Sunday, May 18, 2014

The winding-up days

Today is Sunday, May 18, 2014. Yesterday and today we were in Limerick for this semi-annual District Conference. This is the same as a Stake Conference, but districts are just smaller. The attendance was very good and last night's meeting, to me, was better, for a few reasons. One was that our darling missionary sisters were asked to take part in it and they did a beautiful job. At one point it occurred to me how much their parents would have loved to have been there to hear them speak. They coordinated the talk so that they went back and forth and in some cases finished each other's sentences. Their subject was the First Vision and each time I hear those words by Joseph Smith when he described what happened to him, I gain a greater testimony of its truthfulness. Last night, after the evening conference session, we stayed in the Bunratty Innisfree B&B in Bunratty - about 13 km northwest of Limerick - and about a mile past the Bunratty Castle. What a castle that is!! I really wish we had had time to take a tour of it. I'll have to, instead, look on line for pictures of the interior.

Since I didn't get much sleep last night, I was sleepy through the whole session today and then all the way home. I tried to take a few notes during the meeting, but I'm not even sure I'll know what the notes meant! The Area Seventy who was in presiding at these meetings was Ruiz de Mendoza from Madrid. He barely had any accent, so that really helped in understanding him.

We are in the process of closing down this house that we have been living in because there is no senior couple coming to replace us. It's just as sad as when we left Sligo and no one replaced us there. In Sligo, we were assured that someone WAS coming, but it didn't happen. Anyway, one of the things we have to do here is go through the inventory book and remove any and every thing that belongs to the SIM (Scotland-Ireland Mission) and give it to other missionaries or members or, in some cases, just throw it away. Some of the linen would fall into that latter category.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Feeling the spirit on Friday, May 2, 2014

This was a great day. And the best part of it was the finish. Tonight we had the elders and sisters over for a salmon dinner and to listen to the famous talk by Hugh B. Brown called "Profile of a Prophet". The feeling among the six of us was relaxed and cheerful. The food was delicious and everyone participated in its preparation. We talked about the things we have in common and about the things that differentiate us. Elder Rogers, who has only been on his mission for a few weeks now, is from Queensland, Australia. He's a soft-spoken gentle man and a pleasure to be around. Sister Martin is from Bountiful and came to the mission the same time as Elder Rogers. She is so sweet and already seems to be so comfortable in the role of missionary. Elder Evans is our District Leader and he, too, is such a gentleman and is so well spoken. And Sister Montgomery rounds out the group as a new trainer, with only three months of missionary experience herself. I truly am so impressed and so moved by the humility of these young people. They help me to seek for that innocence in myself.

Our time here in the SIM (Scotland-Ireland Mission) is coming to a close. We have 5-1/2 weeks left. During the day I feel like the time can't go fast enough, but on nights like this, I feel like there's so much more I'd like to do. The sisters continue to have luck in finding people to teach and in teaching wonderful lessons. The elders have a harder time finding, possibly only because they are not as pretty as the girls. :)

Oddly enough we ourselves found a "potential" for the elders today - he works in the butcher shop in Tesco, the local grocery store. He called us by name (reading our badges) and asked us what church we belonged to. We told him and asked if he had heard of the church. He said he'd heard nothing good nor bad about us and then said, what most people do, "all churches are pretty much alike anyway". We told him, of course, that our church is different largely because of the Book of Mormon. Elder Walker told him about the fact that the B of M is a second witness of Jesus Christ, along with the Bible. He told us that, strangely enough, his last name IS Bible. Well, that's a new one on us! He also said that if he joined any other church his family would disown him. I said, "We've heard that several times, but it's never happened yet." So Elder Walker went out to the car and got him a B of M while I finished buying our salmon and getting his name and phone number. We told him to take a look at the book and the elders would call in a few days to see if he had any questions. Hopefully, this will turn into something great. He appears to be about mid-20s, so he's just the right age to be open minded and ready to listen. We will pray for that.

Zone Development gathering in Limerick on Monday, April 28, 2014. Great craic! The two girls on the far right in the middle picture are our sister missionaries, Sisters Martin and Montgomery. Sister Henkel was transferred to Scotland.