Friday, October 31, 2014

Derek's Baptism

Thursday October 30, 2014 was a special day for us.  The past month we have had the privilege of helping to teach Derek with Elder Miller and Elder Sarjeant in our home.  He is a wonderful young man who moved here from China to attend the University of Hertfordshire here. His name is Meng Yao Zhung (pronounced Mung Yeow Jung) but when he arrived here one of his teachers said his name would be Derek (random).   He is still learning English.  During General Conference the beginning of this month he came for the first time with a friend to our home.  I recognised that he was not very fluent in English so we had conference in English in one room and in Mandarin in the living room.  He loved it and wanted to know more.  The amazing thing is that Boon, who was baptised last Saturday has been helping to teach Derek this past couple of weeks.  He speaks several languages and has been able help Derek understand as he explains the gospel to him in Mandarin.   It has been a good experience for both of them.   He has such a sweet spirit about him and is so excited to learn more.  Both him and Boon have said they didn't know anything about Jesus Christ before and how happy they are to know of Him and learn about him.  He enthusiastically but reverently sings the hymns.  He was very emotional after being baptised and said how happy he was.  

Boon spoke at the baptism - it was amazing.  He was proud to be wearing a new suit he bought - he had never owned a suit before.  We mad sure they had new shirts and ties after their baptisms. Boon spoke in English and then Mandarin on baptism.  Derek asked Colin if he would baptise him and Karen spoke on the Holy Ghost.  It was an honour.  He says we are like his mom and dad and he loves us.

Elder Nemeth and Derek

Derek with Elder and Sister Nemeth

Ahh selfies!  Rich, Elder Miller, Derek and us in this one

Elder Jensen, Derek and Elder Anderson
These Elders are our Zone leaders

Sister Grant, Derek, and Sister Ordanza

Elder Sarjeant, Derek, and Elder Miller
These are our Hatfield Elders
We work with all six missionaries.  The zone leaders and Sisters are in
St Albans.  We are all in the St Albans ward and work closely - just different areas to
cover.  We teach with all six of them at various times - many times in our home- sometimes at others homes.

Eder Nemeth, Derek and Boon

The guys at our house before we left for the church

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Boon's Baptsm

Saturday October 25th was a special day.  Boon Tan was baptised.  Boon has been investigating the church for about 10 months now.  He is studying at the University of Hertfordshire to become a lawyer (solicitor).   The university (or Uni as they call it here) is basically why this town of Hatfield is so busy.  It is a university city and our home is just a block from one of the two very busy campus here.  We have had the great pleasure of getting to know Boon as he has been in our home many times for Family Home Evening, General Conference, movies, teaching with the Elders, meals, and just visiting.  He is from Malaysia but wants to eventually go to Vancouver so was very excited to hear we are Canadian because he has always loved Canada.

It has been wonderful to watch as he has grown in his knowledge of the gospel and this past week has been very helpful in helping us teach Derek.  Derek is a new student, this year, from China and speaks very little English at this point.   He can understand some of what we are teaching him and is so excited to learn all he can.  We have had him in our home to watch General Conference and a movie - all which we played in Mandarin for him.  Boon speaks 5 languages so was able to help in teaching.  It was wonderful to see him teach Derek and explain the gospel to him.   We took Boon, Derek and Erjia (she was baptised about a year ago) to St Albans to the church for the baptism.

Boon, Erjia, and Derek

Elder and Sister Nemeth with Boon at his Baptism Oct 25,2014

Elder Sarjeant, Boon and Elder Miller
These are our Hatfield missionaries that we work quite closely with
Elder Allen (from Wales in another picture) also helped to teach Boon with us
before he was transferred a few weeks ago.

A few of our YSA
Erjia, Samantha (Sam), Derek, Boon, Rich, and Callum

It is amazing to be a part of this great work.  As these young people hear the gospel and have a desire to be baptised it is incredible to see the happiness it brings them and how excited they are for everything.  They want to just learn more and more.  It is easy to see how the gospel will continue to go to all the world as these young people come from all over the world  to England (we are currently teaching people from all parts of Asia, Uganda, Nigeria, Columbia, Slovakia and a bunch of other places), hear the gospel for the first time, join the church, then return to their countries, strengthen the church there and bring the message to their friends and families.   It is happening all over.

Yesterday before Boon was baptised Derek was sitting in the chapel and asked me about the printed program for the baptism.  He did not know what the word "hymn" was so I explained that to him and showed him the hymn book.  Then he asked about "invocation and benediction" - again I explained.  Then he asked me to sing "I Am A Child of God" to him.  So quietly I sang the first verse to him.  He was so excited and asked if we could please sing it again when Boon is baptised and pointed to the 1st, 2nd and then 3rd verses as asked if this is how we sing them.  I told him, yes, we would be singing it when the program started.  When everyone arrived and it started he was following his hymn book and singing with great enthusiasm, but very reverently, all 3 verses.  He was so thrilled to be able to sing those words.  He told me he liked them, they made him feel very good inside.  It was such a sweet testimony to me.  I love that song and the very real message it gives.  He also was singing along with the closing hymn "Choose the Right".  It was indeed a very special day.  Derek told Boon on the way home he is very excited for his baptism and wants to be baptised soon.

Tonight we have a meeting with some YSA to get a few more activities organised and calendared.  Our days are long and our nights are late because that is when most of our YSA are available and want to do things.  Days are spent with people coming to the house to be taught, preparing lots of food or shopping for it, cleaning up or preparing for the next event, and sometimes just walking to enjoy the beautiful paths near here.  Still have not taken time to do any great site seeing but will do that sometime in the future.  For now we are getting things moving and loving the work.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Love the Ivy

 Everywhere there are ivy plants growing - covering the ground, climbing walls, homes, and tree trunks.  I love the ivy.  It was the one plant I remember growing as a young girl that actually grew and I was proud of.  Now here in England it is everywhere we walk.  Lots of Holly as well .. . "The Holly and The Ivy"  So here are some pictures we took.  This path is behind our house and runs for miles.  Great for a long walk.

Ivy Climbing tree trunks
Ivy covering the ground

Ivy bushes

Our favourite walking path with Ivy growing up all the trees

These tall grass plants are popular here.
I call them feather duster plants because that is what they look like to me

This is one of our many little grey squirrels that frequents our back yard

First weeks of October

We had a fun lunch at Nandos with Elder Miller and Elder Allen.  Great food!!  Such fun.

Conference weekend we had lots of people over for the five different sessions.  Not sure these pictures actually show how many we had but again - that would be the photographers fault!  Lots of food and late nights as it is from 5-7 p.m. and then 9-11 p.m. each day. Priesthood session and the women's conference were shown during the day because they are live in at 1 a.m.  

We are in the St Albans ward. The building is about a 15 minute drive from our house.  Very friendly.  We have enjoyed several meals with ward members who invited us to the home.  Our Thanksgiving dinner was a delicious roast lamb, with Yorkshire pudding, and all the trimmings, finished off by Trifle for dessert.  A real British meal shared with the Thomas and Hawkshaw families.  They do not celebrate Thanksgiving or harvest or anything like that here in England.

 The weather really has been great - we are told unseasonably warm.  This day, however, it was pouring rain and instead of taking cover under one of the many trees around these pigeons lined up on the fence and braved the storm.

This was out ward Fish and Chip dinner with "mushy peas".  Actually to be perfectly honest the mushy peas were the best part of the meal!  Guess we are just not fish and chip kind of people.

A Month's Worth of Adventures

Wow, cannot believe it has been so long since I posted anything.  For those of you kind enough to keep following us, we apologise!  It has been a busy month of getting to know people and places here in the St Albans Stake.

Every Monday evening our home is filled with YSA for Family Home Evening.  It is a fun evening that we spend a good part of the day preparing for.  We have had as few was 12 and as many as 40 (the house was bursting at the seams that night!).   They YSA do the spiritual thought and lesson.  We always have a meal after (thus why much of the day is spent in preparation) and an activity/game.   I only remember to get the camera after most have left . . . here are a few I remembered to take.

A Small meal one evening
September 25th we took the train into London, then took the "tube" to get to the mission home in South Kensington for a Zone Conference. It as a full day - fun too!

President & Sister Jordan and us at Zone Conference (great photo bomb Elders)
Our District
Sisters Osmeni (from Albania) & Gorniak (Tasmania)
Elder Miller (Utah) Sister and Elder Nemeth
Elder Allen (Wales) Anderson (Utah) and Adams (South Africa) 

Fun musical number some of the Sisters sung

3 Elders doing a rap they made up while waiting in traffic

Will post this now and make another post with other things so it doesn't get too long!!