Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Loving These People

Dear Family and Friends,
As we look back on the events of this week, we feel that the over-riding feelings are of love and gratitude for the good people we have been privileged to associate with.  Our activities have been of such variety and we don't want to bore you with too much, but we hope to be able to share some of the great experiences.

First of all we are still chuckling from the fun time we had one evening attending the first meeting of a SR Finance group in Belfast.  We didn't realize that great dry humor and sarcasm is characteristic of Northern Ireland folk.  We have known that Brother Moffett, former bishop of the ward, is always giving a friendly "dig", but we didn't know that it is quite common.  (He is the man with the framed "live your dreams" artwork that has a big "cancelled" sign on top of it.)  As we observed more than participated in the lesson, we just kept getting such a chuckle of how everyone could tease each other almost mercilessly--and in the same minute share such a deep spiritual insight.  After awhile, we started taking notes of the things they said both funny and serious.  To share a few:

The lesson introduced what is called a "finance map" that is a graphic house-shaped model of ideal finance priorities.  One lady suggested that she make a larger copy to put on the bulletin board and asked if others thought it would be good.  They all agreed, but then added, "just don't crochet or knit it"---and another said, "and I don't think an ice sculpture is needed either".  
At the end of the lesson, the people organize themselves into "action partners" to give mid-week encouragement by contacting each other.  They were quick to do this and then the directions were:  decide on a suitable means of communication.  (phone, text, email)
One older man said, "Smoke signals work for you?"
One of the group said: "Life isn't easy, but it's worth it."  Someone quipped back:  "It better be worth it, because if it's not, I want a refund."
Their spontaneous dry wit combined with their heavy Northern Irish accent just kept us in stitches. but then just as easily one lady commented, that "regardless of how disciplined a person might be to do the things they commit to, they could never be completely successful without the help of the Lord."   We were so impressed.  In the very first lesson she had summarized the essence of keeping our commitments and covenants, which has so much power in the SR program.

Another incident:  We have been having a Job Search class now for 11 (of 12) weeks.   Most of our class attendees are Brazilian immigrants who wanted jobs, but were not having any luck.  One returned missionary is notably dependent on Irish Government support.  He is incredibly shy which has resulted in him becoming incredibly lazy.  We have been trying to get him to be motivated to go to school and work, but he lives at home and is quite comfortable.  To his credit he has been to every class --because he wants to change.
That night for the class, we wanted to encourage more to come---because now that most of them have good jobs, they don't have the energy to go to school, work, and come to a class that already met its purpose, but we wanted to have a bit of a sharing of best things learned to encourage the Irish lad to keep trying to get a job.   So since it was Grandpa's birthday, we invited them to come for a party.  It worked quite well.  We had several come and it was a fun time, ending with the advice sharing. 
After several weeks together, the members recognized the excuses of the Irish lad as weak excuses and their comments, though we didn't say give advice to him, were directed to him and were not too gentle.  Some said things like "nobody is going to come to your door while you are sleeping and ask you to come and work."   After class we emailed him to encourage him to try harder to do the things that he has learned and the next day we got a quite offended email back, saying he didn't appreciate the comments that made it seem like he just slept.  We tried to soften the offense, but still encourage him to try more.  We hoped he would not get upset and totally quit coming out.
To our surprise, the next day he emailed us again and said that everything the others had said was true.  He really did sleep most of the day and was so bored with life.  He really wanted to get back to be more like he was on his mission and find happiness again.  It will still be hard for him, but his honesty, humility,  and recognition of his problem was incredible.  It reflected the values that the class had been studying and showed us such great character.

And, as for the Birthday.....Grandpa had a fun time.  He was given cute cards by several--and thank you to all you who also send cards and greetings---and one girl in the class even gave him a present.  She came late, and shyly pulled a package of Frankfurters out of her purse that she had made a special trip to find, because one time they asked what food he missed from America---and he said hot dogs.  Frankfurters are closer to hot dogs than anything else, so he was delighted for her thoughtfulness.
We didn't make a bigger celebration of his birthday  than this, but it was fun to have those come who made such special effort. 

Later in the week we got a follow-up phone call from a Bishop that had attended the Bishop's Council meeting of the previous week.  He had talked to us about a man he had thought could serve as their Ward SR Specialist, but after hearing Grandpa say they should choose the best possible person to have this calling, he decided to do just that.  Wow!  The man he called is so impressive!  He had been the former bishop, then moved to the States, started his own business, taught at BYU, and returned to Ireland recently to bring his business to Ireland.  When we met with him it was like our roles were switched.  He had more vision for how this could bless lives than we ever thought anyone would think of.  He had met one of the church employees who was working to implement it, and has been excited ever since.  He is anxious to be able to share his talents and influence to bring it to his ward.  If we were to have his position, we could not do as well as he will---and he wants to start immediately. 

On Saturday, we were invited to have a SR display at the Clondalkin Ward Prepared ness fair.  It was another big blessing for us.  We have several good friends in that ward (because this was the ward we taught Foundation class to each Sunday evening) so it is fun to be there, but the fair was a great success  and brought great success to our efforts as well. 
First, the SR specialist for this ward does not have the vision of the above mentioned ward, but is a sweet, very busy, lady who needed a little help to get things rolling with further classes.  The display was an attraction for lots of conversations and by the time the specialist arrived,  quite a few had signed up.  She was so encouraged and will be able to get it moving forward.  The other great thing that transpired was that the brother of the above ward specialist, by then had learned of his brother's excitement and was willing to be a facilitator for a class in this ward (a badly needed vacancy to fill).  

As for the Preparedness Fair, we gained such an appreciation for how easy things are in the States.   It is so easy for us to get dried foods, wheat, grains, beans, etc.  But here in Ireland it is not easy at all.  We do see some grain fields, and some granaries, but truly there is no outlet to buy them for storage.  Those who have any wheat, for example, have quite small amounts that they bought over 10 years ago when the stake made a concerted effort to buy a truckload from England.  One lady had a Vitamix blender to grind wheat, but our elaborate food storage options are beyond a dream here.  We felt we just had to say little to nothing about our opportunities and resources or it would just make them feel terrible.  In addition to no resources, their home storage spaces are extremely limited too.  They have no basements, rarely garages, and quite small homes, so most wouldn't even begin to know where to put much food storage.  We felt very blessed that we have been able to get food storage so easily ---and want to encourage anyone who is not comfortable with their food storage to do all you can, because it is so much easier than these saints will ever know.

After the fair, we drove across to the west coast, to Galway, to meet with a branch SR specialist before we presented in their Branch the next day.  It was a delight to meet him and his family.  He has had the calling for sometime,  and has wanted SR to be started, but has not been able to move on it because of resistance in the branch.  (Hard to explain or understand even for us).  
We spent a few hours with them and felt such faith and happiness even in the little children.  Little Sophie, just a month away from turning 8 recently decided she wanted to read the B of M before she is baptized, and so the family is working morning and night to meet the goal.  She plans to be baptized in the same river her father was baptized, same date, 9 years later--and we are invited to attend.  We hope we can make it, but either way we became friends with the little kids as well as the parents.
The success we felt the next day was another breakthrough so we realized Ireland had formally added 3 significant wards/branches onto the active list in just one week!   We see the work progressing and are grateful for the miracles we are seeing.
All of this comes to the one point that we have been realizing with more and more frequency:  the Lord's hand is manifest in so many ways in missionary work.  None of the things we have had the privilege of witnessing would have happened if it were not for the Lord directing things.  Our testimony is now stronger than ever that the Lord is interested in the details of people's lives.  He cares about His children and will orchestrate circumstances to bless them.  If any of us sincerely contemplate the defining moments of our lives, we will see that the Lord has been instrumental in shaping events that bless us in so many ways.  This knowledge makes us humbly grateful. 
One last thing:  we found an honest-to-goodness Leprechaun house and took pictures of it, which we have attached to the blog.  One of the pictures shows Grandma trying to phone the Leprechauns inside because she couldn't get them to come to the door.  Now that we know that these little houses exist, we will increase our efforts to find more, and we will document our finds with pictures to send to you.
As always we send our love, and want you to know how much we are praying for you.  Thank you for all of your support and love.

Love,
Grandma and Grandpa
Mom and Dad
Lynne and Lanette (What lovely Leprechauns we are, Aye!)
Elder and Sister Pettit  
 We saw this house by the side of the road and couldn't stop, but found our way back a few days later.  Unfortunately we didn't see any fairies or leprechauns in their yard.

 The door is so cute and tiny.  It reminded me of a poem I learned when I was young:

I met a little elf man once, down where the lilies blow,
I asked him why he was so small and why he didn't grow.
He slightly smiled and with his eye he looked me through and through
"I'm quite as big for me," he said, "as you are big for you!"

 Grandma decided to phone and see if anyone was home.  They must have been out checking on their buried treasure, or maybe sleeping because they danced all through the night.

We loved their little front fence and the pointed roof was just fun.
 
This is our District.  Back row, tall Elder Keim from Utah, Front row Elder Peacock from England,  Elder Phew, Utah, Elder Kinville, Idaho, Sister and Elder Pettit, Utah, Sister Coons (looks like Michele Chatterton), Utah, Sister Galvez, Guatemala

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Anniversary and Other Blessings

Dear Family and Friends:

         The summer has passed now, school is back in session, and it seems like things are picking up.  We have several new Self Reliance classes starting, the numbers in English class are increasing, and it seems like we are getting more to YSA activities.  We remain busy with travel to so many places for Self Reliance start-ups, teaching with the missionaries, feeding the missionaries and investigators,checking on and arranging for repairs in missionary flats, preparing presentations, and trying to stay in contact with our investigators.  It is good to be busy, and through it all runs a recurring theme:  this is the Lord's work, not ours, and He is in charge.  Too many things happen that we are not in control of to deny that the Lord's hand is in it.
         Tuesday, we had a much-anticipated training for the Bishop in Dublin Stake.  We have been worried about it because this stake is still a little slow on getting Self Reliance going.  We prayed and prepared and wanted so badly for the Spirit to take our message to their hearts.  We decided for our training to focus less on processes and more on the actual message of the program, so we tried to take them through an actual "Foundations" lesson, which is the 20-minute Gospel principle that we teach at the beginning of every class.  From experience, we knew that once they experienced the spirit present in the lessons, they would become converted to the value of the program.  We came to the bishops training hoping for good attendance, but were a little disappointed - except that those in attendance were precisely the wards that needed to hear the message.  Difficulties with starting on time gave less time than we had hoped for, which could have been even more disappointing, but the Spirit took over the teaching, and we sensed a real change of heart in those who have been reluctant.  The Lord was in charge.  We really think that things will move forward now.
         There is a funny story that happened in connection with this bishops' training.  Grandma had made two banana cream pies to feed to the bishops, and we announced to those in attendance that we would feed it to them after the meeting.  However, after our presentation was through and we were excused, the high councilors and bishopric counselors showed up, and all of a sudden we didn't have enough pie.  We decided to quietly sneak away and hope that nobody remembered our earlier promise of pie.   Well, most people didn't remember - except for first one bishop and later a counselor in the stake presidency, who timidly came to us after they were through with second and third round of meetings, to ask if the pie promise was still valid.  For them it was, and we ended up having two long visiting sessions over pie that  night after everyone else had gone home.  They have learned never to turn down Sister Pettit's cooking!
       We are finding that this flat is very convenient because of its central location, but it is also very popular.  Some days it is hard to get our paperwork done because of the visitors (which we don't mind).  At one point on Wednesday, we had four different people drop by unexpectedly to visit, get job advice, talk about Self Reliance, or get help with their resume.  The problem was that, at one point, all four of them were here at the same time!
       We also have met a new investigator from Brazil.  She is such a wonderful , well educated young woman and already lives so many of the principles of the Gospel.  We first met Patricia at the Job Search class because she just wanted to know what it would be like if she attended when it started again.  That night the Foundation lesson was on integrity.  When we asked everyone to give us an example of integrity, she said that once she pretended to be asleep on the bus when an older person needed her seat, and she felt so badly afterward that she has never done it again.  Now, that's integrity!  The next time we met with her was a ;missionary lesson which was  on the Word of Wisdom.   When coffee was mentioned, she was a little taken aback.  In her sweet and quiet way, she said: "That will be so hard for me, because it is a part of my culture, but I will try."  What wonderful faith!  On Sunday, she quietly, but with great joy shared that she had indeed gone the whole week without coffee.  Again, the Lord is in charge of bringing these prepared people to meet with the missionaries.  It is so fun to meet these people and they are so easy to love.
        We have mentioned our friend Wellington (from Zimbawbe) before, who was introduced a while ago to the Church in England.  When he came to Ireland, he looked Sisters' flat to meet a washing machine repairman.  The poor sisters have been unable to do their wash for some time (they are so faithful in the middle of difficulties).  The repair worked, and the sisters were very grateful.
       That evening, we drove to Belfast (2 hours) for a My Path devotional in the Lisburn ward, which is the first step in starting Self Reliance classes.  The newly-called Stake Self-Reliance Specialist took charge of the meeting (which is precisely what is supposed to happen) so our participation was minimal.  He was very thorough, and the meeting went on a little too long, but it was wonderful.  Again, the Spirit did the teaching.   We are so grateful that things are moving ahead so well in this stake that has been slow in starting, and we know that the Lord is definitely directing this effort.  After class, we drove back to Dublin and got back late, so we were a little tired the next day.
       The next day started with a call from the Sister missionaries saying that the washing machine worked, but when they started the dryer, it blew a fuse.  We went to help, got the fuse fixed, checked on some light bulbs, and then they asked us to check their heaters because it is getting to be coller weather again.   When Grandpa tried to adjust the electric wall heater, it promptly fell off the wall!  Oh boy!---an top that with a window that wouldn't close.    This all ended with a phone call to the landlord about his responsibility to fix things, which may happen when he gets back from holiday on Monday.  The sisters are very patient with all of this.   --and as a bonus for their patience, we decided they needed new bed linens since they were moved into a flat that had been for Elders.  So we bought them new bed linens, sheets, duvets etc.  (mission expense--not ours).  Grandma thinks there were three who slept better after that--the sisters and herself!)
       Friday night we had another experience that was remarkable.  We had planned to go to one class group in one city and as the time came close to going we realized that it was not a good day to go there.  We didn't want to waste the evening, so we called the  class in another city to see how things were there.  To our surprise, they had not wanted to bother us because we had said we could not go there this week, but they really needed us to come since both groups' facilitators were not able to come.  If things had not changed they would have had such problems.  When we got there, most were so surprised and so pleased.  It was like their faith had made it happen.  We were  able to have inspiring lessons instead of frustration--and not because of us, but because we were able to be instruments.   It reminds us of the story in the September Ensign on tithing.  Faith is so real and SR takes faith too.  We felt a great blessing in being led to go there.
      Saturday was our 45th wedding anniversary!!! --- so we actually took time to drive to Bray, a nice little community on the coast, where we had a wonderful seafood lunch at our favorite restaurant there.  It was really fun and relaxing.  The food is very gourmet and could be an enticement for any visitors.   We really can relax or take time off as we feel we need/want it, but honestly we are quite happy  when we are doing all we can to help others.  We miss interaction with family and friends, but we are always making new friends here, so we get along pretty well.   This experience is really a quest in our life to show our gratitude for the blessings we have had through these 45 years.
      After lunch, we attended a baptism, which, coincidentally, happened at exactly the same time as Addie's.  We are so proud of Addie, and wish we could have been there, but were able to Skype everyone later when they were out repelling.  As for the repelling adventure, we were grateful to learn that in spite of high adventure and a microburst they were able to get everyone back to safety.
      We will share one last significant day, Sunday.  One thing we wish we could have on this mission is a home ward.  Officially we do have one here where we live, but we are so rarely here that we don't feel as connected and consistent as we would like.  Nevertheless we did attend the beginning of the block here and met with some of our friends both members and investigators.   Then we went to another meeting and did a Self Reliance Devotional.
       One of the reasons we stayed was that we had offered to pick up (they call it "collect")  Stephen from the bus in City Center.  He is a new convert YSA lad (that means young man) all the way from Sligo, who works with show horses for a living.   He shared some videos that were quite thrilling, of himself  jumping the horses.   Stephen caught the early bus to Dublin to come for his Patriarchal blessing and to be one of the speakers at the YSA fireside that night.  This was really a big step for him, but he approached it with such faith and joy that we felt a great privilege to take him where he needed to go for his blessing, and host him throughout the day.  It was great to answer a few questions he had about lineage and to feel his love of all that the day brought to him.  The fireside featured 6 great young people who had all recently joined the Church and it was so fun to hear their stories of faith and life  joy as well.  We wish we could video all of the sweet things that happen and better share them with you.  It would be even better than the cookie crust fruit pizza we had that night.
        One last thing for the Grandkids.  We have been wondering if we should look harder for Leprechaun houses.   We have seen some really short people who live here, but we think not tiny enough to be real leprechauns.   On Sunday we think we saw a real leprechaun house We were not able to stop on such short notice and we didn't have time to go back, but we marked the spot and think we can find it again and send you a picture.  We marked it with the end of a rainbow!---so it should not be too tricky to find.  What do you think?  Will we be able to get there again?  If we could find the house and a leprechaun should we ask for a wish or money?  If we get a wish, we will wish to have you all be so happy and so good.  And if we get money, we will buy you a jet to all come and see the house!   We love you all so much!
For another week, we say hugs to all,
Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, Lynne and Lanette, Elder and Sister Pettit


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Happy 90th Birthday!

Dear Family and  Friends,
We suppose the big news of this week is that Grandpa and Grandma Godfrey celebrated their 90th birthdays---and we celebrated with them via a telephone call.  For sure it wasn't as good as being there in person would have been, but we have to be grateful that we could be a part in a tiny way and hear their happy voices and share our congratulations too.  They truly were sooo happy and we thank each of you that were able to be there to make it a very special day for them. 

We love them so much and feel so blessed that they have been able to keep a quality of life for so many years in spite of many difficult health concerns.  They have been such an example of keeping a positive attitude and never giving up.  We remember how through the years they had their special little quotes of never giving up, and who knew that they would live to not only teach it, but to teach it by example.

So since we were not able to be at the "party of the decade", did we ever tell you how blessed we are to have so many different ways to serve and stay active?  It is so true!  We think it would be much harder to miss out on great events at home if we weren't really busy.  And it would be hard to  be restricted to one small area and one assignment, as so many couples in our mission are.   We are not saying that mission life is a free time holiday for us, because every day we are so ready for bedtime at the end of the day!   But the end of this week is another example of trying new interesting things---and having some fun mission times with some great people.

First of all, on Friday morning we got up early and drove to a farther corner of Ireland called Londonderry to attend a wedding of two  YSA members.  Weddings in Ireland are quite special events because finding worthy friends to marry is harder with so few members to choose from.  Not only are these two "kids" both active, but they both served missions and are working hard on their education.  They will be living in the Londonderry area, so we are not likely to see them much, so it was nice we could go and support them. 

In Ireland and the UK, a temple marriage must be proceeded by a civil marriage and the temple wedding is usually held the next day, or at least within a few days.  Their wedding was held in the LDS chapel, but it was so different from home.  It was so cute to see the ladies dressed in hats and very fancy dresses.  They also had the whole processional, starting with a little boy ring-bearer, followed by the flower girls and then the bridesmaids etc.  The ceremony included talks by family members and friends, then of course the wedding itself.  Following the ceremony, there was a reception, but it was not the real reception, just a teaser since people come from so far and needed a snack.  We felt very lucky to be invited to the wedding, but were not invited to the family (and closest friends) dinner.  The bigger, nice reception, didn't start until evening, so it ended up that we decided to go on to the Belfast  and when we realized how far away it was, we didn't go back .  We had already been 5 1/2 hours on the road and didn't want to add another 2 hours driving to the day. 

So we found our way to the University where the All Ireland Youth Conference was being held.  We liked the description of the main building:  The Harry Potter University!  It really did look like it and it was on a huge acreage of beautiful grounds.  Our assigned dorm room was tucked way back out of sight and was so peaceful.  The room itself was small and old but clean and warm, --and the bathroom was better than our own apartment, so we felt lucky.  We stayed there both Friday and Saturday nights. 

We had been asked to make a presentation (actually repeated 3 times) --- so on Saturday morning we located the classrooms.  They were also a little older (especially the technology) but quite clean and nice.  We had planned a brand new Power Point presentation for the Youth and spent a nervous 20 minutes not getting the connections to work--even with the tech man there doing it.  As the time got really close, Grandma said a silent prayer and within the minute everything came alive.  We felt so blessed because we honestly know that speaking to Youth is the hardest presentation of any we ever make. 

We thought the presentation went quite well.  Our theme point was that standards are not just for the Word of Wisdom and morality, but also for becoming the best we can be in our careers, so that members of the Church stand out as an example of industry to the world.   We used scripture examples of young prophets, Abraham, Daniel, Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, and Joseph Smith and some cute things from You Tube.  Stephen Clyde led us to a fun one about a pig that you grandkids would probably like.  Try  looking up "Ormie wants a Cookie" and "Stuck on an Escalator" to represent  the contrast of how we can either expect others to do everything for us, or we do everything WE can to get what we want. 

It isn't unique to Ireland, but there are many people who are satisfied to live on social welfare rather than work for a living. Heavenly Father wants us to provide for ourselves and to be a light to the world by being able to have enough to even share and serve others.  On Sunday, the area Seventy,  Elder Herbertson spoke.  (We get around enough that this was our 5th time of hearing him) It is always a treat. 

Elder Herbertson's message underscored what we had presented with one especially great story from his life.  He told how after some years into his career he wanted to connect with his school buddies and invited them to a party.  One man said, "Don't we all feel like losers!  Look at "Herbie."  He has a huge house, big cars, and is running for Parliament!  Of course that made Elder H quite uncomfortable and he wondered what to say, when another man said, "Yah, but he's had that success because of his Church,"  and everyone agreed;  even though as he grew up he was teased mercilessly for the standards he had to keep and how hard he worked in school and to go on a mission.  The doctrine we teach is that if we do our best and trust the Lord, He blesses us to be temporally as well as spiritually strong. 

The whole Youth Conference was really good and it was fun to see the young people be able to get together.  They had some fun activities, but the one we liked the best was the lip sync at the beginning of the dance.   Several kids took a turn acting out how they would dance and sing if they were the live performance.  It was so funny and we thought maybe it would be a new idea for some of you at home. 

There were about 100 Youth in attendance and they had so much fun making new friends and learning and playing together.   Ireland is almost the same size as Utah, so imagine all of the Youth of Utah getting together in one place.   Wow! it is not even close to the same here as for our family and friends at home, and again we feel so blessed.  We also felt so fortunate to get to have time to visit and get to know many of the leaders from each of the stakes better.   Some of them we knew quite well but that much time made it fun to really have time for laughs as well as service.   Those who serve the youth always seem to be especially caring and unselfish.

And last of the week, when we got home we were able to have two investigator friends come over for a light dinner.  One is Nick and the other a new single lady we met who is so prepared for the gospel.  They have similar concerns, being single now, and they seemed to like meeting each other.  We did a scripture marking activity with them that we hope will help their study time be more meaningful.  It is so nice to be able to meet with such good people and feel their desire for doing the right things and becoming the best they can be.  They both have sweet testimonies and we feel will be baptized soon.

One last thing before we end this email:  We finally took time today to update our blog photos.  You maybe have gotten the emails, but if you want to see photos, they are finally there.  We are sorry to be so slow, but it is not as easy as it should be, so we get behind.  Thanks for y our patience.

And so August comes to an end.  School is starting here now.  New students are coming from abroad, and new SR groups are going to be starting soon.  Again we are grateful for so many fun and active things to be a part of and the new friends we make each week,  but we never forget how much our family and friends at home mean to us.  The little song from years ago comes to mind.  "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other is gold!"   You are our Gold!  We may be in Ireland where the pot of Gold is supposed to be hidden, but it really is at home with each of You.  We love You, we miss You, we pray for You!--and thank you for your love returned. 
Mom and Dad,
Grandma and Grandpa,
Elder and Sister Pettit

This  is the Knight children from Tralee.  Their father is the Branch President.  We are looking at the June Friend we mentioned last letter, where 10 year old Evan was featured. 
Having the little children around us, helps to get through the need for "Grandma and Grandpa" time.

A missionary painted this temple-castle on the wall of the little girl's bedroom.
L-R:  Amber Lily, Lauren, Rita, Evan Knight

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tour of Ireland

Dear Family and Friends,
It is always fun to look back on a week and think of what has happened.  Sometimes we have to really think hard to remember what we have done, but this week we were blessed to have the Clydes with us for much of the week and so the memories are pretty clear.  With summer "holiday" time, our schedule was a little less full, so we chose rather than doing very much paper work or planning to go to the appointments we needed to and fill in the gaps with a little sight seeing.  As it ended up we had a  pretty big tour of Ireland.
    We have seen so many photos of the Cliffs of Moher as being one of the great features of Ireland, but we have never been there.  It is quite famous, even used as the setting for movies, such as Princess Bride.   The cliffs run along the western shoreline of central Ireland for about 10 miles.  The nearly straight up cliffs are as high as 750 feet in some places!  It is truly spectacular and very popular to see.  It had a lot of visitors which meant a lot of cars traveling there on fairly small, two way roads.  Not surprisingly the wind was blowing a lot when we were there, but it wasn't raining so we felt lucky.  We were able to get a few pretty good pictures, but besides the beauty and magnificence,  one thing we  wanted to photograph was the people who seemed so careless about the risk of the cliff areas that were outside the developed park barriers.   Even though there were clear signs of warning, quite a few younger people went to the edge of the cliffs not so much, it seemed, for a better view, but to show they were so brave. 
       It really reminded us of the way sin can seem harmless, until something really bad happens.  Ireland's tourist attractions are not nearly as carefully guarded against accidents as the U.S.  The parts that were developed were great and nicely done, but then there was such easy access to a completely undeveloped trail within a short distance of the main tourist area, and with no laws to prevent access, the warning signs were almost an enticement to brave the dangers.   People stood on the sheer cliffs with no barrier, no guarantee that the edge would not crumble, and wind gusting all the while.   We think of our wonderful grandchildren and hope you will recognize the warnings that the gospel gives us  for life.   The "signposts" to avoid the temptations of the world are important.  Even getting close to sin can put any of us in danger of slipping or getting blown away when the trials of life  come at us.  We cannot think we are the exception from  the laws of nature or the laws of Eternity. 
       After visiting the Cliffs, we drove on over to Tralee and the home of the Branch President, the Knights.  We have been able to get to know them quite well and we were  warmly welcomed and had dinner with them.   The kids are so cute with us and we feel the commitment of President Knight growing---- to help bring Self Reliance to his branch, as we spend more time with them.  While we were there the kids showed us that their family, and especially  Evan, the ten year old boy, had a featured story in the Children's Friend in June of this year.   We hope each of your families will either find your June Friend, or go to it on line and find the article about Evan Knight of Ireland.  It is a two page spread, with another article about him on the next page as well.  It is fun that he is featured because they are so isolated from other children who are members  of the church, but they are so faithful and so good. 
         Sometimes we might wonder if the stories in the Friend are real to life,  not a regular way of life.  For Evan, he really is a nice as it makes him sound, and as valiant to share his faith as the story tells.    We are always impressed at how considerate  he is of his sisters, and how much he loves to help others.   They had a young lady live with them for a few months who had connections with the writers for the Friend.  She was so impressed with Evan's desire to do what is right that she took pictures and wrote the story for the friend.  We know their family makes special efforts to share their testimonies of the gospel and we are thrilled that even their Self Reliance finance class has invited two  non-member couples to join them.  This branch is so far away and so tiny, but they are doing their best to live the gospel and help others see their example.   If anyone would like to be email friends with Evan, we could probably arrange that.  This  is the family that built their own designer home over the course of 5 years without getting a mortgage--so we think they are pretty great in many ways.
       That night we stayed in a hotel (rather than with the Knights) and the next day we drove home via another special tourist route called the "Ring of Kerry"  We wish we could say we were thrilled, but the most breathe-taking thrill was the narrow windy two way road!  Pretty, but not worth it.    As we drove, we wanted to point out the many building structures along the way.  We saw  and visited one very old castle that was quite broken down ---and now just occupying part of the cow pasture.   It was fun to climb around on it, and wonder what it might have been like in its glory days.  The Clydes were very fun and good-sport tour companions.  We saw new things, had a great visit with them, and kept our work going too.
      We also always enjoy seeing the many steeples that highlight the skyline as we travel the cities and byways.  Every city has at least one church, and some have more.  In one city of Londonderry, we were impressed by several steeples, all of different designs.   We had gone there after our meetings last Sunday, because Stephen Clyde had ancestors from there , and it was fun to think what the city would have looked like when his family was there before migrating to America.  Many of these churches were built long before the gospel was even restored.  They are often the center of the city and  sometimes the grounds are also the cemetery.   We think of how the people were held together by their faith and it makes us appreciate the church buildings even more.  Grandma has always loved the design of  traditional European churches (remember the Christmas village with the trains?)   It is fun to know that many churches can be quite close together in real life. 
        We know that quite a sacrifice was made to build these churches, especially when the people were poor, so we appreciate their devotion to Christianity even when they did not have the full gospel to bless their lives.  We know we are so blessed now to have the gospel and hope that we can bless the people of Ireland with even greater faith and blessings in their lives.  Our Mission President reminds the missionaries now that times past have been seed-planting times, and that now we are in the harvesting times for gathering in the good people of all the world.   The Work is still more successful with immigrants (the gathering of Israel)  than with the Irish, and we know they have some mistrust to overcome, but we especially love it when we see Irish people  join the church.  We are getting to know one young man who joined the church a few months ago that is anything but reluctant to share his testimony with family and friends.  He is so excited that he will be baptizing his best friend (and girl friend) this Saturday.    We wish we could be here, but we have a Youth Conference responsibility. 
        Another experience this week was our group in little Sligo branch.  This branch is so small and yet the saints have so much unity that they seem pretty strong.   They really know and care about each other.  When we got there, the lady whose home we stayed in last time we were there, told us about the arrangements for staying that night.  (We didn't know if we would be staying, so we brought the necessities just in case we did.)   We had thought we would drive home, but we could see that there would be disappointment if we declined, so we smiled and were grateful.    The people whose home we stayed at came early and waited for more than an hour for us to teach the classes, so they could lead us to their home out in the countryside where no addresses are used.   We wondered what we were getting into, but the home was very nice.  It took us well over an hour to get the complete tour--another self-designed and self-built home.  This man is an interior designer, who did the London temple, so the design was lovely, but also fun.
    When we were finally able to get to bed, the hosts asked us what time we would be leaving.  We told them we would get up early and get off,  because we had a big YSA activity to prepare for.  They then warned us that we would need to have them restrain the dog for us to leave or we might lose a finger!   We believed them because we had seen what a big deal it was to get the dog up or down the stairs for us to get the house tour.   The dog was an enormous English German Shepherd, standing at least to our waists and heavily built.   Then the lady said rather quietly, she hoped the dog would not push the door open into our room.   You guessed it!  the next morning as we were almost ready--and about on time for the hosts wake-up schedules, we heard the door push open and in walked the dog!!  Grandma was quick to get her hands up by her head and still remain calm.  Grandpa just stood there staring.  In a minute or two of "nice dogs" the lady came in to save us--or somewhat save us.  She just stood there talking while the dog fully sniffed us up and down.  She said something like it was good for the dog to get used to us for the next time we come to stay.  They really like the dog because many people in their area get things stolen from their farms, but they don't.   Do you think we should be that brave to come and stay again?   
       And while we are writing about "Beware of Dogs" we saw a sign on a fence near to there that said, "Beware of Ram".   It was a good thing it was labeled, because the ram was in the field and looked  like a huge gentle cow.  
       Well, this letter is getting pretty long, but we wanted to tell you one more event of the week.  We have mentioned Nick before and his desire to be able to get his life in order (mostly stop smoking) to join the Church.  He called us and told us that he had good news and bad news.  The good news was that he was kicked out of his apartment.  ?! How could that be the good news?   He said he had been upset with the way he was being treated and so even though it was going to be hard, he would now be getting his own place.    We were quite surprised with his attitude and perspective that the Lord knew he needed to move and that things would work out--so it was good news.  The bad news was that he  would be stretched with money because he has several expenses now with the changes he is trying to make.    We are concerned for him, but not too much because he has such determination and faith.  This is truly remarkable in someone who has been in more street fights than  we want to know about.  We really have great hopes for things to start coming together for him in the near future.   He has a ways to go, but  he has already come a long way and he inspires us. 
        We close wanting each of you to know that we know the Gospel is such a blessing.  We see many ways that lives are benefitted by the gospel, and the programs that it offers, to help people be happy, but most of all we know that we love you and hope for your happiness in all you do.  
Hugs and Blessings!
Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom
Lynne and Lanette
Elder and Sister Pettit
The round tower at the Cliffs of Mohr

Cannons on the wall surrounding the city of Londonderry

Misty view of the Cliffs of Mohr

Another option of the Clydes for an engagement photo--- at the round tower.

Cliffs of Mohr--over 700 ft droooooooooop!

The Visitors Center is built into the mountain to preserve the landscape.

Size perspective is showing the round tower on top of the cliff.

On the ring of Kerry. Stephen found a remote an crumbling old castle.  No admission fee, so no liability for danger!

Giving more perspective on where this was.

And the farther view yet of the size of the castle and its present condition.  We were probably a little too brave to climb up there!  Climgin

Climbing back out and down.

Grandma climbs up to an old doorway---then falls out.  (not in the photo thankfully)

Yes, raining in Ireland.

How tall do you estimate the castle to be?

Just like seeing a deer crossing, but no deer, we saw the Leprechaun Crossing, but no leprechaun!

 

Riverdance

Dear Family and Friends:

      This mission continues to be a blessing in our lives, and we are grateful for it.  In so many ways, a mission is a "refining" experience because a missionary is constantly having to push ahead, check his or her spiritual strength, think of ways to improve, and put the welfare of others constantly at the forefront.  It is a wonderful, stretching, growing time in one's life, and we are thankful for the opportunity.  Again, our greatest desire is to somehow make a difference, and we are really trying to do that.
      We travelled in so many different directions the week before last, so it was good to take a day or two to catch up on overdue tasks at the first of the week, but it wasn't long before we were back in the travelling mode.  We went to Tralee on Thursday (3 1/2 hours each way) to participate in a My Path devotional with this little branch.  It was good to see things finally get moving here, after some reluctance on the part of branch leadership.  There weren't many in attendance, but we were glad to see it moving, and, once again, we were so appreciative of the support shown by the counselor in the District presidency, and the local missionary couple.  We have a strong feeling that their good efforts will pay off.  We stayed about 90 minutes, and then hit the road for home, getting here well after midnight.  We felt it was very important for us to show our support by being there.
       We were scheduled to drive to Sligo (2 1/2 hours each way) on Friday, but decided that it wouldn't be smart to go, and after phone calls to ensure that they could conduct the classes on their own (which is the goal anyway), we opted to stay home for the Western "hoedown" that was being held in our church that night.  It was great fun. Grandpa and our friend Nick barbecued the hamburgers, and Grandma was the hit of the night in the line dancing.  We honestly didn't know that there were that many cowboy hats and boots in Ireland!
       But the real fun started when our good friends Steve and Emily Clyde from Logan flew in on Saturday afternoon.  We have been looking forward to their visit for a long time, and it is so good to have them here.  After picking them up at the airport, we hurried back for a baptism, had dinner, and then we were off to the theater to watch "Riverdance".  It was absolutely marvelous!  We have seen a version of this show of traditional Irish music and dance in the states, but it was even more fun to see it in Ireland.  They only perform in Ireland during the summer months, so we feel lucky to see them.     The theater was very nice, in the tradition of the classic European  performance halls, with gorgeous boxed seating on the sides and very ornate d├ęcor throughout.  
       The dancing was so spectacular and made us think a lot about why it was so impressive.  Along with the group dancing, the show had some variety with vocalists, instrumentalists, and solo dancers.  The violinist (fiddler) was incredible and some of the couple dancers were specially featured, but even though the variety was nice, nothing could measure up to the group dancers.  It finally came to us why the group dancing stood above anything else: unity.  Unity is the factor that makes other things impressive, as well.  Unity in a choir, to be as one clear voice, so that words are understood.  Unity in an orchestra, with many instruments playing their own part, but working to create a blend of tones that thrills the soul.   And not just associated with music or the arts, unity brings success when  community or humanitarian projects make the efforts of a group more powerful than the sum of the people.   Unity in the wards or branches makes all the difference in our work for Self Reliance.  When the people combine their commitments and care for each other, so many blessings come to individuals and to wards/branches.  And of course unity is a blessing for families.  Unity does not mean that everyone has to be the same, but it means that everyone has to have the same end goal.  Our experience is that unity is not easily attained, but the ultimate prize. 
          Speaking of prizes, we have a special news item for the Grandchildren:  Today while we were up to the Giant's Causeway with the Clydes, we discovered where the fairies keep their money.  You know, like the gold at the end of the rainbow?  We found it!  We were climbing just a little on some rock formations that were like stone pillars all connected and we discovered that it was loaded with money.  Yes, the cracks in the rocks were stuffed with all kinds of coins.  Some of the coins have been there so long that they are corroded, and some have been there so long that they have "melted" .  Melted is the best way we can describe what they look like.  The coin is slipped into the crack and over time it looks like it has become liquid and dripped down the stone.  To be sure it has not been the heat, because it doesn't get hot there, but none the less, it does droop over the edge.  We were a little tempted to wiggle the coins out of the cracks and get a collection to share with all you Grandkids, but we thought it might not be fair if we took many of the coins.  What would the leprechauns, elves, and fairies do for money?
        Well, we are thinking of all of you so much.  When all the fun is finished for this summer, we hope you will have a little time to share your best part with us.    We love you and hope you will be blessed this week as you get ready to start back to school.   Stay happy, stay righteous, have unity.  We pray for you each day, and share our testimony that He is in charge of this Work. 
 
Love to all,
Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, Lynne and Lanette, Elder and Sister Pettit

On the beautiful bridge at Londonderry.
 
On the rive bridge at Londonderry.  Now often called Derry because folks don't want to be connected to London, since they gained their independence.


Flw

We had to take a picture with he beautiful flower baskets that are all along the walkway by the river.
 This wonderful old architectural landmark must have been a church but isn't now.
 Dated 1539
 Giants Causeway with good weather!
 The Clydes pose at Giants Causeway.  It was so fun to be with them.
 Grandma is checking out a leprechaun house and discovers money in the rocks!
 Notice the coins.  They are so old and even "melting" down the ledge.  We wonder why the leprechauns don't save it more carefully.
 Adding a few coins to the "leprchaun bank".
 Emily found a throne and Stephen Clyde takes her royal photo.
 Near the tip of the Causeway and out to sea towards
Scotland.
 The beautiful day allowed everyone to enjoy the fun natural walkway.
 English Phone booth--it actually works!    Calling the  grandchildren. j/k
 The large yellow crane in the distance are where Titanic was built.
Titanic plackard in the shipyard showing it was built in this location.

Summer Is Almost Over


Dear Grandchildren, all the Family, and good Friends,

Well it is August, and we think that the end of summer is just around the corner for all of you.  We hope you have had a nice vacation and we hope all you grandchildren will write us and tell us the most fun thing you have done during the summer break.  We are happy to hear of some of the fun things you have been doing, but it would be so fun to hear your highlight. 

 Here in Ireland, even according to the natives, the weather has been cool.  May had a few weeks of warmth, and a few people said that it might be all the summer we would see, but we thought they were joking to make us worry, but it has been true.  We suppose that since we have heard how extra hot it is in the States, especially Utah, that we could make you envious of our weather.  Today the high was 61 degrees F.  but the sky was blue (because the clouds got blown away).    That probably sounds wonderful to not have to ever turn on the air conditioners---which don't even exist.   Grandma wishes it would be warmer, but she is doing fine.  On Saturday we even took a walk in Phoenix Park (the second largest urban park in the world) to see and feed the roaming deer herd and Grandma didn't even wear a jacket. ( just two long sleeved shirts, but no jacket)

 
With August we think of three important birthdays:  Archer on August 15, turning 6 years old, Adaline on August 27 (turning the big eight years old!)  and Great Grandpa Godfrey on August 31, turning 90 years old!!   It sounds like Adaline will get to eat Great Grandpa and Grandma's birthday cake on her birthday!   :-)  We send love and best birthday wishes to each of you.

 
For the Grandchildren (and anyone who wants to play) we also have a few Irish word questions.  First of all we often pass by a town by the name of Newtwopothouse.  The question is:  did this town get its name because someone had two new cooking kettles, or because they had two new beautiful flower pots outside, or because they added an extra bathroom?  Oh dear!  What a question we have been having.  The next question is: Can you guess what is a raschursa is?  They have a lot of them in Ireland.  Don't look ahead until you have guessed.   The answer:  race course for horses.  Last questions:  What is a Ringaskiddy or a Skibbereen?   Answer:  really cute names of towns.  Wouldn't you like to live in either one of those?

 
Now for our mission news:  The week has passed very quickly, probably because we had so many fun things that happened.  Monday was quite normal, mostly spent taking care of reports, washing, shopping and in the evening having English Class--which is so fun, but from there on, the week had plenty of variety.

 
For awhile now, we have been planning to act on the Mission President's permission to train the other senior couples in Ireland to be Specialists or Facilitators in Self Reliance;  so on Tuesday we drove to Limerick and met the other four couples in Ireland for a day of training.  Getting some people convinced that Self Reliance classes are not just another program that they can't or don't want to implement, is a real part of what we do, and the group of couples was about split 50/50 with support and not.  The great thing is that the Spirit did the work, and not long into our session, the support turned to 100%.   Resistance that had developed because of some less sensitive District leaders, was totally turned around and everyone became eager to know how they could help.   This was even before we took them all out to lunch!

 
Another success of the week was our trip to Belfast on Thursday.  We began the day with a good returning missionary training (this is about a 3 hour session) , then did 4 missionary flat checks, and last AND BEST,  we had a very good Stake SR Committee Meeting.  For some reason, the same resistance we just described has been a roadblock for a long time in this stake.  The SR Initiative needs to be Priesthood led, so until that could happen, nothing much was happening.   The previous Stake SR Specialist just finally gave up, but a recently released Bishop and his wife were just called and their persistence and testimony were not to be defeated.  Once again, the Spirit prevailed and arms that were defensively crossed, turned to open arms of willingness to make things happen.  It really was a miracle---and so fun to be a part of it.

 
Our third thing to celebrate was a good trip to Sligo, on Friday.   Sligo is nearly 3 hour’s drive and we couldn't leave until we finished the All-Ireland Mission Conference with the Area 70  attending, at nearly 4:00.  In Sligo, we are helping classes in a small branch to get going solidly.  We knew the numbers would be fewer because of "holidays" (summer vacation things) but they didn't want to postpone at all, so we went ahead.  It was fun to feel the commitment of those who were there, who reassured us that things would be fine even if the few moved on alone, because they would in turn teach and help others.   The classes ended at almost 10:00 so we were glad we could stay overnight at one of the member's homes who was out of town.  We were so hungry by that time, so we went searching for the unlikely:  an open pizza house.   (Pubs were of course open, but it was too late in the day to go there.)  To our surprise, the Garmin was right--- and lo----there was a Dominoes!  We ate like hungry hippos and it tasted very American!  We slept well and didn't wake up until we wanted to!

 
After we were rested, we realized that we could possibly meet with Stephen, a young man who is a new member that we encouraged to come to the YSA Convention.  Not surprisingly he was at work, but surprisingly he called back shortly and asked if we could still meet him.  It was such a great time with him.  He is really quiet, but has such faith.  He really wanted to be in the Friday night work class, but had been sick the first time, and had to work the second time.  We spent a few hours with him to get him caught up, and took him to lunch.  He is a hard worker, but wants to participate so that he be sure he is doing the right things to improve his work opportunity.  We had the opportunity to teach him about Patriarchal Blessings and he was so appreciative.  We put his mind at ease to let him know this was not like fortune telling, but based on believing that the Lord will guide his life if he is faithful.

 
Well, that will probably do it for the week.  We had English class tonight with five Brazilians and one Italian, so that brings us full circle again.  We remain busy, but realize that we couldn't do this without the constant miracles - both large and small - that we witness almost every day.  When we look back on things, we realize how involved in this Work the Lord really is.  His angels are hard at work blessing the lives of so many.  There are no coincidences in missionary work:  only miracles.  We are grateful beyond words to be a part of the "grand millennial mission of the Church", as President Hinckley put it.

 
Of course, we pray for you constantly.  You are always in our hearts and in our minds, and we plead with the Lord for your happiness and success.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Love,

Grandma and Grandpa
Mom and Dad
Lynne and Lanette
 Priscilla and Carlos, (Carlos was our first baptism).  We try to do things with them from time to time.  they are so nice and such a cute couple.
 Us with a different kind of deer--and plenty of them.
Priscilla actually touches the deer who was hoping she had a carrot to offer.
Elder and Sister Pettit

A "Wellington" Week


Dear Family and Friends,

 

To Start our letter this week, we have a tricky question for the Grandchildren: 

Do they have the 4th of July in Ireland?  

Answer:  of course they do.  They have the 1, 2,3, 4, 5,…..and so on!  

They just don’t celebrate American Independence Day!  J

 

Next question:  Do they have the 24th of July in Ireland?  

Answer:  Of course they do! ---AND they do celebrate Pioneer Day as Saints!  Surprising?  It was to us!   So this week we felt a little closer to home as we celebrated Pioneer Day in the parking lot of the church (right outside our little house.)

 

This is how the celebration went:  For at least two months, a group of people, mostly two old men have been painting really cute pioneer cartoon pictures on old sheets to hang in the cultural hall, and for this entire week they have been working on putting up huge pavilion size tents for the celebration.  We, (but mostly Grandpa) helped a lot to figure out and set up the tents--two of which had never been set up before--so it was a big job!  It all had to be set up ahead for the food and games to happen.

 

The food was as much like an American BBQ as possible, hamburgers and hot dogs---except there seems to be no such thing as hot dogs, ---so they use  good long sausages.  They also had potato chips, juice, watermelon, and Slushies.  Since we had trouble with the Slushy machine we rented for the YSA Convention, they let us have the Slushy machine again at no cost, so it was the hit of the day!  For us it was too cool to enjoy a frozen drink--but the kids came back again and again!

 

There was a fun booth for face painting, and one of the older men is an expert at balloon art.  He made the most elaborate 10-balloon-sized-creations, (and he said he would teach me how to do it).   They had a good Tug of War, but the funniest activity was the “welly toss”.  Try to think what that would be.

 

A “welly” is short for a Wellington Boot, which is the big rubber boots that are worn here for the rain.  The size of the “Welly” you had to toss depended on your age. and boy or girl.  The men had big ones and the kids had little ones etc.  They stood at the Pioneer Day Banner to begin, and threw it down the parking lot driveway.  It was measured off and whoever threw it the farthest (without hitting the spectators!) got the gold or silver “welly trophy”. It was really funny and fun---and certainly a new twist on Pioneer Day Activities.    Grandma tried, but it is pretty hard and she didn’t win, ---and Grandpa was too busy cooking on his little old resurrected grill that saved the day.  Somehow the big grill had not been used for years, so it was not only late getting here, but totally rusty and slow to heat up.   So 80% of the BBQ was thanks to Grandpa!

  

There were about 100 people here, which is a good turnout, and a good mix of people.  Some investigators seemed to have a fun time along with the veteran Irish.  So we did celebrate the 24th of July in style!

 

The morning of the Celebration we had another celebration, the baptism of one of our friends.  Coincidentally his NAME is Wellington.  (He didn’t come to the BBQ party J)   His baptism was very special to us because we have known him since he came to Ireland about 3 months ago, when he requested to study with the missionaries.   We were introduced to him to see if we could help him get a job.  He is very intelligent, from Botswana, Africa, but studied in England.  We really could see the Lord’s hand in the way things developed, because only a few weeks after we started working with him, we met a man in Northern Ireland who is an entrepreneur and he told us he had opportunities for people to work.  When we learned of his options we thought first of Wellington and shortly thereafter took Wellington to Belfast to meet the man with the business opportunity.  Since then they have been happily getting a business started.

 

About a month ago Wellington was able to bring his wife, Polo, to Ireland.  She has not been as interested in the Church, but we do see her interest increasing, when we do things with them from time to time.   One day this week, we spent most of the day with Polo because she is so lonely.  “Wells” goes to work, and she stays at home with no friends or family.  She is afraid to drive here, and afraid to catch a bus for fear of getting lost, so she can only go for short walks.  We had a nice time talking to her, eating lunch, and went to the nearby Botanical Gardens with her.  The baptism was so good.  Grandpa and another man spoke, and the talks were so good, so clear, so thought provoking.  It was good for both Wells and Polo. 

 

The evening of the same day with Polo, we spent a long time with another friend, Nick from Romania.  We hardly ever have days that are not quite busy, but it seemed like this day was planned and orchestrated in Heaven to have time just to visit with investigator friends.  Nick really wanted to talk and share his dreams and plans which are centered around working hard to save enough money to move to a new apartment so he can stop smoking and bring his little daughter from Romania to live here.  This is a huge and hard dream for him, but we reviewed what he knows about the doctrine of the gospel, and he has a good understanding of so much.  We have really tried to encourage him to prepare for baptism because he will need the blessings of the Spirit to help him reach his goals.   He really has faith that the Lord will bless and help him.  Nick has only been in Ireland since February and he feels the Lord’s hand has already been in everything that has happened to him. 

 

Tonight Nick came to our house again because he was off early since it was a “bank holiday” and he wanted to study the scriptures with us some more.  It is remarkable to see the physical change in him and the questions he asks about the scriptures are so full of faith.   He also asked us if we would go shopping with him soon, so he could get some more suitable clothes for church.  In the recent past we have had to urge him to even come to church because although he said he wanted to be baptized we have not been seeing too much progress.  Suddenly now he is reading the scriptures on his own and we think he is becoming self-motivated in all the important things.

 

We will admit that being away from home is hard, but we are being blessed with   dear friends.  We truly love the investigators, and the new members, ---many of whom are, or have been, in our job classes or English class.  We have fun and good relationships with the YSA, and are making some pretty real friendships with the Irish church members.  Irish are nice, but not fully trusting of any foreigners so we feel blessed to be more accepted.  On Sunday we spoke in Sacrament Meeting and combined RS/Prsthd and then went to dinner at a member’s home that we have come to know well, because we have done a lot of things with their ward.  The Bishop and his wife, who are very young, but very faithful, were there too.  It is fun to be able to joke with them and learn their stories. 

 

On Friday we drove to start new classes in a city almost 3 hours away.  It made for a late night by the time we got back home, but we love the great effort of those who came long distances themselves, and also brought food.  We realized a little too late that we had not started the cake we thought we should take, but hurried and made it anyway.  It was just what was needed, and while we were cleaning up the total cake got cleaned up too! J  It is funny how often we don’t hardly taste the treats, but it is ok.  Don’t worry that we are getting too thin since we spend so much time in meetings and in the car--and so little time being really active!

 

And so ends July!  We wore coats on the 30th, turned on the heat on the 31st and were not alone.  Even some Irish were wearing coats on Saturday.  Tonight an investigator from Brazil chuckled that he was wearing his coat that he rarely wears even in the winter in Brazil, and it is summer in Ireland.  We didn’t tell him what to expect when it gets winter here.   Our “bumper crop” of 6 tomatoes are still smaller than cherry tomatoes and as green as green can be.  Green is likely--its Ireland!

 

Well, we shall close for now.  We send our love to you and sincere prayers that you will feel our love, and be blessed with all that makes you truly happy.  

 

Hugs and more hugs!

 Our friend Wellington from South Africa at his baptism.    He is well educated and will be a great influence and leader.
 Some really cute balloon art at the 24th of July party
 Sister Cole and her cute daughter Addison.  We have done quite a few things with them.
 The banner and start line for the Welly (boot) toss.
 Some of our dear Brazilian friends--investigators.

 John Hannon, the man behind the party.
 The pavilion that took a week to erect--with Grandpa cooking the burgers on our small "resurrected" grill since the big was didn't work. 
 President O'Farrell looking casual :-)
More fun balloon art.  The spider is in suspension from the green balloon.
 
 
 
Grandpa and Grandma, Dad and Mom, Lynne and Lanette, Elder and Sister Pettit