Week 54: Snow, Rain, and 3 Castles

Well what a wonderful conference we all experienced this past weekend.  This will be one we talk about for a long time.  There were so many highlights and exciting things going on but overall I think for me it wasn’t so much the messages and the announcements but the sense of peace and well-being that I felt.  It seems the past few conferences have been filled with anxiety as we have worried about apostles that were missing due to illnesses and a Prophet who was clearly reaching the end of his life and that always seemed to put a cloud over the wonder of conference for me.  But this conference was so upbeat and happy feeling.  I loved to see the smiles on every face.  Even watching Elder Oaks with a literal grin on his face, which seemed a little foreign to me, was such a great experience in and of itself.

Elders McDaniel, Selander, Smith, Gregory

This weekend we had a plan to go to Aberdeen to see Dunottar Castle but we have had so much rain and snow this week that the castle is flooded and not open to visitors.  So I thought I would share this picture and message from Elder Smith who is a zone leader up in the Aberdeen area right now.  He is from Australia and I haven’t had too many experiences with him but I know he is a great missionary.  He sent us this picture with this message, “While we were there we noticed around the ruins this great archway that still remained intact because of the strong keystone placed in the middle.  My thoughts immediately turned to the Book of Mormon and how essential this sacred volume of scripture is to each of us. Without it, the fullness of the gospel would be lost. How grateful we all are for the Book of Mormon and for the way in which God reaches out to his children every day who ponder and study it’s passages.”

This week was pretty much just work.  It has been cold and on Wednesday it snowed and snowed.  I was supposed to have my driving test on Wednesday in Livingston and I had ran Tuesday night out to purchase the mirror and learner plates that I have to have on the car to take my test but by the time I got to Livingston Wednesday morning the sky was getting darker and darker and the rain was falling harder and harder.  There were six of us there to take our tests and the rain was starting to turn to snow and I ended up not getting to do my test.  So I have rescheduled for the 17th in Dunfermline.  To schedule your test you go on-line and it gives you the dates of open times and the location.  To take the test in Edinburgh they are booked out until the end of May.  So that’s why I’m going other places instead.

Well Wednesday evening Sister Gifford and I drove Sister Wahlquist and Sister Wu to their dinner appointment.  We picked them up just after 5:00 and it took us almost an hour to get them about six miles to their dinner.  This snowstorm was so full of water the roads were totally slushy and by Thursday morning everything had frozen over.  Our parking lot at the office was a giant sheet of uneven ice.  I didn’t take any pictures.  I wish I had.

Friday I was playing chauffeur most of the day.  I picked up Sister Quintana and Sister Peterson for a doctor appointment and then ran them to get a prescription and a bite to eat at the grocery store. While I was waiting for them to come out of the train station another set of missionaries happened to be there and opened up my car door and asked if I was there for them.  I have picked them up before so that was a good guess but no I wasn’t there for them.  Then just after they walked away some stranger opened my door and asked me if I was a taxi.  I was glad the girls were coming out right then.

After I got back from dropping them back off at the train I took Sister Gifford to the store.  We were having an office staff dinner with the Donaldson’s and we had to get our stuff for salad and salsa.  Just as soon as I got back from the store I ran Sister Wahlquist and Sister Wu to a doctor appointment as well.  I didn’t get a picture of us but as I was sitting in the parking lot listening to my book I snapped this picture of the building where our doctor is.

As usual we had a great Saturday planned for P-Day.  We headed a different direction than originally planned but we had a great time.  We drove up near Glasgow and then over near Paisley to Kelburn Castle.  We had just heard about this castle and thought it would be fun to check it out.  Kelburn Castle is home to the Earl of Glasgow and the outside of the backside of the castle has been painted graffiti-style by some Brazilian artists.  The grounds around the castle have become a great place for children to come and play.  There is a secret forest, a fort and saloon play area.  A fire pit area with a stage.  A teepee.  It kind of reminded me of a cub scout day camp area.  There are also some beautiful garden areas and a glen with waterfalls.  And to top it all off it sits right on the edge of the sea.  So it is a beautiful place to be.


After this castle we headed north west to Inveraray Castle which looks a bit more like a palace to me.  It was built in the 1700’s.The castle is the home of the Duke of Argyll.  I don’t think he is very old.  He is married to a Cadbury (yes the chocolate Cadbury family) and they have three small children.  This castle is absolutely stunning and again sits on the western edge of Scotland right on the water.  The Duke of Argyll is also the head clansman of the Campbell Clan which is a very large clan in Scotland.  

The final castle we were in search of today is Kilchurn Castle.  This is a castle ruin that sits on Loch Awe.  We couldn’t find a road to take us down to it so we had to take a picture from the side of the road across the loch.  It was a beautiful sight and I wish we could have gotten closer.  It was built in the 1400’s and was used by the Campbell Clan until they moved over to a different area.  It was eventually destroyed by lightening.  I know that is a little hard to see.

Well, after six hours of driving and having a great day we ran to the grocery store to get what we needed for dinner tomorrow and then I waited for a very important phone call.  It came at 9:00 PM my time.  I was so happy to take part in watching my grandson get baptised all the way in Utah.  Congratulations Kaden.  You did a great job.  I got to see my family and listen to Avery play the violin.  Great job Avery.  You are getting so good on the violin.


Thanks so much to each of you.  I love sharing my mission with you.  I love to hear that you read my blog and enjoy it.  I have enjoyed keeping up to date each week.

Love you all.

3 thoughts on “Week 54: Snow, Rain, and 3 Castles

  1. I love love love reading your blog every week! I know I’m not family but it makes me so happy! Especially with the occasional sighting of Elder Selander! Can’t wait to meet you in a couple of months!
    Thanks so much for all you do!

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