On Wednesday of this week we had a marathon. We arose at 5:30 a.m. to be at the elders' flat by 7:00 a.m. Our objective: to reach Dublin by about 9:30 a.m. for what is called The All-Ireland Conference. This is a grouping of all the missionaries and as many of the support people as possible to come together and be instructed by our president and his wife, along with a General Authority and his wife. I have no idea how to spell the GA's surname, but it sounded like Tasheera. We also struggled to know his nationality, although it was generally noised about that he was German. I thought his wife looked and sounded much more Latin than that. At some point we'll find out.
Our Sligo elders did us proud in performing a piano/trumpet/vocal rendition of "God Speed the Right" and I'm still working to get the tune out of my head. Not that it's an unpleasant tune; it's just that I've heard it in my head about 200 times now. I think I'm going to have to forcibly send it away by replacing it.
Elder Tasheera was an exceedingly jovial and positive man and his enthusiasm did much to encourage all of us as missionaries. We, the seniors, did wish for some words of encouragement directed particularly at us, but recognized that the juniors' work is the more significant. Also, because the seniors serve as either CES, YSA, or MLS missionaries, it would have been hard to address all three. We are MLS missionaries, serving in Member and Leader Support.
We finally left Dublin at 3:30, arriving home at about 6:45 and then hustling to an appointment at 7:00 p.m. The man who was being taught is named Eric Ford and he is a hoot. He's just as Irish as they come - short, a little stout, bald on top, and a gift of the blarney like no other. And he laughs so easily. He's just a joy to be around. He is a man who is definitely looking for the truth, as he has been since he was 18 and left the Catholic Church and later the Baptist Church. He can see the hypocrisy in other churches and is, I think, a prime candidate for baptism. We have high hopes for him.