Monday, August 11, 2008

Buckingham Palace and Buckingham Mews Tour - The Queen is out of town!

1954 Rolls Royce

Coronation Coach - 4,000 tons of gold

Leslie and Barbara behind Buckingham Palace

Another busy week has come and gone. Life is great here and we are constantly trying to choose between many good choices on what we should do next. We have spent a lot of time this week traveling all over the south side of London checking out Elders flats. It has been fun to see where they all live, but not quite so much fun to see HOW some of them live. This month we will be giving out prizes to the cleanest flats and most improved flats. Most of the Elders work very hard to have their places clean when they know that we are coming. There are a few who have had to spend their P Day cleaning with us because they didn't get it done beforehand. After that experience, I think that they will remember to clean a little better.
We are also teaching new member discussions weekly and are involved in teaching the missionary discussions to a couple of investigators now. We also have a couple of part member families that we are working with and hoping to get those members of the families baptized so that the family is completely in the church and can prepare to go to the temple. Each week we have a family over for Family Home Evening. We feed them dinner and then teach a gospel lesson to them. It has been really effective and the members seem to really enjoy it. We are using the new DVD just put out by the Church called "Finding Happiness" quite a bit. It is very well done.
On Friday, the Perrys and the Beckstroms went to uptown London and took a tour of Buckingham Palace and the Mews. The Queen is out of town so they have opened up the palace for tours for two months while she is gone. We visited 29 of the State Rooms. It is a beautiful place, so tastefully done. There are actually 470 rooms in the palace., About 250 of those are bedrooms. The grounds cover over 30 acres. The palace was actually hit by bombs 9 times during the blitz of World War II but it did not suffer too much damage at all. We saw the banquet hall where the Queen entertains heads of State at official functions. It is a huge room and is the only room in the palace that is air conditioned. The tables were all set with gorgeous china and gold utinsels and decorations. There were fresh flowers everywhere. It was really quite a sight. The mews is where the carriages, horses, and official cars are kept. There are three Rolls Royces, two Bentleys, and a couple of other cars in the collection. The British take quite a lot of pride in the Royal Family and all of the pageantry that goes along with it. It truly was amazing to see the lavish life styles that they lead and the beautiful places where they live. I am sending a few pictures of the carriages and cars that we saw in the Mews. We also took the picture of the back of Buckingham Palace with Leslie Perry and I after the tour while we were touring the gardens.
Hope all is well there. I think summer is over here. It is now back to cool, cool, cool!!! I know I am making some of you jealous that hate that hot summer weather. It really is pretty nice. The days are getting shorter, so I guess fall is on the way.