Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Opening at The National Archives, Other Responsibilities and Saying Goodbye

Dear Family and Friends,
Last Friday, The Robertson and Ken and I went out to The National Archives at Kew to get our pictures taken for our identity passes. Sharon Hintze, our director, told us that all of the employees are aware of our coming to work there. I was standing at the reception desk waiting for Ken and the security guard sitting at the table asked me if I was one of the “Mormons”. I wanted to say, “dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through ” but just said yes. The guard got a big smile on his face and asked where in America I was from. He said someday he would really like to see Salt Lake City. Hopefully everyone will be that friendly.
The National Archives is  the government department that houses most of the UK’s records. It contains 1000 years of history including records from parchment and paper scrolls through to digital files and archived websites. Its counterpart in the US is The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C. The US National Archives holds the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.The National Archives in the UK holds the Domesday Book. The  Domesday Book was a land survey commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 to assess the land and resources in England in order to estimate the taxes that William could raise.  The information was recorded  in two huge books. It was called the Domesday Book because the importance of the information collected led to a comparison of the 'Doomsday' described in the Bible where the deeds of Christians written in the Book of Life were to be placed before God to be judged.
The area they are giving us is an incredible space. These are all  our computers and the microfilm readers are in the distance.
The big screen TV has a power point with information about FamilySearch. We will also be getting a large sign that announces that we are the London Family History Centre.
We have a room in the basement where we will house our 60,000+ microfilms. Every 10 or so minutes one of us will go to the basement to retrieve films that have been ordered.
We are in the process of unpacking our films into the film cabinets and getting organized.
There are over 1900 of these boxes containing films to move and put away in the cabinets as Ken and the Robertson's are doing..
Sharon and Ken are organizing shelves.
Tomorrow we are getting our internet line and hopefully by next Tuesday, 13 September, we will be ready to open. This might very well be where we spend the rest of our mission.

Other Responsibilities
One of the things we are asked to do as senior missionaries is to inspect the flats of the Elders and Sister missionaries. IMG_1910Flats are inspected about 4 times a year to make sure they are in good order and fit the needs of the missionaries. We arranged to see the Hyde Park sisters’ flat on Wednesday and the Elders serving in Gravesend on Thursday of last week. Sisters Johnson (from Ohio) and Santos (from Portugal) serve in the Portuguese Branch. After visiting their flat we took them out to an Italian restaurant and had a nice visit over lunch.
The visit to Elders Lindahl (from Sweden) and Rogers (from Arizona) took a more time. We had to take the fast over ground train from St Pancreas Station out to Gravesend in Kent. The trip took about an hour from our flat. The Elders met us at the train station and took us through the charming little town, on the River Thames, to their flat. After the flat inspection we took the Elders to lunch at a Chinese Buffet. They are very good missionaries. Elder Lindahl is the district leader.
On the walk through the town the Elders took us by an old Anglican church. Gravesend is the burial place of Pocahontas and there is a statue of her in the church yard of St George’s Church.

Pocahontas (1595-1617) was the daughter of an American Indian chief. She married an Englishman, John Rolfe, and came with him and her baby to England. She was received at court by Queen Anne and became somewhat of a celebrity. She died seven months later as she was preparing to return to America and was buried in the churchyard. It is unknown exactly where in the churchyard she is buried.
We were so impressed by both the Elders and Sisters. These young missionaries make a real sacrifice to put their lives on hold and unselfishly serve others. In the process of serving they gain a maturity that enriches their own lives. How proud their parents must be!

The Elders told us that before we left Gravesend we should visit  the Sikh Gurdwara (Temple). It is the largest Sikh Timageemple outside of India and can hold 12,000 worshipers. The cost of the building was £13 million and it was opened a couple of years ago. We were allowed to go in but had to remove our shoes and cover our heads. A kind gentleman took us around and explains about the faith and how they worship. According to the 2001 census, 336,000 Sikhs were living in Britain. 
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Saying Goodby to the Crandalls
Elder John and Sister Marilyn Crandall will be concluding their mission and leaving for home (Mesa, Arizona) next Tuesday. We will so miss working with them in our Family History Centre and having adventures with them on P-days. What good friends and examples they have been to us. image

Happy Birthday to two of our precious granddaughters!
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         Abby age 10                                   April age 8
Our love to all!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

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