Monday, October 13, 2014

One last trip...

My heart is full as we prepare to board the plane Saturday to come home from our mission.  We arrive in Orange County on Monday the 20th and will then drive to our new home in Goodyear, AZ on Wednesday to start the next phase in life.  I am anxious to see what retirement life is all about.  

We have loved our assignment in the Scotland/Ireland Mission and have met so many wonderful people.  Our assignment has been to operate the Edinburgh Employment Resource Centre and assist people prepare for the job market and also train Church leaders.  We have felt the Lord’s blessings as we have taught the principle of self-reliance and helped a number of people find work.  The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to reach out to serve one another.  We are grateful for the opportunity we have had to share our testimonies of the restored gospel and for the knowledge that there is a living prophet leading and guiding us today.

We have been fortunate to travel throughout both Scotland and Ireland and have seen some incredibly beautiful areas.  I love the words from the chorus of a favourite song – Hail Caledonia!
But give me the land of the heather and the kilt,
The mountain and the river,
For the blood leaps in my veins
When I hear the bagpipe's strains
Scotland, dear old Scotland forever!

We will always have special memories of our time in Scotland and Ireland and the people we have met.  I have enjoyed learning more of the Scottish history…and believe me, there is plenty of it.  

Last weekend we took our last trip to see the Scotland countryside.  We went to the village of Falkland and toured the Falkland Palace. 

 The Palace sits right on the main road into town unlike other palaces that are surrounded by gardens.  The gardens for this palace are in the back.

 The main street of Falkland

Falkland is a place where kings and queens paused and reflected on life.  It has been referred to as the “Balmoral Castle” of its time…the 15th and 16th century.  (Balmoral Castle today is the Scottish retreat for the Queen.  It is located in the highlands and the queen spends most of August at Balmoral and then attends the Balmoral gathering the first Saturday in September)  Falkland was a hunting retreat for many of the Kings of Scotland. 

Golf is not the only sport that was played in Scotland hundreds of years ago.  Mary Queen of Scots played tennis on the royal tennis court in the 16th century.

 This is the Royal tennis court, inside this structure.  See the court below

  This is the court.

After our visit to Falkland we went to St Andrews and then to Anstruther for fish & chips...the best fish & chips in all of Scotland.

The fishing village of Anstruther.