There are many things that bring us joy in this life. The gospel of Jesus Christ brings us great joy and we so enjoy being His missionaries and serving the people of Ireland as best we can. This week we had a baptism here in Limerick that brought joy to a lot of people. A young man, Sterling, was baptized and we were privileged to be able to attend his baptismal service at the chapel here in Limerick. We were able to help with his teaching a bit and look forward to working with him as he learns and progresses in the gospel as he is Young Single Adult age.
This week we took the opportunity to travel a few kms from Limerick and visit a small town called Newport. One thing that brings great joy to Maurene is genealogical research. I am still working on it! Some of her ancestors way back in the 1700's came from the Newport area before coming to Canada. So we went out there to see if we could make any connections by visiting the churches and cemeteries. It was a long shot since it was so long ago but it would have been worthwhile just to see and walk where they were so many years ago. One of the first things we saw on the main street of the town was a butcher shop with the name English on it, one of the surnames we were looking for. We had a nice chat with the owners but they didn't know any family history. We looked around in the town and had a nice lunch at a small local cafe and found out that there was a old rural cemetery outside of the town. So we got directions and when we finished lunch we made our way out there and it was a beautiful old place. Again no connections but it was great to be able to see the cemetery and ruins of the church there.
Sharing a meal with others brings joy to most of us this time of year. On Tuesday of this week we went over to the chapel in the morning to help the Relief Society president with preparations for the supper that evening. We set up tables and chairs and decorated the tables and Maurene helped with food preparations. We then went out and purchased a few things for the supper and the get together that evening was a success that was enjoyed by many women in the branch.
Singing carols this time of year brings joy to me and I know to many others. You don't have to have the best voice or be a polished performer to enjoy the songs of the season and feel the spirit that it brings to us. We had the opportunity to join the young men and women of the branch and the other missionaries to visit an old folks home close to the chapel and sing the songs of the season to people who lived there. It was a wonderful experience and I know they were thankful that we could come and perform a small service for them. We look forward to having the opportunity to sing carols again next week in the downtown area of the city.
We have tried to make our little home look a bit more Christmasy this month with some small decorations and lights and a little tree. I certainly enjoy the lights at Christmas and the decorations and feel like in this darkest time of the year with the least sunlight they are very welcome. Friday was one of those days in which not a lot seemed to be going right. After doing some grocery shopping we stopped in the city centre to see the lights and it really lifted our spirits. We had some supper at a little cafe and enjoyed the crowds and the lights and the festive atmosphere. The animated display on the side of a store was one we knew our grandkids would have enjoyed a great deal. No "Happy Holidays" here in Ireland!
There is no doubt that one of the greatest joys of the season is to be with your family. We are certainly sad that we are going to be missing that this year and it will not be easy but we are hoping that they will feel of our love for them and our desire for all that is good for them. We rejoice and find joy in celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, We find joy in serving Him here in Ireland.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.