Christmas Greetings

christmas-2016

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Final days in England

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The last couple months in England were busy and happy times, and yet there were lots of mixed emotions, knowing we were going to leave and may not see many of the wonderful people we know and have become close to for a long time. IMG_3771The visitor’s center continued to be busy and the last few weeks it became even more crowded as we were making final preparations, packing cleaning and more importantly visiting and having social events with our dear England friends, missionaries, members and non-members. People were very kind, generous and friendly, and we took a lots of pictures so we could remember them all. I’ve undated the other pages on the blog with addition Places, stories, missionary experiences and pictures. I even share some thoughts about our mission on the inspiration page.

We are actually home now. We arrived in time to participate in the wedding of our youngest son and we have reconnected with our immediate family and friends and plan to visit many more of them through the summer.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of London’s Icons. IMG_7318

It’s a beautiful and functional structure. Day and night it is crowded with vehicle and foot traffic, both tourists and locals working or going to and from work.

IMG_1771One of the advantages of Living in London for a while is that we have had opportunity to visit Tower Bridge several times, catching it in various lighting condition.IMG_9414

IMG_2295 It’s also the only draw bridge in central London and once we were able to watch it in action as it let a huge ship through to an inner port. IMG_1845-001

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I have updated my other pages as well if you are interested in other stories or pictures:  Sites & Places,  Stories & Experiences,  Missionary Experiences,  Inspiration.

Holidays in London

Christmas is a wonderful time at the visitor’s center. We focus on the message of Christ throughout the year, but Christmas gives added energy to our message. The churches “A Savior is Born” videos were excellent and well received.
VC ChristmasIn addition we had a small stable built outside the visitor’s center and every evening we had a live Nativity on our busy street. Many stopped to watch and take pictures. Many came in to view our videos on the gift of Christ to the world, and many wanted to know more. DSC03865DSC04033London seems to be a destination for Christmas visitors. There are carnivals, ice skating, beautiful decorations and many interesting places to shop and find the perfect gift. And then there is New Year’s eve, and the London fireworks display, which are among the best in the world.

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But the new year in now here, the crowds have died down, the decorations are gone, but the true gift, the perfect gift, that of Jesus Christ remains with us and continues to be our focus and our message to the world. We invite all to receive this gift, to heed His message and allow Him to be their focus this year and in the years to come.IMG_2407

If interested, see the other pages for additional pictures and stories: Places-sites, Stories-experiences, Mission experiences & Inspiration. I’ve also added links on the “More Pictures” page to additional photo albums.

Color’s of Fall

Fall has come to London. It’s a wonderful time of year. IMG_2130Temperatures don’t cool off quite as fast as in Utah or New England. As a result the trees shed their leaves much slower. It’s a continuous job to keep the leaves cleared from the streets and sidewalks. IMG_2066

IMG_2192The days become very short. It’s dark by 4:30pm now. The leaves still turn beautiful colors and the rain keeps everything shinny and misty.

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IMG_1997Spider webs have become an interesting fascination lately as they show up so well in the misty weather.

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I have added some pictures to the Stories and Places pages and some thoughts to the inspiration page.IMG_2153 I also added a page dedicated to the many missionary experiences we continue to have, which some may find of interest. One last picture  with a thought on faith. IMG_0238 - Copy

Conference

Last weekend we had a wonderful opportunity to listen to our prophet, apostles and other church leaders provide guidance and direction, not only for members of our church, but for anyone willing to listen and learn.IMG_1775 I thought there were a couple themes that seemed to be addressed again and again in the 40+ talks that were given. I thought one of those was faith, so I decided to include in this post several of my favorite quotes from the conference on faith, interspersed with a few recent pictures of English scenery. IMG_1726I talk about some other messages from conference on the “Inspiration page.” On the “Stories page” you can see some pictures of Holly’s birthday celebration at the Shard, and on the “Places page” you can learn a little more about this odd looking dancer. IMG_1162

Now for the quotes on faith:

“Your faith did not begin at birth, nor will it end at death..…The future of your faith in not by chance but by choice…. Your faith will grow not by chance but by choice.” Neil L. Anderson

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St. Bride’s Church

“Your future is as bright as your faith.” – Thomas S. Monson quoted by Neil L. Anderson

IMG_1222“Just because we can’t see something with our physical eyes does not mean it doesn’t exist.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  Indeed, there are far more things in this world that exist, and yet we can’t see them, than there are that exist because we can see them.

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Staircase, Somerset House

“Faith never demands an answer to every question, but seeks the assurance and courage to move forward, sometimes acknowledging, “I don’t know everything, but I do know enough to continue on the path of discipleship.”” Neil L. Andersen.  Having true faith does not always mean that everything will be OK, but that regardless of what happens we will be OK.

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London from Tower Bridge

“Our time is a dangerous time—a time of great evil and temptation, a time of confusion and commotion. … Whatever level of spirituality or faith or obedience we now have, it will not be sufficient for the work that lies ahead. We need greater spiritual light and power. We need eyes to see more clearly the Savior working in our lives and ears to hear His voice more deeply in our hearts.” Kim B. Clark

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London China Town

“Let me be clear: there is nothing noble or impressive about being cynical. Skepticism is easy—anyone can do it. It is the faithful life that requires moral strength, dedication, and courage.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Balloons at Covent Garden

Balloons at Covent Garden

Looking Up

In many buildings in London the roof over your head is more than a means to keep out the  weather, it’s an expression of art , of creativity, and is designed to impress along with the rest of the structure.

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Banquet room, Hampton Court

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Strawberry Hill house

We’ve seen some impressive ceilings here. Some we can photograph, some we can’t.

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Strawberry Hill House

Some places we have visited provide a large mirror and waste level so you can study the ceiling without crooking your neck.

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Hampton Court

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Banquet House

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Hampton Court

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Painted Hall, Greenwich

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Canterbury Cathedral

Sometimes it’s fun to just look up at the natural ceiling:

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Down Town London

On the Stories Page there is a story about some of the LDS historical sites in London, also a story of how London dealt with abandoned children in the 1700’s. On the Places Page there are some pictures of some of England’s Spring rose gardens.