Monday, November 17, 2008

Peace and solitude on the London Temple Site!

Walking the temple grounds

Storm clouds approaching

Night in the Visitor's Centre

Another week has come and gone. We are very busy and the days skip by quickly. The daylight hours are short here. It is dark by about 4:00 PM in the afternoon now. The leaves are quickly falling from the trees and winter is on its way. The Visitors' Centre is really busy most of the time. We have large groups on Fridays and Saturdays and on some evenings, most of the rest of the time it is small groups and individuals who come in for a tour and maybe a movie. The word is getting out there about the new facility so we are getting a good response from members and nonmembers alike. The Christmas lights go on here the first of December so we have four big open houses planned for December. We have a media open house on Dec. 10, a clergy tour on Dec. 11, a government leaders open house on Dec. 17, and a business leaders open house on Dec. 18 so we will be busy. We hope to see lots of response for these, but we shall see. I am busy sending out invitations and getting articles in newspapers, etc.

I thought I would tell you about a couple of the neat experiences we have had in the Centre in the last few weeks. A gentleman came into the Visitors' Centre on the third Saturday that we were open and said, " You probably never hear the end of a lot of stories of people that come in here and are sincerely affected by this place. I am here to tell you the end of one of those stories. I brought a young woman in the very first Saturday that you were open and you showed her the Christus Statue and played the message and she spent considerable time looking at the other displays in here. As we left that Saturday, she began to cry because she had felt the Spirit so strongly. I'm here to tell you that because of the experience she had here, she is being baptized today and I have the pleasure of performing the baptism."

The Centre was recently dedicated by President Robert C. Oaks, the President of the Europeon Area. The day before the dedication we had four people come in who have lived in the area of the temple for about 40 years. They said that they had always felt that nonmembers were not welcome here, but recently they had read that the public was cordially invited to the new Visitors' Centre here so they decided to come. We played the Christus message for them and explained our belief in the Savior. They then spent considerable time looking at the temple kiosk, the family kiosk, the prophet kiosk, and finally the Book of Mormon kiosk. One lady in the party then picked up a Book of Mormon and began to read it. The rest of them went into the cinema to view "Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration". When the movie ended, they ordered a Book of Mormon to be delivered to their home and one of the men said to me," I have always heard that Mormons are not Christian, but now I know the true story."

It is exciting to see the message getting out there that these grounds are not locked and private, but are open for everyone to enjoy. If we have accomplished that one thing in our time here we will have been successful.

We hope you are all well and happy. I'm sure that you are all getting ready for Thanksgiving and the excitement of having family near. We will miss most of our family, but are so excited to have Brooke, our daughter, her husband, Ben, and their two little girls, Emma and Ady, here with us. We will be having a huge American Thanksgiving feast with all of my cousins up in Lechlade-on-Thames. It should be a great celebration.

Hope you have a great week. We love hearing from each of you and love the impact that you have on our lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.