Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trip To The London Temple

We have been in London for 3 months today and we were able to go to the Temple. It took us about an hour driving through beautiful English country side on a bus to get there, and it was good to get out of the busy city. There were two buses with about 22 in each bus that were able to go and the day will be repeated next Tuesday for the rest of the missionaries who carried on with their regular duties.

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

Fun - Full Week in London

We've enjoyed a busy week with many fun activities. December is typically a slow month in the Family History Center and we have had fewer patrons than usual, but we had a shipment of 800 new films to check, label, sort and find a place for. Our director, Sharon Hintze, who has been out of town for several weeks is back and she always finds extra interesting duties for us. We have several patrons who spend many hours at our center and they have been kind with gifts of flowers, cards and treats. They express their appreciation for all we do.

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

Rochester's Dickensian Christmas

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