Our family just returned from a one-month teaching tour in Britain. After the 2009 BBC program our family was featured in called “The World’s Strictest Parents,” families started contacting me via Facebook and email. We met many wonderful LDS saints and non-LDS people who had lots of questions about the way we raise our children by teaching self-government principles and about what we believed.
After four years my husband and I found ourselves in England for a baptism of a whole family that had joined the LDS church due to seeing the BBC program and chatting with us on Skype, as well as working with the online and local missionaries and ward members. While there for the baptism, I was asked to speak in their ward as well as in other locations.
So, on a snowy Friday night we met at the chapel. The members invited friends and handed out fliers for the event all over their city. The chapel was packed with LDS and non-LDS people who came to hear us talk about calm parenting and teaching children self-government.
The Spirit was strong. People stayed into the night chatting with ward members and missionaries. Then someone said, “Nicholeen, you really need to come back.”
These words kept coming back to my soul for the next few months after our arrival. So, after lots of prayer and many miracles I returned with my whole family to England and Scotland to teach for a month.
We spoke in LDS churches, on university campuses, town halls, a Presbyterian church, on BBC radio, in local newspapers, to mayors, to youth groups, and to families one on one, etc.
This Is What We Saw
We met strong saints who are dedicated to strengthening families and spreading good news. After a very successful LDS Pageant in Preston, England the LDS Saints seemed to be on fire with the spirit of missionary work.
Just about every parenting workshop group was about half non-LDS. The members really got their friends out and invited their communities to something that would benefit any family. (Our self-government parenting workshops were all done without being specific to a specific religion, but the principles taught are all based on truth.)
I was so impressed on a visit to one LDS ward in England to find that they had 10 investigators visiting that week. This ward has three sets of hard working missionaries and ward members who are sharing in the work.
Multiple families we stayed with in England and Scotland were engaged in missionary work. At each home we visited, we heard stories of and often met friends they were introducing to the gospel.
After our first presentation a bishop told me that a woman had asked him what time his church met. After telling her the time she declared that her family would attend the next day. In other places, I have also heard stories of people meeting with missionaries to learn more after hearing us speak as a family.
So, after a month in the UK many families have changed the way they are communicating and changed the tone in their homes to invite the Spirit more, and some families have even chosen to maybe make religious changes in their families too.
We consider the teaching tour very successful. Thank you to all those who helped us with this journey. Here is a link to a video with more details and photos of the trip.
The Missionary Spirit
When my husband and I went to the baptism of our friends in January of this year the baptism clothes at the church were a bit yellowed and out dated. They looked like they hadn’t been used in a long time. Some new clothes were even purchased for the occasion.
There was one set of missionaries and not too many investigators.
Now there are three sets of missionaries and lots of investigators in this one ward. Something is happening. And, I don’t think it is just happening in the UK. I think we are going to see changes like this around the world.
In fact, while we were there, the missionaries had some pretty miraculous experiences and referrals.
The British Saints have caught the missionary bug again. Members are referring, and going on splits. Even my 15-year-old daughter got the opportunity to go on splits with the missionaries while we were visiting. The wards are throwing parties and the members are inviting their neighbors. We went to two ward and stake activities while we were there.
In fact, they took us right in. The first Sunday in England the bishop of the ward we were attending gave us a missionary opportunity to sing in sacrament meeting as a family. That was a choice experience. We sang “Love At Home.”
We also sang this song for a couple from New York while visiting a castle in Scotland. After hearing the song echo in the castle well, the couple said, “Thank you for singing for us. We can tell that you really do have love at home…”
What About The Rest Of Us?
As I watched the British saints reaching out to their friends everywhere we went in the UK I was proud of them. British people don’t usually reach out. They usually keep to themselves and don’t even like to make eye contact. I observed the saints being brave and loving, inviting and kind. They are taking a stand for Christ, goodness, and family in England and inviting their friends to stand with them.
This stand inspired me so much that I asked myself questions. “What am I doing to reach out back at home? Can I do more? Who needs me to love them today?” Because, at the end of the day, that is what missionary work is; love.
If you want to know the principles we taught at the workshops in the UK, go here. Http://teachingselfgovernment.com