Monday, September 5, 2011

First Full Week of Training

Dear Family,
We are doing well. Last week had some ups and downs as Elder Graves learned lessons not taught in the MTC. Last Thursday we had a good day lined up with four appointments in the afternoon. None of them happened and none of our backup plans worked either. Elder Graves had great hope in all of these people that we were going to see, but as time went on, he was getting frustrated with the disappointment. He did deal with is well, but that's one lesson that takes experience to deal with and many times, there are miracles around the corner. Nonetheless, we had a good week and we really worked hard. Rakesh is doing really well. He came to church on Sunday and really liked the testimony meeting. Latter that day we met with him and he fed us some Indian food which was really lovely and we asked him how he liked church. He said that typically through the week that a lot of tension builds up in his mind and then as he goes to church, that tension is relieved and he is calmed and better for the week ahead. He also says that at home he is usually antsy and can't sit in one place for very long, but at church he has no problem with the three hour block. It truly is amazing the blessings that come as we attend church faithfully. I can really see a difference in my attitude when I attend church and especially when I do humbly and meekly.
We still haven't been in contact with Jimmy at all. Thomas is alright, but we are unsure if we should continue to teach him since he isn't keeping any commitments. We started teaching a man named John on Saturday. He is a very smart man who teaches psychology and sociology at the university here. It was a good meeting that we had with him and he has a strong faith in Jesus Christ. We just hope that he'll accept the need for a restoration and want to take the step towards being baptized. Another interesting thing happened. So on Monday we talked to this man and woman on the street and they said that we could come by to their house. The man's name was Norman. So we go to the address he gave us and the man that answered wasn't him. However his name was Norman so we talked and we set up an appointment to go by him on Friday. Then we decided to go around the corner and do some tracting and lo and behold, we met another man named Norman. Unfortunately none kept their appointments and two of the Normans we know weren't really interested. We had another good experience on Saturday when we went by a man that said that we could come by and he wasn't there. So we continued tracting and we found a man that we was taught by missionaries previously, but lost contact when he moved away. He recently moved back into the area and was glad that we came by. He said that he was still interested so we are excited to go by.
Just some little notes about the pictures that I am sending. The first two are with the Vallidays who were baptized less than a year ago and we were over before Elder Ihalmo left to Glasgow. The next is a picture of me and a new missionary on top of Pratt's hill that I sat next to on the bus to Pratt's Hill. His name is Elder Croft and he know Kamrin Nielson, one of my roommates in college. He also visited him once at BYU and said that I looked familiar. Small world really. Next are some pictures in a place called Victoria Square that has this observation deck that you can see many places in Belfast from. Next is Elder Graves's first kebab (really good Turkish food made from doner meat and served in/on nan or pitta bread). Normally a missionary's first kebab is called his "kebabtism." Lastly, I mention before that on one pair of my shoes, the sole is deteriorating and I think won't last until winter. I am going to look around Belfast today and look at what I see.
Lastly thank you for sending me a package again and I hope that you enjoy the videos. Michelle, it seems that you're going to have a ball being a teacher and many times you'll have to hold yourself back like the time we went to Subway and saw the man with pink nails and a high voice. Oh and I did mean to tell you that I met Elder Leavitt's parents and he knew the T's and also Brother Hill. Small world again. I hope all goes well and that you enjoy your labor day today.
Elder Buxton

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