We hope that we've finally crested the learning curve about how to survive in England, including:
- driving through endless roundabouts on the left side of the road from the right side of the car's front seat
- taking trains into London
- setting up internet access, cell phones, and international communication with our family
- finding housing
- learning where to shop for what we need (thank heaven for Tesco, Costco, Staples and Ikea - but that's just the beginning!)
- putting together an entire household with furniture, kitchenware, bedding, etc.
- finding our way in and out of the villages around southern England
- dealing with insurance in two countries
- establishing a "surgery" (medical clinic) with new doctors (we haven't even dealt with dentists yet...)
- banking - which may be a whole separate blog in the future. What.a.challenge.
- figuring out substitute products for things we're used to using in the states
- haircuts - my personal nightmare on both missions. (Don still has the same barber - me.)
- measurements - miles/kilometers, dollars/pounds, fahrenheit/centigrade, grams/ounces
- and more....
Not surprisingly, our learning curve with our Visitors' Centre duties has been just as steep. I'm fairly certain we haven't reached the crest of the curve yet:
- Meeting everyone living on the temple grounds and figuring out what they are responsible for and how we work together. We love them all! (London Temple presidency, temple recorders, temple missionaries, engineers, London South Mission Office staff, Accommodation Centre staff, and more)
- Working with our Visitors' Centre sister missionaries - establishing schedules, teaching visitors who come to the Centre, training meetings, learning procedures and policies, as well as getting acquainted with the kiosks, exhibits and movies that we use.
- Working with the Missionary Department and Exhibits Department in Salt Lake City
- Becoming familiar with monthly reporting forms
- Building a program of Sunday night firesides and Monday night activities at the Visitors' Centre and working to make them successful
- Establishing a communication network to get the word out about all our activities - and learning proper British spelling and terms for our flyers (called leaflets), such as "programme," "honour," and "centre"
- Meeting and working with stake presidencies, bishops, and Public Affairs councils in the area.
- Working with local media to introduce them to the idea of coming to visit the temple grounds
- Working with local government to create directional road signs to the temple and Visitors' Centre
We have so much more to tell you. Stay tuned. We'll be right back. ~Pat~