Wow!! Another busy week. It’s been great. Tuesday night we went with Elder Gibb and Elder Peacock to Nikki’s again. She is back and wanting to be baptised. She is planning who she wants to invite to her baptism. A Muslim family that she is close to and a few friends from work are on her list. None of them are LDS but they have noticed a difference in her so she has been sharing why with them. Her new baptism date is set for Oct 7. She has read almost all the way through Alma now and her Book of Mormon now has a fancy cover and more little sticky tags hanging out of it. She read Al
ma 18 six times and says it is one of her favorite chapters. Her other favorite is in 2Nephi. She loves the language and says Alma 18 reads like a dance. Because of her language knowledge she has a sure testimony that this book is inspired. I love listening to her talk about what she has read and what she has gotten out of it. It’s amazing what a scholar she is becoming in a book that she has just seen for the first time these past few months.
Wednesday night we had a double baptism. Two girls, one Chinese named Suzy and one I believe from England named Theresa. I’ll have to see if I can get pictures and
add them this coming week. I don’t know either girl very well but I plan to get to know them. The baptism was sweet and one of the talks was given by another girl who was baptised not long after I got here. She is from China as well – M
eggie, and she is at church every Sunday and is instrumental in helping the missionaries find others ready to hear more. Her talk was so good about finding home and family here in the church.
Thursday was one of my crazy running around nights. Sister Brodien has her English as a Foreign Language test Friday morning so she and Sister Ritschard came in
on the train at 8:00 PM. Bahader was going to be at the church at 8:00 and Sister Brodien was so excited to be able to see him in person. Along with
the missionaries there was also Nicholas who was baptized maybe three weeks ago to help translate and teach. Nicholas speaks French as well. We got the sisters picked up from the train station and ran them to the church. They hadn’t had dinner yet so we ran to McDonalds to get them something to eat. Then we waited around for the lesson to end so we could drive the four girls home. The missionaries are supposed to be in their flats by 9:00 PM but the lesson went until almost 9:30. I didn’t want them walking home that late. So all four girls piled in the back of our car for the ride home. Luckily it is all side streets to get there.
Friday morning we were up earlier than usual to go pick up Sister Brodien and run her into the city for her test. The test lasted four hours so again at lunchtime we picked her up along with Sister Ritschard, grabbed them something for lunch and then they were back on a train to Dundee so they could do some work before the end of day.
Sister Gifford and I left the office at 3:30 to head to Oban. We were going to leave about 4:30 but President Donaldson came in to the office and saw that the Winter’s had already left and asked what we were doing there. We told him we were going to leave around 4:30 but he said no, get out of here. You’ll be driving in the dark and you’ll miss all the scenery so we left. Our car was already packed and ready to go so off we went. There are two ways (at least) to drive to Oban. We drove to Stirling and then up to Oban so we didn’t have the rush hour traffic in Glasgow. Glasgow is the other way to head up to Oban. I love Stirling though so I wanted to go that way. That way you also get to drive by the Kelpies as well which is so fun. Remember the Kelpies are the huge horse heads. I posted a picture of them in Week 17.
I am so glad we had daylight all the way to Oban. The roads were a bit windy and we passed a lot of big trucks but the scenery was incredible. There were big lochs (lakes) all along the way. They were so pretty and full to the brim. I kept thinking of how a glass of water can be almost too full and it sits just above the rim. That’s they way these lochs were. So beautiful and surrounded by woods. We passed a lot of campgrounds. What a beautiful place to go camping.
Oban which is gaelic for ‘little bay’ is a beautiful harbor town. It’s the gateway to the isles and ferries are coming in and out from the harbor. Unfortunately for me it is also Scotland’s Seafood Capital. So I had no hope for a normal meal for the two days I was there. But the beauty and the atmosphere made up for lack of nutrition and I enjoyed being outside walking and shopping and taking pictures.
The reason for our trip was on of our senior mission couples whom I have mentioned before, Elder and Sister Walker had volunteered to teach us all how to make English Toffee. They are famous among their friends and neighbors for their toffee. I have made English Toffee many times so I thought I would love to watch them make it as well but I didn’t really expect to learn anything, however, I was very wrong. I can absolutely say you have not had English Toffee until you have had the Walker’s toffee. They gave us such good instructions, along with what kind of pan to use, samples and a whole container of toffee to take home with us. It was so much fun. They even flip the toffee and put chocolate and crushed pecans on both sides of the toffee. I’m going to have to go get a piece right now. I just made my mouth water typing this.
So we had Elder and Sister Andrus there who are our Self-Reliant Missionaries. They are from Arizona and are so much fun. Sister Andrus’ laugh is infectious. Elder and Sister Walker who were our instructors and are from Woodland Hills, Utah (I’ve mentioned that before), Elder and Sister Winter who are the couple that work with us in the office and then Elder and Sister Miller who are our newest senior missionaries. They are from West Point, Utah and they are the new branch president in the Oban Branch. Sister Gifford and I stayed in the home the Miller’s live in. They have a guest bedroom where Sister Gifford stayed and I got to sleep in the Primary room on a blow-up mattress. I was actually very comfortable and thought it was a fun thing to say I’ve slept in a Primary room.
Church is actually held right in their home. They have a room next to the front door that serves as the chapel and then upstairs is the Primary room. But look at this picture – it’s the scene out the window of their chapel room.
Also, before all the cooking we went for a morning walk. This was a friendly little lamb that was hoping we had a treat for him I think.
We did stop and see one castle called Dunstaffnage Castle. It was small and we didn’t get out and go in. We just drove up a lane to it and hopped out and took a picture. I think it was closed because it was after 5:00.
We also walked up to McCaig’s Tower which looks like a coliseum up on the hill in Oban. This was constructed in 1895. It was meant to be a half circle stone lime wall which then became a full-circle. The man who owned the property, John Stuart McCaig, was funding the building as a way to offer employment to Oban stone masons and others during a time when times were tight and work hard to find. So the tower stands as a crown of Oban tributing to a man who saw to other’s destiny.
We were exhausted Saturday night when all was said and done. The Walkers and the Andrus left to go home Saturday night and the Winter’s were speaking in the branch for the Miller’s on Sunday but Sister Gifford and I had to get back to our own ward to take care of our responsibilities there. So the alarms went off at 4:45 this morning and we got ready and drove away from beautiful Oban. Part of our ride was in the dark but we were traveling East when the sun peaked up on the horizon and it was a beautiful drive home. I got to ward council meeting at 9:30 and then we had church and a munch and mingle afterwards. It has been a great day so far but I think I’m going to take a nap now.