Wow, did we have fun with our missionaries! We started with a fireside at the Hyde Park Chapel on Sunday night and one of our most outstanding missionaries Dawn Dorset Berry drove three hours from Lincoln with her great husband Andrew. We ran into them just before we started while wandering up Exhibition Road. She and her husgand had two children and then learned that the third would be a “thyalidmide” type baby, missing some limbs so they geared themselves up for a child with special needs. when she passed away after only two days, they decided to foster a handicapped child instead and amazingly have now fostered two (maybe three) others. One is in a wheelchair and unable to speak, one has Prodder Wiley, which isn’t too different than Bardet Biedle and the third has physical and emotional issues. I forgot to get a picture but it was so fun to see them briefly and enjoy some lovely (I’m in England) interchanges with our audience. The couple who introduced us had just been in England on their mission for a couple of weeks. They were from Logan! (Sorry, forgot to take pictures)
The first morning of our official reunion at the London Temple Accommodation Center, we had only two Elders who joined us for a lovely chat….Elder Martin Wiles (Yorkshire) who was there just at the first of the mission and Elder Gyle Walker (Denver) who was there at Hyde Park the night before with a guy he baptized who is the bishop of the Aldershot Ward and who also used to enjoy great curry with Jonah and Elder Ocascio! Everywhere we turned at church function there were people asking about Elder Josh and Elder Jonah Eyre! What a grand tradition now with five of us our of eleven having served in London!
Lunch was at a wonderful boutique hotel, found by dad on his morning run. We were joined by two of our sister missionaries, Lynn Johnston (Heber) and Marcia Gudmandson (Salt Lake) and and their friend Marlene who was married in the Epsom ward when we were here on our mission and now works as a seamstress at the temple. Also Elder Eric Bjarnson from Oregon with two of his teenagers.
This was at an iron mill where they had scooped out the iron just laying on top of the ground for the nails for St. Paul’s Cathedral. Today the hole is filled with a gorgeous lake! From left to right is Elder Martin Wiles from Yorkshire, Dad/Rick, Elder Gyle Walker (Denver), Elder Eric Bjarnson in the far right corner with his two children, Kaleene and Andrew (Oregon), Sister Lynne Johnston Robertson and Sister Marcia Gudmunson Jarvis. More joined us in the evening, then more at the temple and others at the firesides.
After lunch we tried to go to Chartwell,where Winston Churchill lived for many years but it was closed on Mondays so we went over to our beloved Hever Castle:
Remember when we had our Thanksgiving picture taken here just after Grandma J died and remember when we floated Saydi’s cake on this moat at the joisting tournament?
We thought you’d like to see this hilarious signage at the beginning of the maze!
Note: the path is as dry as a bone!
For dinner Rick and Neena Maw, Rich and Nancy Skaggs, Tim and Michelle Cooley and Graham, Judith McKee, Alan and Betty Weston, Chris and Sue (Simons) and Chris Turner joined us for dinner.
Not already mentioned, Chris and Sue Turner…She was sister Simons (oops, behind elder Rich Skaggs and his wife…the one with the REAL camera!
Elder Bjarnson on left, then Elder Graham McKee and his wife Judith, Elder Alan Weston and his wife Betty.
Most of you will remember Rick Maw who is running Valuesparenting with his wife Neena beside him. We had so much fun getting re-acquainted with everyone and luckily Nancy Starks had a terrific camera and so soon well have great pictures of everyone.
After dinner we went back to the Temple Accommodation Center and had the most fun family home evening….remembering old times. It was so great to hear the great appreciation that poured out for Dad and the way he changed lives forever! Forgot to take pictures but it will always be a great “picture in our minds”!
The next day, we had the great privilege of being in the temple with all of them. Some were joined by converts who they baptized and have now sent children and grandchildren on missions! We were joined by Elder Paul Bruce who is a stake president in Leister for two temple sessions. What a joy to have them all there with us and see what can happen in thirty years as they have continued so faithfully and built up their corner of the kingdom as bishops, ward mission leaders, relief society presidents as well as business and community leaders. We are so well-pleased!