Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A "Wonderfull Week"

Dear family and friends,

Cheers!  Y’alright?  It has been a "wonderfull" week here.  Summer is definitely a fabulous time to be in Cambridge.  We’ve been taking care of our neighbor’s garden while they have been on holiday.  They don’t have sprinkler systems here so when he gets hot as it has done (78-84 degrees) we need to hand water the gardens.  It does make me appreciate sprinkler systems!  Also, they don’t have air conditioning in the houses and most buildings.  They don’t typically have a lot of hot weather here, but when they do, we keep a fan running constantly.

It’s been a great week.  Most of the English people take the month of August off and head off on holiday, so the city has been really quiet.  So we try to get creative and fill our days with new opportunities.

We have a wonderful couple who are dear friends.  He is not a member and she is inactive in the  church, except for family history.  She is a family history expert, and the nicest woman you would ever want to meet.  We love them both.   They have both been so warm and inviting to us.   I have really been wanting to spend some quality family history time, so decided that meeting with her would give us an opportunity to meet in their home doing some very sacred work.  In working with her last week, I was able to get into my Grandpa Chester Taylor’s family, his siblings.  We were able to find out some information on my great uncle Reuel V. Taylor.  I was so excited and am anxious to go back.   She really is very good and definitely knows her stuff!

Although our numbers are few for YSA’s, we are enjoying the ones who are still around.  We went bowling this week for institute as there is no institute class until the end of September.  That is always a hoot!  We also made a quick trip to Watford to meet up with Clark and Joyce Baron, our dear friends who just got here to serve as a YSA couple.  They have been assigned to an area that has not had a YSA couple for a few years, so they get to start up a stake YSA program.  They will be great!    They are enthusiastic and raring to go!  We enjoyed a great visit with them and we are so grateful they are here!

We finished up missionary flat inspections, visited some members and nonmembers.  We do a lot of the same things each week, so I know it gets kind of monotonous for you to hear the same things over and over.  We are finding, however that as we visit, we become so close to these friends.  They become more precious to us!

Saturday, we were able to attend the baptism of a lovely Portuguese woman in Bury St. Edmunds.  This is in our district and as always, baptisms are so wonderful to witness!  The woman’s name is Zoella.  I had a real touching experience at this baptism.  We were sitting about half way back in the chapel and I had a clear eye view of Zoella and Elder Dalley, (the missionary who was baptizing her).  They were sitting on the front row and we were listening to the speakers.  As I looked at this wonderful missionary, I thought immediately of his mother and how proud she would be to see her son involved in this glorious sacred work.  (I just wish I would have taken a picture of them both sitting there!)  The tears flowed down my cheeks as I felt the spirit touch my heart!  So all you mothers with children serving missions, please know how wonderful they are and how very proud you should be of them and the magnificent work they are involved with.  I thought of Helaman’s stripling warriors and what a power for good they were, just as these latter day stripling warriors are.  I can’t express my love enough for those who leave hearth and home to serve the Lord.  I am truly inspired and pray for my 9 grandsons as well as granddaughters if it be right for them, to be filled with the desire to serve in God’s army!

Sunday, we had a wonderful surprise; to welcome Boyd and Michelle Craig, our dear friends from Orem, to our ward!  And what is even more wonderful, is that their niece, Sister Annie Daines, is serving here.  We knew they were coming, but she didn’t.  After getting approval from President Stevens, we arranged to have Boyd and Michelle surprise Sister Daines, and did they ever!  We got it all on video!  Lots of tears, hugs and expressions of love were shared!  We had them over for dinner and enjoyed every minute with them!  It made me realize how many wonderful mentors we have had in our lives!  We love the Craigs and have learned so much from their examples through the years we have been blessed to know them.

We want to wish our Chloe Madeline Nelson Happy Birthday today! (August 30)  How we love her!  She has completed her Young Womanhood requirements and set the goal to complete them by the time she was 14!  We are so proud of her!  She sent me a letter this past week with some temple names for Brad and I to do in the London Temple!  One of her value projects was to do family history.  She has 200 names ready for temple work to be done!  Truly, the young are leading the way!!!  We love you Chlois!!!!!

We love you all!  Thanks for your facebook and Instagram posts and emails!!!  We cherish those sweet pictures more than you’ll ever know!  You are truly the light of our lives!

Something we repeat at each missionary meeting is this: “ In the England London Mission Obedience is the price, Faith is the power, Love is the motive, The Spirit is the key, Christ is the reason.”  We love what we are doing because we know it is His work!

With all our love,
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman


Monday, August 22, 2016

Dear family and friends,

Cheerio!  It has been a great week, and a very emotional one for me!

 Monday night for FHE we had our closing social with all the BYU students as well as our local YSAs.  We held it in the “cultural hall” of the Methodist church!  We had a Costa Vida menu and a great night of visiting and laughing together.  It was a hard evening as we said goodbye to a lot of our BYU friends.  We are amazed at how, in such a short time, we were able to grow so attached to these 24 students!  After most of them left, we had the greatest amount of fun with those who stayed and did the dishes!  We all crowded into our kitchen!  I watched while 6 of them did the dishes and found places to put stuff!  I’ve had to find some things, but they were so amazing to help and not want to leave any mess for us to clean up!  (This is a fun side note!—one of our students, Ben Jacobs, father is the OB-GYN who delivered Asher and Avery!—I didn’t find that out until I asked Heather about the doctor who delivered Asher!  I should have known as I was at his side when Asher made his appearance!)  Amazing how the world becomes so small!!!

We were able to visit a lot of our friends this week to invite them to come to the ward summer party.  We enjoyed our district meeting with our missionaries.  It’s always fun to have them stay for lunch and enjoy their personalities and allow them to let their hair down a bit!  We sure love these missionaries!

Well, Brad and I enjoyed our 40th Wedding Anniversary this week on the 17th.  I can’t think of a better place to celebrate than on a mission together!  We had several friends in the ward tell us it is a ruby anniversary.  Heavens, I didn’t know that!  In honor of the day, Brad purchased two candy ruby rings for a total of £2.00!  The mission has conditioned us to be frugal!!!  We spent the day visiting dear friends, counseling with a troubled young man, I did yoga with a friend, we attended a missionary correlation meeting and ward council, came home late and had a bowl of cold cereal for dinner!  Sounds romantic huh!!!!!   We have scheduled a two day trip to London next week to go in to see Les Miserables.  So it will be a belated anniversary getaway.  I must say, I have grown to appreciate Brad so much as I have watched him rise to the calling of missionary.  He is amazing!  He loves the people and they love him.  British people are not so much a demonstrative group, but Brad’s ready smile and open arms have made a real impact on the reserved British here!  He has made an impact on the leadership here and they look to him for counsel and direction on a lot of issues.   The YSA’s and the young missionaries adore him.  I’m so proud of him and grateful that he is my companion!!  How quickly 40 years has gone.  As I look back on those wonderful years, I don’t remember so much the negative things.  I just remember so much of the good.  I have a picture of our children on our bedroom dresser, so it is usually the first thing I see in the morning.  As I was looking at all of them this week, my heart swelled with gratitude.  We are far from perfect, and we have made lots of mistakes, but I am so filled with love and gratitude for all of you and the impact for good you have made in my life!  I think of the fun, the laughter, the hugs, the late night talks, and just the time together!  Thank you to a fabulous husband who is so good to me, 12 beautiful children who are more precious than life itself, and 18 magnificent grandchildren who are the light of my life and my favorite blessings!  I am truly blessed.  40 years has been a fleeting moment in the eye of eternity!  I hope you know how grateful I am for all of you!

Sunday, we said goodbye to one of our YSA’s, John Ablett, who is leaving tomorrow for the MTC in Provo before he goes to Nova Scotia, Canada.  I hugged him and the tears just streamed down my face.  Then later we said goodbye to Madeleine Ary, one of our Cambridge students.  She got her master’s degree and is now heading to Washington DC to intern in the White House.  (If you are so inclined to write a letter to President Obama, do it now, because she will be the one to read them and respond!!!)  I cried as I hugged her.  I can see why service is a purifying doctrine!  As we serve, we forget ourselves and truly learn how to love as the Savior loves! 

I can’t express well enough how much I have grown to love our Heavenly Father and His Son and the Holy Ghost.  They are magnificent and so involved in so many of the details of our lives.  You are all great!  We love you and miss you all!  Have a great week!

With all our love,
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman



Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Beautiful Week

Dear family and friends,

The week has flown by and I am loving the opportunity and blessing to be in this beautiful country!  Summers in Cambridge are delightful!  It has gotten warm, but not hot.  The mornings and nights are cool, and perfect!  I could really get used to this!  I’m even getting to the point that I don’t mind the rain either!

All the schools are finished by the first of August, so the students have a 6 week summer holiday.  During that time it seems that everyone goes on a holiday.  It gets really quiet around here except for the vacationers visiting Cambridge from China.

We had a wonderful week, filled with miracles!  Monday night for FHE we had one of our friends from BYU teach the lesson.  Our friend, Alison Walker, the Methodist minister came to join us.  She joined us in singing the hymn and participated in the discussion which was centered around trials in our lives.  I asked her to share with the group her experience of finding God.  She shared how she felt inspired at a young age to become a minister.  We had her tell us what her ecclesiastical title was; Vicar, reverend, Pastor.  Brad interjected and told the group that the best title he would give her is “friend”.  She was very touched by that!  She came to our home after and joined us in treats.  The YSA’s were so kind to her.  She was very impressed and commented how wonderful it was to have such a discussion and wished we would do more of this kind of thing among churches.

We had the opportunity to have dinner with Alison and her husband Robin two days later.  It was an incredible experience!  For three hours we talked about doctrine.  We asked them about their beliefs on the Godhead, the resurrection, afterlife, the degrees of glory, pre earth life, Adam and Eve, tithing, the atonement, the sacrament, Methodist leadership, the church’s stand on gays and lesbians, women and the priesthood, and she asked us about our beliefs.  When we told them about continuous revelation through latter day prophets, they said, wow, we could use that!  It was an amazing opportunity for us to share our testimony on the doctrine of the church.  I don’t know that anything will ever change for them, but they know where we stand and that we love and respect them.  I think we have made some very genuine and eternal friends.

Another miracle we experienced this week was to visit and have lunch with our dear friends, Jim and Nita Haskins.  Our good friends from the ward, John and Vivienne Cook joined us.  Jim is a member of several years, but has never been active.  Nita is a member of the Church of England.  We had a fun visit and then Brad and John gave Jim a priesthood blessing.  We had asked him earlier if he would like a blessing as he was going in for knee surgery on Friday.  He was very willing and anxious!  So Brad described for them what a blessing is, how one must hold the priesthood, and the anointing  and blessing process.  I was so proud of him and the beautifully simple way he taught them.  He wanted to make sure they understood what was going to happen.  So Brad did the anointing and John sealed the anointing.  It was a beautiful blessing.  At the conclusion, we all just sat in silence for a short time and Nita began to cry.  She was weeping.  I hugged her and asked if she was ok.  When she regained her composure, she said, I have never felt this way before!  We explained to her that what she was feeling was the spirit of the Holy Ghost.  Then Jim began to cry.  The Spirit of the Lord was very strong in their home.  We continually pray for them that their hearts will be softened to embrace the gospel.  His surgery went well.  This is a great opportunity for us to serve them!

Brad had a great birthday!  Thank you for all who were so kind to remember him on his special day.  He felt such love from so many family members and friends!   We were able to hire a bus to take the YSA’s to the temple for the day which is always so fun and inspiring!  We got home and I was able to fib about a plan for the evening and got him to attend a surprise birthday party hosted by the High Priest group!!  They played a game asking questions about things associated with events that happened on August 13th!   I had a bunch of hamburger fixings from a YSA activity that we were able to eat up! Such a fun game, yummy food, and dear dear friends!

We had a marvelous week and felt the spirit in rich abundance!  We pray for you all every day and miss you very much!  The power of the gospel is real and we absolutely love our mission!  It has truly been and continues to be a blessing in our lives!

We love you all!

Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Great Week

Dear family and friends,

Wow!  It has been a full and rewarding week!  We have been busy with our YSA’s this week which has been really fun!

For FHE last week, we invited a member of our ward, Tyler Pitcher, to talk to the YSA’s about “Rescuing the One”. He serves in the airforce as a survival and rescue expert.  He has some incredible stories to share.  He teaches servicemen how to survive in the jungle, the desert, the cold and snow, and water and any other condition.  His job also includes debriefing men who are captured or involved in any military action.  He told a story of when he was going through basic training.  The rules are very rigid.  After lights out one night, he used a flashlight to read his Book of Mormon.  He was bothering a buddy in the next tent who saw his light.  Finally, his buddy got so angry he threatened to come and shut out his lights, so Tyler explained that he was reading the Book of Mormon.  “What’s that?”  Tyler told him they were scriptures.  “Why are you reading those?”  Tyler said it was what gave him strength to make it through basic training.  “Hey, can I read that book?”  Tyler agreed and each night after that they read the Book of Mormon together.  Several years later, while in South Korea, Tyler ran into this buddy who told him that he had joined the church.  We never know who we influence in a good way.  It was an outstanding evening and we had a big group.  I think this experience was as good for Tyler as it was for the YSA’s.  He brought one of his buddies with him, and Max came to church on Sunday as well!

Brad was able to give a few priesthood blessings this week, which is always a tender blessing for both of us.  We visited and gave a blessing to Derick Lavendar, a dear man in a care center, Emily Anderson, one of our YSA’s who was going in for some surgery, and Emily Cookson, one of our BYU YSA’s.  We are always so honored to be asked to help and have Brad exercise his priesthood. 

We had a big YSA group attend another Cambridge Shakespeare play, “Comedy of Errors”!  It was spectacular, and so fun to be together.  Then we planned a bike ride for the group, but the weekends are always hard for them as most are traveling, so we only had one YSA go with us on the ride, and another one join us in the Grandchester Orchard for juice and scones.  It was a gorgeous day.

We enjoyed having the Mancer’s join us for dinner at our home this week.  They are dear friends, not members of the church, but we love to spend time with them.  They were able to see pictures of our family.  We told them about Jaylee's baptism.  They asked if all our children were "in the church".  Any opportunities we can take to share anything about the gospel is such a blessing.

The highlight of our week, however, was being able to skype with Scott and Sherri to watch Jaylee get baptized.  David baptized her and there were a lot of friends and family there.  Scott confirmed her and afterward Jaylee asked if all of these people were there just for her.  She was very touched by the love and support of so many.  Shortly after we saw her baptized, we got to participate in a baptism for two young children, Jasmine, age 9 and Kelvin, age 11, in our Cambridge ward.  We were able to both speak about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  In this way, we kind of felt a part of what Jaylee experienced that day.  Jaylee, we are so grateful for you and your goodness!!!!

We can’t wait to tell you about this week!  Each week gets better and better!  I can’t remember if I wished Lily Bishop Happy Birthday on August 9th!!! What a beautiful and pure little 3 year old!  We love you Lily!

One of our senior missionaries sent us some humorous statements about being a senior missionary that I would like to pass on to you.  It should give you a chuckle and bring a smile to your spirit today!

We love you all!  Keep up the good work.  The Gospel is true!!!  We love it!!!


Dad and Mom

Papa and Grandma

Elder and Sister Jackman


Thoughts for the day:

1)       1. Going to bed early, 2. Not leaving my house, 3. Not going to a party—My childhood punishments have become my adult goals

2)      My goal for 2016 was to lose just 10 pounds.  Only 15 to go!

3)      Ate salad for dinner!  Mostly croutons & tomatoes.  Really just one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce.  And cheese.  FINE, it was a pizza.  I ate a pizza.

4)      How to prepare Tofu;  A. throw it is the trash. B.  Grill some meat.

5)      I just did a week’s worth of cardio after walking into a spider web.

6)      I don’t mean to brag but…..I finished my 14-day diet in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

7)      A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.

8)      Kids today don’t know how easy they have it.  When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.

9)      I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented…..I forgot where I was going with this.

10)   I love being over 50.  I learn something new every day…..and forget 5 others.

11)   I think I’ll just put an “Out of Order” sticker on my forehead and call it a day.

12)   Senility has been a smooth transition for me.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tender Mercies

Dear family and friends,

Happy Day!!! 

As I write a few words about our past week, it makes me pause and think about you all as I write!  I try to imagine myself sitting down with you and sharing my thoughts!  We have had some sweet experiences this week.  It’s amazing as we look forward to each new week, often we have some empty days, but as the week goes on, the days fill up with things that we had no idea would happen, and we recognize that the Lord is in charge of our schedule.  I can’t describe how tender and miraculous that has been to us!

It was transfer week, and as you know that is really hard on us!  We served our traditional waffle breakfast to say good-bye to those who are leaving us.  This time around, Elder Walker and Sister Becker were being transferred and Elder Chew was going home.  Although we only knew him for one transfer, we will miss him.  He was an incredible missionary!  And of course, we will miss Elder Walker and Sister Becker, but we will get to run in to them as we go to zone meetings.  Our new missionaries are Sister Cobabe from Sacramento.  She is the granddaughter of some very dear friends of Todd and Sue.  It continually amazes us how small the world has gotten for us here!!!  We have Elder Chong  a fabulous greenie from Viet Nam, and Elder Zollinger from Millville, Utah, a great missionary who’s been here for about 6 months.  We had our first district meeting with our new district and both Brad and I were amazed at the spirit we felt in the meeting.  These missionaries in our district are devoted and on fire to share the gospel.  We feel so blessed!

We had an issue with one of our YSA’s and the Methodist car park across the street, so we went over to the Methodist church to put things straight and apologize to Mike, the one we pay for the use of the building.  Well, Mike wasn’t there, but Alison Walker (the Methodist minister) and her husband, Robyn were there.  We had an incredible visit with them and helped them take some items to a charity shop in city centre.  We love these two!  We invited them to come to FHE with us and made an appointment for dinner with them in two weeks. (They were really excited to come to FHE, but they didn’t make it this week).  We’re really looking forward to dinner with them!

We got to go to the temple this week and had called people to go with us, but for one reason or another, they couldn’t go.  We were able to meet with Elder and Sister Record, friends from my parent’s ward in Ogden and had a lovely visit. The hour and a half drive home turned into 4 hours as we met up with horrendous traffic, so it was good we didn’t have anyone with us as we were meeting up with friends, the Budds for dinner.  There I had some of the best barbecued ribs I’ve ever had, even better then Texas!!!!  And Mike ordered a 15 inch hot dog!  And I thought everything was only big in Texas!!! 

Saturday morning we went with our YSA’s and missionaries to the Ascension cemetery for our monthly service project.  We are becoming family and we get so excited to see our friends!  We headed to London Saturday afternoon to meet up with Elder and Sister Gale to see Aladdin!  It was magnificent!  We were in the theatre district and surrounded by mobs of people.  They were around to attend the premier showing of the new Harry Potter play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”.  This is the newest book by  JK Rowling and they made it into a play to be shown in one theatre in the world.  We were there, not to see the play, but to mingle with the zillions of people who paid a king’s ransom for a ticket to see the play!

The highlight of our week happened on Sunday!  We were greeting at the door when who should walk in but our dear friends, Terry and Yvonne Ebbs!  This is the couple Brad grew to love while in South End on his first mission.  They have been inactive for about 30 years.  We had no idea they were coming.  Brad became very emotional. We were absolutely thrilled they were there.  They drove about 2 hours to come, and I hadn’t planned anything for dinner.  The tender mercy came when we introduced them to our dear friends, John and Vivienne Cook.  John pulled me aside and told me they had a great dinner at home and the people who invited to come weren’t able to make it and wondered if we would bring Terry and Yvonne with us to dinner.  You talk about the miracle of the loaves and fishes!  This was a miracle.  We spent the whole day together!  Another amazing thing was that the Ebbs knew the Cooks and their children knew each other over 30 years ago.  The Ebbs just returned from a 5 week road trip to the USA, and prior to that, Terry called Brad and told him that when they got back, they want to come back to church.  It was such a tender day for both of us.  We brought them to our home and Brad called his parents so they could say hello to the Ebbs.  The tears just rolled down Brad’s cheeks and Terry and Yvonne were incredibly touched to speak to Dad and Mom.

Brad and I were talking about when we get to the other side, how interesting it will be to see how the Lord had put things into place to make things work out the way they did!!!  We know that the Lord is in the details of His work upon the earth.  We feel it!  We know it and we love it!

Our newest missionary, Elder Chong bore his testimony in our district meeting this week and it touched me so very much.  He said, “I know the gospel is true, because I have lived it!”  I testify with all of my heart that if we live the gospel, we too will know will our whole souls, that it is true!  I can’t describe adequately enough how much I love this gospel and what it does to and for people who live it!  It is true!

We love you all!  Happy Birthday this week to Grandpa Glauser on August 6!  We love you so very much!

Dad and Mom
Papa and Grandma
Brad and Vicki


Yvonne and Terry Ebbs with Brad in front of King's College in Cambridge
Yvonne and Terry Ebbs surprised us at our Sunday meetings
crooked little house in Levenham with Nita and Jim Haskins
English countryside--near Flatford
Flatford bridge with the Jim and Nita Haskins
view from Flatford
Girton college chapel
Girton College organ
Here is my "Great Bradley"
Evensong with YSA's at Girton College

Mike Budd with his 15 inch hotdog

Sandra and Mike Budd

Sandra's Birthday surprise--such a fun day!