Walkden, England

Just a quick and short update.  I uploaded photos from Scotland this morning.  I hope you find them interesting.  We will see how many more photos it will let me upload for the month.

We are now staying with the Gore family in Walkden.  We arrived later than anticipated after a day of visiting in Runcorn.  We attended church in the Runcorn Ward at the local community center since their building burned down a while back.  It was good to see so many people and that we received such a hearty welcome.  We did go visit a number of families while there.  A couple of which include the Campbell (and Young), Fleming, McWilliam, Johnson, Byrom and more.  A couple of families were not home so we did not visit with them.  It was sure good to be back in Runcorn, despite the fact that you have to drive around in circles to get anywhere you want to go.  Busways might be spectacular, but at the sacrifice of the drivers!

Saturday we made another trip into Liverpool.  The only thing really to mention is that we got lost and had lunch with Gheorghe and Claire Simion family.  Gheorghe was one of my mission companions.  We spent nearly four hours with him and his good wife.  It was convenient he lives in Liverpool now as he was originally from Romania.  It was a great meeting.

We are off to Hyde and Disley today.

Wigan, England

It was Sabbath in Wigan.  Therefore, not a whole lot in the way of mention of traveling or exotic places.  However, we did go to church and visit a few people.  A quick couple of thoughts.

Church was great.  Funny how even though I lived here for a couple of years, I still really struggle with some of the accents.  In Sacrament alone, I totally could not understand the second speaker.

The pure Wigan accent is simply unable to be replicated by me.  I don’t think I could even try.

We went to visit a couple of people.  Jim and Julie Monks, Dawn Rhodes, Ceri and Lorraine Jenkins, Charlotte Ainscough, Alan and Rose Aspey, Brian and Sylvia Burtonwood, and Rene Simpkin.  We had a very good visit with the Monks, Jenkins, and Aspeys.  Dawn Rhodes was unable to be found in the location we were given.  We were either given the wrong address or she has moved.  She was the only convert in the mission I felt like I really oversaw the entire thing from finding to baptism and even some of the new investigator discussions.  Alas, she is not active and it seems nobody really knows where she is.  Except for Brother Monks and she either moved or he gave me the wrong address in Aspull.  I was very disappointed.

Sadly, I found out Rene’ Simpkin passed away around Christmas of 2003.  That would explain the stopping of letters.  I am disappointed nobody ever notified me.  I will have to find her birth and death information so I have it for my records.  I really came to love the lady and she the church, but she just couldn’t give up her wine.  The Burtonwoods remembered her.  She was a fine lady.

In visiting with Alan Aspey, he let me know an Aspey from Wigan is definitely related to him.  I will have to let my Aunt Lolane know that her Margaret Aspey who came from Wigan is very likely related to him.  Interestingly, Alan also commented about his Aspeys living in Upholland and Ormskirk.  We told him about Amanda’s Ashton relations in Upholland and he knew the name as having some in his own line.  However, he knows of no relations who joined the Mormon church and moved to America.  This would be a first for him if we could show a link.

I found out from President Monks that Gheorghe Simion, my second to last companion from Romania, now lives in Liverpool.  We will have to try and find some contact information for him so we can meet up while we are near Liverpool.

Charlotte Ainscough still has the little stuffed animal I gave her when we baptized her.  I found out she named him Ross.  How sweet is that?  The Jenkins and Charlotte were very excited to see us.  They gave us their passes for the British Trust sites in England.  We will have to mail them back when we leave the country, but it includes a parking pass.  Meaning we can save well over 200 pounds with the passes for much of our travel throughout the UK in our remaining time.

It was a sweet day in Wigan.  It made me feel good so many people remembered me.  If not my name, at least my face.  They all adored Amanda and commented on how beautiful she was.  Some even recognized her from our wedding announcements.