Monday, June 11, 2012

Makin' Progress

This past few weeks we've had some exciting successes in our efforts to let more people know about the Visitors' Centre.  A few blogs ago I reported that Pat and I took a trip to Guildford to submit an application to the Surrey District Council to approve highway directional signs leading motorists to the London Temple and Visitors' Centre.  Recently, two highway engineers came to the Centre to evaluate our proposal, and two weeks ago we received notification that the Surrey Highway Department will erect four new "brown signs" on some major roads around the temple.  The signs will have directional arrows and say London Temple and Visitors Centre.  This week we received approval from the Church Temple Department and the Missionary Department authorizing us to proceed.  We are thrilled, because motorists on A22 and West Park Road will now know that there is a Visitors' Centre on the temple grounds, and that they are welcome to come in and visit.  The signs will help guide both temple patrons and visitors.  We don't have a date yet when the signs will be erected, but when they are, we will post pictures.

Meanwhile, after several months of work, we now have a Visitors' Centre link to a popular tourist website in Surrey.  You can see it at  The web manager tells us that this site gets 70,000 hits per month, and we are now listed as one of the five major places to visit in Surrey.  We hope this will be of interest to local residents, tourists and visitors to the area during the Summer Olympics in London.

This is the "leaflet" (flyer), designed by the fabulous Elder Henderson,
that we are distributing throughout the mission boundaries.  

There is also one more thing we've put into motion:  two weeks ago we emailed and sent letters to several hundred teachers and school administrators in the area, inviting them to bring students to the Visitors' Centre to learn about the Church as part of their required religious education curriculum. Young students in England are required to learn about different religions in the schools, but they don't usually learn much about the LDS Church.  What they do learn is often biased and sensational.  We'd like teachers to bring their classes to the Visitors' Centre and get some facts.  Our sisters will not proselyte, but will provide accurate information about basic teachings of the Church -- the Joseph Smith story, the Book of Mormon, and that we are neither Catholic, nor Protestant, but early Christianity restored.  They will explain the difference between temples and chapels, and describe what the Church has meant to them in their own lives.  It is late in the year for most teachers to schedule field trips, but we hope they will put us on their planning calendars for next year (we will likely send out another notice in late August).  Anyway, last week our sisters were told that one of the head teachers at a nearby school has said that he plans to schedule five classes from his school to come to the Visitors' Centre.  It's a start, and we hope it catches on.

We've also had seven firesides and seven Monday night family activities in the nearly five months since we arrived.  We want the Visitors' Centre to be a place of learning, a place of peace, and a place of inspirational and fun activities.  Last week we had more than 900 people come to our small Visitors' Centre.  We're happy to have them come.             ~ Don ~  

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