Monday, May 15, 2017

Orkney Islands

Monday, May 15, 2017
    So it has been a fun past couple of weeks! So obviously I didn't get to write last week so I have a lot to catch up on, but I guess I better start with our trip to Orkney. So last Sunday (May 7th) we left in the afternoon after church on our Ferry from Aberdeen.

         Starting out on the 7 hour ferry from Aberdeen
         to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands....before the
         sea got rough!

                                                Map of Scotland and the Orkney Islands

When we checked in at the terminal we got a notice that it could take an extra couple of hours to get to Kirkwall because of the rough waters. They gave us a few papers with notices and warnings because of the choppy seas. And wow it really was rough... worst 7 hours ever. About half an hour in, the ship just starts bouncing up and down and soon it just felt like a roller coaster. I, along with everyone around us, got pretty sick. I had never gotten sea sick before that. Not an enjoyable journey, we were pretty tired when we got into Kirkwall at about midnight.

Bad memories on the MV Hrossey Ferry 

     The next morning was our P-day and it was absolutely incredible.
Leaving on the boat for the Island of Hoy 

Sea Stack on the island- Old Man of Hoy

We took a short Ferry to a smaller island called Hoy and went on this incredible hike up some of the highest cliffs in the UK. We have some incredible pictures from the hike, especially with a famous sea stack (like a big stone pillar) called the Old Man of Hoy.

We also visited this neolithic stone (called Dwarfie Stane) which was carved hollow with stone tools around 4000 years ago.

We also visited this WWI/WWII museum as Orkney was the Naval Base for the Royal Navy in Britain. So it was a pretty legendary day.

A couple of mornings while we were there, we saw a couple of cool sights for morning exercise including some standing stones/stone circles (like Stonehenge).

The few days we were there were great! We had a district meeting in the home of the Senior couple there (the Smith's from Australia). They were so nice and fed us breakfast. We were blessed with some beautiful weather on Monday but the next couple of days were really wet and cold. But from all of our finding efforts in a couple of days they got 4 new investigators in the following days from the people we found. The Elders up there, Elder Smith and Elder Chapple are doing great and Elder Chapple just started his mission a few weeks ago, so it was fun being with a new missionary! Another highlight was seeing Kerry who was recently baptised up in Orkney a few weeks ago. My last trip to Orkney in February, I was the first one to speak to Kerry on the street, and then the Elders taught and baptised her in the following two months. She remembered me and it was so cool to see her. 

Me, Kerry who was recently baptised and Elder Chapple  

     Luckily our ferry back from Orkney on Wednesday was smoother and we slept the whole thing because it was overnight. So the rest of the two weeks not being on Orkney was just focused on finding new people and progressing some of our really good friends towards baptism before I go home. We had a couple of exchanges in our area which really helped out. We have some incredible people we are working with! There are 3 that could be baptised before I finish my mission. So Ivar is still doing really well and came to church yesterday. We had a very spiritual, powerhouse lesson speaking about him bearing testimony to his wife, so she can understand where he is coming from. He came to church yesterday and is progressing quite a lot. Fiona who we have been teaching but but is in a different ward boundary and will be getting baptised in the other ward is doing really well. She will be interviewed for baptism this coming week. And then we have seen miracles with our new friend Charlotte who has now been taught for 2 weeks. When we first met with her two Sundays ago, her faith in God was a bit shaky but since then has been praying and reading a lot and has loved coming to church! She has a few concerns but has gained such a strong testimony already and the members love her, so she is also looking to get baptised soon when she is ready. 

      Obviously skyping yesterday for Mother's day was a highlight! Things are going really well, and I am staying quite busy to finish my mission. Just 2 weeks left! This coming week is my last zone conference and my last exchange in Edinburgh. It's the beginning of the end.

     Cliff sitting  

St John's Head, some of the highest cliffs in the United Kingdom
Some are almost 12, 000 ft

Ring of Brodgar
A henge that is believed to be constructed around 2000 B.C

Click here to learn about the Ring of Brodgar

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