Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Exciting news from London! The Christus Statue arrived yesterday!

The David O. McKay tree

The entry gate at the London Temple

Lifting the crate off the Lorry

This has been quite a week. We have finally completed our move out to the London Temple Grounds. It is a beautiful place, so serene and peaceful. We enjoy walking around the perimeter of the grounds (about 32 acres) every night. The grounds are a combination of beautifully manicured grounds right around the temple to a more natural landscape further out away from the temple. There are massive trees, bushes of every description, gorgeous flowers, shimmering ponds with little bridges over them, and wildlife running through the undergrowth everywhere. We saw three small deer when we were out walking the other night. What a contrast to London where we have been living for the past 9 months. There was nothing peaceful there. It is truly a city that never sleeps. There are constant sirens and traffic all night long.

We do miss all of our friends that we had learned to love, but I think the change will be good for us. We are learning to drive now. We go out practicing almost everyday. The hardest thing so far has been not driving too far to the left. We often forget that there is a whole car's width on the left hand side of the steering wheel. It is actually easier to drive than I thought it would be. We have to have at least one driver's license within the next 4 months. Our American licenses are good for one year over here so by the middle of January we need an English driver's license. We'll see who can pass!!!

The Christus statue and all of the displays and sound equipment for the Visitors' Center arrived yesterday from the USA by boat. It sat in customs for almost a week before they would release it. We were so excited when it showed up yesterday. I have sent a picture of the large container filled with everything to set up the Visitors'Center just right. It was quite the occasion here. Everyone was out there to see the delivery and unpacking. The Christus is beautiful. The statue of Christ is about 8 feet tall and will have a gorgeous blue sky background behind it and that will look out of huge windows facing the lit temple. It should be quite stunning. We are hoping to be trained this week and be up and running by sometime next week.

Right now we are writing letters to invite everyone out to tour the Visitors' Center from all walks of life both church members and others alike. We hope to make it a real destination for everyone to come to and learn about Christ. There is a lot to be done before we open up. We had our first group of Scouts yesterday, even before the building is finished. We had a good tour of the grounds and watched the Restoration DVD with them. It was fun to be working with children again.

We are almost at our half way mark. We are still trying to decide what to do to celebrate. Kenneth doesn't like any of my ideas so we shall see. Our boys said that we should burn something, but we haven't got enough room here to have a bonfire, so maybe we'll just burn some toast!!! Boy, does this big building smell when someone burns toast in here.
We hope all is well with you. Sounds like you are having some cooler weather now which I'm sure you are enjoying. It is truly fall here. There are red, yellow, and gold leaves all over the trees and some are even beginning to fall to the grounds. It is very beautiful. We are having a glorious Indian Summer or whatever you call it over here. Take care and keep us updated on your news.