Dear Family and Friends,
It’s pretty crazy that as I’m sitting in our flat writing this blog on Boxing Day, I can hear the cheers coming from the Chelsea Football Stadium just a couple of blocks down the road. Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible that we are in England and have been here on our mission for almost a year.
The advent calendar is completed, the gifts have been opened and we are awaiting the new year. We have had a Christmas we will always remember even though we spent it far from home.
After finishing work at The National Archives on Thursday, we met Devon and Judy Tufts for dinner at Haché, a French restaurant on Fulham Road.Devon and I both retired from Timberline Middle School at the same time and ended up serving missions in England. The Tufts were here for a few days from Birmingham where they are serving a CES mission. It was very good to see them, compare missions and share news from home.
On Christmas Eve Day Ken and I went to the Kings Road, my favorite place to shop, and picked up some last minute items.
On Christmas Eve we got together with President and Sister Patch and the other senior missionary couples for dinner. Besides the Robertsons, Sprouses and Empeys, we have 3 new senior missionary couples serving in the England London Mission. Elder Don and Sister Claudia Inskeep have joined us to work as Family History missionaries at The National Archives. The Inskeeps served in the same capacity a couple of years ago. President Patch joked that they had had too much fun and wanted to come back. The Browns, a couple who arrived about a month ago are serving in Gravesend and the Grays, a Scottish couple who live in Australia, joined us for dinner. The Grays will be serving in Cambridge. Elder Richard and Sister Devie Mills are also senior missionaries in our mission but they did not make the journey into London for dinner. Elder Michael Wells and Sister Sylvia Edwards serve with the young adults so they were with them for Christmas Eve.
After dinner we had tickets to the Royal Albert Hall to see a wonderful program called Carols by Candlelight. It was performed by the Mozart Festival Orchestra and Chorus wearing period costumes. The Christmas Sequence from Messiah, The Twelve Days of Christmas and many other wonderful carols were presented and we joined in for much of the singing.
On Christmas morning, because the tubes and buses didn’t run, we attended church at the Baden Powell building where the Hyde Park Ward is meeting during the building renovation. It was a nice meeting with some very good talks. A young woman sang Silent Night very beautifully.
When we arrived home I started our Christmas dinner and we unwrapped the gifts that were under our tiny red tree on the mantle.
We put together our annual puzzle- this year’s was a winter scene of the Royal Albert Hall.
And finished it
We even had some See’s Chocolates that the Inskeeps brought us from home.
Displayed our Christmas cards
Best of all, we were able to talk to our family on Skype and see all the fun things Santa brought for Christmas.
It was a wonderful Christmas! Now we look forward to the new year and the remaining 6 months of our mission.
At home there is a very special birthday coming up. Spencer will be 12 years old on January 4th. We are so proud of you Spencer!
Our love to all and a Happy New Year!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)