Friday, October 7, 2016

A Jolly Holiday with family!!!!

Dear family and friends,

What a glorious past two weeks!!!    Our lives have been blessed by family, and by being taught at the feet of apostles and prophets!  Wasn’t conference wonderful!  The talks were powerful and the music inspirational.  We truly came away uplifted and motivated.  A lot was said on missionary work and the doctrine of Christ, repentance specifically!  I loved the directness and power of those who shared testimony and truth.  It was truly an inspirational experience for us!!!

Our past few weeks started with an opportunity for Brad to speak to the USU Huntsman Scholar students at Oxford University.  This was out of our mission and we were given permission by President Stevens to participate in this annual event.  We joined the group of 30 for dinner the night before and then Brad spoke to them for about 90 minutes the next morning.  He shared lessons he has learned in the business world.  I was very moved by the things he said.  His closing statement was “Never, never, ever loan, rent, or sell your integrity!”  It was really an awesome and inspiring experience to watch him share his thoughts wearing his missionary nametag.  I was so proud of him.  The student scholars were very impressed with his presentation.  At the end, I was able to join in on a question and answer session.  They asked how one measures success and finds balance.  I quoted President Harold B. Lee, that “no success can compensate for failure in the home”.  These were not all LDS kids, attending a state university, but we felt the values we shared were universal principles.  It was a humbling and delightful experience for the both of us.  As we had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours in the Oxford area, we stopped in to take a quick tour of Blenheim Palace, the place where Winston Churchill was born.  It is a magnificent palace built and designed by a Duke of Marlborough.  As we went through the palace, we saw out of the windows a polo match being played, and rows of very expensive cars.  Come to find out, they were filming a #5 Transformer movie.  The next day they filmed a car chase through the streets of Oxford, and the next week, they filmed a car chase scene over the Tower Bridge in London.  (Anthony Hopkins is starring in this film, and no, we didn’t get to see him!)

Last Sunday, Kent and Heather and Dave and Julie arrived at Heathrow Airport! They were able to go to church at Hyde Park Chapel in their travel clothes. (Kent and Heather were supposed to fly in on Saturday, but their plane had mechanical problems, so they had to wait until the next day to fly out.  The funny thing was that when they got on the plane for the first flight, they took a unisom to help them sleep.  They sat on the plane for 4 hours before they were told that the flight had been cancelled.  Then they had to get a hotel room.  Needless to say they were pretty dopey and very exhausted!)  After church, Brad and I caught a train and headed to meet up with the kids at a flat we had rented in London.  We toured around London and had a ball. (The President knew our kids were coming and that we were spending some time with them, in case you were wondering!)  We saw London on the On and Off Bus tour, saw St. Paul’s Cathedral from the top, saw parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey (we got to attend an evensong there!), tower of London, tower bridge, Windsor Castle, the British Museum, Wimbledon, see the musical Matilda, see Heather participate in a street entertainer’s show, and eat lots of food, play games, and have a blast together.  We saw London at a break neck speed, but had so much fun doing it.  We then came back to Cambridge.  We went on walks in the city and country, and even got to play tennis on clay and artificial turf courts.  (the grass courts were not accessible).  We walked through the markets.  Kent, Dave and I tried a lot of the international food while Brad and the girls went into a very posh jewelry store. We got to introduce the kids to some of our friends in the shops.   We got to have tea with our wonderful neighbors, the Steen’s.  The kids enjoyed so much talking and hearing the little Steen girls speak.  Then we got to listen to conference and enjoyed dinner and conference with a few of our YSA’s.  The week went by so fast and was so fun.  We were sad to see the kids go, but we are now more excited and motivated to work hard as we complete our mission.

Thanks Dave and Julie, Kent and Heather for coming and spending time with us, and thank you Nate and Becca for watching Asher and Roberta and Annie for watching the Bishop clan!  We love you all and are so very grateful for family.  You are the light of our lives.  Happy 30th Birthday to Becca on Oct. 3!  What a magnificent daughter!  How we love you and your mother heart!

We are so grateful to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is the fullness of God’s gospel on the earth today, the stone cut out of the mountain without hands that is rolling forth and filling the whole earth.  We are so happy to be a part of that great gathering! 

With all our love,

Dad and Mom

Grandpa and Grandma

Elder and Sister Jackman

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