Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hard Times

Dear Family,
How are you? I am doing fine. We had some good and bad news this week with Jimmy. Everything was going really well until Thursday when he sent a text saying that he needed some time to himself to think and that he would soon call us. He hasn't yet. We had a member, the former bishop, go over there on Monday to see how he is, but he hasn't called us on how that went. So we really don't know what happened to him, but continue to pray for him and hope for the best. Other than that, we haven't really been having much success. We go tracting a lot and talk to people along the streets. Really I think it comes down to us and what we do meaning to be more committed and focused and rely upon the Lord a lot. We are also thinking of more created ways that we can find people to teach. We really want to try some things out and especially make a more concerted effort with the members here and make sure that we have really spiritual lessons rather than a simple "spiritual thought." I believe that we were placed here for a reason and that there is someone here that needs to hear the gospel.
As far as things that have happened, I hit my year mark on Saturday. We didn't do much other than go to a zone conference. I lit the candle you sent (I did receive the package and thank you for sending that). On Monday we had a zone activity and went to carrickfergus castle. I forgot to bring my camera with so sorry no pictures, unless my zone leader sends out some.
i am glad though that with all of the traveling you've done that you've been safe and hope that the trips you're going on will be good. My shoes are working fine now, but i think my feet just got used to them. I hope to able to hear from you next week.
Elder Buxton
Friends and Family, to help celebrate Jeff's year mark, please write him a letter and send it to the Belfast address! I am sure he will really appreciate it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Almost Hump Day

Dear family,
In 5 days, I reach my year mark, which is unbelievable. Time really seems to have fast forwarded as the mission progresses. I remember how long days were in the MTC and my first couple moves. Now I have almost reach my year mark and days seem to just fly by. Anyways, how are you? I am doing well. We are excited to report that Brother McGoldrick came to church on Sunday. This was a main goal for the week and we really tried to saturate him with the Spirit. I also knew that if he didn't come to church, it would have been harder for him to be baptized. I am glad though that he came so that the promise in D&C 59:9 could be fulfilled, "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself aunspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of bprayer and offer up thy csacraments upon my dholy day;" I know that as we go to church, that we can feel the spirit so that our cup might be full for the coming week. He really enjoyed church and said after sacrament meeting that it was such a quick hour. He is doing really well as he attends institute, reads a lot from the Book of Mormon, Our Heritage (which he finished), Gospel Principles (that he got yesterday), and the November Conference Ensign. He has also stayed strong as he has not drank nor smoked since last Monday. He will still have some challenges as his baptism comes closer, but we will do everything that he can so that nothing can prevent him from covenanting with God.
As far as other things go, we continue to find in hopes that we can continue to brings souls to Christ and find someone to baptized next month. We started teaching this man, but he wasn't sober when we talked to him on the street, nor at our appointment, but he wants to give up the drink and we want to help him if he has the sincere desire. We have some other people that we are meeting with this week and hope that one of them will have a desire to come into the fold.
As far as the ward and area is concerned, I quite like it. The new bishop is originally from Ogden, UT and came back over and got married here after this mission to Ireland. His accent is easy to understand, and I am now getting accustomed to it. It is really similar to Scottish except they blend some Irish words in and don't say "kin" (that means know). You can tell though that he has adapted some pronunciation (like when he says "adult"), but it still is American. We do get some dinner appointments. Jimmy McGoldrick feeds us some sandwiches and we were fed two other times, once was to Burger King (the wife was feeling well so the husband took us out to burger king). As far as my shoes, they hurt my feet sometimes, and I plan on getting some new soles and see if that works. They hold up okay otherwise. My other clothing is holding up fine, I just need to dry clean my suit since it really needs it.
As far as Belfast in concerned, sure i am in a rough area, but you just need to be wise and know where not to be at certain times and to avoid teenagers. Some people do give us some hassle, but we just ignore them and walk on. It really isn't much of a problem. Well, that's all for this week.
It's good to see that you're going to the family reunion in Albuquerque and I hope that you have fun and drive safely. Also say hello for me to the future missionaries Trout Twins.
Elder Buxton
Dear Michelle,
Also if you could send my greetings to Macey and Kiah. That would be grande (if you could also, suggest that they should write me, I'm having a post drought).  Houston sounds fun as well. Are you flying there? Who paid for it? Tell them I say "Hullo."
So you were also wondering what the difference between Belfast and Galway is. So, Belfast is bigger and has many more members and 2 wards and 4 if you count some of the suburbs. This means that I am a lot closer to other missionaries (I am sitting next to one in the library right now and he's not my companion). They speak with a different accent, it's much more Scottish, but they still use some Irish words like craic and grande (usually a reply to how are you). Belfast seems a bit older as well. The houses aren't as new as they are in Galway. Also, most of the building here as made of brick so it looks really red. There are also so many more churches. In Galway you really had mainly Catholic, but also Mormons, Pentecostal, and JW. Here I couldn't really tell you all of them, but there are a lot. We pass them all the time. I don't know if you know this either, but for years there has been a big struggle between protestants and catholics and it is still going on. Sometimes, this leads to violent actions like bombs and there are periodic "bomb scares" that the police here have to handle. Well don't worry though as I am safe and I wish you well on your test. Study hard and pray hard. Good luck!
Elder Buxton

Monday, June 6, 2011


ear family,
How are you doing? We are doing well here in Belfast. A little about the area. It's north of Belfast city centre and is mainly houses and the suburban area of Beflast. Our area isn't that big and the we really only use one bus that takes up and down Antrim Road, the main street. So I like it so far. I'm sending a few pictures that I have taken recently and of our flat. As far as things go, We are still teaching that man that I told you about. His name is Jimmy McGoldrick and he is doing well and really loving following our teachings. He is scheduled to be baptized on the 25th of this month. He also goes to the adult institute that the ward has on Tuesdays. He has really been prepared by the Lord. We are also teaching a man named Mark who has family in the church in Colraine and attended church with them there. Hopefully we can get him excited about coming to church and being baptized. Other than that we have been some finding and looking to see who is interested. Elder Burgess and I are excited to work with one another.
An interesting thing happened on Sunday as a new bishop was called in Cavehill. His name is Bishop d'Hulst. I believe he is originally from Utah and served a mission here and liked it so much that he moved back here. He has been bishop before and I look forward to serving with him. The previous bishop, Bishop Boyd was released because well, God commanded it, but his wife just had a brain aneurysm and he needs more time to run the house and go to work.
Also I was wondering if you could send me some deodorant since they really only sell the spray kind here. Thanks. Maybe some butterfingers as well.
The weather here wasn't so bad when I arrived, in fact it was quite hot. I don't know the exact temperature, but then the weather turned rainy on Sunday, but it wasn't too bad. I don't really know what it will be like this week, but I'm guessing that it will be typical Irish weather.
I'm also glad that everyone back home seems to be doing well.
Elder Buxton
P.S. Funny story: I was almost kissed by another guy, but I stiffed armed him and we walked away.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Moved Again

Dear family,
I have moved again. This time up north to Belfast. I am in an area called Cavehill North which is in the Cavehill Ward. I am really excited to start serving here. My new companion is named Elder Burgess from Texas. He is from my MTC group as well making him my 4th. So my new address is:
434 Antrim Road - Apt. 7
Belfast BT15 5GB
Northern Ireland
I am exactly sure that this is my address so you can start sending stuff there. I was also wondering along with my contacts if you could send some mapeline to make some syrup for pancakes. That would be much appreciated and I thank you in advance for doing that if you can. So a bit about my new area. I am in a walking area with some buses, but we typically walk most places from what I hear. So this means no more car :(. No worries though since I need the real missionary experience of walking places. We don't live very far from the church either which is really convenient. There is another set of elders in our ward and they are in Cavehill South. One of them is from Logandale, NV. His name is Elder Leavitt and he know the Spragues that used to live in our ward. He goes home next month. Everything that i have heard about this place seems promising and we have a man scheduled for baptism in the coming weeks which I am excited to go and teach.
So Elder Manwaring is staying in Galway and is serving with, get this, his best friend since he was 5 from back home. He was shocked when he learned about it, but don't think that he is just going to goof off because his new companion was just released as a zone leader and i think that they will work well with each other. As far as other things that went on. We were still struggling to find someone new to teach. Hopefully they can soon. The good thing though is that Peter finally self committed himself to quit smoking which when he does enables him to be baptized. That was really the highlight of our week. We also had a district conference on Sunday. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake City to the over 40 stakes and 1 district (ours) in the UK and Ireland. In it Elder Kearon, Sister Barbara Thompson, Elder L. Tom Perry, and President Monson spoke. It mainly was geared on helping the members be inspired for June to invite someone every week to church and also the Area Presidency's goal to double the active membership in Europe this decade. It was really good. So that's all that I really have to say today.
I am sorry to hear about Dad's foot and hope that it will heal in time. I am glad that the headstone turned out well. I am also laughing from the story of Matt's delivery to Sarah's house. Does he use the gps or just get directions over the phone? Has Michelle got a teaching job yet? i hope that everything is going well for you all.
Elder Buxton