Thursday, June 11, 2009

Modern Day Prophets come to Great Britain - June, 2009

The view from the lake

Modern day missionaries in London

Arch at St. Paul's

Time is quickly growing to a close for us here. We had a grand send off last week when President Uchdorf, Elder Neil L. Andersen, and Elder Robert C. Oaks came to the UK and we were able to attend three sessions of Conference where they all spoke. It was wonderful. The Saturday meetings were held at the Hyde Park Chapel in uptown London. The first session was held for just the missionaries from the London England Mission and the London South Mission. We were able to shake both President Uchdorf and Elder Andersen's hands and they spoke for about 1 1/2 hours to missionaries in particular. Elder Anderson spoke of the D Day Invasion 65 years earlier on this very day, June 6. He quoted Winston Churchill when he said, "Conquer we must, conquer we shall, we shall never surrender." He related that to missionary work and talked about how the work is progressing throughout the world. Brigham Young said, "As the
Gospel spreads throughout the world, the power of Satan will also grow." I think we see that so much today all over the world as we watch the unrest and wickedness in the world today. He said that we must develop personal faith for ourselves and never be casual in our testimony. He also recalled Pres. Uchdorf's Conference Address, I think in October 2008 which was entitled "Lift Where You Stand." Sister Harriet Uchdorf spoke for a few minutes about her family's conversion to the Church when she was just 13 years old, her sister was 9 years old and her mother was a recent widow at the age of 36. She told how the missionaries had knocked all of the doors in a four story block of flats in Frankfort, Germany. The last door in the building was theirs. Her mother had been so sad because of her father's recent death and she saw her countenance change as she read the Book of Mormon for the first time. They were soon baptized and President Uchdorf was a teenage boy in the ward there in Frankfort. He noticed this beautiful teenage girl quickly and began to drop by to take her for a bicycle ride to Church. She said that she would rather walk on one given day so he took her mother on his bicycle instead. Pres. Uchdorf then reiterated how important he felt it was to have a great relationship with his future mother-in-law. President Uchdorf then spoke to us. These great General Authorities had been on a two week tour of Nova Scotia, three cities in Russia, Frankfort, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and would conclude their tour in Iceland. He talked about the Gospel being a plan of happiness for our lives. He also said that in these perilous times we must not fear, but have hope. In Romans, Paul wrote, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ . . ." We must step forward with faith. He said that we should we friendly and welcoming to everyone, in the Church or out. Friendship begins with a smile!!! There are over 160,000 members of the Church here in the UK today, with 350 missionaries serving at this time. He thanked those serving, but said that there were actually over 5000 young men who were of the age to serve. We all need to step up to the plate and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ to its fullness. It was a wonderful occasion and I thought how a meeting like this would affect these 280 young missionaries who were in attendance. This will be a very memorable moment in their lives that they will always remember. It was a great weekend.

We are now training the Shields, from Mesa, Arizona, who will be our replacements at the Visitors' Centre, packing up our things in the flat, cleaning the rooms, and seeing a few of the last minute places that we have not been to yet. Saying the goodbyes to those we have grown to love here has been the hard part. We are going home to those we love, but also leaving behind many wonderful friends that we have met and known here. We hope that you are all well and happy at home. We appreciate so much the great support that we have had from all of you and especially our children, who have taken care of homes, finances, gardens, and our concerns and problems without complaint. We love you all so much and look forward to seeing you soon.