This is us driving in Ireland! We didn’t die! Horray!
I didn’t think we would end up in a branch. I thought I did my research before coming to Ireland that we would end up in a the Terenure ward. We couldn’t find an apartment until we got to Ireland. The apartment we found is in South Dublin. When I typed our new address into www.mormon.org meeting house finder it popped up with Bray Branch! I was overcome by the spirit at that moment because I felt like that’s where the Lord wants us. I was so excited to go to church the next day.
Indeed, we love this branch! We’ve been to the Bray Branch for two weeks already. There about about 60 people who attend each week. The Church building is tiny! The primary class rooms are the size of a church closet in Utah and everyone is jammed three rooms for sacrament meeting. The hallways can only fit one person. Nevertheless, we felt so loved by everyone there. It’s a small branch so everyone knows if you’re new.
The Branch President immediately interviewed us in his tiny office (again the size of a small closet). The Relief Society President introduced us to families who live close by and told them to watch over us. To our surprise, the Elder’s Quorm President live on the street next to us and another member lives about a five minute walk away. We surely picked a good location for our apartment! The second week at church we also found out another member family moved in down the street and another member family will move into the city within the next few weeks. Can you believe it? There’s only 1500 members in Ireland and we picked a city that will have five Latter-day Saint Families!
During Relief Society and Priesthood you pretty much sit in a circle powwow with about 6 to 7 people. The presidency makes up three of the people in the group. Everyone else has callings in the primary or young womens so they attend those meetings. During the lesson, the people in the circle, takes turns making comments and you can tell everyone are super close friends.
Unfortunately, my long time wait for Micah to be 18 months so he can go to nursery is no longer. The branch doesn’t have enough 18 months to 3 year old kids to have a nursery here but that’s ok. Micah likes church anyways. 🙂
It’s a very tight knit group at the Bray Branch. I’m super excited to go to church again today!
I’m not going to lie. It was very strange to transition from a full-time student to a full-time mom. Aside from also moving to a different country, it was just pure weird! I don’t have homework, classes, teachers, or grades. I didn’t know what to do with myself! I felt like I was aimless and there wasn’t no more direction in my life. Granted, I am making gourmet dinners for my family (compared to Top Raman during finals week) but making dinner doesn’t take all day! The first few days after Dallin started working in Ireland, I had dinner ready by 4 pm. Hmm… Dallin doesn’t get home till 6 pm. I sat on the couch, dumbfounded…. I was bored!
The next day, I picked up some knitting needles at the local thrift store… I haven’t knitting for years. But I thought to myself… I can’t spend all my days knitting!! I need to do something with my life. Micah didn’t like it either. He just wanted to take the needles and poke his eyes out.
Our awesome friends gave us a pocket size Preach My Gospel to take with us to Ireland. During my daily scripture study one day I decided to read the section on “Using Time Wisely“. I thought to myself… I really need this! I didn’t feel like I was using my precious time from God wisely. Even though I am not a full-time missionary, it was very beneficial. The chapter gave really good suggestions. I need a weekly calendar. I need to make goals. I need to progress to become more like God.
Elder M Russel Ballard said: “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
I quickly repented of my idleness and aimlessness. I realized my most important investigator is my little Micah. He needs me to teach him everything I know. I made a progress report for Micah. I labeled four areas: Social, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual (Luke 2:52). I wrote down how Micah was doing in those areas and made a small goal for each of the areas. I planned out my week and decided to focus on Micah’s needs.
Small things does bring about great things (Alma 37:6). Being home has allowed me to read more books, sing more songs and spend more time than I’ve ever had with my son. I’m grateful for my education but I’m so glad that I finished in December. Just cause I got a degree doesn’t mean my learning has stopped. I’m learning every day as I try to become a better mom. This is learning that they can never teach you in a classroom.
What was the first thing I planned for the week? Feed the seagulls and Micah loved it!
Every time I’m traveling I get so excited to go to Church on Sunday. It’s always a hassle trying to figure out how to get to church in a new place but the minute I walk into sacrament meeting is like a breath of fresh air. The Spirit of the Lord is always the same at all sacrament meetings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world.
We went to the Finglas Ward in Northern Dublin for the first Sunday in Ireland (See picture of ward building above). We took two buses and miraculous got to church without getting lost. As we walked into the chapel two minutes late, (apparently they start church on time here… LOL!), they were singing “Joy to the World” but with an Irish accent. 🙂 At the beginning of the meeting, a girl was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was given the gift Holy Ghost after being baptized the day before. Afterwards, were two deacons were passing the sacrament. There were about 70 in the congregation but a lot were on vacation for the Holidays.
As we were singing the sacrament hymn #195 “How Great the Wisdom and the Love”, Dallin was putting the hymn book away at the end of the song but they sang all the extra verses in the song! This seems little but we were surprised. We didn’t know the extra verses to the song. I guess sometimes we take for granted little things like that.
In mem’ry of the broken flesh We eat the broken bread And witness with the cup, afresh, Our faith in Christ, our Head.
How great, how glorious, how complete Redemption’s grand design, Where justice, love, and mercy meet In harmony divine!
Micah went to nursery, even though he’s only 16 months old. He was causing trouble in Sunday School so we sent him to nursery. He loved it. He played with a double decker bus and got lots of snacks.
On the way home from church we got lost and it took us like 2.5 hours to get back to the hotel! We ran into a cool cemetery though. It was a nice long rainy walk but we survived!
I’ve never had so much problems with English in my life! All the banking forms and medical forms are worded so different! I have to ask for translations and I feel silly.
Petro Station => Gas Station
Lift => Elevator
Nappy => Diaper
Carriageway => Free Way/High way
Chips => Fries (I thought it was potato chips!)
Voucher => Coupon
Dun => Fort
Distilled Water => Tap Water or Purified Water
Water => Club Soda or Sparkling Water
Trolley => Shopping Cart
Reduction => Sale
- “I felt like we got on a plane and landed in Harry Potter world!” (I reminded Dallin that Harry Potter is probably more like England)
- “I feel like I’m on the mission again.”
- “I want to ride on the top floor of the double decker bus!”
- “I want to go watch the Hobbit” (There are advertisements everywhere!)
- “The sun sets at 3 pm everyday”
- “I think we’re lost… again”
- “I can’t sleep so I’m just going to snuggle May Bo and wake her up.”
- “I got to play with a double decker bus in nursery at Church!”
- “All the Irish people we meet wants to hold me, I don’t let them and I cry.”
- “Strangers come up to me and starts playing with me.”
- “I like being pushed around in my buggy all day long.”
- “I am drenched. It rains all day long.”
- “I’m glad Mommy and Daddy know where they’re going.”
- “Why can’t I sleep at night?” (Micah woke up last night at 11 pm and struggled to go back to bed. He didn’t cry but he seemed a little confused.)
- “The yogurt here is much better in Ireland than in the US.”
- “Irish people are very friendly, approachable, and generous.”
- “Everything here is so eco friendly!”
- “Wow… the shuttle driver didn’t take a tip.” (I guess you only tip at restaurants here… I’ll write another blog about this.)
- “Thank goodness… they have Subway here.” (As in Subway Sandwiches… instead of $5 foot long they have 4 Euro foot long)
- “Still haven’t figured out why there are two buttons on the toilet….”
- “I’m tired… Dallin and Micah go to bed!”
We were on the bus trying to get to the train station. The train is called the Dart. We only landed in Dublin a few hours before. We were feeling very jet lag and lost. I told Dallin he should ask this elderly lady for directions. In a matter of minutes the conversation went like this…
Dallin: We’re from the United States
Lady: Are you from Utah?
Dallin: Why yes! We’re from Utah.
Lady: That’s where my church headquarters are located. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Dallin: I’m a Latter-day Saint!
Wow… after feeling overwhelmed in a big city… suddenly the world seemed small again. I felt right at home. There are only about 1200 active Church members in Ireland out of 4.5 million people. I doubt it was a coincidence we met her but a gift from God. I wanted to cry when I met her because I was so sleep deprived and grateful for directions. She got off the bus with us and walked us to the train station while telling us her conversion story.
She was a Christian before. She told us the missionaries kept coming to visit her and telling her to read the Book of Mormon. She didn’t want to read it so she lied to missionaries but they kept coming back. Very quickly the missionaries could tell she wasn’t actually reading the Book of Mormon. Finally, she decided read the Book of Mormon, felt something good about the Church and got baptized. She also told us that church was at 11:00 am on Sunday at the Finglas Ward and that it was very close by.
We were very blessed to meet that nice elderly lady and very excited to go to church the next day. She led us to our next destination and gave us a bunch of directions. I felt like it was Heavenly Father helping us and telling us that Ireland is going to be great experience for us!