Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last Story before our Return

The time has finally come to end this great adventure. We enjoyed our mission so much and have had so many wonderful experiences. It was very difficult to leave Rotterdam and the Netherlands.

Since we were already in Europe we decided to take a trip to trace some of our family roots. We were amazed at how many English relatives we both had. We looked at our pedigree charts and plotted out visits to many of the places that they had lived. We had some wonderful experiences going inside a small church in Litlington, where some of the Webb family lived, another old church yard in Toddington where the Tracey family lived. We also drove through areas where John Burnett, Aurelia Hawkins, and Susan Hunt had lived. We felt a family connection as we traveled through those places.

On Monday, Nov. 9th, we drove to Liverpool and Preston. We enjoyed touring the Maritime Museum in Liverpool and were surprised to see a monument outside of it, which was placed there by the LDS church. It depicted an immigrant family which was typical of thousands who left from Liverpool to sail to America. An hour later we were walking along the River Ribble in Preston, where Heber C. Kimball and other missionaries baptized the first nine British saints just ten days after they had arrived from America. We were able to stay in the temple patron housing at the Preston Temple complex that night. The room was nice and the Scottish members that we visited with were great. They had come down from the Edinbourgh area for a week of temple activity. They were typical of many nice people that we met, and this day was just a sample of what we did. We put a lot of miles on the diesel rental car, and had a once in a life time experience.

Now we are here in Brussels for our last night in Europe (for now). We fly home tomorrow and are very excited to see family and friends once again! Thank you for all of your prayers and support. We hope to see many of you at our church this Sunday the 22nd of November at 11:00 am, 650 E. 2150 S., Bountiful, Utah.

Happy Missionaries, Preston Temple, Warwick Castle

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Bodiam Castle & The Brighton Pavilion

Two of the beautiful sites in southern England are the Bodaim Castle and the ornate pavilion at Brighton. The castle had the clasic mote and draw bridge. It was built back in the 1300's. It was owned by a knight and has a long history. The beach resort of Brighton is home to the eccentric summer guest facility of a king. It is very ornate and looks great even with the dark and cloudy skies. This is such an amazing country. We are very glad that we had two weeks to explore it.

Bodiam Castle & Brighton Pavilion

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Travels to Germany & England

We had our exit interview and a nice dinner and testimony meeting on Oct. 28th. That night we slept at the mission home. The next day we rented a car and drove to Frankfurt, Germany. The autumn leaves were so brilliant. We had a great visit with our friends, the Barlows (who are missionaries with the Area Office). We visited the Young Adult Center in Frankfurt and got some ideas to pass along to Rotterdam.

On Friday the 30th we drove to a quaint city, close to Belgium, called Bernkastel-Keus. It is a medieval style village and sits on the Meuse River. We had fun eating at a quaint restaurant and staying in a B&B. The next day the Barlows drove on to The Hague, Netherlands; we drove to Dunkirk. We had breakfast in Germany together. By 2 pm they were in the Hague and we were in Dunkirk. By 7 at night we were in England and they were back in Germany.

We drove off the ferry and into the traffic, which was on the wrong side of the road (at least for us). We had an exciting 1.5 hour drive along some very narrow country roads, which paralleled the coast. This was all in the dark. We made it safely to our friends place (Dave & Pam Winters) in Eastbourne (southern coast). We had a great three days there, and enjoyed singing the church hymns in English again.