Monday, April 21, 2008

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping in London

We are doing well and keeping busy here as usual. You know, years ago, I used to think it was really funny how everyone here went grocery shopping almost every day. Seemed like such a waste of time. Back home, I only went about every 2-3 weeks. I would stock up and be done with it for a while. Not so here. We are just like everyone else over here. The refrigerators and too small and the ability to carry grocery sacks home on the bus is so limited that it seems like we are doing a little shopping every day. Kenneth gets a little put out with it, but he refuses to be embarassed by taking a rolling suitcase to the grocery store so that we can bring more home at a time. Occasionally, someone will take us to the store in a CAR and we go hog-wild and buy lots of food. Then when we get home there is nowhere to put it. Kenneth then has to eat a HUGE dish of ice cream or more out of the old carton so that he can fit the new
carton into the freezer. It is quite a process. We do have a variety of stores here. There are three big food chain stores here. They are Sainsburys, Tesco, and Asda (which is Wal-Mart owned and run). Tesco was just a small store in a few spots just a few years ago, but has grown into a huge chain and they have Super Tescos all over the place now. Asda is supposed to be like a Super Wal-Mart. They are not nearly as large here as they are in the States. Everyone here says that America has to have the largest and best of everything! They love the US, but like to make jokes about the way we do things there. I think that we have a pretty darn good system there. After being here for almost 4 months, we can see a huge contrast in the way that Americans do things and the way most everyone else does. Americans seem to have an ingenuity to find quick and good ways to do things. People over here don't seem to have the vision or a good reason to do
things better and faster. It takes a long time for anything to get finished over here. We love England, but have really grown to appreciate the great US of A. There are also many, many small shops in every town selling all of the same things that the big stores sell. Most of these stores are owned by people of Indian or Pakistani descent. They are very hard workers and work long hours. Unfortunately, many of the little stores go out of business, because it is so difficult to compete with the big box, chain stores so we see a huge turnover in those businesses.
Work here is very busy and rewarding. We finally found 17 frames to frame the art work that we had ordered for the church. We got those all framed and hung this past week. It looks so good. We are still waiting for two large prints to come from SLC, but all the rest are hung. WE are heading down today to clean carpets. We have a missionary open house in a couple of weeks so we want everything to look great. I am now trying t get up to courage to approach the Bishop here and ask him if we can paint the Relief Society Room. It is the most used room in the building and the walls are in pretty bad shape. Kenneth and Elder Perry have been working on the leaks in the roof and I think they have them all stopped up now, except for one place. They will work on that again this week. We are also working with several part member families. I think we are making good progress. I am teaching one part member family how to do geneology work using PAF 5.2 and They seem to be very interested.
The weather here is still cool and rainy. Occasionally we see the sun and we get really excited for a few minutes until it goes back behind the clouds again!!!
Hope all is well there. It is good to hear from you and hear about life there. We send our best wishes to all of you and tell you that the church is true. It is so great and wonderful to be part of the church wherever you go. The people here are so loving and appreciative to us. We have truly enjoyed getting to know all of them. It has been and continues to be a great experience. Lots of love, Ken and Barbara Beckstrom
PS We went down to London last week to last week and saw the play "Mama Mia". It was so good. We loved the music from ABBA. We also took a few pictures of beautiful downtown London. I am sending a couple of those to you. The London Eye is a huge ferrus wheel 437 feet tall that moves very slowly so that you can see the whole area for miles around.


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