Crazy things about driving in Scotland:
- The signs when you are leaving the airport don’t say “Remember to Buckle Up” they say “Remember to drive on the left side of the road”!
- There are virtually no stop signs anywhere. I think I have seen two in all of Edinburgh!
- Pedestrians have no rights at all! You are basically just supposed to pretend they aren’t even there!
- Always yield to the right and don’t even worry about what is coming at you from the left!
- Everyone honks but when you signal they let you right in!
- There are traffic lights everywhere. It’s hard to know where to look for your light. The color order is Red, Yellow then Green. We can start moving on the Yellow. There are even traffic lights in the middle of blocks for no apparent reason!
- There are round-abouts everywhere and the inside lane has the right-of-way!
- When you stop at a corner you have to stop about 10 feet back behind the bikers area. Sometimes you can’t even tell there are other cars at the other corners in the intersection because you can’t see where they are stopped!
- An intersection with just four corners and a simple cross street is rare. Many times there are at least five options when crossing an intersection. We call them Left, half Left, Straight Left, Straight Right, Half Right, and Right.
Sunday we finally got thinking about helping the members of the ward find a name to take to the temple. We are putting together a program to make this happen for as many people as possible. This should be fun!! I hope I’m prepared. I’m studying up on how to get a name when you have nothing yet.
Oh, also on Sunday I was just playing the prelude music and day dreaming when I looked up and there was my friend Paula McKinley from Alpine, UT. We served in the temple together on the Thursday 1st Shift. She had told me she and her husband both had Scottish roots and came here every few years. Well, there she was. What a nice surprise.
Tuesday we got a new missionary. Elder James comes from Provo and is our newest Mandarin Chinese speaking missionary. He came on a day when the mission president, his wife and the APs and Sister Training Leaders were all in Ireland for meetings so it was up to the Zone Leaders to get him from the airport and us to help him get going on his first day. Of course he was starving when he got here so I went into the kitchen in the mission home to see what I could find but because the Donaldson’s are gone for almost two weeks there was virtually nothing in the fridge to feed him…so we went to Five Guys for lunch.
You mention Five Guys and I think all the missionaries radar starts buzzing. We ended up with five missionaries for lunch.
Oh well, the more the merrier. They appreciate it and I love having the time with them. The first picture is Elder Grant and Elder Huang from Taiwan. Elder Grant is from Salt Lake but remember his mother was born and raised in Star Valley. She is a Robinson. The next picture is Elder Carter from Mapleton, Elder Copeland from Alpine and Elder James who is our new Chinese-speaking missionary from Provo.
On Wednesday Sister Kim and Sister Irving called and asked if I would sit in with them on a lesson with a man who speaks French. We planned to Skype with Sister Brodien who is from French Polynesia and speaks French as a first language. So I happily agreed. The appointment wasn’t until 7:00 PM so I took Sister Gifford home and had a quick dinner then off to the church. I need to get his name but he is a very nice man who really doesn’t speak English at all. He speaks French and German but we use sign language and slow talking trying to figure out a variation of the word he might understand to communicate. But once we got the Skype up and running it was clear sailing. Sister Brodien was wonderful and taught very well. I guess, I really couldn’t understand her but he listened and talked and kept a smile on his face. He plans on going on holiday before 4-weeks is up which Sister Kim and Sister Irving are not happy about. They want to get him baptized before transfers just in case they get transferred. Sister Kim asked him if he could go on holiday after he gets baptized. She was so innocent looking. I laughed. But he has agreed to a baptism date and we are teaching him every night. Thursday night I was back at the church at 7:00 PM and then we took him over to the office to Skype because of some other meetings that were happening at the church. I snuck a picture of them sitting at my desk listening to Sister Brodien and a girl just home from her mission to the South of France who came and helped Sister Brodien teach. That was nice for Sister Brodien to have someone else to do part of the talking. Her companion obviously doesn’t speak French.Friday night we once again sat at the church with our French investigator and listened to Sister Brodien teach him. He has been doing everything we ask him to do and he wants to be baptized. He really struggles with prayer though. Every night we ask him if he would say the closing prayer and we then sit and listen to him rattle on about why he shouldn’t be the one to pray…I guess that is what he is talking about. He did it on Wednesday night after several minutes of discussion but Thursday night Sister Brodien ended up saying it. I’m not kidding, he could say 10 prayers in the time he spends trying to get out of it. We wouldn’t understand what he was saying anyway so he should feel fine. But Friday night when she asked him to pray he started up again with whatever he is saying but she convinced him to follow her in prayer and it was so tender listening to her say a sentence and him repeating it over and over until the prayer was over, just like you would do with your child. It was really touching that he would do that. They met with him again today but Sister Six is spending the day with them so we didn’t meet up with them.
Last night, Friday, before we met with our French gentleman, Sister Gifford and I ran a case of Book of Mormons and an Area Book out to our elders in Dalkeith. These are new elders to the area and we don’t know either of them very well. Elder Chapple is from South Jordan and he got here in the first group right after I came. I think I wrote about him back then but he went straight to the Shetland Islands and have been there until this past transfer so he has literally been out on an island without much contact with any other missionaries but his companion. They had a 12 hour ferry ride any time they wanted to come into mainland which they did every six weeks for zone conference and occasionally for exchanges. There are no senior missionaries out there either so they were alone. So having him close to Edinburgh is a treat for him and for us to get to know him. His companion is Elder Kapalnosi from Hungary. I have talked to Elder Kapalnosi a few times on the phone but he has been in Ireland the whole time I’ve been here so I haven’t met him much.
We got to their flat and were just going to drop off the Book of Mormons and then run to Costco then back to the church for our meeting but these elders were so excited to see us we couldn’t help ourselves. We asked them what they were doing for dinner. Their eyes lit up and they got the biggest smiles on their faces. So we had them lock up and off we went to our favorite Pizzaria and Fish Bar that we discovered in Dalkeith a while ago. They had never been there so they were excited. We told them to order anything they wanted. Elder Chapple got what I was getting. I’m not sure if that was because he really wanted it (a Godfather Pizza which is salami and pepperoni) or because he didn’t dare just pick anything. Elder Kapalnosi ordered s
omething but I didn’t hear what he ordered. When our plates came out they sat a big plate of steaming muscles piled high sitting in some red broth. I wish so bad that
I had a picture of his face when that was sat in front of him. He looked up and said, I didn’t know I ordered this. What is it? I knew enough to tell him they were muscles but that is as far as my knowledge is. He asked, what am I supposed to do with these. I told him to try one and if he didn’t like it we would get him something else, but he didn’t even know what to do with them so we called the waiter over and asked if he could demonstrate what to do. The waiter was a great guy and thought that was so funny but he took a muscle and showed him what to do. Elder Kapalnosi did just fine with his meal after that even asking for more bread to finish off his broth and at the end he asked me if I thought it was okay if he used his spoon to get the last of the broth. He hadn’t touched a piece of silverware yet. His hands were dripping in broth. And Elder Chapple had tried one muscle and then offered a slice of his pizza for a few more. So the evening turned out perfect for both of them.
Well today we had thought we would go to St. Andrews but we got off to a late start and decided against going. We will need a full day when we go there. I ended up going into the office to make some plane reservations for a few exchanges so it was after ten by the time we hit the road so we decided to go back to Linlithgow Palace which is where we went on a rainy day and just looked around the outside. I think the setting for the palace is about as pretty as we have seen but it wasn’t my favorite place to explore. We did get a good workout though as we took the spiral staircases to the top on two different corners of the palace. This palace is a ruin but it has a really neat fountain right in the middle which they do turn on occasionally I think. We also went into a church that is on the palace grounds.There was a man playing the organ and it was nice to listen to him as we wandered around this small church. Apparently Outlanders just filmed a wedding and a funeral in this church last week so it is going to become more famous. I don’t know if any of you are Outlanders fans but it is a big deal here with the tourists.
After the palace we made our trip to Costco to get a brownie mix for dinner tomorrow. We are eating at the mission home after stake conference with all the Edinburgh missionaries. The missionaries in Edinburgh don’t get fed much by members so now and then Sister Donaldson takes pity on them and has them over. She invited us too. After Costco I decided I really wanted to go into IKEA and get myself a bookcase for my bedroom. I have so many things that I have accumulated and my books and stuff just need a place to go. I am starting to have a few piles around. So I got myself one of the IKEA shelving units with 4 openings and I got one box to go in one opening that has two drawers in it. That should really help the cleanliness of my bedroom. Now I just have to build it. I’m not sure if it comes with an allen wrench or if I have to go buy one. After IKEA we ran to a clothes store because Sister Gifford wanted a black shirt. I ended up buying a skirt and top that I’m going to wear tomorrow to stake conference. Then we went to the grocery store and Boots which is like a Walgreens. So busy day, but not so much of an adventurous day. Just busy.
Happy Birthday Everett. I can’t believe you are two and I’m missing your birthday. That’s three grandkids birthday’s now that I’ve missed. Oh well, I was able to call on Hangouts and see my whole family at my house having a swim party. I love all of you. It’s feeling a bit chillier here. Fall is coming.