WOW! What a week! Have you ever tried to drink out of a fire hose? We were supposed to come to an English speaking mission! Then why can't I understand what anyone is saying? I finally decided I have to ask people to write their names down! I have a brand new appreciation for missionaries who are going to foreign language countries! I have so much respect for them!
We left Salt Lake City early Monday morning (Sept. 14), had a layover in Philedelphia and then flew to Heathrow Airport in London. We had about 5 hours of sleep in two nights, so we were pretty groggy when we landed. But as I looked out of the airplane window and saw the beautiful English countryside, my heart went out to Wilford Woodruff, Brigham Young, John Taylor and the rest of the 11 Apostles who went to England, and felt a sacredness about this land and the work they did here. I felt fired up and ready to convert the whole country, if I could just keep my eyes open!!!
We were met by Elder Gayle from the mission office. What a great guy! We got all of our over weight bags into the mission van and headed toward Hyde Park to the mission office! It was overcast and quite cold, but so beautiful! We were greeted by Sister Gayle and Elder and Sister Williams who were the 4 office missionaries! What a party! They had a breakfast spread set out for us and made us feel so wanted! Then we got to meet President Mark and Sister Jean Stevens! Wow, I felt I had met the angels! We felt instantly of their love and genuine goodness. How blessed we are to be led by them. They were excited that we knew Matt and Lisa Richardson and Stacy Edgington.
We had to apply at the post office for a BMP card for whatever reason and were told that we couldn't get it until Sept. 17 which meant that we would have to come back into London to get it. We headed to the post office and talked to the manager. He was so kind. As they looked through the stack of envelopes, we silently prayed that ours would be there. Yes, they were there!
When we got back to the mission home we met the Taylors, the couple we were replacing. They are from Kaysville, Utah. We drove to Cambridge, our new area. They had cleaned the home and had it very inviting for us and for the next two days, they told us about the people, and the area. They took us to the grocery stores, the post office, and other shops that we would need. The center of town is about a 10 minute walk from our home. It is absolutely beautiful. It has the typical English charm of row houses, narrow cobbled streets, quaint little shops, and about a million bikes, all riding on the wrong side of the street, I mean the left side of the street. The drivers are very courteous and proficient. When you cross the street, you need to be sure to look right, not just left.
The home is old and lovely. It has kind of a musty smell, but that comes from the high humidity. We park in the back and come through a wooden door. We walk through a small and absolutely lovely garden area maybe about 10 feet wide and 15 feet long. We enter into a little kitchen with a tiled floor and light oak cabinets. It looks as if it has been recently renovated. There is a single sink, an electric flat cooktop stove, a small oven with a warming oven above, a small refrigerator with a small freezer underneath, a dishwasher, and an very small combination washer/dryer combo. The idea is that the same machine will work first as a washer and then as a dryer, but the dryer part doesn't work, so we can put the clothes on an outside clothesline and pray for a sunny day, or hang them on a clothesline in the spare bedroom and use them in 2 weeks. It doesn't really take that long. Everything just kind of feels moist. The home is used as the YSA center, so the living room is quite large with a settee (sofa). It has been well used!, some side chairs, and table and chairs. There is a TV screen which is used to watch videos from LDS.org, an electric keyboard and small side tables. The floor is a light oak wood floor. There are two fireplaces in the room that have been covered. In fact there is a fireplace is each room, so I'm sure in days long passed, the home was heated with wood or coal in these very quaint little fireplaces. We climb up a very narrow and steep stairway to get upstairs. There are three bedrooms and a small bathroom. Our bedroom we told had a double bed, but it is about the size of a queen size bed. The middle bedroom has a single bed and the extra bedroom is a storage/clothes drying room. The home is heated by a boiler and each room has a radiator type heater in it.
We have discovered that it is very cold here. I think it will take a while for me to grow fur or artic skin to acclimate to the temperature and humidity. It is gorgeous here. I can't wait to plant a hydrangea plant here in the spring and some strawberries. We went and met our neighbors the other night. One neighbor said her mother watches her girls on Wednesdays and loves gardening. I'm anxious to chat with her. We are trying to friendship our neighbors and have found them to be very
wonderful, warm people.
I tried to add video, but it was just too large of a file, so you get the picture version! My next blog will be about the mission and what we will be doing! It is fabulous being here in this beautiful place! We love it and my companion is fabulous!!!!
Our living room/institute room
our delightful kitchen!
Our back yard garden, looking at the back door We have a cluster of squirrels living here! The black one is our favorite!