Saturday, February 13, 2010

          Look Who Just Arrived!
Here is our new group of missionaries who arrived on January 27, 2010.  They are standing atop Pratt's Hill in Edinburgh.  Each new missionary is accompanied by their trainer.  For privacy reasons, I can't list the names, but look to see if there is anybody there that you know.

    The Tradition of Pratt's Hill:
The real name is Arthur's Seat and legends date back to the famous King Arthur.  However, this being the highest peak in Edinburgh is the place that Orson Pratt hiked to when he arrived in Scotland to start his mission in the spring of the early 1840's.  He hiked the hill and presented his desires to the Lord.  He desired that the Lord would help him find 200 converts before he left the following spring.  He then hiked back down the hill and went to work preaching.  His record says that they "preached every day and seven times a Sunday" and by August they had about 23 converts.  Orson then began hiking the hill on a regular basis to commune with the Lord as to how to help the work in Scotland grow.  By the time he left the following spring he had 223 converts.
We hike our missionaries up this hill on the day they arrive in Scotland where we provide them with an opportunity to take a few minutes and go off alone and explain the desires of their hearts to their Heavenly Father.  After a song and prayer, we hike them down to a big hot lunch and an afternoon of training.
The practice of hiking the hill is repeated on a missionary's last day in Scotland.  This time he/she hikes the hill and "returns and reports" to the Lord the progress that he/she has made towards their personal goals.  It is a wonderful tradition and something that the missionaries really look forward to.