Well, after loving and caring for over 200 missionaries, supporting 2 mission presidents, visiting 67 castles, 11 palaces, 18 abbeys and cathedrals, and spending time at 33 different locations I think I have done about all I came to do. I hope that I have left no stone unturned in Scotland. I know there are a few things we didn’t get to up to the very north but other than that I think we have drove every little country road that exists.
I can’t even express the love I have for this beautiful country over here. It’s a part of my heart now and I will treasure it forever. I have made eternal friends and I can’t imagine not ever have knowing them.
I’ve been so busy this week I haven’t even been able to grasp that I am doing things for the last time. It’s moves week so of course I have been very busy putting that all together and trying to document every thought I think and every key stroke I make so someone else can do it next time. I wish that my replacement was here before I leave instead of almost three weeks after I leave, but I know things will go on and everyone will be just fine.
This week, I’ve been living at the mission home and it has been very exciting. I can now stay at my desk until all wee hours of the morning getting work done and all I have to do is climb a very long set of stairs to get to my bedroom. We have been having a battle with wasps all week long. It’s been a little crazy and one night I finally just left my room and went and slept down the hall in a room where I couldn’t even close the door. Ha ha. I was desperate. Each day this week I have seen about four or five wasps dead in my room. We get them cleaned up and the next morning there are more. There was even one in my shoe one morning. So on Wednesday an exterminator came and found several wasps nests and sprayed. Well, Wednesday night when I got to my room I was so tired and I crawled into bed. As I was sitting there setting my alarm I heard a loud buzzing and then whack, a very large wasp landed right on my bed. I knew I couldn’t scream even though I really wanted to, but President and Sister Macdonald are directly across the hall from me, so I threw the duvet on the floor and got up and started to shake it. Just as I saw the wasp fall out of the folds, another wasp flew right in front of my face, so close I felt it. I grabbed my shoe and hit both of them – and then there was another one climbing up the night stand and another one over on the bin. I felt like I got all four of them with my shoe but I left my lights on and got back in bed and pulled the covers all the way over my head.
When I woke up in the morning, there were only two wasps where I left them and I was so hot from sleeping under the covers but at least I didn’t get stung or bugged during the night. President searched my room Thursday night before I got home and felt he had found any wasps and my room was clear but when I got to bed, the same thing happened. Another really big wasp landed right on my bed. I gave up and went down the hall to the girl’s bunk room and slept in there. President felt really bad when I told him on Friday.
So Friday night he once again searched my room and declared it clear. We now have three sisters sleeping in the bunk room so I really wanted to be in my own room, and it worked. No wasps. Lets hope it stays that way for the rest of the week.
The worst thing is in the room I’m staying in, one of the decorative pillows on my bed is a bee pillow. I can hardly stand to look at it and when I threw it back on the bed the other morning it landed upside down. I was going to leave it and then had to turn around and fix it because I’m superstitious and I didn’t want any bees seeing I wasn’t respectful about their pillow!!
Monday night I decided to take all the boys in town out for one last dinner. I ended up with four sets of missionaries and we had a great dinner at Zizzi’s. My last Zizzi’s trip. That is something I am really going to miss. We don’t have great Italian restaurants at home. I wish we did. It has replaced Mexican food in my life since that isn’t really available here and I know I’m going to miss it. Here is (starting right behind me) Elder Clancy Christiansen from St George, Elder Logan Norris from Orem, Elder Cosmas Obedmoth from Uganda, Elder Cody Lybbert from Canada, Elder Jonah Jensen from Central, Utah (near Enterprise), Elder Noah Miller from Danville, CA, Michael O’Connor from Saratoga Springs, UT, and Denham Gedlaman from Canada. It’s obvious that I’m not going to see a few of these guys much anymore. Some live close to home and I will get to see them
but others are so far away. They have touched my life.
Tuesday night I took all the girls out for dinner. That was half the size of Monday night and we had a great time visiting and remembering things about our missions. These girls are the best!! I love each one of them. We went to Papillos because I can’t get enough Italian food. Here is Sister Kesli Curtis from West Point, Utah; Sister Queen Oren from the Philippines; Sister Laura Belliston from Michigan; and Sister Jenna Irving from Alpine, Utah. Again, how do I say goodbye to these girls that I see every day and spend time with. I love each one of them.
Thursday we went to Pitlochry after work. I love Pitlochry and really wanted to attend their Enchanted Forest that they put on every October. I wanted to go last year but by the time I thought about it, it was already sold out so I bought tickets for this year in July and it was so fun. It was a very relaxing evening and well organized. We drove to Pitlochry which takes about 90 minutes and we found parking really close to where we needed to be. We had enough time so we had some dinner in a cafe on main street and then headed over to where you catch your bus to go to the forest. The lines moved fast and we were on a bus in no time. The drive to the forest only takes about five minutes and while you are driving you listen to the cutest recording of a little girl telling you all about the Enchanted Forest. Once you get there, you can stay as long as you want and walk around as many times as you want. I’m not sure how long the walk is but it is a good walk all through a forest and around a lake. The lake was so incredibly still and clear that it made for some really pretty pictures. It was almost easier to see the lights in the water than just looking at them. It was so worth the trip and I am glad I ended my Scotland travels in Pitlochry.
Friday the office, President and Sister Macdonald and the Millers all went out to dinner. We went to a place I love in Dalkeith called The Cavaliere. We have been here a few times that I’ve blogged about. Once with Elder Kapolnasi and Elder Chappel when Elder Kapolnasi got the muscles. Once for Elder Worley so he could try haggis before he went home. And recently when we drove home from Preston and couldn’t find anywhere for dinner in the small towns without a reservation. They have the best meatballs so I was very happy to have that one more time.
Then we got back and Elder Pelham and Elder Palmer were pulling in from the train station. They are two missionaries who are going home the same day I go. That made it a bit more real. So good to see both of them. I have enjoyed both of these young men. I’ll have to get pictures later.
Today is General Conference but because we are in Scotland, nothing happens until 5:00 in the afternoon. We may decide to go get an ice cream or something this afternoon before that. Other than that, I’m just here, working on moves. I’ll be working until the minute we leave for the airport. But that’s okay. I love the work.
Well, Monday night is going to be the best ever. I can’t wait to get off that plane and see my family. I have seven grand kids that I’m not going to be able to let go and I’m so excited to get caught up with everything new in their lives. One being only two weeks old so I will be holding him for the first time. I’ll see my parents that night, and all my friends before a few days have gone by and then it will seem like I never left. But I do know my life has been enriched by the opportunity I had to give it to service for 18 months. The time has gone by so fast.
I love you all. See you soon.