Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why we’re here…


Dear Family and Friends,

A word about why we’re doing family history work on our mission. There are 2  beautiful messages hanging in the entrance of our centre. One is from President Gordon B Hinckley. He said, “One of the distinguishing features of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a belief in the divine nature of the family as an institution ordained of God. Here centers the most sacred of all human relationships. Life is eternal. Love is eternal. And God our Eternal Father designed and has made it possible that our families may be eternal.” The other message is from Alex Haley. “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep to know our heritage- to know who we are and where we have come from.”  I often have watched the patrons who come to do family history work, most of whom are of other faiths, stand and read those words and then spend hours looking for their family members who are dead. We are here in London to help them in their search.

For Christmas our children gave us a wicker box filled with messages that we open each day. All our children and grandchildren wrote messages. There are enough to carry us through our mission- one each, for every day.IMG_0778 Here are some of the messages we have opened so far: Sending you sunshine. Every day and every way, a little bit better. Your house is burning down. Your service is a great example. Mind the gap. Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it. You rarely succeed unless you have fun doing it. Knock, knock. Who’s there? (Answer on another sheet.) I love you and I love BYU. These sweet messages are something we look forward to opening each day!

The family history missionaries are preparing to help with the hosting of the FamilySearch booth at the genealogical convention, “ Who Do You Think You Are?”, sponsored by Ancestry on 25-27 February at the Olympia Exhibition  Centre. WDYTYA is like a giant family history trade fair, where all the organizations, both commercial and charitable (like family history societies) set out their stalls. It will be exciting to be there and help.

We work at the Family History Monday – Friday. On Sunday we travel to the North London Ward where we are assigned for our mission.


Saturday is usually our preparation day and since we are in an amazing city we plan to see as much as we can. This past Saturday we went to the Science Museum which is directly across Exhibition Road from our Hyde Park building where the chapel, England London Mission offices and Family History Centre are located. After we spent a couple of hours seeing the museum, we went to the IMAX theater and watched a 3D presentation on the Hubble Space Telescope. Very interesting. I wish my Earth Systems students could have seen this video when I was teaching them astronomy about a year ago!


We send our love to all of you and have so enjoyed the messages sent to us!

Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a wonderful week!

 Dear Family and Friends,

Our mission had zone conferences with President and Sister Patch, the senior couples and young missionary Elders and Sisters. Our mission has about 150 young missionaries in the counties west from Buckinghamshire, north and west to Norfolk and Suffolk and south to Kent. The conferences were divided into 3 days, so ours on Wednesday, had about 50 of the missionaries and several of the couples. The assistants to the president (AP’s) pretty much planned the classes and meetings that we were involved in. I continue to be amazed at the maturity and effort of these young people! Elders Sikahema and Jacob are the AP’s. During lunch one of the Elders came up to me and said, “You taught at my school! His name is Thayne Thompson and he is in Dover. I didn’t teach him but did teach his sister. It was fun to talk about Timberline and those in his class who are now serving missions.

We are learning to be more comfortable with our work the family history centre. We now know how to open and close the centre, retrieve microfilms and scan to print the images and are learning enough about British research to be able to some what intelligently answer the questions of our patrons. Ken has been given the responsibility of doing the scheduling for the couples and volunteers who work and I am learning how to schedule the groups who hold their meetings in the church building or our centre. This is all done in Excel so some of the computer use has been challenging for us. We quite often wish we had Andrew with us on the mission. Thank goodness for SKYPE!

Last night was very fun. The Prices had a dinner for all the senior couples and the 6 Elders and 2 Sisters who are in London. Prices made sloppy Joes, frog eye salad and brownies which were a hit with the missionaries. We played a version of Pictionary where they had to draw a picture of a Primary song and after we all sang the song.


11 Feb 2011 Back: John and Marilyn Crandall. Barbara and John Robertson, Cheryl and Ken Fugal, Front: Gerry and Jim Price, Elder Sikahema, Elder Schow, Elder Resolve, Elder Avanesyan, Elder Felix, Elder Jacob, Elder Zarian
(Back: John and Marilyn Crandall. Barbara and John Robertson, Cheryl and Ken Fugal, Front: Gerry and Jim Price, Elders Sikahema, Schow, Resolve, Avanesyan, Felix, Jacob and Zarian.)

The sisters left early as they had to teach a class but before leaving, the Elders sang "Heavenly Father, are you really there? and do you hear and answer every child's prayer?" It was very touching. They sang it in 3 Languages- English, Armenian and Portuguese.



Today Ken and I took the red double decker bus number 11 and rode it down King’s Road,Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria Street, Whitehall and the Strand until we got to Saint Paul’s Cathedral. We took a tour and learned enormous amounts of English history. What a fascinating place! The story of how St Paul’s survived the Blitz during World War II is amazing. The memorial to the American solders who served in the war reminded me of my Dad who served in the American army in Europe.


Our best to all of you!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One down 17 to go…


Dear family and friends,

We’re one month into our mission and settling in. We’ve found the grocery stores, dry cleaners and are beginning to understand the bus routes and underground. The one great thing about being over 60 in London is that you get free bus and tube rides. We are are making progress on how to run the appliances, but had a minor setback when we blew up the electric hair clippers.  

We’ve never walked so much in our entire lives! London is teeming with people- it's fun to watch the Moslem ladies in their burkas, the school children in their uniforms and people from all over the world speaking a myriad of languages. The women and girls all seem to wear black- black tights, black coats and black flat shoes.

We work in the Family History Centre  about 35 hours a week. Right now there are 4 missionary couples working, but one couple, Jim and Gerry Price go home to Arizona in about a month. We’ll miss them a lot as they have been our tutors, mentors and friends. Jim was an airline pilot and Gerry was a dental hygienist before retirement. Marilyn and John Crandall are from Mesa, Arizona and will be going home in September. John’s a retired dentist and Marilyn, a retired kindergarten teacher. Barbara and John Robertson are from Orem and came the week after we did. John is a retired BYU professor of Linguists and Barbara is our expert In Scottish family history. The director of our Centre is Sharon Hintze. She has lived in England and Switzerland for years and has been director of our centre for the past 10 years. She is knowledgeable about everything- genealogy, history and the British people.

We go sightseeing on most Saturdays. Last week we went with Prices to the British Museum (Fabulous), Harrods Department Store (wow) and Chipolte Mexican Grill.

British Museum

Prices at British Museum


We had the opportunity today to ride the train down to Surrey to go to the Temple. We traveled with 2 of the family history missionary couples ( The Prices and Robertsons), the missionary couple that runs the employment center (The Campbells), a single older sister  missionary (Sister Groves)who also works in employment and a couple of American expats (The Allreds), our age, working in London. We also went in the visitors center.

London Temple


London Temple visitor's centre

We are doing well. Our best to all of our friends and family.

Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)