Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Church Today and Church Then

Today we got to sleep in a little bit because church wasn’t until 11:40 but we did need to leave time to get there.  We were a tad late due to poor navigation from the GPS (like usual) and the parking lot being mostly filled besides a tricky spot.  We weren’t as late as we thought though because they were only on the opening hymn.  Sacrament was good there was a girl speaker who talked about her conversion and how the gospel changes lives but only when you decide to let it.  She compared it to the stars and how amazing they are but you have to trust the person telling you that they are there to look up at them, and then you are in amazement and never want look away.  Then there was a guy speaker who also talked about his conversion and the atonement.  A missionary from New Zealand talked to us after and told us about the first Mormon chapel in England being only 20 minutes away.  So we asked someone for directions and these two nice men helped us.  As it turns out one of them was the uncle of a boy one my study abroad (Patrick).  It is interesting how small the world gets when you travel and get to know more people.  I love it!  
We found the cute little chapel with a wishing well in front.  The door had a keypad on it and beside it in the window was a paper with questions about the church on it.  So the answer to the questions would be the codes to open the door.  It was so cool!  It reminded me of a safe house or something from a movie. 

We went inside and there was the chapel and little displays talking about the founding of the church there.  Apparently there was a group of people that didn’t believe any of the churches on the earth were true and that a restoration had to take place.  They had a rigorous scripture study plan that they participated in and called themselves the united Brethren.   When Wilford Woodruff received revelation to go that area they were ready to hear the gospel and the whole congregation of 600 was baptized, so then the chapel became a Mormon chapel. 
There were old fashioned clothes you could dress up in so of course I had to.  It was fun to have the whole place to ourselves.
When we left it was raining again and we drove through the countryside to Stratford-Upon-Avon. 
We went to Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the lady said I could get in free!  I don’t know if I look like a child or if she just figured they were closing soon.  I felt good about it either way.  I like it better this time because they let us take pictures and I was able to read things that I didn’t have time for before.  The floor in the second room you walk in is the actual floor from Shakespeare’s time; I walked where Shakespeare walked!
Interesting things are that:
1.    They keep the nicest bed in the parlor as a status symbol of their wealth, only the guest would sleep on it.
2.    They put red around their bed to scare away the devil and other things and green to show family love and safety; which is why they dressed the children in green.
3.    Boys used to wear dresses and long hair up to age 5 so that they would look like girls.  It was believed that the devil would come and take the little boys in the night because they were more important.  However Shakespeare was the first child to survive after his two older sisters who died.  That was very unusual.
4.    We get sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite from the beds in their time because the mattress was suspended by rope that would have to be tightened by a thing they called a bed bug.  If you pinched your finger in it while tightening the rope it was like getting bitten.  If you didn’t tighten the bed you would be on the ground.
5.    Sleep caps were tied under the chin so it could hold your mouth shut.  If your mouth wasn’t shut then rat droppings and bugs from the thatched roof could fall in your mouth, which is the original reason canopy beds were made.
 The glove making room.  Shakespeare's father sold gloves right out of the window in the house.
 Shakespeare's bust in the window looking out to the street.

 This place has the best milk shakes in the world!  Or at least that I have ever had.
After the birthplace we drove to the Holy Trinity church where Shakespeare was buried.  We didn’t get to go in because it was closed.  I took mom and dad on a walk to the other Shakespeare sites like Hall’s Croft and New Place; we couldn’t go in of course since they had closed by now.
 We found a place to eat called the Garrick Inn and had beef and tuddles pie with mashed potatoes.  Then we started the drive to our next hotel, which was in Derby.  It was a really cool looking castle.  The guy at the reception desk was kind of weird and reminded me of the Bat on Rescuers Down Under.  We got to our room and didn’t have my roll away bed so we had to call the “Bat Guy” and get it.  He brought one and set it up for us.  It was pretty much just a little mattress on a metal and wood frame.

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