Our week started off with an all Ireland conference in Dublin on Tuesday. We drove the sisters there and thought we had lots of time to get there early but we hit terrible traffic on the way into Dublin and walked in the chapel door just as the opening hymn was being sung. We enjoyed the conference very much and the best part was to visit with the missionaries who we served with in Limerick. It was especially great to see Sister Muller and Elder Wall. They have to be two of our favourites, great young missionaries. After the conference we drove the sisters to the bus depot in Dublin so they could take the bus back to Limerick and went over to our hotel near the airport to spend the night before we caught our flight the next day to Edinburgh for the couples conference.
On Wednesday morning we flew to Edinburgh along with the other Ireland couples for the senior couples conference that was being held on Wednesday and Thursday at the mission home. We had workshops all afternoon and then a nice dinner in the evening in the mission home dining room. To finish off the day we had a fireside that President Donaldson spoke at. Then we walked over to the hotel that is not too far from the mission home. It is an large old house that has been converted to a hotel, kind of a cross between a hotel and a bed and breakfast. We had a really nice room and enjoyed our stay there.
We had breakfast at the hotel on Thursday morning and then went to the mission home for a fun get to know you activity and then we travelled to the Firth of Forth for a boat ride. We went for a two hour ride on a tour boat which was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful sunny day which made the experience all the more enjoyable. After the boat tour we had the Broughtons drop us off in downtown Edinburgh where we started to take photos of homes of Maurene's ancestors and visited the Nelson monument that was designed by her great, great grandfather Robert Burn. We also wanted to visit his gravesite that was in a small cemetery on Princes Street but it was locked up and closed. I phoned about it and they said there were some structures that were in danger of falling over and it was closed until they could be repaired. So that was very disappointing. We took the bus back to the mission home and had supper and a little farewell. Most of the other couples went to the airport to fly back to Ireland but we went back to the hotel for two more days in Edinburgh.
On Friday we put on a lot of miles walking around old Edinburgh taking photos of houses that belonged to Maurene's ancestors. We got around where we needed to go by taking the bus. The bus service here is top notch. They have lots of routes and buses come by every 10 minutes. We were able to buy a day pass that made it fairly inexpensive. We were unable to find a portrait that Maurene wanted to see at the National Portrait Gallery but other than that things went well. We had a nice supper at the hotel to finish off the day.
Our last day in Edinburgh we spent most of the time at Princes Street and the beautiful park that is next to it. We also did a little shopping at the many stores that are all along the street. It was a warm sunny day and the park was full of people just lounging around enjoying the warmth. There was a piper with a bass guitar player and a drummer playing near the bench we were sitting on. It was fun to listen to them. We also went for a ride on the bus just to see more of the city and rode up on the upper deck. You sure get a nice view from up there. In the evening Sisters Dent and Clark drove us out to the airport to catch our plane back to Dublin. We then had to drive to Limerick and didn't get back until 1:30 am. But we didn't care, we had a great time in Scotland!
We got a surprise at church on Sunday. Clarissa Baines and a friend came to church as they were having a holiday touring around Ireland. She was as surprised to see us as we were to see her. We had them over to our place for dinner and it was nice to have a visit with her.
We had a great time in Scotland and both of us really felt at home there. It just felt right. The worst part is we really miss being there and want to go back.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.