Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day

Dear family and friends,

I was meaning to write this blog on Monday!  I can’t believe that it is Friday already.  I honestly can’t believe how fast the time goes.  So I will give a brief update from last week, if I can remember!  That’s why I write things down in my diary (that’s what they call a day planner in the UK)

Well, Halloween has come and gone!  This year we had 3 trick or treaters stop by!  Wow!  That is a record!  We did hold our annual pumpkin carving and sugar cookie decorating event.  We had a couple of newbys this year and it is so fun to see how these Chinese kids get soooo excited to carve a pumpkin.  I’ll send some pictures!

We’ve had the opportunity to have our new friend, Harry, and the sister missionaries here for lunch.  We’ve had some great visits with members of the ward, those who are struggling with their testimonies, a dear sister who just lost her husband, and a bishopric member and his family who we just adore!.  Friday night we were invited by our dear Callum Church (our non member Cambridge law student) to attend a Downing College Formal Hall. We also took one of our new YSA’s with us.  Now this is really posh stuff.  Cambridge students may bring invited guests.  The students are invited to wear their gowns, (J.K. Rowling got all her ideas for Harry Potter from Cambridge, I’m sure!) and all must wear nice clothes. They are to remain in the hall during the meal and cannot leave for any reason until the meal is over.  They are to be polite, despite the fact that most of the students who came into the hall carried their own bottle of alcohol in with them.  The food was very nice.  The long tables had large candleabras and it looked like the dining hall in Hogwarts!  The pudding (dessert) was a crème brulee.  If a student found a 10p (dime) in their dessert, they were to eat the entire dish without using their hands.  If someone tossed a 10p into their wine glass, they were to drink the whole drink in one gulp.  The poor student sitting next to me found one in his dessert and it was comical to watch him eat it for a few bites anyway. Following the meal we were escorted out and got to watch the fireworks.  November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day and the whole country goes crazy with fireworks.  They are really beautiful despite the fact that it is freezing outside!  It was a very nice evening!

 Saturday, we were asked by St. Giles Church to help them clean up around an old church just down the street from us.  They know we like to clean up church yards and have become very dear friends.  This day was officially Guy Fawkes Day.  This is a day they honor as the day decades ago when a group of protestors were planning to blow up Parliament.  But apparently someone heard about it and they caught Guy Fawkes, one of the perpetrators, who was hung and quartered.  Hence, every November 5, the British build huge bonfires and shoot off fireworks.  This year however, instead of burning Guy Fawkes in effigy, several groups burned Donald Trump in effigy!!!  We went with a YSA to Castle Hill, the highest point in Cambridge and watched an amazing display of fireworks! 

We had a ward fast for one of our dear friends who is going in for a heart procedure.  This was really a tender experience as it was a real bonding for the ward and for our friend!  After church, a young sister called and asked us to come over as her husband was having a really bad time.  She was afraid for him.  Our visit was a good one, and I think it gave this young couple some hope that they were loved and that Heavenly Father cares about them.  Someone once said that a senior mission is like home and visiting teaching on steroids.  You know, it really is a lot like that!

It has been an amazing week.  We are so grateful that we can serve.  It has really been a life changing experience.  It’s as though I’ve become less judgmental and recognized how the Lord loves all of His children and wants them all to come home. 

We love you all!  God lives!  Jesus is the Christ!  His Church is here in its fullness on the earth!

Have a great week!


Dad and Mom

Papa and Grandma
Elder and Sister Jackman

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