Thursday, January 14, 2016

Happy Day

Dear family and friends,
Happy Day!!!!  It has been a great week, last week!!  I'm slow in getting this blog out as we've had a full week and I can't believe it is already a quick rundown of our life as missionaries in beautiful Cambridge!

We continue to teach Andrew and Gail Tillbrook!  They are so lovely and we grow to love them more every week.  Andrew has a lot of questions and we both felt that we need to teach him the basic doctrines of the gospel, and  his questions will be resolved.  Having not much real association with religion, he is trying to wrap his head around the nature of God, and the role of Jesus Christ.  The family came to church (all 3 meetings!!!) on Sunday and he made the observation that our church meetings are surely a lot different than the ones he attended in the cathedral when he was young.  He was a choir boy for years, but said he was involved in the music and never really felt any connection with a Heavenly Father during that experience.  So, we are trying to help him understand that hearing and learning about the gospel requires our heads as well as our hearts.  "What are you feeling?" is a question we ask often!  He is a good man, and we know the Lord has a plan for him!

 We had dinner with them a couple of times.  Gail is a fantastic cook!  We had a celery soup that was to die for, leg of lamb and a fruited merinque.  I've never eaten much lamb, and it is really good!!!!  She also fed us a Scottish dish called haggis.  "Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed withstock, traditionally encased in the animal's stomach[1] though now often in an artificial casing instead. According to the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique: "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavor."  She served it layered with haggis on the bottom, steamed mashed turnips on top of that and mashed potatoes on the top.  It was fantastic!!!!  One thing we learn that in the mission field, you gratefully eat anything set before you!  The blessing is that everything that we have eaten has been wonderful!  They serve a lot of custard and clotted cream, Yorkshire pudding (which I've learned to make), pork, and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, boiled cabbage, and mushy peas (I love those!!)  They drink very little water or squash (like koolaid) with their meals and very little tossed salads.  So when I prepare meals for the young single adults, it is mostly the Americans that will eat the tossed salad or raw vegetables.  The British, however, love their sweets (candy) and their chips (French fried potatoes).  You walk through the frozen section of the grocery store and you see cases full of different sizes, and shapes of French fries!

On Jan. 5, we got to go to Cantebury to the cathedral to listen to one of our YSA's choir.  It was incredible.  The acoustics and the sound of the voices was magnificent!  We love Cantebury--the squishy cobblestone streets and the crooked row houses are delightful!  I feel as though we've gone back into time to live during the Cantebury Tales as told by Geoffrey Chaucer!!

President Russell M. Nelson is speaking to all the YSA's in the world (on Jan. 10).  We are rebroadcasting it to our YSA's on Jan 17, so we have been visiting all the YSA's in the Cambridge area to invite them to the broadcast and subsequent YSA activities.  Our goal for this year is to contact all of the YSA's that live in the area.  We have about 15 that are on the list, but we couldn't find them, and those are the ones we know about.  We've got our work cut out for us!  We have about 44 YSA we could find, but most of those are inactive, living with a partner and not interested in the church.  We chatted with a wonderful family in our ward who have 3 YSA's, who are active.  We asked them about the dating culture in Great Britain.  The youth "hang out" but do not date.  If they would happen to invite someone on a date, they would be considered as being together.  "So how do you meet young people?"  They meet them at large YSA functions in different areas of the UK, but even then, they generally will hang out with the kids they already know.  So, we've got to get something going in this little neck of the woods!!!!  That will be our focus in 2016!!!!

We started to teach Lucy, and she seems so excited about what she is learning.  She loves to come to church and to our home to be taught as she loves to feel the feeling she gets there.  We pray for her that her desire to learn is real and continues!

It was a great week!  Finally, most of our YSA's have returned from holiday break and we can dive back into our FHE's and Institute.  We're glad to have them back!

I wanted to share this story as I close my blog this week as it touched me deeply when I heard it.  It's entitled "It's a matter of Perspective"
One day a father of  very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be.  They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.  On their return trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"  "It was great, Dad."  "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.  "Oh, Yeah" said the son."  "So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.  The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four.  We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.  We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.  Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.  We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.  We buy our food, but they grow theirs.  We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."  With this answer the Dad was speechless.  Then the son added, "thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."

We have so much to be grateful for!!  A wonderful young man we met this week is an artist.  He wants to be taught the gospel.  He told us how we have so much in the world to be grateful for.  How often do we just stand still and look at the beauty around us and thank the God that gave it to us!

We love you all.  May the peace of the gospel fill your homes and your hearts.  The other day, I was just walking and felt, "I am so happy".  May you know how very much we love and appreciate you all!!!
With all our love,
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Brad and Vicki

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