Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A visit to Dunfermline Palace and Abbey

Elder Penman and Elder Lauricella (and a few other missionaries) recently visited Dunfermline Palace and Abbey on a P-day.  There were too many pictures to include them in the weekly email blog.  

Below is information about Dunfermline Palace and Abbey.
A royal foundation
Dunfermline Abbey has a history stretching back to the 11th century – the time  of King Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. In the 12th century, their son, David I, raised the little priory to the lofty status of abbey. He endowed it richly, and brought stonemasons from Durham Cathedral to help build it. The great nave still stands largely complete, the most visually stunning example of Romanesque architecture in Scotland.

The abbey church is also famous as the mausoleum of some of Scotland’s great kings and queens. They include Queen Margaret (later canonised as St Margaret), David I and King Robert Bruce. As such, it occupies an especially important place in the national consciousness. Late on in its history, the abbey cloister became a royal palace. The ill-fated Charles I was born here, in 1600.

From priory to abbey
In 1070 Queen Margaret founded a priory in Dunfermline on the site where she had married Malcolm III. She introduced a small community of Benedictine monks from Canterbury, and so laid the foundations of the first Benedictine house in Scotland.

David I re-established the priory as an abbey in 1128. He had a new church built, on the grand scale. Only the nave survives, but what a survival. The attractive Romanesque pillars resemble those in Durham Cathedral, and it is likely that they were carved by the same masons. In 1250 St Margaret’s remains were translated to an elaborate shrine at the east end of the choir. (The site of the choir is now occupied by the 19th century parish church.)

The Bruce at Dunfermline
In 1303, Dunfermline Abbey was badly damaged by Edward I. King Robert Bruce financed the rebuilding. The most impressive of the new buildings was the monks’ refectory, a soaring structure with an elaborate fa├žade which took full advantage of the sloping site. The rebuilding demonstrated Robert’s confidence in the affluence and self-reliance of his kingdom, following the Wars of Independence with England. Bruce was interred before the high altar in 1329, and his heart was taken on Crusade (and eventually buried at Melrose Abbey.

The Reformed Church at Dunfermline
After the Protestant Reformation in 1560, the nave was converted into a parish kirk for the people of Dunfermline. The old choir was allowed to collapse.  When a new parish church was built on the site of the choir between 1818 and 1821, the nave was taken into State care.

Dunfermline Palace  
There was probably always a royal apartment in the abbey complex. After the Reformation, King James VI had an impressive new palace built to the west of the old cloister. It became the home of his queen, Anna of Denmark. King Charles I was born here in 1600, the last king to be born in Scotland. With James and Anna’s departure for London in 1603, royal interest in Dunfermline waned. The palace fell into disrepair.

Elder Penman

Elder Lauricella (companion)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Week of Only Good Things

Elder Penman gets Valentine's cookies from home (his heart is broken)
A package from home with Dad's sugar cookies!
So last week was absolutely amazing. Members fed us almost every day.

Monday we went to a charity shop to do service. We showed up and the manager saw our badges and started yelling at us and how he would never listen to us. Elder Lauricella and I waited for a few minutes until he finished and said we are here to help. We were sent by your coworker. and he started apologizing. It was hilarious.

On Wednesday, we brought the Addiction Recovery Program to Richard and Leanne. We taught step 1 admit to your self that you are powerless to over come addiction and your life has become unmanageable. We talked about how the Atonement of Christ can lift us to overcome all things. They have committed to start stopping smoking. 

Thursday, we had an amazing lesson with the Ryles, the part member family. We went in planning to finish up the Restoration. We both felt prompted to focus on the Atonement. I have never felt the Spirit so strong in a lesson. It was going so well, then she slammed her Book Of Mormon down and said "that's it!" and walked out of the room. We sat there waiting for awhile. She came back in and said "its all so real to me now. I'm getting scared because when I know its true I'll have to do it." We went on teaching. She knows she needs to be baptized. We are going to use the Addiction Recovery Program with her too.

Saturday, we were GQing people at night in Dunfermline and we stopped a drunk homeless guy who played the harmonica for us. When we were saying bye, he turned around and said "watch out boys. There are crazy people out tonight." So we went on our way and talked to another drunk and homeless guy. We talked to him for a while and when we said bye he turned around and said "watch out boys. There are crazy people out tonight." The exact same thing the other guy said. I turned to Elder Johnson and he looked at me and said we need to go inside. I don't know what would have happened if we would have stayed out, but we are lucky the Lord warned us two times to go inside.

This week was great. Miracles happen every day. It's our choice if we want to notice them or not.

Elder Penman looks like a natural in the traditional
headwear for a military piper (bear skin)

Elder Penman 
Elder Lauricella, Scottish Piper Man (Jurek Mlotkiewicz--ward executive secretary) , Elder Penman
Jim and Jane Brown and friends and family
Elder Lauricella planking
Elder Penman

Elder Penman planking
Elder Penman planking

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nothing too much

Just a really quick email. This week blew by and there wasnt to much to tell.

We taught Titch and his family and they remembered the Plan of Salvation and are progressing toward their date. We are also going to have the addiction recovery class with them to have them more fully use the Atonement to help overcome smoking. 

We are teaching another lady named Ayrton. She is really cool and reads the Book of Mormon. She is the lady who contacted us on a bus. She wants a better relationship with our Father in Heaven.

This whole week Elder Lauricella and I have felt off. We have been praying to know what to change but there is no answer yet. I'm just going to see everything I do and think if it's good or bad and change it if its bad. 

Well Scotland is great and the people are great as well. I know God loves us all so much. I know the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is the only true and living church on the earth that is led by Christ himself.

Elder Penman

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cowdenbeath The Promised Area, I think the Lord Loves me!‏

Cowdenbeath from High Street (image from the Internet)
What a week. We are seeing so many blessing here in Dunfermline Ward. The members here are great and are doing missionary work that is why the are seeing so many blessings here. We have been inviting members to set a date that they will have a friend be taught by missionaries in their homes and it is truly working!!

We were able to teach Richard, Leanne and the family this week. We have all of them old enough to be baptized with a date for April 25th. So that is 4 of them. We need to get them married and help them live the commandments by then. I'm so happy for them.

We visited a part member family, the Rileys. He is a member but she isn't, the cool thing is she knows the church is true but she needs a little bit of help to be baptized. So that will take some time but I know she will get the courage and the desire to do it. 

We had a zone interview training and we talked a lot about member work. We are helping the members the best we can but I'm still trying to find the best way. So I'm asking you all--do you have any suggestions on what you would like or think a missionary could do to best build a relationship with you and your family and at the same time spiritually feed your needs and not only your wants? So please tell me things you think could help.

I know the Lord loves me because on Sunday morning we were walking with Richard to the bus and I saw something wooden. I jumped the fence and lifted up a Guitar. It was in pretty good shape, all the strings were in place, just a little out of tune, but now I have a guitar. It's pretty neat!
Dunfermline Ward building

Richard attended church with his 7 year old daughter and both of them loved it. We had a Nigerian man that we met last week come to church as well. He says he wants to come more and have us teach him about what we believe. He is so faith filled and loves his Savior sooo much. 

Well, my week has been fast but amazing. I love all of you and so does your Father in Heaven!

Elder Penman

Monday, February 2, 2015

From Northern Ireland to the West of Scotland

Ulster Fry--a traditional
full breakfast
Well Monday, I packed, emailed, and visited members. Tom took us out for an Ulster Fry. It was pretty good. 

Then we went to Maggie Cathcart's and Norma and her girls were there, so I was able say goodbye to them as well. 
Tuesday morning, we went to Pete's to say goodbye and he made us breakfast so we ate there before Noah went to school. I was able to say bye to Rachel there as well. We then ate at Brendan and Iwona's then traveled up to the airport to send Elder Christensen to the mission home to pick up his trainee. 

I stayed in Cave Hill and me and Elder Macafee GQ'd some drunk people in the Falls which is a super crazy area. We didn't find anyone but we got some good stories.
 Wednesday, we met up at the bus station and traveled to the ferry and Elder Longman [note--Elder Longman is from Ogden and they went to the same high school] was on the ferry too so we traveled there (to Scotland) and then on the bus to Edinburgh where I traveled up to Dundee for the night. 

Elder Longman & Elder Penman
--Bonneville Boys

Thursday, I finished my travels off in Dunfermline at noon. We got straight to work. 

Friday, we found a guy named Andy who is blind, an African on a bus named Peter, and we found a cool man named Richard (or Titch).

Saturday, we went by Titch and we taught him and his partner and found out he has a 13 year old, a 11 year old, a 7 year old a, 3 year old, and a 1 year old.... A family!!! I have been praying to find a family for months. Titch and his "wife" said they want to get baptized but we need to get them married first. But they are amazing, I absolutely love them.

Sunday, I show up from a 10-30 member branch to a 150 member ward. It is huge. Its gonna take forever to remember their names. 

Today we hiked to John Knox Pulpit (**See history below) out in the middle of no where. It was a good hike and so pretty. The Lynch's took us out there. It was so pretty.

I love this new area and Elder Lauricella is an amazing missionary!

I love you all!

Elder Penman
**History of John Knox Pulpit--John Knox (c. 1514 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish clergyman and writer who was a leader of the Protestant Reformation and is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination in ScotlandThe Lomond Hills (meaning beacon hills), also known as the Paps of Fife lie in the centre of FifeScotland. At 522m West Lomond is the highest point in the county of Fife. One of the prominent features of the Hills is John Knox Pulpit. While the rock itself was probably never visited by John Knox, its significance dates back to the time of the reformation when local covenanters met there to worship. The site formed a natural amphitheatre from which a few carefully positioned guards would have been able to warn of any approaching lawmen, and even in recent times local congregations have held open air services at the rock. (Wikipedia "John Knox" and "Lomond Hills")