Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We arrived back at the Hyde Park Chapel about 3:40pm for an evening of dinner, caroling, entertaining skits and of course another performance of the "BELLS" President Foulger spoke and gifts were given. It was a very special day.
This is a Christmas tradition of the England London Mission and a gift to the missionaries. It is great to spend time with the young elders and sisters.
The Angel Moroni was placed on the London Temple yesterday, December 15th. England has not allowed this until now. ...... Sister Watts
Sunday, December 14, 2008
After many hours of practicing the Bells, we had our premier performance at Zone Conference on Thursday. I was nervous, but we played well and it was fun. On Friday evening after closing the Center at 6:00PM, we walked to a busy corner and played the 6 songs we know over and over for an hour while the young elders handed out pass-along cards and talked to anyone who would listen, about the church. We played again on Sunday night, after the broadcast of the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional, for a special musical program that the Hyde Park Institute Choir presented to the Stake. The place was packed and we played 4 numbers. It was a special evening. ......... Sister Watts
Sunday, December 07, 2008
We enjoyed a wondeful P-day at the Dickens Festival with our friends, Mike and Kella Scott. The streets of Rochester, that Charles Dickens explored as a child and in his later years, were filled with costumed characters, and sights and sounds of an era that inspired and troubled Dickens. The "Dickensian" events entertained us all day. We also loved the many quaint shops that lined the cobblestone streets.
The Rochester Castle is one of the best preserved Norman architecture in England and the Rochester Cathedral was founded in 604. We spent the day enjoying the Dickens Festival and decided to come back when the crowds are smaller to tour the castle and the cathedral.... and maybe when it's warmer. It was really cold..... they had snow-making machines to help with the ambiance.
The Dickens aura was all around with singers playing parts and then singing the query... Who the 'dickens' am I? for the crowd to guess the character. It was just plain fun to see and be there. One of Dicken's short stories is entitled, "The Seven Poor Travelers" and it involves a legacy for a 16th century man named Richard Watts, Esq. You can read about this and how it Dickens' story is reenacted each year at the Festival at http://www.thewatts.net/wattski/JWPage4.html.
The day was started by a really colorful Town Crier in front of the Cathedral who announced the proceedings. Then followed bell ringers, bands, singers, chimney sweeps, The Seven Poor Travellers' Procession (see link above) and the Grand Parade down High Street.
The Costumes were really well done and fun.
Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas Season!!
Elder & Sister Watts
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thanksgiving was a work-day in London ... and we had the late shift in the FHC as well - open until 9pm. But thanks to the modern marvel of Skype and computers we were able to share a few moments of Thanksgiving with family... without the tastes, smells and hugs though.
We made up for it with a full-course Thanksgiving meal yesterday with our mission family -- all the other senior couples. It was a great meal and brought a touch of home to our week. We are thankful for wonderful friends and family without whose support this journey would not be quite as satisfying. We appreciate your emails, blog comments and most of all..... prayers.
We are grateful for blessings that continue to amaze. Most of all we are grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who makes it possible for us to have hope in spite of inadequacy and shortcomings. May you all feel of our love for you and our wishes that you have a wonderful holiday season.
Elder & Sister Watts
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Today, as we got on and sat down, there was a black lady in the seat across that was speaking in a bright, animated voice. I glanced her way to see to whom she was speaking... most likely a cell phone, but I soon realized that she was speaking to the 'air'. This went on until she got off two stops along the way.
The most prevalent type of experience relates not to global warming, but air pollution. Yesterday I believe it was garlic and onions for breakfast (not me mind you) and today it was .. oops somebody and I do mean some 'body' forgot to shower last month.
In the absence of TV, which I've come to think is a pretty good thing, I've been reading a book entitled "The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground was built and how it changed the city forever." It's been very interesting to read about the world's first underground railway.
I'm just sorry that our chauffeur has yet to show up for us and we are left to travel as best we can... but then maybe that's a pretty good thing too. Just think of the stories we would otherwise miss. Proverbs 1:5
These are all God's children, and we have met some wonderful people as we travel to and from and serve in the Family History Centre.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday was a clear, cool day in London and perfect to explore Hampstead and Hampstead Heath with our friends from the Family History Center. Seated: Elder Ross Richins, Sister Claudia Inskeep, Sister Judy Richins, Sister Barbara Watts. Top: Elder Don Inskeep and Elder Watts. We had a wonderful time.
Hampstead has fun antique shops, pubs and open spaces (Hampstead Heath) with ponds and beautiful views. Today's famous people (film & rock stars) live in the same houses as the famous of previous centuries. We visited Wentworth Place, where John Keats lived when he wrote some of his greatest works. Ian Fleming of 007 fame lived in Hampstead as did a man named Goldfinger, who built a home that Fleming thought was atrocious -- hence Goldfinger became a bad guy in his novel. We had a delightful lunch (squash soup and cremé brulé) on the patio of the Kenwood House, an early 17th century gentleman's country home, and is now a major art gallery with works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Turner. Some of the movie Notting Hill (Julia Roberts) was filmed here. I was in heaven!!
The Spaniards Inn, built in 1585 as a tollgate inn, still guards the road to a single lane -- which now is a traffic bottleneck-- at the top of the Heath. See the link for pictures.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
#2 We have a rather curious ... well no way to call a spade but a spade... toilet seat. See the London Life link at the right and judge for yourself.
#3 We have accumulated a fair amount of items that have been left by other senior missionaries and are now pretty comfortable in our flat. However, a couple left for home on Friday, and there were a few items they left behind that we decided we could use. These were a bucket (bright lime green) , some cleaning supplies and a very tall floor lamp (we'll call it VTFL). See the London Life link at right to see how tall. We decided to take these home on Monday. The VTFL was heavy -- and did I say 'tall' -- not very convenient to take on a bus, so we decided to walk (1.3 miles). Oh, and did I mention that it was raining. To protect the halogen globe and business end of the lamp, we put a plastic shopping bag (orange in color) over the top of the lamp and set out for home. So here's a mental picture: Sister Watts carrying a lime green bucket full of cleaning supplies in one hand, bag over her shoulder and umbrella in the other hand -- Elder Watts carrying the VTFL with a shopping bag on the end, attache bag over his shoulder and umbrella in the other hand. It was much easier to carry the VTFL, which was quite heavy on the bottom end, in a close to horizontal position, so it looked like a jousting pole with an orange bag on the end. If you've read this far, suffice it to say the trip was uneventful, but we must have been quite a funny sight.
Best wishes to all, E & S Watts
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Many of our patrons come every week and don't need help except for me to get them a film or scan them a copy. When someone asks me something I don't know (every day) I find someone to help them and try to learn.
We are exploring London every chance we get and finding some amazing places to enjoy. Yesterday, we went to the Guildhall, a fascinating and beautiful place which houses a library and an art museum. It was built over an old Roman coliseum and some of the old walls are preserved. We saw women dressed in Elizabethian dress of the 1570's, Walked the London Bridge, Tower Bridge, visited the financial district where 350,000 people work, and only 5,000 live. Places like Lloyds of London, bank of London etc. etc. View the link of pictures if you would like.
We went to our new ward today after traveling 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus, tube and walking. We will have to work hard to learn the names of these faithful saints from many parts of the world. There are very few white members and we are looking forward to getting to know and love them.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Well... here's Elder & Sister Watts at the MTC pointing at 'our' island. It may not be tropical and in the Pacific, but it is rainy with balmy breezes. We started our day with England-like rain and, tho you can't see it, my suit is soaked.
We also had one more send-off from the 'Going-away Gang'