Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goodbye to Morden! Hello to NewChapel, Surrey!

Our last trip carrying groceries home!

St. Helier's Avenue - waiting to catch the bus!

Well, it has been quite a whirlwind of a week. We knew that we were going to be moving to the temple soon, but we did not know when so we were told not to tell anyone in the ward in Mitcham until we knew for sure. On Friday night, the 12 of September, we were having a dinner party with some members of our Stake and the phone rang, telling us that we would be moving early on Monday morning. We had to do some quick scrambling to get addresses changed, people called, our ward notified, our landlord notified, etc. On Sunday, we were called upon to speak to the ward and many tears were shed. They then held a munch and mingle lunch for us after the block and gave us gifts and many hugs. We will miss the good people that we have grown to love there. Luckily, many of them will come to the temple regularly so we will be able to see them. On Monday morning very early we made one last quick trip to Morden to get a few
groceries and then the move began.

Our flat here at the temple is in the accommodations building where most of the temple workers, office workers, groundskeepers, janitors, etc. live. It is nice and new, but very small. We have a nice large kitchen and bathroom, but our bedroom and living area is very tight. I'm sure that we won't be spending much time in here, so that will be good. The surroundings here are beautiful. The London Temple is really not in London. It is in the Burrough of Surrey which is south east of London and is about a 45 minute drive from the southern part of London where we lived in Morden.

We have been treated to many different ethnic foods by the members of our ward since we have been here, our ward members are mostly from Africa and Asia. We have eaten roast tongue (from Zambia), foo-foo, a mixture of stiff plantane and peanut soup (from Ghana), jolif rice (from Ghana), potato casserole (from Zimbabwe), traditional foods from Thailand, Spain, France, England, and even a little American food. Everyone loves the American desserts so we make lots of those for everyone who stops by. Life will be different here. Our kitchen table here is about 2 feet by 2 feet so we will be limited on how many people we can feed. Maybe our food bill will go down a little. We will be attending the East Grinstead Ward here at least for a little while. It will be mostly white English people that attend there, so it will be a different experience for us. We may not stay in that ward, but we shall see.

Our job here will be very different from what we have experienced in Morden/Mitcham Ward. We will mostly be organizing, training, and learning how to run a Visitor's Center. Hopefully, it will open up in about 3 weeks. So far the Christus is tied up in customs, so it has not arrived here yet. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of all of the equipment and displays this week. We will see how that all goes.

Our challenge now is to get our English driver's licenses. We have been able to drive here for one year, but our year will be up in January so we have to have at least one official driver's license by then. We are trying to decide who has the best chance to pass the tests. So far we each have received one vote. I'm not sure who will win!!! The temple is a long way from anywhere so there are no buses really close by. WE will have to drive in order to be able to get anywhere. There is a train stop about 2 and 1/2 miles away in Lingfield, but we will have to get that far by car. The race is on now to be ready by January.

We hope all is well with all of you. It is good to hear from you and know a little about life back in the good old USA! We miss you and pray for you often. Thanks for the influence you have on our lives.