We are finally settling in and successfully cooked dinner for our 24 attending young single adults this week. We were able to make sweet and sour pork with rice, and Cowboy Cookies for dessert. We are testing new recipes on ourselves before baking the large batch for our students. We are also learning what “swede” and “bubble and squeak” are, among other things. Swede is a root vegetable like rutabaga, and they cube it up with carrots and bake it. Bubble and squeak is what you have on Monday nights because Mondays are laundry day and there isn’t time for cooking. So you take the leftovers from Sunday, the roast, potatoes and cabbage, and dice them up and mix them and fry it up. During the frying the potatoes tend to get a bubbly texture and the cabbage hisses as the juice cooks off, so it bubbles and squeaks!
Each time we go out in public to a store, we get stopped by someone wanting directions or to find a product. Maybe that is because even the janitors in the mall wear a white shirt and tie. Yesterday we were at Costco’s and we passed a family with a young boy who asked his mother, “Is he the boss?” Of course it does give us an opportunity to introduce ourselves and why we are here. Most people are embarrassed or mumble that they are saved already and quickly leave.
We are helping to set up the flat for a new set of elders arriving in two weeks. The mission office found a flat on High Street in Bromley (High Street is always the shopping district in each town). That has been a very fruitful area for the current sister missionaries, as people are less likely to brush you off than if they are walking to catch a train to work or to go home. Shopping seems to generally be a more leisurely activity. They have given out a lot of Books of Mormon and pass-along cards. We hope to be able to set up a table/booth with the weekend market in that area and work from there, the Bromley elders will be in charge of that. The sisters have to ride a bus for an hour to get to the shopping district there (unless we go with them and drive them).
We have been successful in our walks each morning, generally going two miles in a half hour. There are some lovely gardens (read front and back yards) on the way, and some nice parks. We also run into the garden snails that are out each morning. They leave a slime trail that is dotted and shines like silver in the morning sun. It is quite beautiful if you don’t think about what it is! The weather has been gorgeous this last week, high fifties at night and low seventies during the day. Most days have been sunny so we are really enjoying it before winter comes. Each month there is a senior missionary outing; we were going to London Tower this week but it had to be cancelled. So in September we are all going to Buckingham Palace. We ride the train/bus into London from all over the region, eat lunch together and then go sight-seeing. Next month will be our first opportunity and we look forward to it.