Last Wednesday evening I had an incredible experience I didn't expect to have as missionary in England.
I was invited to particpate in a one-hour interview about the LDS Church and the Temple Visitors' Centre on Meridian FM 107, a news, talk, and rock music radio station in East Grinstead. The interview was conducted by Krys O'Brien, whom I had met a few weeks earlier at the "blessing" of a new Care Centre in East Grinstead. Three religious leaders had attended the blessing: a vicar from the Church of England, a local Scientology minister, and myself (representing President Raymond Lowry of the London Temple). The three of us had a cordial conversation prior to each of us giving a prayer for the new Centre, its staff, and patients. Joining the conversation was Krys O'Brien, who covered the event for Meridian Radio.
Krys is a fun and energetic young woman with an engaging personality and lovely British accent. When she learned that I was a Mormon, she immediately asked if I could arrange an interview for her with Donny Osmond for an upcoming show. I told her I didn't think I could get Donny Osmond, but I could set up an interview with Donnie Carpenter, introducing myself as Director of the London Temple Visitors' Centre. She knew where the London Temple was, knew very little about the LDS Church, and didn't know the Temple had a Visitors' Centre. But she had a lot of questions about the Church and said she'd like to explore them on her Krys O'Brien Show the next day. I said, "How about the following week?" She agreed, and we set a date for September 12th.
I trusted Krys. She was kind and respectful, open to new ideas and opinions, and unlike most of the sensational London media, she didn't appear to have any biases or a predetermined agenda. She was delightful on the show. She asked insightful questions, listened well, and allowed me to answer the questions without refutation and bantering. Her feedback was polite, reassuring, and complimentary. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. If you have patience, have something else to do while you are listening, and don't mind hearing a lot of soft rock music, including Gladys Knight's Midnight Train to Georgia, the BeeGees, and Lady Gaga, you can catch the show at http://184.108.40.206/meridianfmaudio/20120912180001.mp3
The first 11 minutes are news, weather, and rock, followed by 45 minutes of interview, interspersed with soft rock. You may be able to skip some of the music by moving the bar below. I hadn't known that this was a rock music station, or that the interview would last so long. But Krys was wonderful and appreciative -- she invited me back. I was able to invite people to the Visitors' Centre and teach more about the restored gospel than I would have thought possible.
It's days like this that make a mission rewarding and fun! ~ Don ~
On another note, The Book of Mormon Musical is coming to London, with signs posted in the Underground, on the front page of the London Evening Standard, on double-decker busses. and on boards all over the city saying "The Mormons Are Coming!" Most people will see through the satire of this misguided play, and it won't hurt the Church in London or in LA any more than it did in NYC. More people are likely to read the book, and it will open doors to the missionaries. Cheers from London!