Sunday, July 14, 2013

Oh, Happy Day!

One of the greatest blessings of our mission at the London Temple Visitors' Centre is the privilege of working with some amazing young women. In the past 18 months, we've worked closely with 21 young sister missionaries from many parts of the world. We have learned to love and admire each one of them so much! They teach us a lot! They have each had an individual, once-in-a-lifetime influence on us and each one will always have a permanent place in our hearts.

Sister Burrows - Utah
Sister Casasola - California
Sister Howard - Alaska
Sister Jones - Utah
Sister Corbett - Utah
Sister Cabrera - Chile
Sister Barber - Ireland
Sister Corner - England
Sister Maughan - England
Sister Boman - Angola & Utah
Sister Cardona - France
Sister Rodrigues - Portugal
Sister Reneer - Utah
Sister Yapi - France
Sister Ylisaari - Finland
Sister Phermsin - Thailand, Finland
Sister Paulsen - Denmark
Sister Berati - Albania
Sister Stewart - Arizona
Sister Walmsley - New Zealand
Sister Watt - Utah

The first nine have returned home already, and during August we will receive 4 new sister missionaries.

This week we said good-bye to Sister Maughan. It was hard! It's always hard to see our sisters leave. We find ourselves reluctantly counting down the weeks before they go - every time! After being with them and basking in their vibrant personalities nearly every day for many months, when they return home we are relegated to an occasional update on Facebook and wondering if we will ever see them again in this life! Happily, we will see Sister Maughan again. She'll be back in a couple of weeks when she comes to the temple grounds during a Young Single Adult Conference. Hurray!

Sister Maughan's family with us and the Horsleys, when her family met her
at the end of her mission.  We miss her!

Our next missionary to depart will be Sister Cardona. She will go home in 5 short weeks. She is the only one of our 21 sisters so far who has been in the Visitors' Centre her entire mission. When I think of our cute French sister missionary, Sister Cardona, the first thing that comes into my mind is "Oh, Happy Day!"  It's one of her favorite things to say, and it's contagious.

So, in Sister Cardona's honor, here are a few photos of some of our "happy days" lately:

Our neighbors Rob, Debbie and Krista Jolley stopped by to see us in June!

The Jolleys with Elder and Sister Powers, who are serving with us in the
England London South Missions.
Patcee Powers and Debbie Jolley are sisters.  Small world :)

Another friend from Draper is serving with us in the England London South Mission.
Paul Smart and his wife, Annie, were our ELSM Fireside speakers
at the Visitors' Centre in June.

The Smarts and the Carpenters

We got to talk to Colin (Amy's husband) on Skype a few weeks ago.
He's stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Qatar.

Sister Walmsley with Donny Osmond on the temple grounds.
We got to meet him, his wife and their youngest son earlier that day in the temple.
Genuinely nice guy!

We had a fun Visitors' Centre missionary P-Day together in early July.
We all took a trip on the old Bluebell Steam Engine train. 

On the way to Sheffield Park

All our Visitors' Center missionaries - minus Don who's taking the picture.

Sheffield Park is a gorgeous old manor house and estate near Haywards Heath.

Five amazing sister missionaries (left to right):
Sisters Walmsley, Cardona, Maughan, Stewart and Berati

One of the lakes on the Sheffield Park estate

Water lilies on the Sheffield Park estate.

We've written several times about Grant Neale and the great friend he's been to the London Temple Visitors' Centre. He and his family are some of our favorite people. They have been the impetus behind some of the very best things that have happened at the Visitors' Centre since we've been here. They really don't get much in return, but they continue to serve and give out of the goodness of their hearts. They are amazing and an inspiration to us!

Grant's in-laws, David and Leslie Bridgstock, are also an inspiration to us. They own a beautiful home and grounds down the street a few blocks from the temple and they share pretty much everything they have generously with others. Right now one of our missionary couples and two of the Mission Office elders live in different flats (apartments) on their property.

We have watched as the Bridgstock family has shared their home and grounds with others for parties, weddings and receptions. We have had the Bridgstock family give musical performances at the Visitors' Centre several times since we've been here. David Bridgstock also teaches an L.D.S. Family Services Addiction Recovery program at the Visitors' Centre once a week. Yesterday, the Bridgstocks and their daughters and families put on a charity even to raise money for "Tommy's,"  a program that helps women who have had miscarriages and stillborn babies.

The Bridgstock's home on West Park Road

Missionaries and others at the charity event at the Bridgstocks.

As you can see from the photos, it's summer here, at last!

Oh, Happy Day!                            ~Pat~


  1. I absolutely love your blog! I´m a fan :) love you lot´s and keep posting.