Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The 'last ranch'!

Well, we're on our last bottle of 'imported' Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix.  'Imported' meaning Kris picked it up for us in Utah and sent it with Jodi and Brandon on their European Holiday.   I've gone through three bottles, making dip for vegetable trays, savoury soups and the like.   Missionaries and members alike seem drawn to the taste of this 'American delicacy'.    Funny the things that you can find in one country and not another.....even if we're 'relatives'.

And while we're on 'food', let me just say you've gotta love English bacon.   There wasn't even enough fat on these rashers to keep them from sticking to the pan!   All meat..... (and a month's supply of sodium).  mmm, mmm.

Well, in the never-ending cycle of transfers, we have another great new team of missionaries in Preston and South Ribble.   Actually, we got to keep about half the team.   Here's the funny part:   we now have a Sister Manning and Elder Manning (no relations),  and Elder J. Smith serving with Elder R. Smith.   So two Mannings, two Smiths, and two Meeses!   See if you can pick them out.  (No fair expanding the screen to read badges)

Between these Elders and Sisters, we should have three baptisms before the end of May. That would be spectacular.   Baptisms are quite dear in this part of the vineyard, so it will be a real boost to the spirit of the wards, as well as these members of God's army!

There is also some sadness this month - they're splitting up our YSA family!  Several are graduating from UCLAN, others heading home for the summer.

So five of our Family Home Evening group in this shot will be gone by June!   : (      We're just so used to being with these guys that it will be a pretty big adjustment when they're not around.    

Below is one of my favourite selfies of Kiera and Bernard.   She graduates and will be packing her bags for real to move home down south.   We will really miss our YSA leader!  

Okay, how cute is this?  Andrea crocheted me a flower for Mothers' Day!    She is so gifted!   She creates masterpieces from a new pattern on the internet every week!

This is now sitting on our window sill to get some sunshine!

Mothers' Day is not really celebrated here (remember 'Mothering Sunday' they had in March?), so it was sort of business as usual.   We were in meetings all day, after which I left with some YSA's to accompany a choir in Lancaster.   Elder Meese stayed home to let the missionaries use our technology and call home throughout the evening.   Nobody had to tell THEM what day it was!

I do have to say, though, my sweetheart spoiled me nicely Saturday.   Because it was my choice how we spent the evening, we borrowed "Frozen" from our neighbours and spent the evening with our feet up, eating chocolate-covered raisins and white chocolate mice.   Good time.

Okay, this comes under the heading of 'how blessed are we?!'   This is Sis. Manning, who hails from Alaska.   She was explaining that since her family lives in a village above the Arctic Circle, they don't get a chance to meet with other branch members on Sundays.   Their dad has permission to administer the sacrament and they skype into the branch president's computer the balance of the meeting.   Traveling to a Sunday meeting with the others would cost them $800 apiece for the roundtrip flight (bush planes have a corner on the market and set the sky-high fares).  

Her sister skypes into Youth Tuesday evenings.   It works okay, except it's hard to 'watch' the others make cookies, etc.   But Sister M. isn't complaining.   She says it's brought their family much closer together being up there.  (They moved from Bear Lake when she was three. )


Well, I'll close with a shot of a great English meal from 'Guy's' restaurant.   It's 'cheese and onion pie'.   It wasn't my entree, so I can't vouch for the taste, but it looked absolutely tantalising.   We're going to go back there one day soon, and I'm going to order that!  

And so, farewell for another week from all of us in Preston Zone.   We are doing well.   The Saviour  lives,  we are guided by a true prophet, the Book of Mormon is the word of God,...and Elder Meese and I are still in love.   What more can we ask?  

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