An old church tower in the beautiful town of Preston, England. You are probably wondering why here? We have a once a year mission president seminar with our Europe Area. It was held in Preston, England with Elder L. Tom Perry presiding along with Elder Rasband. Also our wonderful Area Presidency.
We all took an afternoon to tour the historic church sites in Preston. It was in 1839 that the first missionaries of the church came to Europe. This was also where the Cleggs joined the church. It was a special 3 days and we were instructed and edified.
This is the historic River Ribble where the first baptisms took place. This was where the first converts raced to see who would be the first people to be baptized with thousands watching. We always thought Henry Clegg was the old man who lost the race, but with some new information, we don't think it was Henry. But this is where the Cleggs came into the church, so it doesn't matter.
We shared a special moment with Presidente Clark and Kathleen Hinckley in front of the home that his father was in during his mission. This is where President Gordon B. Hinckley was told by his father to "Forget himself and go to work." Kathleen and I have become as close as if we were sisters from the day we first met. They are serving as President of the Spain-Barcelona Mission and are fabulous people. This was a very special moment for all of us!
You can't go to England and not take a picture of the countryside. We are on our way to Downham, England where Heber C. Kimball baptized many people into the church. It is a town that has been bought and preserved by the Assheton family of England. It is just how it was in the days that Heber C. Kimball walked the streets.
This is the pub in the center of town. It is so charming with all the flowers and benches.
The sign on the building says 1839. This was the year the missionaries landed in Liverpool. Wouldn't it be great if walls could talk?
All the stone buildings are as they were over 180 years ago.
You say England, you say flowers!
The next day we all did a session in the Preston Temple. This was a very emotional day for Rick as he pondered the fact that he was sitting in a temple, on ground that was walked on by his ancestors many years ago. It was on this ground, this land called England that the gospel came to his family. Here we are with Dave and Julie Colton. Dave is the legal counsel for the church in Europe. Julie, his wife, has been a special friend for a few years and a dear friend of our mutual friends, Mike and Barbara Spuhler.
We had the privilege of being in the session with Elder and Sister Teixiera. They are in our area presidency. What wonderful, spiritual and delightful people. We are honored to be with them and learn so much from them.
Pictured here is Melodee and Terry Clegg. The are currently serving as the MTC President of the Preston, England MTC. He is a cousin to Rick. They are so adorable and wonderful to be around. We enjoyed so much being with them. They taught us and are such special people. They served many years ago as President of the Manchester, England Mission.
Finally, at the end of the conference, we joined together the 4 Mission Presidents and their wives and one of our area seventy's, Elder Carmargo. We couldn't locate Elder Lopez, the other area seventy. These 4 mission presidents are leading the mission work in this beautiful country of Spain. We all love it here and feel honored to serve. The Mellors, on the far left are over the Malaga mission. They only have one year left. Next to them are the Hinckleys in Barcelona, then of course, the Cleggs and to our right are the Watkins who preside over the Madrid mission and finally Elder Carmargo. This association is already so special. I know we will be friends forever as we share this same bond of serving full time and putting our hearts and souls into this wonderful missionary work. We are honored to serve our missionaries and our members in Spain. We returned home edified and excited to be back to the work.