Monday, May 16, 2011

Bedlam and Bligh

Dear Family and Friends,
Friday evening the three senior missionary couples (Crandalls, Robertsons and Fugals) fed the Hyde Park missionaries at our flat.
From the left: Sisters Santos (Portugal) and Johnson (Ohio), Elders Krebs (Kentucky), Kennedy (Indiana), Healey (Lehi), Gillespie (Texas), and De Oliviera (Brazil). Elders Healey, Kennedy and Gillespie are the AP’s to President Patch.
We made them traditional American sloppy Joes, fruit salad, chips and dip and chocolate brownie trifle. Being able to associate with the young missionaries is one of the highlights of our mission. Having had 3 of our own children, Jeff(Seattle), Megan(Venezuela) and Andrew(Guatemala) and 4 of our children’s spouses Steve(Venezuela), Amy(Paraguay), Mark(Scotland) and Curtis(Australia), serve missions, makes it so wonderful to be able to associate with these young brothers and sisters as they serve the way our children did.
Saturday, on our P-day we went across the Thames to the Imperial War Museum.
The mission of the museum is "to enable people to have an informed understanding of modern war and its impact on individuals and society". After reading World's End: a memoir of a Blitz childhood by Donald James Wheal about his experience living through the Blitz as an 11 year old, the part of the museum that interested me the most was an exhibit that looked at World War II through children’s eyes, called The Children’s War.
The little child on the left has his gas mask holder decorated with a teddy bear. Many of the children were separated from their parents and sent away from London into the country. During the Blitz, London was attacked on 57 consecutive nights between 7 September and 2 November 1940. Over 41,000 British civilians were killed and 137,000 injured.
It seems almost fitting, an illustration of the craziness of war, that this museum is housed in the former Royal Bethlam Hospital known as “the Bedlam asylum”. Hence a new word for chaos came about- bedlam. Back in Victorian times people paid one pence to come to this hospital for entertainment.
One other interesting note about our P-day. As we were walking down the street across from the museum, Ken noticed a blue plaque on one of the houses.
The plaque reads:
At the Family History entre this week, I was helping one of our patrons find information about her Father’s family. Her Father had died many years ago. On Ancestry we were able to find family photos. One photo was of her aunt who had died at age 15.  The patron was overcome with emotion. Another lady I was helping said she was very familiar with our church history. She was a retired history teacher and explained when she was teaching in east London, her students came from very disadvantaged families. She was able to teach a unit to them on the Mormons and how many of them joined the church in Great Britain and eventually made their way to the western United States where the cowboys lived. She said her students loved learning about this.
I love this work!
You’ve probably all heard the ‘Mind the Gap’ warning when you step off the tube. Well, here’s the English version of the ice cream truck.
Our love to all of you!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)  

P.S. Ken celebrated his 68th birthday this past week. We went to Bryon’s Proper Hamburgers on the King’s Road for dinner. Ken  pointed out that at the end of this mission, he will have lived three and a half years of his life in the UK. That includes two years in Scotland as a young missionary and eighteen months months serving as a senior missionary in London.  Andrew, can you beat that?

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I love reading your posts.