My lesson worked out pretty well last Sunday. Between visitors, members, the YSA ward and our missionaries an investigators there were a lot of people there. But I was happy with it and on Monday the President told me some of the missionaries had talked about my lesson in their letters to him. That might have just been one missionary, who knows, but I’m glad it was a helpful lesson for someone at least.
Sunday night our bishop messaged me and asked if he could come over for a little bit to talk to us. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted. It turns out he is concerned about a celebration we are having next week at our church and was hoping we could take an assignment to decorate the foyer of the church. We are having a celebration on the day the building turns 50-years-old. Sister Gifford got very excited about this assignment so we have been out almost every night this week trying to find things to decorate with. The church doesn’t even have easels. No nice tables, no tableclothes – nothing that we take for granted at home when we have something going on at the church. It should be a nice evening next Friday night. Of course next Friday is also the day that moves week hits me hard. I’m busy getting travel and everything else going. But this really isn’t a two person job. I can support and drive her around but our tastes and ideas don’t match up much so I’m taking the back seat on this and Sister Gifford is running with it and I’m doing what I can in advance. I’m going to make a chalkboard sign and work on getting pictures laminated and maybe enlarged. I will help her decorate Thursday night as well.
Monday after work we ran to IKEA to look for ideas for decorations and then had dinner at Nando’s. We are beginning to really like Nando’s. It’s becoming a regular for us. We got home at about 9:00 PM.
Tuesday was Halloween and the missionaries didn’t work after 6:00. We have been trying to take a set of missionaries out at least every other week. This week we took Sister Kim and Sister Irving out to Jashan’s for Indian food. They hadn’t been there and they really enjoyed it. After dinner we all went to the mission office and had a Halloween party with three sets of missionaries and their investigators. It was fun. Some of the investigators had never carved a pumpkin before. Pumpkins were hard to come by here so a few ended up carving pineapples (which actually turned out great), and one carved a butternut squash. Then we played Mafia and were done by 9:00. I’m so glad we hung around and did this with the young missionaries. It was a great night and we had fun. We got home about 9:30 PM.
Wednesday night we went looking at the only craft store I know of. That’s where we found some black foam board and a wooden frame so we can make a chalk board looking sign. Then of course we had to eat out again since we were out and because it is getting dark by 5:00 now we feel like it is bedtime when we get home. So we had dinner at Friday’s. Not bad but not my favorite place to eat. I had the Blackened Chicken Cajun Pasta but they don’t make it the same. It tastes like they have mixed BBQ sauce into it. I won’t order that again. Then I dropped Sister Gifford off at home and I went over to the church to do Family History with Sam and then over to the office to get some things done for a departing missionary. I got home at 10:00 PM.
Thursday, sadly we said goodbye to one of our sister missionaries. This sister has been trying so hard to get better and to stay on her mission but it has finally come to she needs to go home and take care of herself. So we sent her off on Thursday morning. She was a great missionary but had only been here a few months. I had gotten to know her a bit and I really enjoyed her. She has a great smile and a testimony of missionary work. I wish her well.
Then I was just sitting at my desk thinking I had everything under control when I got a call from our travel department in Germany. One of our missionaries VISA has expired and he is still here. So this missionary was going to be going home this transfer anyway but apparently he came out a month later than he should have due to breaking his hand just as he was coming on his mission and his VISA expired on 27 October. Luckily he is assigned to Ireland but we can’t get him back into Scotland for his departure. After talking it through with everyone it was decided he needed to go home this weekend, from Ireland without entering the UK. So again, I got all his travel stuff put together along with his departure packet and information for his stake president and President Donaldson flew to Ireland to interview him and send him home a week and a half early. His lucky mom!! And another example of things falling into place. We already had plane tickets for President to go to Ireland on Friday afternoon to set apart someone for something. So he was able to take care of our illegal missionary at the same time.
Thursday night we went out to eat with Sister Donaldson and the Winters. President was in Glasgow for meetings and we were all hungry so that sounded like a good idea to us. We ate at a Italian Restaurant called Papillo’s. It was good but not my favorite Italian place we’ve been to. Very nice Italian people who own it and are so good to us. When we got their they had reserved our table under Sister Elder. They kind of know who we are. I’ve never been there before but the Winter’s go there often.
Friday was the first day we actually just came home after work. I cooked my own dinner and went to bed at a decent time. Wow, that’s been awhile since we’ve had a night like that.
Today we had a lot more running around to do as we tied up all the loose ends for the foyer decorations. We saw parts of Edinburgh we had never seen before as we looked for a fabric store and office supply store. We didn’t find everything we wanted but I think we found enough and everything should be nice. I would like some twinkling lights on the trees but I don’t think Sister Gifford is leaning that way. That’s ok. I’m playing support on this.
We finally got to Canongate today which is a street near the Royal Mile, just up from the palace. I have driven down this street a bunch and I’ve always wanted to just walk it and explore it. Today was the day. We didn’t have much time to do something big but we wanted lunch and we decided to try Oink. This is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a long time. The last time we were near an Oink Sister Gifford picked a different place for lunch – on Victoria Street that was horrible. I wanted to go to Oink that day but felt I had been choosing things more than her. But today she mentioned Oink so I ran with it. It didn’t disappoint. I could eat there every week. It was delicious. They have a whole pig sitting in their window and they just pull the meat off and build the best sandwiches with stuffing, meat and your choice of sauce. The meat was so tender and not greasy at all. I thought it would be more greasy but it was excellent.
We walked up and down Canongate Street as well going into all the shops and I also wandered down every alley as well. I’ve always heard to check the alley’s here because you never know what you will find. We found a nice garden down one alley and then a museum with a really neat outer courtyard with lots of interesting things down another alley. You would never realize these things even exist. We had a nice relaxing day and the weather was perfect. Blue skies and warm enough not to be all bundled up.
Now I’m sitting here typing away and listening to fireworks outside my window. It’s not really a holiday but there is something to do with bonfires and such right now. We’ve been watching fireworks every night the last few nights.
Well this wasn’t much in the way of a great travelog this time. We just didn’t get anything done like that this week. But all is well here and I hope the same for you.
I love you!!