Week 70: Seventy Weeks – that’s unreal!!

Well, this week once again just flew by.  I think that is the way the rest of this summer is going to go.  Then we will hit September and it will probably feel like the brakes got put on.  I need to figure out how to not start dwelling on coming home so the time will keep on moving.  For now, I don’t even have time to think about coming home.  It’s still really busy around here.

Sunday we had the Miller’s over for dinner.  I used the chow mein noodles that the Selander’s brought me and we had Hawaiian Haystacks.  That was so fun to have something familiar and to share a new recipe with Sister Gifford who had never heard of Hawaiian Haystacks before.  She liked them.  Just as dinner was getting over I got a phone call from our missionaries up in Orkney.  They were trying to get on a ferry and there was no record of the ticket I had bought for them.  I was sure I had bought them a ticket.  So I told everyone I would be back and ran to the office.  I found the ticket, called Elder Foster and Elder Price back and gave them the ticket number and started home.  I was just turning onto my street when the phone rang and it was them again.  The ticket was not for Orkney to Scrabster it was for Shetland to Aberdeen.  That got me really confused because I had also bought that ticket but I had the ticket right in front of me and it said Orkney.  So I went back to the office and got back on the computer to look up the Shetland ticket.  Somehow they both had the same reference number.  When I bought Orkney and then turned right around to buy Shetland somehow the system cancelled out the first trip and made it the other.  So I had to re-buy the Orkney tickets and write a long explanation for our finance elder so we don’t have a problem when we get audited.  Just as I got that figured out the phone rang at the office.  Someone needing train tickets.  I tell you these missionaries think all we do is work at the office.  It doesn’t matter that it is Sunday, they call and figure we are there.  Well, I didn’t disappoint, I was there and I got their train tickets for them.  By the time I got home the Miller’s had left but I didn’t have to do any dishes.  They were all done!!

On Tuesday we welcomed a new senior couple to the mission.  Terry and Kay Walker from Arizona.  They are my age and so excited to be here.  He served his mission here when it was the Belfast and Glasgow Mission.  President Macdonald was away on Tuesday for zone conference in Aberdeen so I went to the airport to pick them up.  The Miller’s and Maxwell’s were going to meet us at the office with brunch to welcome the Walkers.  Boy it was so good.  We had a really good breakfast casserole and a granola-based yogurt and fruit pizza and other good things.  It was so nice and the Walkers are going to do well.  They were fun to get to know.  I couldn’t tell them where they were going, but I had to get them to the President up in Aberdeen and then on a plane the next day to Ireland.  Once off the plane they had a bus to take them to Galway where they will be serving.  I was having a hard time trying to talk to them about what to say when they entered Ireland without telling them I was actually talking about them and what they should say.  And I had to seal the travel plans and tell them they could open them after they talked to the President.  We were all having a hard time not saying where they were going.  So we all agreed to say they were going to Norway so we could talk more freely about what to expect as they traveled.  It was really funny.

Tuesday night we took Sister Belliston and Sister Oren out to Jashan’s for Indian food.  We didn’t have much time because they had a lesson they had to get back for.  They had two people getting baptised the next day and they were meeting with them to get clothing figured out and to teach some more.  Well Jashan’s was so slow that we ended up asking them to make it to go.  Then we ran the girls to their lesson and went back to the office to eat our dinner and wait for the girls to come back.  They got back at 7:30 and ate then we ran them to their other lesson that started at 8:00.  Luckily that wasn’t very far away and we made it in time.

Tuesday’s are also District Meetings which I never do anything with.  But this week the Edinburgh District decided they need extra help to find more people and to just have some extra blessings to get everyone where they should be so they passed out this card.  It was so nice of them to include us in their prayer roll.

Wednesday night was the two baptisms for Kerry and Danny.  I played the piano so I was in the back of the room with the missionaries.  Everyone has colds right now so no one feels totally good.  Poor Elder Schmidt was sitting right next to me and he couldn’t stop sniffling and blowing his nose and coughing.  I’m surprised I didn’t catch what he has.  Of course that didn’t stop them from playing with my phone while we were waiting for the boys to come back in so we could wrap up.  Here is Elder Gowans, Elder Crowley and Elder Schmidt.

Thursday we drove to Galashiels to finish cleaning out the house we had there for our missionaries.  We are less missionaries now so five areas closed down this past transfer.  The girls left the house very clean but there was so much stuff in there the Millers, who had gone to check it out last week, needed help to clear out the house.  There was so many supplies and Books of Mormon we filled the whole backseat of our car with just that.  There was about 40 cans of soup, cupboards full of food, Christmas decorations, linens, just stuff.  We filled our car and the Miller’s car as full as we could and our friends Wendy and her son John came and filled their car with stuff they wanted.  We still have enough stuff there to fill another car so we are going back in about a week to finish up.  But on top of that, we found out everything in that house, including the washing machine and the fridge belong to the mission.  So I was out watching for anyone to walk near by offering tables and beds and a fridge for free.  No one wanted anything.  We did give the fridge away to a neighbor that was wishing they had a second fridge for their garage so I helped them carry that out of the house and over to their house.  We had a guy come that has a used furniture store but he didn’t want anything.  Sister Gifford is now calling charity shops to see if they will come take things.  We didn’t get home until about 8:00 again Thursday.  We drove the long way home and enjoyed seeing lambs along side the road.

Friday I ran some girls to the doctor and then out for a quick lunch before putting them back on a train to go back to their area. Sister Gifford and I went to see a flat in town that we are going to put an application in to get for our zone leaders.  Also, our friend Ruth wanted us to meet her for dinner up in town.  We were both so busy and had so much work to do we wanted to postpone but decided we better not and hired a taxi to get us up where she wanted to meet us.  Just as we were pulling up to the place she called and said she couldn’t meet us after all.  So we got out and wandered around town for a bit and then found a place for dinner and took a bus home.  As we were walking back to the office to get our car we were passing under this tree.  I looked up and thought it was so pretty so I grabbed a picture.  Again, we got home about 7:30.  So this was a week of not getting home on time.  But it made it go by fast.

Saturday I got up and went to the office at 7:00 in the morning and worked until 10:00.  I still have a huge list of things that needs to be done but I’m making headway.  At 10:00 I picked up the Millers and Sister Gifford and we headed off on our adventure for the day.  It was raining pretty hard this morning but we decided to go on faith and it paid off.  It rained a lot but anytime we were getting out of the car for an activity the rain stopped and we did just fine.  It was such a refreshing day and the weather was just right for the activities that we did.

First stop was the Great Polish Map of Scotland.  This was built by two Polish men and it is the largest outdoor relief map in the world. The map was thought up by a Polish man who was over here during the war in 1942 and he was wounded and cared for in a hospital in Galashiels.  He married a Scottish nurse and he began to purchase places and turn them into hotels.  So he bought Barony Castle in 1968 and added that to his line of hotels.  He commissioned two Poles to come and make this map saying, “I shall die, but I shall leave my map as a gift to the Scottish people to thank them for the hospitality they showed the Poles when it was needed.”

We saw a crazy growth by a tree here so we took some pictures.

We drove along the Tweed River and I had to pull over and take a picture.

Then we drove to a place called Scott’s View.  This was a beautiful look-out point that William Scott used to go to and ponder.  It is said when William Scott died his funeral procession was over a mile long and his horses were pulling his casket that day and when they came to this place they stopped and refused to move for 15 minutes.  It was part of their routine to always stop at this place.  It was beautiful and didn’t disappoint us.

Breathes there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land! – Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel

Then we drove a little further to a forest.  We walked about a half a mile down a beautiful path to find this William Wallace Statue out in the middle of nowhere.  It was huge.  Much bigger than I had imagined it was going to be.

Next stop was Mellerstain House and Gardens.  We stopped here to have some lunch in their cafe.  It wasn’t the best lunch but we sat outside under the threatening sky and it was enjoyable.  We found a really neat tree again here and stopped to take a few pictures.

After this we headed to Dunbar which is on the coast.  I wanted to see a statue that I had just learned about and again we were delighted with what we found.  The statue is called The Creel Loader.  It’s a woman taking the catch of the day in her basket or Creel which is so big it takes two men to help her.  The detail in this sandstone statue was so neat.  It looked like a sandcastle.   Then we walked down to the beach to look at the water and there was a music festival going on so we wandered over to that and hung around for a little bit.

We were heading to North Berwick to end our day with a delicious ice cream cone but decided it was worth a stop at Tantallon Castle since the Miller’s had never been there.  This is still one of my favorite castles.  It was the first castle I saw when I got to Scotland and it is where my love for castles began.  It also helped me to want to stay and not run home.  I enjoyed that day when Sister Dent and I went to this castle and Dirleton Castle.

Well that puts us to the end of the week.  I’m tired so I’m going to get some sleep.  I haven’t had a lot of that this week.  I’m so grateful for the friends I have made here in Scotland and for wonderful P-Days like we had today.  It was so nice to just get out and not think about work for a short time.  It really does rejuvenate you and get you ready for another week.

Have a wonderful Sunday tomorrow.  I love you.


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