Week 74: Moves Planning, The Tattoo, Day with the Macdonalds

Here we are, moves planning again.  This should be my last time to do moves but I’m staying ten extra days to do the next one as well.  But that means six weeks from today I will have my bags packed and we will be watching General Conference and I’ll be counting the hours until I get on a plane back home.  It doesn’t seem real.

Last Sunday we had an enjoyable day at church and then went back to the mission home later that night to listen to a BYU Woodwind Quintet who needed a place to practice before their performances at Fringe this week.  They had written to the mission office a month or so ago asking if we could help them out.  I was excited to do just that.  I’ve played in quintets before and I really enjoy listening to them.  The clarinet player was a missionary here in Scotland several years ago.  He and the Bassoon player are BYU professors.  I’m not sure about the others but they were amazing.  It was fun to listen.   We had to leave before their last song and go and pick up Sister Belliston and Sister Orin who were quite aways from home out seeking less actives and seeing what they could do for them.  They actually had a great night and made some great contacts.  They also met a couple new people who set up lessons with them.  They are very hard working sisters.

Monday of course is the missionaries p-day.  I love that they come into the office to say hi.  Here is my usual visitors.  Elder Brockbank (from Lehi), Elder Thompson (from Perry I think) who goes home this transfer, Elder O’Connor from Saratoga Springs, and Elder Gowans who also goes home this transfer from Orem.  As you can tell I have lots of new friends to come home to.  These missionaries have touched my heart and I hope that I’ve been able to return the favor to them.  It’s been such an honor to serve with the wonderful missionaries here in Scotland and Ireland. 

Tuesday after work we took the APs to Tony Macaroni.  We are losing Elder Wright this transfer.  He is from Pleasant Grove.  He has been in Edinburgh more than half his mission so I have gotten to know him so well.  We are really going to miss these missionaries.  Dinner was so much fun.  We were all in the mood for dessert so we got the large Sundae for the boys to split.  It was huge but they plowed through it.  So much for their body building they’ve been trying to do.  I’m sure they walk it off though, they walk miles each day. Elder Gedlaman is still our other AP and the new AP in the middle here is Elder Christiansen from St. George.  He has been in Dublin his whole mission so it will be fun to get to know him better.  He has been a wonderful missionary.  I have worked with him since he has been a zone leader and he is very organized and a great leader.

Wednesday was a baptism.  Two baptisms actually.  Patrick from Edinburgh and Phoebe from China.  The APs asked me if I could pick Patrick up because he isn’t able to get to the church very well on his own.  I said I would and then a little later the girls called and asked if I would go out to Corstorphine and pick up Vivian who is getting baptized next week and bring her to the baptism.  I still haven’t learned the word “no”.  So I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get everyone picked up and to the baptism in time and I realize it just isn’t going to happen.  So I mentioned to the President that I had over extended myself and he volunteered to go get Patrick.  Good thing because what was supposed to be a 20 minute drive to get Vivian turned into a 40 minute drive and then trying to get back to the church we were just not going to make it.  I told Sister Gifford to call the APs and see if they would stall.  They said they would try.  But we were becoming so late I really thought we would miss the whole thing.  But this is when we see God reaching out and fixing things for us.  Vivian has never seen a baptism and is a little worried about the actual act of getting baptised.  It was important she see this.  As late as we were, we walked in just as Patrick stepped into the water.  Phoebe was second.  So we saw what we had brought Vivian to see and it was perfect.  She is so excited to get baptised.  She actually lives in Galashiels and even though I swore a few weeks ago that we would never be driving to the borders again, we are going to her baptism on Friday night next week.  One more trip to Galashiels.

It has been rainy all week and we had tickets to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on Thursday night.  We were worried since we knew what it was like to be there in the rain from last year.  But Thursday night we, along with President and Sister Macdonald headed off to the castle.  It rained a few drops just as we got there but then the sky cleared up and we had a wonderful night watching the bands and precision military groups.  It wasn’t as big as last year, there were only half the size of bands but it was every bit as good.  We enjoyed it so much.  

I just want to talk for a minute about how much my mission has helped me with my scripture study.  I have always loved to read the scriptures and have done so ever since I was little when my Grandmother Morley gave me a Children’s Illustrated Bible.  I read that book over and over again.  I kept up with my reading all through seminary and with the institute classes.  I have also tried to go to church scripture study groups over the years.  It’s something that I love but I have never felt like I retain the scriptures.  I never feel like I can just talk in Sunday School or other lessons and pull everything together and say something that others would enjoy hearing.  I am always a little jealous when others seem to do that with no problem.  But I have found on my mission that when I study using Preach My Gospel and concentrate on the missionary lessons and read each scripture and do this over and over that I’m learning so much more.  I still can’t just talk in Sunday School like some people can but I know personally I am getting more and more out of my scripture study.  It doesn’t matter how tired I am when I get home, I love to sit down at the table and study.  Sometimes for several hours.  At home I would crawl into bed and turn on my TV and watch a couple hours of sitcoms or TV dramas while trying to fall asleep.  But this has been so much more rewarding.  I know it isn’t something that will be as easy to maintain once I’m home but I hope the habits I’ve created here will still influence me when I get home and I have the same desire to study.  I keep telling myself that as long as I’m getting it into my head, at some point when I really need to know it, it will be there.


Today I got to the office at 7:00 am and worked until 1:00.  It’s not a big transfer this time but the pope is in Dublin and it’s a bank holiday on Monday so travel is a little tricky.  A normal two-and-a-half hour bus ride from Cork or Limerick to Dublin is going to take up to four hours on Monday because of road changes.  And our missionaries have to get there and then some onto Belfast and then on a ferry to Scotland.  I’m hoping I’m figuring out the timing right.  Also, many buses are full so we are having to rely on taxi’s for a few short segments of the trips.

I got everything done that I could do and the Macdonald’s asked what we were doing today so we decided to take them to a few places close by that we could all enjoy.  First stop was to Dalhousie Castle which was a place we discovered several months ago and their falconry.  It was just as fun the second time.  These birds are so neat and you literally can get inches away from them.  Here I have a picture of a Siberian Owl and a Little Owl.  Yes, that is his technical name.  Little Owl.  And he is little.  Maybe six to eight inches tall.

Then we went to our favorite Pizzaria and Fish Bar in DalKeith for some take away then over to Dalkeith Country Park for a picnic.  The weather was delightful.  Not hot at all but very pleasant.  Then we drove around the park and then over to Dobbies to do a little shopping.  Skyler told me I needed to find something I could put in the backyard about Scotland for the kids to find when they come to visit.  I didn’t realize they like to find my lizards and fairies and the tiki statue that I bought in Hawaii.  So I found a Highland Cow and a cute little duck to hide in my yard when I get home.

Now it is back to the office to do some follow-up with some of the missionaries who will be traveling tomorrow and Monday.


Look at these two pictures of plants.  Dobbie’s has such a great nursery.  That first is a succulent with a bright pink plume and the purple is a flower growing out of it.  The second is called a Lipstick plant.  It looks like a paper chain.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I am thinking of each one of you and hope you are all doing well.  I got a phone call on Friday from Elder Pelham who is going home the same day I’m leaving.  He said, Sister Call, we have 46 more days!!  Oh boy, that’s a little soon to start counting days but wow, that’s going to go by quick.

Love you.

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