Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from wet and windy England, The last few weeks have been very windy and blustery with gale force winds and lots of rain, which of course is causing lots of road and property flooding, the soggy ground can't absorb any more moisture, The main road through our little town of Cobham was closed over the holiday's and still is on and off because of the River Mole flooding it's banks, Most of the river's in southern England have breached there banks and have flooded many homes and businesses. We feel very blessed, and ALL our missionaries are safe. Many people have had their homes damaged.We had severe gale force winds just before Christmas which uprooted one of our beautiful Silver Birch trees in our back garden. Fortunately it's was behind the hedge which saved it from falling on the house, but it was leaning at such an angle and bouncing up and down every time the wind blew that we were glad when they removed it about a week later. If it had come down completely it would have taken the guttering on the house and broken the kitchen and main bedroom windows. It wasn't a very old tree but the base was over a foot across

This is the tree in our back garden, then the broken trees in our next-door neighbors yard, Then some of the flooding in Cobham before it got too bad and flooded the street, As you can see the fields are all under water.
Our neighbors home Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve found us doing our usual Christmas delivery to the missionaries so that they would get their very latest packages before Christmas, We were trying to get through town to get to the main road to Portsmouth when we took the above picture, but they were diverting all the trafic and we had to turn around and go another way, We went to Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth on the South Coast, and the office Elders went in another direction, and the assistants in another, to make sure all the packages were delivered, We figured over 40 missionaries would not be getting anything from home, so it was fun playing Santa, A BIG THANK YOU to all that helped financially with this worthwhile and much needed project.
    While we were in Bournemouth we went to our favorite fish and chip shop, Chez Fred's, The food is wonderful, and it is a sit down restaurant as well as a takeout, That was the icing on the cake for our Christmas Eve celebration, and we were able to get home after the 2 hour dive back by about 8:30pm Christmas Eve.
   Bournemouth is a very special place for me, because that is were I spent quite a few Summer holidays with my parents when I was young, my brother Geoff, was probably working and not able to be with us, but there is something about the place that evokes some very sweet memories for me, even though we don't get to see much ot the town or beaches.
    We only had 2 missionaries going home at Christmas, Christmas Day was our official transfer day, but we weren't getting any Missonaries arriving and only 2 going home. One to Liverpool and one to Moldova, Russia, so we released them on Dec. 18th.  so they could be home for Christmas, that meant when we had our one Mandarin Elder come to us on New Years Day, we had transfers then.
    We have started doing transfers at the Staines Stake House because there is more room, and the railway station is just across the street, making the transfers less of a hassle with all the luggage. Even though we only had one Elder coming in, it involved about 90 different missionaries transferring because some had been in areas 9 months and we tried not to move any at Christmas.
  Two days later we had our MLC, (Mission Leadership Council) also at the Staines Chapel, this involves so many leaders now that we don't have room for them at the Mission Home,
    We now have 10 Zone Leaders, (9 Zones and 1 Digital Zone, with 2 in each zone) 11 Sister Trainer Leaders, and now 2 Chinese Trainer Leaders, for our Mandarin speaking Elders.
   In October we baptized 36, November 36, both the highest in about 2 years, then in December we had 44 baptisms, bringing the years total to 330, the highest baptising year in 3 years.
We are well and happy, (just keep the oil can handy) and thank goodness for Tylenol, or as they say over here, Paracetamol, We send our love and best wishes to everyone for a wonderful happy and safe New Year,          God Bless you all,
                 President and Sister Millar    aka Doc and Val

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