Well, we found a wonderful, colorful old professor in our other ward (a benefit of double membership!) who happened to have a violin he'd shelved years ago and would be happy to let this young Elder borrow. He sent home for his music, and we arranged for him to perform "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" in both wards...three days before he transferred out. It was beautiful. Several people commented to us after how long it had been since they'd enjoyed a beautiful instrumental 'musical item' like that in sacrament meeting.
But that's not the end of this amazing blessing. The professor went one better for this young man - he gifted him with this violin! It will now hopefully inspire several more congregations with the spirit only music can bring.
Yes, that's beautiful inlaid wood artwork on the back. It's one more time you have to ask yourself, "Coincidence that he mentioned his love for music... that we had a rare connection with an owner of a violin... that things came together so he could use his music to bless these wards as well as others on his mission?" The Lord knows this young man... and this professor.
And on a much more shallow note, we finally made it to the Lake District on a P-day! Yea! Our other senior couple friends, the Whiteheads joined us. Who knew "Oregon" was only an hour+ outside Preston! It is gorgeous. Sister Whitehead and I couldn't talk fast enough to share experiences and get advice from each other. At her wonderful request, we also made a side trip to Hill Top Farm - actual home of Beatrix Potter! Walking through it was exactly like being in one of her books! Check out Elder Meese sidling up to Farmer McGregor down the hill a bit. And look what begged to come home with us to sit on our living room shelf!
Well, by next week I'll hopefully be adding pictures from the Pageant! There is real 'pageant fever' in the air here. The temple has closed for two weeks to allow for all the activity on site. The marquee is in place, floor and all. Lists are circulating for help with parking, costumes, and security. Missionaries have been chosen and trained to be able to mingle during the pre-show activities. And the area is alive with anticipation of general authorities who are rumored to be coming!
But...until then, here are a few more English 'curiosities' just for fun:
Did you know you can't buy a 'three-ring binder' here? Two, four, or eight...yes. Three, no.
How brilliant is this? An escalator in ASDA (English Walmart) that let's you take your cart upstairs! And it's magnetized to hold your cart in place so it doesn't run over the guy in front of you (or he over you)!
One more: this surprising glass sculpture just looms up on the middle of a field on your way to Blackpool. There's evidently a glass works nearby, but it's pretty bizarre all alone out there!
Until next post, farewell from one darling laurel, an old missionary, and a very musical pageant cast member sandwiched by two dynamic 'training sisters'. We all send our love!