Monday, June 27, 2016

My Last Email to You All

Elder Haller & Elder Penman (Thanks to Alicia Wang)
Oh Wow! What a week to finish off my time here in Holywood. Listen to this. So I ended up lying to you all when I said that Lauren will be the last person we would be blessed to teach and witness to baptism.
 About 10 months ago. A man named Steven called Elder Beckstrand and I down from across the street. So we went and talked to him. He had told us that he had met missionaries for over the past 10 years. He was taught everything. We invited him that weekend to come to a Family Home Evening in Bishop Moffet's home where he told us all the doctrine we teach. He had known it was all true, but never been baptized.
We had off and on contact with him for my next 5 months of living in Belfast and only taught him once since then. As soon as I came back, I called him up and he took us out for dinner. We were just where we left off. This Sunday, we invited him to church and he came. He told us that this Tuesday he will be headed back to The Netherlands for 3-4 weeks. He was loving the meetings and classes. In one of the meetings, Elder Haller Turns to me and said. "We need to invite Steven to be be baptized tonight." I didn't question him and I felt the Spirit witness to me that it was true, I needed to invite him to be baptized.
After church the 3 of us--Elder Haller, Steven, and myself--went into a room and spoke about church and he was saying he enjoyed it and talking about how he had started the circle of the church but had just never completed the circle. I had never felt so nervous. Literally, this was the boldest most spiritual invitation I have ever been a part of. I told him that the Spirit had told us we should invite him.
I said "Steven, will you be baptized and confirmed tonight?" The whole room seem to sit still... Followed by a massive rush of the Spirit.
Steven grabbed our hand and put it over his heart and asked us what he was feeling and that he had never felt the way he was feeling.  He just started nodding and said, "I will be baptized."
We worked all the logistics. And our good friend Steven was baptized. It was one of the most spiritual moments of my life.  I was in the font with a broken hand.

I have loved my mission so much! It easily is the best decision I have ever made. I hope some of you will be able to recognize me.. I know that it has changed me in so many unimaginable ways. There is no way to put it into words.
I know that families can be together forever. It is only through God's Plan Of Redemption and the priesthood that it is possible. It is by that same authority that saving ordinances are performed.
I testify of the reality Of God the Father and  His son Jesus Christ. I have a special witness of the suffering of the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is real. He laid on His face in the grass and dirt and bled from every pore. Your names and my name were on that blood. I have these things witnessed unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Heavens are indeed open. God is not dead and He doesn't sleep. We are in the fullness of times, in preparation for the Second Coming. My testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon has brought me to the understanding of Joseph Smith as a true Prophet to open this last dispensation.
There are still living Prophets and Apostles today. The first step to apostasy is, as the Jews did in times of old, by rejecting the teaching of the Lord's chosen servants.
I testify that by acting on the Spirit you will achieve exaltation, You will have eternal life in this life and in the life to come.
All of this I testify and do not deny in Jesus Christ's name.

Elder Penman

Messages to Mom this week about Elder Penman's last talk in Holywood Road Ward:

Karen I know you might not get to read this post until you get home from your tour but today you would have been ultra proud of your missionary son. He gave his farewell talk this morning and it was truly inspirational. He may have left you as an 18 year old boy but he is returning to you as a highly spiritual and much changed young man. What he has learned during the last 24 months on his mission will be invaluable to him and to those around him throughout his life as he prepares to walk into eternity to spend it with Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. Karen you would have been more than proud of him. I envy you the fact that you have been able to raise one such as him, a Son of God willing to sacrifice 2 years of his young life to serve the Lord in SIM. We had a row of visitors from Utah in front of us this morning and all they could say at the end of his talk was Wow! And it really was. So thank you again to you and your husband along with Kelly and Rory for sending him to us and for allowing us to look after him. Wonderful things are happening in our ward because of our missionaries, not the least of whom is Elder Andrew Penman. He has certainly made a huge impact on my life and today I fully realised why Heavenly Father held him back as a spirit child until this time. He was a righteous spirit in our pre mortal life that he was foreordained to do his best work in these the very last of the last days. And he has succeeded. Joy and I love him very much and we will miss him terribly. I do hope you guys get to come back with him to visit. Safe journeys Karen and God be with Andrew until we meet again. Xxxxx--Sister Margaret Watson
Well, Karen not long now your big son gave a wonderful talk today in Holywood Road you would have been so proud of him he is a wonderful young man and he will be missed very, very much we are all very exicted for him to return home to see you all he will always have a very special place in our hearts xx--Sister Debbie White

Jade Fox and Elder Penman
Mumma penman! I just wanna say that you should be so proud of your son, I told him to make sure he let you know that today and it might have triggered some tears. He is a star and I will always remember him. He has done so much for me throughout his time in Holywood road and I have seen the ward strengthen and grow before my eyes because of him. He is truly truly an amazing missionary. I had a last supper with him this evening and I am so glad I was able to do so. I consider your son as I friend and I feel so privileged and grateful to be able to have met him. I am so sad at the fact that we have to lose him but I am glad you are getting him back!--Sister Jade Fox

Had the opportunity to attend the Belfast YSA Sunday, then have dinner with six of the Elders serving in Hollywood Rd at Ryan's home, with some other YSA 
(We have Elder Stoker and Wang on the back right, opposite is Elder Haller and Penman, all beside Elder Salinas. As well as Elder Gibson in the foreground. ☺️)--Azariah McCarthy-Kelly

Elder Penman and unknown Elder

Monday, June 20, 2016

Here we go again!

Elder Haller and Elder Penman traveling to or from Dublin
It was another great week our friend Lauren got baptized. It was incredible!! It may be our last baptism we attend on our missions. It was incredible though. She was telling us about the change she felt just from simply being baptized. It was awesome! 

We truly have been blessed by the Lord in these short 3 weeks. Another point was that Gary and Elizabeth two recent converts spoke at her baptism.  I love being at baptismal services. They are great.

With Elder Forward
With Elder Taylor
With Elder Wilson
With Elder Jarosz
We worked most of the week in Dublin City Centre. Which was fun. I had my last zone meeting and gave my departing testimony. That was a strange experience. 

With President Thompson (counselor in mission presidency)

 While we were down in Dublin last week I meet a lady from Belfast. She was down there for work. She ended up wanting to meet up so this weekend we taught here in Belfast and she loved it and enjoyed learning. It was quite an amazing experience to meet her hundreds of miles a way to teach her in our own area. 
Where Elder Penman will be traveling this week
This week we will be traveling all over the very south of Republic of Ireland. Anywhere from Galway, to Limerick, to Cork, to Waterford. It will be great. We will be traveling with the Limerick Zone Leaders, Elders Mulville and Taylor. It will be great. 

Elder Penman

Fixing bikes

In front of Belfast City Hall

St. Anne's Cathedral Belfast

Elder Haller and the Entwistle Family
Elder Penman and the Entwistle Family