Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dear family and friends,

The weeks seem to go by so quickly, I can’t believe it’s time to send a blog again!  March has flown by!
We had some wonderful experiences last week which add to the excitement of a mission.  Monday, we attended a craft fair at a local Anglican Church at the invitation of Ank, the pastor or vicar of the church.  We need to find out their proper titles.  While there, we were introduced to her “boss”.  Her name is Pip and she is the Rector of 4 or 5 different Anglican churches in the area.  She has 26,000 members in her flock!  We think she is kind of like a Stake President.  She was a lovely woman.  We asked her if they are involved in any community service opportunities that we could help them with.  She was very excited!  She said they have Methodists and other religious groups that join them, but have never had “the Mormons” involved with them.  We will meet with her when she gets back from her Sabbatical in Rome in May.  She was very anxious to meet with us.  We are looking forward to the opportunity.

Last week was transfer week, always a very hard week for us, because we knew we would be losing some missionaries.  We have had 3 sisters here and 4 elders here, so we knew we would be losing 3 missionaries.  Sister Lawler, Elder Wood, Elder Tomas, and Elder Auras were being moved.  So we invited them all on Tuesday morning for waffles.  It was a delightful send off.  We have gotten very close to these wonderful missionaries, but we know they will be magnificent wherever they go next!  On Wednesday we welcomed Elder Walker from Provo and Elder Champion from Australia and Elder Toa from an island off the east coast of Australia.  We are very impressed with these elders.  Because of driver’s license red tape, Elder Champion and Elder Toa who are serving in Bury St. Edmunds, can’t drive for a few days.  So after district meeting we drove them to their new flat and went shopping with them to help get them settled.  (Only missionaries will carry  bed sheets, cold cereal, whole milk and toilet paper down the center of town without embarrassment.  You have to pay for the bags to carry your groceries in here, so we carried the stuff without bags)  We heard their conversion stories which were inspiring.  Elder Champion is the only member of the church in his family and is 27, a fine young man.  Elder Toa lives on a very remote island with no electricity.  Everything they eat, they grow or raise.  He is a very humble Elder.  He really had a culture shock when his first area on the mission was in London!  There are 200 people of his island.  We were so impressed with him and his courage!

We had a great outing this week!  Because it is Easter break here, many of our YSA’s are on holiday.  So we decided to go see a play in London!  Yeah!!!  We took a train into London and rode the tube into the theatre district where we saw Guys and Dolls.  It was fabulous.  We stopped for soup and a sandwich and then took the train home!  It was so fun, we decided we want to do it again soon!!!!  So, you who are coming really ought to take in a play. 

Wasn’t General Conference magnificent?  Every conference seems the best I’ve ever heard!  This was no exception.  We attended the General Women’s meeting on Saturday at the church followed by a lunch by the priesthood, and the Saturday morning session at 5.  Sunday, Brad attended the Priesthood session at the church.  That afternoon we had Saturday afternoon session and Sunday morning session at our home for the missionaries and the Young Single Adults who were here.  We had dinner in between and had a good group attend. (If you feed them, they will come!!!!) It reminded us of the young people we always had come over with Brian for conference!!!
transfer day: left to right Elder Wood from Mississippi, Sister Lawler from Arizona, Jackmans, Elder Auras from Germany, Elder Tomas from Spain
people punting on the Cam River in Cambridge
 Monday night for FHE we saw the Sunday afternoon session.  Now that was an incredible session!  Elder Kieron is our Area Seventy and our stake has been involved with helping out the Syrian refugees in France.  It was great to hear from him and see how President Uchtdorf was so touched!  We had written down questions or concerns we had before conference and the answers that came were just what I expected!  Be worthy, be committed, make the harder right choice, be worthy of the guidance of the spirit, and keep going!  I was so inspired!  Three comments that sunk deep into my heart were from Elder Snow, “ Our genuine concern should be the success of others.”, and from Elder Renlund, “the more we distance ourselves from God, the more entitled we feel.”, and from President Uchtdorf, “as we increase in faith we must increase in faithfulness.  Obedience is the lifeblood of faith.” 
I testify that Jesus Christ is the head of this Church.   This is His Church.   His plan of happiness is perfect! I know we have living prophets, seers, and revelators on the earth today.  They say the words that the Savior would say if He were speaking.  I can imagine that President Packer, Elder Perry and Elder Scott were attentive attendees from heaven!!!! The music was angelic and so inspiring!  One of our friends, Richard Woolley just joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir a few months ago.  It was so fun to see him from England on television!!!  I am so excited and honored that we can be serving the Lord on a mission!  We feel the presence of angels around us!  Thank you for your prayers!  We feel them!  We love you all!
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Brad and Vicki

PS.  Carlee,  thank you for your sweet note!!!  It is on our fireplace mantle!  It is a cherished token of a very special granddaughter whom we love!

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