Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"What have you learned on your mission?"

One of the blessings of serving in the England London mission is our association with the other senior couples. Every other Monday we enjoy a special family home evening with them. We take turns being the host and provide the main course of the meal and the activity or lesson after dinner. We have eaten many delicious meals, laughed as we've played fun games, or been spiritually fed with great gospel discussions. Last Monday evening, Elder and Sister Neu were the hosts and after dinner Elder Neu started our discussion with the question, "What have you learned on your mission?" The Neu's will be going home in one month. Everyone at the table will be going home before us. Each took a turn to respond to this thought provoking question and the answers were varied and inspiring. I've thought about them many times in the past two days and reflected over and over what my response was and is to this question. Jim and I were seated to respond near the end with only Sister Hintze to conclude the discussion.

The lessons I am learning are too many to mention. I do not have adequate words to describe the experience we are having.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


About a year ago my Joyfer reached an incredible milestone - 545 miles on a bike. Her picture is one of triumph over mind and body to do such a thing.

This feat folllowed another of endurance and will as three years ago my Sophie completed the Ogden Marathon in record time.

These two events far outdistance and overshadow the Elder & Sister Watts milestone of 1,000 miles in walking around England. Nevertheless, this is a 'feet' of endurance as well.

Hooray... we're still in one piece.

Best wishes to all!

Love E & S Watts

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hever Castle

After working two Saturdays in a row, we had a free Saturday (P-day) to go exploring. We took a train ride with Elder and Sister Scott to Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. She was the second wife of Henry the VIII and was the key figure in the political and religious upheaval leading to the split with Rome, the Pope, the Catholic Church and the Church of England under the King's control. Anne, the mother of Elizabeth I, was subsequently beheaded by Henry's decree for charges of adultery and incest, which historians generally view as unconvincing.

History aside, the trip to the castle, walk through the castle and around the grounds was spectacular. The mile and a third walk from the train station along narrow country roads went past farms and fields that were.... well... idyllic and breathtaking come to mind (see the slide show in links at the right).

We decided to follow a less-travelled path back from the castle and found ourselves looking for Robin Hood and his merry men in a labrynth of trees and bushes. What a restful moment from the busyness of London!

Click on these pictures for a larger view.

Best wishes to all,

Elder & Sister Watts

Sunday, May 03, 2009

OOooopps.... The Slide '70'

This has been a great week! Most weeks have been very busy at the Family History Centre, and when we're supposed to have some 'Back Office' time [time to work on our own family history or do some online indexing], we've had projects to do for the center. But.... I've had some success of late in finding ancestors in old parish registers -- interesting stories, but probably only to me and too long to tell here. Anyway... we had a P-day and went to the temple on Tuesday and I took some names to get temple ordinance cards to send home to family for temple work. The London Temple is about an hour away by train. It was built in 1958 and just barely had Moroni added to the spire.

We had the late shift in the center on Thursday (work to 9pm), and we had time to do some extra-curricular things earlier in the day -- that usually means shopping. We went to Portobello Road where antique markets abound. We came home with two treasures - an 'Art Nouveau' silver-plated toast holder (1890-1905) and a 'Victorian' sugar shaker (1837-1901). Click on pictures for a larger view.

Then, because my nine-year-old pocket PC (antique status) is beginning to struggle, I bought an iPod Touch, which is pretty amazing. Mom has the toast holder and the sugar shaker; I have everything but the kitchen sink on my iPod Touch. Oh.. did I mention the unmentionable... I had a birthday on Friday, so what else, the iPod is from me to me.

Then on Friday we went to dinner with the Scotts (fellow missionaries at the FHC) and the Foulgers (Mission President and his wife) to a place called 'Sticky Fingers.' Pretty much a ribs place with American food, Rolling Stones memorabilia and the food's very good. Notice the new tie - two birthday ties from Barbara along with a sack of treats.

Then the surprise of the day - an album with lots of great photos and letters from all of my family. It is a TREASURE. It was a seven-kleenex effort to read it. My family is simply the greatest!

Life is good. We miss home, but we are having the time of our lives.

Love to all, Elder Watts