Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Really Beautiful Tradition

So on Sunday, as close to 11:11 am as they could get, a gentlemen came to the pulpit, invited the congregation to rise and bow their heads, and began:

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them...."

Then we all stood quietly for two minutes, after which he ended with another short quote telling that 'they gave their todays for our tomorrows'... and we were all seated.  I'd like to do that every November 11.   and I was glad we'd spent those few hours at the grocery store tables selling poppies for the British Legion.

So let's back up from that beautiful practice a few days.   Halloween in England is not nearly the all out decoration-costume-and-sweets day it is in the States.   In fact, here was our 'big event':   Elder Meese decided to enjoy one of the little 'caramel' sweets we bought for Trick-or-Treaters (we had six).   Within two minutes it had pulled his crown off and he was holding it in his hand!

That day we were grateful that we had a great private dentist in our ward!   (Rather an expensive Halloween celebration)

But here's the real kicker of a holiday here: 'Guy Fawkes Day' - Nov 5. Okay, quick - who was Guy Fawkes?  (Everyone but Tim - I'm sure you know)   Well, it appears this man was part of a plot to assassinate King James I on November 5, 1605.   He was caught, tried and hanged (actually jumped to avoid the rope) and every year after people have commemorated the date with dummies hung in effigy over large bonfires.  Now it's actually 'Bonfire Night' (no more dummies). So there are massive fireworks displays around the country - I guess as close as they get to a 4 July sort of thing (that date's not all that big here).

Not so much a grand celebration for missionaries, as mission rules state we all have to be in our flats by 5:00 (actually 1700) that evening.   Same thing for Halloween - no missionaries on the streets after 5.  

But this is what we could see that evening from our front window!

Well, life continues on in our wonderful little bungalow.   Of course they've now had to repair our oven fan, our vacuum, and the washing machine.

And after one trip hauling wash to the launderette, we remembered just how easy our lives are.

Okay, I know I probably say this every time, but our current District is absolutely the best.   We love every time we're together.   Elder Brown (in brown suit) is such a sincere leader, and there is a wonderful spirit in our meetings that just makes you wish you could stay together all day and discuss the gospel.  When I feel like this, I can almost guarantee there will be massive changes next transfer.   Sort of like when you begin to feel comfortable in a ward calling....good indicator you're about to be released!

Hey, as long as I'm talking about missionaries, here's a random item:  there are currently nine pianists in our zone...and they're good!  That's more than I've ever seen in one zone.  I guess they're raising the bar in lots of ways!   By the way, the Elder at the far left is from Clinton, Utah.   Then you have our zone leader from Spain.  Then it goes Riverdale, Utah, (me), Portugal, Holland, U.S., Hong Kong, and St. George, Utah. (She and I are playing 'Sleighride' as a duet in the ward talent show!)   Our Dutch pianist gives me pointers in jazz style sometimes after mtgs.

Being in zone meetings, I also realize how much Elders and Sisters LOVE receiving 'post'.   It's enjoyable to see them happily hover in corners with any mail they receive.   Makes me wish I'd written our children when they were out, to ward missionaries, to friends.   Here's hoping I actually remember these scenes and improve when we return!

Speaking of 'connections', one of our ward young women has made an email connection with a girl in our home ward!   I'm delighted, because they are both such wonderful girls.   I hope they become a great strength and blessing to each other!

Well, the church is still true, Elder Meese and I are still in love, we are both beginning practices with the stake Christmas choir (I'm at the piano), there are still numerous days of blue skies and pleasant temperatures, and there are countless blessings from the Lord holding us up every day.   What more can we ask?

1 comment:

  1. Terrific post and update! I especially love how you summed it all up at the end with your positive outlook. We wish we wrote (in any form) more to you guys! Best wishes from this side of the pond! -- Tim