Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen. Alma 26:37
Tomorrow begins a new year--2011. One daughter will have a birthday next year that will be on 11-11-2011. Will it be significant or just another number and another year passing along as swiftly as the pages of the calendar did this year? Whatever we do with 2011, may I suggest we reflect on 2010 and the things that were most important that we will want to focus on for the coming year? Hold on to that which was good and build upon it. I would venture to guess the "things" that were most important were not things but people, specifically family and friends and events involving and surrounding them. First and foremost, throughout the history of the world, most dear to human hearts have been personal relations. May the peace and joy we desire be found in the presence of our loved ones this coming year.
Speaking of personal relations, Elder Blain and I had to look for another missionary flat in Rhyl this week, so we took one day for us, as we had been advised to do, and went to see some of the sites in this beautiful area of Northern Wales. Wales is sometimes called the castle capitol of the world with its some 400 castles, with about 100 still standing. We saw three castles in the area, but we shall focus on just one for the blog today--Conwy Castle. It was exciting to see a 12th century castle! Exploring and marveling about history and this ancient land was an experience never to be forgotten.
As I reflect on man's ingenuity in building such an impressive structure, I realize we are only in our infancy compared to God. He must have watched the people who built these castles and chuckled a bit to Himself as a parent does while watching a toddler building with his blocks. I'm sure He was proud of man's progress each step of the way from hut building to castle building to where we are now with architecture and technology. It never ceases to amaze me what man is capable of doing after seeing the creations of man throughout the centuries on into our modern days.
I testify that God is ever mindful of our comings and goings and doings on this earth. He has watched His children grow and progress since he placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. His hand is in all things and He guides us ever onward and upward in knowledge and light as times unfold and the world progresses. There is wisdom given to mankind from God in human progression as it fulfills eternal objectives.
NORTHERN WALES Again!!
|I have tried to capture the sign going into Wales every time we have been there.--finally proof! (even if it is through a wet windshield that Elder Blain tried to clean with the window wash just before I took the picture)|
|Driving into the village of Conwy, the castle dominates the landscape|
|This bay is part of the "mote" protecting the castle. It is low tide here as we arrived. Part of the castle wall that surrounds the city can be seen going into the bay just beyond the pier.|
|We parked our car on this side and walked to the other end to get into the castle.|
|I took this picture as we walked in. The entry to pay is on the right. They punched holes in the walls so people could get in and explore the castle easily.|
|A painting in the visitor's center showing what it must have been like with the sea against the castle walls.|
|How the castle originally looked|
|Romantic, isn't it? Probably very hard living is more likely the reality, except for Royalty.|
|Elder Blain and the Raven nevermore|
|A Welsh Seagull guarding the castle. Actually, the pigeons have claimed it for their property.|
|A view of the harbor looking out from the castle at the modern yachts|
|Being blessed by a priest?|
|Part of the castle wall surrounding the city|
|More of the wall|
|Looking up a tower|
|We got a workout climbing to the top of all the towers|
|More of the wall around the city|
|Can you see the steps going down? I wonder how many fell? There must have been ropes or hand rails.|
|I don't know if this was a murder hole or a chimney|
|One side of the "mote" where the sea came in|
|Modern necessities mixed with old. motorway, toll bridge, and train tunnel.|
|Here you can see the two levels of tower. Winding, steep stairs, with a rope to hold on to takes people to the top.|
|A chapel area|
|It was very easy to get lost in the maze of rooms, stairs up and stairs down . . .|
|This was part of the king's room|
|Elder Blain on the left|
|Looking down a tower to the bottom from a lower floor|
|The frames around the windows must have at one time been very beautiful wood|
There are about 200 photos and I tried to post the ones that display the different aspects of this amazing building. The weather was very damp, but it did not rain all day. It wasn't too cold, so we enjoyed everything about this day, including trying to convert a knight we met across the street.
|Elder Blain is on the cutting edge. Don't mess with the sword!|
|Sister Blain tries different tactics, which, um, are NOT in the missionary handbook!|
|We went around the block so we could drive out of the city and see the magnificent castle one last time.|