Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Family Home Evening

We had a lovely Family Home Evening December 15th.  Decided to hold it at the St Albans chapel so there was more room for games and fun.   The theme was from the song "Do You Have Room" and we focused talks on having room for the Savior in our lives, being humble -like the sheppards, and wise as men of old.  It was a wonderful lesson and well received.

Then of course there was food and a game.  Lots of fun for all.  A great evening

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Birthday Pampering

Sister Nemeth is feeling very pampered and loved after a very full day of birthday wishes and surprises.  Boon and Erjia came over to cook lunch for us.   It was all so delicious.  A true Chinese meal, cooked fresh.   Derek and the Hatfield Elders joined us to eat.  Absolutely delicious!!  The Elders brought me beautiful roses and a card, Derek brought a big box of Bodyshop strawberry gifts.

Boon and Erjia cooking pork dumplings, abby book choy with pork,
chicken, rice, and wonton soup for our feast

The chefs

Table with food before it was devoured

The party

Roses from Elder Miller and Elder Sarjeant

Being Monday and usually being a full day of preparation for FHE in the evening I had put things in the crock pot and made other plans for that - good thing.   Our guests stayed and we visited and had fun until it was late in the afternoon and we had to leave for an appointment.  We arrived home just before everyone arrived for FHE.  Again I was overwhelmed by the gifts, cards and wishes that poured in.  Once every had left - about 11:00 p.m. I was able to read and view all the wishes and e-cards on the computer.  It was truly a wonderful day.  Not sure I have ever had such a day of celebration for my birthday.
Gold Frankincense diffuser

Chocolate Cookie house 

So many gifts and treats

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Decorating our Tree December 5, 2014

December 5th we had a fun evening decorating our Christmas Tree with some of our YSA friends and our Hatfield Elders.   Erjia, Boon, Derek and Choi have never celebrated Christmas.  Elder Miller and Sarjeant came to help too. Took a little while to get the star on the top without it falling over - eventually Sister Nemeth crawled onto a chair and got the job done!  It was fun to watch as they hung balls on the tree - all at the same place - eye level!  Sister Nemeth had to instruct them that they need to fill the tree - not just one spot. Took a little coaching but they finally finished hanging the balls and ceramic candy canes (they don't have the real ones in England - at least not plentiful like in North America).  Then we put the bead garland on and had pictures.  They were excited about the tree.  We read for the scriptures and explained why we have Christmas - to celebrate the birth and life of Jesus, why we have some of the decorations we do and the meaning behind them.  Then we watched "Joy to the World" video and has fresh fruit (a favourite with them), cheese, crackers, pizza, and a few treats. Lots of fun and laughs.

The next day Sister Nemeth finished off the decorating . . .

Elder Nemeth and Boon attempt yet again to get the Star to stay on top!

Boon, Derek and Erjia

Choi and Erjia hanging decorations
Elder Sarjeant photo bomb

Elder Miller arranging some balls

Elder Sarjeant hanging ornaments.  Derek resting from his labours

Elder and Sister Nemeth with Derek ( he calls us Mom and Dad), Choi, Erjia and Boon

Our decorating team

Finished product after some Sister Nemeth adjustment the next day!

Our special December 1st gift that we love from our wonderful family!  Such a treasure.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

St Albans Christmas Markets

The St Albans Christmas market is really nice.  Santa or Father Christmas as many call him here was in his Grotto with no one seeing him so I popped in for a visit with him!!  It is a little hut with woodland animals and trees in it.  The children get a gift from him when they visit the Grotto (you can see the gifts in the picture beside him) and there are mushroom stools to sit on.  Had a wonderful visit with him!!

Also saw the St Albans Cathedral and clock tower. Will be great place to wander with a beautiful park surrounding it this spring and summer.

My friend Sharon with the Market in the background

Incredible wooden carvings at one of the market stalls

St Albans Cathedral

Father Christmas in his Grotto

Sister Nemeth and Father Christmas in the Grotto

The Grotto (some say Santa some Father Christmas)

Interesting little door on the clock tower

Family Home Evening

Every Monday evening our home is filled with young single adults (YSA) who come for Family Home Evening (FHE).  It is a wonderful night with songs, prayer, spiritual thought, lesson, food, more food and games that last until late evening each week.  Our house is not very big so it kind of bursts at the seams sometimes but all seem to have fun and return every week.  Here is a picture of this week as the first few were arriving.  I have been able to put up a very few decorations for Christmas and we are enjoying them.  Soon we will get a tree up.

Mission Conference November 25th

November 25th we had a special conference with the England London Mission and the England London South missions together at the Hyde Park Chapel in London.  Elder Quentin L Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke to us.  He and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland both served their missions many years ago in England so he had wonderful stories to share with us.  He talked about how the gospel is going to all the world and spreading quickly and how England is a large part of that.  We certainly have seen it as young people from Ghana, China, Nigeria, Germany, Slovakia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and a host of other countries have been taught the gospel here an been baptised.  They are excited to take it back to their countries when they return after finishing "Uni" (university) here.  Elder Cook old of a Bishop in Africa who came up to him when he recently visited there.  This Bishop knew Elder Cook had served his mission in England and told hi he was baptised while going to school in England and now he was serving as a Bishop in Africa.  He expressed gratitude for the blessings of the gospel in he and his family's life.  

He talked about faith, teaching, discouragement, loving and appreciating our companions and learning from them (very easy to do when your companion is your spouse!!), and a host of other things. We will feel at times in adequate - that is normal!  Revelation and inspiration will provide what is needed because of our lack of experience.  When the day for performance comes the time for preparation is past.   He left a blessing that we will understand what we are doing here and recognise that our families will be blessed more than if we were at home.  Any challenges we have will be overcome.  He took questions from many in the group and answered them as well.  It was a great meeting.  Not sure I can capture it adequately in this small write up.

Elder Clifford T Herbertson from the 70 was traveling with him and spoke briefly - as did the mission presidents from both missions.  It was a great day.   

All shook Elder Cook's hand before the meeting

England London Missionaries on steps of Royal Albert Hall

Platform 9 3/4 (for all you Harry Potter fan)

Hype Park Chapel Christmas tree at the end of a soggy walk

District Meetings

A couple of times a month we have our District meetings here at our house.  Always great to have these meetings and watch as these young missionaries lead.  As we discuss what we are doing in the area, the people we are teaching, and do training it is amazing to us to watch these young men and women lead and teach one another.  We are privileged to work with such great missionaries.  Elder Jensen had a birthday so we made sure we celebrated that as well.  Always feed them a lunch after the meeting anyway.

Indexing Challenge

Elder Ballard asked all the YSA in Europe to participate in indexing records for family history on November 24th.  We indexed 142 batches!!   Reported our numbers to Frankfurt and were part of 82 other YSA groups throughout Europe who participated that evening.  Of course there is always lots of food and fun that goes along with our events!!

Guy Fawkes Night - November 5th

As you can see we are a little behind in our blogging!  Sorry to all those who are trying to figure out what we are up to over here in England.  It has been busy few weeks.  I attempt to take some pictures to document a few of the things we do.

November 5th is "Guy Fawkes Night."  It is interesting because we heard lots about "bonfire night and fireworks" for awhile before the actual night.  Fireworks were blasting off every night for about two weeks before and a week or so after.  They are sold in the stores so many folks obviously bought them.  Also being as how we live in a university town with the majority of the population being students we suspect there was more partying going on than in some areas of the country.

Guy Fawkes tried to blow up parliament (this was a couple hundred years ago).  They threw him in a fire, so now people build big bonfires, make a stuffed man and throw him into the bonfire.  Nice family friendly thing to do to celebrate your nation!  Somehow singing O Canada, having parades, barbecues and fireworks seems a little more patriotic to us.

November 5th happened to fall this year on a Wednesday evening so we were off for our weekly institute class.  After class we put together some shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and then did a few sparklers with our YSA.  Driving home we watched the sky light up with fireworks in all directions and heard them far into the night.