace, built in1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales who became King in 1811. It is often referred to as the Brighton Pavilion. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century.
Elder Adams clowning
A look back in time as we peeked over the wall behind St Margaret's Church
We attend weekly District meetings with our local young Elders here. We also get to teach with them quite often, which we love. We are called upon to help with YSA (Young Single Adult) activities sometimes too, and anticipate another Temple trip with them this coming week. Tomorrow we are driving some single adults down to the Temple also, and treasure these times with the members. Elder Adams, as the only counselor in the Bishopric, has pretty much been acting as Bishop recently, because our Bishop has had some tragic events happen in his life. We are so glad we could be here to help out. Sister Adams also gets to help out a little in the Stake FHC from time to time, and with RS and Visiting Teaching. We Home Teach/Visit Teach about 8 or 9 families, and love to be in the members' homes and get to love them and know them better. We have seen some miracles happen.
We were asked to feed 30 missionaries at the last Zone Meeting, so we fed them 16 large pizzas, and tons of salad, drinks and desserts. We would have to say, the food disappeared very quickly! A few days ago, we took the tube into London and met Madison and Cody Irwin who were here on a business/fun trip. We took the Thames river cruise with Madison, then debarked at the Tower of London and met Cody and ate a nice dinner at a French restaurant on the waterfront. It was so good to see friends from home. What a lovely couple.
With Madison in front of Tower Bridge
We are really in the thick of things here in our neighborhood of Tooting Bec. Wimbledon, where the British Open is now underway, is in our ward boundaries. Elder Adams made the comment, "It would be nice to get tickets to Wimbledon while we are here. It shouldn't cost too much". Well, we inquired of a local man we meet on the bus from time to time, how much it would cost. He laughed at us and said one ticket would cost about £5,000 ($8,500)! Hmmm, guess we will pass on that. Then yesterday we noticed a flashing street sign warning us that the Tour de France was going to be passing us here on our street. We will be sure to get pics of that. He also told us we could get tickets to some of the London shows for £10 and up. We haven't seen any shows yet, but we probably should before we go home. The previous fervor over the World Cup has kind of fizzled out now that England is out of the running.
Sometimes we feel as if our feet aren't even touching the ground because we are so happy with what is happening with the people we are working with. We hesitate to name names and situations, so just know that the Lord is working miracles and we are priviledged to be a part of it. We have also been asked to teach a temple prep class to about 8 individuals and are looking forward to attending the London Temple with them. The Temple is only about 23 miles away, but it usually takes us well over an hour to get there because of London traffic.
Madison and Sister Adams down on the River Thames by Big Ben
Last Sunday night we attended a Fireside at Hyde Park chapel which is in the London Mission, north of the Thames. As seniors we are allowed to go across the Thames, but the young missionaries are not allowed out of our mission. The speaker was President Kevin Worthen, the new BYU President. He spoke about how to feel joy and happiness through living the Gospel. He seems like a very down-to-earth friendly man, and we are sure he will be a great president.
And so we go on in joy and happiness, and to continue the words of William Blake, referring to the work of building God's kingdom here in this spot:
"........I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land."
Lots of love 'til next time,
Elder and Sister Adams