Monday, April 21, 2014

Vacation…or work? (Maybe a wee bit of both)

There is a hymn in our hymn book that says, “The time is far spent, there is little remaining…”  I feel that way a wee bit this morning.  We are at our one year mark on our mission and there are only six months are remaining until we return home.  We are excited to return home, but “there is little [time] remaining” to do all we want to do.  We received an email this week from one of our granddaughters indicating how much she missed us and said, “it sounds like you are having a good time vacationing and teaching the gospel!”  I guess as one reads our blog it does sound like we are “having a good time vacationing”, but we also are doing some work here.  J

The spring flowers have been amazing.  The daffodils are still blooming and are everywhere.  They come up in the middle of the yards in the grass and are along the roadside.

It is true I have been mostly posting information about our travels, but not much about our work…so one may think that we are on a grand vacation.  As we have traveled in our assignment, we have been able to see many parts of Scotland and Ireland, but we do also work.  Part of the reason I dinna post much about our work is because much of what we do is confidential in nature when we are dealing with individuals who are out of work and are a wee bit discouraged.  I have a separate journal file with a list of names of individuals who “have a story” to tell.  These stories are about their families, problems in finding work, their conversion to the gospel, and so forth.  Many of these stories are very special and posting them on the blog doesn’t seem appropriate.
Saturday we drove to Dunfermline and Kinross to see where the Irvine relatives came from.  This is the old train bridge across the Firth of Forth.  Dunfermline is just across the Firth about 5 miles.
We drove around the Dunfermline Cemetery.  This was the largest cemetery we have visited here.  The picture is hard to really appreciate how large the area really encompasses.  All the headstones, even the current ones are large standing stones.  It is quite the place to visit but would take, find someone without a map.  That will be our next challenge.

I thought I would share some things about two individuals we have worked with this week…so you can get an idea of what keeps us going.  (I like to focus on the positive)  Last fall a young adult in the Edinburgh Ward introduced us to a co-worker who needed help with his application to the University.  This fellow is not a member of the Church and is here from Slovakia. He has been living and working in Scotland for about 4 years and was applying to attend University because he now qualifies for government assistance since he is from a European Union country.  He needed help with the grammar for his essay as part of the application process.  We helped him by correcting the grammar in the essay.  He now has conditional acceptance to Harriot Watt University…conditional on passing the international English exam.  The exam has four parts – speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  This week we helped correct his practice writing test.  He is a wonderful young man and we have established a good friendship.  I am sure he will do well on the English exam.
We were on a walk near our flat and found this Dove Cot structure.  Which was built in the 1500s.

We met with another young man who is age 22 and looking for work for a year until he can return to the university.  He has had one year of College studying IT and 1 ½ years at University working on a degree in forensic IT security.  He isn’t the typical Scot as he has worked continually since he was a 16 year old and while attending school.  He started as a part-time checker in a grocery store and soon was promoted to a full time team leader of the checkers.  He then got a job as security in a bar and is now the supervisor of security.  He wants to go back to the University to finish his IT studies.  We are helping him with his CV (resume) and practicing interviewing skills.


Wednesday evening we going to Glasgow to teach our CV Writing class to a group of young adults.  On Saturday we are teaching our Career workshop in Falkirk and again the following Saturday in Edinburgh.  So, one can see that we actually do some work…in between our travels.   JJJ  In our first year here we have a list of about 85 individuals with whom we have worked to find employment, or get into school.  It can be a rewarding assignment when the “light comes on” and the individuals we are helping realize that they do have some skills and achievements, and can find work!!
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 Cheers…until next time.

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