Monday, March 31, 2008

Glebes, Courts, Closes, Round abouts, Lanes, Places, and Ways

I thought I would tell you a little about getting around in Jolly Old London. London was definitely not designed by Brigham Young. The road are organized, I think, according to cow paths back hundreds of years ago. Someone said to us, " You won't get lost if you think of London as a onion and the roads are organized like the rings of an onion." That hasn't helped me though. I still get lost, turned around, and thoroughly mixed up. Kenneth spends countless hours reading maps. It has become his new religion. There is a road map, an A-Z map, a tube map, a bus map, a train map, a tram map, a ward map, etc. He does a pretty good job and only occasionally does he get lost. Sometimes we get wandering around in some areas that look like ghettos to me. I have put a stop to any thought Kenneth has of going to those places at night. Even the mission president says that people who live in the Mitcham area should not be out
wandering around at night. We spend most of our waking hours at the church anyway. We are still working hard to get it looking and smelling right so work is progressing there.
We have attended several great mission conferences recently. A couple of weeks ago we went to Reading to listen to Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy speak to us. Reading is a special place to me. That is where my grandparents lived when I came to England as a young child, where my parents were married in 1944, and where my sister, Carol, was born. There is a very impressive, large stake now in Reading and it has one of the strongest Mormon populations in England.
Elder Johnson was a great speaker. He said some really interesting things that I thought I would share with you. Some of the tidbits from his talk were these: Teach what you feel and feel what you teach. Great conversion comes heart to heart, not intellect to intellect. When we take the credit we lose the spirit. We should seek gifts of the spirit to bless others lives, not our life. Information does not bring conversion, revelation does. And finally, Pres. Packer said,"If you're wrestling to recognize revelation, you're on course." The Lord is really with us here in England. We feel his spirit strongly and I feel like he really directs us in all of our endeavors here. Some of the ideas that have come to us of work we should do here have come directly from inspiration. I will tell you just one quick story to give you an example of the spirit that is here in the mission field. "One day, we went down to the London Temple to do a couple of sessions. While we were there I was looking at the beautiful art work on the walls and thinkiing about the beauty of each individual temple. We returned home by train late in the day and we went to bed about 11 o clock. I was sound asleep when about 4 AM a voice woke me up. It distinctly told me to go down to the church and hang up the paintings of Christ that were sitting on the floor in the Bishop's Office. As soon as morning arrived, I told Kenneth that we needed to go to the church to hang up the paintings of Christ in the hallways and classrooms. He said that we had other things to do, but I persuaded him that if someone was going to speak to me and tell me to do that errand, I was positively going to do it. We went down and hung those up. There were about 8 of them. We have now ordered 19 more and are in the process of framing and hanging them. The church house now looks like it belongs to Jesus Christ and I think we can feel His Spirit there more abundantly. I know my Father lives and that he directs this work. He loves each of us and knows our strengths and weaknesses. We can truly feel that spirit as we work here in London.