Thursday, December 30, 2010

After Christmas Email

Dear Family,
How are you since we last spoke? The reason that we are emailing today is because the library has been closed Monday and Tuesday because of Christmas and Boxing Day (Since they were on the weekend they give people the next weekday off). This will be the case next week as well I believe because of New Year's. Apparently New Year's and New Year's Eve which they call Hogmanay is bigger than Christmas which basically means that it's another excuse to drink. I plan on joining in on the fun this year and toasting my drink with them (of fizzy juice of course). I will give more information on how they celebrate it next week. So I guess there isn't much to write in this email other than what has happened since Christmas. Sunday, Boxing Day, we went over to the Wares and baked cookies for the Butlers (the elderly couple we visit and give the sacrament to). They didn't have any chocolate chips so we took some small candy bars and cut them up into small pieces and put them into the chocolate chip recipe that I somewhat remembered from home. They turned out alright, but the true test is when the Butler actually consume them. Then we went and shoveled two member's footpaths for them before going over to the Stobbarts for dinner.
On Monday we had a meeting in Aberdeen followed by an activity. For the activity we went to a place called the Sizzling Wok where you pick up your meats and vegetables and they fry them for you and then you can up on your rice or noodles. It was quite good and I was full for the rest of the day (Aren't we creative in our activities?). Then we went and found Brother King's tilt shop, but it was closed so no kilt yet. When we returned we went by this man named Craig who we found 2 weeks ago and said that he wasn't too interested, but his partner was. We asked if we could come in and talk with and him and amazingly, you could see his desire to learn flowing out of his eyes. He has been prepared. His partner wasn't there so we set up to see them on Thursday. We are really excited to teach them and help them progress on their way to the Savior.
Yesterday Elder Erickson woke up quite ill with a cold and a massive headache so we stayed in. It was quite a boring day and I am excited to get out and do missionary work today.
The snow is melting and the forecast from what we hear just has rain so we will hopefully have church this Sunday. This is bittersweet since I really want to go to church to partake of the sacrament and rejoice with the saints here, but his foils my plans to go less-active while on my mission (don't worry, I'm not really planning on going less-active, but if church was canceled once more we could say that we were). We hope that with this better weather that the missionary work will go forward and that more people will be willing to speak with us and come to church. I love you and hope the best for you. Tell people that I say hi and that I am doing well. Thankfully I haven't picked up Elder Erickson's cold yet. All the Best.

Elder Buxton

Monday, December 20, 2010

Almost Christmas

Dear Family,

How are you? I hope that you are enjoying the Christmas season. I am even though everyone claims to be really "busy" as they say and to come back after the new year. We press onward though. So neither Elder Erickson or I were transferred. We are both going to be in Elgin until February at least. We are going to President Johnson's for Christmas. I called him today and he says that we can make it there and that the boys will clear a parking space for us. He has skype, but i don't know his email address, but maybe you could find him on facebook or his wife or sin son, ythan. (Oh, and this sister in the branch is going to email you wanting the pork chop recipe. Her name is Sister Sylvia Stobbart and you could ask her as well). I bet that we could do on Christmas if you don't befriend him before that. It shouldn't take long from what Michelle says. I think that it would be best if we did it at about 9 am your time. This means that it's 5pm my time which would give us enough time to chat and get home safely. This means that Michelle, you need to get up earlier than usual, but just remember that your talking to your brother and it will be your last chance this year, so deal with it. We are planning on going to Edinburgh today for zone conference tomorrow and i will get your package there. Hopefully it has arrived. With the Christmas season and the inclement weather, post has been quite slow, but hopefully my package will get there on time. I sent it on the 5th and they said that it would be get there in time ( I confirmed that with them), then I saw the post man take it out to his van so it has been sent, it's just a matter of getting there. I tried to get each of you something Scottish looking and that's the only clue you're going to get.

It snowed again this past week and the weather from what we hear includes much more snow. Our driving is alright and the car works fine in it. It's not the best of course since it's a 2 wheel drive, 1.4 liter Vauxhaul Meriva (you should look it up on the Internet). We get stuck sometimes, but my driving in the snow has improved as I have learned from Elder Erickson. The road clearing here is rubbish though. The plows don't really scrape the roads. They have this rubber thing on the bottom that doesn't do anything. They grit the roads nicely and hope that will melt the snow. They only plow the main roads so all of the side roads are still covered in snow. So we try to the best of our ability to park in places we can get out of easily.

So in things that happened this week. We still struggle to see Martha Thomas and David Nain. We saw Sister Thomas once and the other times we set up to see here, she didn't come so we had lessons with her son, Chris. Brother Nain's daughter is feeling better and he says that we will be able to see him this week since he took the entire week off. Angus Waterson dropped us this week which was a big blow. We had arranged some nice lessons with him, but he says that he wants to stay with his own church. We plan on going by him on Wednesday to see if he has given any thought about learning again. We didn't have church again this week because of all the snow. The churches in Aberdeen didn't either, but Inverness did. Hopefully we can have it next week so we can have some sort of Christmas program. They were talking about doing a Sacrament meeting and then a munch and mingle afterwards while they put on the 1st presidency christmas devotional. So we shall see. I am looking forward to hearing from you and hope that everying works out for it. I wish you all the best and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (the library is closed next monday, so I don't know if I'll be able to email you).


Elder Buxton

Monday, December 13, 2010

Loch Ness

Dear Family,
You might be wondering why I am emailing latter than usual. That's because today, Elder Erickson and I traveled to Loch Ness today. We took a train this morning to Inverness and then a bus to a town called Drumnadrochit where we got off and looked around. We spent some time in a gift shop and I found some stuff of the McMillan clan and then we walked around. Sorry I don't have any pictures to send home today; I left my camera in the car. So, tune in next week when you can see pictures of it. So we got back about an hour ago and went shopping and now I am emailing you. So that was a lot of fun, it was too bad though that we couldn't spend more time there to look around especially at Urquart Castle. Well this just means that one day I should go back and see more. It was a lot of fun to see something that's one everyone's minds as they bring up Scotland after kilts and bagpipes. No, I didn't see the Loch Ness monster. It alluded me this time.
In other things that happened. We had church on Sunday! It was sacrament meeting only. So Thursday somebody (nobody know who, not even President Johnson) plowed the car park and then Thursday night all of the snow melted and it continued to melt over Friday and Saturday. So this means that there currently isn't any snow in Elgin at the moment which is fabulous. Although I hear that more is coming =(. Anyways, we had church, but we went into the church on Friday to salt the car park and went inside to find that the heating wasn't working. So we went and told Brother Cumming (he's in the branch presidency) about it and he sent and email to some person over facilities and thankfully someone came out on Saturday to look at it and fixed the heating so now it's working fine. Because there was such a late notice about church, there wasn't really a program. So we sang many Christmas hymns and some people were invited to bear their testimonies. It was really good and I am sure the Spirit was there. It was so good to take the Sacrament once again.
So about Christmas. We are going to President Johnson's house, weather permitting. So about calling home, we have a few options. You can call me on my cell phone, which is (I don't know the country code) 07800614765. I can call you on President Johnson's phone if that's what he wants us to do, or if he has skype, I can skype you. However, we get our moves call on Tuesday to know if we are transferred or not, so that could change all plans altogether. We get moved on Friday if we are. So I'll really let you know what the plan will be. I really don't know how skype works, but if you need the Johnson's name, it is Gary and Julie Johnson. As far as Christmas goes in Scotland. It's not as decorated as it is in the states. They seem to hold back a bit. From what I hear people celebrate New Year's and New Year's Eve more. So that's what's up with that. I had some black pudding today. It wasn't that good. Bearable, but now really to my liking. Haggis is good though. We were going to have a Christmas party last Saturday, but due to the weather that proceeded it in the week, it got canceled. I don't know if they are going to hold another one.
We continue to teach the same people. We taught Sister Thomas and she seems to be doing well. Brother Waterson is still struggling. Like in week's past he still struggles witht the Word of Wisdom, but for some reason has been reading more and more out of the Book of Mormon. We hope that by including more of the branch that he will feel at home when he comes to church. We still haven't been able to meet with David Nain. He daughter has still been ill, but we set up an appointment with him for Thursday. We haven't really been teaching anyone new, but we hope to go out this week and find the Lord's elect.
I am glad that you noticed that my plaque isn't there. My favorite scripture is John 16:33. Pick a good picture because a lot of people will be looking at it.
I hope that everyone that is taking finals this week does well and have a safe journey home. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Elder Buxton

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Dear Family,
How are you doing? We are doing much better today because we have some really exciting news. So on Friday night we were having a lesson with Brother Thomas and we were thinking of ideas of how we can get his mom investigating once again. So we got this great idea. Since she really likes chocolate, we decided that we would be butter her up by getting some and giving it to her for a gift and hopefully getting into her home. So on Saturday we went to ASDA (Walmart) and got two large bars of milk chocolate and a box of chocolates to give to her. Later that day we went by at the arranged time and Brother Thomas came to the door and told her that we were there. She wouldn't come to the door because she had a headache. So we gave one chocolate bar to Brother Thomas and decided to come back to tomorrow. So we went back yesterday and went to the door. Brother Thomas again came to the door and told her that we were in. She said that she was busy. So Elder Erickson yelled, " We have gifts!" and then I yelled, "Chocolate!" She then replied, "Oh, come in. Come in." So we went in and she was very pleased to see us. The reason that she hadn't been meeting with us for this long time was because she picked up coffee again and was very ashamed of that. She was pleased to hear that we were willing to forgive her, but most importantly that God was willing to forgive her. We read with her from Alma 36 about Alma the Younger's conversion experience and related it to her. We said that if God forgave him for something as serious as going around destroying the church that he would be willing to forgive you for something minor like coffee. She was pleased to hear that and committed herself again to not drink any coffee. So we were so very happy to once again meet with her. Hopefully she will be baptized later this month. We are looking to the 19th if she feels that she can be ready then. If not hopefully on Boxing Day. What a great gift to her would be to be baptized and have her sins washed away!
In other things that happened. Brother Nain's daughter is feeling better and will once again allow us to come and teach him. Brother Waterson is doing fine. He still struggles with the Word of Wisdom and being baptized. He said that when he prayed that something told him yes and another thing told him no. So we hope that by reading Moroni 7 about how everything that invites to do good is from God. He has been taught almost everything and can be ready baptized on the 19th.
So to answer some question about Christmas. People do put up lights, but there are not very many. I feel that the snow and icicles have discouraged some people. I think another reason is that most people's homes are two story monopoly homes so that roof is quite high and you would need a tall ladder to get up there. That's just an observation. The validity of this statement is unknown. We do have our own Christmas tree. We bought one. It's 3 1/2 feet tall and pre-lit. It's fine for our purposes. There aren't any presents under it yet. We hope that will change soon. People celebrate Christmas quite similiarly to America. Except the meals I think will be different. They have this thing called Christmas Pudding (not like the pudding we have. It's more like a cake and often its soaked in Brandy and Sherry, but there are some without it) which i haven't had yet. It seems interesting. Oh that reminds me that I would like to give you a lesson now on some words that mean different things here. First if some invites to over for tea, it doesn't neccessarily mean that it's a tea party. More often than not, they mean dinner. Pudding refers to dessert. Trousers are pants (you probably know this). That's all that I can think of just now. So back to Christmas. I love Christmas. Another thing that they do hear is celebrate Boxing Day (December 26). It seems like it's just another day off, but it seems like it refers to the day after Christmas where everyone takes back the unwanted presents or the ones that were the wrong size. I don't really know. I let you know as time goes by. Speaking about calling home. We haven't really received any information about that. We know that we can. To the extent of how long or when, I don't know. I will probably call you in the morning (your morning). I don't know about Skype. I don't access to a camera. Aren't you content with just hearing my voice? Goodness. About transfers. There have been some rumors about that. Normally we would be moved on December 22 according to the six week cycle, but that's a little unfair. So I hear that this move will be one more week and we will be transfered the week after. So that's another mystery. We have been invited over to President Johnon's home for Christmas which is great. I hope to send off the gifts that I have gotten for you all. Hopefully it will arrive on time. We are teaching one knew person. His name is Michael Gormley. He is 35 and works at the Royal Air Force Base at Kinloss. he was interested in how there is a prophet on the earth. He is very open minded and willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. So that's what's been  happening. There still is snow on the ground, although it has melted slightly. The car park at the Church is still covered so we didn't have church yesterday either. He hasn't been much of a hinder except when we get stuck, then it's a pain to push us out. I hope that everything is going well for everyone. Enjoy the snow and do well.

Elder Buxton

P.S. I got a revelation this morning as I was reading a talk by President Benson entitled, "Flooding the Earth with The Book of Mormon." He says that we need as members need to distribute it more so Malachi 3:8-10 came to mind with a slight twist which I would like to share with you:
8 Will a man rob his neighbor? Yet ye have robbed them. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In withholding the Book of Mormon.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed them, even this whole earth.
10 Bring ye all the copies into the world, that there may be my Spirit in their homes; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

It shows to me the importance of the Book of Mormon. I would encourage you all to read it. Here is the link:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snowy Scotland

Dear Family,
Guess what? As you could see from the pictures that I sent home, it snowed here in Scotland starting last Wednesday and it hasn't stopped since really. As of now we have about a foot of snow everywhere and the worst part is that we drive a car not really fit for the snow. In fact almost everyone's car isn't fit for the snow. Most people drive cars and there are very few trucks and SUVs. Plus, people aren't really used to snow in Elgin. Last year was the first time they really had several weeks of snow. Usually it doesn't. So it was a surprise to everyone that it snowed. So it has been interesting the past couple of days. We have been very limited as to where we can go and we are hoping though that we can use this weather to our advantage for example so people can have sympathy on us and let us in. It hasn't really worked so far, but we will really try it out this week. So to be blunt, this week has been quite hard as we continue to try and help those investigators that we have. We still haven't been able to meet with Sister Thomas, although we are hoping that we can have family home evening at a members house with them this evening. We haven't met with Brother Nain either. His daughter is till ill and he is busy comforting her along with his busy work schedule. We really hope that she gets better soon. They are going back to the hospital tomorrow and hopefully they will soon find out why she is so ill. Brother Waterson seems to be doing better. We still have difficulty having him quit drinking tea and smoking cigars, but I hope that he stops soon. On the other hand he seems to be reading much more and yesterday we gave him a baptismal calender and went through some qualifications to be baptized that are found on page 204 of PMG that you could look up, but I think we took a step in the right direction as he is now praying to know that he should be baptized on December 11. I just really hope that he is willing to act on the answer that he receives. The good thing about him though is that as soon as he promises that he will be baptized, he will go through with it. I just hope that he gets that spiritual witness and determination to be baptized.
We had a great meeting in Edinburgh on Thursday. We left on Wednesday to go to Aberdeen and it took us 2 1/2 hours to get there. Mind you it's only 60 miles away, but will all the snow that came down. We had to travel there very slowly. Then we got up at 4 on Thursday and left about 5:30 to go to Edinburgh. The roads were still bad until we got to about Dundee, then we got there on time, thankfully(the meeting started at 9). Then we had to travel back to Elgin afterwards. We left about 5 and got back at about a quarter to 10. It was a long day. Nonetheless, i enjoyed the meeting and we really start applying it this week and we are really going to be trying a lot harder. The things we talked about were the Book of Mormon, Prayer, and some other things. Nonetheless, these two elements are our very best tools in conversion along with the Spirit of course.
In other things that happened, on Tuesday we met with a man named Henry. He's in his 20s and to give some background, he studied theology and teaches religious education in the schools. So he was quite knowledgeable in all things religion wise, but it was still an amazing lesson where we taught the Plan of Salvation to him. It was amazing how many idea came into my head in how to explain different parts of it and we both felt like he understood it and is now aware of our views. I just hope that he earnestly about the Book of Mormon to know that is true. Yesterday we planned on going out to President Johson's for lunch. Oh yeah, because of all the snow, church was canceled (1st time ever in my life that has happened). Know President Johnson lives in the mountains near Glenlivet. So this would be like driving up to Mount Charleston in a mild snow storm when the roads weren't really plowed in a put-put car. We eventually decided not to go for fear that we would likely, very likely, get stuck somewhere. We were glad that we didn't go because it continue to snow yesterday.
So we continue to treck on and hope that through our efforts that we bring people closer to Christ. I hope that everyone is staying warm and now enjoying the Christmas Season. Oh and I did receive a Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday at Zone Conference. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, yorkshire puddings, veg, and apple pie. It was good and later we had McDonalds. Pretty good hugh? Hopefully i can find something good to send home to you. I hope everyting goes well for everyone and that Michelle and Matt have a wonderful time preparting for finals that are coming up quickly.

Elder Buxton

Lady Hill Monument in Elgin at night

Lady Hill Monument

Bridge on the way to Edinburgh

Elgin at night

Snow in Elgin

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting Colder

Dear Family,

How are you doing? I am doing well. We had a zone conference in Dundee on Tuesday that we had to drive to. So we were supposed to be there at 8:30 in the morning. We were to drive from Elgin there in the morning. So we woke up at 4 to leave by 5 which we did. We printed off some directions from Google to take us the direct route to Dundee through the mountain basically instead of traveling from Aberdeen and then to Dundee. So we went off driving, got lost a couple of times which delayed. Combine that with some spin outs, all equates to being late. In fact we arrived at the chapel at 9:40. The conference started at 9, but we didn't miss much, just some videos they watched. Thankfully we were in time to receive some instruction before we went home at 4 in the afternoon. This time we went home via Aberdeen. To say the least, we arrived home safely and much faster than that morning. It was an adventure to say the least. I believe we were protected though as we were traveling, especially when we spun out a couple of times (ie. fast speed + ice on side of road + mountains + twisty roads = spin out). Also did I mention that I was driving? Well I was, so no need to fear, we're alright and so is the car. It was a good thing that no one was around. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be writing right now. On Thursday we have another zone conference this time in Edinburgh. We are driving Wednesday night to Aberdeen and then staying the night before driving there Thursday morning. This time we'll take the dual-carriage ways (4 lane highway, meaning fast) from Aberdeeen to Edinburgh so it shouldn't take us very long, unless we get lost in Edinburgh which would be a problem.

I'm sending home a picture from this months Ensign. Elder Erickson is in it on page 49 which this is picture is that I'm sending home. Isn't that neat that my companion is in the Ensign? It was taken of course when he was still in Ireland. It's from the recent stake conference in Dublin and there happened to be this guy who takes pictures for the Ensign and he had them line up and walk as if they were going to stake conference. I know it looks like all the Elders are chasing a sister missionary, but her companion got cut out. This pretty much make him famous. In fact he has even signed a few for the members. That's a fact. Maybe he'll sign your one day.

So in other news, we had a tough week. It seems that whenever we try to see our investigators, something comes up or they aren't in, or something else. So we were left to do some finding. The problem is that a lot of Elgin has been tracting already by Elder Stewart the 4 months that he was here. So I'm trying to figure out where the best places are to find. I think that we'll have to go to some of the the small towns and villages around Elgin and try them. Hopefully we'll find some people to teach out there. So to fill you in on some of our investigators. Brother Nain I think really likes us. He talks quite a bit to us on the phone when we call him, more than he did when we first met him. Brother Waterson is still struggling with the Word of Wisdom. We continue to try and convince him to throw it all away, but he never seems to do it. He continues to read from the Book of Mormon and he came to church on Sunday, which was marvelous. I felt that the speakers were really talking at him. I hope that he took their messages to heart and will make the necessary changes. We still haven't met with Sister Thomas. We have called a few times, but always seems to be busy. Her son still wants her to be baptized. Hopefully he can continue to help her along. We have started teaching some other now as well. They are Stuart, Scott, and Paulo. Hopefully they will read from the Book of Mormon and pray and find out that it is true.

This week we're really going to try and make contact with some less-actives to try and re-activate them and see if they know anyone that we can teach. We have identified some that we plan on going by and hopefully they will be kind enough to let us come in. So hopefully we can continue to further His work along.

So, what do you want for Christmas? The only things that I can think of for me would be the things that I have said already plus warm socks and maybe even candy corn and a butterfinger. That would be great. Thank you for being so supportive and I hope that you all have a nice thanksgiving. i hope we get fed something nice at zone conference. Maybe that's why there is one so that we can have a thanksgiving dinner. Well, maybe. I can hope. I love you all. It's getting colder and colder. This morning it was 2 degress C, but we haven't had any snow yet in Elgin. There supposed to be snow this week in the mountains and places where President Johnson lives and in Keith. Hopefully the roads will be cleared. And yes I have been to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. That's where Sam was endowed.

Elder Buxton

Elder Erikson, Jeff's companion. This picture is also on page 49 on the November 2010 Ensign

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Companion

Dear Family,
How are you doing? I am doing well. My companion is Elder Erickson from Declo, Idaho. He is great. I am the senior companion which I am somewhat getting used to. It's sometimes a challenge to make decisions as to what to do, but I am working on gettng better. We still switch off everyday so that Elder Erickson can learn the area better. In fact, I don't know it completely well. I still turn to the map often to know how to get to places, but the more that I am here, the more familiar it will become. We will have a challenge tomorrow since we have a zone conference in Dundee and neither of us have ever been there with the exception of taking a train through there on the way to Aberdeen. No worries though since we will print off the directions and hopefully get there. It will be fun though. I hope that you enjoy the pictures I am sending home. We went to the driving range a couple of weeks ago to hit some balls. It was fun. There is also a picture of my district last moves. The tall one is Elder Bland, my former district leader. The one of me and another elder is of me and Elder Manning who is normally in Inverness. We were on exchanges on Tuesday and took a picture in our flat in Elgin. The others are of when we went to Duffus Castle again and a rainbow that was very vibrant, but the picture doesn't do it justice. There is one of Elder Manning and Elder Sindylek, my new district leader from the Czech Repbulic. His English is quite good as well. I believe that we will be in good hands with him. Oh and there were some higland cows next to the driving range. That's what those furry creatures are. Soon I plan on getting a picture with one to send home so that you can place that on the Christmas card. In way of Thanksgiving, that's a good question. We will see if anyone wants to feed us next Thursday. Otherwise, it'll probably be just a normal meal and we probably won't celebrate black friday, we have missionary work to do. It's colder here as well. Normall it's about 5 degrees C. We were at the Branch President house yesterday. He lives near Glen Levit and the temperature got down to freezing there. This morning there was frost on our car as well. Apparently, this winter will be bad. Last year it got down to -20 degrees C. So hopefully our car and my clothes will keep me warm.
So in way of investigators. They are doing well it seems. David Nain is progressing nicely and came to church on Sunday. We haven't been able to make contact with Sister Thomas though. She has had a bad ear ache, so we weren't able to teach her. Brother Waterson were working on helping him live the Word of Wisdom. He smokes a cigar every night and drinks tea. We have tried to convince him to throw it all away, but he seems to want to use up what he has and then live it. Hopefully he just puts in all in the rubbish bin.
On Sunday I had a marvelous experience. I was sitting in the back next to Brother Nain and I guess I was really discouraged since we hadn't had such a good week, then something hit me and I remembered the hymn, "Count your many blessings." Then I cheered up and realized. I'm in the true Church. We have an investitgator at church and I am in the midst of the Saints. What could I ask for more? Counting your blessings really cheers you up. Just like in President Monson's talk on gratititude how in the midst of the light from the latern, they could truly see how much they are blessed.
Oh and that reminds me. Elder Erickson is the Ensign for this month! If you look there's a picture of some missionaries in Dublin and he's the one that's quite tall and next to the one making a funny pose (that's Elder Beal who I met a BYU before I came). Well that's all for now folks. Tune in next week. I love you all and hope that you are all doing well.

Elder Buxton

A Highland Cow

What a lovely pose!

New Companion!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Transfers Again

Dear family,
Well, it's been six weeks once again which means transfers. I am actually staying in Elgin for another move, however, Elder Stewart was sent to Ireland for a six week special assignment to boost one to the areas there. So my new companion is . . . Elder Erickson! He and I were in the same district in the MTC so I know him quite well. He's not here in Elgin yet, but will be tomorrow. So transfers were quite funny this time. So yesterday, Elder Stewart and Elder Bland (normally in Inverness, but transferred to Dundee) left Elgin at 2 pm so they could make it to the Mission Home that night so that Elder Stewart could then travel to Ireland today. So Elder Manning and I spent the rest of Tuesday together. Then this morning he and I went to Aberdeen to pick up Elder Crockett (my zone leader in Paisley) and Elder Shindalack (I don't think this is how he spells his name), anyways. Elder Shindalack is my new district leader. He's from the Czech Republic. He's English is quite well as well. So he will be serving with Elder Manning in Inverness. Elder Crockett is going to Invergordon for a six week special assingnment to boost the branch there. He'll be serving with Elder Whitmer, also from the MTC district. So we all traveled back to Elgin and will be spending the night here. Then Elder Erickson and Elder Whitmer are traveling from Ireland over here and will be in Aberdeen this evening and will then drive to Elgin tomorrow morning. So that's that.
So less about that and more to meat of things. Oh and by the way, Elder Erickson is from Declo, Idaho. So on to what happened this last week and beyond. We had some good success. Sister Thomas, Brother Waterson, and Brother Nain are all progressing. Brother Nain and Brother Waterson both came to church and loved it. Sister Thomas had a small fight with Brother Thomas, her son, so she didn't come, but things are better now. She was going to be baptized next week, but now she has an ear infection and won't be able to be taught for a couple and days which means that her date is moved back now to the 27th. Hopefully she will get better and be able to learn more and be baptized then. Brother Waterson finally accepted a baptismal date for the 27th. He said they he wouldn't promise, but that he'll try. He says that a lot. Also Brother Nain has invite us over for dinner this evening so that we can meet this children finally. Hopefully they will be interested as well. That's really what's been happening for the most part or really just the big news. We're working hard to increase our teaching pool. Hopefully we can get the ward excited as well.
Now to respond to Michelle's questions. The leaves are turning colors and falling to the ground rapidly. There are evergreens that stay green all year round, thus the name. Yes, that would be a great graduation present as long as you take me with you so that I could show you around. I wish you well with everything and hope that everything goes well for your teaching tests and observation. Mom, that's really exciting that you're a ordinance worker now. I wish that one day I can work in the temple. The Spirit in the temple is amazing and I have really enjoyed reading the temple edition of the Ensign, but I really can't wait for the November Ensign so that I can really study up on Conference. Hopefully they come soon. It takes a little while for them to come to the UK, then we have to wait for the next missionary meeting for us to get them. Oh that reminds me, if you send a package for Christmas, send it to the mission home. I'll get it right before Christmas since we will have a zone conference before then. So don't worry. I wish you well in all that you do and I love you all.

Elder Buxton

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Dear Family,
How are you doing? Since I don't have much time to write you an email I will write more in a letter that i will send home. So in response to the celebration of Halloween in Scotland. Yes they do celebrate it I believe similar fashion to Americans. However I don't think that many people trick or treated since it was on a Sunday. However in talking to some British elders, namely my district leader, Elder Bland, they seem to start trick or treating on the 29th and build up to the 31st. We really didn't see any on the 31st. I suppose that most went on the 30th or they could be doing it tonight. Hopefully not. Tracting with trick or treaters is not the best idea. So on Saturday we were trying to book our evenings as best as we could, but with really no luck. So we were left to tract so we went to an area not too far from the Chapel where a lot of elderly citizens live which we thought was a good idea. So we knock on this guys door and he wasn't interested at all. We then asked who he thought would be and he referred us to his next door neighbor. So went to his neighbors house and did our door approach and he amazingly let us in, which doesn't happen very much. So this man is named Gordon Alexander. He's 74 and lost his wife last Christmas. He has felt lonely and really appreciated our company. We taught him a little about the spirit world and the Restoration. He seems to like reading from the Book of Mormon and we have invited him to be baptized on the condition that he has found it to be true and he accepted. Hopefully he will be baptized on November 27. So that's really the miracle for this week.
The other good news is that Sister Martha Thomas who I told you about last week (I think I did anyways). She was able to come to Stake Conference. The Cummings (a member and in the branch presidency) were able to give her and her son a ride. She absolutely enjoyed it and feels very happy and lighter than air. She still isn't certain as to baptized just yet, but as we teach her more, that will come hopefully. I probably failed to tell you that she has already begun to quite drinking coffee even though we haven't even taught the Word of Wisdom to her. Simply amazing. Well that's really all the time I have for writing this day. I hope that you enjoy the pictures. Hopefully I can get one of me and a highland cow soon. Well I love you all and will send home Preston MTC tips in my letter home.

Elder Buxton

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roller Coaster

Dear Family,
I hope you enjoy the pictures that I have sent home that I took on my last preparation day. President Johnson invited us over for dinner Monday and since he lives 40 minutes south of Elgin, we decided that we would stop at some castles along the way. So we stopped by Rothes castles which is the wall that you see and Drumin Castle which is in the last few pictures. It was very enjoyable especially now that the leaves are changing color. Today we plan on visiting some other things around Elgin and looking in to going to Loch Ness next week.
So you're probably wondering why the subject of this email is "roller coaster." So the week started out pretty good as we were able to meet with David Nain, Maggie, and Jonathan and Mandy. We had really good lessons with them and they were all excited to learn more. Then came Saturday when I called up Mandy and her husband answered and said not to ever call back. That was a big blow.  We had really good hopes for them. They had such great faith in God and Jesus Christ and were willing to read the Book of Mormon and find out for themselves if it was true. We were so glad that we had finally found a family to teach. And then bang came the shot that was unexpected. Combine that with losing contact with Maggie. So we were devastated Saturday night until we had a lesson with Chris Thomas. He was recently baptized last month and from what I have seen and heard appeared to have a lot of pressure from his family for joining. We have been encouraging him to bring his mother to lessons at the church, but he hadn't ever asked her. Until Saturday when amazingly she came to the church for a lesson with Chris. Oh we were so excited. Her name is Martha and she is originally from Mexico City so her English isn't that good, but she can understand us perfectly. She really enjoyed that we gave her a Book of Mormon in English so that she could continue to learn English better. Then during the lesson she asked if she could do what Chris had done or in other words be baptized when she found out that it would be true. Oh it was so good and she is conditionally scheduled for November 20. Then we came to Church on Sunday. Oh and how she enjoyed it. She came to Gospel Principles and participated and like that. She went into Relief Society and participated in that as well and the members we so kind and introduced themselves to her.
Then another miracle happened later that evening when we met with a man named Robert White who said that he felt lost and wanted something to belong to, something where the people have the same values that he does (like being kind to one another, not judging other, being chaste, and not drinking and partying). She we showed him that we embrace all of that and he really enjoyed the message of the Restoration and is willing to try it out for himself if it is true. He is also conditionally scheduled for November 27. We were very glad to meet with him. The only thing is that his wife has had bad experiences in the past with religion so that is one obstacle that needs to be overcome, but when she sees the fruits of the gospel, she'll embrace it as well. So I'm really excited for this next week and especially to go to stake conference this Sunday and meet up with Brother and Sister Thom. It will be good.
So things are going well and Elder Stewart and I are getting along. My coat is working out well even though it hasn't been too cold even though it was nippy on Tuesday-Thursday. My exchanges in Inverness were good. The Chapel is right on the River Ness and it is so beautiful there. Later we went to the Black Isle to visit a recent convert that lives out there. That was neat. In way of what they feed me here. It's like home for the most part; lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, but they also like to feed us meat pies with masked potatoes a lot. It's good and I eat the stuff they put on my plate. The enjoy the members and it seems like they like us. There are about 30-40 people that come on a Sunday and we're trying to help it grow. Not many people move or move in like in Las Vegas. I love you all and hope that everything is going well. I somewhat thought of what i want for Christmas. Ties would be nice as well as music from MoTab, Bishop Young's CD, and a band called 4ordained is really good as well. Thank you for all of your support.

Elder Buxton

Monday, October 18, 2010

Four Months Out

Dear Family,
Did you know that four months ago I entered the MTC? It's crazy how fast the time goes when you're serving a mission for the Lord. We are doing well here in Elgin. We had an interesting week full of tracting. We've lost contact with Dean Wells, and Tommy which is really unfortunate, but we were blessed as we went tracting and amazingly found 16 new investigators (a new investigator is someone who has been taught a principle and has accepted a return appointment). I really hope that they keep their first appointments and continue on in the Gospel. I am really hopeful for four of them. We were tracting in Lossiemouth which is north of Elgin and we tracted into a lady and her son, Mandy and Jonathan who seemed really accepting of the things that we were teaching them on their doorsteps. Mandy even said that she loved learning about prophecies. We placed a Book of Mormon with them and I really feel that they will embrace it. The other in that same area is named Maggie who said that she is really confused about religion and wants some direction so we testified that she can get that from the Book of Mormon. We see both of them on Wednesday and will let you know how that goes. The last in named David Nain. He is a member referral and I think is interested. I really hope that it turns out the way we hope for him. We gave him a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. For the most part, all of the other new investigators seem a little iffy at the moment, but you never know what will happen. We are looking forward to this week since we have a lot of first appointments with investigators. We just hope that we can get the members involved with the effort as well. They like to feed us a lot which is really good. I just need to remember not to eat so much or else I'll blow up like a balloon. Anyways, I feel that our trust with the members is growing every week. I really hope that we can keep this up. On Tuesday I have the amazing opportunity to go on exchanges in Inverness which is exciting. It will be interesting since I am going with Elder Manning from Holiday, Utah and has been in the field for a little over 2 weeks now. It'll be good.
So the business that I think that you're talking about across the street from our flat is the British Red Cross. Nothing really that interesting. Thanks for sending me Sister Bourne's information about her family. Hopefully I can go to Aberdeen or even ask the missionaries there is they know them. Also, please mention to David Sneed that I know a missionary in the Colorado Denver North Mission. It was my roommate, Kevin Hodgeson. He left on his mission in May so he's been out for about 5 months now.
I would like to thank you for writing me to consistently every week and I would like to encourage others to send me letters so they can get a really nice personalized letter from. I love hearing from people and I love spreading the gospel and seeing the light in people's eyes increase as we share our unique message to the world. I love you all and hope that you have a good week and carry pass along cards with you just in case you have the opportunity to share the gospel.

With much love,
Elder Buxton

Here are some of the pictures that Jeff emailed us last week:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Second Week in Elgin

Dear Family,
I am doing well here in Elgin. Things are going well. The weather isn't too bad yet. I wear my sweater sometimes, but have not worn my coat yet that i bought last week. It's a nice one I think and I got a good deal for it only paying £40 (about $60). I got it from Matalan, a store here. I also bought two ties for £5 as well so now I have some British ties to where. The weather is starting to get colder and its a good thing that we have a car here in Elgin. The reason that I am writing today is because we had a Zone development meeting and activity yesterday and we didn't get back until 5 so there was no time so we were allowed to email and shop today. We visited a castle not too far from Aberdeen which I can't remember the name of, but I sent you pictures of it. It was a lot of fun to hike around the grounds. We didn't go inside because it was £5 to get in which none of were willing to pay.
As far as my relationship to Elder Stewart, he's the senior companion and we switch of driving everyday. He's not new to the area, he's been here for 3 months now. I really enjoy driving now that I have the hang of manual even though I find it more enjoyable to drive an automatic. We've really enjoyed serving together and are hoping that we can keep things moving especially to help those investigators that we have progress towards baptism. For the most part, our three main investigators: Tommy, Dean, and George, seem like they will eventually be baptized. Right now it looks like none will be baptized until November. Hopefully everything will go well with them in this endeavor. And yes Michelle, I can understand what people are saying here even though I hear that Doric Scots which they speak east of here in more of the Aberdeen area is much harder to understand. Gratefully I can now understand most people. It's really not that hard if you're here for a couple of weeks. If you come, make sure you take me along so i can translate for you. I finally met President Johnson on Sunday and he's a nice man and really enjoys the missionaries. He's a convert and joined when he was 26. Before he moved to the Elgin Branch he lived in the Kircaldry Ward. It's neat how many connections our family somewhat has.
So Michelle, the reason that I always ask if you're married is because since you're not planning on serving a mission, the next best thing is marriage so I hear. Plus, what else are you supposed to do at BYU? Oh and by the way, Casey sent me a letter and told me that her papers were in. Way exciting.
I haven't been to Loch Ness yet, just Inverness. It's really beautiful city there.Oh and what's the surname of Sister Bourne's relatives? and do they lived in the Aberdeen Ward or the Bridge of Don Ward? I hope to one day meet her relatives. The only thing is that I really don't know if I'll ever be on exchanges in Aberdeen or not. As of now, probably not, but Stake Conference is at the end of this month and maybe I could see them then, if I knew their names and what they look like.
Well I hope that you enjoy the pictures that I have sent and have a good time guessing what they are (Hint: if it's green, it's most likely a plant). I hope you all of have a wonderful week and continue with your missionary efforts.
Elder Buxton

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Week in Elgin

Dear Family,
I hope everything is going well for you over after this conference weekend. It was a very interesting experience watching conference here in Scotland. We had to watch them out of order with Saturday morning from 5-7pm; Priesthood from 10-12 am; Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm; Sunday Morning from 5-7pm; and Sunday Afternoon from 9-11pm. We were unable to watch the final session because we were told that if we could get an investigator there then we could stay up and watch it, but we couldn't get anyone there. Bummer, but that's what the Ensign is for. Yesterday was a long day of watching conference. It was a lot to take in and hopefully i will remember a lot from my notes and then studying from the Ensign. I really enjoyed it and it was great for our investigators to see the living prophet here on the earth. We are so blessed to be led by a living prophet. We would be so confused in this world of turmoil. I know that President Monson is the Lord's mouth piece here on earth. What a blessing it is to hear from him.

So about my new area. It's Elgin like I said which is very close to the highlands and Loch Ness, which I hopefully can go to ones of these preparation days. My address is:

15A Victoria Crescent
Elgin IV30 1RF
United Kingdom

So you can use this address now for the next month or so until I tell you not to. My district leader is in Inverness so we will be going there for district meetings which is exciting. So fun fact, our flat is the farthest north of any missionaries in Scotland. Elder Stewart says there is a senior couple that lives farther north, but that doesn't matter since we will never be able to go there. So that's exciting. It is really beautiful here and hopefully this afternoon we'll be able to go and visit a castle not to far from here. Elgin is somewhat of a small town with a branch. There's about 20-30 people that come to church every week, but we're working on getting more out. We are working with a few people. We are blessed by the hard work of the elders that were here before me especially Elder Stewart who whitewashed (both new to the area) the area and now have some good investigators. I'll only tell you about the good ones. The first is Dean. He's 18 and at first just wanted to hear the facts, but now he has seen the gospel, pray, and reading from the Book of Mormon make his life better. He is scheduled to be baptized on Oct 22. The other is Tommy who is in his 40s. He believes the Book of Mormon to be true and seems like there is nothing in his way of being baptized on Oct 29. We constantly trying to increase our teaching pool and there are some other hopeful people. Hopefully these can turn into baptisms.

Elder Stewart is from the Logan, Utah area. He attended Utah State before he came on his mission, but didn't know Trey. His dad is actually an accountant as well and does work for veterinarians. I really enjoy serving with him. As far as driving goes, we switch off everyday driving. It's fun to drive a manual now that i know how to do it. yes Michelle I'm working on my accent. Saying words sometimes like the Scots without using slang. That would make things easier. Sometimes though I use a British accent just for fun, especially when saying my own name which is pronounced a little differently which I'll demonstrate on Christmas if you remind me. Today I plan on getting a winter coat hopefully and a hat and gloves. Hopefully i can find a stylish coat for a good deal. I hope everything is going well at home. Work on getting married Matt and Michelle. I hope Dad is acclimating well to his new calling. Tell him to read Preach My Gospel and to use Progress Record. When Elder Da Roche came to the Paisley Stake Conference he said that if we used the Progress Record effectively, we could double our sacrament meeting attendance in one year. That's a very bold promise from a general authority and I know that if the ward and missionaries work together, everything will work out for the better. I love you all and tell everyone I say hi.

Elder Buxton

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Dear Family,
How is everyone doing? I am doing well here in Scotland. My days in Ayr have come to an end. I have been transferred to Elgin, Scotland which is in the Aberdeen Zone. It's in between Aberdeen and Inverness. So that means I up near the highlands now which is way neat. It's a branch there, but sixty people i hear come to church every week which is a good number to have. I'm in a car area again so hopefully i don't freeze this winter. Elder Bland is my district leader. He was in my district in Ayr before he moved six weeks ago to Inverness. So my companion's name is Elder Stewart. He's been on his mission as long as I have. I'm actually not even in Elgin yet. Right now I'm in Edinburgh waiting for me and another elder to travel to Aberdeen. I am spending time with the China town elders. So i really couldn't tell you what it's like here. I will be great though nonetheless. It will be different to travel to somewhere else in Scotland. Elder Baumann's new companion is Elder Musser. He's been out as long as I have as well. Also Elder Cloward who was in my district has been transferred to Kirkaldry. That's excited. This means that there is a possibility that i could be sent there as well.
As far as what has happened in Ayr. We continue to work with Robert and Alec. They progress nicely, but slowly. Robert was exceptionally hospitable yesterday. He gave us some sweeties and me a tie (actually three because we got into talking about ties and he wanted to show us all the differing styles like very wide ones and skinny ones. Sometimes I would say that I liked certain ties and he surprisingly gave me two more). It was a nice lesson where we talked about the New Testament especially in Acts 5 where the apostles or disciples I can't remember which, started living the law of consecration basically and had to sell all that they possessed and give it to the Peter to distribute. One sold all that he had, but only gave half and Peter knew this and rebuked him and he fell over dead. He was wondering kind of why that would happen. Basically I think it was a matter of being so surprised that he fell over dead. So the moral of this story is pay your tithing. Alec is praying about a baptismal date. I may never know if he does get baptized, but I'm sure that he will.
Patrick and Luke went to the temple last weekend to do baptisms for the dead. They really enjoyed it and loved the spirit that they felt there. They are so solid and I believe will endure well to the end. It's sad to leave such a place and the people. I hope that they do well. Siobhan continues to do well as well. She comes to church and Family home evening.
As part of coming close to winter now, I will be buying myself a coat. Hopefully I will get a good deal on one. You might be wondering what else I have purchased. I have bought myself a tartan tie with our families tartan and an electric razor so that my face doesn't get so torn up every time i shave. it's annoying. As far as conference goes. I believe that I will just watch it at the branch building. I know that in ayr it start Saturday from 5-7. Sunday 10-12; 1-3; 5-7; and then 9-11pm. It will be great to hear from the prophet again. I'm really looking forward to it. My only advice about BYU is to pray for them. Maybe Matt should try out and see what he can do. i hope that you all have a good week and bless me now to understand a new dialect. Hopefully it will be easy to understand now that i have been in Scotland for quite some time now. Do well and read your scriptures. By the way, how is you new calling Dad? Anyways I love you all.

Elder Buxton

P.S. Michelle, get married soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Transfer Almost Done

Dear Family,
I thank you for all of your support. It's really great that you email me every week and that i get a different point of view from all of you. Since this transfer cycle is almost over I would really, really appreciate it if Everyone would send all mail this week to the Mission Home until next Wednesday when I can give you my new address. The mission home address is:

Scotland/Ireland Mission
51 Spylaw Road
Edinburgh EH10 5BP
United Kingdom

Time has been going really quickly since I have moved to Ayr. Dad, you mentioned how green it is here. Amazingly in August and so far in September it really hasn't rained much. There are a few exceptions and for the most part, it rains at night or in the early morning. Gratefully it hasn't rained much when we go tracting or when we are out and about. It's unfortunate that all of our football teams continue to lose. That really doesn't concern me, but keep cheering and hopefully they will win again. Dad, the best thing that I can say as part of your new calling is to follow the orders Brother Albright gives you. Being a missionary, I would say that the best thing that you can do it be the bridge between the ward and the missionaries. Have coordination meetings with them to help them with their progress records and also be willing to come teaching with them. It's best when missionaries can take members with them to teaches or even having investigators taught in the home of members. On to Michelle's questions. Robert unfortunately didn't come to church this week since he went to Glasgow again to church with his sisters. Hopefully they can come in the near future so that they can approve his decision to be baptized. Right now, they are quite against it. The best story that i have for you is that yesterday during Family Home Evening at the church, a recent convert named Carla brought her new boyfriend, William. I think he enjoyed it. According to Bishop, he'll be our next baptism. We will meet with them again on Friday. Also I'm not sure if they have candy corn here or not, but at the grocery store, they are already selling Halloween stuff, but mainly just costumes and deccorations. I'll see as time goes on if they see candy corn. Now on to Mom's questions. yes at first it's different driving on the left side of the road, but you get used to it because that's what everyone else is doing. The difficult thing for me though when driving a manual car is starting off when you're stopped and you have to start going again. I still struggle to find the balance between the gas and the clutch, but it's getting better. It's not to bad anymore shifting even though i miss driving an automatic car. Oh and tell David Sneed that I know a missionary in the Colorado Denver North mission name Elder Kevin Hodgeson. He was one of my roommates at BYU. He's been there since May. Oh and the pope was actually in Glasgow on Thursday. I now that the elders there had a difficult time trying to figure out what to do that day. There's been a lot of talk about him here and the Catholic Church, but I won't get into that.

As far as investigators go. Alec progresses slowly, but forward. He has nothing, but praises for our church and his wife has stopped giving him stick for meeting with us. He wants to bring her to church soon as well. Nancy has found some comfort meeting with us. Hopefully with the fellowship of the Deweys, she can come into the fold. Oh and one more thing, we finally were able to hand back the keys for the Prestwick flat. we did so much cleaning in that and they were really impressed. Finally that is done so we can focus on being missionaries. On Friday it was Elder Baumann's birthday. The Deweys actually gave him a present of a tartan tie and some candy, even though he's trying to lose weight. Funny funny. Well I hope eveything goes well for all of you this week. Have fun camping mom.

elder buxton

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Very Good Week

Dear Family,
Elder Baumann and I are doing very well here in Ayr. We've been trying to really fill our days as much as possible and as a result we have been really blessed. Robert is doing fine. He has some fears of joining the church, especially with his family. However his sister is planning on coming to church with him this Sunday. Hopefully that will clear up a lot of misconceptions people have about our church. The pictures you got from Brother McLennan were of us actually making a cake for Robert that we brought to Bishop's home since he was coming there for dinner. Hopefully this generous offer will also touch his heart. and yes they tasted good. We also meeting with a man named Alec Hughes. He's really great and was really impressed when came to church yesterday. He said that if more people came to our church a lot of misconceptions would be cleared up. That was well said. The only thing that really is preventing him of being baptized is a lack of knowledge of our doctrines, but he really enjoys learning about them so hopefully if all goes well he can be baptized soon. Michelle asks about Patrick's wife and as of now, she isn't really interested. Patrick really wants for her to be baptized and sealed in the temple. He has come up with a plan to take her to the beach in a white swim suit and come along by her and say the baptismal prayer and dunk her underwater and then forge the baptismal form and bam she's baptized. Well that could work, but for now she's not that interested even though she really respects our church. We are also working with a 12 year old boy named Kyle. His mom is less active, but we're trying to get him fellowshippped by the young men especially Luke Noonan (Patrick's son) and Jack Dewey. Hopefully he can feel at home when he comes to church.
Alright, now it comes time in the show to share a funny miracle that happened yesterday. So after church we went by this investigator that we found named Nancy Adams. She recently lost her husband and is trying to come to terms with that so i shared my experience with Corey and she was really touched by that and the Plan of Salvation. So we go over there and she tells us pretty much the whole story of her husbands death and I told briefly how i found out about Corey's death. She was really touched by my perseverance. So we asked if we could come back later that night and talk more about the Plan of Salvation with her and she agreed. So we went to this dinner appointment with the Deweys and asked if Jack Dewey (a deacon) could come with us teaching to her. So we were on our way there and Elder Baumann gets pulled over by the police because as he was coming out of a junction, he was driving a little sporty and his tires squeaked. So they pulled him over and gave him a warning, thankfully. Then we went to her doorstep and she looked at Jack and exclaimed, "Jack!" and we were so surprised to how they knew each other. It turns out that they used to live across the street from each other. So we had a really nice visit with her and she was so happy to have all of us over there. So that's two miracles in the space of a few minutes. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways and hopefully she will comes to love the gospel and the answers it gives to find comfort in knowing where her husband is. The gospel is true and I have found comfort in it. I hope you all have a very good week and I hope that Dad gets better soon. I'm also glad to hear that so many of my friends are willing to go on missions. I love you all.

Elder Buxton

Elder Buxton, Elder Covey, Elder Crockett, and Elder Baumann

Learning how to out Scotland!

The finished product

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Almost Two Months in the Field

Dear Family,
How is everyone doing? Is Michelle engaged yet? She tells me that her friends are setting her up on dates. I just wanted to let you know that I found a pink tie in our old flat so I'm ready to have my picture taken in it in preparation for your wedding. So what's it like being on the top? I hope you make this year memorable since it will be your last year of undergrad. It was good to hear that BYU won last week. It's crazy who fast time flies. It really hit me last week that football has started once again. It's a shame though that no one here pays any attention to it. They really only enjoy their football (soccer). Nonetheless, there are some American missionaries that i can talk football to. I'm glad that you met with
President David Beck and are really willing to give rather than recieve. I hope that this really helps a young man in need and helps to proclaim this joy we all have to those in need. I got a package from my friends this week with letters from them and american candy. Honestly, the candy they have here is terrible unless you like mallow covered in chocolate. Sure they have some american candy, but for the most part, I cannot believe that people really enjoy this. Oh, by the way, i thought of another thing that would be great to get: Life cereal. Amazingly, i cannot find it here. That would be great though.

In way of what I've been up to. We continue to work with Robert. Right now we trying to take it slow and try to encourage him to do things rather than force. Not to say that we were really pushy, but that's really how i think we can help him most. It was Stake Conference this weekend in Paisley, a suburb of Glasgow, and we had a visiting general authority, Elder Da Roche of the Area Seventy. He requested for a missionary, investigator, recent convert fireside on Saturday evening. So on Friday we invited Robert to this, but he wasn't really sure if he wanted to come or not. Then miraculously at 7:30 the next morning we get a phone call from him saying that he wanted to come. So we arranged a lift for him. He really enjoyed it especially when President Yates (the stake president) invited the recent converts to share their testimonies. He was really touched by some of them. Another thing is that his sister is curious about our church now so she will attend our church later this month. She is also interested in family history so we informed him of our free family history services. We believe that eventually it's going to hit him that the Church is the right decision for him to do. We don't know when, it could be tomorrow or in two years. No matter though, but i really only care that he is baptized. In response to mom's question on if we are teaching Patrick friend, the answer is that we have not been able to see. Patrick is really trying to get him to activities and lessons we have with him, but nothing really yet, but we can really see that this can change his life, he'll be so good. Siobhan still does well and we're really trying to get into contact with some investigators that we have. I'm excited for this week. It will be good, hopefully.

I hope everything is going well for everyone else. I still appreciate all of the love i have received from everyone. It's really great to hear from those that write me. Please remember though to not write to my former address in Prestwick, but either to the one in Ayr or the mission home. Thank you and I know that Christ lives and wants to bless us.

Elder Buxton  

Siobhan's Baptism

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Beautiful Week

Dear Family,
How is everyone doing? I am doing great here in Scotland. The weather here has been phenomenal. It was barely rained the last couple of weeks and from the reports I get from people, it will stay that way for the rest of the week. Unfortunately I also hear that there will be a short autumn this year and a bitter cold winter. I'll just take it as is comes though. In regards to a suit and coat. My suits are fine and I'll hold off on that a little while. I might get some white shirts soon though fit with my black suit since those sleeves aren't as long as some of my white shirts. I found an old coat in the Prestwick flat that i think I'll use. I'll let you know how it goes.

Siobhan's baptism went well. It was a small service, but a spiritual one. So funny story time, we went early to fill up the font and were waiting forever for the hot water to turn on, but it didn't so we just turned on the water and went into the kitchen to start boiling some water. Needless to say the water was cold, but with my experience in the Polar Bear Club, I was able to handle it. Gratefully I only had to perform the baptism once. Siobhan is doing great and is handling becoming a new member. She was confirmed on Sunday. It is so wonderful when someone covenants with God. It's so great when there truly is someone willing to hear the Gospel. That's probably the biggest news. I apologized that I don't have a picture to send you, I forgot to bring my camera to the library today, but eventually you'll see it.

On Thursday afternoon we learned that we needed to be in Edinburgh the next day for a conference for all of the missionaries that came out with me. We learned a lot on how to improve our areas. Another great experience we had was with Patrick. On Wednesday we gave him a Restoration Pamphlet to give out to a friend. We followed up on it on Friday and he said he hadn't had the time yet to give it to who he was intending. We then asked him to bring to a lesson next week and he agreed. On Saturdays we normally have lunch with him and read from Jesus The Christ, but instead he brought his friend around that he grew up with. We talked about how the Gospel has changed Patrick around and he was looking for a fresh start as well. So we taught him the restoration and he is really willing to come to church and activities and read from the Book of Mormon. It's so great when members contribute to the work. We continue to work with Robert. We went golfing with him yesterday. I learned how to really hit the ball, so I'm better now, but still not very good. Right now we're really trying to help him develop faith in Jesus Christ. That would help him greatly.

It's good to hear that everyone is doing well. I hope Michelle enjoys going back to school to earn her degrees (B.S. and M.R.S.). I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you in your last year or undergrad. Matt seems to be doing alright. I received a pouch full of letters from the Relief Society in his ward. They were really kind to send me those notes of encouragement. We are teaching a bit. This week will be better now that we have a better sense of the area. By the way, Sister Gilardi vaguely remember Brother Blanchard. Maybe if i showed her a picture, she'll remember more. I would appreciate a letter from him and even will visit people if he asks me to.

Yesterday on preparation day we went to Irvine and played some football and ultimate. The missionaries are very surprised at how well I play frisbee. Someone even told Elder Baumann that I was a "Frisbee God." I don't know about that. I just do my best. It's so great to play a game that I actually know how to play. Here people usually just play soccer all the time. yesterday for family home evening, we played rounders which is some form of European style baseball. It was so funny to watch them discuss the rules. Americans and Europeans are so different. It's fascinating and funny sometimes. Well I hope that everything is going well and I know that the Lord will bless us all if we allow him to. Continue to pray and feast upon the words of Christ. I love you all.

Elder Buxton