Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July Celebration - Is it Independence, Rebellion, or Ingratitude Day?

We have had a very busy week. We finally got all of the holes in the walls at the church patched and we have now painted the Relief Society/ Baptism Room and the Bishop's Office a beautiful soft yellow color called Magnolia. Both rooms look really nice. Now I am going to paint the women's restroom and then I think we are finished painting for a little while.

This last week we celebrated Independence Day here at our flat with the Perrys. We had a traditional 4th of July dinner and watched a patriotic movie, "National Treasure II" afterwards. It was a good night. We even had patriotic decorations on our table. The people in our ward are divided on what to call the 4th of July. Some call it Rebellion Day and others call it Ingratitude Day. We just smile and think how blessed we are to live in a country with all of the privileges and opportunities that the great US of A has. The YW and YM are holding a belated 4th of July celebration for all of the American Missionaries tonight. We are having a barbeque and teaching them how to play baseball. The English love America, but are sometimes a little sarcastic about us because they feel that Americans think they are better than everyone else. We always tell them that we look on England as our best friend and they seem to like that. Almost everyone you talk to here has been to the US at some time in the last few years. Most of them go to the East Coast, either New York or Florida.

On Saturday, we took the two sisters who work in the Mission Office, Sister Hansen (from Ogden) and Sister Walton (from St. George. She is Jan Ashworth's mother.) to uptown London to show them the sites. We decided to take them to The Dissent and Restoration Corner of London. It was here that John Wesley started the Methodist Church and others like him that were considered dissenters, or people who dared to question the Church of England and the Catholic Church were buried, because they could not be buried in the traditional church grounds. The cemetery is called Bunhill Fields. Buried there are some of the great religious thinkers and non-conformists of England: George Fox, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, William Blake, and Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley. The site was originally owned by the Quakers and was open for dissenter burials for 200 years. During that time over 123,000 people were buried there. They were the ones who dared question the status quo that was the law in those days.
Right across the road from the front entrance of Bunhill Fields Cemetery stands John Wesley's chapel. It is a monument to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. He was converted in 1738 when he felt the spirit of Christ warm him. After that he lived of extraordinary service and teaching. You come to realize as you visit these historic sites that the Lord was preparing the way for the Gospel to be restored long before the birth of Josepth Smith. Minds were changed and people were searching for the truth when the Gospel was restored. There were some very phenomenal people who changed the course of history during the 1500 to 1800's. It took a lot of courage to stand up against the establishment and many of them died for their beliefs. This is also the area where Brigham Young and other early missionaries for the LDS church came to preach to the people in London back in the 1840's. It is a very inspirational spot and the spirit there isstill strong today.
It was a great day. The sisters don't get to come in to London very often so they are always grateful for a chance to see the magnificent sites there.
We are just heading out to a teach with the Elders. We have 4 baptisms scheduled for August 2. Pray for us that they will go through. We have some great people in line to be baptized, but we shall see.
Hope all is well with you. It is still very chilly and rainy here. It sounds like it is just the opposite there. I don't miss the heat, but I do wish that I didn't have to wear a jacket all the time. It is very green and beautiful here and now we know why. Take care. We love to hear from you. It makes us feel that we are still a part of your lives when we know a little of what is going on over there.