This post is a little late but it took me a while to get a temporary wifi set up in our house until I can arrange for something more permanent. There has been a lot of water under the old bridge since our last post so here we go.
Last Monday we got started on our CES training. We spent most of the day talking about the best practices in teaching the scriptures to students. It went well and we enjoyed the discussions although it was difficult to stay awake during part of the afternoon. For the last part of the day we had a couple come in and talk to us about the YSA program in Europe and what the expectations were. The sister talked about all the cooking she did and Maurene wasn’t too happy to hear about that. She cooked a full meal two times a week for 50 young adults. I think that is a little much to ask. We will heed the advice that we got from the Andersons that we are not there to cook for the YSAs. I am all in favour of contributing food but not in just feeding the young adults or the missionaries on a regular basis.
After supper, Bruce and Carol Selk came and picked us up and took us to buy some measuring cups and spoons for cooking over there (for ourselves!) and also drove us by the new downtown Provo temple. It sure looks great! Then we went for some custard and chatted with them for a couple of hours. They are good friends and it seems like we are able to visit with them easily, like they had never left Lethbridge.
We completed our CES training on Tuesday. We finished up by teaching a short 20 minute lesson to another couple and then they taught one to us. One of the instructors, Brother Oldham, has a son who is serving in our mission right now and is assigned to Londonderry in Northern Ireland. I am hoping we will get a chance to meet him when we get over there. After we were finished this afternoon we had a one hour training session from Church Security on tips on how to stay safe while over there. It was interesting and although some of it was over the top, they had some worthwhile suggestions on how to ensure that you were safe.
We had a devotional that evening and the speaker was Sister Burton, the General Relief Society President. She gave a good talk and used a scripture in her talk that Maurene and I both really liked and decided it was the one we should use for our plaque in the hallway of the ward back home. It is 3 Nephi 5:13 and reads “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” We also took the photo below to put on the plaque.
Wednesday was our last full day at the MTC. We had classes in the morning put on by the people from the seminaries and Institute programs. They were really good. After lunch I went and did our laundry. They have a huge laundry facility in the main building. The washers and dryers are free and you just have to buy the soap etc. We spent the afternoon packing and then went for supper. After supper we walked up to the temple and went to a session. It was really great of course and the big difference from Cardston was that the session was full of young people!
On Thursday morning a van drove us and another couple that were going to Hawaii for their mission to the airport in Salt Lake City. We flew from Salt Lake to Dallas where we had to transfer to another plane flying to London. All of our three flights today were full, no empty seats whatsoever. The Dallas airport was huge but easy to get around on this Sky Train that went between terminals. The plane to London was a huge Boeing 777 and we got off to a bad start. We had to sit at the gate in the plane for an hour while they waited for a flight log to be delivered. We finally got on our way and it was a very long and tiring 9 hour flight. I thought that we might have trouble catching our next flight since we had to circle the airport for an hour waiting for an opportunity to land since there was fog so another delay but we made it okay.
Elder and Sister Broughton, office couple, were at the airport to pick us up and drove us to the mission home. There we picked up our phones and other things and were given a tour of the home. Then we took the bus to downtown Edinburgh where we had lunch and then toured the sites on the Royal Mile. We drove past the house where Maurene's great great grandmother lived and also saw the Nelson monument that her great great grandfather who was an architect designed. I will post some photos when I have some better bandwidth. We then went to the Broughton' apartment and crashed until the morning. Then it was back to the airport to fly to Dublin to meet President Donaldson who was there for a stake conference and pick up our car and drive to Limerick. President Thompson, first counsellor, met us and the airport and we went to the hotel where President Donaldson was staying and all had lunch together. Both he and his wife were very kind and down to earth. Then we said our goodbyes and off we went to drive to Limerick. It was white knuckle time! I didn't do too poorly, only got one driver mad at me that I knew about, but I had to focus all the time on my driving, no relaxing allowed.
It took about two and a half hours to drive to Limerick and when we finally found our new little home the YSAs from the Limerick branch were here to greet us. They had come over to help clean the place, had a nice welcome sign on our mantle as well as a cake and some brownies for us. It was a nice warm welcome to Ireland! A couple of the YSAs took us to some shops nearby where we got a few groceries and some bedding for our bed. We then had some sleep which we really needed
Some photos that we took of the mission home in Edinburgh
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.