Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh, how these Elders live!

Famous Old Pub in London
Elder & Sister Beckstrom with Sister and Elder Perry in front of Christie's Auction House

We are well here and keeping very busy. The weather has turned very hot and sticky and we are struggling to stay cool with no air conditioning on public transportation, in the church buildings, or in our house. The only place where you can go to get cool is to Asda, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart. Their stores are air conditioned. Sometimes I just want to go and sit in there for awhile. It feels like you have taken a shower and forgotten to dry off almost all day long. We are praying for a little rain so that it will cool off a little. The grass is all dying here because no one waters. They just depend on the rain coming every few days.
We have a new assignment. Many of our Elders here live in pretty messy and often dirty conditions, so we have been assigned to inspect and teach Elders how to clean apartments once a month. We have about 8 flats to inspect so it takes us almost a week to do them all with all the traveling that goes along with that.
We pack up our bottles of bleach and sponges and head out. We are trying to teach that cleanliness means being a little closer to having the spirit in their lives. Many of them haven't quite got that figured out yet. The first visit we help them clean and repair wallpaper, shower curtains, holes in walls, broken tables, broken chairs, leaking taps, broken doors, etc. and then on subsequent visits we expect that they will keep things clean and repaired or better still just don't break things at all. It has been quite an experience. It is nice to get to know all of the Elders better, but a little difficult to be the disciplining parents to all of these young men. I think we will set up a reward system this next month, with the cleanest Elders getting a prize each month. These young men will do most anything for food, especially home-made food so we will give that a try.
We are still doing a lot of visiting, attending meetings, preparing lessons and talks, helping to organize Relief Society and YM and YW activities, help part member and inactives to return to church, and any other thing that we are asked to do. Life is interesting and challenging and that is good.
We did take an evening and went out with our friends, the Perrys, to have dinner and go to the movie "Mama Mia" on Saturday. It was wonderful. We loved the ABBA music and the beautiful scenery from Greece. It was nice to have a break from reality. Sometimes that gets hard to take. WE are really blessed to have the Perrys here to socialize with. They have become really great friends to us.
We hope you are all well and happy. We think of you often and of all the good memories that we have made through the years of knowing and associating with all of you. Keep being the great people that you are.