This past week my family (minus Jed) had the opportunity to sit in the bishop's office in our local ward building (where we have church). We were there for what we call 'tithing settlement'. This is a time where we can declare before the servant of the Lord (the Bishop) who is acting in behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ, where we stand regarding the law of the tithe. During this conversation we spoke of Jed and England. Our Bishop also served in London as a missionary. He said that he remembers that they love to mash everything. Mashed potatoes, mashed carrots, etc. He said that he grew to love it. So I asked Jed about this and he told me, "...As to what Bishop said about how Brits eat, what he said is totally true. Mashed potatoes, mashed carrots, mashed turnips, mashed potatoes remashed because they haven't been mashed enough, mashed eggs and toast, mashed milk and cereal ("eat it all at once!") all kinds of mashed things. I'm kidding about the last two, but you get the idea. And yeah, tonnes and tonnes of gravy. But it's good, and I like it. They also do a lot of roast vegetables, which I've developed an affinity for as well. If you go out to the countryside, you get more of a classic english dinner - roast vegetables, mashed vegetables (mashed ice and water -- "drink it all at once") (just kidding, they don't use ice out here) (but if they did, they'd probably mash it), roast meat of some kind (I've really developed a love of lamb since I've been over here. I don't know if it's more healthy for you or anything, but I sure hope so, because it tastes so good), and gravy. There's usually always dessert afterwards as well. Usually chocolate of some kind. Their's is better than ours. Anyway, I'm on a long escapade about food, so I'm going to stop now, but to answer your question that I should have answered by now, in London, you get some cosmopolitan kind of meals, so I eat differently every time I go to a member's house over here. If you're out in the country, they're usually more english. Mashed...".
It was perfect timing for me. Thanksgiving, where in the United States are focusing on being thankful, I heard from Jed! Not only did I hear from Jed, but he shared a few things. In addition, we heard from a sister who doesn't know us, (and we don't know her) but sent photos and a video of Jed. She was there on holiday and was invited to a family home evening with her landlord and the missionaries. I am feeling like I want to coin an allegory about the feast of good food at Thanksgiving dinner and the feast of info about Jed in England all at once. Honestly it feels like it has been a while since we have really heard from Jed and now I get this. He confirms this in the video I attach here. I believe it was made as he and his companion were leaving the visit. I will paste the URL here, which may not work on Android devices but will work on PC or Apple products. Either way it may ask you about installing Dropbox or creating an account (I don't think you need to, just enjoy the video): https://www.dropbox.com/s/fpw2g61npdmy91t/Video.MOV?dl=0 .
What a treat. Love his laugh. I can see him start to smile as he realizes how funny it sounds that he loves his Mom but doesn't write to her. Classic.
She shared a few photos with us as well.
We learned a little about his companion in the last post, but I learned that they now each have new companions. Elder Murri says, "...It's transfers week (hence why I didn't email you yesterday), so my beloved companion will be leaving me. He's going to a place called Milton Keynes, it's in the Northampton Stake, which is in the countryside, so he's leaving London! I'm getting a new companion called Elder Cook. I was his Zone Leader up in Watford, so it's going to be really cool to be able to be serving with him! He's from Utah, and he played football as well. I forgot where he played (I'm not with him yet -- we find out who moves where on Monday, and then Tuesday is PDay, and then we move on Wednesday morning), but I'll ask him. I'm staying in Hyde Park...".
I asked about 'P' days, (or Preparation days). These are the days to get ready for the next week, laundry, shopping for food, etc. I also know that you are in a very different place and might want to look around, spend time with other missionaries or etc. if there is time. I was curios what experience Jed was having in regards to this day. He shared this, "P Day. The rules are that we have to have 3 hours of work on P Day. So we do that. We also have to clean, shop, and email before our other activities, but we've had some awkwardly placed appointments this past transfer which have made those things a little bit harder. But we get along as best we can. President and Sister Stevens are making a big push to have our flats clean before we do any more zone pdays (missionaries formally getting together and doing something), which I completely agree with. So to answer your question, we have to ask for permission before we do anything with any other set of missionaries. .... My favorite p days are ones that you can just sit down at the flat for a little bit and rest. I took the first nap that I've ever taken on my mission the other week. It was so good. There isn't a lot of time to do that out here. p days are pretty busy.".
He shared a scripture he recently read that he was impressed by. I think it is so perfectly describes the reason he is serving his Heavenly Father right now. He says, " I read 2 Nephi 2:6-8 today, and it really struck me. The Gospel is SO SIMPLE. I love it! All that Heavenly Father asks us to do is have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and be obedient. If we do that, we're blessed. I know that that's true, and that's basically the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel the Spirit when I talk about it with others." Here is the link to the scripture he references: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/2.6-8?lang=eng
I guess given the video and the season, I end with Jed's words in his email to me: "I hope that this was a better email. I'm sorry that I haven't been that good at it lately. I love you guys.". Yes Jed, you are doing great!