Well this has been a week of changes.
Monday morning the Help’s arrived in the office. They actually flew in on Saturday and spent the weekend with the Winters. They are replacing the Winters and the Winters go home Thursday morning, along with the Markers. The Helps are from Provo, Utah. He was teaching at BYU but they are both originally from South Africa so they have a strong accent. They are not hard to understand by any means. Change is hard but it’s also nice. A way to start over or fix things for the better.
I think we ate out almost every night this week because of one celebration or another. Monday was President’s birthday so we went to dinner at Miller and Carter. Not my favorite place. I’ve been there twice now and both Sister Gifford and I are glad that will be our last time. It is the place the Winter’s always want to go and neither of us think it is very good. Maybe we don’t order the right thing. It’s expensive and lucky for us both times we’ve been Elder Winter paid, so at least I don’t feel bad I spent my own money there. But happy birthday to President. He turned 60 today (Monday).
Today was also a snowy day. As you can see by Sister Hill and Sister Palmer.
Tuesday we took Sister Irving and Sister Wahlquist out for dinner. I got to pick and we went to Zizzi’s. Still my number 1 choice of places to eat. It’s so good and normal. I don’t have to pick at anything I get there. I like every bit of it. It was so nice to just sit a bit with Sister Irving and Sister Wahlquist and enjoy their enthusiasm and loving spirit. I have loved these girls and I’m afraid one of them, if not both will be moving in a couple weeks. It’s always hard to see these girls move on and not be a part of your every day. But I always fall in love with the next ones as well. They are all great missionaries and they all have their unique things that makes them endearing.
Tuesday another new missionary couple arrived. These are the Pattersons from Grand Junction Colorado. They flew in this morning and will be taking a ferry Wednesday morning to Belfast where they will be replacing the Pohlmans. The Pohlmans are taking the ferry the other direction and will be replacing the Marker’s in Stranraer. Both areas are beautiful and I hope all goes well for both of them.
Wednesday was zone conference and that always brings a little extra work with travel arrangements and now I am also handling supplies so this is a big day to stay on top of what supplies are going out and what will I need to stock up on again. I didn’t spend any time at zone conference this time. I usually go over and hear some of what is going on but with new office workers and plenty of work to get done I didn’t take the time. I missed it though. I did run over for lunch and enjoyed seeing the missionaries. This was also Winters and Markers last night here so we went out to dinner again to say goodbye to them. We went to Papillios which is a good Italian restaurant over on Bruntsfield. We’ve been there before and it is a tiny little place but the owners know us and are so nice to us. This was a nice dinner with the Winters, Markers, Walkers, Millers, Helps and Sister Gifford and I. We were hoping the Donaldson’s would come too but they are always exhausted after zone conference and they hit the road the next day for interviews and then they speak in a stake conference on the weekend. So they wanted to have a night in with nothing to do. Ha ha. I’m sure that part doesn’t happen. They are always finding something to do.
We did have one problem on Wednesday. One of our senior couples who are new as of last week was driving to zone conference, bringing two missionaries with them, and their car quit working on the way. They ended up sitting with their car for several hours waiting for a tow truck and then mechanics to figure out what was wrong. They never made it to zone conference and then found out they accidentally put diesel in the car instead of unleaded. That is a confusing thing over here because I think the colors on the pump are switched from the US. I’m going to have to have someone send me a picture of a diesel and unleaded pump from home but I think the handles are switched. I know I’ve grabbed diesel a couple times but then realized before pumping that I had the wrong one. I think at home in the US the diesel pump handles are green. And Unleaded is black. Here it is the other way around. The Unleaded are green and the Diesel are black. Someone send me a picture from Maverik or something. We can compare. I’ll take a picture here next time we buy gas. I should put something together with the two pictures so others don’t make the same mistake.
Thursday I went and taught Mars with Sister Hill and Sister Palmer. Mars is a nice man from Zambia. I actually sat by him at the baptism we had last week so I had met him before. He has read all of 1 Nephi and is just about finished with 2 Nephi. He has really paid attention to what he is reading and had some questions. He has been baptized before in a different church but realizes that he needs to be baptized by someone who holds priesthood authority and he as agreed that he will be baptized again if he feels like this is something he wants. He talked about prayer and how he recognizes the difference when he prays and when he doesn’t pray. We talked some about Joseph Smith and read through the first vision. We will see. I hope he continues to learn and want to finalize his baptism. I can see how this will help change his life.
Friday finally came and I worked on re-organizing my office. I am moving things around a bit hoping to find a better flow for supplies as well as the tools and supplies that I use in my job. I have not had the liberty of being able to chose where things go in my office before and I am really excited to make it a more manageable area for myself as well as the other office workers.
Today Elder Worley and Elder Wang asked if I would work with them and Carol, a member of our ward who was baptized a few months ago, and teach her how to use Family Search. Actually Elder Worley and Elder Wang were on exchanges so it was Elder Worley and Elder Nadauld that came over to my office with Carol. It was so nice to sit with her and listen to her talk about her reading in the Book of Mormon. She is in Alma now and she talked about the different groups of people and where they were living and how they were getting along. It makes me feel so good when I see these converts reading the Book of Mormon for the first time and really comprehending everything they are reading. I don’t know if my first time through the book was that clear for me. Of course I was much younger when I first read it. But I’m glad that I’ve continued to read it through out my life and I’m glad that I’ve taken the time to memorize scriptures and to understand the stories so that I can participate in these discussions with our new converts.
Once we were done talking we got into Family Search and it didn’t take long before we found a match. It is so rewarding when it works like that. This Sunday we are going to get her membership number and plug that in so she can see where there is work to be done. Then she can begin to plan for a temple trip. Unfortunately for us she is moving to Orkney very soon so she can be nearer to her daughter. Sister Gifford and I plan to take a weekend trip to Orkney one of these summer weekends coming up so we will have to find her and take her to dinner.
I got my drivers license in the mail. It’s just the provisional which means I am in the process of getting my real drivers license. It’s a step in the right direction. Now I just need to pass the written and the driving test. I wouldn’t be worried except I have to parallel park and I’m horrible at it. It doesn’t count that I wouldn’t parallel park somewhere unless I was sure I could get in to the spot. Ha ha.
Well, today 20 January 2018 is my 35th anniversary. I didn’t know 35 years ago that I would be a widow for now almost 23 years and that I would be serving a mission in Scotland and Ireland by myself but here I am. I am grateful for the blessings in my life that has given me the ability to serve a mission and to live a life filled with love, adventure and security in knowing who I am and where I am going. I know the end game and it is what I am working towards. To be back with my eternal companion and best friend and to have my family surrounding us, not just my children but my extended family in all directions. Family is what it is all about. Parents, Grandparents, Children, Grandchildren, Cousins, Aunts and Uncles. We are all linked together and I hope that when all is said and done my family will all have a testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ and understand why we are here and what they need to know and how they need to live so life goes on forever with those we love the most. I hope the human faults and feelings will diminish as our eternal understanding and love grows and we can all see past the earthly, human obstacles that cloud our vision and stunt our progression towards exactly what we came here to move towards. I love when an investigator says they feel like this is something they already knew or the scriptures fill a hole they have felt for a long time. I love when they see the guidance of the Holy Spirit and recognize his companionship as something not so new but instead something familiar.
Well, also today Sister Gifford and I, after spending a couple hours in the mission office went to see the Royal Yacht Britannica. This was the yacht that the royal family has had for over 40 years and spent a lot of time on for vacations and get aways. It was their home away from home. At least one of them. They have many homes away from home I guess. One of my favorite things was the grand dining room where it takes the servants 3 hours to set the table. They even measure each piece of silverware so it is placed exactly where it should be. It was really nice and we had a fun time. And lucky for me, I got to choose dinner again. We didn’t realize there was a Zizzi’s right by the yacht. But yes, we had Zizzi’s again this week. Things don’t get much better than that.