Monday, February 28, 2011

A Miraculous Week

Dear Family,

How are you? I appreciate all prayers said in my behalf. We had a much better week last week. Miraculous things are happening especially with less-active members. First thing is that I don't know if I told you, but about two weeks ago, we got a call from a less-active lady named Sandi Lee. She told us that her husband walked out on her and that she needed help moving some stuff from her house to her brother's. So we did and then on Monday we got another call from her telling us that she had found a place to live and wanted help again moving. So we organized a service project and got quite a few members to come and help and even though not everyone was needed, the amount of support was amazing and we feel that she will be coming to church again soon. Next we popped by this other Less-active named Johnson. He's originally from Nigeria and when he arrived he joined the Church because his church wasn't here yet, but we it arrived he went back to that one. So when Elder Ellett arrived they asked him to pray which church he should attend and it seemed that he was a content with his own church and had no desire to come back. However, we went by and he said that he had been praying and felt like God was telling him that he should go to our Church. This is amazing news. Then on Sunday this less-active named Jonathan Vallot came to church. I think he really enjoyed it and is planning on coming more. It's really amazing that he came since he doesn't receive much support from his family who are less-active as well. Also we met with these recent converts that haven't been to church in awhile as well since they didn't feel worthy, but finally they have decided to come to church next week and President O'Toole has assured them that they are worthy to come and partake of the sacrament. Many have noticed that the Lord is really pushing people back into activity. President O'Toole has noticed it as well and is planning a reach out night soon as well.
In other news, last Monday we went by Keith and he simply said that he was just having fears and doubts and after talking to him, he said that he was interested again and we had lit the fire in him again. So he came to church on Sunday as well and quite enjoyed it even though he only stayed for sacrament and sunday school. We're working on getting him to stay for the whole block. He's just used to being Catholic and after Mass is over that you get up and leave. We're still trying to get him to quit smoking and hopefully we can as soon as possible.
We also picked up a former investigator named Peter Fahey who was dropped because he wasn't reading or praying. We are trying to see if he is willing to commit again and live the gospel. We are going running today with him and hope that he will remember. We also had some good success talking to people and hope that as we continue to talk to as many people as possible that great things will come of it.
It's good to hear that great things are happening back at home. It's good to hear that BYU is doing so well. I'm quite glad that i'm so far away and that nobody really cares about those things otherwise I would be quite distracted. As of right now, we don't really have any plans for my birthday other than a member is feeding us the Sunday before and baking me a cake.
As far as foods that we are eating. We have shepherd's pie, lasgna, once we had a BBQ, chicken noodle soup, and that's about it right now as far as foods that we had been fed. Last week I went to this fast food place called Supermac's and it was plain gross. So if anyone ever goes to Ireland, don't eat there unless it's your only option. As far as how often we are fed. We have set appointments with the Currans on Tuesdays and the Jensens on Thursdays. Sometimes other people feed us like last Sunday the Livingstons fed us. They're American. Those recent converts I told you about, they are Czech and always feed us when we go over. Usually at the flat we cook for ourselves which normally I have a ham and cheese sandwhich toasted in the oven. We normally shop at a groccery store called Tescos. It's a big chain and they have it all over the UK and Ireland. Unfortunately they don't have ASDA in Ireland, but we just deal with it. Yes we are staying dry and as of right now, all of my clothes are dry. Today is actually a beautiful day, but that might change soon. I love you all and wish the best and remember that my birthday is in exactly seven days from now.

Elder Buxton

Monday, February 21, 2011

2 weeks until My Birthday

Dear Family,
I am doing well. Things are slow, but I know that if I continue to be diligent and focused on the Lord's work this week, that great things can happen. As far as answering some questions. It doesn't really matter what address you send it to. If to Limerick I would get it then next time I go there which would normally be Tuesdays. If sent to my flat, the postie (mailman) would knock on my door, but if I'm not there, he would leave a note that says that I need to go to the post office to retrieve it. So it's really up to you where you send it.
As far as other things that have happened. We were teaching Keith and everything was going well. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and he agreed to it. At first he said that he would wait to live it until Lent, but we resolved it in saying why not start now and be clean by lent. He agreed and we were planning on giving him this no smoking program that is guaranteed to help someone quit smoking in seven days as long as they follow all the steps. They need to do things like use mouthwash after every meal and drink a lot of grapefruit juice among other things. We weren't able to give him that since he didn't come to his lesson on Friday because something came up. He was supposed to come to church and we arranged a lift for him with a member. However he wasn't there when he came to pick him up and later sent the member a text saying that he appreciated our time, but didn't want to be a Mormon anymore. We really don't know why this happened, but we are going by him today to see what's up. This is quite strange, but we know that the devil works hard on those trying to find their way into the Kingdom of God. We are still having a hard time seeing Hemerson as well. We can't get a hold of him on the phone.
As far as other things that have happened. We had a zone conference in Dublin on Thursday. It was good. It was funny since President and Sister Giffiths and the assistants arrived late. They were ready to go on the airplane and the little car thing pulled them out and then put them back in and it became know that there was problem that needed to be fixed on the plane. So it was fixed and they were off. Thankfully they did that or might not have been any zone conference. In the meeting though we really focused on the basics of planning and being able to regularly see our investigators. It was great and we learned a lot. On Tuesday I went on exchanges with my district leader, Elder Martin, in Tralee. It was good and I learned a lot and hope to be able to implement it in my own area. We were able to also have dinner with this part member family that are really solid. The father isn't a member, but is scheduled to be baptized this week. From what I have heard, he's been going to church for some time and even has a calling and finally he is going to be baptized. Interesting enough is that the wife's sister is a member here in Galway.
It is good to hear that great things are happening to you all back home and hope the best for you and Matt and Michelle, a safe trip back to Utah. Honestly, I forgot that it was President's Day weekend. Obviously they don't celebrate it here. However the elections are happening soon. I believe actually this week. There are a ton of political posters all over everywhere, especially on the lamp posts. It's interesting that most posters really just say the person's name, party and "vote No. 1." There isn't much mud slinging on the posters. However, parties are sling at other parties. There are also a lot of people that go from door to door trying to persuade people to vote for their candidate. This isn't very good for missionary work since many people think that we are electioneers. We are quite anxious for the elections to be over. From what we hear this is a very critical election since many people aren't happy with the current government.
I would just like to remind everyone that in two weeks from today is my birthday. This means that I have the final two weeks of my teenage years. As of now, we don't really have anything planned to do. Hopefully this American couple in the branch do something with us.
I wish everyone well in all their endeavors and hope to hear from you all soon.

Elder Buxton

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Dear Family,
How are you doing? I am doing well.Ireland is great, but I must say that it rains far too much. It is said that Galway is the wettest city in Ireland which isn't very good for me. We have had some good days and some really rainy days. Yesterday was interesting as in the morning and all through church it was bright and sunny and then at about 3:30, the sky became really dark and then the rain just starting pouring. It stayed that way until about 7 and then stopped. Today's weather has been pretty good. It hailed earlier this morning along with being very sunny. That's Irish weather for you. It's similar to Scottish weather (not a big surprise since they're right next to each other). In speaking more about this area. It's quite large. We stretch as far south as Ennis and as far north as Westport. So I'm in a big area once again. We drive an Opel Meriva which is the same car I've had my entire mission except this one is automatic. It's quite a change to go from manual to automatic. Sometimes I still reach down as if I'm going to shift only to realize that it shifts for me. It's a branch because we're in the Limerick District plus the unit isn't very large (30-40 people come each week). We don't have our own building, but we rent out a building in an industrial estate. Inside is quite nice and spacious for our needs. It's weird attending church there, but a building doesn't make a church, the people do. The branch is quite multicultural. We have Irish, Nigerian, American, Welsh, South African, Danish, Brazilian, Czech, and Mexican members. As far as teaching people from other countries, we hope and pray that they can speak and understand English. We have quite a diversity of Book of Mormons in different languages. Nonetheless, many people use the language barrier as an excuse to not talk to us, which is unfortunate, but we press on.
As far as things that happened this week. We were finally able to see Hemerson, but only briefly as the mechanic that he arranged to fix his car came really late and was busy doing that, but we visited with his member friend Fabio and attempted to read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese. It was fun and enjoyable. Keith came to church somewhat unexpectedly. We weren't able to meet with him through the week, but he showed up at church and I believe he enjoyed it. We are meeting with him this evening. We have also started teaching a lady name Regina. She's Irish and open, but I am unsure what her expectations are and if she has any desire to join, but she does what a place that she can take her kids (golden). We'll call her and arrange a time to see her. That's all for now and hope that everything is going well for everyone. Happy Valentine's Day.
As far as what I would want for me birthday: Butterfingers and any other sweeties, maybe a new rain jacket. The one I have is really big and bulky. Ties are always nice. If you want to give me money, please just put into my account so that | don't have to exchange it. Thanks for all that you do.

Elder Buxton

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Emerald Isle

Dear Family,
How are you all doing? I'm doing fine. Galway is great and it is a new challenge. To recap how I got here. On Tuesday we drove to Aberdeen and then I took a train to Edinburgh and stayed the night there. The next day we then took a bus that we almost missed. We arrived at the bus station late. Thankfully the bus was just pulling out and one of the missionaries stopped it and we all piled aboard. The bus then took us to Stranraer where we took the ferry to Belfast. We then hopped on a bus that took us to the bus station where we were picked up by some missionaries. We then drove to the Dublin stake center where I was picked up by some other missionaries who took us to their flat in Lucan where I stayed the night. The next day we drove to Limerick where I met my new companion, Elder Ellett from Loa, UT. We then drove to Galway. Galway is a big city of about 100,000 people. Sure Las Vegas is bigger, but to learn an area this large will take some time. I'm just thankful that I'm not in Dublin. Dublin is truly massive.
So onto the area. Our area is quite large as well and we have a car as well. I'm just too spoiled. Things area a lot newer here as recently before the recession Ireland really boomed and the EU pumped a lot of money into Ireland. they spent it mostly on new buildings and as a result a lot of new housing developments were built. Unfortunately the recession hit, plus the money the EU gave Ireland was actually a loan so now Ireland is in a lot of debt. Many people are out of work, especially immigrants. Ireland is a very multicultural place. Africans, and eastern europeans are very common. They used to be as common as the Irish, but with the recession are less. Many people are hopeful to find work, but some are content living on welfare. Their accent is far more understandable. The difficutly is teaching those that english as a second language. Sometimes it is difficult for them to understand, but hopefully with the Spirit they can be touched. The work is a little slow here, but things are picking up from what I hear from members and Elder Ellett. We have three main investigators. The first is Hemerson. He's Brazilian and is a friend of a member. He is scheduled for the 19th of this month. Unfortunately I have yet to meet him nor did he come to church yesterday. The next is Keith. He's English and a talker from what I hear. I haven't met him either nor did he come to church. The third is Eric. He's African and I believe he's originally from Ghana. We are trying to get things going and hope that we can bring some people to church. 

My address is:

209 Dun Na Coiribe
Headford Road

So please send all letters and packages here as it will take awhile for things sent to the mission home to get to me.

The weather here is, simply put, terrible since I arrive in Ireland. It wasn't until yesterday that I saw the sun. It has pretty much been raining since I arrive. On friday we had gale force winds that nearly blew us over. It was difficult to stand sometimes. I hear that Galway is the wettest city in Ireland and I can see why. We endure through it though, but unfortunately it seems that not many people want to stop and chat while it's raining and windy. Well that's all I have for now and hope to hear from you soon.

Elder Buxton

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Dear family,
the past week was really interesting. the biggest news is that i've been transfered again. this time i'm going from up north to down south, really south. My new area is gallway, ireland. so i've left scotland and right now i'm on my way to belfast by ferry. the ferry is really high tech and has internet access so i can email you right now. my new companion is elder ellot. he is from my mtc group as well which means that it is my 3rd companion from my mtc group. so i'm excited to get there and serve.
as fo the baptism, it didn't go through. it turns out that antonio is a vulnerable adult so we had a meeting with a man from the council who was wondering how accountable he was and also about tithing since he lives off benefits. that went alright and there weren't any concerns. however at the burns supper he got really mad over small things and the whole branch was there to witness it. pres johnson pulled us aside and said that if it was up to him, he wouldn't baptized him. so after talking with him and pres griffiths we decide to postpone it, but when we called him, he didn't want to be baptized anymore or meet with us. we were sad. sorry i haven't written much but i will on monday. sister thomas is doing well and hasn't drank coffee in 3 days. michelle, i know here, shee came to our zone conferences. love you all and talk to you later.
elder buxton