Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moves Week

Dear Family,
How are you all doing? I bet you are dying to know where I am headed to. Well yesterday we got our moves call and I have been called to train again! So my companion Elder Graves is going to Paisley, Scotland near Glasgow to be a district leader there. It is interesting to be training again, but that's what the Lord is wanting me to do. So on Wednesday like last time, I will be waking up early in the morning to travel over Scotland by plane to pick up my next "son." So you can know send my Christmas package to Lisburn. I have been thinking of what else I would like and I was wondering if you could send me Bic Ultra Round Stic grip pens (I really like to write with these) and a black belt (in Karate! No, just kidding. A normal belt would do fine because mine is deteriorating with use). In other transfer news that you might appreciate, Elder Manwaring is being transferred to Inverness. This is a common occurrence for him to be in an area for only 6 weeks as it has happened 3 other times. Also, Elder Erickson who I served with in Elgin. He is in Ayr now is training as well.
In the news of this week, we experienced a bit of disappointment, but also some great blessings. On Tuesday I went to Dublin with the other district leaders and the zone leaders for a combined council. Normally once a month there is a district leader council in every zone and then a mission wide zone leader council, but once in awhile they have a combined one. It was quite neat as it was a video conference. The following is what President Griffiths says about it, "As of Monday night, the system wasn’t working so the technical people in Salt Lake worked on it and thought they had it properly configured before they went home. When we checked the system on Tuesday morning, it wasn’t working. We could get it to initialize and start up; but, it would take us off line in under five minutes and lose the connection to Dublin. At 9:30 when the meeting was to start, the connection was working so we all gathered in prayer to ask Heavenly Father to bless the system that it would work for the meeting. The connection went down during the prayer. There were a few elders who hadn’t yet arrived, so we decided to wait for them to start the meeting and hoped that when they arrived the connection would be working. Ten minutes later when they came and all were seated, the system reconnected and we started the meeting. The connection lasted through the opening and through Sister Griffiths’ presentation on hope. Within 5 seconds of her saying, “Amen”, the connection died again. Before we could start our next video, the system reconnected and stayed connected through the entire day. What we didn’t know, is that the technical person in Solihull had called Salt Lake City and had awakened a senior technician who was able to enter the system and identify the configuration problem quickly enough to allow the meeting to proceed with no further interruptions. The man in Solihull was Brother Craig White. The technician in Salt Lake City was Brother Carlos Alvarez. As far as I am concerned, they were the answer to our prayer that our meeting could proceed. We saw through this experience two of the topics of our Council Meeting: Hope and Faith. As we exercised those traits coupled with prayer, our meeting was able to go forward." So as you can see it was quite a miracle for it to happen. On the flip side, things actually weren't going well for me and the other district leaders as we woke up to find that we had ran out of hot water. So another and I ran to the gas station to buy more gas, but it was closed so we all took cold showers. Not fun. Then as we were driving to Dublin we got lost and were actually headed west, not south like we were supposed to. So eventually we turned around and headed down. Then we got lost in Dublin looking for the stake centre. Eventually we arrived. On the way home, we were traveling back on the motorway and it was bumper to bumper and the car in front of us stopped suddenly. We stopped in time to not hit them, but we were very close, but the car behind us rear-ended us. The damage to our car was minimal, but he had a bit more. We exchanged information and then went on our way. Nonetheless I was really strengthened by the meeting and have really been trying to implement into our area.
Like I said earlier we experienced a bit of disappointment. We were able to see Thomas McGovern on Wednesday and things had really changed with him and he was strongly hinting that he is looking forward to being baptized. The problem is that he goes back and forth to Strabane a lot to visit his parents. We are really hoping that he can stay more weekends to come to church here. Then on Thursday some great things happened as we were tracting this street in the middle of the afternoon and we were able to get in tracting to this man named Anthony. Over the years he has lost his faith in God because of his rough past, but he is interested in seeing if he is there and finding forgiveness for the things that he has done. Then later we were able to meet with this man named Sean and he was quite interested and we had a good lesson, but he didn't keep his return appointment on Saturday. Saturday was interesting. It started out as being really horrible and nobody was really there, but we were trying to find this street that wasn't on our map and we were asking people in the area and we asked this one man outside a bookie (a place where you can bet on sports) and he didn't know. So he went into the bookie and asked around and they said where it was. So to thank him, we gave him a pass along card and said that the website will help us find our purpose in life. He then said that that was what he was looking for in his life. So we got talking and set up an appointment and invited him to church. On Sunday morning we gave him a call and he was up and ready to go so he came to church and really, really enjoyed it. He said that he felt so calm and peaceful and at the end he didn't want to go. So we are extremely thankful for this experience. His name is Eddie and he is looking forward to being baptized on December 10. Also on Friday we were walking to Sean to make sure he would be good to for Saturday, but we accidentally turned up the wrong street without knowing. It was a great inconvenience, but while we were there, I decided to go by Jimmy and he was there. He was drinking and smoking and explained what had happened the last couple of months. It had really been going through a tough time, but at the end of it, he felt the need to come to church. So we arranged to go and walk with him there. Then on Sunday, he came and you could see in his eyes that that is where he needed to be.
In other news, last Monday we went and saw where the Titanic was built. The dry dock is still there amazingly after 100 years. They're building a new museum to commemorate the 100th year anniversary and it will be finished April next week. That was neat. Also another picture that i sent was we took a picture at 11:11 on November 11. Also on there is on some of the coins are pieces of a puzzle that makes a shield and I finally finished it. Lastly is a picture of a recent convert, Thomas Ryan and I after church.
Lastly, thanks for sending how the gospel has blessed you and I was wondering what Michelle and Matt want for Christmas and also what size t-shirts that they wear. Thanks for all that you do for me.
Elder Buxton

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