This week we took a trip out in the country to Holy Cross which is a small village in county Tipperary. We went out there to have a visit with a YSA who is currently not active in the branch to meet her and see how she is doing and invite her to come out. We had a great visit with her and her boyfriend and she is a really nice person. It was a very nice day and we went through some beautiful countryside and hill country on the trip. There was some elevation gain and we noticed a temperature change up there although it is nothing like a Canadian winter!
On the way to Holy Cross we drove by Farney Castle which was totally unexpected. It was a little castle in a river valley just before we got there. So we decided that we would pay a visit on our way home. We stopped to have a look around and saw that they had tours so decided to take one. There were cars in the parking lot but all of the entrance doors were locked even though there was sign that indicated the place was open. That will have to be for another time but we did explore around the outside of the castle on our own which we really enjoyed!
In the little village of Holy Cross there is an abbey which dates back to the 12th century. The church portion of the abbey is still in use and they also have an outdoor area which looks to be used for large services in the summer. They did not have organized tours but we had a good time exploring around the abbey and enjoying the beauty of the old place. Parts of it had been restored and other parts were pretty much in ruins.
We were starting to get hungry on the way home and we drove through the town of Newport that we had visited a few weeks earlier. We stopped at the same little cafe we went to then and the waitress remembered us! It is a nice little spot with home cooked meals and I guess delicious sweet potato soup although I will have to take Maurene's word on that one! They had a large black board with the menu written on it and a section that said a the top "Just a little peckish". Just for Aaron! They also had delicious carrot cake which we shared for dessert. After a nice lunch we stopped by an old church on our way back to the car and also a path by the river. It was a nice break on the drive home.
One of our YSAs from the Galway Branch, Alex, is leaving this month to serve a full time mission in Birmingham, England. She is a wonderful young woman and we have been impressed with her as she participated in activities and also with the great talks she has given at baptisms. She has been a member for three years but she seems like she has been a member for much longer. It is quite an event for a small branch like that to send out a missionary so on Saturday they threw a party for her, Pirate theme, and we drove up there to attend it. We had never seen Galway Bay so we stopped by the harbour on our way to the party.
It's been a full week. We spent some time taking some more photos at the St. Nessan's cemetery for Billion Graves on Tuesday after district meeting. Maurene made a meal for the missionaries which we shared after the meeting and we never have to worry about having too many leftovers. We went to a few lessons with the young missionaries which we always enjoy. We had our weekly FHE for the YSAs at our place on Sunday evening and there was a good attendance again. We had an investigator attend who is from Normandy and living here in Limerick so I got to practice a little French. Maurene taught a lesson on social media and we had a good discussion about using it wisely. We also had the opportunity after one of our lessons with the sisters at the chapel to have a visit with President and Sister Thompson of the mission presidency. They are living in Dublin and look after Ireland for the mission. They were here to meet with some of young elders and we just bumped into them. It is looking very much like we will be serving our entire 18 months here in Limerick, Ireland.
A busy and productive week which we enjoyed. We love being full time missionaries and I especially love it when we can be busy in service.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.