In our district meeting last week, Elder Taylor gave a great presentation on goal setting and challenged all of the missionaries to set goals some time during this week to help the work move forward. Although our callings are quite different from the young missionaries, Maurene and I decided that setting goals for ourselves would be worthwhile and give us some focus. So we thought and prayed about what we should be working towards during this next year and set some goals. We tried to align these goals with the Europe area goals that we just received a copy of. Our goals are:
1 - Increase attendance at Institute classes by having active YSAs attend 75% of the time and bring non actives and friends with them.
2 - Have all YSAs have current temple recommends
3 - Have all YSAs complete the “My Family” booklet and take at least one family members name to the temple some time during the year and do an ordinance for them.
4 - Some time during the year, all YSAs will be involved in a service project in the church or the community.
5 - Increase the feelings of acceptance and friendship in the group by participation in activities and service projects and attendance at Family Home Evening.
We felt really good about these goals and feel they will give us something to work towards and guide our efforts with the YSAs. We got the area goals after I sat in on a video chat with the Stake Presidents from Dublin and Belfast and our Limerick district president. They were discussing Ireland wide YSA activities for next year and we have three great activities to look forward to.
On Monday we did our usual washing and cleaning etc and decided to have lunch at Miss Marple's Tea Room which is not far from our place. We had a great home cooked lunch which was not at all expensive and it was a cute little establishment. In the same little group of businesses there is a butcher shop. There are little butcher shops all over Limerick, as many as there are boulangeries in France it seems. They sell a lot of different things and not just cuts of meat. So during the week I went over there and bought a couple of steak and kidney pies since I wanted to try them out. Very good!
One of the things that Maurene and I wanted to pursue with the YSAs is the Billion Graves project where you take photos of headstones with your camera and upload them along with information to their website and they are put on a large database for people doing genealogical research. It is not a church affiliated site but seems like a good project to get involved in for service. So we decided to get involved and start on it ourselves before we involved others. It would give us something worthwhile to do on those days that are slower. So we visited the two cemeteries in Mungret, which is close to here, and found out they are run by the City and County councils of Limerick. So we went over to city hall, which is close to the church, and asked about getting permission to do this. They asked if we could put a request in writing so I wrote a letter outlining our intentions and we are waiting for a response and we pray that it will be positive.
It was missionary transfers this week. We sent Sister Kirkpatrick home and we got two new missionaries in our district, Sister Muller from Germany and Elder Jarosz from Spain. They have both been on their missions for about 10 months and their English is great! They are going to be good additions to our district and we look forward to working with them.
This week we started English lessons with Juan, an investigator of the Elders. She is from China and wants to improve her English so she can better understand what is going on in church. So we went to the library and got some simple vocabulary books with lots of pictures and had our first lesson with her. It went really well and we will go over every week when we can and continue the lessons. She and her husband just started an Asian restaurant here in Limerick and we plan on trying it out one of these days.
We decided this week to get started on trying to contact YSAs in the Limerick branch who we haven't seen to hopefully meet them and invite them to join us. So we got out the phone and the computer and went to work. We had lots of wrong numbers and emails returned but we did have some success. We contacted a young man who moved to another part of Ireland about a month ago after a long visit to his home in India. I had a nice chat with him and we are moving his membership to the branch that he lives in. We were able to talk with a few young people who unfortunately didn't want anything to do with the church any more but they were all polite and we left an open invitation to join us. We also contacted two young women that live a ways out of town that we are going to visit this next week. There is still lots of leg work to do but it will be nice to make contact when we can.
We had our second YSA FHE on Sunday evening and it was fantastic. It was well attended, the Elders brought an investigator too, and we had a good lesson taught by Roi and some yummy treats. There was a good spirit here and we love having these young people over to our place. It was Maurene's birthday on Friday and mine today so one of the young women brought a cake and they sang Happy Birthday to us, it was so nice of them to do that for us. The Elders and Sisters also sang Happy Birthday to us after church Sunday and gave us cards and some cookies they baked so we feel spoiled.
Things are moving forward here and we pray every day that the Lord will direct us in the things that we need to do to help the Young Single Adults in the Limerick District.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.