Monday, October 27, 2014

Blessings and Miracles still happen today!‏

Elder Penman at dinner at the Cunningham family's home.  Sent by Rebecca Cunningham on Facebook. =D
Well, to start off my email I am thanking all of you for the prayers and support you give to me. Also, thank you to those who don’t pray but hope I’m doing well, it helps.
My week has gone by so fast. I feel like we picked up Elder de Vries from the bus stop yesterday but it was over a month ago!! That’s weird! I’ve been out for 3 months and I feel like I got in the plan a few days ago. Time doesn’t exist.
View from Gleniffer Braes Country Park in Paisley (probably the area Elder Penman is talking about) from the internet
On P-day we went to a park on top of a hill. The kids around here call it make out point. It has this awesome swing set and play ground. The play grounds here are unreal. They in no way would meet the safety standards in America... They are so fun to play on though. Elder Wells is teaching me how to do parkour. It’s really fun... Only a couple of injuries.
Another view of Paisley from Gleniffer Braes Country Park, from the internet
The work in Paisley Zone is starting to pick up. It’s starting to make leaps and bounds. We are reaching our goals and getting a solid teaching pool! We are teaching 5 people, a family: Dougy, Irene, and Stephen; Jordan, a 17 year old teen; and Sugaba, an African from Nigeria. His story is really cool which I’ll talk about later. All of these people are very interested and are starting to find the truth and doing the things we ask. Their testimonies are growing 10 fold!!! I love seeing this change. Dougy has always rejected gospel topics but for some reason he is interested. Irene is non-denominational and is starting to listen more and share her feelings with us and bear sweet simple testimony. Stephen is trying to read the Book of Mormon in a week and wants to be baptized on November 30th. He is very interested in what we teach and is excited. It’s just hard to catch him for a lesson. Jordan is trying to find out if God is there and we are teaching about prayer and he is feeling something he has never understood before but he likes it. Sugaba is so cool. We actually got our first lesson with him last night. We had met him on the street 4 weeks ago and we realized we didn’t have the full address.  We thought we were in the right place but we didn’t have the flat number. I felt impressed to press a certain button so I pressed it. Someone answered and I said, “Is Sugaba there?” And he replied yes! I was so shocked I forgot I was talking so Elder de Vries finished it up. There were a lot of buttons to press and we happened to press the right one.  We just got to know him and how his life story has lead up for him to hear our message and learn more about Christ. He wants to meet up more and is willing to read the Book of Mormon. He knows there should be one way to follow Christ and he is an awesome guy and the things he asks are perfect. He is really humble.
One thing I have learned is good will still give us miracles, we just have to have the hope and faith to receive them. God is our perfect Father in Heaven and He wants to see us succeed. Sometimes we just don’t see the bigger picture and how things we want are not what we need.
Trust in God With all your heart might mind and strength. Have faith that good things will come and miracles will happen and you will see things that will amaze you and will blow your mind.
Love Elder Penman

Elder Penman and Elder Andrews
Added note from an email from Elder Andrews, Elder Penman’s trainer:  “I just wanted to give you a quick email to let you know how great your son is! He is the most loving missionary I have ever met. He loves people even when they are rude to us and reject the message we share! He's been such a good companion and a good friend. I know he will make you proud on his mission!”  (Thanks Elder Andrews, we knew that already.  We’re glad that others are seeing that too!  ♥♥♥)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blessings, Finding, and Service

This week was pretty good. We super deep cleaned our flat because we have flat inspections soon. That was about it—sounds pretty fun huh?!

Tuesday, I had to lead out the zone leaders area because they were blitzing some elders' area. It was a really fun day.  We found, we taught a less active, and watched conference. It was awesome. We GQed for a long time and found a less active and handed out some pamphlets. 

I got a call from a less active we found that her appendix burst so she asked for a blessing so we went to the hospital.  We couldn’t find her, but we ran into a member’s family. They said their mom was in the hospital and was praying for a blessing so we gave her one and the words I said were not anything I would have ever said. She was so happy we came. We finally found the less active and gave her a blessing too…I expected to say the same thing [from the other blessing] I said before but everything I said was different. But again, it was the words God wanted her to hear and it was crazy the feeling I had while giving both blessings. The Spirit was so strong it felt like I was swimming in it. It was the most amazing feeling. Live worthy to bless those who are in need. I couldn’t have done it if I wasn’t being obedient, luckily I was!!

Well we got to rip a shed down that was full of spiders and was full of snails.  It was fun. Very similar to what I did on the roofs [last summer before I left]. We also cut some trees down and dug out a path in a member’s backyard. All of this was so fun! We also found this old cemetery that was hidden in an old church. It was really cool!

Well, have a wonderful week.

Elder Penman

Monday, October 13, 2014

Obedience and Accountability

This week we had zone conference and zone development. Zone D was fun. We met up with Glasgow Zone and played a whole bunch of games and sports. We had an amazing meal made by me and Elder Andrews and Elder de Vries. We also had an AMAZING testimony meeting. The spirit is so strong when 30 missionaries are in a very small room bearing their witness of the atonement and the gospel in general. It was so peaceful and happy in the room.
Combined zone development day in Glasgow

Elder Penman's Zone (Paisley Zone?) at combined zone development day
On Thursday, we had Zone conference and we talked about obedience and accountability. I learned that with obedience you gain greater knowledge, great blessings, greater faith, and great spirit. I also learned if you are struggling with your faith and spirituality, you need to make sure you are being obedient to God and his laws. I know for myself when I am more obedient, miracles happen and my faith is better. Also, when I teach, I teach with more force through the Holy Ghost. Being obedient has helped my teaching skills grow in leaps and bounds... so if you feel like you are struggling with faith or spirituality, check if you are being obedient and seek for things you can change to be more obedient.
At Sacrament Meeting yesterday, we were sitting there and a man came in and said he wanted to worship with us and gave us his number and address so we could teach him how. God is good to my companions. I would not be able to even be out here working as hard as we do every day without all His tender mercies and the strength He gives us.
I’ve been studying in Nephi, and have been picking each verse apart. Nephi is a spiritual giant.  He is a very good example of obedience. If I could become half as obedient as him, I would probably baptize all of Scotland.  Nephi is really cool though. He has some crazy adventures with his brothers. If you are looking for something to read, read the beginning of the Book of Mormon. Nephi’s life is so exciting and crazy, especially if you think the stuff that happens to me is crazy. He makes my stories look like very chill situations.
Well, not too much happened this week as you can tell, but I love all of you. Have an amazing week. Ask me any questions you have, and any comments because I would love to read your letters. 

How to deal with boring church meetings?  Paper football

Evidently, Elder Penman must have gone Indoor GoKarting

Typical Elder Penman picture--Goofball.
Love, Elder Penman

Friday, October 10, 2014

Conference Rocks!

Email dated 10/6/2014
Elder Penman, P-Day Picture from a few weeks ago
Well, my week was pretty slow. I went on exchanges to Greenock area. It is a beautiful area. We got to take a ferry across the River Clyde. It was really cool. The ocean here tastes just as salty as the ocean in California, Hawaii and Florida. Don’t ask me how I know.... I just do... The water is cold here. There are no waves, so for morning exercise we skipped rocks. They skip forever.

River Clyde on the way to Greenock

River Clyde, Return trip

When we were out teaching we taught a man that wants to be baptized but is having trouble giving up smoking. I asked him when he tries to stop his addiction does he look back and think about how smoking made him feel and how much he craved it. He answered by saying, “yes, I always focus on what I’m giving up.” As he said these words, a scripture story came into my mind. In 1 Nephi 7, Nephi and his brothers are going back to Jerusalem to get wives. After they find the family they are supposed to wed into, they convert them and start heading back to the wilderness to where their father and prophet is. On the way out there Laman and Lemuel are looking back and desire to go back.... I remind you that they have already started this hard journey they are pretty far along.... Then this desire turns into a want and they start putting the idea in their minds that it is better for them to return even though that city is going to be destroyed and it will hurt them... Just like smoking or any other addictions... They have themselves so convinced that it is what is right.  They start talking like they are going to go back , this does not only affect them it affects those around them and those people become desirous to return. Nephi stands up and says (these are my own words), I am younger than you and I know that we should not go back or even have the want to return or to even think about returning.  Nephi’s brothers tie him up and Nephi eventually breaks the band because he had strength, because he had not even thought about returning. Nephi was able to break the things that tied him down because he was strong and avoided all things that would make him weak to go back into old habits and be somewhere he knew he shouldn’t be.  Well, too bad that wasn’t in my area because I believe that man is going to be baptized and he is a good guy.
Brothers Try to Slay Nephi, Gary E. Smith

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Well, conference was awesome. A lot of warnings and a lot of things to improve on but I know it is all for the good. One of my favorite talks was Elder Oaks. He stressed on loving every one NO MATTER WHAT! That is something I have been trying to do for a long time and I love that it confirms that that is the right thing to do. Something else he said is to help those who are in need, loving them is not enough.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Jeffrey R Holland’s talk was beast. He talked about how we need to serve people not only in physical way like money and yard work and all that good stuff, but to help them spiritually also. This really hit me deep and made me think do I spiritually serve people? The answer I received is I did not serve people as spiritually enough as is required. 

I love how it points out that missionaries should look for their eternal companion when they get home also we should be praying for an amazing companion to come into our lives... I gave Elder Andrews a hard time with that because he goes home in 30 days. I keep telling him to start getting referrals and finding potential investigators. He thinks it’s funny... sometimes.

Well I have 30 days and then I’ll be out of Paisley most likely... Because I’ll be done being trained and also there is no way I’m becoming a zone leader.... That would BITE.

I love all of you so much. Thanks for everything.

Love Elder Penman

 Look forward to the things that will be, not at things that used to be.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bearing Pains and Afflictions

Well, this week was pretty slow at first. We were teaching people and finding a lot. I am finally getting to that point where it feels natural to live by the Holy Ghost and to be a missionary. I love it out here. I feel true happiness and joy from helping everyone. I am so glad I learned how to love everyone when I was young. It is truly easier to get along with companions and to get along with investigators.

Well, my new companion is Elder DeVries along with Elder Andrews (Elder Benesch was transferred to Ireland). Elder DeVries looks like Hawk Eye from the Avengers movie, it’s awesome. He plays a banjo and is good at a lot of instruments. He is from the great white country of Canada. So it’s funny when people say, “oh, Mormons are from the states” and he says, “no, I’m from Canada.” I love the shock they have after that.

The end of last week and the beginning of this week have been the craziest couple of days of my life. I have talked a lady out of suicide long enough for my companion to call the police and for them to get to her house. It took over 2 hours. That’s something I did not expect to have to do. That takes a lot of emotional stress to be calm under situations like that. I know I couldn't have done that without Jesus’ and God’s help. I probably would have had a mental break down, but I didn't feel any stress until after. Then I was exhausted and ready for bed. Then the day after, my companion hurt his ankle and like 30 minutes after that, this lady on a park bench had a seizure and was falling off the park bench. Someone called for an ambulance while we put her on the park bench and held her head. All this stuff is crazy. I never imagined helping to save 3 people.  Then we finished the night off by waiting in a hospital to see if Elder DeVries' ankle was ok. It was only really badly pulled muscles, so I massaged his quad and calf to help and he was able to walk the next day. It was funny Elder DeVries told me I was the devil for giving a massage but an angel for helping. But I am lucky to have been there to help. I am glad to have gained knowledge of how to be calm in certain situations. Also to use the skills I have learned from doing cross country.

In Alma 7: 11 it says He will come forth bearing pains and afflictions and temptations. Not just pains and afflictions, temptations also. So just like this lady who felt she need to die and kill herself. He felt that and can help you through times when you feel tempted to something you know is wrong. He will help you if you ask.

Art: Healing of Blind Man by Brian Jekel

Well, I love all of you. I am so glad for the friends and family I have supporting me. I know you guys are one of the reasons I am able to be out here and keep working hard.

Love, Elder Penman

PS Help everyone around you, you will feel better and so will everyone you help.