Sunday, December 8, 2013

Am I really that old...

This has been a week of lots of driving.  I have added a map to see if you can follow our travels.  Monday we drove to Motherwell, Hamilton, and East Kilbride to do missionary flat inspections.   This is about 45 miles round trip.  Wednesday we drove to Paisley and Dumbarton for flat inspections...about 65 miles round trip.  Saturday we drove to Beith for a workshop and then back home via Falkirk to be at the baptism of a fellow we have been helping with finding employment.  Today we drove to Ayr for a special meeting (almost two hours one-way).  Lots of driving - about 600 miles since December 1st - and the weather has not been great...rainy most days, plus we are doing a lot of the driving in the dark with the late sunrise and early sun set.  

Today was a very interesting day.  If I stopped to think about the event, it made me feel really old, but when I just sat back and took a deep breath, I enjoyed the day and things were OK.  What was the event you ask…?

Well, it all started a few months ago.  We had decided to reach out to the Bishops in the Paisley Stake to see how we might be able to help them with employment issues in their Wards.  I was looking up the email address of the Bishop in the Ayr Ward.  When I was here as a young missionary – many years ago – the first area I worked in was Ayr and I lived in a little village outside town called Drongan.  I noticed that the current Bishop of the Ayr Ward lived in Drongan and also he had a counselor with the last name of Bloy.  When I lived in Ayr, I knew a Walter Bloy so I thought this might be his son.

Through my contact with the Bishop I learned that Walter had immigrated to Australia many years ago and his counselor was actually Walter’s brother.  I shared with the Bishop that I had lived in Drongan as a young missionary and worked in the Ayr Branch for about 5 months.  He told me that they were having a celebration on December 8th for the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Ayr Chapel.  He asked when I was in Ayr as a young missionary and I told him that I was there for the dedication service in 1963.  He invited us to attend the celebration service.  We have been planning to attend since that call.

Yours truly standing in front of the Ayr Chapel

About three weeks ago the Bishop called and asked if I was able to attend the celebration and if so, would I be willing to be one of the speakers at the meeting.  He thought it would be meaningful to have someone on the program who had attended the dedication.  Soooo, today we went to Ayr for the special Sacrament Meeting and celebration.  It was really an honor for me to be there and also to be one of the speakers.  There was one other member of the Ward who was also at the dedication service who spoke on today's program.  The Provost of South Ayrshire (like the Mayor) also attended the meeting and spoke.  It was a good day to reminisce about memories from the past.

Front cover of today's program.

Inside of program.  On the left is the program from the dedication in 1963.  On the right is today's program.  The building was dedicated by Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  After the dedication service Elder Peterson interviewed all the missionaries who were in attendance.  It was interesting that Walter Bloy said the closing prayer at the dedication service and his brother conducted today's meeting.

What a flood of memories have been coming into my mind today as I have thought back on events that took place 50 years ago.  I didn’t think I was old enough to have participated in a dedication of a building that took place 50 years ago, but I guess I am…



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