Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Baptism!!!!!!!

Dear family and friends,

Last week was a red letter week for us!!!  We held our first baptism.  Sister Lucy Wedderburn entered the waters of baptism on Saturday, 26 March, 2016.  It was an absolutely glorious experience!  She was so excited because the baptism happened on Easter weekend.  She had attended a previous baptism with us and the water was cold.  She was very nervous about being immersed in cold water, so I told her I would personally make sure the water was bathtub warm.  When we took her to the font, the glass in front of the font and the mirror above was steamed all up.  The water  was VERY warm!  She wore my temple dress and looked like an angel.  Before she entered the font she turned to me and said, this is really it!!!  This is a BIG step.  I agreed but I told her that she wouldn’t be alone.  Heavenly Father was with her all the way!    The program was short and simple, but very touching and filled with the spirit.  We had called many in the ward to participate with prayers, musical items (numbers), talks, and hymns.  In fact, Lucy was so humbled to see so many people in attendance.  A member of the bishopric, Brother Mike Bunnell welcomed her into the ward and told her that she has a support system that will envelope her with love!  Her ex-husband was there and stood in as a witness.  Her two sons were there and a Baptist friend from near her home, all non-members.  We even had Alex, our new investigator there for a little while!  The ward members were so warm and encouraging to her.  We were so grateful for them.  Brad had practiced with her the day before to show her how to stand and hold on to his arm and hand.  Brad got very emotional as he performed the baptism.   He did a wonderful job!   It was really a very tender experience for all who attended!  On Sunday, Lucy was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and received the Holy Ghost.  Carl Hutber, the ward mission leader was voice, and Brad, Bishop Sanz, and Clinton Wedderburn stood in the circle.  It was a beautiful Easter!!!!

We were able to join in a discussion with Sister Bader and Sister Lawler, and Sister Vizaco for the restoration discussion with Alex this past week.  Sister Vizaco had just barely arrived the day before.  The three sisters gave a beautiful spirit filled discussion on the First Vision.  We all shared in bearing testimony.  When we asked Alex how he felt, he said, you know I feel really tingly, and I wasn’t expecting this.  He is an older man, I would say, early 50’s.  He works two jobs and is going to law school.  He came into this first discussion somewhat prepared having read up on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon on the internet.  He is very astute, but I think the feeling of the spirit threw him for a loop, one that he wasn’t expecting.  He was anxious to meet again.  We talked to him again this week and we hope we can make another teaching appointment soon, if we can fit into his busy schedule.

We had the chance to do a temple session with two of our YSA’s, Sam Ablett and Jordan Clarke, both fine young men who we have come to really love and care about.  We had some great visits with Hazel Price,  a convert of my parents while they were here; we had FHE with the Hutber family and a fun visit with the Pitcher family in our ward.  We met some new friends, Jim and Nita Haskins.  He is a member, she is not.  They were lovely people.  She told us that she would never join the Mormon church unless they change the Word of Wisdom.  How can a person not drink tea?  They want us to come back and see them.  We are making a lot of wonderful friends!!!!

We are so saddened by the Brussels bombing, but are inspired by these wonderful missionaries who have shared their strong testimonies with the world!  We knew Elder Norby, the senior missionary.  He and his wife were with us in the MTC last fall.  He is an incredible man!

Each week is filled with lovely people and great experiences with them!  We are grateful for the blessing for us to be here.  We love you all and thank you for your love and prayers!  Oh, by the way, Clark and Joyce Baron received their mission call this week!  Guess where they are coming?  The England London Mission!   YEAH!  They will be serving as YSA missionaries as well.  We won’t know for sure their area until they get here in August!  We are so excited!

Have a great week!  We love you all!

Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Brad and Vicki

Baptism of Lucy Wedderburn

left to right: Clinton Wedderburn, Leon Wedderburn, Scott Grant (Lucy's son) Lucy, Vicki, Brad

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Happy Easter!!!!!

Dear family and friends,

Greetings from the great land of the United Kingdom!!  We had a great week.  We got to talk to members of our family which is always a real treat for us! 

Sunday, we had a visit from one of our dear friends, Aaron Evans.  He works for Xactware and is in London on business for a week.  He caught the train and spent the day with us.  It was so fun to see him and feel a bit of home!  We blew it though and didn’t even get a picture with him!  We went to pick him up from the train station and went to church.  After church we stopped off at Addenbrooks hospital and Brad and Aaron were able to give a blessing to a sweet girl.  She is not a member of the church, but has a friend who is.  The friend told her about priesthood blessings and she requested one.  They aren’t from around Cambridge, so they contacted our bishop to ask for a blessing.  Her mum and sister were there so it was an opportunity to explain to them what a priesthood blessing is.  They were so kind and appreciative.  We were glad to have Aaron with us, so he could use his priesthood in assisting to give a blessing.  Then we took him to Littleport with us to spend the afternoon with our friends the Tilbrooks.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time to walk him around Cambridge to see a part of this beautiful village.  We told him he will have to come back and bring Angie (and his parents!) with him.

We’ve had a fun week with the YSA’s.  We got together for FHE to watch Face to Face time with Elder Holland, Elder Hahlstrom, and Sister Stephens.  We had pizza and treats!  It was excellent.  They answered questions about marriage, sister missionary concerns, following the spirit, same gender attraction (which was superb by Elder Holland!)  One of our struggling young single adults was so impressed.  She said it is so cool that they are addressing concerns that the youth have!  It was really well done.  Tuesday night, we had a bowling night with the YSA’s.  We had 13 come and it was a party!  As I looked at these young people, I thought what a menagerie of people.  They are from several nationalities, several educational background, the kind of group you probably wouldn’t ever think they would be close friends, and yet they had a blast together.   The church really is miraculous, isn’t it!!! They were so kind to each other.  One of the guys was in a wheel chair, and they were so quick to help him and cheer for him!  I was so  proud of them all!
We also had institute this week which is always inspirational!  I served green iced sugar cookies.  We had to tell most of them why they were green!  They don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in England!  Well, they did this year!!!!

We had the opportunity to go with 4 other missionary couples on Saturday to the Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall!  We went with President and Sister Stevens, Elder and Sister Gale, Elder and Sister Williams, and Elder and Sister Burke.  We had a fabulous lunch beforehand at the Stevens place and then walked over to the concert.  It was the British Symphony, along with a wonderful choir, a percussion band, 2 fabulous opera singers, dancers and all the whistles and bells, including canons, fireworks, lazars, and a zillion balloons that were dropped at the end!  We heard a Sousa march, the 1812 Overture, pieces from Vivaldi, the Danube Waltz, Pomp and Circumstance, and others.  It was absolutely inspiring!!   Wow!  It was so fun to be in London to spend the day with wonderful friends!
The work goes on!  We know the gospel is true!  We pray for our dear sweet children and grandchildren and family every day.  We pray that during this Easter season, you will feel the spirit of the Savior in your celebrating!  If you haven’t seen it, please click on to this site and watch it;  I was able to teach the Relief Society lesson on the Savior’s Atonement on Sunday.  As I studied this week, I felt such gratitude for the empty tomb!!!  “He is not here.  He is risen as he said!” (Matt. 28:6).  Everything that happened to the Savior the last few days of His life was known and prophecied by prophets!   “He is the light, the life and the hope of the world.  His path is the way that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”  How we love Him!  May your Easter day be filled with love for God, His Son, and every member of our family, even our sweet Ryder and Taylor, Jeanette,  Kathleen, and Jenny!  We love you all!

Happy Birthday this week to Laura (March 23) and Mom Glauser (March 25)!  We love you beautiful women!  You are both such a source of strength and inspiration to us!!!!
With all our love,
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Brad and Vicki 

lazar show at Royal Albert Hall

being blasted with balloons--awesome

encore from the 1812 Extravaganza

Brad with John Cook--our favorite roadshow entrée act!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Week in the Life of a Senior Missionary

Dear family and friends,

What a fabulous week we have had in the Cambridge area!  We even had 2 days when the weather was warm enough that we didn’t need to wear a coat!  We are hearing birds that we have never heard before.  The blossoms continue to explode around us and as always in the Spring, we feel the hope and immense miracle of new life!  I love this season of the year!

We started our week with a p-day with the young missionaries!  We played 4-square, (I haven’t played that since gradeschool!), chair football, and ping pong, (all played in a dress I might add!!!)  We had a blast.  I think the missionaries were quite surprised that we were so competitive!  We love spending time with them.  For a few days we have been in a threesome!!  We have Elder Wood from Mississippi staying with us while President Stevens is juggling around some extra missionaries preparing for transfers.  It’s a pleasure to have him here, but we have to have him home on time, so we’ve had to tweak our schedule somewhat!  (Now I can say what so many young missionaries say, well, me and my companions. . . . . . . .!)

Tuesday, we attended a Zone Conference in Ipswich with our zone and one other.  As is the case, it was a spirit filled day with training from these wonderful young missionaries, and President and Sister Stevens.  They are magnificent.  We feel such love for them and the work they do.  (We jokingly told them that whatever they are getting paid, it is not enough!!!)  The conference was focused upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We are on an accelerated reading schedule to finish the Book of Mormon again before Easter.  We heard a talk by Elder Holland given at a new mission president’s seminar.  I wish I could send a link because it was so inspiring.  Basically, Elder Holland asked the question, why is missionary work so hard?  Why don’t missionaries have pneumonia from being in the baptismal font all day?  Why, if the Lord wants us to bring the gospel to every living person, aren’t these people flocking to us to be baptized?  Then he showed a video of the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, and his crucifixion on Calvary and said, “Because discipleship isn’t easy”.   Jesus Christ, the only perfect man who ever lived on earth, didn’t live an easy life.  Anything of worth, is hard.  It made me think that we may be not baptizing billions, or hundreds, or even a few, but He is building character, faith in Him, and strength in ourselves.  He is building strong sons and daughters of God, strong and committed disciples!  It was a truly inspirational day for us!

We were able to teach the law of tithing to Andrew this week.  We asked Gail, his wife, what her feelings were about tithing.  She said, when she was a little girl, (she was raised in the church), her mother often testified of the miracle of tithing, but Gail said, they were always very poor, which I think made her wonder where the miracles were.  One Saturday, she remembered they paid their tithing and they had about 60 pence left in their budget.  Her mother promised her a sweet bun for a treat, and said with that 60p they would have a party.  Well, they went to the bakery to buy what they thought might be 6 sweet buns.  When they got there, the baker told them, he had two full sheets of buns that were a day old so he would sell her the two full sheets for 60p.  (I'm thinking Gail said, there were over 100 buns)  Gail has never forgotten the experience.  They had tons of buns, so invited family and friends for a party.  Her mother turned to her and said, you see, Gail, the Lord blesses us in many ways when we pay our tithing!

We had a delightful get together with our dear friends Mike and Sandra Budd this week.  They told us of a fabulous pub, The Dog and Duck!  (We have renamed it the Woof and Quack!)  We had fish (a mild fish called Brie sp?), without the heads, Brad had haddock, and Mike had duck and we had a fabulous apple and cranberry crumble with ice cream and custard.  For two hours we ate, and laughed and enjoyed our friends!  That night we had been asked to take dinner to our friends, Marcus and Dayloni Bateman who just had a new baby.  We had planned to pick up Dominoes pizza, make a salad and eat dinner with them.  I was so full from lunch that I just got to hold and cuddle dear little Westin while they ate dinner and we visited.  Brad and I are so grateful for the wonderful friends we have found here!  They are so very dear to us and really feel like our family away from home!

We were able to take a friend to Colchester (about an hour and a half away) to our Stake President’s home, so she could have an interview to get her temple recommend.  We were able to teach her the temple prep classes (in an accelerated course!), because she is heading to LA to receive her own endowments and then with her siblings, be sealed to her parents.  This was a real special experience for us as we were able to visit with Sister Fagg, the Stake President’s wife.  They are the parents of 7 children and we were able to have her share with us how it was to raise a family in the missionfield.  She said, well, it really is quite simple.  One just has to teach and live the gospel in the home and make the home a safe place to be, and children will learn.   There was a real spirit of peace in their home.  They haven’t had experiences with rebellious children, but her testimony of strong families was evident.

Saturday, we met with Lucy and reviewed the baptismal interview questions.  This sweet friend is so excited to be baptized.  As I said, it is scheduled for Saturday, March 26.  We discussed with her what would take place and talked about the program.  Sunday, when she came to church we showed her the font, found her a white dress to wear and explained the process.  This truly is a miracle!  She told her oldest son about her baptism, and he is very supportive of her and wants to be there.  We have really seen a change in her and her children have as well.

Saturday night we headed to Ipswich again for the Stake Roadshows!!!!  Yeah, I LOVE roadshows!  And Brad was in an entre act, can you believe it!!!!  I was so proud of him.  This was really out of his comfort zone, but he did great!  The man announcing their act didn’t know him, so kept calling him Elder Jackson (but we are used to that!!  He answers to both!)  Hopefully I can attach the video.  These roadshows were so fun.  Professional, they definitely were not, but there was such a feeling of fun, of support, and comraderie that my heart could burst!  Church events in the missionfield are so bonding.  I was truly inspired and filled with love for these wonderful, humble saints! 

Our hearts are full of gratitude to Heavenly Father for sending us here!  I feel my life has really been blessed to learn things that I could learn no other way.  This has truly been a humbling and joyous journey!  We love you all!  One of our YSA’s has a blog on facebook called I Mormon.  He has done a segment on senior missionaries.  If you want to see us, go look it up!  Of course, I hate to see pictures or videos of myself, but it’s a chance to see some of our YSA’s.

Have a great week.  Happy Birthday to David Bishop on March 20!  We love you David and are so grateful for the blessing of you being a part of our family!!!!

With all our love,
Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
a view during our morning walk!  We love the fog
the Woof and Quack!!!  one of our favorite pubs!!! Thanks Mike and Sandra
Brad and Vicki

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dear family and friends,

Cheers to all of you beautiful people whom we love so very much!  The missionary work goes on and we are loving it!!!

Our week started out with a dinner with our dear friend, Alex Allen, our Tesco checker (grocery store)!  We were introduced to him when we got here and he has become a very dear friend.  He works 2 jobs and is in law school, so he is very busy, but when we asked him if we could share a message with him about what we believe as missionaries, he was very anxious.  It has just taken us months to arrange a time with him.  He came over for dinner and has quite a story to tell.  He is the father of four adult children, very successful, by the way.  He is divorced and discovered religion about 3 years ago.  He is putting himself through law school.  He spent 2 years living on the streets.  But he is the kindest man.  His experiences have really softened his heart.  We invited the full time sisters, Sister Lawler and Sister Bader to dinner and to teach him.  They introduced him to the Book of Mormon.  He wants to learn more, but it will be a trick to schedule appointments around his schedule.  We are praying for him!

We visited a lovely family in our ward, the Flake family.  Their ancestors along with Erastus Snow were the founders of Snowflake, Arizona!!  I never knew how Snowflake got its name, but now I know!!  We enjoy these family visits because we teach a lesson geared to their children.  They have 4 very busy children.  We told them the story of Joseph F. Smith standing up to the ruffians to tell them he was a Mormon, yes siree, dyed in the wool, true blue, through and through!  Then Brad told them the story of how when as a teenager he was on the ski bus going to Minnesota.  His so called buddies pinned him down on the floor of the bus, and tried to pour alcohol down his throat.  He had one friend on the bus who was not a member of the church, who stood up for him and told the guys to leave him alone because he doesn’t drink, and they did!   We talked to the boys about having courage to stand up for their beliefs, and they would be blessed. These busy little boys were so intrigued by his story, that they told their mom they want us to come back and visit again.  These family visits are so wonderful for us because we have been able to bond with so many members of the ward, and when we see them at church, they know us and are comfortable talking with us.  I’ve decided that missionary work is the art of being friendly and interested in people!  It is something everyone can do.  Often times we think that to be a missionary is to give someone the first discussion or give them a Book of Mormon.  That is what we do as missionaries, but the first thing we do is to smile and say hello and become a friend.  So to all my little grandchildren, you can all be missionaries!!!!!  It is really fun, because you can make a lot of new friends!

We are finding that one of the most delightful treats for FHE is root beer floats!  However, it is really hard to find root beer in the UK.  We found a store in a local mall that sold it.  We became good friends with the clerk.  We asked her about the church, and she is already a member!!!!  She would call us when she got a new shipment of root beer in.  Well, the store is closing, so she is going to not work for a while.  We told her that now she has more time, we will be excited to see her at church!!!!   We have yet to see her, however!   We have been able to find another store that sells American products luckily for a lot cheaper!!! 

We have great news!!!  Our dear friend, Lucy Weddeburn, wants to be baptized!!!!  The baptismal date is scheduled for Saturday, March 26!!!!!  We are soooo excited for her because we have seen such a great change in her, like a light has turned on in her countenance!  What a miracle this has been in our lives to see the power the gospel can have and can endow us with to become the type of people the Lord wants us to be!  She is the sweet lady who showed up at our door and asked us to teach her the gospel.  She has heard about it before, but this time, she was ready!  We are so very grateful for this tender mercy, and this lovely friend!

Saturday, March 5, Brian blessed Jordan Bradley Jackman at their home.  They arranged it such that we could witness the blessing over skype.  Scott and Sherri and family, Nate and Avery, (Becca was in Texas with her mom and sisters and Charlie), Justin and Amber and family, and Kent and Heather and Asher, and some of Heather’s family were there.  What a beautiful blessing!  This is the last of our little grandsons that has been born these past months to be blessed.  We are so very proud of all of you and want you to know you are in our prayers every day.  All you grandchildren, please watch for a letter from Grandma!  You will be surprised when they show up!  I just won’t be sending a letter to the six new babies, not for a while yet!!!

We hope you have a great week.  Our missionary challenge this week is to smile and be friendly to all the people you meet, at school, at the grocery store, at church, and at work.  So many people here who have been to Utah say the Mormons are some of the happiest and warmest people they have ever met!!! 

We love you all!  Jesus Christ lives!  It is our responsibility to prepare the world for His second coming!  What a great opportunity!

With all our love,
Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
It's amazing, how you can give away a Book of Mormon at a bus stop!
Brad and Vicki


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the warm iz?

Dear family and friends,

Cheers!!!!  It has been another wonderful week in Cambridge—still very cold—but the buds are showing up, the hyacinths are awake and the daffodils are profusely beautiful!  They are planted all over in the middle of grassy areas.  It is stunning!  We love our walks in the morning, the sound of the birds and the smells of green and spring, despite the fact that we still have hats, coats and gloves on! (In fact, today, it is snowing!!!!!)

We got to help serve at a funeral for Barry Palmer this week.  His funeral was incredible.  President Kenneth Johnson, the President of the London Temple (he used to be a member of the Seventy) was a speaker.  He spoke of the plan of happiness, our pre-earth life and where we go after this mortal existence.  It is just the kind of sermon I would like at my funeral.  It was so comforting and full of the Spirit.  Afterwards, a member of Barry’s family who is not a member of the church went up to President Johnson and said, “I had no idea that Barry is involved in a church that teaches this!”  President Johnson asked him if he would like to know more and he said yes!!!!  He got his business card, gave it to Brad and asked him to contact the mission president to pass his name on to the missionaries in his area.  I love funerals of righteous people!  The luncheon after the funeral didn’t consist of ham and funeral potatoes, or chicken salad and salads,  but rather, salmon, rice salad, quiche, crisps (chips), potato salad and other stuff I had no idea what it was.  In fact, on the sign up list for food, I had to ask a native Britianer what half  the stuff was.  But the people came and ate it all up.  It was a lovely day.  And like I said in my blog last week, at the cemetery (they call them crematoriams) the pall bearers lowered the casket into the open grave right onto the soil, without being put in a concrete vault.  Members of the family would throw a handful of soil onto the casket.  The sound of the soil hitting the casket was a little unnerving to me.  The day was cold, but beautiful, a fitting farewell for a very wonderful man!

We had the chance to attend the temple last week.  It was wonderful to be the witness couple and rub shoulders with members of the church!

We were able to set up teaching appointments with two people we have befriended in Cambridge!  Yeah!  We are inviting them to dinner and or lunch and to meet the young elders and sisters to teach them.  I’ll let you know how it turns out, but we are really excited!

We are teaching Andrew Tilbrook as I have told you.  He is an avid golfer and I said that he and Brad went golfing last Friday with John Cook, a member of our ward and a dear friend.  They had a great time.  What’s interesting, is that when they got to the golf course, Brad saw our neighbor, Tony, a non-member and invited him to join their threesome.  They had a fabulous time together and now Tony wants Brad to golf with him.  Wow, who says they won’t play golf in heaven!!!!?  They played 18 holes and they walked it.  I know you are all in shock that dad played 18 holes without a cart.  He did ok with the front 9, but said he fell apart the back 9!  Poor guy, was in a world of hurt when he got home!  I just laughed and felt no pity whatsoever!

We spent a lot of time with our YSA’s this week, which was great!  We are so proud of them.  They seem to be getting more and more comfortable with each other.  We now have a great committee who are working well together and reaching out to the other YSA’s.  We had a stake YSA institute this week in Ipswich, and then went to dinner at the Red Lion, a pub in Histon, where one of our inactive YSA’s is the chef.  I think he was really touched to have us there.  The food was fabulous, by the way!  Then on Sunday, we went by train to London with some of our YSA’s to a devotional in Hyde Park chapel to hear our Stake President, Simon Fagg speak!  He was brilliant!  He spoke on putting on the armour of God.  The thing that touched me was the scripture he read at the end from Romans 13:12; “let us put on the armour of light”.  As I look at these young single adults who we love so much, I see warriors armed with light.  I have learned more than ever before in my life, how the gospel fills us with light, a light of countenance.  We attended the baptism of David Thompson on Saturday in Bury St. Edmunds (I told you about him in my last blog).  His happiness was obvious.  The light in the eyes of the missionaries is obvious!  The light in the eyes of those who embrace the gospel with all their souls is obvious! 

Our time here in Cambridge is becoming more sweet!  As we walk through the town, we feel that this is home.  Kent told us that while he was on his mission, he felt the veil between the mission and home became very thick as he became immersed in the work.  That is exactly how we feel, not that we don’t miss our family and friends, but that this is our life and love it more every day!

Thank you for all your support and prayers.  We feel them!  We love you more than we can say!  Happy Birthday to Kent (March 1) and Sherri (March 4)!  We love you both!  You have brought such happiness to our lives and we cherish what we learn from you!  Have a great week!

The gospel is the only way to true happiness!  Keep the faith and keep smiling!!!!

With all our love,
Papa and Grandma
Dad and Mom

David Thompson's baptism--performed by Elder Nielsen.  Elder Wood is his companion.
David's nieces, friend Keisha Cossette, Faye, David's daughter and her son and Keisha's mum

picture taken in the tube in London

Elder Arnold Palmer Jackman--a true English bloak!  Isn't he adorable!!!
Making a mother's day gift for Isabelle and Alicia's mum (Mother's Day in the UK is on March 6)
Elder and Sister Jackman