Posted by: Elder and Sister Hambelton | April 10, 2013

These are my Countrymen

All the missionaries including us “Seniors” from all over Scotland came to Edinburgh for an All-Scotland zone conference. Elder Kerr, our Area Authority Seventy presided and led several sessions. He was amazing and inspired everyone. We have met him at stake conferences we have attended and even a few socials we have been to. He is an out going and positive leader who once was the Edinburgh Stake President.

On this occasion President Brown, our mission president and the first native Scot to serve as president of this mission taught powerfully. During his training he spoke with some emotion about the missionaries carrying a message that was “so needed by my countrymen. You are blessing my country and I love you for it.” It was a tender moment to hear him speak emotionally about his countrymen. Only minutes later, as Elder Kerr spoke, he referenced President Brown’s remarks and also spoke with emotion about the message of salvation and blessing the missionaries were carrying to their countrymen and how badly they were in need of it. He spoke movingly of the need for the gospel to light the way for his country. Our eyes brimmed with tears and we felt lumps in our throat as he spoke.

Afterwards, we reflected on our emotional reaction to their words and thought how tender it was for these two native Scots to literally plead with the missionaries to work hard to bless the lives of the people of their country and to strengthen the church here which they have helped lead and maintain for so long. But as we reflected a bit longer, we realized that we were reacting as we did not simply as observers of this tender moment; we were reacting from a deeper emotion. We were moved, because we too have come to love this country and especially it’s church members. We have learned how much they struggle to maintain the church and grow spiritually. We have come to appreciate how hard it is to be faithful church members with so few to carry the load, with a government whose policies sometimes undermine self-reliance and moral behavior; in a country hardened by centuries of sectarian strife and burdened by their grand history, entrenched tradition and modern secularism. We realized that we too want to see the church strengthened, supported and expanded. We too, want progress and enlightenment and the blessings of the gospel for this people. These are Sister Hambelton’s countrymen by blood and while they may not be my people by birth or blood, they are now our people through adoption and love. This was yet another tender moment to us of the truth of the gospel and the universality of the church.



  1. As we serve others from all nations and countries..they do become a part of us. What a wonderful opportunity for you to feel that kinship with the Scotts.

  2. What a great post! I can see what you mean a little bit having witnessed your ward and a little about the country and culture. I think it was especially neat for Stephen to realize how connected he is to Scotland and I couldn’t praise your ward enough for all their efforts. They are stalwart! We all need to feel so motivated . . .

  3. Ben & Patty,

    I can’t seem to find the other email address we’ve used at this early hour so I hope you get this. Kris Bates called yesterday to learn of your arrival date for our Anniversary Group and we told her we thought you would be released around the first of May. Do you have a date when you will be back in Boise?

    We’ve enjoyed and appreciated your Blog… but look forward to F2F sharing. Best wishes for an exciting “finish”.

    Bill & Alice


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