Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hello again from the London Temple!

Kenneth standing by the pond outside the London Temple

Life is still good here but things are not progressing very quickly at least not quick enough for me. The workers from Salt Lake City are here putting everything together over at the Visitors' Centre. All of the displays are interactive so there are huge bundles of wires going everywhere. The cinema is being set up with a great number of possible movie selections on the server so just a touch will turn the right one on. We hope it won't be too technical so that even dummies can run the technical video and audio equipment.

The men who came in to hang the mural behind the Christus statue did a very poor job and there are big wrinkles in the mural so it is going to be torn down and they have a hired a muralist from here in London to recreate the mural and paint it directly onto the wall. We hear that his name is Michael and we are hoping that his last name is Angelo. Maybe then we will get a good job done!!!

We have been furiously practicing driving, working on correspondence to go out to everyone in the world in the England South Area, and going over all of the details that have to be worked out to have his Visitors' Centre up and running we hope by next week. It has been a very interesting experience and also quite a learning one, as well.

Every day we go out and walk the 32 acres of ground. We do two laps in the morning and two at night. We figure that those four laps are about 4 1/2 miles. It is so beautiful. It is almost as good as hiking around in the beauty of Pine Valley!!! It is nice to be doing some pleasurable walking instead of just running for buses, trains, trams, subways, etc like we were doing when we were in London. Just outside the temple fence is a large wooded area where quite often we see deer, etc. Also, there is a racetrack and a large piece of ground that used to belong to Winston Churchill just through the fence. This temple site once belonged to the Pears family who had made their fortune making soap. They sold the manor house and the property to a family named Rudd from America. He later got himself into financial trouble and had to sell most of the estate. The Newchapel Manor House was put up for auction in May 1924 and the stud complex was
purchased by Winston Churchill and later became known as the Churchill Stud. In the Daily Herald, this article appeared in 1958, "I heard last night of a strange deal between Sir Winston Churchill and the Mormons. Under a gentleman's agreement he is paying them rent to graze his racehorses and use the stables adjoining the new Mormon Temple. The Mormons bought the Newchapel Manor House, formerly the home of the Pears (soap) family and the 32 acres of surrounding land for 21,000 pounds in 1953. " Winston Churchill's home called Chartwell House is right near here also. We have not been there yet, but hear that it is truly something to see. We shall try to go by there soon.

We are thoroughly enjoying learning more about this part of England. We live in the County of Surrey, right near Kent. The borough of Kent is where the Jackson family came from (my dad's mom's family) It is just so gorgeous. There are many large stately homes here and lots of castles. We drove over the Hever Castle yesterday. It was once owned by Henry VIII's wife Anne Bolyne, who he beheaded. After he had her killed, he kept the castle and later gave it to his new wife Anne of Cleves when he divorced her. Quite a nice quy, huh!!!The roads are very narrow here and the trees grow over the roads so it is like you are driving inside a beautiful green tunnel. in lots of places. The scenery is just spectacular. When you think of England with the small, green country lanes, this is it.

We are having a real adventure here. I even got signed up on the New Family Search so I am able now to do more genealogy work faster and simpler.

We hope you are all well and happy. We think of you often and how you have touched our lives for good. We value all of the friendships and relationships that we have had with you all through the years. Have a great week.