Sunday, January 23, 2011

End of our second week


Dear Family and Friends,

We can't believe that we've been in London for a whole 2 weeks. Everything has been amazing! As I was telling some of you, one would think that in a country that speaks the same language, things would be pretty similar but not so. There are differences in electricity, the sizes of bedding, food, washing clothes, using an oven, the money, and the list goes on. The post boxes are even different! So it has been an adjustment learning to live here.

English post box

Our flat is very nice. It's in Chelsea and a garden flat. That means it's the ground floor with it's own entrance and has a small garden in the back. I am excited to see what it looks like as the weather gets warmed. There are 2 bedrooms, a sitting room, bathroom and small galley kitchen. I'm calling the style English Quaint and I love it.

We work about 35 hours a week in the London Family History Center, which is on the ground floor of the Hyde Park Chapel/ Mission Offices complex. It's in the center of the museum district in London and a block away from Hyde Park. It's a very exciting area to work in. We are experiencing a huge learning curve. It's very much like taking a new job and feeling very overwhelmed. We not only have had to learn how to run the center but also how to help patrons use the resources available in the center and websites for British research. Since the research here covers the entire British Empire we also are learning about records from other countries such as Jamaica and Australia.

Our Sunday assignment is the North London Ward which is in East Finchley- I love the English names. To get there takes 1 1/2 hours. First we take a red double decker bus to Earls Court Tube Station. Then we take the tube in the district line to the Embankment. There we change trains and go on the northern line to the East Finchley Station. The photo below is East Finchley High Road.


From the station we take bus 234 to the chapel. There are several American couples and the Bishop is an American. There are also people from all over the world in the ward- Africa, Scotland, Norway, Canada, to name a few. We gave talks today introducing ourselves. We will have callings for Sunday only. Everyone seems very nice.


London is very diverse. As someone pointed out to us, since the British Empire covers a lot of territory, those people can freely come to England. We hear more people on the street speaking a foreign language than speaking English.

As the people here say in closing,
Best Regards,
Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Senior Missionaries at the MTC

Hello to everyone!
Setting apart
We can't believe that our week of training at the MTC is over! We will be staying here until Monday morning when we have to be ready to leave at 5 am.
It has been an amazing week but a lot of work- especially the preparation to teach discussions. Even though a lot of the senior (I can’t get used to that word) missionaries have assignments other than proselytizing, like office, medical, family history, we all have to have the week training on Preach My Gospel. We've had to teach investigators two different times. They are people who volunteer to play the role of an investigator. We meet with them in a room that looks like a living room and it is video taped. It really isn't threatening at all and I think Dad and I did a pretty good job- I can talk a lot and he knows which scriptures to use so we are a pretty good team.
The most fun is watching the young missionaries. Most of them are having a really good time- all the cereal you want, etc, although I sat by a young Elder today who was clearly miserable. I asked him where he was from- Star Valley Wyoming. Where he was going- Virginia. When I ask him if he was enjoying the MTC he kind of mumbled under his breath that he was never leaving Star Valley again in his whole life. He had a plate full of onion rings, 2 glasses of red soda and not a lot of social skills. Most missionaries are having a great time. One of those is Megan and Steve's nephew David Waugh. He and his 2 companions came over and sat with Dad and I for a few minutes at dinner tonight. They were clearly already good friends. He said that Megan had dropped off some chocolate chip cookies and they devoured them. We also got some and that was fun to have something to pick up in the mail room.
One very interesting thing for me is to have students I had in the 9th grade come up to me. There are about 8 of them here this week who graduated from Lone Peak High School. Also, the assistant principal, Devon Tufts,who retired at the same time I did, was here until yesterday. He and his wife are going on a CES mission to Birmingham, England. He told me that one of our previous students left here the day we came in. I have never been so surprised in my entire life as this young man was a huge challenge to teach. What a miracle! 
We had a missionary take a picture of Devon and his wife, Judy, and Dad and I in front of the world map pointing to England and I sent to my principal, Terry Hill, at school.
Devon and Judy Tufts and us, MTC
Terry forwarded it to the faculty so I got a lot of nice emails from other teachers.
Gene Hughes sister-in-law, Pauline is  here with her husband. They are going to the Czech Republic and have to learn the language- that would be beyond me.
The MTC couple who are in charge of all the senior missionaries, worked with us at the Temple so that is nice to see them again. A friend of Dad's who graduated from Pleasant Grove High School with him, is also here. Les Southam and his wife Nancy are going to Africa for the second time. Kelly and Curtis, tell Ann and Bill that they loved it.
Us and the Southams, MTC
We are becoming good friends with the other couples in our district- there are 3 of them. One couple from Colorado are going to the Dominican Republic to be in charge of the Bishop's storehouse- they were told to bring swimsuits. Another couple from Oregon are going to the Philippines as the mission nurse- she's a nurse and her husband is a dentist but he will be the nurse's assistant. The last couple is from Cedar City and they are going to upper state New York.
MTC District, Ken was district leader
There are 2 other couples in the group of 30 couples who are going to London- the Empeys as the office couple and the Mills as proselytizing missionaries. Both couples  will be on our flight.
MTC group
We saw a few family members the evening before we were scheduled to leave for London. Ken’s brother Sherm and his wife Peggy are serving here in a branch presidency.
MTC with Peggy and Sherm
We were also able to see Megan and Steve and some of our sweet grandchildren when they came to get our car.
MTC with Gladwell grandchildren
In the lobby of the MTC is a stone engraving that was originally in Stirling, Scotland. It inspired President David O McKay when he served as a young missionary. Ken saw it at the mission home in Edinburgh when he was served his mission in 1962-64. Now it’s at the MTC.
We hope that we will be able to “act well” our part as we serve on this mission.
We love all you guys and think of you a lot. I'm going to try to make a blog when I get some free time so it will be easier to communicate with everyone.
Take care. We love you!
Mom and Dad