Well, this week just flew by and I don’t even know what we did really. Of course we are in the office every morning by 7:00 AM and we leave at 5:30 PM but other than that this week was a bit uneventful.
Tuesday Elder and Sister Pedersen arrived in Scotland fresh from the Provo MTC. They are here as our new self-reliance couple. And the way their week has began, self-reliance is becoming exactly who they are. President Donaldson picked them up from the airport but then he was off with interviews and then All-Ireland Zone Conference so they were not able to meet with him and find out what he is expecting. Their self-reliant contact in England seems to be incognito so they haven’t spoken with him. They can’t get their phone to work from home, they are not finding a company that can help them with internet service, the phone that was dropped off for them to use is locked and we can’t figure out how to unlock it. They hit a curb and got a flat tire today. They are getting the baptism by fire their first week. She still has a smile on her face but I know this has been incredibly hard for them. I think we as seniors don’t really know what we are getting ourselves in to when we come out on a mission. Senior missions are not as cut and dried as a young missionary. It’s a big adjustment and there is no one to do that adjusting but ourselves.
I know that they are going to love it here and they are going to love working with the missionaries and everyone else they touch through self reliance. They will find themselves and they will do great.
Wednesday evening after I got home from work, I got a call from Elder Gibb. There were eight missionaries coming home from All-Ireland and with the two Elders driving the van to the airport there wouldn’t be enough room for everyone. So he was calling to see if I would mind coming to the airport and picking them up. I left home about 7:40 PM and found them at the drop off point at the airport. The funny thing was the four girls got in the van and the four boys got in my car. As we were pulling out I was just going to ask if they were hungry or if they needed anything when Elder Gibb said, Sister Call could we run through McDonald’s? We are starving. So 4 Big Mac combo meals later I dropped Elder Gibb, Elder Wright, Elder Selander and Elder Gowans off at the mission home. As we were driving Elder Wright asked me what my favorite part of my mission was. I answered you guys. He said, I knew you would say that. It’s true. It is so great to see these missionaries serving the people around them and leading them to the waters of baptism. They are great missionaries. I had only been home about 30 minutes when my phone rang and it was one of our zone leaders, Elder Wang. I said Hello, this is Sister Call and he said, Sister Call it’s your favorite missionary, Elder Wang. I love that they all think they are my favorite. I get that a lot when they call. And it’s true. They are my favorite. Just like my own kids, they are all my favorite for some reason or another.
Thursday morning I picked up two missionaries at the train station who were coming in for a doctor appointment. I wish I had thought to take their pictures. Elder Nadauld from Springville and Elder Heggie from Canada are two pretty new missionaries but they are both doing a great job. Their appointment got delayed so I took them to McDonalds for breakfast and we sat and talked for a bit. Elder Heggie gave me a pecan log his grandma had sent for Christmas. She sent a whole box of them. Amazing. Sister Gifford and I ate every bit of it. It was delicious. As I was driving back to the office from dropping them off at the train station, I was sitting at a red light and I noticed this really neat looking doorway in the middle of a street full of shops. I love the little details when you really start to look around.
That night I drove Elder Gowans and Elder Selander back to the airport to catch their flight home to Ireland and raced back to the church for our baptism.
We had a great baptism. They just keep getting better and better. More and more people show up to witness the baptisms (members and non-members) and the talks are right on point and bring the spirit. This week were two baptisms of people who I have had the pleasure of sitting in on lessons with. Shia Glynn who is an outgoing, vibrant, loving lady who finds a friend wherever she goes and Macaulay Lock who is a talented classical guitar player. Two wonderful young people who will add so much to the dynamics of the ward and who are seriously wanting to join this church and find the blessings that are waiting for them. Macaulay was baptized by Austin Jensen from Sandy, Utah who is here in Edinburgh with his wife both going to the University.
It’s been a bit crazy this week with lots of little projects to do. The 2018 Mission Plan and Pocket Card are coming out this week so I’m working on that, I’m getting going away packets together for the Winters and the Markers who both go home next week as well as the missionaries going home the first week in February. Welcome packages for the Pedersens, the Helps, and the Pattersons who all come this week or next. And while I’m at that I’m getting the 16 welcome packets for our incoming young missionaries that come the first week of February. I am taking on more responsibility in the office as I’m taking on supplies as well as my regular duties. Our receptionist, Sister Winter has always done supplies but we have been told Sister Helps won’t be able to lift things so Sister Winter has asked me to take over supplies. I’m looking at this as a very temporary solution and as soon as Sister Helps is ready for more things to do I will give supplies right back to her and offer to lift anything that needs to be lifted. Lifting is about 5% of the supplies duties. So this change doesn’t make sense, it is just creating peace for now. And extra work but that’s okay. Now I get all the calls for special Book of Mormon’s etc. Here you see I’m sending a Zulu Book of Mormon and a Turkish Book of Mormon to Sister Osmond and Sister Scheib in Galway. I also have Ukranian pamphlets because they were sitting next to Turkey and I grabbed the wrong ones. (Another trip out to the garage for me to get the right ones.)
Friday after work we drove the Winters to the airport so they could get a rental car. The Helps fly in tomorrow morning and they are replacing the Winters so they get their mission car. Then we drove out to a members flat to pick up Sister Wahlquist and Sister Irving who were at a dinner appointment and had a lesson back in the city right after dinner with not enough time to wait for a bus. Those two girls are tearing it up with their lessons. They had a great lesson today and the investigator (I didn’t get to meet him), was so excited he can’t wait to get baptized. Of course he does have to wait, and read and pray and attend church a few times etc. But he is excited an feels he just found what he has been looking for.
Well after all our running around Sister Gifford and I decided to find a place to eat out instead of going home and cooking. We tried a new place over on Bruntsfield, which is a good sized street nearby. Being Friday and this being a popular street to wander to on Friday we were really lucky to find a table at the first place we went into. We had never been here before but it looked nice and there were lots of people there. The food turned out to be really good and we got a nice window seat so we could look out at all the people walking by. I did realize though, that we were probably in the section they put people who have dogs. The table by us emptied with this cute puppy and then immediately filled back up with another dog and his people. Oh well. The dogs are all so well trained here. The restaurant even brought a dog bowl of water to the table.
We got home and I sat down and watched President Monson’s funeral. What an amazing prophet he was. We all have our stories we can tell about him and we all love him so much. It will be interesting to see what this next week brings but of course things will continue without a glitch and our new prophet will fill his shoes with his own personality and strengths. I can’t help but wonder if President Nielson (if called) will lead us into China. I have grown to love these people so much and it would be so amazing to see the gates open to that country.
Today, Saturday we got up and headed out to a place I had bought tickets to on Groupon a while ago. It is the Scottish Deer Centre. It is up from Edinburgh in Cupar which is near St Andrews. They have over 12 species of deer there and also Elk. They also had Moose but they think they are Elk as well. We got in this long conversation over the fact that American Elk and “Elk” (really moose) have the same genetic composition so they are both Elk. Well that may be scientifically correct, who knows but they are moose to me and they look nothing like Elk. But regardless they had 3 “moose” and several American Elk. Most of the deer have been born and raised at this place so they have imprinted on humans. They do some work with releasing them to the wild but the ones that have imprinted stay at the park. They are well taken care of. I was impressed with the cleanliness and the open space they have to live. They also have 3 red fox which we say barely as they came out to get their lunch, a bear which we didn’t see since it is winter and he sleeps most of the time, a couple lynx which we were able to see, we also saw a few wild cats and three wolves. It was a nice day walking around outside but a bit chillier today than the last few weeks. We got cold and didn’t stick around for the otter show that was later in the day. We did go look at the otter, they were very cute. They also have birds and we saw a couple owl and a falcon but the bird show that was supposed to happen at 1:00 didn’t happen. The other nice thing was there was an Edinburgh Woollen Mills which is our favorite place to shop. They always have such good sales and today didn’t disappoint. I got a couple new tops and another pair of gloves, I seem to wear my gloves out rather quickly. I guess because I buy cheap gloves. Oh well, I like that kind.
After leaving the Scottish Deer Centre we headed back to follow some signs we had seen on the way there. The first was Giffordtown. Sister Gifford has been told a few times there is a Giffordtown here so when we saw the signs today we knew we needed to track it down. It didn’t disappoint. It is a very little village but we drove the whole thing and took her picture in the middle of the street. She was very excited.
Then we drove up to Falkland Palace. We knew it was closed until March 1 but we decided to drive up anyway to just get a look at it and decide if we want to come back or not. It sits at the top of the town of Falkland and has a nice charm about it. This palace was commissioned by King James IV and his son King James V as a pleasure palace where they could hunt and enjoy their falcons. I think we will try and come back when it is open. We found a place right next to the palace and had a quick lunch then headed home to get our grocery shopping done and wash our very filthy car.
Well, that about sums up my week. I hope you have all had a wonderful week as well. Happy Birthday tomorrow to my little Aspen. You are two-years-old. I can’t believe it. You have grown into a little person who talks and has developed a really cute personality. I hope you warm back up to me when I return and we can become good friends again. I love each one of you.
Love you all.