Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

Old box stone from Egypt at the British Museum

Ice, ice, ice, everywhere!!!

Rosetta Stone

January has been a cold, cold one! Each morning, we start the day by taking a 2 mile walk around the Temple grounds. It is invigorating and very peaceful. Last week, we went outside to begin our walk and the world outdoors was like walking into a Winter Wonderland. It was white, shining, and silver everywhere. The trees, sidewalks, cars, bushes, and grass were covered with ice. When the sun finally made an appearance in the southeastern sky, it was silver. It was absolutely beautiful, cold, but beautiful.

Being here at the Temple has been a remarkable experience. We are able to care for the Visitors' Centre, do genealogy on the New Family Search computer program, go to the temple frequently, mingle with the patrons to the temple and the temple workers who are all such great people, and enjoy the beauties that we are surrounded by here. We have been blessed to listen to stories of miraculous conversions, stories of reactivation after years of being inactive in the Church, stories of leaving loved ones behind because of their dislike of the new religion that has come into peoples' lives, and other marvelous experiences. It is interesting that most of the solid members of the Church here in Great Britain who come in to the Visitors' Centre have been to the US, not only that, they have been to Utah, and even more amazing is that, most of them have been to the St. George Temple. It is a very small world in the Church. People all over the world have the same testimony and glorious determination to live the Gospel no matter where they hail from or what culture they were raised in. The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives for the better! One of the great opportunities of living here on the Temple grounds has been the ability to do genealogy work for our family. I have access to the New Family Search program and lots of computers to do the research on. I also am close enough to run into Hyde Park when I want to or need to to get technical advice on how to do the research that I need to do to continue coming up with names to do temple work for. So far we have done the temple work with lots of help from our close family and extended family for literally hundreds of relatives. What a great blessing for us! You won't believe it, but I have become quite an authority here on how to do genealogy. Many people come and ask me to teach them how to run the program. It has been fun. I, of course, learn the most when I have the chance to teach others how to run the programs.

Each Monday the temple workers organize an excursion to a scenic attraction somewhere in Southern England. Quite often, we try to go. The Visitors' Centre is only open from 6-9 pm on Mondays so we are a little more free to go on that day. We have been to many interesting places. This past week we went into London to the British Museum. It was full of old artifacts from the Egyption, Roman, Greek, Early Europeon, North American, Babylon, and other ancient cultures. It was fascinating. I have included a picture with this email of an ancient stone box, holding written records. This was a very common practice in those days to store valuable written records in that way. The fact that Moroni stored and preserved the gold plates in that way was not unusual. Also, housed in the British Museum is the Rosetta Stone which was found by Napoleon's troops and was used as a gauge to help scientists unravel the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphics and other ancient writings. Very interesting place and so HUGE! We are both fine here. We hope all is well back at home. We miss all of you and enjoy reading your emails.