Week 51: Quiet, Moves Planning, Happy St Patricks Day!

Sunday was a lazy day.  It was Mother’s Day in the UK and true to the day, I enjoyed feeling like I was a mother taking care of our missionaries.  Before church, Sister Gifford and I drove about 30 minutes away to pick up an investigator for Elder Walker and Elder Grant.  This girl is from Morocco.  It was nice getting to know her on our ride back into church.  I remembered as a young girl when I collected stamps Morocco was some of my favorite stamps.  They always had really good, colorful stamps.  After I dropped her and Sister Gifford off for sacrament meeting I ran out to the airport to pick up the Sister Training Leaders who were coming back from exchanges in Belfast.  Their plane didn’t come in until 10:30 which is what time church starts.  When I dropped them off, sacrament meeting was just about over so I walked over to the mission home and moved all the Book of Mormon’s (20 boxes or 800 Book of Mormons) off of the pallet they were delivered on to the shelves where they belong.  I should have done that on Friday but I was wearing a nicer dress on Friday and I didn’t want to get it all dirty.  I promised Sister Donaldson I would have them put away before Monday so that was my window to get it done.  Once church was over Sister Gifford and I went home and made Spaghetti and Meatballs and then I worked on my drivers test a bit more then went to bed a bit earlier than usual.  Moves planning week is coming up and I know by the end of the week I’m going to be exhausted.

I’m at the point where I have to get my UK drivers license and I’ve been studying for the test.  There are two tests you have to pass before you do the practical driving test with a person in your car.  I haven’t been worried about the first test.  I’ve studied enough and knew I would do fine but the other part is like a video game.  You are watching simulations and you have to click when you see a hazard developing.  You need to click at just the right moment or you don’t get any points.  I have been trying and trying on my own and more than not I get zeros or one point.  You should get five points on each video.  There are 14 of them that each last at least a minute.  So Monday night Sister Gifford and I went to the bishops house for help.  Bishop Haws was out of town but Jayna was kind enough to have us over for dinner and then she showed me how to figure out the clicking.  Then we had Family Home Evening with them which was totally great.  Layla who is 11 I believe told us a story she had read in The Friend and then asked some questions about what we thought about the situation in the story and how we could apply that to our lives.  She then bore her testimony.  What a great lesson.  We sang songs and talked.  Then we played a few rounds of Scum and headed home.  It was a great evening.

Sister Gifford’s son is in town with his wife so Tuesday night she met them for dinner.  I took the opportunity to go to Five Guys of all places.  Sister Gifford doesn’t love Five Guys so we have rarely gone there and I’m not burned out on it anymore so it sounded really good.  I dropped Sister Gifford off at the restaurant in town then drove to Fountain Bridge by my flat and parked in the underground parking.  When I got to the gate to enter the parking the bar raised and I didn’t get a ticket.  The machine said FREE PASS so I assumed Tuesday nights must be free parking.  Well, after having the most delicious hot dog and cajun fries I went back to the car and tried to drive out of the parking lot.  I got to the barrier and it wouldn’t open.  I had no ticket and had no idea what to do.  So I backed out of the little lane I was in and drove through some pillars to get back to the parking area, locked my car and got out.  I went over to the machine where you pay for parking to see if I could figure anything out but there was nothing that said what to do if you don’t have a ticket.  Finally a man came over to the machine to pay for his parking so I asked him if he had any idea what I should do.  He said the machine I came in at was probably out of tickets so when I try to get out there is a small button on the machine you can push to get help.  So I drove back to the gate and found the button.  I pushed it and pushed it for almost three or four minutes before someone came on to see what I needed.  But without any question they lifted the gate and I got out.  Free parking.  That was nice.

Wednesday after work we drove Sister Wahlquist and Sister Wu to their dinner appt.  It was out quite a ways and they had lessons before and after so the bus wasn’t going to work for them.  We dropped them off and tried to find somewhere to eat but we couldn’t find anything in that part of town that had room for parking.  So we just drove around for an hour and explored the area.  We found this nice building that we have driven near before but never up to it.  It’s an Observatory.  We will have to see if they have programs here.  After we picked them up we headed to the church for a baptism.  Krystal was an investigator for Elder Bradley and Elder Miao.  She is a really cute girl.  So happy for her.

Thursday was my two driving tests.  I took a taxi into town to take my tests as I was worried about parking.  It was crazy.  They made me roll up my sleeves and show them I didn’t have any answers written on my arms.  I had to show behind my ears that I wasn’t smuggling anything in.  I had to take my badge off.  I had to turn my phones completely off in front of them and then place everything I brought with me into a locker.  The test could take up to 90 minutes but I finished the first one in about 15 minutes.  I even went back and read through all 50 questions to make sure I liked my answers.  I changed the answer on one question.  Then the video part of the test takes another 20 minutes or so.  You are given no feedback or any indication of how you are doing on the videos.  So you are just sitting there going through them hoping you are getting something right.  When you are done you walk out and open your locker to get your things.  Then they walk up to you and without saying a word had you a folded piece of paper.  I was so flustered that I walked all the way down two flights of stairs and out into the rain before I even unfolded my paper.  I PASSED!!  I needed a 43 on the first test and I got a 48 out of 50.  And I got a 68 out of 75 on the video part of the test.  I was so happy.  Now I have to schedule my practical next week.

Sister Gifford is gone Thursday and Friday with her son so I went back to work and then afterwards picked up Elder Bradley and Elder Miao up at the University and took them to their dinner appt.  I hung out in a parking lot with a Diet Coke and listened to my book on my phone then took them back to the University then went and grabbed a pizza to take home.  It was 8:00 by the time I got home and I was tired.  It was a long day.

Friday was the best morning ever.  Sister Gifford was gone with her son and his wife for the day again.  The Helps left the office just after 8:00 and were gone a few hours and I sat at my desk listening to Sister Wahlquist and Elder Worley practice their musical number for stake conference this weekend.  It was the most peaceful I have felt in a long time just working on my moves charts and listening to their uplifting music.  I could have stayed like that the entire day.  Two of my favorite things – Excel and Music.  I’m a bit of a nerd.  Before they finished I had to run in and snap a picture of them.  And another of their companions – Sister Wu and Elder Butler.  (They were enjoying the practice as well.)

By mid-Friday I am deep in moves again.  I’m feeling the crunch of Spring and transportation is getting harder again.  I have to be creative to get these missionaries where they need to be.  But it is totally fun.  I stayed and worked until 9:00 Friday night and then was back again this morning, Saturday, at 7:00 AM.  Sister Gifford came in around 10:30 and we worked until noon.  Then we ran to Oink for a sandwich.  While we were there we met a lady who was on vacation from Seattle who was LDS.  She was so excited to see missionaries.  We always get the same remark.  They are looking for young missionaries and are always surprised to see us.  Ha ha.  Then we took a drive back to Culross which we visited last August to see about purchasing a few more pictures to bring home.  The photographer that has a shop there is really good and his prices are low.  So we had fun doing that and then went right back to the office.  Here is a picture of Culross Palace.  (Not very palace looking.)

Tonight was stake conference and again tomorrow.  We have missionaries coming in tonight and tomorrow and the cycle just keeps going.  There are several missionaries going home this time and I feel so close to many of these missionaries.  Elder Gibb leaves.  I saw him tonight just before I left to go home.  He had his big grin on his face and I know that is a young man I am going to miss.

Well, I’m home now and ready for bed.  It’s going to be another big day tomorrow so I need to be ready for it.

Today my kids all went to Taco Amigo in Pleasant Grove for lunch.  The Keetch Family was holding a fund raiser in honor of Von Keetch and the proceeds are all being gifted to the Huntsman Cancer Center.  And since Taco Amigo is my favorite lunch spot and we want to see cancer research move forward they all got together for a good lunch.  KSL was there filming and asked permission to film the grandkids so we will see if they show up on the news tonight.

Have a wonderful weekend and a safe week.  I love you all.  (I had Windy talk to the bishop and we are tentatively planning my homecoming for September 23.)  That’s actually a day before I’m technically supposed to leave Scotland but my replacement comes on the 12th and my new grand baby comes around the 13th so I am hoping to come home a week early.  I’ll keep you updated!!

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