Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Couples CfSA Training in Leiden and the American Pilgrim Museum

 On June 3rd the senior couples gathered for an informative training session about the Young Adult Centers at the new Mission Office in Leiden.  We talked about many of the concerns and challenges we face with the young adults, then we enjoyed a delicious lunch together.

Following the training meeting we left the office and drove into the Centrum to the old part of Leiden. 

As we drove into the city we passed the oude kerk ( old church), which is always a focal point in Dutch cities.

Many canals bisect the city.  Boat traffic is actually less congested than car traffic.  We learned from experience that it would have been faster to walk from the office than to try to drive the car through the narrow winding streets.  Our destination was the American Pilgrim Museum.

The Tibbitts (left) stop to consult their TomTom.  Does anyone know where we're going??

There was a lovely park on our route where people were enjoying the sunny weather.  I didn't get close enough to discover the name of the famous person on the statue.

We finally arrived (a little wind-blown) at the museum.  It was a small building which existed in the early 17th century when the Pilgrims lived in Leiden.

The museum curator told us the history of the Pilgrims who came to this city for religious freedom and eventually stayed eleven years.  After that time they made the decision to sail to America so that their English culture and heritage would not be lost.

This portrait of the Pilgrim leader hangs in the main room of the museum.

Actual artifacts of the time period have been preserved.

There were copies of  books of scriptures in English that were used while the pilgrims were in residence.  One of the reasons they made the decision to go to America was to preserve their language.  The longer their children lived among the Dutch, the more they started using the language of the people around them.

We saw beautiful hand-painted delft blue tiles more than 4 centuries old.

Everyone enjoyed hearing the history of our founding fathers.

Our curator had learned a wealth of information about the Pilgrims that he shared with us.

A view of the outside of the building.

Many antique vases of that time period were on display. 

Although not necessarily used by the Pilgrims, the furniture in the museum was representative of the time period.

This fireplace tile was very much like the antique styles we see today (except it was the real thing).  

These authentic hand-painted antique tiles are very prized today, and hard to find.

We are indebted to the Pilgrims for leaving Holland and sailing to the new world to establish their homes and promote religious freedom.  This group of people promoted the attitudes and values that eventually led to the restoration of the gospel by Joseph Smith.  Without him, we would have no reason to be here.

It would have been tempting for our founding fathers to stay in the Netherlands.  This really is a beautiful country.  Thank goodness they chose to go to America.  Good decision, guys!

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