Sunday, June 17, 2012

This Is It

Dear Family,
As you already know, this is the last and final email that I will be sending as a missionary. It has been really good to serve the Lord and declare His Gospel. By His Grace, I have learned so much and know that my mission was the best two years for my life. Last week had its challenges and miracles. On Tuesday I went on exchanges to Elgin. It was really weird to work in my old area. The best part of our day was that we went street contacting in the city centre and we were going around it and went down this one alleyway and these two young guys were coming towards us and we stopped and spoke to them. One of them was especially interested. His name was Matty. He believed in God, but a couple of nights before he was praying to God to find some sort of assurance that He was still there. Then we spoke to him on the street. He had a strong belief in God, but was wondering what God wanted him to do next. I am really so glad that we were able to meet him and his friend Harris who the Elgin missionaries taught later that week and they both want to be baptized. Later we went to the Stobbarts and I confirmed with them that we are going there for dinner on Monday. The Elgin missionaries will be there as well. While in Aberdeen, Elder Heidler was able to meet with this less-active and his girlfriend, Don and Kimmy. We have been working with them and Don knows the Church is true and really just wants a little push in the right direction. Kimmy is his girlfriend and has been getting more and more interested. She has read all of 1 Nephi and wants to learn more. In the lesson, Elder Heidler asked them about coming church. They thought about it and Kimmy said that this week would be the best for her to come and Don agreed to come as well. On Saturday we phoned Kimmy and she said that she was still planning on coming as long as Don was feeling well. Then on Sunday we were waiting for Church to start and they walked into the Church. I was so amazed and happy that they were there. I really hope that they can continue to progress. 
On Wednesday we were able to see Edna again. She is doing well and really likes learning about the gospel. On Friday we helped an elderly sister in her back yard lay a path. She had these concrete slabs (which many people use to make footpaths in their yards) laying around and wanted a path made. So we dug up some grass and dirt and laid these slabs down. It was a lot of fun and at the end of it, it looked very professionally done. I wish that I brought a camera along to take a picture of it. Also on Sunday we helped out in the primary. Elder Heidler played the piano and I sat and sang. We also sat in the Relief Society because Sister Ware was giving out a challenge based on President Hull's challenge during Stake Conference. The challenge was 3 parts: 1. pray for the missionaries and missionary opportunities 2. having meaningful contact with the missionaries once a month 3. help convert or reactivate someone in 2012. So she wanted us there so the sisters could know who the missionaries were. I really hope that the sisters take on board this challenge. Later on Sunday we went by a referral from the other Aberdeen missionaries. He let us in. His name is George and he is from Turkey. He wants to read the Book of Mormon and we plan on getting him one in Arabic for him to read. Other than that, Elizabeth continues to do well. Jonathan is making a bit of progress. He went to young men's on Tuesday and played some softball. He continues to come to church. He wants to play me in basketball when I come back with you. 
If you're not aware, much of the country continues to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. There are many festivities throughout the UK. The ward had a jubilee party on Saturday.
I'm all packed and will be traveling down to the mission home today on a train. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. You might be able to see Elder Heidler on Wednesday as well. Thank you for all that you.

Love,
Elder Buxton














Monday, May 28, 2012

Last Preparation Day

Dear Family,
How are you? It sounds like you are doing well and that your trip to see grandma and grandpa went well. We are doing well here and had a pretty good week. Then best thing that happened was that on Wednesday we had an appointment with a man who wasn't there so we decided to knock a few doors in the area. As we were approaching the first door, Elder Heidler said, "Look who it is." I turned around and saw Edna who we taught a few weeks ago, but had been at her daughters helping to care for her and her grandchildren. We caught up a bit and set up an appointment for the next day. We brought Brother Sullivan along and we spoke about the first part of the plan of salvation, then as we were about to go, I asked her what she thought about being baptized. She said that she would still like to and had been thinking about it when she was at her daughter's. Then Brother Sullivan said that it would be important for her to set a date. Edna liked the idea and said that that it was she normally does when she sets a goal. We then asked her what date she would want to set. She then thought and said that her birthday would be good which was in July. Brother Sullivan than commented that that was too far away and that the adversary would try and tempt and get her away from this and that she should set it sooner. So she thought for a moment and asked what today was. We said that it was the 24th of May. She then said that why don't set it for a month from now. It was truly amazing to see how the Spirit works when we are unified. Also what was interesting was that we planned to invite her to be baptized on June 24, but weren't really planning on doing it right of way, but I felt inspired to ask just so we can see if we were going anywhere. Then on Sunday while we were at church, I was sitting next to Elizabeth after sacrament meeting and Brother Sullivan and Edna came around and Brother Sullivan was asking Elizabeth how long ago she was baptized. Then Edna said "I'm getting done on the 24th." It was so good to hear that.
Other things that happened were that I went to on exchanges to Buchan which is the ward north of Aberdeen. We went to places like Peterhead and Fraserburgh. Also on Wednesday we helped Brother Anupum take down an old shed in his back yard. That was fun to just use a sledge hammer and take it apart. We also started teaching this man named Frank who is from Africa. He really wants to know which of all the churches are true because many testify that theirs is the one, but we hope as we teach him more that he can pray for himself and see. Also on Sunday night we were in an area and we were going by some people that said we could come back. None really wanted to us in though. So we saw this lady out in her front yard eating a chippie with her children. We then learned that she is a member of the church and was baptized when she was 12 and now wants to get back into it again. It just goes to show that the Lord places people in your path.
This past week, the weather has been really good and some call it a heat wave even though the temperatures are only between 62 and 77 degrees. It's hot for them, but definitely not for me. I hope that the weather continues, but knowing Scotland, it probably won't. Have a good week and safe travels,

Love,
Elder Buxton












Middle of May

Dear Family,
I am doing well here. Things have slowed down a bit. Like the missionaries in our ward, we only had 5 lessons to investigators this past week as well. It seems that the things we are doing aren't working and the people we were working with can't meet with us yet (or might not want to at all). Jonathan is doing alright and is still reading the Book of Mormon on his own and finding answers in there. His sister came back from University in Switzerland on Saturday. Hopefully she won't hinder any progress we are making with them. From what we have heard about her, she is a nice girl. Other than that, we taught a few people her and there, but nothing much. Last night we were supposed to see this guy named Kingsley, but he wasn't there so we decided to go and knock a few doors before the end of the night. So we decided to go wherever the Spirit would prompt us to go, so we went to this area and knocked on three doors. Nothing happened, then a man came out of one door that we knocked on. Elder Heilder called after him and he said that he had already spoken to us a couple of times, but we got talking and we were able to answer some of the questions that he had. It was a good conversation we had and he became quite interested to read from the Book of Mormon that he was given earlier.
Other things that we did were go to zone conference which was all about the Book of Mormon we were also given a new dvd that we can pass out that gives an introduction and has Elder Holland's testimony that he gave of it a few conferences ago along with the conversion story of a Bishop in London. We look forward to giving it out to people. There I also saw Elder James and my "grandson" Elder Park who Elder James is training. There is a picture of it that I sent already. On Sunday, the other missionaries had a baptism of a man named Paul. He is the husband of a member. The great thing is that he started investigating mainly because he saw how well his wife was taken care of by the Relief Society. His investigation has also helped him wife be more active now as well. It is so great when a family comes together. 
Looks like things are moving on at home. It will be sad to see that the suburban won't be there, but to be honest, I never liked to drive it. Are you planning on getting replacing it?
We will probably having dinner at the Stobbarts when we go on Monday evening. 
Does Dad ever go out with the missionaries as he is a ward missionary?
I hope that everything goes well at home.

Love,
Elder Buxton













Sunday, May 20, 2012

Post-Mother's Day

Dear Family,
I hope that you are all doing well after I last saw you. I really enjoyed to speaking to you and getting some answers to some things that I was pondering about. Thanks once again. So I looked up how long it would take to from Aberdeen to Loch Ness and other things and figured that it would take about 7 hours to do it all. So if that can fit in with the plane ride to London, I would love to see these things. 
So on to missionary work though. Elizabeth is still doing well. Jonathan has made some progress though. He has been getting some answers as he continues to read from the Book of Mormon. Sometimes he flips to random pages and reads what it says and many times it answers his questions. We also promised him that if he came to church yesterday-which he did-that he would do well on his Chemistry exam that he has tomorrow. Now I hope and pray that he will. Other than that, many of our investigators haven't been able to meet with us for various reasons. We thought we found a very solid lady from a less-active referral, but she canceled, but still wants to meet sometime. We found a less-active street contacting and she was willing to meet with us and gain her faith back, but she wouldn't return our calls nor could we find her address. However we were able to meet with this man named Kingsley who after watching the Restoration dvd, and discussing it, wanted to meet again. So we hope that as he reads from the Book of Mormon, that he'll see the need to join the Church. We hope though that this week will be better especially since Edna is coming back from her daughter's this week, Sam is feeling better now, and we have a few appointments this week. Also we have started doing this Book of Mormon loan program where we lend out copies of the Book of Mormon for about a week and then go by and see what people think. This first two we gave them to, gave them back, and one other lady nearly gave it back, but after talking a bit more, we found out that one of her grandsons wants to know where it came from so we set up an appointment and gave the book back as a special gift from us to her. We hope that we can teach many of her family.
Thanks for all that you do.

Love,
Elder Buxton

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May

Dear Family,
I am doing very well. We had a good week capped off by the confirmation of Elizabeth on Sunday. She asked me to do it so I did. It was quite the experience and I was glad to be worthy to do it. She is so excited to be a member of the Church now. She tells just about everyone. I hope now that she can be an example to her family and friends. She went to a relief society activity as well and enjoyed herself there.
We talk a lady named Sam a couple of times. She seems good and wants to be baptized and read from the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, she came down with a throat infection at the end of the week and hasn't been that well. We also started teaching this man named Gary who has come out of a rough patch in his life and wants to turn to God again. He looks forward to meeting with us, but unfortunately he has to look after his father because he isn't doing that well. We have seen Elizabeth and her son Jonathan. Jonathan is making progress, but probably wont' be baptized soon as he struggles gaining a testimony along with studying for school exams. We gave him a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet to read and apply in his life. Hopefully he can gain a testimony that way. We were able to do quite a bit of service as well. We helped one lady move stuff out of her attic and into her new flat. We helped Brother Anupum in his garden putting down some rocks and making it look nice. We helped the Wares in their garden as well to pull some weeds and mow the lawn.
Last Thursday on Preparation Day, we went and played mini golf which was fun. Elder Heidler won and I came 2nd. About phoning home. I will be skyping at the Wares and will probably arrange it for 11:30 a.m. your time. I know this means that you'll have to miss part of church, but it's the latest time that would work. The only questions that I have are of the schedule of our tour around the mission.
Yesterday we had a zone meeting and took the picture that I sent. We also played basketball afterward which was quite fun.
It seems like things are going well at home and I hope that Dad mans up and gets over his soreness.

Love,
Elder Buxton






Monday, April 30, 2012

Moves Week

Dear family,
I am doing really well. We have had some really, really good experiences or in other words miracles happen the past week. When we first looked at our week ahead, it seemed that it wasn't going to be as good as the last week since not much was planned. On Tuesday I went on a exchange with Elder Dixon in Bridge of Don. He is from London, but his parents are from Jamaica. It was a good exchange and he has some good pointers to work on for the next while. While on that exchange we were walking to an appointment when we reached this intersection and waited to cross. As we were somebody hocked. I didn't think much of it because you know it happens often. But then I saw this car and recognized it as Elizabeth's and then I saw Elizabeth waving to us. The light then turned green and she motioned that she was going to turn around. She then pulled over and got out. We caught up a bit and learned a bit more about her situation and set up an appointment for Thursday. In that appointment on Thursday we brought the Wares and had a lesson about the tree of life. It was good and we felt the Spirit. We then gave her a blessing because she had been going through a lot. We then went to her home and gave her son, Jonathan, a blessing as well because he has been getting stressed with the upcoming exams that he is taking. The next day we were sitting in a dinner appointment waiting for the food to be ready, just talking to some of the family members when I received a text from Jonathan asking me to call them. So I didafter asking the members if that was okay.. He explained that all of our efforts and prays had not been in vain. They were driving around at the moment and found a parking spot. Then he passed the phone over to his mom. She then asked, "Elder Buxton, do you think it's too quick to be baptized on Sunday?" I said that I didn't know, but that I would check with the Bishop. Later I did and he was okay with it as long as we could fit it in with a munch and mingle that was being held for Elder and Sister Keith (the senior couple that Sister Layton gave the package to). Later with the help of Brother Ware we were able to get a program set up. Friday night we got the district leader, Elder Little, to perform an interview. The service went pretty well. We had nice speakers and a testimony by Sister Ware. Then came the baptism. I forgot to mention though that Elder Hales came down from Elgin to baptize her. So she had to be baptized twice because her hand wasn't submerged. That was fine and then they went back into the dressing rooms and that font then drained. I then went back to the chapel to set up TV for a DVD that we were going to watch while they got dressed. I was sitting there for awhile and wondered why nobody was coming in. I went back to the font and found out that Elizabeth didn't tell Elder Hales her whole name (if you remember we gave her a blessing and found out her whole name then which was quite lengthy). So she needed to be baptized again. Unfortunately the water was half gone or more. So we filled up buckets of water to throw in. That didn't make much of a difference. So they decided that she would sit down and then lay back to be baptized with her whole name. So she did. It was a bit embarrassing, but she humbled herself and did it. We then finished the service and went back to our flat. So of the baptisms that I have been involved in, only Patrick Noonan's baptism went completely smooth. However, I am not bragging here, but of the people I personally stood in the water and baptized, they only had to be done once.
Other things that happened this week were that on Thursday we tried by this less-active named Don and his girlfriend Kimmy. They let us in. They weren't feeling that great, but they told us some amazing things. Earlier that week that both got blessings from Don's father. Afterwards, their health improved. This is when Kimmy really realized that God is there and there must be some power in the Church. We hope now that we can see them more regularly help them come to church and live the gospel. On Friday afternoon I had a phone call from Greg, a less-active I have mention earlier. We spoke for 37 minutes because he was looking to get work off so that he could come to church, but we hadn't heard from him all that week. In this phone call he was expressing some of his same doubts and how he thinks impossible for him to pray. By the end out of no really persuasion of my own, but what I know was definitely the Spirit working on him, he committed himself to reading the Book of Mormon and praying and even fasting that Saturday to receive an answer of what he should do. Really both Elder Heidler and I were amazed. He will take some more work if he is still willing, but hopefully he gives this the thought that it deserves. On Sunday after the baptism we went by a referral from the other Aberdeen missionaries named Jonah. He let us in and one of the first things that he asked us was where the church was and how to get to it. We told him where and he said that he would be there the next Sunday. We had a good lesson with him and he is going to reading from the Book of Mormon this week. Later we went by this other referral from the Bridge of Don Sisters. We were supposed to see her on Friday, but she wasn't there. So we went by and she was there and she let us in. We were able to teach her (or really just listen to her tell us about the death of her husband and how this started a desire to know more about God). Her name is Sam. The great thing is that she lives just across from the Church. We were also able to see her today and she is so prepared and believes many of the doctrines already. We hope that the gospel will give her hope and fill a void in her life.
I know Elder Matthew Martin. He was my district leader in Galway. He is really good and I like him a lot. In fact he trained Elder Heidler. Yes you were right that I would not be in that picture because I didn't go back to Pratt's Hill until August. And yes he goes home on Wednesday. Other noteworthy things of the transfer are that Elder Heidler and I are staying together. Also Elder James whom I trained is training now in a place called Dalkeith which is near Edinburgh. We also have 4 brand new missionaries coming into our zone which is excited. I love new missionaries. Also you might be wondering why I am emailing so late. It is because we spent most of the day working out travel plans for the zone. It sometimes takes awhile because you have to coordinate with other zone leaders. Well I hope that all goes well. I am pretty sure that we will still be able to skype and I'll let you know what time next week. What time is Church at though?

Love,
Elder Buxton












Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nearly the End of April

Dear family,
I am doing well here in Aberdeen. Just for your information. Next week is moves week so have all mail sent to the mission home just in case. Also I learned this morning that Bro King phoned and said that the material will come in 1 week earlier so this means that we can get the kilt now. He probably had a few words with the suppliers so that he can keep this sale. On Monday I received a call from the Keiths, the YSA senior couple here and they said that they had a surprise for me. I thought it would just be something for our flat because they did this earlier. They came to our flat that night and dropped off the package. I was really shocked to hear that Sister Layton had brought it all the way from Las Vegas and that there was someone that I knew all the way over here. You're probably aware that visits from friends and family while I am here are against church policy and up till then I thought I would never have a problem with it because all friends and family were thousands of miles away. So thank you for sending me those treats. They have good so far. About the time will be in Aberdeen. 

As far as the work goes. We are teaching more lessons than in the past few weeks. Elder L. Tom Perry promised that if we teach 20 lessons a week that we can double our baptisms and reactiviations. So this week we tried really hard to teach 20 lessons and we did. Elizabeth is doing alright. She feels rushed into baptism and did not come to church yesterday. Hopefully we can help her resolve them, but we are quite certain that she won't be baptized next week. We started teaching a new lady that we are excited about named Edna. She is really good and came to church and loved it. Bro Sullivan who we brought along the first time has a good feeling about her. We hope that she can be baptized in the middle of next month. She is a sweet lady who lives much of the gospel already and has a strong belief in Jesus Christ and is ready to learn and live the gospel. We also started teaching a man named James from Nigeria. He is interested, but I don't really know how much effort he is really going to put into this. It was a fun lesson that we had with him and I hope that he just reads from the Book of Mormon. On Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Little who is in Aberdeen 2. As we were walking through the city centre on our way to the Library to type some things up, we took a wrong turn and when we realized that, we turned around and started walking back up the street we just came down. Elder Little then stopped a man who stopped and talked. We spoke about the Book of Mormon and how modern prophets can give us guidance today for our lives. He was quite interested and we asked when we could come and see him. He then invited us over to his flat right then and there so we went with him. It was a good lesson and this man, Collin, wants to gain trust and belief in God again. It was marvelous to see how the Lord carries your feet to those that are prepared to receive you. 

On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Parsons in Inverness and it was wierd to be in an area from early on in my mission. The pictures are of when we went running on Wednesay morning. I wanted to say that I went running in the highlands, so now I can. 

The funny thing about the card that I sent Matt was that I went to the card section at ASDA and picked the first funny one that I found because we didn't have much time. I suppose that I just have a knack for finding funny cards. I heard that Matt is staying south of campus as well. How close will we be to each other?

Well I hope that everything is going well.

Love,
Elder Buxton




Last Day of Tax Season

Dear family,
It was good to hear from you. Thanks for you input about the kilt. I'll have to check with Brother King about if he can make it in one day. If not I'll see if it can be shipped home. If you could though check it out the place your friend referred you to as well. Then we'll see what will happen.
Brother Rae told me on Sunday that he had spoken to Sister Bourne. It is good that he said nice things about me here. So as you can see I am doing what I am supposed to. We were with Brother Rae teaching Elizabeth. There we set a new date for baptism with her for April 29. She was a bit hesitant, but then on Sunday she told one of the Elgin missionaries that taught her while she was there, "I'll see you on the 29th and I want you to baptize me." So now were are really excited for her. Brother Rae was actually a great help. 
Sunday was stake conference in Aberdeen. So members from the Elgin branch came down and it was very weird to see people from earlier in my mission. Thankfully I was able to remember their names. So stake conference was a lot of fun. Elizabeth and Jonathan came and enjoyed themselves. Later we had family home evening with them at Sister Hallmann's. It was good and Sister Hallmann and Elizabeth are becoming great friends. For the activity we played poker. They all thought I would be very good since I was from Las Vegas. I won one round, but that was it. I just wasn't given very good cards. 
During the week we went to Edinburgh for a district leader/zone leader council. It was very good. Elder Stephen Kerr of the seventy was there. He is the area seventy for Scotland and Ireland. It was good and he gave us all some good advice and things to work on. Then I went on exchanges with Elder Costley, one of the assistants, it went very well and we were able to teach a few people as well as help one less-active clean and wash his car. The funny thing is that they have jokingly developed this system called "PAP" points for potential assistant points. I scored 65 (he made that up). So we'll see what happens. Truthfully i don't care and would rather just stay here in Aberdeen. On Friday we had interviews with President and training. We had to give some training. It was somewhat of a long day. We finally left around 4. On Saturday we did a lot of finding. In the evening we spent our time tracting and it started snowing. We pressed on. Then it stopped snowing as we knocked on this one door. The man was interested and invited us back. It was an interesting turn of events. It just goes to show that the Lord know His Children.
I'm glad to hear that Chris Layton has his mission call to serve the Lord. 
I don't know if I told you, but Spring is on its way. All over Aberdeen there are flowers springing up. It is a wonderful sight to see. The trees are starting to bud as well which means that it will be getting more green. Nonetheless, it still has been quite cold and has snowed a few times, but never stuck to the ground. 
So Elizabeth is doing well and is hopefully to be baptized at the end of the month. We are also trying to help her son, Jonathan to read the Book of Mormon to help him out during his exams that he is studying for. We started teaching a man named Kali from Nepal. We had a short visit with him, but he is willing to learn. His English isn't that good. He goes to uni here in Aberdeen. We hope that he can understand the gospel and the Restoration in hopes that he can make the changes in his life to be baptized. 
Just remember to make a list of questions you want answered on Mother's Day. Thank you for all that you do.

Love,
Elder Buxton

Easter Week

Dear family,
I am doing well here. Easter was good. We didn't really do much, but some of the members gave us some Easter eggs. Here an Easter egg is usually this big chocolate egg made of good chocolate. Hopefully I don't eat them too fast. Thanks for doing all that you do for me to come to transition home easily. About the kilt. Brother King told me that the place he gets the tartans from is out of the one that I want and won't be able to finish any more until June 11. So we can either get a different McMillan tartan or I can talk to him to see if he did get some on June 11, how long it would take him to finish it.
As far as our investigators go. Elizabeth is doing fine. She felt a bit rushed into baptism, so it is postponed for the moment. Hopefully it can be later on this month. She came to church an enjoyed talking to this member, Sister Hallmann. They seem to get on well with each other and are already making plans to see each other during the week. So that is good there. Endurance came to church this week as well. He is getting stressed with all of the work that he has to do for his course. Hopefully we he gets to his holiday, we can see him more and prepare him to be baptized again. Last week I told you about this guy named Chad. He was doing very well and we were really excited to teach him more and more, but then we lost contact and he says that he doesn't want to become a Mormon just now. He says that we can meet up during the week to discuss this so hopefully we can resolve concerns. On Saturday we met with a man named Bill. He has a young family. We only taught him about the Restoration. He doesn't have much faith at the moment and is looking to see how he can increase it. Hopefully we can meet with him again this next weekend. 
I hope that you enjoyed your holiday to Utah. The weather seemed like it was here. It was nice a couple of weeks ago and we were working without our jackets, but then it slammed down to being cold and wet again. Today though it seems quite nice. Tomorrow we going to Edinburgh for a district leader and zone leader council. I hope that this can help our zone. In the Bridge of Don ward there was a young man baptized from China. I was able to interview him. He is really prepared and knows the doctrine really well. The funny thing is that he gives the missionaries that taught him a lift to church. He also wants to go and teach other Chinese people with the missionaries. I love you all and have a good week.

Love,
Elder Buxton

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference Week and Moving

Dear Family,
We are doing well here. I really enjoyed conference and it was very good to hear some uplifting remarks from our Church Leaders. My favorite talk was given by Elder Hallstrom on being active in the gospel. Many of us can be active at church and inactive in the gospel so he says. Many times in the church we track progress by using numbers, but the most important element of conversion cannot be measured by numbers or statistics. It is something personal and that is why D&C 20:37 speaks of qualities that those about to be baptized (and might I add those that want to maintain their covenants) should have. I am also really glad for general conference because it is a real way that everyone especially investigators can see first hand that this is "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth," by seeing the prophet and apostles speak.
Also this week we moved flats my new address is:

64 Roslin Place
Aberdeen AB24 5BL

It was quite tiring and I am glad that we are moved now to our new flat. It is bigger and nicer. It took us just about all day Friday to get us moved to our new flat. Thankfully our old landlord helped us move. It was quite a hassle and really a miracle that we got our keys. You see for some reason they needed a signature from someone in Germany from the Church offices there. Thankfully the man was there Friday morning so that he could sign the lease and fax it back to the letting agency. According to Sister Graham in the office, this has been the only time that this has had to happen. Normally they are just fine having a senior couple sign the lease and that's that. No matter though because I am glad that it is all done and we can now focus on doing missionary work. I have never realized how tiring cleaning, packing, and moving can be. Hopefully the last time I have to move as a missionary is when I go home.
Yesterday I spoke to Mike King at General Conference and he said to go into his shop today so I did and I order a kilt. It will be about £330. That is the best deal that he could give me which I took. The tartan is the McMillan Old Modern Black. There is a picture of me holding the tartan that you can look at. I like it and look forward to wearing it when it comes.
As far as our investigators go. Elizabeth is doing well and is looking forward to being baptized this Sunday. She is so special and really wants to come into the church. She is also so willing to act on what we say. We are getting to know her quite well. Later today we are playing basketball with her son, Jonathan at the church. It should be fun, but I'll have to see how rusty I am. Das is doing well, but he had some bad news this week as his wife's visa was denied so he'll have to get some things sorted out before he can re-apply. This means that we are going to put his baptism off until we can set a new date with him. Endurance is very stressed at the moment, but can to the priesthood session. He liked to hear the prophet. We don't know when he'll be baptized, but he is thinking about it. We met with a man named Olu again. He is doing well, but didn't come to conference as he said he would. We plan on teaching him more, but we are unsure if he is willing to break away from his Church.
Last night we had an appointment with a man, but he wasn't there. So while we were in the area we decided to go and knock on some flats. We didn't have much success, so Elder Heidler asked me if we should go knock some houses, but I didn't feel right about it. I was looking around and looked at a street and felt that we should start tracting it. So we did and on the second house we spoke to a young man in his 20s who let us in. His name is Chad and he knows some members of the Church and looks  up to them. Once he spent some time visiting some friends of his in Utah and they told him a bit about the church. So he is interested in reading about the Book of Mormon. It really is amazing how the Spirit works and inspires us to find the elect of God.
Thanks for signing me up for classes. I am not sure what my major will be. It is something that I have thought about, but plan on deciding when I get home. I am leaning towards civil engineering. So I think that many of the classes that I need to take this next semester should be about the same. You can look and check. The most important thing is that I get into the math class for engineers which it seems you got me into. Thanks again for doing that. As far as staying in Aberdeen goes, I don't really know. There is a Marriott and other hotels. There are a lot of Bed and Breakfasts. It all doesn't really matter to me.
I love you all.
Oh and if you could send me a list of questions that you wont' answered on Mother's Day I'll be sure to do that.

Love,
Elder Buxton










Sunday, April 1, 2012

End of March

Dear Family,
How are you all doing? I am doing really well. The past few days serving with Elder Heidler have been very enjoyable. He is from Leipzig. He has been out for about 14 months. Hopefully I can serve with him until the end of my mission. The most wonderful experience that we had was that on Friday night we had nothing to do so we were trying by people in the area book. We went to this one area, parked the car, and started walking to this person's home. We were stopping everyone that we could. Nobody was interested until we stopped this one man. He wanted to know about Christ's restored Church. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he was excited to meet with us. We were able to meet with him on Sunday afternoon. We had a really good lesson teaching the Restoration. He loved it and wants to pray and find out that the Book of Mormon is true and that somebody on the earth has God's authority. Nobody I have ever taught has been seeking for the church with God's authority. We are excited to prepare him to be baptized. Hopefully it will be at the end of this month. Elizabeth is doing quite well. We had a tour of the Church with her and she really liked that. She came to church on Sunday, but had to leave early to head to Keith to finish cleaning out her home. She is really looking forward to being baptized. She reads so much of the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and Church manuals. She loves to learn and follow Christ. Das is also doing well. He came to Church as well and loves what he learns. We had another man at church named Victor. We last taught him about a month ago. He was really looking forward to reading from the Book of Mormon and has done so. He came and enjoyed himself and wants to keep coming. The amazing thing was that he worked a night shift, went home, got ready, and came to Church with us. Elder Freckleton and I were able to see Blessing and Endurance before he left. Blessing really liked Church especially Relief Society. Unfortunately they didn't come to church.
The members are taking good care of us and are feeding us quite well.
I hope everything goes well for you in your holiday to Utah.
I am really looking forward to general conference this next weekend. I hope that it will be as good as the last one.
Today we had a meeting with the zone about sacrifice that went really well. Then we went to the beech to have some fun and a BBQ. It was a lot of fun to play around and get to know each other.
I hope that everything goes well at home especially Dad as he endures through another tax season.

Love,
Elder Buxton

Moves Week

Dear Family,
We are doing really well and had quite a busy week and today has been really busy as well which is why we are emailing so late. So about moves, Elder Freckleton is moving to Livingston which is in Edinburgh Zone. I am staying here and getting as my companion Elder Heidler. He is from Germany. He was in my district when I was in Galway. He is good and I liked him when we were there. I look forward to him being here. He is coming over from Ireland and will spend all day Wednesday traveling over here. He'll be really tired when he gets here.
Today we helped one of our investigators move. She was being taught by the Elgin missionaries and is now moving to Aberdeen so the Elgin missionaries and us went to Keith to help her move. It took just about all day which is why we are emailing at this time. It was good and hopefully the help will allow her to focus more on spiritual things. She is a nice lady. Her name is Elizabeth and is from Bolivia.
This past week, the greatest success was that we were able to teach Endurance's wife, Blessing. She is really nice and even though she feels like a child hearing these things for the first time, she is excited to learn. On Sunday the whole family came to church and Blessings said that she was starting to like what she was learning. Das also came to church. He is doing well and is now stopped praying to Hindu gods and now only to our Heavenly Father. One great experience happened as we went by a former investigator named Mark. He had been taught by missionaries on and off. I believe that he was nearly baptized in his youth in the Shetland Islands, but his mom didn't allow him. He seemed to know just about everything about the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and most of the commandments. He was also reading from his Book of Mormon each day. The greatest question that he had was which church he should be baptized in. He had been pushed too much by missionaries in the past, but we tried to put him in the right direction. It is so great to see people that accept what you teach.
On Friday we went and saw this less-active named Greg. He was baptized about 5 years ago in the Bridge of Don ward, but stopped going after about year. He is a very smart man who is studying philosophy and has now gone atheist, but the amazing things was in the last two visits, I was thinking that this guy was a goner, but somehow at the end of the lesson, he would amaze us. The previous visit he said that each time that he prayed, God never let him down. He may now have answered in the way that he would have wanted, but his prayers were heard and answered. Then in the last visit, he self-committed himself to start reading his scriptures and praying each day. I would have never have thought that he would have said those things. It truly was the Spirit that invited him to do those things. On Saturday we had a great day as were taught this guy named Jamie who is going to Uni. He was really excited to read from the Book of Mormon. Then we went to Stonehaven to help out this member family. They have been trying to get their home nice and pretty to sell and we helped them in the back yard to build a deck. Mostly though we had to transfer dirt from one place to another and put in some posts before we had to leave. We then saw a guy named Brian. And that's probably where I am going end because I don't have much time left.
To answer some question from you email, a tour of London would be brilliant. I would like to a city such as London. From Edinburgh to Aberdeen it takes about 2.5 hours. It would probably be about 2 hours to Ayr. Yes I would like a kilt. Ireland first would be fine. Thanks for all that you do.

Love,
Elder Buxton

Happy Birthday Week

Dear Family,
I am doing well . I had a good birthday. On Tuesday we went down to Edinburgh for a zone leader council which was really good. Fortunately I was able to get my package from you. I really enjoyed the things that you sent. Most of the rolls arrived okay. Some had some mold on them. For the most part I took those parts off and put them in the freezer. I enjoyed all that cards that were sent as well. Hopefully for Matt's birthday, I'll remember to send one on time. For my birthday, Elder Freckleton made me a cake that we ate that night. During the day, we went out to a place called Banchory to do a little work out there. Then we got a chippie in town and went out to one of the castles nearby and ate it there. It was nice.
As far as our investigators go. Endurance wasn't baptized on Sunday because his wife and daughter just came from Nigeria to live with him here. For some reason, he hadn't told her about being baptized and she wanted to know a bit more of what he was getting himself into. So the hope now is that we can teach her and they can all get baptized at once. This should help him out a lot especially if she can get a job to help support him while he is getting his master's degree. So really it is a great blessing to have them here (in fact, her name is Blessing). Das came to church as well. He is doing well. We had a lesson with him during gospel principle because he was the only investigator in the class. It was really good because his friend, Anupum (a recent convert), bore some powerful testimony of how he came to believe in Jesus Christ. It was full of the Spirit in that room and I think will really prepare him to be baptized soon. Another miracle that we had was at church. On Saturday, we popped by this part member family. We arranged to help them out with some service and as we left we asked them if they would come to church. She said that she wouldn't. Well Church came the next and to our surprise, she was there along with her nonmember husband who has never been to church before. It was great to see them there. Other things that happened this week were that we went a visited this less-active man named Greg. We met with him once before and thought that he would not only never come back to church, but believe in God again. We continued to think this half way through our lesson. He said that it would be impossible for him to him to have faith again. However, at the end of the lesson, after him bearing testimony that when he did pray, God never let him down, he said that he could work some of his concerns out in his mind. For me this means that he has changed his own opinion from impossible to possible. It was great to see that and I know that it is only the Spirit that started to change this in him.
On Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Davidson in the other area in Aberdeen. During that time, we had some good experiences. The best that was we taught the husband of a member who is investigating the church now. The thing was that his wife got ill and the Relief Society stepped in and helped out a lot. This touched him a lot and he came to church two weeks ago and agreed to meet with the missionaries and learn about the church. He came again this past Sunday. He has such a sincere desire to learn and knows that over time that he can learn all that he needs to. Hopefully he can be baptized at the end of the month.
As far as the trip in concerned. I think that you should rent a car because public transport for 3 people would cost much more than renting a car and paying petrol. As far as accommodations, if President Griffiths says that we should not bother members, then we should follow that. The classes that I would like look good. Have Michelle sign up for them since she has a lot of practice.
We have heard as well that Alan Henry Brown is to be the next mission president. Many of the ward members including our ward mission leader were down at the temple, this past weekend. He met him in the temple while he was there. He spoke highly of us to him. When he told this, I said, "He'll never be our mission president." Then he remembered that we go home in June. Nonetheless, it was very good of him to speak to highly of us.
Thanks for all that you do. It seems like to you are having a lot of fun especially fulfilling your missionary responsibilities.

Love,
Elder Buxton


Birthday Week

Dear Family,
I am doing really well. Things are starting to pick up and we are seeing great blessings. The greatest blessings that we were able to witness was that Endurance was able to pass his baptismal interview. What happened was that Endurance is quite busy during the week and only has Sundays open for him to go to church and for us to teach him. So really with his baptism being next Sunday, yesterday was the only possible day for us to do his interview. After speaking to him about it as we were walking to church and a little before church started, we realized because of some things he had done in his past that he needed to be interviewed by President Griffiths or someone that he assigns. Thankfully, Elder Keith, a senior couple missionary in charge of the YSA in Aberdeen, was given permission to do it. So after some more phone calls, we were able to set it up and go over to his home. He passed his interview and Elder Keith said that in his time in Aberdeen, he has seen many people prepare to be baptized whom he know would not last long, but he feels that Endurance will stay and be active even when he goes back to Nigeria. So that was a great miracle.
We are still teaching Das who is doing well and is understanding more and more about what we are teaching him. We are excited because he accepted another baptismal date on March 25 which we hope that he can make. We also started teaching this man named Steven again. He is good and has seen great blessings come his way ever since we started meeting with him and he started praying. I feel that he wants to start his life over again and know what God can do for him in his life. We also started teaching this less-active and his partner named Don and Kimmy. Don wants to start coming back to activity. He feels that if he can swing himself up with our help that he can stay. Many times he has tried to come back, but for one thing or another it didn't work out. His partner, Kimmy said that she felt good when the missionaries were teaching her before. We also started teaching this man named James. He was given a Book of Mormon by some other missionaries and he read the first few pages and like what he had read. His read comprehension is good. He like the Restoration and is looking forward to coming to church and bringing a few of his friends along.
Some other things that we did this week was that I went to Edinburgh on exchanges with one of the assistants and that was fun to do and be and work somewhere different for a day. I also went on exchange with Elder Ellett in Bridge of Don. There we had a neat experience. So we went out to see the Bishop and then he took us back to our flat and it was 8 at night. Elder Ellett had nothing planned because he thought that he was going to be taking the train home. So we decided quickly to try by some people in the area. They weren't in. So after some more discussion on where to go and what to do, somehow we decided to walk down the road that we were on. At the end of the road, this girl was walking towards and Elder Ellett stopped her. We spoke and gave her a Book of Mormon. Then Elder Ellett said, "Hey I'm pretty cold. Can we go over to your place?" She hesitated and then said that we could. So we walked her to her flat. Her name is Beth. We taught her and answered many of her questions. After our discussion, you could tell that she had real intent to read from the Book of Mormon that night. For me, it really shows how the Lord can lead your feet into places that you need to be.
My personal opinion would be that it would be very good to rent a car even though the public transport is good, I think that it would cost more and take much longer if we just used a car. As far as places to visit. I would really like to Cavehill because that was my favorite area. Galway is 2 hours from Dublin and Dublin is about 2-2.5 hours south of Belfast. My thoughts on the matter are that we would leave Edinburgh and go to Kirkcaldy. Then from there we could go to Aberdeen, Elgin, Loch Ness, down to Ayr, across to Belfast and if we can, Galway. Galway is nice because it has really nice scenery and the cliffs of moher which are amazing. If this doesn't really work, that's okay. Cavehill is the place that I really want to return to. I think that I'll make a modified list of people to visit in each area.
Thank you for all that you do and for all that you write each week.

Love,
Elder Buxton

Monday, February 27, 2012

Leap Year Week

Dear Family,
I am doing well here in Aberdeen. Things are picking up and we are looking forward to this week because we have some good appointments. As far as things go. Endurance is looking forward to being baptized on March 11 instead. We felt that he needed to have more time to prepare. He is doing well. He believes in the Book of Mormon and so far is living all of the commandments. Sometimes though he is really stressed out between school and work. I could never live the schedule that he does. I hope that he can manage it and that he will continue to come to church even when he is baptized. Das came to church as well. We went over to his home after church and he is so nice. He made us some food and feels that he is getting more intelligent. His member friend that he lives with says that he will be baptized in the coming months. We also had another man named Vikas that came. He is from India as well and is the friend of Brother Anupum (Das's friend). We were having some good success with this man named Sumukh. His desire was growing and he was reading and praying. However on Sunday morning when we were going to pick him up for church, he told us that he spoke with his parents and they aren't too keen on him going to church. That was a bummer, but I hope that he gets in contact with us soon. We still teach Frances. She is getting better and says that she believes in the Church about 90%. So what our joint teach, Brother Ware, suggested is that she lives like a member for one week and sees how she feels. We are hoping that by living the commandments and principles of the gospel that she can gain a testimony of them.
On Thursday I went to zone conference in Dundee. It was pretty good as they discussed member lessons and studying effectively. It was good and I learned a lot. On Tuesday we drove all the way to Inverness to go on exchanges with the missionaries there. I then drove all the way back to Aberdeen. We stayed to together until Thursday at zone conference. The reason we did it with them is because we have been asked to go on exchanges with new missionaries and there is a bright green one there.
On Friday we helped a less-active move. She was at work, but we helped out her nonmember husband move not too far away. We built some good trust there. Now we hope that we can start teaching her and her husband a bit more. Also we popped by a former investigator family and they told us that they thought that there was a ghost in their home. So after some discussion, we said a prayer . We hope that this will spark their belief that there is a God as they aren't sure just now.
On Saturday we had a wonderful experience. We were in this area and some time before going back to the flat for dinner. So saw this group of houses and thought they felt good to tract. So we were tracting these flats. Things were going alright. We gave out a copy of the Book of Mormon, but when were were in the last group of flats, we knocked on this door. An Indian lady answered and let us straight in. We taught her and her family including her husband who came in just a few minutes after us. They accepted the Restoration and a few copies of the Book of Mormon. They said that they were struggling and were having some problems within their family. Many times we testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can be forgiven of our sins. It was great and we hope that they can come to church this next week. It would be so great to have a new family at the church. The parents are named Rama and Christina, and their children are Isaiah, Kikita, and Nitu. They are a lovely family and have a strong faith in Christ. I think that they next time that we see them that we will speak about how the gospel can strengthen our families.
I haven't heard anything from President Griffiths about an endorsement. Check and see. I don't really know what I have to do with that.
Brother Thompson isn't that hard to understand. He gave a talk at sacrament meeting yesterday on marriage and how the concept and acceptance has changed since he has been alive. He told us of how some fisherman heard of one of their crew who wasn't being to faithful and they threatened him to either cut it out or they will throw him over the boat. Needless to say, he did. Brother Mundie, I am not sure if he still is the undertaker anymore. I think that he delivers parcels now with his son Don.
I hopefully I can get my package when I go to the mission home on Tuesday for exchanges with the assistants.
Also, remind me next week to send some email addresses that I have for some of the people here that I got from people in Belfast.
Thanks for all that you do.
Love,
Elder Buxton

P.S. So I have to tell you something really funny. If you read the big email, you'll learn that we were tracting some flats. During that time, we knocked on this guy's door. His name was Annita. And I don't mean to be prejudice in this, but he was really gay. He was wearing makeup and had this cloth wrapped around his head and his gestures were so femmy. He reminded me of that guy at Subway with the pink nail polish. I thought that you might enjoy that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

First Week as Zone Leader

Dear Family,
how are you all doing? For your information, I sent a card last week for Dad for his birthday. I sent it last Wednesday so it should get there soon. I am doing well here. Things are starting to pick up. If you remember last week, we challenged the zone to give out 360 copies of the Book of Mormon in 4 weeks. Well we started off strong and gave out 120. Elder Freckleton and I gave out 31 between us. We were really blessed to have those opportunities. As a result of this we were able to teach a couple on Sunday night named Victor and Beth. Victor is from Nigeria and Beth is from Scotland. Victor is really excited to learn about the Book of Mormon and see what he can take away from it. When he was in Nigeria, he went to a lot of churches and some of his friends called him a "christian tourist." He has wondered why there are so many churches in the world. He said that if he believed in the Book of Mormon, that he would be baptized. We also started teaching a man named Emmanuel. He is from Nigeria as well. He loved learning about the Restoration and he will hopefully soon come to church and worship with us. Endurance is doing well. He is a bit stressed out over his studies and work. I hope that he can be baptized this Sunday, but we shall see. We taught Das again. He is very prepared and has already seen blessings since he started coming to church. I hope that he can gain a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true.
On Saturday I was exchanges in the Bridge of Don area with Elder Ellett, a former companion. There we were able to teach two new people that were a direct link to finding with the Book of Mormon. The first is named Abagail. She is from the Cayman Islands in the Carribean. She is really prepared. When she met the missionaries the day before, she was thinking about spiritual matters and funny enough, the missionaries were led to here and are now teaching her. The other was a man named Clark. When i first met him, I thought he would be in his mid to late 20s, but it turns out that he is turning 20 next month. He feels that this is what he needs to turn his life around and felt that we were sent by God to him. He feels that it was not a coincidence that he came out of the gas station at the time he did when the missionaries were walking past there. I feel that he will be very good and sincere about repenting and getting his life turned around.
(Reader discretion is advised for the following story) While we were at Clarks. His father and mother were there as well. They had order pizza and it arrived while we were there. They let us have some which we were very happy about. However as soon as he opened the pizzas on the coffee table, his father who was sitting right in front of the pizzas, just took a swig of his whiskey. He then for some reason, spit it all out over one of the pizzas. We were a bit bummed at this, but ate from the far corner of the other pizza. To be honest, it was a funny experience. Missions: got to love them.
Another neat experience was while i was on exchanges with a missionary, Elder Riddett, we were walking back to our flat for the night and he felt prompted that we should turn back around. We had some time and turned around. This was this guy coming towards us and he started talking to him about being with his family forever. At the time, I thought why in the world he would be speaking to him about that since he was a man in his 20s, but it turns out that he was thinking about that at that time. We were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he is excited to read about that and find out more about the Plan of Salvation.
Last thing that happened to us this week was that we did service for this member who has just moved to Wales. We had to take some stuff off the walls and put the rubbish out on the street corner. The most challenging thing we had to do was to take a piano out the house. The only thing was that she lived on a hill and there were quite a few stairs up to her home. Thankfully we had the other missionaries in the ward and we were able to amazing lift and push the piano out of the house, down the grassy hill (which was just dry enough to allow us to do that), and onto the curb where we then loaded into a van and took it to the church until some members would get it after they came back from holiday. To say the least, we were helped by angels to get it down the hill.
So I am in the Aberdeen Ward. There is another ward in Aberdeen called the Bridge of Don Ward. Our building is on North Anderson Drive and Lang Stracht if that helps Sister Bourne pinpoint where we meet. It is the stake centre. I spoke to Margaret and Tommy Thompson. They remember the Thoms and asked me to say that they were asking for her. The other people I know are the Mundies, Wares, Goldies, Sims, Livingstons, Brother Rae. Oh, I don't know if I'll ever get to meet Mike King because he lives in the Bridge of Don Ward, but I think I know where he lives. Ask Sister Bourne if she wants me to say hello to any people. So the zone covers from Aberdeen to Invergordon. There are 6 units in the Aberdeen stake (Aberdeen, Bridge of Don, Buchan, Elgin, Inverness, and Invergordon). We have to go on exchanges with several of the missionaries within this moves. We will be going on one tomorrow in with the missionaries from Inverness. The wards in Aberdeen are normal for over here. They are no where near the size they are over in the states.
Have you signed me up for classes yet or are there still some problems?
For my birthday package, i would really like some rolls from either costco or homemade. Butterfingers would be nice as well. There was something else, but I can't think of it right now. It must not have been very important.
I hope that all is well at home and look forward to hearing from you.
 
Love,
Elder Buxton
 
P.S. It snowed Saturday night, but it melt away throughout the day. Hopefully that will be the last of the season.