We were so thrilled on Sunday to have Kailey and Caleb join us here in Limerick for a few days. After a good nights rest we started our adventure with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher. It was the usual very busy summer day but we enjoyed our visit there very much. The weather was fantastic, a sunny day with not very much wind, a perfect day for the cliffs!
After the cliffs we drove to Lehinch where we had lunch at a little restaurant in the town and then spent some time walking on the beach. The waves were very high and it looked like they had had a storm there. We then drove down to Spanish Point beach and spent a lot of time looking in the tidal pools. On our way back to Limerick we stopped to explore the Clare Abbey just outside of Ennis. It was a full day but we had great weather and really enjoyed ourselves.
The next day we started off at King John's Castle where Kailey helped Maurene pick out gifts for family members to bring home with us when we have completed our mission. When we were finished there we travelled to Craggaunowen. We had a really good visit there and one of the interpreters at one of the villages did a great job talking about what life was like for the ancient Irish who lived in those places. After our walk in the woods we stopped for a lunch of soup and scones in the little house they have turned into a cafe. We then drove out to Askeaton and visited the castle and the Franciscan Friary. From there we travelled across country to Adare and spent most of our time visiting the shops. In the evening we drove up to Lough Gur to visit the ancient stone circle. Caleb really enjoyed this place and it was amazing to think that people 4000 years ago could move rocks that big into place. To finish off the day we picked up kebabs for supper at the Istanbul. They were delicious!
We drove Kailey and Caleb to Dublin on Wednesday morning to catch their flight to Glasgow to continue their holiday. It was great to see them and sad to see them leave but we will see them again soon enough.
We spent the best part of the next couple of days packing and getting things ready for our move to Omagh next Monday. We had a nice visit with our landlady and her husband on Friday evening. They came over to say goodbye and thank us for being such good tenants. They gave us a nice gift of some Galway crystal and a box of chocolates. They are such nice people and are happy that they church is going to keep renting this house although it will be empty for a while.
The Reimers came down to Limerick on Saturday from Galway and took us out for lunch to have a visit and say goodbye. We have enjoyed their friendship and it was nice to have another couple close by to share district meetings with. In the evening the YSA came over for a get together at our place. We played games and ate ice cream sundaes and had a nice time visiting. They put together a nice scrapbook for us with photos and messages from most of them. Both sets of missionaries came over too and it was great to have them there.
Both Maurene and I gave talks in Sacrament meeting at church and we took the opportunity to say good bye to the members of the branch. It was difficult to say goodbye, we have made many good friends here especially among the YSA. We are looking forward to our new assignment but it is difficult to leave when we have been in Limerick for almost a year.
Our good friends the Wingets, a senior couple serving in Tralee, lost their car for a couple of weeks due to some drivers licence problems and to make matters worse Elder Winget has a stress fracture in one foot so has trouble walking. So we decided to travel down there one day this week to see if we could lift their spirits, run some errands and say good bye as we will not be seeing them again before they return home in September. We had a great day with them, sharing a meal, traveling to Dingle and enjoying the scenery together and of course playing some marbles. We sure love them and are going to miss seeing them. I hope we lifted their spirits because we sure felt better after having spent the day with them and hope they get their licence issue resolved soon.
It has been a busy week of comings and going for the young missionaries here. It was transfer week and we found out on Sunday that Sisters Fechser and Weber were both being transferred to Stornaway and Elder Harker was being transferred to Glasgow. The only one staying was Elder Hoopes. We are sure going to miss all of them and none of them were too excited about leaving. We drove them to the bus depot on Monday to catch the bus to Dublin and then continue their journeys to Scotland. Elder Hoopes had to go to Scotland too as he was picking up a greeny.
It was back to the bus depot on Thursday to pick up our two new sisters, Hebbert and Brousseau and also Elder Hoopes and his new companion Elder Walker. We did a lot of driving around with them to get groceries and took them to La Garda for cards. It was a very busy day but we are always happy to be able to help them out.
We found out from the mission home this week that our apartment has been leased in Omagh and we will be living at the apartment on Lambrook Drive. It was not our first choice, we liked the other one they found better, but it still looks like a nice place and one we will be comfortable in. We also found out from President Thompson that he wants us to exchange cars in Dublin. He wants us to leave our car there and pick up our new one. So I guess he will have to figure out when he can get the car to Dublin and let us know when we can make the exchange. I hope we can make it before the day we drive to Omagh.
It was a long day on Sunday but a good one. I got up at 5:00 am and drove to Dublin to pick up Kailey and Caleb at the airport. They arrived on time and we drove immediately back to Limerick and went to church. They were very tired. We had dinner and then decided to take them to visit a couple of spots in Limerick so they could stay awake. It was a rainy day but we enjoyed ourselves. We visited Mungret Abbey, King John's Castle, St. Mary's Cathedral and walked along the river. After supper they went right to bed as they couldn't stay awake any longer. We are looking forward to the next couple of days with them.
The week started off with news of a big change for us. We received a letter in the mail on Monday morning from President Donaldson informing us that we were being moved from Limerick to Omagh, Northern Ireland and would be serving as an MLS couple in the branch up there. This came out of the blue as we fully expected to complete our mission here in Limerick. We are going to miss the branch and the YSA here in Limerick but are looking forward to our new assignment and in doing something different. Elder Wall and his companion have been looking for an apartment for us up there and have a couple of good possibilities and we will see soon where we will be living. The really nice aspect of the move is that we will have the use of a car to complete our mission.
There are other missionaries in Limerick on the move also. We had the young missionaries over to our place Saturday evening for kebabs and move predictions. The kebabs were great but no one predicted all of the moves that would be happening. Both of the sisters are moving to Stornaway on the islands in Scotland and Elder Harker is moving to Glasgow. Elder Hoopes will remain here with a greeny and we will get two new sisters.
On Monday we took the sisters on a little excursion to Killaloe. We had never been out there and heard it was nice spot and it certainly was. We explored the little town and had a nice picnic at a beach by the lake. The sisters were thrilled to be able to travel out of Limerick and we had a good day with them.
That was not the only trip out to Killaloe this week however. One of our branch members, Brother Kurvink, has been quite sick for a while. So we took the sisters and travelled out to his place to do some cleaning. He was supposed to meet us there but was delayed so we went ahead and did the cleaning and left before he got home. There was a lot to do but the four of us worked hard and we left his place a lot cleaner than when we arrived. It felt good to provide some needed service.
Sisters and man in black ready to clean!
We didn't realize this but it turns out because of our upcoming move and the visit from Kailey and Caleb that we are expecting soon, our district meeting this past week was our last one here in Limerick. We have enjoyed the district meetings and getting to learn with the young missionaries and especially support them in their work and provide a nice lunch for everyone. We will miss these get togethers and especially having the opportunity to meet with the Reimers on a regular basis.
Sisters Weber and Fechser, Elders Crawley and Gunderson, Elder and Sister Reimers, Elders Harker and Hoopes
Since this next week is moves week we did the apartment inspections and decided on who would get the coveted Mr. Clean award. We had no idea that the young missionaries would embrace this fun award so much. Both of their apartments were excellent! They were clean and well organized and looked great! The Elders also worked on what they called their "presentation". They had scriptures on display in their living room, Tabernacle Choir music playing softly in the background, all of their food in their kitchen cupboards was neatly organized and nothing in their bedroom closets was out of place. Everything in there was folded and organized and lined up. So we gave a Mr. Clean award to the Elders and a Sister Clean award to the Sisters and gave the trophy to the Elders for presentation. This sure makes inspections fun!
We are looking forward to seeing Kailey and Caleb soon and will start to get ready for our move to Omagh. We will be busy for the next couple of weeks!
We spent a great three days this week at the London Temple. The branch had arranged a temple trip for this week so we decided a while ago that we would attend. It has been quite a while since we were able to attend the temple so we were really looking forward to it. Five other members of branch attended. We flew over to Gatwick airport on Wednesday evening on Ryanair and took a taxi from the airport to the temple. They have an accommodation centre at the temple where patrons can stay while at the temple since many come from a long distance to be there. The England London South mission home is also on the temple grounds. Our room was small but comfortable.
In the accommodation centre there is a large well equipped kitchen for those who wish to cook their meals and also a large lounge. Maurene brought lots of family names that we could do temple work for with us and we got a lot done in the three days we were able to spend there. There was a cafeteria in the temple that was open for lunch so we were able to eat there and spend the entire day working in the temple. One evening, we walked to a Thai restaurant that was about a ten minute walk for supper and it was delicious, well worth the walk.
Of course, the temple grounds were beautiful. We spent time out there in the evening strolling around and sitting on the benches relaxing. We thought that the temple would be busier than it was but the sessions were small even on Saturday.
The temple site was located almost directly under the flight path of planes landing at the Gatwick Airport. This made it a little noisy at night since planes were landing evening two minutes or so at the busy airport.
We travelled back to Limerick on Saturday evening again via Ryanair. There is nothing fancy about their service, but for a short haul it is fine and their fares if you book in advance are very inexpensive. Below is a photo of a large statue in the Shannon airport that we took after our arrival. They love rugby here!
Early this week I got a surprise in the mail. There was a package to pick up and I had no idea what it would be. It turned out to be a great care package from the pipe band in Lethbridge. I sure miss playing the pipes and I especially miss the members of the band, we have shared a lot of good times together.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.