How can I possibly say how much fun we had last night at our “Reading Fireside” night? First we traveled straight from the temple to the wonderful home of the Stake President Alistair Atchison and his terrific wife Kathy for dinner. There we found another of our missionaries Elder Andrew Ford who is now an area authority and his wife Julie who are marrying a daughter on June 20th! Also another of our missionaries Elder Chris Laub, his cute wife Sharon and their daughter who has become a good friend of the bride and had come for the wedding.
It was a delightful dinner where this wonderful young mom, with five little boys pulled off a masterpiece including curried chicken with peach and 4 desserts including rhubarb crisp with custard with a two year old yelling “Mummy” and a husband who chocked on something and we trying to get it settled.
Above: Andrew Ford on left, his wife Julie and Kathy Atchison and below, Kathy their oldest son and President Atchison!
Somehow we managed to get all those people dressed, in the cars and at the Reading Chapel which was filled almost all the way back to the stage! Charity’s new companion popped up first, just before we started to give me a hug (she had gone on a workover to Basingstoke) and her companion for the night so she could would surely not be seen!
The fireside was lots of fun with such a great spirit in that room…ala all the other firesides we’ve done to pick you Eyre missionaries up! It was just a fabulous experience afterward as people came up over and over with hugs from Sister Eyre and glowing remarks about what an amazing, incredible, awesome missionary she is!
Here I am with two people on the ends that love Charity, one of her investigators with two kids to my left, her companion Sister Meredith her new greenie and her companion for the night!
Three more women from the Reading ward who love her and feed her, including her Relief Society President on the right!
A lovely couple who joined the church while we were there and who love Charity.
And best of all: THE RUFFLES FAMILY who were just baptized. Elaine (on left) and the famous Jordache who is the star of the ward and just baptized last week with the dad Andrew on the right. It was SUCH a joy to see them! What an absolutely amazing family who will be great builders of Zion in England!
The Atkins were also there, smiling in the audience and people just came up over and over and over again saying that Sister Eyre is just an incredible missionary. One young father from Basingstoke said that she was the best missionary they have ever had there, without a doubt! I told them that she has had 8 great trainers at home who were partly responsible!
What pure joy to see all these wonderful people with such a pure love for not only Charity but for missionary work! That’s what it takes!
Last night we stayed with the great Beisley family who are the ward mission leaders and Sister Eyre’s home away from home. They are a lovely family with a nineteen year old daughter with Pradder Willey Syndrome! What are the chances that we would run into two families with children with syndromes similar to Lucy’s in three days? We’ll have more to say about that when we get home.
I am presently on a train, whizzing past the beautiful rainy English countryside, eating HobNobs with Dad here beside me. We just arrived at Berwick-on-Tweed and our next stop is Edinburgh! Almost as good as the fireside was hearing the announcement that the train was equipped with free wireless access! INCREDIBLE! I’ve just sent a lot of blog stuff because I never know what we’ll find next….although we are about to fall into the arms of the YPO!
We are seeing an art exhibit and then going to dinner tonight with the artist. Tomorrow night we’ll doing a YPO speech which will be fun. I hope they can understand our accent….since it’s a bit hard for us to understand theirs!
More on that in the next blog entry.