Tuesday, February 17, 2009

London England Missionaries

The beautiful old manor house.

Good friends from Mitcham ward.

Well, it is starting to feel and look like spring. The snow is gone, the lawns are emerald green, the spring bulbs are bravely sticking their heads up out of the ground, the primrose are brightly blooming, and the blackbirds are singing beautifully in the budding trees. We are hopeful that spring is truly on its way. It is not dark now until almost 6:00 PM so the days are much longer and we love it.

Today, I thought I would tell you a little bit about the senior couples who are missionaries here in the temple and also those in the London England South Mission. There are 10 senior couples in the mission right now. We and our friends, the Perrys from Prescott, Arizona, are the next couples to go home. We will be leaving here in the middle of June. Most of the couples are about our age, some are younger and some are quite a bit older. We have couples from California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona right now. They are a varied bunch, very capable and experienced. Five of the couples are serving in the London area doing church education (institute and seminary), proselyting, leadership training, filming census records at Kew Gardens, and working in the out-reach program with the young single adults. There are also four couples in the southwest, Plymouth, Weymouth, Portsmouth, and Bristol and Kenneth and I here at the London Temple in southeast England. Our mission president is Jeffrey Swinton from Salt Lake City. He will also be going home the first of July so his three years are almost over.

Since moving to the temple in September, we have been able to meet and associate with many of the temple missionaries here. There are about 10 American couples over here serving as ordinance workers in the temple. There are approximately that many that are from England also serving here. They have housing on site for all of the ordinance workers, plus all of the paid workers here: gardeners, security, engineers, janitors, cooks, etc. Each Sunday a few of us hold a big dinner for about 20 people each week. Some of us are the same each week, but we try to invite a few new ones each week. It is lots of fun to share food and visiting with the good people here. Kenneth was sitting and visiting after the dinner with the men while the women were in doing the dishes. They got talking about where they had all gone to school and it just happened that all of the men sitting around the table had all graduated from Utah State University so they had a good visit about the Aggies and how their basketball team is doing this year. The American temple workers are from Canada, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Montana. Several of them are rich farmers and ranchers from Idaho. They even wear their Wranglers and their western shirts so they really look the part.

The old manor house is now finished after about 14 months and the temple presidency and some of the temple workers are moving over there. It is so nice and has such character. I was hoping that we would get a chance to live there for a few months, but they have a new rule that no one who is going home sooner than 6 months can move over there so I guess we will continue to live in our "Motel 6" room and just be happy to have it. We hope you are all well and happy. I'm sure the spring weather is gorgeous. Enjoy it for us!