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Hi I'm Vivien

I'm a mother, a Museum Coordinator and a Mormon

About Me

I'm a mum of six children - an unusually large family in England. At one time I was constantly asked "Are they all yours?" When the youngest started school I heard on the radio that the local museum was looking for volunteers. For years I had I had participated in voluntary work with children and been on various toddler and preschool committees and PTAs. I was looking for something different so I phoned the museum and was welcomed onto the team of volunteers manning the reception desk. Sometimes in the winter it was really quiet and I took a book to read or some knitting. Then one day one of the research team asked me if I would be interested in word processing letters from soldiers in WW1 that were printed in the local papers of 1914-18, which were becoming too fragile for the public to handle. That was the start of becoming more fully involved in the museum. I joined the Collection Team, cataloguing and conserving artefacts and documents. When the full time curator left and the museum became volunteer run I was asked to deliver the education service. Then a paid position of Museum Coordinator was advertised and I applied and was successful. I describe myself as the "glue" that sticks all the various committees together.

Why I am a Mormon

I come from a heritage of service. My grandmother was President of the Townswomen's Guild and a stalwart member of her congregation. My mum was a Sunday School superintendent, a Girl Guide leader and a fundraiser for good causes. I attended my parents' church, participating in the choir, girl guiding, teaching Sunday School and as a teenager running the youth group and discos. I felt there was something missing from the teachings of my church though and started talking to friends of different faiths. I met some Mormons who invited me to a Seminary graduation dance. As I walked into church the next morning I felt something I now recognise to be the Holy Ghost. A sister shook my hand and I felt that I had come home. I was not allowed to be baptised until after my 18th birthday, a year and a half later. I used that time to study the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. I realised that some of the church's teachings were what I had been missing in my previous faith including the fact that we lived with Heavenly Father before we came to earth and that little children are innocent and do not need baptism. At age 20 I decided to serve a mission and was called to the France Paris Mission. I was later married in the London temple and we have six children, three of whom have served missions. My testimony continues to grow as I study the scriptures and serve the Lord.

How I live my faith

As well as being paid for work at the museum I volunteer there as well. It's good to sometimes be out of the office and dress up to tell stories or deliver a workshop to a group of young people, lead a WW2 sing-along or lead an art or craft activity. I am also able to help people with their family history enquiries. We live in a small branch of the church so I have always had a calling or assignment. Currently I teach Seminary - a programme that enables youth from Years 10 to 13 in high school to receive a daily lesson from the scriptures. We have four students who all go to the same school so we meet in a member's house near the school from 7:40 - 8:30 am to learn the gospel together, then they go to school and I go to work. As the lesson material is much more than we can deliver in the allotted time I have to get to know the students to know what is the most appropriate part of the lessons to teach. It is also a calling where you need to be in tune with the Holy Ghost. My husband and I are trying to learn to be "callers" for Ceilidh/ Folk Dancing. We recently bought second hand disco equipment so we can have dances at church and maybe even in the local village hall if we become proficient enough.