Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week of Success

Dear Family,
I am doing grand here in Galway. The past week we had really good weather and much success as we applied ourselves. The week started off well when we tracted in a predominately student estate and got into a young man's house. We briefly taught him and left him a Book of Mormon. We also began teaching this man named Dennis. So we were walking out of the Church's estate and we were walking past these two men when one looked at Elder Manwaring's badge and read it and asked, "Are you Jehovah's?" We replied that we weren't and then began talking about the restoration and the Book of Mormon with him. We gave him one in English, but his native language is French so we set up a time to see him later in the week. He also asked if that's all and God has revealed and we said no, but we also have the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. He wanted those as well to read in French, so we need to get that as well. He is really good and prepared. Later we met with a lady named Edith who was wanting to see us. The lesson went well as we talked about the restoration until she said that she doesn't want to follow Joseph Smith. She can see that he could be a prophet, but she didn't want to follow him mainly because he isn't mentioned in the Bible. So after talking with her for a time, the member we brought with us, Sister Hagan finally convinced her that if she wanted to know if she should, that should read from the Book of Mormon. She agreed. I am so thankful that she came with us and was able to provide that support. We had tried a couple times previously to see her with other members, but she for various reasons couldn't make it, but when we had Sister Hagan come, she was the only person that probably could have convinced her to read. I am so grateful for the great wisdom that God has.
In other things that have happened. Peter is still doing well. He is still working on quitting smoking. He's excited to watch conference and has really seen the change that the gospel brings. We are really looking forward to him being baptized soon.

Also, this probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to anyone, but I sent home my wrong address and never realized it until now. I misread what Elder Ellett wrote down in my planner. So my actual address is:

204 Dun na Coiribe
Headford Road

I apologize to anyone that sent a letter to the other address, I'll be going over to that house soon to see if they kept any of my letters. Hopefully they did and I can get them.

As far as spring is concerned. The weather was good last week, but I think this week it's returning to normal which means rain and more rain. There are some bushes and trees blossoming, but for the most part, things are still dormant. We hope that the rain still won't put a damper on any of our plans though. It's good to hear that everyone is doing well and I hope that Dad can once again survive another tax season. Oh and another good story so we were walking around talking to people when we approached this man and he asked, "Do you guys know anything about the Mormon Church?" We said yes and then he told us that he was a member here on business. He's from California and his name is Dale Glenn. I don't know if you have heard of a band called Neon Trees, but his son is the lead singer in that band. Anyways, we told him where the church was and he came and yesterday we had dinner with him. It's funny to think how God puts us in the right places at the right times to bless his children. Well that's all the news that I have. One other thing is that for conference we are going to be watching over the Internet at member's homes. I believe that we are going to go down to Limerick though to watch the priesthood session. I hope all goes well with everyone and Happy April Fool's Day!

Elder Buxton

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Time

Dear Family,
How is everyone? I am doing great. We had some good things happen to us this past week. First though I'll begin with what happened with transfers. On Tuesday we drove to Dublin and stayed the night with the Zone Leaders. The next day those that were going to Scotland left early in the morning to catch a train to Belfast. Thankfully I was able to sleep in to 6:30. Then it was really a normal preparation day where I went shopping with some elders in Lucan, east some subway and really just hung around Dublin. That evening with had dinner with a missionary couple, who are over the seminary and institute programs for all of Ireland. It was nice and then we did some tracting and that was our night. The next day, St. Patrick's Day, I finally met my companion, Elder Manwaring. He is from Laguna Niguel, California which is near Laguna Beach. He is great. He's been out for 6 months now. Previous to coming here he was in Bridge of Don in Aberdeen and before that in Kilmarnok, and before that in Sterling. This is his first time in Ireland and he really likes it. He says that the people here are nicer which is true than in Scotland. Anyways so I picked him up and we drove to Galway. Unfortunately and this doesn't come much of a surprise, we got lost even though you really only have to take one motorway that goes from Dublin straight to Galway. You see what happened was that the motorway split with one going to Galway and the other going to a place called Sligo and we were headed to Sligo. Eventually we realized that this wasn't the way to go so we turned around and found a nice scenic country road leading back to the motorway. For those of you who don't know, the motorway is like the interstates in America. Nonetheless it was a nice drive to see the countryside of Ireland. Then we just had a normal day of missionary work. We ate dinner with the Jensen's, a member family. It wasn't anything special for St. Patrick's Day. We had some pork, potatoes, green beans and other veg and some yorkshire puddings with gravy on it all. Simply, for St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. It's a national holiday that most people get off. In many cities and towns they have a parade. Then it's just a relaxing day. Then most people drink at night. Some people wear green, but nobody pinches you if you don't (I didn't wear green). Many people said that the parade wasn't all that great, but they say that the one in Dublin is always the best and that it is similar to parades that we have in the United States.
So things that happened this week. We will start with the best things. Peter came to church on Sunday. He was having some trouble sleeping too much because of a medication that he is taking. So we asked if we could knock on his window in the morning and he agreed. So we did and he got up and went to church. He's doing quite well and he is scheduled to be baptized on the 9th of April. We are really excited for this. The next thing is that Elder Manwaring and I were tracting last Friday and got into a young couple's home named Paul and Stephanie. They have two young kids. They let us in and just asked us question after question and we answered them and they seemed quite interested. We gave them a Book of Mormon and a Family proclamation. So we are excited to teach them again. Lastly, we received this referral from the office about this lady that was moving here from Spain about a month ago. We were told that she lives in a place called Loughrea on Barrack Street in a house on a lake. We thought this was quite vague and thought the locals would know where this is. So we went there when we first got it and couldn't find where she lived. Her phone number didn't work either and none of the local knew of this place. So we went home and later decided that we would tract the street to find where she lived. Finally we went yesterday and tracted it and weren't getting much success in that. We looked around and couldn't see anywhere that could be it. We were about to leave and on the end of the road there was this building that when I was first there looked like an office building or something, but when we went by we saw a car and soccer and goal and we both said to each other that that was a house and could potentially be it. I forgot to mention that this lady is a housemaid so we were looking for a large enough house that could potentially look like one that needed one. So we went up to the gate of the house and pushed the call button. This lady answered and we asked for the person we were looking for. She said that she wasnt' there nor did she live there, but that she was the maid. So we told who we were and left our phone number and now were are waiting for us to call her. We are so thankful that we were led there and now know where she works.
As far as answering your questions, what do you want for graduation Michelle, a pint of Guinness? a pot of gold (these are hard to come by)? a tin whistle? a handwritten note that says, "Congratulations!"? Tell me soon, or I won't get you anything. As far as mail goes. I still haven't received my package. On that note I would just like to remind everyone to send packages to this address:

Elder or Sister xxxxx
Scotland/Ireland Mission
c/o The Golf Department
Unit 1 Castletroy Shopping Centre
Castletroy, Limerick

I hope everyone is doing well and I look forward to hearing from you next week.

Elder Buxton

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Dear Family,
How are you all? I am doing well. We are getting things going once again, nonetheless, we still have our setbacks. This weeks is moves week. Normally we email on Wednesday, but President Giffiths wanted us to read his email today so that we stay focused. Yesterday we got a call and Elder Ellett got moved to Falkirk which is near Edinburgh. I am staying here and getting a new companion named Elder Manwarrying. I don't anything about him. So I'll let you know more next week. He's coming from the Bridge of Don Ward which is in Aberdeen. I'm excited for the new adventure of getting a new companion. The only trouble is that I really don't know Galway very well. It's a big area and there are some places that I really don't know how to get to. This is really a baptism of fire, but I'll get to know really well these next few weeks. So don't worry, I'll figure things out. It'll be great.
So as far as Irish culture goes. All that I know that they do on St. Patrick's Day is have parades in the morning and then they drink at night. For many it's just an excuse to drink and get wasted. That's there culture though. I don't know what they eat other than I know that many will be drinking Guinness. I don't really know what we will be doing on that day. I just hope and pray that we stay out precarious situations.
As far as things this week. We weren't able to teach Keith this week since he was working out of town. We still haven't been in contact with him. Peter has been a struggle. He wants to quit smoking, but when we did the stop smoking program with him, you're to have them crush a pack of cigarettes in front of us to show that you're over the cigarettes, but no matter how much we tried, he wouldn't do it. He also said that he would come to church, but didn't. On to brighter news though. We are now teaching this lady named Noreen. She's a young mother with a baby of 4 months. She seemed interested and willing to investiagate. We are excited to teach her. Also we had quite of few visitors from America at church on Sunday. They were all from Utah. It's always good to have visitors. One asked for your number to call you just to let you know that I'm still alive. Also this past week we tracting into a lady named Cyrth (she pronounced it Cynthia, don't ask why). She let us in and thought we were going to tell her Bible stories. She loves the Bible and reads it everyday. However it seems she is quite involved in her own church so we don't know.
I am doing well. It is funny to hear that Elder Doxey is losing weight which is the opposite of here where everyone gains weight. I got the sweatshirt in Elgin from  ASDA about 2 months ago. I haven't gotten the package yet. Nor have I gotten thing you sent for valentine's Day. Hopefully it will come before I end my mission. 

I love you all,
Elder Buxton

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

20 Years Old

Dear Family,
You might be wondering why I am emailing today. Well yesterday, the Flygares, an American couple from the branch, took us out for the whole day for my birthday. We went to Connemara, an area east of Galway and saw the Kylemore Abbey and Ashford Castle. They are so nice and I am so thankful that they took us out. So we didn't have any time left yesterday so we are emailing today. It was great and Ireland is so beautiful, but since it's still winter much of the vegetation is dormant and leafless. No matter because spring is on the way. I am sending quite a few photos so enjoy.
So I need to make this brief. In general we continue to be blessed especially because we had five less-actives at church on Sunday which is purely amazing. Keith is doing well and will begin quiting smoking this week and is looking forward to his baptism this month. We are also teaching Peter still and he seems to be doing much better than when Elder Ellett was teaching him the first time. We have given him a notebook and an alarm clock to help him remember the doctrines during the lessons we teach and so he can wake up earlier enough to come to church. We are excited to start teaching him now that he has these things.
Last was interesting as well. In Galway there is a major university called National University of Ireland, Galway and every year they have this time called " Rag Week" which was originally for fundraising, but now is just a big drinking session so on Monday and Tuesday last week there were massive parties in our estate. Needless to say we are glad that is over.
i really can't think of anything else to write, but I thank you all for your birthday wishes. It was a pretty good one. I love you all and hope that everyone has a good week.

Elder Buxton