Scotland/Ireland Mission

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We are still collecting information on the Scotland/Ireland Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at

Snapshot of Scotland – English is the official language of Scotland, though Scots and Scottish Gaelic are also spoken in the region. About two-thirds of Scotland’s population is Christian, with the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church being the largest denominations. About one-third of the population does not practice any religion. Music plays a large role in Scottish culture, with instruments such as the bagpipes and fiddle being used in folk music and continuing to influence modern styles. Soccer, rugby, and cricket are Scotland’s most popular sports. Popular dishes in Scotland include fish and chips, haggis (a pudding made with sheep organs), and a variety of fish dishes. Fast food (particularly deep-fried food) is especially popular is also quite popular in Scotland – even deep-fried pizzas and Mars bars are available.

Snapshot of Ireland – The official languages of Ireland are English and Irish, though English is more widely spoken. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious denomination in Ireland; about 84% of the population belongs to it, about half of whom attend services on a weekly basis. Traditional Irish music influences modern music, such as rock and punk. Traditional instruments include the accordion and the fiddle. Popular holidays draw from both Christian and pagan traditions, such as St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and All Saints’ Day. The unique Irish sports of Gaelic football and hurling are the nation’s most popular sports, though soccer and rugby are also popular. Popular dishes frequently include pork and potatoes, such as Coddle (a dish made with sausage, bacon, and potato). Other dishes include Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew (a lamb stew). Fast food is prevalent in Ireland, with fish and chips, pizza, and curry all being quite popular.

Snapshot of Northern Ireland
– Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. English is the primary language, though Irish and Ulster Scots are also spoken by some. About 40% of Northern Ireland’s population is Roman Catholic, while another 42% belong to various Protestant churches (mostly the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Church of Ireland). Northern Ireland’s culture is influenced by both the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Subsequently Northern Ireland has had conflicts between those wishing to remain part of the United Kingdom and those who wish to join the Republic of Ireland. Typically, Roman Catholics want to rejoin Ireland, while Protestants wish to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Popular sports in Northern Ireland include soccer, rugby, and cricket. Some popular dishes in Northern Ireland are fish and chips, bangers and mash (sausages with creamed potatoes), and ulster fry (a breakfast dish that includes sausages, bacon, and eggs).


The Church

The LDS Church is respected in Ireland and Scotland and the members themselves are very supportive of the missionaries. Although Latter-day Saints are a small part of the population in these countries, there is great opportunity for missionaries, particularly in working with less-active members.


Scotland: Scotland is famous for its natural produce, such as beef, fruit, eggs and dairy. With 16,000 km of coastline, Scotland is particularly famous for its seafood. In 2010, fish accounted for over 59% of total exports in Scotland. Scottish salmon and lobsters are considered some of the best in the world. The national dish of Scotland is haggis, a pudding containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal and spices. Scotland is also famous for oatcakes, which are commonly enjoyed with soups or with cheese. Another Scottish delicacy is the tablet, a crystallized sweet made from sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Fast food (particularly deep-fried food) is especially popular in Scotland – even deep-fried pizzas and Mars Bars are available! Whiskey is also an important part of Scottish culture.

Ireland: Irish cuisine is similar to Scottish cuisine. The people eat a lot of barley, oats, seafood, meat and other natural produce. Some staple foods in Ireland involve potatoes, such as colcannon, which is a mixture of mashed potatoes, cabbage and seasonings or potato scones. Irish broths, soups and stews have also been a central part of the Irish diet. Common ingredients in Irish soups are potatoes, seafood and various meats. Irish stew is recognized as the national dish and is usually made with mutton (lamb) and vegetables. Fast food is also prevalent in Ireland, with fish and chips, pizza and curries all being quite popular.


Missionaries will use a mixture of driving, walking and public transportation to get around during their time in Scotland and Ireland.


Like any country, it’s important to follow guidelines set by your mission president. Avoid deserted areas after dark.

One smaller area of concern is the fact that strong storms can occur at any time. Being prepared for the rain and cold will prevent you from falling ill often during your experience as a missionary.


Scotland: There are many Scottish customs and traditions. Music plays a large role in Scottish culture, with instruments such as the bagpipes and fiddle being used in folk music and continuing to influence modern styles. One tradition in Scotland is Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year. One custom with Hogmanay is first-footing, which begins immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or a neighbor and giving a gift intended to bring luck to the household. The famous Scottish poem “Auld Lang Syne,” written by Robert Burns is traditionally sang to start the New Year as well. In fact, the Scottish also have a holiday to celebrate Robert Burns. They often hold “Burns Suppers” in his honor near his birthday on the 25th of January. At this meal, the Scottish eat haggis, sing works by Burns and make many toasts. As for sports, the main ones in Scotland are soccer, rugby and cricket.

Republic of Ireland: Traditional instruments in Ireland include the accordion and the fiddle. Irish music today influences modern music, such as rock and punk. The unique Irish sports of Gaelic football and hurling are the nation’s most popular sports, though soccer and rugby are also popular. As one might guess, the national holiday in the Republic of Ireland is Saint Patrick’s Day. On March 17th, parades and festivals are held across the entire island. Ireland has 9 official public holidays, or bank holidays, each year. These are New Year’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter Monday, May Day, June Holiday, August Holiday, October Holiday, Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day. Employees in Ireland are entitled to receive time off work every bank holiday.

Northern Ireland: Both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom influence Northern Ireland’s culture.  Subsequently, Northern Ireland has had conflicts between those who prefer to remain part of the United Kingdom and those who wish to join the Republic of Ireland. Popular sports in Northern Ireland include soccer, rugby and cricket. July 12th is a public holiday in Northern Ireland, commemorating William III’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne. This day is marked by numerous colorful parades with orange Banners and sashes organized by the Orange Order, a Protestant organization

Local Lingo

“Call by” = Come over

“Give me a wee phone” = Call me later

“Tea” = Dinner

“Biscuit” = Cookie

“Boot” = Trunk of car

“Motorway” = Highway

“Bairns” “wee anes” = Kids

“I cannae be bothered”

Essential Equipment

It’s important to follow the guidelines for this mission closely.  You’ll want more long-sleeved shirts than short-sleeved and a good overcoat for winter. Some thermals are also a good idea so that you don’t have to wear heavy coats all the time. And of course, a raincoat and umbrella are necessities, but many missionaries recommend purchasing a rain jacket in the mission.

Flag of Scotland/Ireland Mission


President Alan H. Brown

51 Spylaw Road
Scotland EH10 5BP
United Kingdom

Total: About 11.7 million Scotland: 5.3 million Ireland: 6.4 million (4.58 million in the Republic of Ireland and another 1.8 million in Northern Ireland).
Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Presbyterianism, Islam
Temperate and oceanic climates
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Dublin, Cork, Limerick Kilkenny


Straight from the Scotland/Ireland Mission:

*What items were hard to get or not available?

“Ranch Dressing”

“Good Peanut Butter”

“Cold drinks, washing machines, dry weather.”

*What did you eat the most of?


“Meat and Potatoes”

“Beans on toast, Barly cup.”

*What is the craziest thing you ate?


“Haggis – Yum!!!”

“Blood pudding, Haggis.”

*What was most surprising about the culture?

“Although the Church is the same worldwide, the implementation is very different in a foreign country.”


“driving on the wrong side of the road.”


“I was surprised how financial and legal easy it was for people to get divorced but it was difficult the same way for people to get married. So many people lived with each other to save money to get married. So it interesting to teach law of Chasity and it is an investment to pay the money to get married, rather than live in sin.”


*What advice would you give to someone going to the Scotland/Ireland Mission?

“Work as hard as you are physically able…..get your money’s worth, you are paying for it!”


“Get the warm coat and clothes there. Unless you are from a climate similar to Scotland. I come from a warm climate so What I thought was warm was not warm enough. So I had to get more clothes and or different clothes. Also Invest in Nice comfy shoes that will last a little longer cause they are quality. Which means expensive. I wore through my cheap shoes super fast. With the exchange rate from Pounds to Dollar my new pair was more expensive if I would have bought the pair of Born brand I was thinking of getting in the first place. I like Born and clarks, really great Tracking shoes.”


“Unless you’re bleeding uncontrollably, can’t keep food down for 24 hours or more, or running a high fever for days, forget yourself and get to work.”


*What do you wish you had known before you served?

“Practice getting up at 630 and do some scripture study before mission, like right when you get your call. I struggled so hard to have a great hour of study but since I wasn’t used to waking up that early and I am not a morning person I struggled my whole Mission. Also practice talking to people on the street on buses or in buildings. Total strangers. I struggled with this my whole mission, it is hard if you are shy. So if you practice before hand it may be a little easier on your mission. “weak things become strong””


“I wish I’d attended seminary. It’s much easier to teach effectively when you know more than just the basic Sunday School stuff.”


*Other comments?

“Pray and ask for an impression of what you can do to prepare. The lord will help you to be the most prepared missionary you can be.”


“I had to change my life a lot, so I did not serve my first mission ’til I was well over 19 — but even with all I had to go through to earn the right to serve, it was a small price to pay. Whatever it takes, no matter how much you have to repent, pay the price. GO ON A MISSION!”


Sean O’Rourke:

What is a typical meal like?

“Very much like what you would have on any plate in the U.S. At most meals you eat in Ireland, there will be potatoes.”

What is the craziest thing you ate?

“Haggis and Puddings, both of which, contrary to popular belief, are delicious.”

What items were hard to find or not available at all?

“Peanut butter – the good American stuff.”

Any advice you’d give to future missionaries headed to the Scotland/Ireland Mission?

“Love and serve the people there and you will find great success. Help to soften their minds and hearts by serving frequently, in private and publicly.”

**Did you serve in the Scotland/Ireland Mission? If so we could love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at**