Week 22: Moves week, Pratt’s Hill, Baptisms…

Wow!!  I can’t believe moves week is over and aside from a left eye-lid that has been twitching for four days now it was an easy moves week.  We only had five missionaries go home on Monday which is a very small group but nice and enjoyable.  Then we had 16 new missionaries come to the mission on Tuesday.  Things went smoothly, I kept thinking I had to be forgetting something but I guess I just have things figured out better now.  (I probably shouldn’t say that out loud!)

Sunday after church I did my usual getting all the missionaries checked in for their flights on Monday morning and gave all the missionaries their departing packets.  And because there were only five missionaries that didn’t take any time at all so when it was time for the missionaries to hike Pratt’s Hill I decided I really wanted to go.  Sister Gifford didn’t want to go but I think she felt a bit of pressure to go so the two of us ran home to change into older shoes and off we went to Pratt’s Hill.  It was a perfect day to go.  No rain!!

I believe I have talked about Pratt’s Hill before but if you look on a map you won’t find it.  Instead you will find Arthur’s Seat which is basically behind the Holyrood Palace at the opposite end of the Royal Mile than the castle.  This is where Orson Pratt went as he entered Scotland as a missionary to look out over the city and dedicated Scotland for missionary work.  So we call it Pratt’s Hill.

Sister Donaldson and Sister Gifford

Of course the missionaries run right up the hill but the older people took our time stopping to enjoy the sites and to catch our breath.  It’s nice because the spot we go is a bit off the beaten path so there are lots of quiet spots to sit and reflect.  That is what we do at Pratt’s Hill.  We each find a spot to sit and enjoy the beauty and set goals, pray and think. Then we all got back together again and sang High on the Mountain Top, had a prayer and then took pictures.

President Donaldson actually stopping to take a few minutes for himself!  

Then it was off to the mission home to finish up work, eat dinner, clean up the kitchen and then home finally by 8:00 PM.  That was an hour sooner than we usually get home on these Sundays so it was all good.

Monday I got a care package from the Young Women in my ward.  What a treat!!  They even personalized it Mexican for me!!  I loved it.  Thank you so much. Also, thanks to Kara Wolfley for the very cute note she tucked into my box.  I’m glad you get to enjoy Young Women’s too.  You are going to be 12 before you know it.

Tuesday the new missionaries arrived.  One is Sister Irving from Alpine and she is friends with Jaiden Larson.  That was fun to have that connection.  Actually there are lots of connections with her.  We have Elder Copeland who I’m just getting to know since he transferred here to Edinburgh on Monday to be Elder Huang’s companion.  (Sister Gifford and I drove Elder Copeland and Huang to a dinner appointment on Wednesday).  Elder Copeland is from Alpine and is friends with Sister Irving.  And to top it off – Elder Selander’s father is her bishop.  Such a small world with so many connections that pulls my heart towards home.  I’m so grateful for technology and instant communication so I can check in with my kids, parents and grandkids as often as I want or need.

Kaylee ready for her first dance lesson.

School started on Tuesday for my grandkids and I finally got to touch base with them Thursday night to see how it was going.  They are both excited, happy and ready for a new year.  Avery is starting 5th grade and Kaden is starting 2nd grade.  Avery of course is always ready.  School is her favorite.  And then on Friday little Kaylee started her dance lessons that I gave her for her birthday.  My other family of grandkids are off on an adventure to Yellowstone this weekend.  But I got a couple chances to talk with them this week as well.  I love how much Everett talks now.  He couldn’t even say one word before I left and now I can carry on conversations with him.  He knows it is me the minute he hears my voice and starts right in with Hi Grandma… in the background until I get to talk to him.  Aspen does the same thing when I call them.  I love that my youngest grandkids aren’t forgetting me.

Thursday night we had a double baptism.  I played the piano and was so glad to be there.  The spirit was so strong.  Also, Nikki, who Sister Gifford and I have gotten to know and sat in on several discussions with her came to the baptism to see just how they are.  She brought along her Book of Mormon and she is on Alma 14.  She has little tabs all over sticking out of her book with notes and she is loving the book.  She said by 2 Nephi she started reading it more as truth instead of a novel.  She loves the book and has read it deeply and thoroughly.  She passed up her initial baptism date because she had gone to be with a friend over a weekend and her friend told her not to get baptised.  I was worried she would get advice like that going to spend a weekend with a friend during her investigating and even though she had been to church four weeks in a row and really enjoyed it, she has spent the month of August with an extra job because of the festival and has been unable to come to church during August.  But she has not slowed down on her reading.  I told her she was coming up to one of my favorite parts with Captain Moroni and his preparations for war against Amalickiah and the Lamanites.  I told her to watch for the difference in how each side prepares for war.  I asked her to let me know what she thinks about that when she gets there.  We also got on the subject of how America was discovered and who discovered it which led me to tell her about the Book of Ether.  I told her she would see another group of people that found America a long time ago.  That got her excited and she asked me to mark in her book with one of her sticky arrows where the Book of Ether starts.

Sister Six, Nicholas, Sister Sams, Sister Hill

The baptism was for Nicolas La Commare who is from Italy and Stephanie Iorio Henao who speaks English but Spanish is her primary language.  Even though the talks were half Spanish and half English there was no denying the Holy Ghost was present and touched everyone in the room.  After the baptisms we watched a few Mormon Messages while we waited for Nicolas and Stephanie to come back and one of the messages was about priesthood holders and how they should live.  All the way through this Nikky was nodding her head and when it was over she said, I’m getting baptized.  So we have that to look forward to.

Today is Saturday and I’m up early getting things done.  Sister Gifford isn’t feeling well.  She was having some kidney pain yesterday and I guess she is susceptible to kidney stones.  She did finally pass a stone last night so I’m hoping at some point today she will be feeling better.  She is sleeping and hopefully getting her energy back.

I hope everyone is having a good week and I want you to know that I think of all of you daily.  I appreciate all the efforts you make and the extra work that I create being away from home. I love each one of you for your prayers and support.  Have a great week!  Landon, I hope your eyes are doing better.  I am praying for you and thinking of you hoping the pressure in your eyes relaxes and you are able to keep those new lens in your eyes.  What a blessing it would be to not be so dependent on glasses as you have almost all your life.  I love you and each of you reading this.

Ahh, we had a Saturday after all.  Sister Gifford is feeling back to normal.  So we went to Butterfly World which is a place we always see signs for and have kept saying we need to go check that place out.  It’s only about 15 minutes away from here and half way to Musselburgh which is a town Sister Gifford has been wanting to see.  She heard they have really good fresh mussels there.  Nothing very exciting for me but that’s ok.  I usually have the weekend ideas so I’m glad she found something she wanted to do.  Butterfly World was lots of fun.  Busy, lots of people there but enjoyable just the same.  We saw so many butterflies and other fun things.  Then off to Musselburgh.  She had heard there was a small beach there but we didn’t ever find it.  We did drive along the waterfront through a couple little towns though and enjoyed the view.  It’s not like we could enjoy a beach anyway fully dressed.  I guess we could but that’s ok.  We had lunch in a little cafe and then found a good ice cream place and had an ice cream cone.  Mussleburgh wasn’t all that exciting.  Not the best looking town, we didn’t buy anything… but we did enjoy ourselves and we are always happy to scout out a new area.

I’m going to end with a few pictures from today.

Can you spot the turtle?


3 thoughts on “Week 22: Moves week, Pratt’s Hill, Baptisms…

  1. Hi Sis Call! I am Jenna Irving’s Mom, Janeal. Thank you for taking good care of her! First I got an email from Pres.Donaldson to send letters right to her flat. Then (the stinker) said in her email to send them right to the mission home because she is so close?? She did not even tell me her current address…??? I figured you could set me straight. Maybe both are right! Im so excited for you and the amazing experiences you are having. Let me know if you get a minute.


    1. Hi Janeal. I’m adding a picture of her and her companion to my post right now so hop back on and see her. Her flat is a block away from my flat and we are about two blocks away from the mission home/office. So sending her mail to the office is probably the best thing as we are safer and she will get it. They won’t leave anything that won’t fit in a mail slot at flats. She probably really doesn’t even know her address. I’ll have to send it to you tomorrow when I get to the office but it is on Ogilvie Terrace, right in Edinburgh. She has one of the funnest companions. I hope she likes her. I think life would be pretty up-beat with those two together. And Edinburgh isn’t the easiest place to serve but she will get to know us in the office and she will get to see the city. Some missionaries come here and never get to actually see Edinburgh. She will get transferred around a bunch and probably get a chance in Ireland somewhere as well. The Republic of Ireland is an easier place to proselyte than Northern Ireland but either way it is a beautiful place. They pray for foreigners in Northern Ireland, then they do okay. Dublin, however is our biggest baptizing area. Well, I will email you her address tomorrow so at least you can look it up on google maps and go to street view. I’ll tell you her flat is on the top floor I believe so they are hiking many, many steps every day. I did a flat check there once and it about killed me. Ha ha.

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