Monday, November 26, 2012

Who Are the People in Our Neighborhood?

The London Temple Visitors' Centre has been a busy place during the past few weeks. We are seeing an increase in the number of people who just walk into the centre off the street because they've seen the brown signs or one of our event leaflets (flyers) posted somewhere on a notice board. Besides our busy, busy Saturdays when the coaches bring faithful members and their friends from all over Southern England, we've had more opportunities to share our beliefs and teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ during the middle of the week lately, too. It's what we've been praying and working for!

All our current London Temple Visitors' Centre missionaries.
Front row: Elder & Sister Horsley, me, Don, Sister & Elder Terry
Back row:  Sisters Cabrera (Chili), Reneer (Utah), Yapi (France),
Cardona (France), & Howard (Alaska). We love them!

We've also had a couple of fun events with some of our favorite people in London during the past couple of weeks. Besides our great missionary team in the Visitors' Centre, we love the Mission Office staff who work just around the other side of our building. Some days we wear a path between their door and ours. The office couple (Elder and Sister Kearl), two senior sisters (Sister Hess and Sister Kae), and two young office elders (Elder Gong and Elder Eccleton) are always so patient and helpful to our VC missionaries whenever we need anything. We find excuses to go to the Mission Office several times a week.

Guess where Myrna and George Kearl, our
 favorite  Mission Office couple, come from.

Elder Eccleton and Elder Gong
Evidently they each need two nametags to remember who they are....

Along with the Mission Office staff here on the temple grounds, we love the Temple Missionaries. There are 20 - 25 couples (both British and foreign) living on the temple grounds and serving full-time missions at the temple. In addition, there are many part-time missionaries who come in for a week or a month on a regular basis throughout the year. The temple organizes activities for temple missionaries and we are always invited to join in. Although we are rarely able to go on their field trips on Mondays, we try to carve some time out to attend the events they hold here on the temple grounds.

About a week ago we got to attend the last "Big Bartschi Breakfast Buffet." Elder Grant and Sister DeAnn Bartschi have been in charge of some fabulous Monday morning breakfasts while they've been here. They serve about 50 - 75 people every time. They are not only great cooks but great friends. Their 18 month mission is almost over and they will return to Bountiful, Utah on December 18th. We will miss them for a lot of reasons!

Just part of the Big Bartschi Breakfast Buffet.  

Good friends Ed and Connie Knight getting ready to dig in!

President and Sister Lock (left) of the temple presidency
with Elder and Sister Wood

Boris and Shirley Ann Roberts with the Bonnie and John Fawcett

Bernie, our Housekeeping angel, with Sister Knight and Sister Pilgrim.

The Bartschis are all smiles after everyone has been served.

Also last week, we were invited to go along with a big group of missionaries to see the musical "Dreamboats and Petticoats" at a theatre outside of London. We all got on the train in Lingfield and traveled 45 minutes into London Victoria Station. From there we were to take another train to Bromley, but just as we were making the transfer all the alarms in the train station started blaring and we were told to evacuate immediately. Evidently there was a suspicious package left somewhere. Both the trains and the Underground (subway) came to a halt and all service was shut down for about a half hour until police could be brought in to check out the situation. That pretty much left us with nowhere to go but out on the street.

Our little group hung around outside the train station trying to decide where to go and what to do. Cabs to our theatre (a good half hour away) would have cost us a fortune. There was no bus service to where we needed to go. And besides, with rush hour traffic we'd have been stuck in traffic indefinitely. Eventually, the iron gates that had closed the station opened up again, so we went back in and we waited patiently while the arrival and departure boards began to light up. We somehow made it to our theatre with 5 minutes to spare and really enjoyed reliving the 50's and 60's again. It was a great night!

Evacuation alert.
Lights off and the gates shut to London Victoria Station.

Our street "party" outside Victoria Station.

The Kearls, the Workmans, and the Knights.

Our little group watching the boards for signs of a possible re-opening.

Back in service.

Back on the train.

What do you do at almost midnight in Victoria Station?
Find a good 'ol American Burger King, of course.
Perfect end to an eventful evening!

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