Monday, March 20, 2017

Our Trip to Scotland: Welcome Sabbath Morning

We woke up in our Stirling Holiday Inn Express, had a basic breakfast (no haggis offered, not that I would have tried the Holiday Inn Express haggis) and headed to Edinburgh for church just 45 minutes away. We had it easy

Robert's friend Paul Brewster, and his wife Linda, drove from Preston, England—a three hour drive—to meet us there for church. Robert and Paul were missionary companions a lot of years ago and had served together in Edinburgh.

The ward was more "international" that I'd expected. There were many "American" speakers as well as some people from China and South America. I didn't get everyone's country of origin, but I'm certain there were more countries/continents represented. The bishop was on his first week and said how much he'd enjoyed getting out to visit families in their home, but apologized if it took a while to get to everyone as there were 993 people in the ward. (There were probably 150 in attendance).

Jonah and Isaac attended Sunday School with all the youth, and then priesthood with all the Young Men. They doubled the Young Men class size.

Robert, Paul, Linda and I got to tour the mission home, right next door to the church building, during Sunday School hour and both Robert and Paul had great memories from their time at the mission home. President Donaldson was very kind.

We headed back to church and Robert talked with people in the hallway and eventually found the son of one of the people he'd baptized while on his mission. The mother had moved to a different city and Robert was able to get her contact information, as well has her parent's contact information.

After church we went with the Brewsters out to lunch. This was possibly the best part of the day because Linda drove their car and we followed. It was so nice not to have to think about where to drive, where to turn, what lane to be in, who was going to plow us down, what pedestrians we might hit, why cars were parked in our lane causing us to have to use the oncoming lane to maneuver around. Blood pressure level: Chill.

She even led us to our Airbnb apartment near Dean Village and I don't think it was a coincidence that we got a great parking spot very close on the street. The apartment was (and is) amazing. It was built in 1891 for the Scottish artist Charles Martin Hardie and has original wood floors and iron spiral staircase. There is a lovely picture window upstairs that looks out onto a gorgeous medieval church and a viaduct style bridge. Everything about this place is fantastic including the above neighbors who are the Edinburgh Society of Musicians. I'm listening to their music through the wall now.

I want to move here.

Anyway, after gawking at the apartment for a while, we took a walk over to Dean Village, which was just as charming and beautiful as I had expected, and then Paul and Linda left to drive back to Preston.

Later we walked down to Princes Street to McDonalds for dinner and just came back to relax at the apartment. It was a great Sunday and I'm so happy to be in this apartment.

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