Monday, August 31, 2015

The Upward Battle!‏

Elder Penman traveled last week from his previous area of Perth, Scotland to Belfast
in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland, like Scotland, is part of the United Kingdom.
Norn Iron is grand like so it is. We got to travel to Coleraine for exchanges and to Portadown. I love helping missionaries!!
Map shows where Portadown and Coleraine are in relation to Belfast
It's so interesting our purpose is to invite OTHERS to come unto Christ by helping them. That statement doesn't say no members or less actives. It says others. That is anyone real. I love helping the people on the path to conversion to come unto Christ as well as the people who are not so deep into the path as others. That is simply it. I have not baptized anyone on my mission yet... but I have invited and helped missionaries come unto Christ. I have been put in so many amazing situations that I have helped everyone come unto Christ.  

 We are starting to teach a 7 member family that is Romanian. We are teaching a man who when we first taught him he felt the Spirit. We had him read the testimony of Joseph Smith and he felt the Spirit when he read it on his own. He didn't understand authority so we focused on that and he understands priesthood and said he would be baptized. 

I love God so much... He is blessing us so much.

I know God lives and has a body that is divine. I know Christ is a separate being and lived and walked the earth... I know He came for you. I know that the Spirit is separate from both and dwells in holy places and bears a witness of truth. I know these things because the Spirit has testified to my very soul! 

 Elder Penman

Monday, August 24, 2015

All New and WE ARE Back! 10th transfer 10 companions and 6 areas!‏

Elder Penman and Elder Beckstrand in front of their flat (picture thanks to Sister Margaret Watson)
Their flat is the one on the upper left side behind Elder Penman's head. 
What a week. Packing, unpacking, traveling by boat, train, bus and car. On Wednesday, I will have to Fly by myself to Scotland to go to my follow up surgery appointment. I will get to be with the Glasgow Zone Leaders so it will be good. 

Elder Beckstrand is awesome! Super fun and super excited about everything! He is awesome. Holywood is awesome we cover Belfast city centre. Its awesome. We saw a car that had been burned out by someone. It was crazy! Belfast is AWESOME!

The first day we were here we had to move tons of missionaries to their areas. We were a taxi. We had 2 people sleep over in our tiny flat it was crazy. We have loads of supplies that don't fit. One night we had 17 missionaries in a flat sleeping on the floor it was like an explosion of people! 

Northern Ireland is as crazy as it was when I left. I love it here. I got to see Norma, Brooklyn, Shelly, and Lucy Cathers, also sister Cathcart and Sister Macfarlane. They were taking Elliot Cathcart to be released from his mission. It was so good to see them again. I also saw Courtney Cathers at a Book Of Mormon class. I'm so excited to see members from Omagh again.
The Cathcarts and Cathers welcoming Elliot Cathcart home from a mission in Hungary.
Members from Omagh Northern Ireland (one of Elder Penman's previous areas)
We sorted out our next transfer. We will be on 14 exchanges. That is like 1/3 of the Transfer where I will be with other people, not with my companion. It's going to be weird. We are finding a lot. It's the best... BECAUSE I love finding A LOT. We are finding lots of people but we both have no idea where we are going! It makes the ride more interesting. 

I Love this gospel SOOO MUCH I know it is true and that it is a living gospel lead by God Himself!

Elder Penman!
**on a side note (from Mom), one of Elder Penman's trainers, Elder Christopher deVries returned safely home this week to his family in Alberta Canada.  Here he is with his family at the airport.  Elder Penman will miss seeing him.  Friends for life.

Last pictures from Dumfries

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold...
Elder Penman's camera was at the mission office for about 6 weeks.  These pictures are from Dumfries which was two areas ago (kind of crazy to think he's already been transferred twice since they were taken).  They are from June-July 2015

With Maggie Morrison

with Nita and Eric Creighton

Stewart, E Penman, Frazer, Gil, and Grant Copeland

With Stewart Copeland

E. Zander and Gil Copeland

A goodbye treat from Jamie and Emma

Jamie's racetrack
Jamie's racetrack

With Brother Kier

with Helen Duff

Oh my, Heck!

With Stewart PENMAN

Stewart was also an ELDER PENMAN, wearing his own missionary tag

with Joe Hann, the ward mission leader

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Filling in the gaps

Here are some pictures from Elder Penman's last night in Perth, Scotland before he was transferred in August to Belfast (from Elder Perkes)

Elder Penman with Nicky
Elder Penman with Nicky and Ashleigh

Monday, August 17, 2015

You will NEVER BELIEVE!! On the move again!

Elder Penman at Perth member Aimee Grant's house
sitting in her little girl Lilli's chair
So we got Moves Call last night. I am moving.... This is Crazy! I'm going back to Belfast City!! I will be whitewashing into Holywood Belfast with my new companion Elder Beckstrand. He is a zone leader so that will be super fun. I will get to go down to Omagh for exchanges! I can-nae wait! I love it. 

Even better-- my trainee Elder Perkes is going to be the new District Leader in Perth ... and a trainer after only being out 3 months. It's so funny, but he honestly is so good. It was a surprise but he easily can do it! 

We were able to start teaching 5 new people this week. We had one day we taught from 11-9:30. I bet that's how some missions are every day. We had a day where we didn't have time to eat so we brought a grocery bag with bread, peanut butter and jelly, and ate it on a curb before a lesson. It was awesome! Things here are taking off. We will have to cancel a lot of appointments due to moving and Elder Perkes going to new mission leadership council and to pick up his trainee, but it will be ok. 

Young Joseph Smith illustration by Walter Rane
We started teaching a 17 year old girl. We were teaching her the Holy Ghost principle and she was saying she had felt the Spirit before and as we taught her about the First Vision [of Joseph Smith] she had a certain change and we asked what she was feeling and she said a stronger feeling than the last time felt the Spirit. 

We had a man in a wheel chair we are teaching, he came to church and enjoyed it. He read the Book of Mormon and said he had the Spirit, like we had taught him, tell him in his heart that it was true. It was a major blessing. What a great week to end such a short time in Perth. 

I truly have learned a lot from helping the people in the district. It has been amazing for the sole fact that you can truly learn how to help people with the pure love of Christ! I have never had so much love and compassion for missionaries that I've served around. I hope I will have the same feelings for the zone as I have had for the district! But it took a lot of prayer with my whole soul, which feels weird but it's amazing! Just like we are instructed in Moroni 7:42-48: 
Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

I love all of you and God Loves You. 

Elder Penman

Reaction to Elder Penman's parents' emails this week about getting transferred AGAIN: 

To Mom:  Uhh I'm pretty shocked. 2 six week areas! That's crazy and now I'm going to whitewash into an area with my new companion Elder Beckstrand. He's a great singer! I honestly thought I would be a junior companion my whole mission. I hate leadership... because I know I can be so much better and it makes me feel inadequate sometimes. Now I have to lead a huge zone by example. And 10 of them are brand new missionaries! So I will take care of a lot of missionaries. It will be a learning and growing experience! I will walk forward with faith guided by the Spirit!  
Remember leadership doesn't mean I'm a good missionary or a bad missionary it means I need to learn something!

To Dad: Elder de Vries [the AP and one of Elder Penman's trainers] called me the "Missionary Doctor." I honestly think most of the areas I've been in is to strengthen my comp and the missionaries around me. I don't think there has been a single area where "The Golden Investigator" needed me. I think I'm here to learn to minister to everyone as the Savior does... Not to baptize or to teach the most people but to grow... I'm not saying those things are bad or that I don't want them. I just want to lose my self in the work-- if God wants me to be a trainer I will do it because I know I will learn and grow to become a better disciple and become like Him. If he wants me to be a district or zone leader I will do it for the same reason... Even though I dislike paper work and using time to do leader stuff instead of teaching and finding. It will be fun to whitewash in and start from completely nothing. Supposedly there are 10 trainees in the zone so we will have to take care of them. I will get to fly on the plane to Edinburgh a lot! It will be weird! I honestly don't feel adequate to be a leader, to be an example to the elders and sisters!
Dundee Zone August 2015

Dundee Zone August 2015--(APs are the "selfie master" and "photo bomber" I think)

Monday, August 10, 2015

"Sickness" of Scotland

I'm almost positive everyone is sick in Scotland. We had 10 dropped appointments due to illness [this week].

We are starting to teach a young family of four!! We are so excited about that but we could only see them once this week due to illness. We taught the Holy Ghost principle though and it made the mother feel the spirit in "a very unique way" she explained it. The have a 7 or 8 year old daughter and a 2 YEAR OLD SON. They are awesome! 

N____ and A______ are doing good, but they were sick this weekend so they couldn't meet or go to church. But we did have a man we have been trying to see come out for sacrament. It was awesome! 

As a companionship we have been focusing on making Personal and Companionship study more spiritual to help us have a better start to our day. Wow, does making sure to have better studies changes the whole day. Even with all the appointments dropping it has helped me stay positive. Just like the Primary song "Scripture Power." It's all true! 

I had a neat experience... So to keep myself accountable to talking to everyone I put a mark in the back of my planner for each person I could have talked to and didn't. So for the last 2-3 transfers I had none, but a week ago I totally missed an opportunity to talk to a man on the bus... So I had to put a mark in the back of my planner and pray and tell God why I didn't speak to him. I felt so awful so I prayed every night that I would have a chance to talk to that man again. 2 days ago I got on the bus and I sat ... You'll never guess... right next to that man. I talked to him. He wasn't interested at all but I still got to talk to him. I also realized that God really does care about our small, not too important things that we won't. I also got to scribble out the mark! (:   

I got to go on exchanges with my African friend Elder Reeder. We had a good time. For District meeting, I printed out a sheet to help the district become fearless finders. It had a bunch of crazy/awkward finding situations for people to go through. We also got trained on patience and we studied how we could become endowed with this attribute. We must go through a trial to be endowed with patience and wow, was this week helping me learn patience! With everything I don't think I'm smart enough to figure it out the easy way. So I always get stretched and grow the hard way.... I love it though! 

I love you all and If you want me to write more just pray that the Lord will send miracles, awesome, and crazy experiences my way.  I promise my emails will get better!

Elder Penman

Scripture power keeps me safe from sin. Scripture power is the power to win. Scripture power! Ev’ry day I need The power that I get each time I read.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dundee is the place to be!!

I have been in Dundee 4 days this week. For leadership meetings, district meetings, and exchanges. I may as well live there! Nah-- Perth is too good.  ;)

I was on exchanges with a new Texan elder, Elder Magby.We street contacted for 7-8 hours! It was awesome. We found a bunch of prepared people.

The next morning we went with this older member to a storage shed to help him move some stuff. We opened up he shed and there was a huge stack of boxes filling a 15x15 ft room. There were around 50,000 books! It was crazy!! He is donating the books to charity! 

We got a return appointment with a man on the first day and taught him the Holy Ghost principle. He shared a time he felt the Spirit and I told him to look and seek for that as we share with you Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision. After we quoted Joseph Smith and said "Hear Him" we sat in silence. We could see through anointed eyes that the Spirit was upon this man. I asked him what he felt. He said  he was feeling a strong uplifting feeling. I testified that I know Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and the Spirit was so strong and he told us that he felt it was true! The Holy Ghost principle works... and that man is on his way to conversion and knows the truth of the restoration.
1,400 piece stained glass mural of
The First Vision by Tom Holdman
in the Palmyra New York LDS Temple
We had A______ and N____ (A______'s boyfriend) at church. N____ got up and bore his testimony on how much he wants the gospel to change him! We started teaching N____ this week. We are super excited!(: 

We had a great district meeting, we learned a lot about charity, how to be more efficient with time, and to find the deeper reason why we are on our missions. About 6 months ago I had a very sacred experience that I feel impressed to share. It has changed my view on missionary work and my attitude towards it forever.

I was sitting on a bus in the middle of Cowdenbeath and I was looking at the people around me and I started thinking.. .I could talk to every one of these people. Then I heard a voice ask me, "Do you LOVE me?" I was a little confused at what was going on and why I was being asked this. Then even stronger I heard it again, "Do You LOVE ME?" This time I Recognized the voice. I knew I was being asked by our Father in Heaven if I loved Him. I thought  to myself and pondered it and gave Him an answer that YES, I did love Him. He said these words. "Then why aren't you sharing the gospel with everyone?" I have never had my soul pierced so deep in my life. It shook me to the very core of my being and I knew then why I'm on my mission, why I work, why I go out in the pouring rain, why I put up with rude people on the street, why I speak to everyone every where... In cars, on bikes, running, on the other side of the street, or in any situation. It is because I love God more deeply than I can even begin to express. There is no scary moment that can take this love away from me. I have found a driving force that will drive me and my testimony to my grave and into Eternal Life. Nothing can stand in the way! I Invite All Of you to Find your Love for Our Father, I can promise you that you will come to know him as I have and you will have an anchor so deep in the gospel that nothing will shake you! NOTHING! But it is up to you to find that love and act in faith. When you do find it you will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ and like the sons of Mosiah (Alma 31:32-38). 
O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me—yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, and also my two sons—yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them because of the iniquities of this people. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.  Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee. Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words, that he clapped his hands upon all them who were with him. And behold, as he clapped his hands upon them, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on. And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.
Which is the best feeling in the whole world... nothing compares!!  It is very similar to when Peter and the apostles became the sound missionaries they were when Jesus asked Peter a very similar question!

I love all of you and I KNOW God Lives!!

Elder Penman
Hurrah For Israel!! (: