Dear family and friends,
I wrote up my blog yesterday and tried to insert pictures, and the blog disappeared so I guess I’ll start all over!!! Sometimes this technology makes me crazy!! It was a great blog too! So here goes nothin’!
As I looked over our last week, it seems like all we did was cook and EAT!!! Now that’s not so terrible, because we have some great memories! I will just need to up my exercise regime. Oh brother! The curse of the Battle of the Bulge!
Monday night is our YSA FHE! (these acronyms are only decoded by members of the LDS church) We had invited a young man to dinner and several YSA’s came early and we couldn’t let them starve, so luckily I had made a lot of dinner. After FHE we of course have to have treats. It’s amazing how much food triggers the vocal chords and the young will really talk! So I’ve learned that if you want information, just fill the mouth with lots of carbs and sugar!!!!!
Tuesday we invited dear friends, the Hutbers, for lunch. We went to Wimpole Hall (say that with an English accent!) It is an English Trust Estate with acres of lush fields, orchards, and barns. There is a gorgeous home on the estate and the servants quarters have been turned into a lovely restaurant. It is here that we had lunch. Brad had lasagna and I had salmon surrounded by fabulous steamed veggies of every color. It was wonderful and the company was superb!
Thursday we host our YSA institute and serve dinner before. You would think these kids have never seen food before!!! I fixed some CostaVida sweet pork burritos. I had to explain to the English what they were and how to eat them. They inhaled them. And of course after the lesson, the treats come out. So we all crowd into our little kitchen and watch the chocolate cookies bake. They devour them as fast as they can come from the oven. We also buy a lot of milk. I don’t think these single kids ever drink milk except when they come to our house. I feel so sorry for them! Ha ha ha!
Friday night we had two of our YSA’s over to our house. They love to cook and experiment with new recipes, so Justin and Arianne fixed us gourmet mac and cheese with lamb mince. It was really good. And of course, Dad Jackman, we had to end the evening with a rousing game of SkipBo! This was a new experience for them and they loved it.
On Saturday morning we invited a dear friend of ours, Chris, an investigator, over for an American breakfast. We served him fruit, hot chocolate, ham, eggs, and pancakes. I had to ask him if he knew what pancakes were. Well he found out and loved them. He took all the left overs with him to eat later as a snack! One thing you need to know about this wonderful young investigator is that he is a graduate of Cambridge Unversity. He is very smart. But for an Englishman, he is also very clean and smells nice. He is kind and very appreciative and he is homeless! He works at a jam factory. He has been investigating the church for a few months now and seems to question everything. He studies religiously all the material the sisters give him and much more. We worried that maybe he was wanted by the law, so we asked him. He is not. We have shared our testimony with him many times. We told him how President Hinckley was such an advocate for education and improving our situation. We challenged him to do that. We had a 3-hour breakfast, and again the power of food loosened his tongue! It was a delightful morning!
Saturday night we had another YSA come and fix us a Chinese meal with a pork belly roast and all the fixins! It was also very yummy! So needless to say, we were grateful that it was Fast Sunday on the Sabbath!!!
We met some wonderful interesting members of our ward this week—a little lady who sailed around the world with her daughter in a 42 ft. boat. It took them a year! We were blown away that this little lady did that! She also got her pilots license and would take her friends flying, but she said, they would only go with her once, so she doesn’t fly anymore! She is 72 and to look at her you would think she would be the kind that stayed at home to knit! We were instant friends, and when we saw each other at church it was like old home week! These people love company and visits!
We had the chance to go to Ely Cathedral with the couple we are teaching, Andrew and Gail Tilbrook for a Candlemas. The cathedral was filled with 5000 candles which was gorgeous, but I think also provided the heat for the cavernous building. It was freeezzzing inside, but we sat close to each other and kept fairly warm. We heard a recitation from the former Arch Bishop of Canterbury and then beautiful choir and organ music. The acoustics were phenomenal and it was an inspiring evening. Afterward we introduced ourselves to the Arch Bishop as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t think he was overly impressed until we mentioned that we knew one of his choir members at a Cambridge college, one of our YSA’s. He immediately opened up and was very cordial and kind.
On Saturday night as well, we were able to participate via Skype with our family to witness the baby blessing of Russell William Jackman, son of Justin and Amber. Justin gave a beautiful blessing, filled with wonderful council and blessings on this valiant little stripling warrior. Brian, Nate, and Kent from our family and members of the Bertram family participated along with a member of their ward bishopric. We were so very touched by this sweet and tender ordinance.
It has been a glorious week! We love and appreciate you all and are so proud of you and the love you show each other and to us. We want to wish our Julie a very Happy Birthday on February 12! We love this beautiful daughter, the mother of 4! Julie you are a blessing in our lives and we are so grateful for you and noble way you love and care for your sweet family!
A closing thought for the week, one I read from President Uchtdorf, which really resonated with me; “I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become. God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord.” I know that to be true! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is magnificent!!!!!
With all our love,
The Bishops; Maddie, Lily, and Bailey holding new brother Sam
Brad was so excited to find a road in the UK named after him!
Ely Cathedral Candlemas--Brad even got to blow out some of the candles because he was tall enough
Brian, McKinley, Heather and Jordan
Jordan Bradley Jackman
Jordan's first smile--what a cutie
McKinley with baby brother Jordan--how precious
this is a friend of ours in Cambridge; Marcus Bateman--he is a dentist serving in the airforce here. To let you know how small the world is--Marcus grew up with Heather's brother, Tyson Ferguson. Heather used to babysit him. He said he was a terror!!!! Who'd have thought?
Baby Russell William Jackman on his blessing day, 6 Feb, 2016
Baby Russell with his Grandma Bertram! She kissed him on those fat little cheeks for me!
Little Samuel Spencer Bishop
Baby Sam's first grin caught on camera by Maddie--so cute
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Brad and Vicki