We had the privilege of listening twice to a member of the Quorum of the Twelve this week. On Tuesday there was a broadcast from Germany for all members of ward and branch councils that we attended. There were various very good speakers but the highlight was Elder Ballard who is visiting Europe right now. I enjoyed his remarks but it was amazing to me that someone of his age has the energy to travel to Europe and spend 8 days in various countries speaking to us. Then on Saturday we had an all Ireland missionary conference at the stake centre in Dublin and in the afternoon Elder Ballard spent 2+ hours speaking to us on missionary work and answering questions. At the beginning of the meeting with him we all got to line up and shake hands with him which was a real privilege. It was a very long day but very worthwhile. We left Limerick at 6:00 to travel by car to Dublin and we took the young sisters, Buttars and Muller, with us. It was 20:00 by the time we got home so we were very tired. On the way home we had a scary incident. It was a four lane motorway so a good highway and of course dark and we came quickly upon a slow truck hauling logs with no tail lights. We didn't see him till the last minute and only had time to swerve into the other lane right in front of another car who managed to brake so there was no collision. It did get the heart rate up there for a few minutes and we feel blessed there was no incident.
I had my birthday on Monday and turned 65 so I am officially a senior citizen. Since I am such an old guy now I figured I should look the part so I purchased a tweed cap that a lot of the old guys in Ireland wear. Thanks to all for the nice birthday wishes on FaceBook.
We had many opportunities to teach with the young missionaries this week for which we are very grateful. On Wednesday we taught Yuan a lesson with the Elders and also gave her an English lesson. We are planning on having lunch at her new restaurant next week and are looking forward to that. After that lesson we taught a lesson to Lee, a YSA aged young man who attended our Family Home Evening last Sunday. It is always a privilege to sit in on discussions and feel the spirit as these young missionaries teach. On Friday we drove the young sisters to an appointment in Charleville, a small town about a half hours drive from Limerick. It was a nice drive but unfortunately the appointment fell through, which sometimes happens but we had a chance to a quick visit to old Catholic church which sits up on the hill there and is very beautiful.
s In the afternoon on Thursday, we drove out to Shannon which is about a 20 minute drive from here to have a visit with Karen, who is a YSA whose membership is in the Limerick branch. She is a student at a college here in Limerick and her family are all members of the church. They are from Brazil and have been here for about 5 years. They are all really nice people who would be active in the branch but they don’t have a car and it would cost them about 100 euros to come to church on Sunday since they have 4 children. They can’t afford that so they don’t come to church and Karen can’t come to Institute or Family Home Evening because of transportation. It breaks our hearts because they are such a nice family who want to be involved but just can't at this point. Karen is an art student and showed us her portfolio which was amazing. She is very talented. Transportation is a real challenge for many people here.
We were on the road again on Sunday as we travelled out to Galway, a town about an hour and half drive north from here. It is a beautiful city on a big bay on the ocean. It was a nice sunny morning so we enjoyed the drive. Maurene and I spoke in church and when the meetings were over we shared a pot luck meal with the YSAs in the branch and the senior couple who serve in the branch, the Reimers. We had a great visit and are hoping to start an Institute class for them in their branch in the near future.
When we got home from Galway we got ready for our Sunday evening Family Home Evening group with the Young Single Adults. We again had a very good turnout, every week we seem to have more attend. Our living room was full to overflowing. We had two YSA aged young men who are taking the lessons attend also which was great. Krystian taught a great lesson on gratitude and we had floats and cookies for a treat. It was a wonderful evening and a nice way to end the week.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.