Monday, September 28, 2015

The Big Lad

Elder Penman and his missionary friends went to a restaurant called Build a Burger in Belfast.  The challenge?  Eat a 36 oz hamburger in 30 minutes.  THEY DID IT!!  (at least 2 of them did!)

Information below is from

Food Challenges have become increasingly popular and our BIG LAD Challenge is no exception. Over 2500 people have tried so far with just over  70  managing to demolish this monster burger. Is it the most popular Food Challenge in Northern Ireland.. quite possibly!

Elder Stanley is ready!
THE BIG LAD is 36oz of Beef in a Traditional Belfast Bap and, in keeping with the Build A Burger philosophy, you choose your own sauces and toppings. You have 30 minutes to complete the Challenge and, if you're successful, win yourself our BIG LAD tee-shirt!
The current professional BIG LAD record holder is Randy Santel with an impressive time of 8 minutes and 52 seconds.  Our amateur record holder is Brian "titus bramble" McCloskey with an equally impressive time of 11 minutes and 33 seconds!

The Challenge cost is £20, payable before the Challenge begins, and the £20 is non-refundable even if the Challenge is completed. We require 24 hours notice so that we have the bread available. We source our Belfast Baps from Lucy-Annies Bakery in Downpatrick, it's impossible to find a traditional old-style Belfast Bap in Belfast!


THE BIG LAD  Challenge is a fun event with it's own soundtrack and we like to take plenty of photographs. Anyone not wishing to have their photograph taken should advise us of this in advance. Spectators and Cheerleaders are more than welcome, just let us know how many are in your party so we can have a table reserved.

Buildaburger reserve the right to use any photographs or images taken during our Challenges on our Facebook pages, Website or to promote the Build A Burger brand.

NOTHING is going to change! :)

With Elder Beckstrand--Staying together and on the road again
We got moves call. We ARE Staying! This is only the 2nd time on my mission I wasn't moving and neither was my companion. I'm so excited to work with Elder Beckstrand... Even better our Zone only has 3 changes. So we will get to work with all the same missionaries and keep on building the relationships we have!!

Letterkenney Blitz (thanks to Sister Wagner)
seated Elders Penman and Beckstrand
Standing L to R: Sisters Wagner, Fechser, Solum, Stein
     We got to go and blitz in Letterkenney, with the Dublin Sister's Training Leaders and the
Letterkenney sisters. It was so fun to work with those 4 sisters. Elder Beckstrand and I made a goal to get 20 people's numbers that were interested... we only got 16 but still that is pretty good. We blitzed Bangor's area as well. We got to work with all 6 of the Elders out there it was so fun. We got Kababs that night and the England Wales Rugby match for the Rugby world cup was on. Elder Gates, an English Elder, was trying so hard not to watch but couldn't help it. It was so funny!

Exchanges with Elders Ward and Forbush 
     I went on Exchanges with my son Elder Forbush! It was awesome! We had just exchanged and I felt prompted to go by our investigator J_____. We knocked on the door. J_____ answered with a super shocked face. He let us in and we saw a huge bottle of cider. He was literally seconds away from drinking it. His brother had brought it over and left it and the adversary got to him and he was fighting and fighting and lost. He said as he was pouring the glass for himself, he said a prayer saying "God, help me to stop." He was lifting the glass to drink as we knocked on the door. Elder Forbush and I bore our testimonies on how much God loved him. I love when the Spirit puts me in situations that are crucial. Think if we would have chosen to ignore that prompting: he would have taken, only a few, but a few steps backward. That's how every day is when we ignore those promptings.  Those who are around us will take steps away from our Father, rather than towards Him. The same is if we wouldn't have been worthy to receive that prompting.
Part of the Belfast Zone: Elders Beckstrand, ?, ?, Ward,
 Forbush, Penman
 I went on exchanges in Cavehill. Their flat is sweet. It over looks all Belfast city and they have a balcony. We watched all the drunk people run around, it was funny. We would drop a or Book of Mormon cards and people would read them and pick them up. In the morning we found a man that had been drunk and fell asleep right on the Elders doorstep. Belfast is awesome.
     The Romanian family we are teaching is going to be taught by missionaries in Romania over Skype. This will help because it is hard to teach them, but we can see and feel that they are feeling the Spirit.
     I am on a quest to have my prayers be better and I am finding great success in my prayers when I just pray from the bottom of my heart and let my true feelings out. I have been preparing for my prayers and I am noticing the Spirit guide my prayers so much more. When I pray for people it is specific and more effective. We are seeing more success as we do this!
I love you all so much. I know our Father does as well.

Elder Penman.
If at first your prayers don't succeed, then pray and pray again.
A visit with Tom Henry from Omagh on Sep 1st--old friends reunited

Uh oh.  Hide your kids.  Hide your wives. 

The Elders' car

With Bishop Goodere in Dumfries (earlier in the summer)

Dumfries Youth

The flat in Belfast

unknown Elder sleeping in the back seat

Elder Plewe catching some shut eye

must be from Elder Penman's flight to Edinburgh

boarding the flight to Edinburgh 
view from the plane

view inside the plane

Meeting with old friends Elder Forbush and Sister Sawyer
(both served in Dunfermline with E. Penman)

Reunited with Elder Christensen

with Elder Shephard

Monday, September 21, 2015

Scotland Again

Elder Mickelsen, Elder Blosil, Elder Beckstrand, Elder Penman, Elder Stanley
at the Titanic Museum in Belfast
What a week. We only spent 2 1/2 days in our area this week. Tuesday to Friday Morning. 

    We had a meeting in Edinburgh Called Mission Leadership council. so we flew over there on Tuesday night. We presented how everything went with having all of the missionaries in Northern Ireland in Belfast. We talked a lot about prayer and how prayer, like it did in the Old Testament, requires a sacrifice. It doesn't require a blood sacrifice but it requires us to put our will on the altar of sacrifice. When you do that you will truly start praying by the true order of prayer, to our Father in Heaven... in the name of Jesus Christ... by the Holy Spirit. You can not be praying by the Holy Spirit if you are praying for things that you want that are not the mind and will of God. This is why you need to put aside all of your selfish desires and pray by the Spirit. Something I often struggle with is praying by the Spirit. How do we pray by the Spirit?Well one thing to do is to prepare and really take time to invite the Spirit before we pray, another thing to do is to pray when we have moments when God speaks to us. You will not feel the Spirit or pray by the Spirit if you are not willing to act on the things you pray for or receive. We learned about how important it is to have quality prayers, then to spread it to the other missionaries. I can't wait to use these techniques when raising my children or working in the church. If you have good prayers, everything else will be easier. We learned about a serious study of PMG. Iit will make our missions the most effective time of our life.  Preach My Gospel has everything. Its AWESOME! I'M STUDYING THROUGH IT RIGHT NOW. I love it!

    We went on exchanges with the AP's Elder Haller and Elder Neideck. Elder Haller and I taught a man who had called Elder Haller earlier that week. This man is Golden!! We walked in and he said, "You two have a glow about you." Later, before we even started the lesson, he said, "I feel an amazing feeling that I only felt 3 years ago when the missionaries last came." I quickly discerned that he, in actual fact, was feeling the Holy Spirit. I told him the reason why he could see a glow about us was because we were messengers from God and what he was feeling was the Holy Ghost. He committed to baptism for the 10th of October. Too bad it's not my area. Elder Haller and I were GQ'ing the University of Edinburgh and there was no one to talk to so I waved down a lorry. We had a three minute conversation about the Gospel, but he wasn't interested. 

   On Saturday we went down to Omagh and we got to go to the Cathers and to work on their farm. We worked a lot with Ian and shoveled out 15 years worth of dust from his attic. It was awesome. Elder Fassold and I were covered with dust. It was so awesome to get to spend a day in Omagh.

   Well I love you, have a great week!  You should all study Jacob 4 with the question how can I gain faith? and how can I strengthen my faith so it is unshaken?

The one and only,
Elder Penman 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Here, There, and EVERYWHERE!

Belfast to Londonderry, to Omagh, to Bangor

We have traveled all over northern Ireland this week. We were in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Omagh, and Bangor.  It has been crazy. It's been exhausting, exciting, eventful, and miracle filled. It's a week I will never forget.... I just have no idea what to write about (;


    Elder Gates and I were on exchanges today. It was sooo fun. We started teaching 2 ladies who were feeling the Spirit so strongly while we were teaching they told us exactly what they were feeling and knew the Spirit was there. I love assisting the Holy Spirit. That is the only time I can walk away from a lesson and know that that person was sufficiently taught. I got to go over to Derry/Londonderry on Exchanges with Elder Oldham. We were walking down the street and I saw 2 people walking down a street  and I felt like I needed to talk to them so I ran across the street and jumped over the fence and called them and they stopped and we talked for a little and taught them about the Restoration. They asked us to come back another day. We took a bus from Derry/Londonderry to Omagh. It was sweet to be back. Then we rode on a bus up to Belfast. It was sweet. I got to see Rachel and Noah on the bus up to Belfast. It was so good to see them again.

Elder Penman and Noah at the bus station
From Rachel (Noah's Mom): "We were heading up to Belfast today and had planned to go say hi while he was in the city blitzing it with all the Elders from the zone.....He had been in Derry on exchanges yesterday and was heading up to Belfast with everyone from here on the 8.15am bus...We got the 10am bus and I was just looking in my bag and I looked up and he was standing in front of me, I was so shocked, Noah was at the back of the bus so I told to go sit with him.You should have heard Noah shout and scream when he saw him...I went and sat with him and we chatted non stop till Belfast which is a 1hr 30 mins bus ride.....So I guess it was a happy accident but the way all the Elders were laughing I think they had planned to get on that bus..."
       We had all of the missionaries in Norn Iron in Belfast this week all doing missionary work. we had singing. Chalk art and asked people to write things down on a white board. It was good. We didn't have as much success as we would have wanted.. but we got the zone more unified and talked to loads of people.
Norn Iron zone blitz. September 2015.  

     Yesterday Elder Stanley and I Went finding and decided to talk to every single person we saw. We seriously talked to everyone. We saw the opening of the back of a restaurant. We knocked on it and a huge Asian man answered. He didn't speak English so he got a smaller woman. we talked about the restoration of the church, she said she was interested.We were then running late for an appointment and we felt prompted that we would be ok. Suddenly a member drove down the street and gave us lift to the appointment. It was such a funny day.

Well I love you all

Elder Penman

Monday, September 7, 2015

Belfast to Dublin (and more)

Just another speedy week has come and gone! It has been slow for teaching but we have had tremendous blessings in our finding. I love our Father. 
     We blitzed Lisburn! (blitzing is having both companionships in an area working) Elder Blosil serves there he is from my MTC district. It was so fun to GQ and tract with him. Every missionary and person in our life that we come in contact with can and will teach us something. We just have to let it happen and be humble enough to admit we are not the best at some things. The next day I was with his trainee, Elder Mickelson. He is AWESOME. We had some good talks, he is a little bit nervous to stop people. I love to play the game "Dare" with missionaries that are a little nervous to talk to everyone. I dared him to do some crazy things, and he did it. It was exciting. Doing little games while finding helps me stay sane. As long as it doesn't take away from the sacred calling of being a missionary. You all know me... I never get bored. I will do a lot to stay excited and to make things fun. I got to go on exchanges with an Englishman... Elder Sheppard. We had some fun in the Newtownabbey area. It is a super pretty place right on the ocean and the water is so blue. 
    Tom Henrie from Omagh came and visited me and took me out for lunch. He is awesome. I missed him so much. I can't wait for the time we get to Blitz in Omagh. 

  We saw an Orange March the other night (**see note below). It was crazy. We also saw a drum battle. They use drums like some people use rap battles. They are so good at playing! It's so loud as well that you can hear it through the towns and the city!

    We got to go down to Dublin for the All Ireland Conference. The drive was beautiful! I love Ireland.  It was so good to see tons of missionaries I have served around. I got to see Elder Christensen again! It was great. We had to give an instruction on the Holy Ghost with 4 other missionaries. It was fun to give instruction with 6 people total. I love teaching people what I learn through the Spirit because when I share what I learn I am able to learn these things more fully and in a deeper, clearer way. We learned about how missionaries are only a reflection of the Holy Ghost. We only direct the Spirit so others can feel of God's love and learn that our message is the most important message in the world and that it is true. I love this gospel more than life itself.

I Know God lives and It is through the Book Of Mormon that the Spirit was able to speak to me. It was prayer that allowed me to speak with our Father. I received an answer as real as this email... not only once but time and time again. I know as a representative of Jesus Christ that you can receive the same spiritual witness. 

Elder Penman (:

Men from Orange Order March in Belfast in July 2015.
Picture from  
**Note from Mom:  An Orange Order March is a parade by Ulster Protestant fraternal orders who commemorate the victory of King William of Orange over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.  It can become pretty volatile because of the long standing conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.  Many Northern Irish people think the marches are too divisive.