Sunday, October 18, 2015

Self-Reliance in England

Let me take a step back and tell what we were doing in England before Debbie got sick.  It might be easiest to follow the numbers on the following map of England.

We flew into Manchester (1), England on Monday, October 5 and had a wonderful dinner with Elder and Sister Curtis, our SRS missionary couple there and spent the night in a local hotel.   The next day we went with our SRS Manager, Les, to Hull (2), England to visit a Healthy Living Self-Reliance Group.  It was our first experience to see senior citizens that don't have a temporal self-reliance need participating in a Self-Reliance group that is interesting to them, but still including the My Foundations course.

We also stopped by to get to know Les's wife and family on the way back to Birmingham (3), England at the end of the day.  We ended up spending about 10 hours in a car that day with Les, which gave us a wonderful time to talk about the Self-Reliance initiative in his region, which is United Kingdom, North.  The next day in Birmingham, we spent time visiting with another Self-Reliance missionary couple, Elder and Sister Michaelis and our SRS manager, Martin, who is responsible for the United Kingdom South.  We then spent the afternoon with meetings with the two managers and our Area Self-Reliance Manager, Thomas King, who joined us.  That evening we went to participate in a Stake self-reliance committee meeting and then continued on with a training of members of four stake self-reliance committees for another hour and a half.  I had the privilege to share insights of the Self-Reliance initiative worldwide, focusing on the doctrine and principles of Self-Reliance.  The entire session was interactive and we were able to answer questions from each of them.  The spirit was very strong in this meeting and we felt that all were spiritually fed and ready to take additional steps in their callings related to Self-Reliance.

The next morning we were picked up at our hotel by Martin, who took us to London (4), England , a drive of another 2 and a half hours.  There we spent the next two days in the historic  Hyde Park Chapel, participating with the two managers, their three Self-Reliance missionary couples, Thomas King, Debbie and I.  This included Elder and Sister Baxter who are serving as Self-Reliance missionaries in London.  The following photos are of the Hyde Park chapel and the Self-Reliance seminar:

At the end of the two day seminar, on Friday night, we were able to go as a group to the London, Temple to enjoy a temple session together.  What a wonderful way to finish this special time together.

After the temple session is when Debbie's pain became extra intense.  She was without pain during the entire temple session, which was a tender mercy from the Lord.  I have told that story in an earlier blog.  We did spend the remainder of our time in London with Elder and Sister Baxter, except for Debbie who was in the hospital.   However, why we were still trying to understand the issue, I was able to participate with a Starting and Growing My Business group in London on Saturday morning.  The girl on the right in the photo is a non member from China who is receiving lessons from the missionaries and is building relationships with members in the class.

Sunday night, while Debbie was in the hospital, I left for a few hours to participate in a training session for members of nine different stake self-reliance committees in the greater London area.  Our experience was similar to that in Birmingham, earlier in the week.  The spirit was strong, the leaders were dedicated and it was felt that this was a positive step forward for all involved.

Finally on Monday morning, we were able to get Debbie discharged from the hospital.   We went straight from the hospital to the airport in London. We missed our original flight, but were able to get booked on a later flight without the normal charges due to Debbie's medical situation.  Photos below show the front of the hospital where Debbie spent two nights.  The other is of Debbie in the airport in a wheelchair, which facilitated her experience in the airport and got us to the front of several lines.

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