Our January trip into London with the senior missionaries began at St Pancras Train Station/Hotel for an Italian lunch. The building is big and beautiful, inside and out.We then walked across the street to Kings Crossing station, where the famous Platform 9 3/4 resides. They have done a marvelous job with bright shops and beautiful old building architecture.
This friendly smiling young man showed us how it was done.
We walked down the street to the British Library, which has a room of special books and printed items that have been collected and/or purchased to preserve them for future generations. It was fascinating to see original handwritten musical scores by Beethoven and other famous musicians, original handwritten lyrics by the Beatles with the accompanying stories, examples of the Gutenberg Bible, sacred texts from Islam and Buddhism, da Vinci drawings, and several copies of the Magna Carta. Unlike our US Constitution where there is the original copy, the Magna Carta was copied for each baron signing the document. There was no photography allowed, so we have no pictures from this part of the trip.
We are organizing the February senior outing, which will be lunch followed by their choice of three museums, all next to each other and surrounding the Hyde Park Chapel and Visitors Centre. The museums are the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum. We have seen parts of each of them. This last trip we saw one floor of the Science Museum, which has many engineering marvels, space capsules, and boats and planes.
Elder Young’s favorite part was the Cray supercomputer, which is cut away so you can see the millions of wires in the central core.
Sister Young’s favorite part was the Babbage Difference Engine (an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions — precursor to our calculators). This was never produced when it was designed in 1822, and this is a small scale example of what it would have looked like.
The weather has gotten colder and wetter, with several storms. We are so grateful for our nice warm flat. This week is pretty crazy — Elder Young has finished the Europe Stake Young Single Adult Program webpages he has been working on since April 2013. The pages went live this week and we are already getting comments from senior missionaries who will use the pages. He has also been spending 2 hours per day with driving lessons or practicing to pass his driving test tomorrow. He passed the theory test on paper with flying colors, but this is the actual driving test — in a standard car — with a driving inspector. He is very stressed about passing the test and remembering all the little things that must be done a certain way. Thursday we will be going to the temple (and Costco) and then Friday and Saturday are sister exchange days where we will be driving sisters back and forth so they can do some training. Each of these travel days takes about 6 hours (including flat inspections at both ends). Sister Young has been working on sewing curtains for the sisters in Hastings, who have a large flat with so many windows that don’t have curtains. Next week will be transfer day, and the word has come down that the majority of companionships will be changing. That will be another 6 hour day on the road for us, followed by dinner and a lesson at Institute. These are the nights we have hot dogs and chips with cookies for dessert, something that can be prepared ahead or right before the meeting.