Week 67: New President, 4th of July, Hogwarts Express

Well, President and Sister Donaldson are officially gone and we have our new mission president and his wife here now.  President and Sister Macdonald.  (That’s not at all confusing.)  They are from West Jordon, Utah and they have brought their 18-year-old daughter Lydia with them.  This has been a great week.  They are fitting in nicely and I am anticipating a great end of my mission with them.

Last week were going to take Elder Crowley and Elder Gowans out to dinner but it didn’t happen with everything else going on and we had already told the Zone Leaders, Elder Gedleman and Elder Brockbank that we would take them out to eat this week so we decided to just take all four of them.  Then Elder Derry and Elder Glad showed up.  Elder Derry is who we ran into clear last September in Inverness and offered to take him and Elder Haynes out to dinner.  They couldn’t go because they had a lesson right then but I have always promised them if I ever got the chance I would take them to dinner.  I haven’t had the chance with either of them yet.  So we decided – what’s two more missionaries as long as we are going.  So off we went to Tony Macaroni.  The perfect place to take a crowd.

Elder Crowley and Elder Gowans
Elder Gedleman, Elder Brockbank
Elder Derry, Elder Glad


Dinner was great and the company was even better.  I love being with these missionaries.  They really make my day.

Tuesday was zone conference (just a two-hour one) so the All-Scotland missionaries could meet the Macdonalds.  It was a wonderful zone conference full of the spirit and excitement and love.  I am so excited to learn from President Macdonald my last few months.  He is a great guy and I know we are going to get along really well.  On Wednesday they did the same thing for the All-Ireland Missionaries so they got a taste of traveling to Ireland this week as well.

Wednesday was the 4th of July so all the senior missionaries in Scotland got together for a dinner at the Pederson’s.  They live in the middle of all of us so it was the perfect place to get together, plus it is big enough to do so.  We had a wonderful dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, salad, fruit, vegi’s etc.  Sister Pedersen made an amazing homemade strawberry shortcake that everyone raved about.  Then we played a game and just sat around and visited for a while.  It was really nice to get together.  We really should be doing that more often.  It’s nice and we all get along really well.  (In order – Millers, Pohlmans, Pedersens, me and Sister Gifford, Maxwells and Helps.

On Thursday I met with Sister Allred, Sister Ellsworth and Robert to do some family history in the morning.  We got a name for Robert to take to the temple this Saturday.  I left the room for just a minute and they had fun with my phone!!  I’m glad.  I love pictures. Thursday night I met with Sam and Hamish to help them with some names as well.  They both got several names to take to the temple on Saturday.  (Not because of anything I did.  They are really doing well with their family history all on their own.  I was just there for moral support.)

Friday I went with Sister Allred and Sister Ellsworth to teach Mars again.  It’s always good to see him.

Saturday was our day to finally go on the Jacobite Steam Train.  This train goes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct which is the very bridge you see when Harry Potter and his friends are traveling to Hogwarts on the train.  We even had the trolley going up and down the aisle and I got a chocolate frog.  It was the most beautiful drive getting there to Fort Williams where the train leaves from.  The train then heads up to Mallaig which is just over 40 miles away.

Here are pictures from our drive to Fort Williams.     The train has a real steam engine and we were able to climb into the engine room to see the fire roaring in the furnace.  The train was long with about 9 long cars behind the engine.  We sat in 1st class on the way out and regular coach on the way back.  That was just the tickets we were able to get.  I videoed the bridge so I don’t have a picture to put in my blog.

Train going across the bridge.

When we got to Malliag they announced that there was a boat that was going out to spot sealife that would go out for an hour which would still give us 40 minutes to find something to eat before we had to get back on the train so we decided to go for it.  It was great.  We didn’t see much but we spotted lots of jelly fish in the water and we did see one dolphin quite well but I couldn’t get my camera going quick enough.  And we saw lots of seals and sea lions.  It was fun to be out on the water enjoying the fresh sea air after being on the train.

Well that wraps up my week.  I’m going to bed.  I hope everyone is happy and enjoying summer.  It’s been so warm here.  Everyone is Scotland is amazed at the weather.  It’s not usually like this.  They are actually worried because it hasn’t rained for quite a while.  A couple weeks at least.  But I’m not complaining.  I’m loving the warm weather.

Love you!!


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