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: