Dear family and friends,
IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS TWO WEELS AGO THAT I wrote our blog. Here is a brief update: Last Saturday we drove to Southampton for a missionary fireside. It was fairly well attended with a good spirit of missionary work. On Sunday we attended Sacrament meeting in the Kingston ward then drove 4 and a half hours to St Austell which is in Cornwall. There we had a special Sacrament meeting at a town hall in North Hills adjacent to a town called Launceston. We had about 30 people present with a few in actives, 2 nonmembers and 2 new members that just moved into the area. We didn't have a piano, so we sang several Christmas hymns accapello. We had enough people singing parts that it sounded great and the spirit was very strong. They will have a new branch there some day. As we get more missionaries will put another set of missionaries on that end of the ward. We stayed overnight at a bed and breakfast then drove home Monday.
The four missionaries going home came into the mission office on Sunday and the office couple took them into London for a walking tour of central London. We joined them in the afternoon and spent the evening with them. Tuesday they go to the temple. We usually go with them but I went into London with one of our Elders that had a Doctor's appointment because of headaches. In the afternoon, I interviewed them all and then we ate dinner and finished with a testimony meeting. These are so special to hear them summarise their experiences as a missionary. Wednesday morning the departing missionaries had to be at the airport at 3:30 AM. It was a short night for the office Elders that drove them. Wednesday we had one sister arrive from SLC at 6:30 AM and the other 4 missionaries arrived at 9:20 AM from Manchester. We fed them, interviewed them, oriented them and sent them out to their areas. We had two Elders one from Fiji, and one from Romania. The three sisters were from Armenia, England and Finland. STill maintaining our international flavour .
We had thursday to get ready for Zone Leaders Council. We hold it at the Mission home. We feed them a light breakfast, have meetings all morning, feed them lunch then finish off about mid afternoon . Our purpose was to establish goals for baptisms for the year 2013. The year 2012 has had the lowest number of baptisms in 9 years. We will have about 250 for the year. The goal they set by prayerfully meeting with their local wards and branches was 731. It is quite generous but reachable. We have our work cut out for us.
On a high note: we are having a very good month for December for baptisms. After an all time low of 11 baptisms for October we then had 12 for November. The first two weeks of December we had 14 with another 10-12 should have been performed yesterday. The final report will come in tonight at accounting calls by the assistants to the President. We also have about 15 more dates for the last two weeks. Last night we attended a baptism for a family of 4 in our home ward of Kingston. Today we spoke in church and are now trying to wind down from the week.
Some have asked for our address : 10 Beechwood Drive, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 2DX UK.
The Mission Office address is: England London South Mission, The London Temple, West Park Road, Newchapel, Surrey. RH7 6NB, UK.
Merry Christmas to everyone. We will miss you but we have lots of company. We are bringing all the missionaries to the Temple, Feeding them and sending them home after a short program.