10. October 2008

The first sentence of our previous entry makes me laugh … a few weeks since our last entry … try three and a half years. Maybe we should update this page a little more often. We lived in Neuenhof for around 1 year and then we bought Sabines mum's house. It is a big house so we have three spare bedrooms if anybody wants to come and stay. We have a three metre projector screen in the front room for watching movies and a gym in the basement.

I am no lnger doing contract work but am employed full time by a company called Comartis as a web developer. I am working on eLearning software and we have had a lot of success lately. We still have no kids but are hoping that they come along soon.

I am no longer financial clerk at church but am currently training the new clerk. It is a fairly complex job but he is doing well. Sabine and I are ward missionaries, I am gospel principles teacher and Sabine is nursery leader. She really likes the calling because the kids are so cute.

I have decided to update this website and make it more missionary orientated. I have stomach flu this week so this is a fairly good opportunity to make a start. I am planning on making the following changes over the next few weeks / months:

  1. Change the menu so that it is more useable … DONE.
  2. Make the website more readable as the black text on the sandy background can be difficult to read … DONE.
  3. I am going to improve the quality of some of the pictures that we have on the website … the quality of the pictures is low because a few years ago that is how you made a website fast … DONE.
  4. I will update the list of official church websites. There are a lot more than there used to be … provident living etc … DONE.
  5. I will add image verification to the contact us page to stop spam. Not a big change but something that should make our lives easier … DONE.
  6. I will add a Ralph Thomas section to the missionary section of the site … DONE.
  7. I will add a Find Your Missionary page. This will show pictures of all the missionaries who were serving in the Utah Provo Mission on Christmas Day 1999. Where possible these pictures will link with the missionaries profile on the Utah Provo Mission website … DONE.
  8. I am going to include a huge amount of spiritual quotes and stories. I collected a lot of them on my mission mostly thanks to Brother David Stone or the Parowan Seminary. I will also add an upload link so that people can upload their own stories … DONE.
  9. I will add a text editor to email pages … DONE.
  10. All pages must be converted to php so that I can do more dynamic stuff … DONE
  11. Add LDS Church News, a random feed will be displayed on each page … DONE
  12. I will also add a Myths About Mormons section to put an end to a bunch of Myths About Mormons … DONE.
  13. I will add a Mormon Myths section which will attempt to put an end to a bunch of Mormon Myths … DONE.
  14. Add LDS YouTube Videos … DONE.
  15. As far as the backend is concerned we will be moving over to a VDSL connection. This is just a very fast connection which we will need if more people are accessing the website. The only problem we have is that for technical reasons we will not be able to host other peoples websites. It is a pain but there is not much that we can do about it … DONE.
  16. I am going to promote the website a little more. This will mean having it included by search engines and included on websites that have LDS / religious links … ONGOING.
  17. Add my conversion story including a number of dreams and spiritual experiences. I have not done this previously but really feel that it is about time that I did so. A lot of my old friends cannot believe that I joined the church so it would be good to be able to read about what events lead to me joining. I had some very powerful experiences and feel that I had them for a reason … they should be shared. I will name this section "Why I became a Mormon"
  18. I will be adding a few missionary experiences with names changed to protect the innocent.
  19. I might also add some more up to date photos as well.
  20. I am playing with the idea of adding a flash version of the plan of salvation. It is a concept that people identify with and will help them see that the church is "not so weird"

14.June 2005

It has been a few weeks now since we have updated this page. Since the last time quite a few things have changed.

We have moved to our own place (renting a flat) in Neuenhof in Aargau,Switzerland. It took us and our friends three hours to move everything from Sabine's mum's house to our new place, but to be fair we still had most of our stuff in boxes from when we moved from the UK to Switzerland.

We enjoy it in our new place. Even though we have all the conveniences(shopping malls close by, train station in Neuenhof, bus stop close by, access to the motorway, close to Zurich etc), but still from our front room we can see directly upto Rüsler into the forest.

We have almost all the furniture (some moved across from the UK with us and some we gradually buy), but we still can't wait until we finally get our couch for the front room. We have ordered it at the end of April 2004 and we will get it in mid-July 2005 - 12 weeks!!!

As you surely know by now Michael started a job in February 2005 as a contractor in an XP migration project. He and a few other contractors have to package all the software in MSI / SMS for the XP rollout.

Also about 2 weeks after we had moved, Sabine got a job and is working full time now as an Quality Assurance assistant and project manager assistant.

Weather wise it has been crazy lately. There have been some really hot days; over 30°C, but once in a while it goes 'cold' (around16°C) again.

We miss our friends and family in England and Wales and we miss having the beach "close by" (Rhyll in North Wales) were we loved to go fora walk, but we surely will be visiting once in a while.

04. April 2005

Spring time!It's getting quite nice outside and often you can actually sit outside and eat lunch and/or dinner outside.

Across the Valley

16. February 2005

Below is the view out from our window to the outside - snowy Switzerland. There hasn't been much snow in the past few years here in the area, so this is kind of rare and therefore we thought we take a picture.

Snowy Switzerland
The view from our window to the opposite side of Endingen, Aargau, Switzerland.

It's not that much snow though, but enough that you have to get up earlier in the morning to scrap the snow and ice off the windows of the car before you can drive it. The streets are okay though, a bit icy and slippery but as long as you drive carefully nothing should happen.

07.February 2005

Good news!Michael started work today. So this is his first job in Switzerland. He found a job as software packager for a company that is migrating their operating system to Windows XP. At the moment he has to travel back and forth to Zürich where he works, which was quite an adventure today as the SBB (subsidiary of Swiss Federal Railways) had a problem with the central signal box in Zürich, but the effects could be felt throughout Switzerland as some trains got stuck in tunnels when the problem occurred, other trains got stuck in the middle of nowhere or they got stuck at the train stations and nothing further moved.

Michael luckily was able to get to work in plenty of time, as he got there before the problem occurred, but when he came home in the evening, the effects of the problems with the signal box still could be felt and so he had quite a "fun" time at the Zürich HB (HB = Hauptbahnhof or main train station) train station trying to catch a train that would first of all actually leave and then, more importantly, go in the right direction … in the end he made it home safely again.

Monday,27. September 2004

Okay, we have done it! We moved from Ewloe, Wales, UK to Endingen, Aargau, Switzerland. Whilst most of our stuff was moved across by a haulage company (thanks Jo), we moved some electrical equipment and the things we needed most (clothes etc) along with us in our British car.

We left Ewloe on Thursday, 23. September 2004 at around 05:30 PM GMT and drove down to Dover where we arrived at around 11:30 PM GMT. There we stayed overnight at Ramada Hotel, Whitefield in Dover, UK.

On Friday, 24. September 2004 early at 06:00 AM GMT we got up and got ready to take a ferry from Dover to Dunkirk, France. From there we drove through France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany into Switzerland.

Late on Friday, 24. September 2004 we arrived in Endingen, Aargau,Switzerland. We got there at around 09:30 PM CET. Quite tired, buthappy to got there safely we just ate something quickly and then went to bed.

We are now living happily in Endingen, Aargau, Switzerland at Sabine's mum's house until we find our own place that we can call home.

We would NOT have missed the time in UK and look back with gratitude and a tear in our eyes to the time in the UK, to all the family and good, dear friends we left behind, but hope that time and money will allow us to visit them often.

To all of our family and dear friends back in the UK (you know who you are) - please know that we miss you a lot and hope that you and your loved ones are okay and doing well. We treasure all the experiences that we shared with you and the things we learned from each and everyone of you. Having lived in the UK for the first three and a half years of our marriage has helped us focus on what's really important in our marriage, which is the love for each other.

The experiences in the UK and you have also influenced us greatly and helped us form our relationship to what it is today, and for that we are grateful. There are so many wonderful, loving, caring and righteous people living in the UK and it's not very easy living like that in the UK (those that are living there or have lived there know what we are talking about), and everyone can learn so much from these people.

Thanks for your example! Thanks for letting us be part of your lives for a while and may God bless you in all your efforts

Love Michael & Sabine Ratcliffe (-Müller)