Sunday, August 25, 2013

The President has the best ideas!

President Preston arranges the best multi-zone outings!   This one was a tour of the early church history in our area.   We boarded the coaches Wednesday morning in Chorley in light mist that I was afraid would characterize the entire day.   But I was delightfully wrong!

By the time we were walking up to Liverpool's Maritime Museum, the weather was cooperating beautifully.   I decided not only was the day educational and spiritual for these young missionaries, but it was a much-needed break from their normal busy schedules.   They chatted and back-slapped with former companions and comrades 'in the work'.  It was so enjoyable.

We began the tour hearing of how Heber C. Kimball and Joseph Fielding docked in Liverpool before coming into Preston to preach.

This statue was built in memory of the early church members who emigrated to 'The New World', as well as others who left these shores with dreams of a better life.

Notice Elder S. is as tall as the heroic-size form he's next to, even standing a platform below him!

Next stop was Avenham Park in Preston near where the first European baptisms took place in 1837.   Here is President Preston recording this day with his beloved missionaries.   And they love their president.  This Japanese garden is where the memorial stands commemorating the early baptisms.

And of course, while we were all there, we had to re-enact George Watt's Run to the River to be the first baptized member of the church in England!

Last stop, the beautiful countryside of Downham, where we all congregated in a gorgeous old Anglican chapel to be briefly addressed by President Preston and three others.   Then we closed with the ringing tones of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" - a cappella.   And we walked out into what Queen Elizabeth reportedly called the loveliest view in all of England.

The whole of Downham is owned by Lord Clitheroe and his family, and they make sure it remains in the same 'unmodernized' form that it was meant to be.

I'll leave you with one more evidence that the work of the Lord moves you where you need to be.   The wonderful couple below, one of our newest senior couples, arrived a short time ago.
Close to the same time, the bishop in their assigned ward had a heart attack.   His wife also had two strokes.   This Elder and his wife are now serving in their ward's bishopric.   In the right place at the right time....   side note:  he served a year of his 'nineteen-year old mission' in an Indian hogan he and his companion built themselves.   They had no electricity or water, and hauled water for use just like the other people in the community.   He probably can't get over the luxury of this mission!

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