I didn't realize so much time had passed since I last wrote. I would need to look at my planner to remember all that has happened. We have made a goal to visit as many branch members as we possibly can. Some are impossible to visit because no one knows where they've gone. Others are problematic because of hostile feelings that they have developed against the Church. The feelings of those particular people are hard for us to resolve - for ourselves or for them. Loving the Savior and his Church comes so easily to us that we can't really understand their hostility. Also, it's hard for me personally to know how much the Irish have gone through - during "The Troubles" of the 1920s and all the damage that the Catholic Church has caused here - it's just hard for me to see their hardened hearts when we have such a beautiful message to share with them.
We continue to spend time every week with the youth and that is a joy. Last night I taught them how to index and some of them were really getting into it. We also had three adults attend the meeting because they wanted to learn, as well. (For those of you who don't know what indexing is, I'm going to make you go to familysearch.org and find out for yourselves! :) We have a barbeque at the beach planned for this coming Saturday. It's a coordinated effort with another branch that lives two hours southeast of here. We're planning to meet in the middle at a place called Carrick-on-Shannon, which is a very popular tourist spot. I may have mentioned it before. Anyway, it's really beautiful and I hope we can pull the barbeque off!
We did a little sightseeing just a few blocks from our flat. We went first to the Church of Ireland and then right next door was St. Anne's Catholic Church. I wanted to include some pictures of each, but the blogger program is fighting me. Hopefully, I'll figure it out soon. Basically, our sympathies lie more with the Church of Ireland because we think it's less messed up than the Catholic Church, but I hate the way the Church of Ireland came into existence - on the coat tails of the Church of England, which was begun when King Henry VIII had his wife killed and proclaimed himself both the King of England and the head of the new church. But, hey, that's old news, right? :/ And it's sad to see no one using the Church of Ireland while the Catholic Church is open and running 24/7. Seriously. Catholic Churches are always so dark inside except for the stained glass windows. One can hardly avoid contrasting them with temples which are so full of light. In fact, in the temple, while going through an endowment session, I'm always having to adjust to the light as it brightens. But I love that.
I can't finish this edition without mentioning the great loss that our ward has suffered with the death of Vedana Jensen. She was the quintessential genealogist and will be seriously missed. She did some absolutely amazing work for our ward in Sandy and for at least one other ward before that. When I grow up, I want to be just like her. We love you, Sam.