Sunday, July 19, 2015
We had an incredible week this week. A couple of weeks ago we asked our Mission President if we could go to the temple. He asked the area authority for approval. He said yes. This week we went to the London temple which is actually situated about an hour south of London.
Once we had permission to go we still had a few wrinkles to iron out. The temple has on site housing for its patrons. It costs 13£
per person per night. Ed phoned the temple and of course there were no rooms left but they did refer us to a local hotel. When we phoned there we found the price to be exorbitant. We then contacted the temple trip coordinator for our stake. She confirmed that there were no rooms. However, 10 minutes after we called her she called back and said that a couple had cancelled and there was indeed a couple's room available which we took.
Our next challenge was the ferry. Of course, we wanted to take the ferry at the same time that the other members of our Branch were taking. We tried to book this online. This gave us no end of grief for 2 reasons. First of all the site was not very friendly. Secondly there was a little matter of a security code attached to our master card that seemed difficult to manage. After 5 attempts we were booted off the site. Anyways, Ed finally phoned the ferry and they reserved a spot for us and confirmed our booking by e-mail.
We were now ready to go. We left at 7:30 on Monday morning. It was awesome. Our little Branch had 11 people going to the temple. We travelled in 3 cars and met at the ferry about 3 and a half hours away. The trip went quite well. We travelled with Michel and Paulette Dampt. We had a very enjoyable time driving with them. They both have a long history with the church in France and we learned a lot from them. Michel is blind and yet he knew the routes better than the GPS. He had been to the temple many, many times.
When we arrived at the ferry we had lunch which we had all prepared. Loading went well and the trip was great. Lynn and I walked around, looked at the shop and exchanged money to pounds. This proved to be fairly expensive. The ferry ride was about one and a half hours.
|The White cliffs of Dover! It's actually chalk|
After another hour and a half we arrived at the temple. It is situated south of London in the beautiful green countryside. It is a beautiful temple in a beautiful setting. There were gardens and trails all around. The housing was great. Our room had a fridge and a microwave with two double beds. We even had wifi because we were next to a room that had it. Downstairs they have a very large kitchen and dining room for the patrons use. So, we ate together every night.
|Thanks Isabelle Biver for this and the following 13 pictures|
|This wonderful photo by Isabelle reminds us of the book "Are you my mother?" by Dr. Seuss|
Soon after our arrival we took a trip into East Grinstead, a little Village nearby, to stock up on food. This was fun driving on the wrong side. We stopped and got some fish and chips on the way back. You can't go to England and not have fish and chips. That's our excuse and we're sticking with it. They were delicious.
This trip was especially significant for Lynn as her Grandma Baker was born in Islington, which is part of London. She also believes that she has relatives in Crawley, a little town 9 kms away from where we were staying.
It was wonderful to be able to attend the Temple for 3 days. We were very much uplifted by this great experience. We were edified by all that we did. Each day our Branch members met in Dampts' room for a spiritual thought that was given by a different person each day. We came closer as a Branch and were able to get to know many more people in our stake. We were able to preform all ordinances in French which was absolutely beautiful. Highlight - the sealing of Lynn's Grandma to her parents and her Great-Grandfather to his parents. It was truly a lovely experience being in the land of their birth and doing this sacred work.
One of the Sisters who was there from our stake was the contact person for the Liahona which is the French edition of our church magazine. She wanted to do an article on our Branch because of the growth we have experienced and because of our increased presence in the stake at meetings and activities. She interviewed Ed and took a picture of all our Branch members in front of the temple.
We did get to do a little visiting. We did not go into London because of the driving challenges that the UK offers. But Ed did go running every morning and we did do a tiny bit of shopping and some visiting of the nearby villages. What a lovely part of the world and what great people we met.
Cool story...we were in the Visitors Center and we ran into Ben Wright, from Cardston who is serving in the London South Mission. Of course we had to take a picture for his Mom and Grandma Wright!
|We had the best seats in the house at the front of the boat.|
|Port of Calais - re-entering France|
|Our Branch picture but 7 people had already left before we took the picture.|
Au revoir de la France.
Lyndi-lou and Eddie, too.