Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Visitors' Centre Directors!

Walking the grounds of the London Temple

The Christus Statue

Airplanes every two minutes directly over Temple

The London Temple is closed up for the next two weeks for cleaning and maintenance and so the Visitors' Centre is also closed except to those who make an appointment in advance. Because of that we have a few days to relax and do a little traveling. My two sisters, Sheila and Carol, and their husbands, Kelly Cannon and Quay Simons will be here in a couple of days so we are way excited and can't wait to show them some of the beautiful sites here in Historic England.

For those of you who have been here to the Temple site in London, you will know that it is located way out of the city and can be quite difficult to get to. Actually, in 1953, this site of ground was found in the county of Surrey in the southern part of England. It is about 30 miles south of London, on the Newchapel estate, once the home of the Pears (soap) family. It is a beautiful spot, but truthfully you can feel a little isolated here because there is no public transportation of any kind around the Temple site. That is one of the reasons that I worked so hard and long to get my English Driver's License, because we did want to be able to get off the grounds once in a while to go out to eat or go grocery shopping, etc. The closest town to the temple site is Lingfield. It is about 3 miles away and has a train station there where you can catch a train for London anytime from 5 AM to midnight. We usually go shopping in East Grinstead, which is a beautiful peaceful village about 6 miles away.

Our typical day here goes like this: The first thing we do each morning is put on our exercise clothes and go out walking. We walk for about 2 miles each morning and another mile or two in the evening. I then spend some time on the internet checking emails, Utah Jazz updates, and USA Today news. We also go to the laundromat (on site), do our ironing, cleaning, cut hair, study, bake, etc. during this couple of free hours that we have in the mornings. The Visitors' Centre is open from 10 AM - 8 PM on Tuesday, 10 AM - 9 PM on Friday, Noon - 8:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday, 9 AM - 5 PM on Saturdays and 6 PM - 9 PM on Sundays and Mondays. We are the only couple assigned there so we try to be there together most of the time, but do take seperate lunch and dinner breaks. I go down and fix meals and then I eat. Then I go back to the Visitors' Centre and Kenneth goes home to eat and do the dishes. It is quite a schedule. All weekends and evenings are busy, but occasionally during the weekdays it can be a bit slow. During those times, Kenneth usually reads Jeffrey Holland books and I do genealogy on my laptop at the Centre. We have many wonderful films that we show in the Cinema and all of the interactive displays in the Visitors' Centre are wonderful. The interactive displays are: The Book of Mormon, Temples, Families, and Testimonies of Christ from the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles.

Each month our numbers seem to be increasing and of that we are pleased. During February, which we thought would be a slow month, we had 2100 visitors with 98 investigators also coming in to learn about the Gospel. We have so many wonderful experiences as we show people around and explain about the principles of the Gospel. On Sundays we go to Church in Crawley, which is a large city right close to Gatwick Airport. It is a large ward with wonderful members of the Church. It is the closest ward that we have seen to a Utah ward. We are involved with a few assignments like teaching Relief Society and helping with Sharing Time in Primary. They do not need us like the ward in South London did, but it has been fun to get to know all of the great people there. On Mondays, we often go on a trip with some of the Temple Missionaries as they travel to different historic sites here in South England and then it is back to work for the rest of the week.

Now you have had a glimpse into our lives here at the Temple. It has been a great experience. We have served essentially two seperate 9 month missions, because our experience proselyting in Mitcham and our experience here at the London Temple Visitors' Centre couldn't possibly be more different. What a contrast. They say that "A change is as good as a rest" and that has been true for us.

We look forward now to visits from our family in the next few weeks and months. We will be released in the middle of June and will be home for the 4th of July so we are excited to see all of you again. Hope all is well there. We look forward to hearing from all of you when you have a minute.