Well, I feel like I am running out of things to say. It’s just the same cycle every six weeks. It’s been busy as usual. We still are working 10 – 11 hours a day without a lunch break and we still have more work than we can get done.
Sunday we picked up a lady from China who has been living in Scotland for several years. Three years ago she had started coming to church and even had a few discussions with President Donaldson and then we lost track of her. The missionaries found her recently and she expressed a desire to come back to check out church again. Her name in Ning and she is a great lady. We enjoyed talking with her and learning about her as we drove her to and from church. She called me Lori the whole time. It was funny. I’m not sure how she knew my name. I guess she wanted to know my first name and the missionaries had told her or something. Caught me a little off guard. I certainly didn’t mind.
Monday was a special treat. My brother-in-law and his wife Ron and Sonja came to Scotland on a tour they were on. They had the afternoon on free so I met them up on the Royal Mile and took them to Craigmillar Castle. So for the second week in a row I wandered the floors and passageways of Craigmillar. This week however has been so rainy and foggy it was a different experience. We got on top of the castle but couldn’t see past the grounds it stands on. No city skyline or
sea to look out at. Just dense clouds. I don’t know why I didn’t take any pictures. Probably because it was my 6th visit to this castle but I probably should have taken a foggy picture. After the castle we went back to the office and grabbed Sister Gifford and went to Zizzi’s for dinner. Yes, I think I’m going to turn into a noodle. After dinner we came back to our flat and they did a load of laundry and we just sat and visited. It was nice and I enjoyed the time we had. I haven’t had too many chances to get to know Sonja yet so I really enjoyed talking. She is now a sister to me and I am so glad she has joined the Call family.
Tuesday Sister Gifford and I drove out to Livingston and met the elders there early in the morning with a new phone. Their phone was stolen over the weekend and it is really hard to do missionary work without a phone at least. These poor missionaries here are all working with the most ancient phones you have ever seen. It’s like trying to find the phone with the least amount of problems to give the missionaries. We are hoping at some point our mission will be given the opportunity to have smart phones or ipads or something. But for now we are still the old-style mission. It is becoming more and more debilitating as the world as a whole becomes more reliant on smart phones.
Also Monday night the Macdonald’s got an email from travel with their daughter, Lydia’s flight plans. She was scheduled to go home on Wednesday and they had no idea. So we threw together a going away dinner for her on Tuesday and the office staff went to Tony Macaroni’s for a send-off party. I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know Lydia. She is going home to Utah so I hope she will know that she can call me if she ever needs something once I get there.
Wednesday we got a new senior mission couple. The Williams are from Australia and they are going to be great missionaries. This is their second mission together and their first mission had been as office couples. So I picked their brain and got some ideas of what I could do to improve some of the things we do. It’s always good to see what other people do. They are going to Ireland so I won’t see them again before I go home I don’t think. Although Sister Gifford and I have decided if we can fit it in we are going to make one last trip to Ireland since she hasn’t been to all the areas that I have been.
Wednesday night we had an office dinner with the Williams. I made Taco Soup and it tasted so good. I love tastes from home. I used my coveted can of Rotel Tomatoes that the Selander’s brought me and some of the Fritos. So it was just the way I like it. This week has been cooler and it has rained every day so soup was just the right thing. We also had two baptisms this night be we didn’t make it over to them.
Thursday I went after work with Sister Allred and Sister Irving out to Leith to teach a family. It was such a tender experience. It was a wonderful mother and her nine-year-old son and her very teeny pre-mature baby who looked like a toy doll. I wish I could have taken their picture as we sat in their living room and talked to them about the Plan of Salvation. Their eyes just shown and you could see what good people they are. They both agreed to get baptised in a few weeks. Esther the mother speaks very little English and her son speaks really well so he translated when it was necessary. I am going to pick them up for church on Sunday. On the way home from the lesson I asked the girls if they had dinner plans and they didn’t so we stopped in at a Chippy and got dinner. And then the girls were off to another lesson and I went home to do my usual reading my scriptures and settling in for the night.
Today we got up and went into the office and worked for about an hour and then we picked up the Miller’s and headed down past Glasgow. Our destination was Culzean Castle but I looked up what else was around there so we had a few things to do. It turned out to be a great day even though I don’t think it ever stopped raining and my hair just kept getting frizzier and frizzier. First stop was Dunure Castle.
Dunure Castle is a castle ruin that sits out on the edge of the water. The original building dates pre-13th century but the existing building is a bit new than that. It looks like it might have burned at one time. There is a pretty good Dovecot still next to the castle and as we approached and looked in we could hear birds cooing inside so the birds must still like it there. This was a neat looking castle and I’m glad we decided to detour over to this on our way.
Then we went to a little coffee shop for lunch. Elder Miller and Sister Gifford both had Haddock. I had mac and cheese and chips. Sister Miller had soup and a toastie. It was good food. Then we went in search of Electric Brae. Electric Brae is a place just like Gravity Hill at home where the road is built in such a way that it looks like you are driving downhill but when you put your car in neutral it actually rolls up the hill instead of down. So there we were out in the middle of no where stopping every few feet and letting our car roll. We never did figure out exactly where it happens. And it’s kind of hard to do it because there is traffic. We thought about getting out of the car, we even brought water with us to try pouring water on the road to see which way it would run but it was raining so hard we probably wouldn’t have been able to tell anyway. Oh well. We tried.
Next stop – Culzean Castle. Wow, what a great castle. I had no idea. We didn’t pay to go in the castle but we did pay to go to the grounds and it didn’t disappoint. The grounds were huge and we really enjoyed ourselves. We found the Swan Pond and watched the swans and ducks for a little bit. Then we walked through the walled garden area and then went over to the Deer Park and looked at the deer, llamas and a few Highland Coos. Then we walked over to the castle. It’s a beautiful castle with beautiful gardens. It also sits right out near the water. But this is not a ruin. It is a beautiful building in a beautiful setting.
After the castle we had to come home. There was a couple more things we could have done but we ran out of time. It’s good. It was a very wet day and we actually got a lot done. A totally enjoyable day.
Love you all!!