Friday, July 19, 2013

A quite week of work...

As of next Monday it has been three months since we entered the MTC in Provo.  In some ways it seems like so long ago, but in other ways the time has gone quickly.  We are now at the end of July and feeling much more comfortable with our surroundings, driving on the left side of the road, and our responsibilities at the Employment Centre.  We have met some wonderful people and have seen some wonderful things.  This is truly a beautiful country.

The weather the last few weeks has been unusually warm.  Yesterday it reached 30 degrees (that is 86 degrees Fahrenheit).  For Scotland that is very warm.  I was watching some of the highlights of the British Open Tournament today and the course is very dried out.  (Yes, they do play a bit of golf here.  The Muirfield course is about 20 minutes from our flat)  People are beginning to comment about how they need rain as no one has sprinklers and the lawns and gardens are getting very dry.
This next Saturday we are holding our first Career Workshop.  We have advertised the Workshop throughout the Edinburgh Stake.  We are hoping to have 6-8 people attend.  The course is normally to be taught over two days but we have had many comments that it is too costly to travel to Edinburgh for two days from the outlying towns.  We have always thought that the workshop could be condensed into one day…so we will see how it works out.

In the Workshop we teach participants how to evaluate their strengths, values, personal history, and accomplishments.  We teach how to verbalize these qualities and convert them into “power statements” that can be used in their CV and also in the interview process.  We do actual mock interviews to help them respond to common interview questions.

We also conduct the Work Choice Profile which is a psychometric evaluation to help identify attitudes and also career interests.  It is a very interesting process.  The Church uses this analysis tool throughout the UK and Ireland but they don’t use it in the States…I’m not sure why.  As we review the results with an individual, it is interesting to see how accurate the attitudes evaluation is with their current thinking about things.  Most will agree that the evaluation is “spot on”.

We have been working with one young man who just graduated from the University of Aberdeen and is now looking for a career.  We conducted the Profile with him and also helped develop his CV.  In the CV section regarding “Achievements”, we discussed what we could highlight.  He later sent an email stating that he had come up with an achievement.  He had gone to his boss and recommended a different way of distributing the materials to the work team which ended up being accepted by his boss because it increased productivity by 20% and resulted in a savings of about £200 per day in wages.  This young man has a bright future…I told him he should ask his boss for a raise.
We have helped  another person write an effective CV which has generated a number of job interviews.  Now we need to work on her interviewing skills.  We have had one individual find work and others are hopefully not far behind.

Overall, we are having a good time with the Employment Centre.  We are anxious about the Career Workshop and will be happy to see how it turns out.  If it works out as a one-day session we will be scheduling the workshop in other Stakes throughout Scotland on a regular basis.
We work in the Centre three days each week.  The facilities are nice but I struggle with the computer network and the printers.  I need my IT team from Rutan to come straighten things out.  I use my laptop instead of the Church computers because it is faster, but it won’t always connect to the wireless printer…it’s a wee bit frustrating. 

I’m still studying for the drivers license exam.  I am taking practice tests (written exam) and do fairly well…but I must admit, there are some strange traffic rules over here.  There are Zebra Crossings, Puffin Crossings, and Pelican Crossings for pedestrians and all have different rules and traffic lights.  The driving on the left side is becoming much more natural and I’m quite comfortable with most driving situations.
We are excited when we learned last week that the lady we helped teach a few weeks ago has decided to be baptized.  (See post from June 26)  The teaching missionaries are quite busy with people who have asked to be taught about the Church.  There was a baptism last Sunday of a young woman who was on the internet and found  She read about the Church and watched many of the videos.  She also watched some of the videos on  She walked into the Church building a few weeks ago and asked to learn more.  

There are some very interesting videos on the Church website that have been prepared to depict the life of Jesus using the scriptures from the Bible as the text of the video.  It is exciting to see how the Church is using the internet to teach the Gospel throughout the world.  There is a major media campaign in London right now inviting people to go to to learn about the Church.  Also they are encouraging people to read the Book of Mormon in connection with the publicity from the play "The Book of Mormon".  The ads say:

      "You have seen the play, now read the book"

       "The book is always better than the play..."

      "The play is entertainment for one evening.  Read the book and it will change your life forever bringing you closer to Christ"

These ads are in the Tube throughout London and posted on 250 of the double-decker buses.  I would echo the ads and encourage all of you to "Read the Book"!!

1 comment:

  1. Rich and Carolyn, You are doing such important work. Work that will impact peoples lives. How wonderful!