Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Circle of Life

Well.... here's a profound thought for the day culled from a long ago memory. Just short of forty-seven years ago Barbara and I were living in a small rental house trailer in Monroeville, PA. The trailer had one bedroom, a bathroom, kitchen and living room. We had no TV and spent lots of time walking, talking, reading and at the end of the day..... we sometimes played Gin Rummy.

Fast forward to 2009 and here we are in London England. We live in a small 'flat' that has one bedroom, a bathroom, kitchen and living room. We have no TV and spend lots of time walking, talking, reading and at the end of the day.....last Sunday night we played.... you guessed it.... Gin Rummy.

Now... That's Progress

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A typical week in the life of Elder and Sister Watts

Sunday, January 18th. The Piccadilly underground line we usually take to church was closed so we had to go to plan B which was a bus, tube, train ride and another bus ride. It took us one hour and 20 minutes to get there and we arrived barely in time for the Sacrament. I taught the Gospel Doctrine Class and I loved what I learned about Joseph Smith's First Vision. I get good responses when I ask questions, the people are great. Jim taught the Young Men and he had a good lesson experience.
We were invited to the Stoke's (HP Group Leader & RS President) home for dinner and we enjoyed a feast. She is a black lady from the Caribbean and he is from England and a convert of seven years. A young man about 25 years old from Tanzania also came to dinner. He joined the church when he was 16 and is the only member from his family. We loved to hear their conversion stories. What great faith and commitment they have.

Monday, January 19th. We arrived at the Centre at 10:am. Every Monday Sister Richins and I count the money we've taken in, prepare a bank deposit and a financial report for the Church, and then we walk to the bank. A church auditor came as we were in the process and we reported to him how we handle the finances of the FHC. We have not been audited for years. He questioned a few of the things we have purchased over the years, but seemed to like the way we handled the money. It will be interesting to see his report.

We worked all afternoon on a special project that Sharon Hintze has us doing. We are indexing Irish Land Valuation Films. We have 356 and it takes about an hour to do each one.

We enjoyed Family Home Evening with our missionary friends. There are good cooks here in London too.

Wednesday was Zone Conference which is a special day with about 40 of the young elders and the 12 Seniors. It is always a spiritually uplifting day with instruction from President and Sister Foulger and training by several of the elders. I had to demonstrate how to eat a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, not once but twice, as a training aid (fun way to be a guinea pig).

Our time in the Centre with patrons is always interesting and challenging. We are keeping busy and I am learning a few things each day.

Friday night we went with the senior missionaries to see "The Sound of Music" at the London Palladium (a beautiful theatre). It was a wonderful production and we loved it.

On Saturday we went with the Inskeeps to walk around some parts of London: The London Stone, St. Mary le Bow Church and of course enjoy hot chocolate and pastries. We then went to the Evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral. Words cannot describe that magnigicent place. It was a fun and relaxing day - just what I needed.

St. Mary le Bow on the left, St. Paul's dome on the right. Both Sir Christopher Wren's work, and both very beautiful.

We are truly blessed - we are learning to love many things about London.
Love, Sister Watts

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Canterbury Tales...

We feel challenged in our Family History assignment and in our Lea Valley Ward assignments, but the truth is that we are truly blessed in our mission calling. We work with three other senior couples who are fast becoming dear friends. Also, due to the nature of the FHC operation, we had a mission vacation, so to speak, with some days off for the FHC holiday closing schedule.

We took advantage of this time to spend a few days with Jane and Jake, who were able to visit for Christmas. It was a delight to be with them and along with our Bell-playing and other Christmas involvement with our senior missionary friends and our kind FHC patrons made being away for Christmas a little less sad. We spent several hours at President Foulgers, along with Jane and Jake, on Christmas morning for a Christmas "brunch."

With Jane we visited St. Paul's Cathedral, the British Library, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum. Sister Watts and Jane went to the National Gallery as well. If you have an interest there's a brief report on some of this at http://www.thewatts.net/wattski/.

Jane left on Monday the 29th and we worked at the FHC through to New Year's eve, but closed early. Went to dinner with the Senior's (couples and two sisters) and celebrated quietly.

On Thursday we went to Canterbury with the Inskeeps and the Scotts. It's about a two hour train ride and was delightful. Canterbury is steeped in history..... Thomas Beckett, Chaucer, Roman Settlement, St. Augustine, King Aethelbert and Bertha. Check the link for pictures. We spent two nights and thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

Back to Lea Valley today and a great day in our ward meetings. Sister Watts gave a terrific Gospel Doctrine lesson to start the year on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History. Tomorrow it's back to the Family History Centre.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year! Elder & Sister Watts