What a week. There is lots to be done as a new president leaves and another one arrives. We cleaned and scrapped and scoured everywhere. I spent several hours out in the garage trying to make it look nicer and organized. It wasn’t unorganized to begin with, but you know how garages can get. Leaves and dirt filter in. People leave things there will good intentions of getting them to the trash. There were several boxes of all kinds of things that had been dropped off by missionaries who had flats that were totally closing down. Lucky for me, Wendy and John came out to help.
Monday Elder Gowans and Elder Crowley dropped by for a minute. Elder Gowans was looking for something to do I think. He found my phone and that entertained him for a minute. I’m wearing my hair curly here because President Donaldson has been asking to see me with curly hair. Problem is, now that I’ve done it I’m liking it and I haven’t gone back to straightening it yet. I guess that’s not really a problem.
Well, we worked hard all week but I can’t even tell you what we did really. I have no pictures to show for it either. So I guess this is going to be a short blog and we will go directly to Saturday.
First though, on Thursday we went to Papillios with just the Donaldson’s and the office staff. This is a great Italian restaurant on Bruntsfield, near the office. They love the Donaldson’s there and took great care of us. They didn’t charge us for our appetizers and were so sad to see the Donaldson’s leaving. It was a wonderful evening and we then walked down a few blocks to a great gelato place for an ice cream cone. Sister Gifford and I also drove Sister Lough and Sister Belliston to a dinner appointment before this and ran afterwards to find them and bring them home. They were out walking the streets while they waited for us. Our ward encompasses all of Edinburgh so many times the dinner appointments are a long way away.
Friday the Macdonald’s flew into Edinburgh. Their plane was delayed by a few hours but they did arrive safely. They didn’t come to the office on Friday so I still haven’t met them. On Saturday morning they would have come to move into the mission home and spend an hour with the Donaldson’s before the Donaldson’s drove off to go home. I am assuming they will be at church today so I will see them there.
Saturday Sister Gifford had an appointment in the morning and then we did our grocery shopping and ran to find some new shoes. I really needed some new tennis shoes. (Trainers as they are called here.) Then we went to the church to check on the Miller’s who were there cleaning with the YSA. They were done so we didn’t do anything there. I have been having a nagging feeling to go visit a certain missionary all week long so we decided to find out where he is exactly and decided as long as it wasn’t over 4 hours away we would go. Well, I checked and he is in Peterhead which is 3 and a half hours away so that was my final sign that we needed to go to Peterhead. I called them up and said, “What are you doing for dinner tonight?” They were happy to hear we were coming up to Peterhead. They made reservations at a carvery that some members recommended and were waiting for us at their flat when we got there.
We have never been up as far as Peterhead. It’s about 30 minutes north of Aberdeen. We had never actually been to Aberdeen yet either so it was a nice trip for us. Aberdeen is a big city. I didn’t realize that. It feels bigger than Edinburgh. More city looking with high-rises and more modern architecture mixed in with some beautiful old architecture. I would have liked to wander around a bit and take pictures of some of the buildings but we didn’t stop. Here is the one picture I took from the front window of our car while we were at a stop light. When you drive into Aberdeen everything is gray. All the buildings are gray and then when you drive into Peterhead all the buildings are brown. I don’t know enough about where the stones come from in each area but I thought that was interesting.
The drive was beautiful as we followed the coast of the North Sea all the way up to Peterhead. There is a lighthouse just before you enter Peterhead and the water is so blue. We were feeling a bit rushed since we had so far to drive there and back so we didn’t really get out and enjoy it. Maybe I’ll get that chance another time.
On the way there we could see what looked like a castle up above Dundee so we got off the main road and drove over to it. It said Castle Huntly so we decided we would go up and get some good pictures, but we couldn’t get near it. It is a prison and they have it all marked off. Here is the best picture I could get.
Near Aberdeen we found one more castle. Tolquhon Castle which turned out to be a fairy-tale looking castle. It is in ruins but you can tell it was a pretty castle in it’s day. Our Historic Scotland passes expire today so this was the last castle we can get into with our passes. Now we will have to decide if it is worth paying to get in from now on. Or renew our passes but we are only here for a few more months so we probably won’t do that.
And look at that sky!! We are having a heat wave here and I couldn’t be happier. It’s amazing. It feels like summer!! They say this past winter was the worst winter in 20 years and now they are saying this summer is the hottest summer in 20 years.
So dinner – we went to a carvery which is kind of like going to Chuck a Rama only much smaller. And you can only go through the line once. They carve the meat for you and then you get the vegi’s you want. This place we went was by far the biggest helpings of meat we have ever seen at a carvery. Our plates were huge and I felt I could have fed my whole family with the amount of meat they gave us. I barely made a dent in my meal and was totally full. Our missionaries on the other hand, had no problem getting through their meal. Here is Elder Chappel from West Jordan and Elder Morgan from Wales. It was so nice to spend an evening with them just letting them know we love them and are aware of their hard work.
Well, I hope this finds all of you well. I want you to know I think of you every single day and I pray for you and your well-being as well as for opportunities for each of our testimonies to grow in our Savior Jesus Christ. He is my rock. He is the one who truly knows my thoughts and feelings, even better than I know them myself. He has felt every emotion and loves each one of us. He understands us always. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be an instrument in his hands and to feed his children and be his helping hands here. I hope that I can always do my best to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to be willing to do what it takes to learn, grow and bless. I am grateful for the knowledge that we have forever families and that we are all brothers and sisters and that life goes on. That the friends we make each day will be forever friends. I am so grateful for the gospel and the good news that it brings into our lives. That we know where we come from and where we are going. And we know through Christ that path is made more bright.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Enjoy the summer!! I miss you.