Well, a four week transfer goes by very fast. And here were are again with moves planning. We only have five missionaries going home and five coming in so that sounds like it should be simple but it’s still a decent sized transfer coming up.
So the weekend has been busy but not as bad as a normal moves weekend. It’s been very enjoyable actually with lots to do.
Sunday the bishop asked me to come into a temple prep class with him to be available for anyone to set up a time to work on family history with me. The ward is going on another temple trip next month and he wants as many as can to bring their own names for baptisms. I really wish I had more family history skills under my belt. I want to help these people so much. Many come after joining the church within the last couple months and they have very little knowledge of their grandparents and no permission from their parents to get baptized for their grandparents so we need to get to that next generation and it is not easy. Some we find things rather quickly and I’m always just as amazed as they are but others we try and try and I know it’s just because I don’t know all the tricks. I hope I can learn more when I get home so I can help others with this. It’s so rewarding when something pings. I did take a picture in Relief Society because I just couldn’t not. This is Christine in our ward. She is from somewhere in Africa. I can’t remember where at the moment. She sews all her own clothes. She is always totally decked out and I think she is just beautiful.
Tuesday was a very cold and wet day. Sister Gifford and I had to run into town to pick up some keys to the flat just below ours. We are moving the Edinburgh Sisters, Sister Wahlquist and Sister Wu over to our building. The flat downstairs opened up and it is so much nicer over here for the same amount of money. They live in a great flat but the area it is in is a bit sketchy so we were really excited when this happened so we could move them from that other flat. I took two pictures while we were walking to the letting office to get the keys. The checkered one is the sidewalk we were walking on. And the other is St Mary’s Cathedral just at the end of the street but shrouded in clouds. The fog has been like this for a few days this week. Not so close that you can’t see where you are but you can’t see much further out.
Tuesday night we met the girls at their old flat and helped them carry down all their luggage and stuff from the flat. They are both feeling sick and don’t look like they feel good. Sister Wahlquist had a fever for sure. We waited outside in the freezing cold for Elder Worley and Elder Butler to come and help us drive everything over to our place and we got the girls all loaded into their new flat. We bought bunk beds for the flat and they wouldn’t be here until the next day so they slept over at Sister Allred and Sister Sun’s flat.
Wednesday the Miller’s were so kind to help us with the bunk
beds. They spent about four hours tearing down a queen-size bed and then setting up the new bunk beds for the girls. What great troopers.
Wednesday morning Sister Gifford and I had to drive out to Corstorphine where Sister Allred and Sun live to grab the keys to the new flat so we could get the bed delivered. We took a wrong turn which is common for me and as we were getting back on the right path we came across this really cool Doocot. I couldn’t believe this was just in a neighborhood we were driving down so I had to pull over and snap a quick picture. Apparently this is all that is left of a castle that once stood in that area. Who knew? I’m glad we got lost.
This beehive shaped home for pigeons was built in the 1500’s. These are common features with castles as the pigeons provided eggs and meat for their meals. I don’t know much about the castle that was here but I know it belonged to a Laird and a Lady.
Wednesday night we had a baptism for Diane Armstrong. Diane is a great lady who has been coming to church now since the first part of December. We just love her. I hope to add a picture soon. Her first impressions of the church where the speakers in sacrament meeting. She loved coming to church because it was the first time she felt like the speakers were uplifting and telling her how to be a better person instead of what she was used to in the other churches she has gone to. She said it was so different not to be told how awful she was and have her sins aired in front of everyone else. She said church was always a place where she learned what not to do but never what to do.
I do have this picture to add from the baptism. We have a problem with the water in our font. It only comes out hot and it gets too hot to even get into. The missionaries are supposed to watch it when they are filling it and to start adding cold water but often times they forget and we end up with so much steam and condensation in the room that the alarms go off. So this is what they do know to keep the smoke alarms from going off. It is so funny to see.
After the baptism I worked with two converts on their family history. Ruthie and Sophie came to the baptism and then stayed after with me. We worked for about an hour and it was a good session.
Thursday was a remarkable day for us. President Nelson and President Holland are both on a world tour beginning here in the UK. They are in London at the Hyde Park Church but we got to tune in for the broadcast as it was meant for all of UK and Ireland. There was a 2:00 broadcast just for missionaries and then a 7:00 broadcast for everyone. It was incredible. So personable. Especially the 2:00 missionary one. President Nelson just opened it up more like a discussion and it was so uplifting and wonderful to see him in operation. He kept looking to President Holland and calling him Jeff as he asked him for help with a question or needed a comment. It was neat to see that personal relationship that they have. Both their wives were with and all four spoke each time. In the evening session Sister Nelson talked about how she received personal revelation not just once but twice that President Nelson was chosen by God to be the next prophet. It was a real experience that she didn’t elaborate on but you could feel the spirit bearing witness that what she was saying was true. She did give very detailed experiences of watching President Nelson receive revelation and being awakened early on Saturday morning and urged out of bed by the spirit. Then two hours later having President Nelson come out of the bedroom saying to her she wouldn’t believe what was just happening to him over the past two hours. She did believe it because she knew she had been kicked out of the room before the prophet was even awake. It was such a neat experience to see the beginning of this worldwide tour they are embarking and to have a personal connection with it. It would have been neat to have the right in our chapel but it was the next best thing and we didn’t feel like we missed out on anything but a personal handshake.
On Friday night I met with Kevin Richardson who was baptised around Christmas time and we didn’t get very far with his family history. This is where I got frustrated this week because I knew if I could figure out how to find the census we could find his grandfather. But I just need to learn a bit more. I’m hoping to find time on Tuesday to wander over to the family history library and see what I can learn so I can be a better teacher.
Well Saturday morning I went to the office and finished up a few things for moves weekend and put some things together to send to a missionaries stake president who is going home for a surgery. We are hoping she will just be gone a transfer and then come right back out but just in case I prepare everything as though they are finishing their mission. I was done by noon and after running the girls up to the university I ran home and picked up Sister Gifford. I had gotten a phone call from a missionary in Paisley that they had just met a family from Hungary and they need a couple Hungarian Book of Mormons and the pamphlets as quickly as possible. Well since I know all the moves I looked to see if there was someone moving to that area and there was. Elder Grabe in Kirkcaldy so I grabbed the books and the pamphlets and asked Sister Gifford if she would mind running to Kirkcaldy with me for P-Day. We didn’t really have any other plans due to it being moves weekend and we don’t always have time to do anything. So off we went to find Elder Grabe and Elder Cosmas. Fortunately they already knew they were whitewashing but they didn’t know where they were going yet. (Whitewashing means both missionaries are transferring so they are whitewashing out of their flat. Everything has to be clean, empty, etc so two new missionaries can move in. They also have to have their area book up to date and good notes for the incoming missionaries to follow through on.) These two missionaries have been together for three transfers I believe so they knew at least one of them would get transferred. They are happy to try new places and sad to say goodbye to each other. I have loved getting to know both of these Elders. They are great examples of a good missionary.
Since we had a few hours to kill we decided to find out if there were any sights to see in the area that we hadn’t seen yet. We discovered two castles on our GPS so we set out to find out what they were.
First was Balgonie Castle. We drove about five miles and we loved the look of the castle but it wasn’t open so we could only get out and take a picture of it. Outlanders has been filmed at this castle. We are finding that most of these little unknown castles have been filming sites for Outlanders. Episodes 13 and 15 were filmed here. I’ve actually never seen Outlanders and I don’t know anyone who has but it is a big deal over here. They even have their own tartan and it is a really pretty one.
Next was Aberdour Castle and Gardens. This was a castle open to the public and there were several groups of people at this castle today. We were pressed for time by the time we got here but we did go in and look around a bit. It’s a nice castle but not my favorite. I think if I had taken more time to just enjoy being there I would have noticed the beautiful views more and enjoyed it more but I was worrying about getting back. This was near a place called Burntisland and I think I would like to go back there. We heard it was a great little town with some neat things to see and good ice cream. So maybe another weekend we will wander over there.
Well, after all our wanderings we ran home and grabbed Elder Worley and Elder Butler for dinner. We had signed up to take them for dinner this week and we were on the last night to get this done. Elder Worley goes home on Monday and he had never as of yet tried Haggis or Black Pudding. So he wanted to have that opportunity. We promised him we would get it done. So we took them out to Dalkeith to the restaurant we went to when Elder Kapalnosi got the muscles. They didn’t disappoint. Oh, and as we were driving Elder Worley and Elder Butler were calling their zone (they are the zone leaders in Edinburgh) to talk about moves. It was so funny, they were on the phone with the Dalkeith Elders as we were pulling down the street to go to the restaurant and Elder Arenas and Elder Rodriguez who are our Dalkeith elders said – we can see you. There they were, right next to the restaurant we were going to so we invited them to come along. The more the merrier. We told the waiter about our dilemma to give Elder Worley a good Scottish send off and they brought us a plate of black pudding, haggis, and trays of bruschetta, and other breads. I don’t even think they charged us for any of that. It turned out great and everyone had lots to eat (we ordered entrees as well) and had a great time just laughing and talking. Elder Worley is going home to Arizona but he will be up to BYU for Spring/Summer Semester. Elder Butler is from Bountiful I think. I’m going to have to check that but I think that is right. Elder Arenas is no stranger to my blog but I haven’t had him on here for a while. He is from the Philippines and Elder Rodriguez is from Columbia. It’s always an eye-opener to talk to these boys from other countries and learn of their life growing up and the things they have done and how they found the gospel. It is so humbling and rewarding to make friends with these young men.
Well, I better get to bed. We have a full day ahead of us. The Donaldson’s are in Aberdeen for stake conference and won’t get back until just in time to hike Pratt’s Hill tomorrow so Sister Gifford and I have cooking to do in the morning and a few other things before church. Back to the smaller groups so we are helping more in the kitchen again. We love it though. No complaints here.
Have a great week. I love you.