Week Seven – Another fire, another car run, and finally the castle

Another week!!  Sunday we drove the car we picked up in Inverness up to Dundee.  The mission cars are all on leases and the Dundee car’s lease is up so we needed to get it back to the office so they could pick it up. The drive to and from Dundee was beautiful.  We saw a couple castles as we drove along.  It being Sunday we didn’t go over to them.  Usually there is a fee to get into the castles so we didn’t want to do that.  I was impressed with the Dundee area.  It is clean, more modern, and filled with families.  We got there in time for church (as planned) and spent a lovely fast and testimony meeting with the members there.  We have two sets of missionaries in the ward we went to and they both had investigators with them.  The testimonies born were beautiful and it was so nice to sit in a meeting where most of the congregation was families and they were all dressed in Sunday clothes.  Our Edinburgh ward is of course in the middle of University stomping grounds so we have a very diverse culture and most are students.  Most come in their jeans and hoodies and it’s just a different feel.  I love the ward we are in and our bishop is doing a great job with this unique ward so I’m glad I’m experiencing this as well.

Tuesday was zone conference for three zones and it is held in our church which is right next to the us so we got to be there for a lot of it.  We could go over for all of it if we wanted but we had repairmen fixing a shower upstairs in the APs apartment and so we took turns hanging back to be there with them.  It was fun to meet so many missionaries that I’ve talked with on the phone.  Two girls in particular came a bit early and we had a good talk about being on missions and getting used to the culture.  Sister Parker is from Lindon and Sister Johnson is from Alpine so we had a lot in common to discuss.

Wednesday I began my training to move to secretary to the president.  So I split my day in working on housing issues, organizing as much on my computer as possible so my replacement can slip right in and learning how to do new missionaries coming in.  We have two missionaries coming in this Friday who were supposed to come during the last transfer but were not far enough along in their learning of English so they were held over at the MTC for more English training.  But the problem with that was their VISAs were going to expire before the next group of missionaries were coming so they are coming by themselves this Friday.  So now as the secretary, some of my responsibilities will be travel arraignments, transfer board, VISAs and other documentation to be legal to preach and live here etc.  I’m very excited about this change.  This is more to my liking although I was very willing to do housing, newsletter, after transfer reports and mobile phones as well.  Some of that is fun too.

Wednesday night we attended the baptism of Zhao Shuting (sounds like shoe ting).  She is a girl here at University from China.  We have a lot of Chinese converts here.  We have the best missionary set that works with the Chinese, Elder Elton from Las Vegas and Elder Huang from Taiwan.  So fun to watch Elder Huang as he is learning more and more English and starting to show his personality.  I can’t get enough of the missionaries.

Thursday we got to the office to find out one of the flats we have in Ireland burned down.  Our missionaries are displaced and have nothing.  The apartment right next to theirs had a BBQ (tip over is what the papers are saying, but the Elders told us the man poured gas on the BBQ) anyway it exploded or something and the entire building of 24 flats is unsafe to enter.  The roof fell in on the BBQ flat and our missionaries flat.  They were the two that were totally destroyed.  Elder Cluster is going home in three weeks and after finding out they were ok the first thing that hit us all was his passport.  It was in all of our prayers that day that things would work out.  The Elders were in their flat as it happened but were just leaving to go do a service project.  They were in their worst clothes and didn’t grab anything to take out with them so no wallets, phone, money…  All of their suits etc of course were burned.  Later that evening they went back over and a fireman carried out two partially burned suitcases.  Everything was gone except their journals and their passports.  They were safe.  Elder Cluster will get home without delay.  So we felt we had a miracle happen today in our mission.  Now it’s Saturday and we know that nothing else survived in their place.  We had garments expedited over from Preston so they had those sometime on Friday and the mission counselor, President Thompson who lives in Ireland took them shopping for new clothes, shoes, ties, socks etc.  They are going to have a great story to tell when they get home.


Today we finally went down to the castle and shopped along Princes Street.  I saw the Elephant House where J.K. Rowling started Harry Potter      

and Grayfriars Bobby.  I’ll have to get the book about this devoted dog as well.

We walked up to the castle.  I’ll wait to go in on a day that isn’t so packed with people.

There was a big rugby game about to happen as you can see by my pictures of fans for a French team.  This is also the first day that I’ve seen it really rain.  It’s been unusual weather for the Scotland area.

Well I’ll end with a thought to my mom and my daughter and daughter-in-laws.  Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I just want to take a minute to say how thankful I am to my mom for the example and dedication she has given to me.  No one will ever know the many hours she spent supporting all the crazy ideas I dreamt up as a child.  She typed with carbon paper between pages newsletters, flyers, programs etc more times than I can count. She designed the best birthday parties any one has ever had, made countless treats (the best suckers, gingerbread men and popcorn balls ever) and drove me to every kind of lesson you can imagine.  And that doesn’t even touch the surface of all the things she has done for me. I love you mom.

And to my kids and their spouses, I am so glad that I have been your mom.  You are my life and my joy and I love every minute I get with you.  And I am so proud of you and the good parents you are and will be.  I love you too.



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