Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and a Glorious New Year to you our dear friends and family,

As we look back on the year 2015, we are amazed how quickly it has gone by, and how gloriously we have been blessed!  We find ourselves overcome with gratitude for the tender mercies the Lord has showered upon us.

In February, we had a fabulous get-a-way with Brian, Heather and McKinley as we spent 6 days on the beautiful island of Oahu.  We were amazed at how well Kinners did!  She was so content and she loved the walks, the swimming, and eating in the restaurants.  She was a show stopper as well!  Also in February, we went to Houston to spend some time with the Bishop family.  For Christmas, they gave us tickets to go to NASA with them.  It was an incredible experience.  We came away so inspired and amazed and loved to be with Dave and Julie and their family. 
 In March we went to Las Vegas to watch the BYU basketball conference tournament.  Unfortunately, BYU got beaten by Gonzaga in the final game, but we sure have a good time with friends there!  Also in March we were able to have a girl’s retreat in St. George with all six of our daughters.  Julie flew in from Houston and we had a blast together.  Heazy was expecting her first baby and we thought it would be so fun to have a girl’s get-a-way before the baby came.  Then at the end of March, Brad and I had the glorious experience of going to the Holy Land with dear friends from Orem on a Daniel Rona tour.  It was an absolutely incredible experience for us.  As we walked where Jesus walked, we felt the sacredness of the places He lived, served, gave his life, and was resurrected for us.  This was a trip we will always cherish as a highlight in our lives. 
April, we stayed home and welcomed the arrival of grandbaby #13, Asher Nathan Brown, born on April 28 to Kent and Heather.  The sweet thing about his birth was that Vicki was able to participate and watch the delivery.  What a sacred experience for all four of us in the delivery room.

Also on April 26, Brad finished up his nine year calling in the Heatheridge Stake Presidency with much sadness and appreciation for the experiences he shared and the love he felt for those for whom he served and with those he served.  As we contemplated his release, we felt it was time for us to seriously consider serving a full time mission.  We knew Nate and Becca were expecting a baby boy in July, so we put our availability date in August.  Little did we know that all 6 of our daughters would be having babies within a 9 month period, 4 of them after we left.  And what is more amazing, all 6 babies would be sons!  I call them our little stripling warriors!  So on April 28, we turned in our mission papers and waited…….On May 30 we received the call to serve as YSA missionaries in the England London Mission, the same mission Brad served in 42 years previously, and my parents served for 18 months as well .  We were to leave on August 30, 2015 for a period of 18 months.

In June we went again to Houston to spend time with the Bishops before they moved into their new home.  Also in June we held our annual Jackman family reunion with all of our children and grandchildren.  By this time, we knew all of them were expecting except Heather, who just had Asher.  We rented a cabin in Timberlakes above Heber City, Utah.  We had a blast, playing games, eating, swimming, 4-wheeling, and just being together.  Unfortunately, at the end of the reunion, Heather (Brian’s Heather) experienced excruciating pain and went into the hospital.  The Lord’s tender mercies were with us as a friend of ours had had a similar back problem recently.  She got in touch with her doctor and Heather got into him in 2 days and he performed her surgery to repair a ruptured disc.  The miracle was that she was far enough along in her pregnancy that she could have the surgery without hurting the baby.  Also, luckily, Brad and I were home so we could help care for Kinners during the 6 weeks that Heather needed to recover.

On July 14, our little Charlie Ryder Jackman made his entrance into our family!!  He was a miracle baby and another incredible blessing for Nate and Becca and for us. 

The month of August was a whirlwind of mission preparation!  We were amazed at how much work is involved in going on a couple’s mission.  We had to get our home ready to leave, automatic bill payment arrangements, new bank accounts, mail redirected, etc.  We wanted to spend as much time as we could with all of our children and grandchildren.  Thankfully, our children were so willing and helpful, we couldn’t do it without them. 

Finally, on Sunday, August 30, we spoke in church and were so grateful for the family and friends who were so supportive of us.  We reported into the MTC on Monday morning, August, 31.  We spent one and a half weeks in the MTC while living at home.  During that time we were able to have a FHE with all of our children except Dave and Julie.  Those were tender times for us.  On Monday morning, Sept. 14 we left from SLC to Heathrow airport in London, arriving on Sept. 15.  Our adventure had begun!  Please refer to our blog for all our missionary adventures!  Since we left, on October 24, Grayden William Jackman Miles was born to Scott and Sherri.  On November 29, Russell Jackman was born to Justin and Amber.  Samuel Spencer Bishop arrived a few weeks early on December 21 to Dave and Julie.  These little boys are perfect!!!!  We now are waiting for Jordan Jackman to arrive in January of 2016! 

It has been a year of increase in a lot of ways for our family, an increase in bodies, an increase in testimony, an increase in love!  Brad and I have now been on our mission for 4 months.  Never have we experienced such an adventure!  We have been filled with an increase of love for family, for each other, for England and its people, for the gospel and for Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.  We know They are real!  The gospel of Jesus Christ is upon the earth.  Jesus Christ is at the head of the church and He has called living prophets to prepare us for His second coming!  We love you all and know we are involved in an inspired work.  May the peace of the Spirit fill your homes and your hearts this day and throughout the coming year.

With all our love,

Brad and Vicki

Grandpa and Grandma

Dad and Mom

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Merry Christmas

Dearest family and Friends,
Well, if one has to be away from family for Christmas, I think the best place to be is in London!!  The highlight of our holiday was skyping with all of our children and grandchildren and chatting with our parents on the phone!  It did our hearts good to see you all and feel of your goodness and love.  And we were especially grateful to be able to see our little Sam!  He is doing well and Julie looks great!  We are sooo very grateful that everything went well for them.

We had a wonderful week of visits and then we took off early Christmas Eve morning to head to London.  We arrived in quick fashion as most businesses were closed and very few people were on the motorway.  We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at President and Sister Stevens beautiful flat with almost all of the senior couples who are serving in the England London Mission!  In fact, we met the Baxters.  They are serving as Self Reliance missionaries.  Sister Baxter is Steve Bentley's sister!  (Steve and his wife Kris are in our Orem ward and are serving a mission in the Dominican Republic!)  We also met up again with Elder and Sister Cardall.  They are serving as the directors of the Hyde Park Visitors Center and will be leaving next week.  (Sister Cardall is a very close friend of Scott Rackham's mother! also in our Orem ward).  It was so fun to mingle and chat with Senior missionaries!  It's like old home week even though some we have just met.  There is an instant bond and connection with these lovely people who are doing the same thing we are doing!  Then we were able to attend a Christmas Concert at Royal Albert Hall, an absolutely gorgeous building where we were entertained by a choir and an orchestra all decked out in white wigs, knickered trousers and tailed coats.  The director played the harpsichord as he directed the choir.  Every few numbers, the whole audience arose and sang along for Christmas carols, such as, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Good King Wenceslas, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and such.  It was inspiring to me to be singing about the Savior with a building full of  Christian people not of our faith!  We were able to go with several of the senior missionaries which made it even more special.  Following the concert, we checked into our hotel, The Rembrandt (very beautiful by the way), and then walked down the street to see Harrod's Christmas window displays.  They were brilliant!  Brad especially loved the window with a white Bentley in it! (In fact, other than the Hyde Park Chapel, Brad's favorite things to see in South Kensington are the Ferrari dealership, the Lamberghini dealership, and the Bentley dealership!) We topped our evening off with pizza!  Most of the people in the restaurant were Indians or Muslims.  I guess the Christians were home with their families for Christmas!  It was a lonely Christmas as we missed all our littles, but we felt the love of the Savior!

We missed our teaching evening with our friends the Tillbrooks, but they were in the emergency room with their two year old.  But we had the tender experience to go to the hospital and Brad was able to give their little boy a blessing.  You know sometimes the service seems very small, but we feel the love of the Lord and are so happy in our service!  What a blessing this mission has been for the two of us!

On Sunday, we got to teach the Sunbeam class.  What a treat!  I'm going to have to record these littles speaking in an English accent.  Our lesson was on the Christmas story.  We had the kids act out the nativity and they wanted to do it over and over.  Leila Johnson was playing Mary and Brad was the innkeeper.  When she looked up into his face with her beautiful brown eyes and said, "Please can we live with you?", Brad turned to me and said, "She is just so cute, I can't say no!"

We love and appreciate all of you so very much.  We appreciate your love and your support to us.  Family is the greatest thing there is and it is because of the Savior, Jesus Christ, that we can be together forever.  What a blessing it is for us to teach this to the Heavenly Father's children here!
With all our love,
Dad and mom
Papa and grandma
inside Royal Albert Hall in London

the choir and orchestra in Royal Albert Hall

outside of Royal Albert Hall

Leila Johnson and Nate Lyon playing Joseph and Mary.  Nate insisted that he be Joseph and Leila to be Mary.  Hmmmmm, could there be a budding romance in the primary?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Another Addendum

I am not very good at this!  I keep forgetting to post certain pictures!  So here are the ones I forgot to attach!
Our Cambridge District from left to right, Sister Lawler, Elder Tamilarson, Elder Jacobsen, Elder Nielsen, Elder Botta, Elder Kendall, Sister Nebeker, Elder Jackman, Sister Jackman and Fernando St. Nick

With President and Sister Stevens in our Christmas jumpers

Another Baby Boy!!!

Yes, it is true!!!  We have another baby boy!  Samuel Spencer Bishop was born early Monday morning, December 21, 2015.  He came about 3 weeks early.  Julie was doing fine, but couldn't feel the baby moving, so decided it would be wise to go to the hospital to get checked out.  The doctor was concerned and so they took the baby caesarean section.  The cord was wrapped twice around his neck and his foot.  Samuel came in weighing 6 lbs and was 19 1/2 inches long.  He spent a few days in the NICU to warm him up and get his blood sugar levels where they needed to be and get some food in him.  He and Julie have been given the go-ahead to home today however and he is doing great!!  We are so very grateful for this sweet little boy and that he arrived safely.  We are grateful for the wonderful Bishop family who has stepped in to help and will be there for Christmas!

We will share just a few notes from our past week!  We have been given the assignment from President Stevens to help with flat inspections (apartments).  So we get to do 14 of them, all the ones in our zone.  We do them once a quarter, which is good, because we have to drive so far to get to all of them.  But what a blessing because we get to meet all of the missionaries in our zone.  We are so impressed with the caliber of young men and women who have been called to this mission.  Their parents should be so very proud of them all!

Last blog post, I told you about our dear friend who met with the Bishop to see if she could be restored to full fellowship.  Guess what!  She received all her blessings back!  Sunday, we got to sit with her in church and participated with her as she partook of the sacrament for the first time in 8 years.  I have always loved the Sacrament, but Sunday, I experienced a very deep understanding and extraordinary love for the Savior as I felt her joy, her relief, and an exquisite peace that only true repentance can bring.  I am so grateful for the Savior's atonement!  I can't wait to respond to her husband's questions about "how does the Savior relate to me personally 2000 years later?"

We had a great zone Christmas conference with missionaries from 2 zones.  We have come to appreciate more than ever the role of a mission president and his wife!  Their celestial glory is guaranteed we are sure!!!!  We have been on a mission Book of Mormon reading schedule to read the Book of Mormon from Oct. and finish on Christmas Day.  It has been a very tender experience.  Then, of course, we had white elephant gifts, goofy skits, food, Christmas jumpers, lots of visiting and laughing and pictures.

We had a visit on Friday night!  A sweet and lovely woman called and asked us if she could come and meet us.  I had met her the first Sunday we got in the mission field, but I couldn't remember her.  I was still in jet lag mode at the time I guess.  Well we chatted for a while and she asked us if we would teach her the gospel.  She is not a member and feels as though she needs some direction, some purpose in her life.  Now that is one for the books.  How many missionaries are blessed with someone who just comes to their house and asks to be taught the gospel?  What a blessing.  So she came to church with us as well on Sunday.  My heart felt as though it would burst!  We will keep you posted on our sweet Lucy!

Just to let you know the diversity of what we do in the mission field, on Saturday, we helped one of our YSA's put together a wardrobe she had just bought and then we went with a sweet teenage boy to the Imperial War Memorial.  We asked him to take us to be our tour guide.  We wanted to start building a relationship with him.  He was amazing as he had such a knowledge of all the planes and tanks we saw.  We even saw the Concord!  Brad was in heaven! I was intrigued with the history.  I bought a book about the Battle of Britain, but will have to wait till I get back to America before I read it.   A mission is an amazing experience.  We feel so blessed to be here.

We love you all.  Thank you for the Skype call on Sunday night.  It was amazing to talk to you all in one place.  Thank you Dad's and Mom's for the time you spent with our children and grandchildren.  That was such a choice experience for them to be with you.  I'll send a Christmas letter by my blog post probably on Boxing Day! (the day after Christmas) 

Quote by Sister Linda S. Reeves: "....the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, "Was that all that was required?" 

Have a very Merry Christmas!  Our thoughts, and prayers will be with you all this wonderful week!
With all our love,
Dad and Mom
Papa and Grandma

Samuel Spencer Bishop

Sam with his proud dad and two grandparents across the ocean

Our fabulous Christmas Tree with all our 18 treasures

at the Duxford Imperial War Museum

a proper burger from Cambridge, UK

walking home we ran into a familiar face!!! It's a horrible picture of me but pretty good of the Grinch

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Missionary Moments

Dearest family and friends,
This blog is really late this week as we have been very busy!  I'll tell you about that next week!  So the trick is remembering what we did last week!!!  I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning!!  Luckily, I have a daily planner which helps me remember!

But the news of the day is HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLEE NOEL (SUE) NELSON!!!!!  She is 11 years old today.  Oh, sweet Carlee Sue, we love you, so I will write you a poem........
Roses are red,
Ivy is green,
You have the most exquisite eyes,
We've ever noticed!!!
(This is a family tradition--mom's rhyming poems!)
Love you Carlee!  Have a fabulous day!

This week we got to serve with the Methodist church and the Church of England Church!  There are some very lovely people in this city.  They have set up a program during the winter months where 7 churches combine to house and feed the homeless (12 to 15 men) every night of the week.  We are helping the Methodist church across the street.  Our job is to show up at 6:45 a.m. to clean up the church following the night the homeless are hosted.  It reminds us of the homeless shelter service we have done in Provo.  We have met the nicest people!  Then we got to help clean up on a local cemetery project.  This time, just Brad and I went because our YSA's have mostly left or are involved in exams and essays, and we didn't schedule the missionaries soon enough.  So when we got there, the gardner was very glad to see us, but wanted to know where are those fine young people were who helped last time!

We had our ward Christmas party and the YSA's were in charge of decorating the cultural hall!  We did a great job, I must admit!  The YSA's wrapped a bunch of empty boxes to arrange on the tables and I must say, it looked really good!

The highlight of our week was teaching our dear friends who live in Littleport!  The husband is not a member and his wife has had church discipline and we have been working with the Bishop in her behalf.  She has been so anxious to return to full fellowship in the church and has been waiting for 8 years.  The Bishop wants her to return as well.  So we told her Wednesday night that the Bishop wants to meet with her and begin the process.  She was very excited, but her husband was the one that was deeply touched!  She has had some health issues so Brad asked if she would like a priesthood blessing before we left.  So I took the two year old into the other room while Brad and Carl the ward mission leader gave her a blessing.  Her husband was in the room with them as well.  She wept during the blessing and I think the whole evening was one of those miraculous experiences one prays for on a mission!  There was such a spirit of love in their home.  The husband had two single spaced pages of questions for us that he had written down during the past week from his reading we gave him to do.  Because it was so late, we only worked on the first one, about Adam and Eve and the Fall!  He is very well read in the Bible and his questions are very thoughtful and deep.  As missionaries, we have been taught in  Preach My Gospel that we need to ask questions and teach in very simple and short doctrinal statements.  I have such a testimony of that concept and the more we teach, the more I see the wisdom in that.  We gave him some more to read from the scriptures and we are all anxious to meet again!  In fact, tonight, the wife has a disciplinary council scheduled to determine if she can have her blessings restored.  While I host institute tonight, Brad will wait with this wonderful husband at the church while his wife is meeting with the council.  I can see why they are called councils of love!  This has been a very tender experience for both of us, and I have felt the love of the Savior in an incredibly personal way I've never felt before!  This is why I love this mission.  I love the Savior so very much and appreciate His infinite love and atonement for everyone of us!

We were able to take one of our full time missionaries to receive his patriarchal blessing.  He is from Malaysia and was not able to get his blessing before he came on his mission.  We met the newly ordained patriarch in our stake who is a wonderful man as all patriarchs are.  He invited his parents-in-law over to the church to meet this missionary as they served as senior missionaries in his stake.  They brought a journal of their missionary experiences with pictures of this missionary and his family from about 7 years ago.  Elder Tamilarasson remembered the missionary couple and they had a wonderful reunion!  We also had an incredible visit with them as well.  We were instant friends!

We met up with two senior couples (Elder and Sister Blackham--YSA missionaries in Norwich and Elder and Sister Parkes--military relations missionaries) for dinner this week and had a ball!  It is so fun to compare notes (like how to use English ingredients to make American cookies, and YSA meal ideas) and be with other senior missionaries.  We feel like family!  Because we are way out in Cambridge which is the furtherest most part of the England London vineyard, we don't get to see other senior couples as often as  we would if we were in London, so we decided we must do this more often!

Well, I'd better close this epistle as I have to get things ready for institute tonight!  We love you all so much!  We have decorated with your wonderful decorations you sent!  We love it and so do all the YSA's!  We have played Heather's new Christmas CD which is fabulous and even features Brian with a solo and Kinner's saying Merry Christmas!  I just cried!  In this very old English village, I have not seen one nativity set or scene anywhere! (and there are a zillion churches everywhere!!), so I ordered a sweet, and simple set from Amazon.  Now I feel like it is Christmas!  I now just need you all to pop in for dinner on Christmas Eve and it would be complete!  We love you all!  Keep the faith!  Jesus Christ is real!  His gospel is on the earth today!!!
Love you all,
Dad and Mom, Papa and Grandma J

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Grayden's blessing day

Grayden William Jackman Miles born October 24, 2015

Sister Jackman with Gillian Taylor a dear English friend

A precious family!!!!!!


We LOVE the British People!!!!!!!!

We had a great week!  We spent time with the British this week, duh!!!!  And we are finding that we have fallen in love with them all!  I never seem to find time to post my blog on Mondays as things always come up, so Brad went with a single Elder (they are in a threesome) and that gave me time to let you know how very much we love this place!  We seem to be getting into some kind of rhythm here.  At first, I felt we had to be filling every minute of every day, but as we have gone on, I don't feel as though I have to be so fast and furious.   Our prayer every day is that we will feel the spirit and know what the Lord would have us do.  We were really excited about our schedule this week because we had dates with non members and part member families and dear friends that we have grown to love so much.  Our dear friend Callum (our Cambridge law student) is heading home for the holidays.  We met him for lunch to say good-bye for nearly a month.  He is progressing well with the gospel and has promised he will go to church with his sister to the ward in Birmingham!  We went out to dinner with our dear ward mission leader and his non-member wife to a lovely Chop House for lamb.  It was fabulous!  We have grown to love them so much and pray that her heart will soften to hear the gospel.  Carl (her husband)  wants us so badly to teach her, but it needs to be on her time.  We had bought tickets to Handel's Messiah, a concert given at one of the Cambridge University colleges, St. Johns.  We had invited a non member couple to go with us, but Amanda got really sick and they couldn't go.  We love them as well and will get together with them next week.  We tried to invite another part member couple, but they couldn't go, so we did get a couple of our young single adults to go with us.  I have never seen the whole Messiah, and we were blown away!  It was magnificent, and to be performed in a cathedral that was 1200 years old made it even more spectacular.  The acoustics were phenomenal, but Dad I thought of you as we sat on what amounted to a 2X6  board, a very very hard pew!  Despite the uncomfortable seats, we were so inspired!  The next night we spent with the young adults who are our pride and joy!!  We are getting so comfortable with them, they are like our own children.  Then Friday, we went with dear friends from the ward to an Italian restaurant!  Yeah, it seems like all we did this week was play!!!  We did spend time with the Methodists at their tea and cakes event, we taught temple prep lessons, and visited shut-ins and non-members.  We also were able to spend a few hours with Gillian Taylor, a sweet woman who loves my Dad and Mom from when they were here in the missionfield.  She told us some hilarious stories about all the missionaries she has listened to, fed, transported, and taken to a midnight mass!!!  She is still not a member, but is so lovely.  I told you she didn't want a Book of Mormon, so I took her the Ensign, Conference Report issue.  She was so excited to get it.  We told her about the changes in the Quorum of the Twelve and about President Russell M. Nelson, whom she loves.  We told her about his talk, on a Plea to the Sisters, which I love!  She was so anxious to read it.  We are sending her a subscription to the Ensign and hope to meet up with her again in a few weeks to meet her daughter Kate and her 4 grandchildren.  Her oldest granddaughter , Lucy is getting ready to apply for university, and I told her to tell her to come to Cambridge and we would look after her, but she didn't think she could make it into these universities.  I wish she would change her mind! We have been able to show the people we have visited this week the Church's new Christmas video, A Savior is Born. #ASaviorIsBorn.   Please watch it if you haven't already done so!!!  The children will love it.  Gillian loved it.  What a sweet woman!  Maybe something will convince her to join the church!!!
     Sunday, Dec. 6 was an incredible day for us as we were able to Skype with Scott and Sherri, some family and friends to witness the blessing of Greyden William Jackman Miles.  They blessed him in their home, so we could Skype in and hear the blessing.  Scott gave a beautiful blessing.  Greyden is a very special young man and the Lord has something magnificent in store for him.  We are so grateful for this incredibly special family!
We love the Lord, we love our mission and we love each and every one of you!  In reading Elder Bednar's conference talk (which was incredible by the way!) he quoted President Boyd K. Packer (whom we love) who said, the purpose "of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed together for time and for all eternity."  Our family is so very dear to us.  We can't express enough how very much you mean to us and how much we are wanting to spend eternity with you all!!!
Have a great and happy week!  Please kiss all those precious little cheeks for us! (I'll send some pictures as an addendum)
Dad and Mom,
Papa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman

Answers to last weeks language challenge!!!  By the way, Grandpa and Grandma Glauser got them all right except for two!  But the cell phone wasn't invented yet when they were here!
trousers-pants; you al'right-hi, how are you, trolley-grocery cart, jumper-sweater; bin-garbage can; rubbish-garbage; flat-apartment; scrappy-grumpy; boot-car trunk; bonnet-car front hood; wonky-unsteady, wobbly; jab-shot; bert-a funny guy; buttery-a cafeteria; plaster-bandaid; tablets-pills; sharps-shot needles; hoover-vacuum; mobile-cell phone; car park- parking lot; lorrie-semi-truck; motorway-freeway