I KNOW THANKSGIVING HAS PAST AND CHRISTMAS IS QUICKLY APPROACHING but we owe our loved ones some news of what has been going on in our lives. We had a mission tour by our Area President Jose A. Teixeira and his wife. They spent four days with us. Tuesday November 26 we had a MLC (mission leadership council). We then had three days in a row of multizone conferences: first the three eastern zone, Crawley, Maidstone, and Wandsworth, then the three western zones, Plymouth, Bristol, and Poole. Lastly we met with the three central zones, Staines, Reading, and Portsmouth. We had a bit of travel involved especially the second day when we had to drive two hours to Poole and then back that night. That was on thanksgiving day. The real special treat was that the Poole stake relief society cooked a full turkey Thanksgiving dinner for the nearly 100 missionaries. It was marvelous.
We received excellent instruction from both Elder and Sister Teixeira. Although it seemed stressful as we were planning for them to come, it actually was very relaxed and enjoyable. I feel that our missionaries gained a lot from the tour. This quarter is also the time for interviews so Sister Millar and I have been on the road a lot.. We interview three zones the week before the Tour and four zones last week. Last week to do the four zones, which included 106 missionaries took us four and a half days. Most of the days were at least 14 hours or longer. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes per interview. Ther are 26-28 missionaries in each zone. Mingled into all of this is reading the 250 emails that they send each week. I have never missed reading every letter each week. Occasionally a little of night work.
This week and next week we are bringing the whole mission into the Temple for a temple sesiion and then feed them a nice dinner and then send them back to their areas. With 300 missionaries, counting our Senior couples, we can break them into four groups of about 76 per group. That is the maximum that we can fit into a temple session and the limit of what we can seat in the accomidation center at the London Temple. We had a marvelous session yesterday with the first group. Today we recieved two new missionaries that needed to be placed. Tomorrow we have another group coming, then on Friday we have two senior couples coming and another senior couple coming on Saturday. There is never a dull moment. Next week we will have two more groups and then the next week is Christmas.
It sounds like all work and no play, but Sister Millar and I took a night last month to slip into London to see the musical "Wicked". A friend we know Savannah Stevenson, played one of the lead roles of Glinda the good witch. She is also the one who plays Mary the mother of the Savior in the bible videos that you can watch on lds.org.
We are healthy, happy, and getting older by the day. It is really suprizing to think that we are nearly half finished with this assignment. It seems like we are just beginning to get a feel for what we are doing. Our blessings are great. We both had to shed more than a few tears as we looked around the Celestial room in the temple at 76 missionaries all dressed in white. What a sight and a memory for Christmas.
We wish you all the very Best wishes for Christmas, We wish we could be with everyone of you, but we know that that is impossible, We have invited all the office senior couples and visitor center couples to the mission home for Christmas day, Hopfully it will be better for us than last year, The missionaries are always invited to members homes, so we got first dibs on most of the senior couples this year, Although we are frantically busy, it will be lots of fun to be with everyone, Last year we spent it alone, Most people thought we would enjoy the rest and quite for a change, but that made it harder, seeing as we don't watch tv, and our reading selection is limited.
God Bless everyone. President and Sister Millar, aka Doc and Val.