Monday, September 8, 2014

Time is drawing nigh...

It is hard to believe that things are coming to an end for us here in Scotland and soon a new chapter in our life will be opening…to finally find out what retirement is all about.  I retired from Rutan & Tucker the first of March 2013 after working there 37 years.  The following week we moved to Arizona and on April 22 we entered the MTC (Mission Training Center) in Provo Utah.  We arrived in Scotland the first part of May.  With retiring, moving, trying to unpack, and preparing for our mission, it was a whirlwind of activity and I really haven’t had time to think about retirement life.  We are now about to go home and find out what this next chapter will bring.  We only have five more Sundays in Scotland.  We have enjoyed the beauty of both Scotland and Ireland.  Recently we have enjoyed the "heather on the hills..."

 We took a train ride from Fort William to Mallaig - the Harry Potter Steam engine.  Beautiful countryside and the heather was still in bloom. 

We have had such a great opportunity to serve here in Scotland and Ireland.  We have surely been blessed.  We have met some wonderful people through this assignment and have had some choice experiences as we have helped people prepare for work.  There have also been some frustrations in seeing some people choose not to work, but rather live on the Government dole. What we have enjoyed while in Scotland is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ – to help people help themselves.  This is the process of teaching people to become self-reliant.  When one is self-reliant they are able to care for themselves, other family members, and other around them.  Self-reliance is ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. As we become self-reliant, we are also better able to serve and care for others.  

One of the best things I have had the opportunity to do while in Scotland is to study the scriptures.  In the New Testament James writes that we will do well in fulfilling the “…royal law according to the scriptures [if we] shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is to have us reach out and share what we have with others who are in need.  This is not just to give to the poor, but to help others learn to help themselves.

Our work in through the Employment Resource Centre has been to help people prepare for work.  In our Career Workshop we help people identify their skills and accomplishments.  This has brought great joy in watching individuals in the Workshop realize the skills they actually do have and the achievements they have made.  

We have developed a CV (resume) writing class that we have taught a number of times.  We do not have jobs to give people, but rather we help them prepare their CV to catch the attention of prospective employers.  The purpose of the CV is to not to get a job, but rather to get a job interview.  We have had many tell us that they had been sending out their CV “what seemed like hundreds of times” and never heard back from anyone.  After helping re-write the CV and highlighting their skills and accomplishments they often have been rewarded with an invitation for a job interview.  

We teach people the importance of building a network to help find the “hidden jobs”.  Many jobs are already filled by the time the general public learns of them.  By networking, and letting people know you are looking for work, one will find the “hidden jobs.”  One Workshop participant told us of his experience of “testing” our methods of talking to people about his search for employment and within two weeks had found a job that had not yet been advertised to the public. 

In our Career Workshop we also teach people good interviewing skills to prepare them for the job interview.  Recently we coached a Workshop participant in preparing for two different interviews.  She was successful in both interviews and was able to choose from two different job offers.  Again, we learn from the scriptures, “If you are prepared, ye shall not fear.”

Last week we taught a group of young people about the importance of preparing for their careers through obtaining a higher education.  In Scotland, young teenagers must make decisions early on as to what direction their education will take them.  Too often they have not thought enough about their education options and start down a path that leads to being poorly prepared for university.  In today’s world it is so important to make sure good skills are developed.

As we look back over the last 17 months we are so grateful for the experiences we have enjoyed, the people we have met, and the beautiful country we have seen – Both Scotland and Ireland.  Our hearts will always have such fond memories of our time here…

 A friend posted this picture of the heather on his Facebook page.  These are the hills just out side Edinburgh probably in mid-August...unbelievable.  We drove out there last week and the heather had "lost its bloom".  There was still a purple tone to the hills but not like this. 

 This was taken from the train ride...the Glenfinnan viaduct is seen in the back right.  The train crosses over this viaduct on the way to Mallaig.

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