We have been wishing that things would get a little busier for us here in Limerick and the old adage "Be careful what you wish for" came true for us this week. It was a great week in which we feel we accomplished much and it was also very rewarding. The highlight of the week had to be Yuan's baptism on Saturday. We have been attending lessons for her with the Elders Wall and Jarosz as well as going over on our own to teach her English. She is a wonderful woman and she and Sister Wilson have become close over these past few weeks. She is from China and has lived here in Ireland for 11 years now. She and her husband have been working in a Chinese restaurant so her English has not progressed as much as it could have but she is determined to improve it. There was a very nice baptismal service on Saturday afternoon and Maurene gave the talk on baptism. I had the privilege of confirming her a member of the church at Sacrament meeting on Sunday. We are so happy for her!
One of the realities of the young missionaries experience is that they get moved around quite often. It was transfers this week so we had to say goodbye to Sister Buttars who is going to be serving in Paisley in Scotland. Sister Muller went to the mission home to pick up her new companion who is a brand new missionary fresh from the MTC. So we drove them to the bus on Tuesday for their journey to Scotland. We went back down to the bus depot late Thursday evening to pick up Sister Muller and her new companion. Her new companion is from Switzerland and her name is Sister Muller. This is funny for about 30 seconds until you realize that we are going to have to live with this for a while and figure out a way of addressing them so they know who we are talking to.
One of our responsibilities is to inspect the apartments of the young Elders and sisters and make sure things are working properly and in good order and safe. We have an apartment here in Limerick with four Elders living in it and in one of the bedrooms the two Elders sleep in they each have a double bed. Well, it is a small bedroom so there isn't enough room to turn around in. So I contacted the mission home to ask if we could purchase a couple of single beds and got the go ahead. So we went to a furniture store and picked out a couple of solid wood single beds with mattresses and they delivered them on Friday. I went over Friday morning to help take apart and move the old beds and the new ones were delivered and set up. A big improvement for them. Also, I had asked the Elders to request some things of the management group that looks after the apartments and on Saturday they brought over a new toaster and microwave and are going to make some other improvements to the apartment that are needed. It makes us feel good to be able to help them out in some small ways.
In the branch, they have a Sunday school class for Young Single Adults taught by a member of the branch. Well, she had been called to a new position in the ward so the branch president called and asked if we would teach the class for the time being. No indication of how long that will be so I assume it will be for a while. So I taught the lesson on Sunday and it went well.
We have been thinking about involving the YSAs here in the Billion Graves project. It is an online database of the gravestones in cemeteries all around the world. Maurene has found it useful in her genealogical research. So we thought it would be a good idea to start using the app and submitting photos of gravestones in the cemeteries here ourselves before involving others. So we went to a cemetery not far from where we live on Wednesday to do just that. The cemetery wasn't listed in their database so I created a new cemetery entry on their app on my iPad. That went well and we were able to take photos of about half of the gravestones in the cemetery that morning. We went home and uploaded the photos to their website and then we transcribed the information on the gravestones so that they would be searchable in their database. It all went well and we will continue to do that work and hopefully involve the Young Single Adults also soon.
On Saturday after the baptism we had the ward Nativity play. Maurene played the piano for all of the musical numbers, we sang a song in a group of missionaries and three of the Elders played the parts of the three wise men in the production. It went really well and we had an enjoyable evening.
We had our usual weekly Family Home Evening on Sunday evening in our home and this week we had the Christmas white elephant gift exchange. We had 13 YSAs attend which was a new high attendance and we had a great time together. The gift exchange was a lot of fun and we had some delicious treats. We are going to take a break for the holidays for a couple of weeks and then resume in early January.
Another couple of Vive La Difference posts. It is interesting that the people in Ireland think that what we would call tacky Christmas sweaters in Canada are cool! Lots of people wear them this time of year and wear them to parties etc. over the holidays. The stores stock them and they are very popular. If they have flashing lights on them all the better! I have posted a couple of examples below in case you are not sure what I am talking about.
Also, parking here is incredibly difficult given the amount of traffic and how narrow the streets are. So basically they park anywhere they can find room, on sidewalks and despite no parking signs. It is sometimes difficult to walk down the sidewalk because of all of the cars.
So it has been a very busy but an excellent week. We are looking forward to this next week and especially being able to FaceTime with our family at Christmas.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.