Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hard Work and Football

Sorry, we had zone development yesterday. That's why I couldn't email you till today.

This week was really hard. We didn’t reach our goals. We worked really hard but nothing came of it. Our investigators dropped us, we got tons of fake phone numbers, and tons of fake addresses. People tried to Bible bash us. People swearing at us and people getting in our faces. They were very, very angry. The best part is I love every single one of them. Crazy, right? But I know they did so much for me before we were here on this earth. I know they fought just as hard as anyone to make it possible for us to come here to learn and then go home. I know they are my brothers and sisters and not all of them will accept the gospel because they are not ready and it’s not their time. So I must try my hardest to find the ones who are ready. But we cannot get these results our way... no, no, we must do it our Heavenly Father’s way. It doesn’t work if we are too proud and think we are the best and our way is the best. If we act in the way God would like us to, we would be unstoppable and Satan would be only an ant to us and we could crush him with one step. I truly think I need to find the will of the Lord and then I will have the most success. I know I’m being tried right now but I must push on and get up and the strength the Lord will give me will help me. Like on the hardest days where we tracted for hours and talk to people on the street for hours, I feel the happiest. I don't know why. I just do. I truly think it is only through Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.

I love studying every morning. I learn more than I ever thought I could. Truly, the scriptures are the words of God and a way He can directly communicate with us. Have questions, study, and you will find those answers in there. My companions have been good examples and amazing teachers. I love being with them because they know so much. Studying starts my day off perfectly, it gives me that boost and preparation to go out and stand strong through the mighty winds that Satan sends my way. I feel like it gives me the armor and the weapons I need to fight. If I didn’t have these things I would get destroyed by the things we are faced with every day.

Football is really fun. I'm getting better every time we play. It’s so cool though that we are able to use it to teach a lesson with an investigator and then play a good old game of football.

I still haven’t picked up on what half the people say when we talk to them. It's funny because my companions understand it all, so they think I know what they are saying... but I truly have no clue so I just have to judge off the feelings I get from the Holy Ghost on what to say. The Holy Ghost is the best when it comes to situations like that. I just clear my mind and start speaking and I say some things I never thought I would say. I say things I don't really even know very well. It truly is a miracle.

Well, zone development is when the whole zone gets together and plays games and gets to know everyone just a little better. We played American Football, capture the flag, Football, Kick ball, and basketball. It was so cool. Elder McFarlane is in my group and went to the MTC with me. He is soooooooooo good at football.  He plays professional football in England and is only 19. We are pretty good friends. I'm gonna talk him into letting me go to his football games for free  ;)  when we are off our missions. No, not really, but he was playing for Chelsey at one point, but broke his ankle and got cut. That’s pretty cool.

Thanks for all the love, support, advice, and prayers it truly helps.

Elder Penman


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Act Well Thy Part

Today we received some new pictures from President and Sister Brown, from the Scotland/Ireland mission. They were taken on Elder Penman's first day in Scotland, August 13, 2014.  We also received specific instructions for sending packages to Elder Penman, if you are thinking about doing that, please contact his parents first and we'll let you know the best way to get things to him.  Thanks!
Elder Penman with a wall hanging of the stone mentioned in the story below.
Stirling, Scotland, 1898, David O. McKay: “I was homesick and a little discouraged on this day.  As we were coming back into town, I saw an unfinished dwelling, over the front door of which was a stone on which there was a carving. That was most unusual, so I said to Elder Johnston, ‘I’m going to see what that is.’ I was half way up the graveled walk when there came to my eyesight a striking motto as follows, carved in stone:  “ ‘Whate’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.’  I said to myself, or the Spirit within me,  you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. That afternoon, I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in  Scotland”

President Brown, Elder Andrew Penman, Sister Brown

Another view of Arthur's Seat (Pratt's Hill) over Edinburgh, sent by the mission office

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Snow Expected in Scotland

According to the Daily Mail in UK, dated August 18, 2014, a cold front has moved in bringing Arctic air, and the peaks in Scotland may be getting snow in August.  Crazy!  Elder Penman wasn't kidding when he said he couldn't understand why people weren't covering up.  He said he was cold.


Paisley: 1st P-day

I got assigned to an area in the Paisley Zone in Scotland. Paisley is a cool city-- it's super dirty though, and the people don't want to talk. Well, I met my companions. Yes, I have 2. They are zone leaders and everyone keeps calling me a zone baby because this rarely happens, I guess. Both are cool. Elder Andrews is from Star Valley, Wyoming and loves old cars. He loves them so much that when we saw a Camaro, which is super rare to see here, he screamed like a little girl. He  has  12 weeks left. It was hilarious. Elder Benesch is from Gilbert, Arizona and plays baseball. He likes the Broncos :) and played baseball at SVU. He's been out a year. They also like to run for 3 Miles in the morning. I guess that's not too bad, I'd like to run further but they aren't runners, so it's okay.
I have never been sooo tired in my life. We work so hard and long tracting and GQ'ing Paisley, that I am exhausted. Knocking doors is fun, you get yelled at and slammed doors in our face.  It's so interesting to know how hard-hearted these people are.  It's so fun to talk to people about something I love so dearly and that I know is true. It does make me mad when people tell me I'm not Christ-like for approaching people and when they say awful things about Joseph Smith. But I just smile and say, have a great day.  It's funny. There are so many different religions here. All of them going different directions. There is also a lot of hatred towards religions because of the Catholics and Protestants, I don't really know how to spell it, I've only heard it. They fight all the time in some places. Also, people just want to talk about the Independence Vote that's coming up in September, but we aren't supposed to talk  about it.
Streets of Paisley (I like the rubber duck and Captain Moroni on the dashboard)
The culture is so crazy compared to the states, everyone is drunk. It's kind of funny to talk with them, but you don't go anywhere with them. You drive on the other side of the road down streets that can barely fit 2 cars. I got to drive and it was so weird, but I got the hang of it really fast. No one dresses modestly here, you have to look up or down to walk around some times... It's cold outside and you would think they'd freeze. You can't understand a word some people say here. They talk so fast it sounds like another language. I'm picking up on it slowly, it's hard though.
I got to participate in a Confirmation, that was really cool. Our ward mission leader sets awesome goals for us to reach, it's really good. He knows so much about the gospel. I got to watch a Baptism also. That was way cool. Some Elders and I also sang at the services too.
On Thursday the Ward plays football (soccer). The people here are so good.  I play alright and some guy gave me his old cleats.  It was AWESOME. We have a new investigator  that comes. He's good. We just taught the plan of salvation and he is liking the teachings. I invited him to be baptized and he said he will when he learns a little bit more. That was a the best part of my week.
I'm so happy to be out here learning the gospel and gaining more of a testimony every day. The Book Of Mormon is wonderful. It's the only way to truly know if this is true. I love my Savior and all He did for me and you. We are all God's Children. Thanks for all the prayers and have a great week. I'll keep all of you in my prayers. I miss all of you so much.
Elder Penman
Walk with a smile every where you go. 

Inside the flat in Paisley, Scotland

High on a Mountain Top

From Elder Penman (email dated August 18, 2014):  "We drove to Edinburgh from the MTC. It was the prettiest drive ever. My mission president is the best. He had us climb to the top of Pratt's Hill and dedicate our mission and make goals that we want to fulfill. I think my goals are pretty good and I'll plan on reaching them. Then we sang "High on a Mountain Top" and all the tourists up there were videoing and taking pictures. It was cool and praying on top was so powerful with the spirit. Mountains (hills) truly are God's natural temple. The view of the city was cool you could see everything.  We could also see all the way to Fife where my  (Penman) family name is from."

View from atop Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh (nicknamed Pratt's Hill to members of the church see explanation below)
Story of Arthur's Peak: Overlooking the great city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a natural feature known as Arthur's Seat. It is the peak of several small, rocky crags and hills found in what is now Holyrood Park. Its name derives from a connection with the legendary King Arthur. While presiding over the missionary work in Scotland, Elder Orson Pratt first arrived in Edinburgh in May 1840. He ascended Arthur's Seat multiple times. From there, he dedicated Scotland for the preaching of the gospel and prayed to the Lord that he might find 200 souls who would accept his message while he was laboring in Scotland. He was blessed to see that goal realized before leaving the country. Because of that, local Latter-day Saints have sometimes referred to Arthur's Seat as Pratt's Hill.
August 2014 Hike on Arthur's Seat--New Missionaries to Scotland/Ireland Mission

August 2014 new missionaries, hike up Arthur's Seat, probably with trainers and APs to Scotland/Ireland Mission with President Brown

New missionaries and trainers, Scotland/Ireland Mission August 2014 with President and Sister Brown
Panoramic view from Pratt's Hill (Arthur's Seat) taken by Elder Penman August 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A wee email

(I received this little gem this morning. Makes me happy!!   I can almost hear an accent as I read it!)

Hello there,

My name is Benjamin Keogh and I am the Ward Mission Leader here in Paisley where yer boy is now making his home. Just sending a wee email to let you know that he is safe and doing well. He's got a good companion and seems very happy. They were over this morning for our missionary meeting. P-day is Monday so you'll here from him then. I just wanted to let you know where he was, that he was well and that we'll look after him here.

We appreciate his sacrifice coming over here to help us out, and yours too letting him! 

Thanks very much and awra bests!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Restored Stone returns to Scotland/Ireland Mission Home

Restored Stone returns to Scotland/Ireland Mission Home

Temp stone
A rectangular concrete plinth which has lain bare for almost 44 years has once more been restored to its original purpose.  In the garden of the Scotland/Ireland Mission home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Edinburgh, it supported the actual stone which so inspired and uplifted former president of the Church, David O McKay, as a young missionary in 1898 with the inscription “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part”.  He saw it on a building in Stirling at a time when he was feeling particularly homesick and discouraged and often referred to it during his lifetime.

In 1965, a young missionary in the Stirling area, Elder Browning, informed President Jensen, then the mission president, that the building was being demolished. President Jensen negotiated to purchase the stone for £30 and it was taken to Edinburgh and set in a brick surround in the mission home grounds where it stood from 1965-1970.  

President Brown, Mission President for the Scotland and Ireland Mission, with the restored stone plinth with the stone which inspired former president of the Church, David O McKay, as a young missionary in 1898 with the inscription “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part”. © 2014 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Following President McKay’s death in 1970, Apostle Mark E Petersen decided to ship the stone to the Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City to be included with President McKay’s artefacts.  Several fibre glass copies were made, one of which hangs in the Mission Home.  The Scottish Saints felt somewhat deprived, perhaps in a similar way to when the ancient Stone of Destiny or Coronation Stone was forcibly removed to Westminster in 1296 by Edward 1.  It was only returned after many hundreds of years to be lodged in Edinburgh Castle where it remains today.

When President Brown, a native Scot, found that a mould of the original was available, it seemed appropriate to commission a replica to be made.  A local stone-mason was engaged to build a casing to mount it on the original plinth.  A small plaque explains the history of the monument.

It is very fitting that Elder Browning is now back serving in Scotland as a senior missionary.  He related his early experiences at a short dedicatory service held on 11th February, 2014.  All 36 senior missionaries serving in the Scotland/Ireland mission, along with many young missionaries were present.

And the first area is...

Map shows Johnstone with the pin and Paisley where the Ward will be

Dear Brother and Sister Penman, 

Just a brief e-mail to let you know that your missionary, Elder Penman,  arrived safely in Scotland from the Preston, England Missionary Training Center.  Upon arriving he had the opportunity to climb Arthur's Seat where he committed to serve the Lord, similar to what Orson Pratt, an Apostle of the Lord did in 1840.

His trainers are Elders Benesch|Andrews, and they are laboring in  Johnstone (Paisley Ward).

On Monday you can expect an e-mail which will provide you with more information about his companion and area.

Thank you for all that you have done to prepare Elder Penman to serve the Lord for the next two years.

~~ Alan H. Brown, PresidentScotland/Ireland Mission

(From Mom--It looks like Johnstone (Paisley Ward) is close to Glasgow, possibly a suburb)

Arthur's seat (taken from Internet images)
Overlooking the great city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a natural feature known as Arthur's Seat. It is the peak of several small, rocky crags and hills found in what is now Holyrood Park. Its name derives from a connection with the legendary King Arthur. While presiding over the missionary work in Scotland, Elder Orson Pratt first arrived in Edinburgh in May 1840. He ascended Arthur's Seat multiple times. From there, he dedicated Scotland for the preaching of the gospel and prayed to the Lord that he might find 200 souls who would accept his message while he was laboring in Scotland. He was blessed to see that goal realized before leaving the country. Because of that, local Latter-day Saints have sometimes referred to Arthur's Seat as Pratt's Hill.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On the Move: Destination Scotland

Route to Edinburgh from Preston

Well,  I'm headed to Scotland in 1 hour and I only have 5 mins to email you. I am so excited and I have learned so much here that I can't wait to teach real people. I didn't get to read emails, so i printed them off, and I cant write till Monday.
I love you guys so much & I miss you everyday. I can't wait to tell you some things on Monday.  But at the temple, the lights shine on Moroni, casting a shadow on the clouds, so it looks like angels are guarding it. It's so pretty. Bye. All my love to you guys.
Elder Penman

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Kindness of Friends

Kevin, Gregary, and Denise Brown at the England MTC dropping off the snackies and sweeties

My sweet friends Denise and Kevin Brown, who just moved to England and visiting Preston tomorrow, are going to be supplying Elder Penman with traveling goodies for his trip to Scotland on Wednesday.  They'll be dropping them by the MTC.  I just love the names of the treats! Wotsits, Quavers, Hobnobs, Jaffa Cakes.  Kevin says they love their "snackies and sweeties" there.  This mom is very grateful for good friends who will bring a smile to our missionary's face!  
Snackies and Sweeties, British style

Denise and Kevin Brown, Dec 2013 MoTab Christmas Party

The Kindness of Strangers

This is a message from Elder Penman's mom.  Every so often since he landed in England, I get an email from a stranger in England sending me another picture of Elder Penman on the day they landed in Manchester.  She (I'm assuming it's a she--the name is britswife) has sent several pictures of him from the airport and the plane.  This is a new one I received yesterday.  I am happy to see the warm smile he has. He was scared and a little sad when he left.
Before he left, we talked a lot about a mission being hard but to forget how hard it is, and get to work, to use his talents and his great personality to do good in the world.  Happy to see that smile!  Made my day.  2 days until we find out where he's going.

I found this great quote by Thomas Paine:  The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

Smile!  I hope your day is happy!
Love, Mom

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Email from Missionary Training Centre

Email from Elder Penman's Missionary Training Centre Mission President, President and Sister Edwards:

Hinckley Zone Preston England MTC, July 31, 2014
Temple Way, Hartwood Green, Chorley,
Lancashire, PR6 7EQ, England

August 9, 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Penman,

Your son will be departing the England Missionary Training Centre on Wednesday morning, August 13. We want you to know how much we have enjoyed having him with us.

Elder Penman is a fine young man and we are grateful for the opportunity we have had to work with him on a daily basis. He is well-prepared for his mission and he continues each day to grow spiritually. He is developing good teaching skills and is excited about the work. He is ready for full time service in the Scotland/Ireland Mission.

We love this young man and are grateful to you for all you have done to prepare him for this wonderful time in his life. Your love and continued support are important to his success. Letters from home are always greatly anticipated and appreciated. Please address all future mail to:

Scotland/Ireland Mission
51 Spylaw Road
Scotland EH10 5BP
United Kingdom

May you and your family be blessed as he continues to serve our Heavenly Father.


President and Sister Edwards
President and Sister Edwards

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Look.... it's the first time you'll see something like this!!!!!!!
I'm so blessed  to be able to serve.
Well P-day is on Wednesday... so sorry about the not emailing back.
The MTC is basically a righteous high school. Its so fun though. I'm in a district with 4 companionships. 3 elder companionships and 1 sister companionship. All 6 of us elders are in one room... it's a party.  I do 100 push-ups and sit-ups with 50 squats every morning. I'm going to be ripped  (;     There are 86 missionaries here, it's the most ever in MTC history. That's pretty cool. I leave here in 6 days--it's crazy!!!!
My companion is Elder Sorensen from Idaho, 60 miles from Canada. He is cool but kind of goofy. He's 19 and he can quote any Disney movie.  It's insane. 
Elder Sorensen from Idaho and Elder Penman
I have never looked forward to sleep so much in my life. We work so hard everyday and do so much. I'm exhausted. I've learned a lot but I already can't wait to go to the field. We teach fake inv. (investigators) and it's hard but every time I teach I get a little better.
Preston England Temple
We went to the temple, it's so pretty. We had the old video, it's  not as good but its got the same message. The celestial room is beautiful and we got to move in the middle of the session  (:    my favorite.
I miss you guys everyday and I can't wait to hear more. Happy Birthday Ray! I cant wait to see you on TV singing Mom   (:     Dad,  I'll read whatever book you want as long as we can talk about it and have that connection. But I hope what I'm doing blesses your life. I love you guys so much   (:    Live by following the Spirit.  I know that's the best way to live. Walk with a prayer in your heart, always connected to God. Carry yourselves with Jesus' comfort and light. If we all do this we can bring truth to the whole world and every nation.
Love, your missionary,
Elder Penman

PS here are some sweet pics.