Monday, February 22, 2016

The Love of God

Elder Penman, Roirie, Elder Campbell
Another amazing week has come and gone. We had so many early mornings and late nights picking up missionaries and driving them all over Ireland. It was quite exhausting   
  We saw our good friend Roirie get baptized and see the affect it had on his family. It's wonderful the power that the spirit at baptism has on those attending. Roirie's family invited all of their friends. So the chapel was full of many South African families. The Lord is so good. 
Elders Penman and Campbell with Roirie's family
   We are having some of our friends struggling with committing and coming to church. Which has lead my thoughts and studies to The Love Of God. Not only the love He has for us as His little ones, but our love for Him. We had a man who is struggling so bad with the Law of Chastity and it is hurting him, but he enjoys it too much to give it up. Elder Campbell and I were discussing a lot of the reasons why this happens to people. We came up with the idea, about when someone is "in love." Literally, someone who feels like they are "in love" will do anything rational and even irrational to show this love. But as this happens that person changes and would do anything for the person they love. I believe that a lot of the time we are lacking in our motivation and lacking in diligence to being obedient to the commandments of God, it is because we do not understand where we stand with God. That Love is cultured just like a relationship on earth, by spending time with Him and talking to Him, (and all of the Primary answers). 
   You should all focus and ponder on where you stand with God and get on your knees and ask, "What can I do to Improve my relationship with thee?"  I promise you can get an answer, because I know that God loves every one of you.  

Sorry we are super busy. It's been a short bad email. 

Elder Penman

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


(message from Mom)

I received this message from Elder Penman's friend Sebastian today, along with a great picture of Elder Penman, Sebastian, and Elder Mulville.  Sebastian is from Angola and studying at Queen's University in Belfast.  We had a nice chat and his message today was a blessing to me.  Thanks Sebastian.  :D He said this was his big brother Penman.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Elder Campbell The Tank.

Things are going great here. We had a great week. Right now we are working away at building our teaching pool. We have called so many people this week. My brain is fried. But we saw so many miracles. 
Elder Penman with Roarie, Besheka, and Balili

Elder Penman with Basheka and Balili
  We saw Roarie and taught him the Law of Chastity... It is probably one of the most awkward moments on my mission to teach a child the law of Chastity.  Roarie is going to be baptized this Sunday by Elder Campbell. We also got to see his younger brother and sister this week, Besheka and Balili. They are the cutest little kids ever. I love it when they pray. Roarie's mother is from South Africa, so she makes some authentic African food. I had a great experience of eating cooked--they called them worms--but they were caterpillars. They weren't that gross, but Elder Campbell almost threw up.    

  We had a great experience! So, Elder Campbell got a call from a woman saying she wanted to meet up.  We contacted this woman on the street a week before and she wasn't interested, so Elder Campbell gave her our number. We met her in a cafe and as we were teaching, a Chinese woman kept staring at me, so I waved at her and she got all excited and asked us if she could learn about God. So we taught her and both of them felt the Holy Spirit very strongly.  It was amazing!!

Elder Yip
Elder Yip, Elder Penman
 I went on a exchanges with a missionary that was in the MTC with me, Elder Yip and his companion Elder Chan. I guess all night long, I was talking in my sleep and acting like I was on the phone trying to schedule appointments. The other day another missionary was telling me I was teaching the First Discussion in my sleep as well. 

    This week I have been studying on the connection between Priesthood and The Holy Spirit. Both are everlasting, both give authority, both when acted on, lead us to serve others, the list goes on and on. I also found that neither are useful if there is no faith involved. If we are willing to act and exercise both of these amazing gifts, we will have power with us. 

 I know the Priesthood of God is real. I know that the Atonement  is real. I know these things because I have used them and because the Holy Ghost has witnessed it to me.

Elder Penman

Oh No!  Did Elder Penman rip another pair of pants?
(Bonneville Tapestry friends will remember the infamous
ripped pants) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ireland--Shrove Tuesday (Last day before Lent)

(This is a historical post from Mom, for information only.)

Shamrock Pancakes for "Pancake Day"
For most people in the UK, Shrove Tuesday means cracking open eggs, flipping and eating lots of pancakes.

It is significant in the Christian calendar as it marks the last day before Lent - a 45-day period intended for repentance and fasting.

Across the world, people celebrate the onset of the traditional temporary embargo on having fun and eating rich food in a range of ways - from eating pea soup to dancing and banging on samba drums to playing football.

What does 'Shrove' mean?

It originates from the Old English word "shrive" which is means "absolve".

While many followers of Christian denominations look to spend the day studying the wrongs they need to repent - it has long been seen as a day to enjoy foods and pursuits before Lent fast.

What is the link between football and Pancake day?

Since the 12th century, many towns and villages across the UK would play chaotic and relatively lawless games of football on public roads.

While many of these 'mob football' games have  since disappeared - villages such as Atherstone in Wawrickshire continue to play the game on public highways every Shrove Tuesday.

Around 2,000 people were expected to take part in this year's match, where the rules are simple  - the ball cannot be taken out of the town and you cannot kill anyone.

Information from: What You Probably Didn't Know About Pancake Day

A "wee" little Irish joke

Irish Customs for Pancake Day
In many countries, Shrove Tuesday was, and still is, a day of public revelry and carnivals. But, in Ireland long ago, it was usually a family celebration. For the faithful, Lent meant abstaining from eggs and all dairy products, so all of these had to be used up before Ash Wednesday.

Generally, the family, and sometimes friends and neighbors, gathered around the fire which was often fueled in part by the Christmas holly, saved just for the occasion. The pancakes were baked over the fire and the honor of tossing the first cake was always given to the eldest, unmarried daughter of the host. It was said that if she could toss it and receive it back into the pan successfully, she'd be married within the year; but, if it didn't turn or was dropped, she would remain single. Often, her mother would put her wedding ring into the batter for the first cake; if the daughter was successful in her toss, she would immediately divide the cake into enough servings as there were guests. The person receiving the piece that contained the wedding ring was doubly fortunate - they'd be married that year and their choice of a spouse would be a good one.

In addition to enjoying their pancakes, an Irish family in the old days would also have served generous portions of meat as the main course.

Usually, the contestants were housewives. Each of them carried a skillet which contained a large, very thin pancake. The idea was for the women to race to the finish line, tossing their pancakes as they ran. It was hilarious - especially when a stray pancake landed where it wasn't supposed to!

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 eggs
1 oz unsalted butter
Additional butter for frying
granulated sugar
lemon juice

1. Beat the milk and eggs together in a bowl. In another bowl, sift the flour and salt together; add half the milk and egg mixture, stirring constantly.
2. Melt the butter and whisk it in. Whisk in the rest of the remaining milk and egg mixture.
3. Allow the batter to stand at least two hours.
4. Melt 1 tbs butter in frying pan, add 1/4 cup batter and tip until the pan is evenly coated. Keep the pan moving as you cook to prevent sticking. When the underside is golden brown, flip the pancake and cook the other side.
Slide onto an oven proof platter; sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice and then, roll up.
Keep warm in a 300 degree oven until ready to serve.

Information and Recipe from Irish Culture and Customs

Monday, February 8, 2016


(image from Internet)
Reporting down south from Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle. I have seen and been in two of the greatest cities. It so different than Northern Ireland and Scotland. There are so many different cultures all smashed into one. It's great. 

   Elder Campbell and I had a great experience. We were tracting and we had decided that were were going to get let in to these houses. The very first door we walked up with confidence that we would get let in. An Irish Lady answered the door and literally, I do not joke, all Elder Campbell said, "Hello, we are out sharing a message about the Book of Mormon." The Lady looked at us and said, "would you like to come in?" It was amazing. That is one of the many miracles we have had here in Dublin. 

   We are teaching a family whose children are not yet baptized. The young boy were are working with, his name is Roarie. He will be getting baptized next Sunday. It will be so good for the family. We are building our finding loads. It's so fun.

  We had a great conference with Elder Hallstrom. We were taught so deeply about the atonement and the power to forgive yourself. It was incredible. We were also taught that  in 2 kings 6:16 "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Is our dead ancestors, even our decedents, And they are praying for us and helping us with more power than you or I can even comprehend. So when you are feeling down take comfort in this thought.. "they that be with us" will comfort you through the power of Jesus Christs atonement, you just need a little faith.

Elder Penman 

On the move! L to R: Elders Mickelsen, Swenson, Penman, Davis

Image from the Internet

Note from Mom: 
Emerald Isle is the poetic name for Ireland due to its green countryside, first referred to in print by William Drennan in his poem "When Erin first rose"


By William Drennan

From The Cabinet of Irish Literature, Volume 2, edited by Charles A. Read
When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless'd the green island and saw it was good;
The em'rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp 'mid the ocean's deep roar.
But when its soft tones seem to mourn and to weep,
The dark chain of silence is thrown o'er the deep;
At the thought of the past the tears gush from her eyes,
And the pulse of her heart makes her white bosom rise.
O! sons of green Erin, lament o'er the time
When religion was war, and our country a crime,
When man in God's image inverted his plan,
And moulded his God in the image of man.
When the int'rest of state wrought the general woe,
The stranger a friend, and the native a foe;
While the mother rejoic'd o'er her children oppressed,
And clasp'd the invader more close to her breast.
When with pale for the body and pale for the soul,
Church and state joined in compact to conquer the whole;
And as Shannon was stained with Milesian blood,
Ey'd each other askance and pronounced it was good.
By the groans that ascend from your forefathers' grave
For their country thus left to the brute and the slave,
Drive the demon of bigotry home to his den,
And where Britain made brutes now let Erin make men.
Let my sons like the leaves of the shamrock unite,
A partition of sects from one footstalk of right,
Give each his full share of the earth and the sky,
Nor fatten the slave where the serpent would die.
Alas! for poor Erin that some are still seen,
Who would dye the grass red from their hatred to green;
Yet, oh! when you're up, and they're down, let them live,
Then yield them that mercy which they would not give.
Arm of Erin, be strong! but be gentle as brave;
And uplifted to strike, be still ready to save;
Let no feeling of vengeance presume to defile
The cause of, or men of, the Emerald Isle.
The cause it is good, and the men they are true,
And the Green shall outlive both the Orange and Blue.
And the triumphs of Erin her daughters shall share
With the full swelling chest, and the fair flowing hair.
Their bosoms heave high for the worthy and brave,
But no coward shall rest in that soft-swelling wave;
Men of Erin! awake, and make haste to be blest!
Rise! arch of the ocean, and queen of the West!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Origin of Street Names of Belfast

This is a post by Mom for Historical purposes only.  Since Elder Penman was in Belfast for so long, I found this article about the origin of street names in Belfast and thought it would be of interest to him later since he served in that city for so long.
From The Story of Belfast by Mary Lowry (circa 1913)

IT is very interesting to trace the familiar names of the places we know back to the beginning and find the reason for some peculiar names. Ballymacarret means the town of McArt.

Wolfhill was a wild, lonely place where the last wolf was killed, but we may suppose that there must at one time have been more than one wolf in residence there, hence the name. The name of Crumlin Road is obvious, for it was simply the only road to Crumlin, and a hilly journey it was in the old times.

The Antrim Road is comparatively new. Carrick Hill was in ancient times called Carrickfergus Street, as it was then the direct road to the city of that name. The part called Carrickfergus Street is now known as North Queen Street. Carlisle Circus was named for the Earl of Carlisle, who was Viceroy of Ireland at the time it was planned.

Five Earls of Donegall in regular succession for one hundred and fifty years account for the name of " Arthur " being so frequently used, and five ladies of the Donegall family gave the name of "Anne" to a great many places.

One Lady Donegall was named Letitia, and Lettice Hill owes its name to her. It was then a famous country retreat, with orchards and gardens, near "My Lord's meadows," and the Lady Letitia spent much leisure time there.

"Cow Lane," now Victoria Street, was where the cows were driven through when they were taken to graze on the Strand ground, and Goose Lane was named for a similar reason. Skipper Street was where the "skippers" or captains of the vessels lived, and it was then close to the docks.

Bridge Street was the principal bridge over the river in High Street, and it was here that the "May Pole" was a striking feature for many years. The last Maypole left remaining in Ireland is still to be seen in the High Street in Holywood. Church Street was so called from the old Corporation Church. It was formerly known as School-house Lane.

Bank Lane was once known as the "Bank of the River." Fountain Street was once called "Water Street," as it was there that the fountains were, that at one time supplied the town with water.

Hercules Street was named after Sir Hercules Langford, and Sugar House Entry from the sugar-refining industry which was carried on there. It was to No. 13 in this entry that the dead body of poor, ill-fated Henry Joy McCracken was carried by his friends, after he was hanged at the Market House in the year 1798.

Corn Market was once called the "Shambles." It was a favourite place for butchers' shops, and from the Plough Hotel, the last of the night mail coaches ran to Dublin. The memory of the name lingers still in the "Plough Buildings." Belfast Castle gave the name to many surrounding places, and Linen Hall Street was opened through the Castle Gardens when the Linen Hall was built. Old Forge and New Forge were named so, as they were used for smelting iron.

One of the most curious names remains with us in "The Donegall Pass." There was no road at one time between the Dublin and Ormeau Roads, but Lord Donegall opened six wide avenues through the woods, and they were known as the passes. Donegall Pass alone keeps the old name, and people were allowed to use the footpath through the trees "to pass" from one road to the other. Ormeau was built after the Castle in Castle Place was destroyed by fire. It was once a fine house beautifully situated on the bank of the Lagan, with spacious grounds and gardens, and some of the old trees now in the Ormeau Park may then have been the "young elms" that gave it the name of Ormeau.

The graveyard at Newtownbreda dates from the year 1180, and is still used.

Another very old place and name is "Friar's Bush" on the Stranmillis Road. It was once a monastery, but it owes the curious name to a holy friar, who was said to have been endowed with some miraculous powers, and it was beside the ancient tree in the centre of the graveyard that he performed his daily devotions, hence the name of "Friar's Bush." The inscription on his tombstone is " This stone Marks Ye Friar's Grave, A.D. 485," so he must have been one of the early disciples of St. Patrick, who had visited this place some time before.

Friar's Grave, Friar's Bush, Stranmillis Road, Belfast
Friar's Bush Graveyard

From the great Cromac woods, on to Stranmillis, the country was stocked with deer, and was used for hunting and hawking. Cromack means bending or stooping, a winding river.

Malone Road was once called "Mylone," or "Myllon," "the plain of the lambs," and we find goats' whey and pure milk advertised to be sold at Donegall Pass, the "Throne" gardens, and at Millfield. The Falls Road gets its very curious name from the Irish words " Tuath-na-bhfal" district of the falls or hedges, and Castlereagh from the Grey Castle where King Conn O'Neill once lived. Waring Street was named from Thomas Waring, who had tanneries there in the year 1645. He made a curious will, leaving his wife "fifteen pounds a year, two rooms and the kitchen furniture, also the beds therein, one Sylver cupp, two best Sylver spoons, and one park of land near the North Gate." Waringstown is named for the same family. Thomas Waring had a son William, whose daughter, Jane Waring, was known as Dean Swift's "Varina." She refused to marry him, although it was said that he waited for her for four years.

Mustard Street was named from the mustard works there, and Mount-pottinger and Pottinger's Lane from the famous Pottinger family. Thomas Pottinger paid £20 a year rent for all of Ballymacarrett. It was once a forest, and from Queen's Bridge to the Rope Works at Connswater there were only two houses. May's Dock was the original bed of the Blackstaff River at the old Police Office, and it flowed into the Lagan at Queen's Bridge. Sir Edward May reclaimed all the ground along Great Edward Street, where the high-water line was.

A paved road from West Holywood is now called Strandtown. The Strand extended to Connswater and was crossed by a ford, and if continued in a straight line across the Lagan it comes out at Waring Street. Lord Avonmore reclaimed part of the causeway across the Strand. There was then no road through Ballymacarrett. Sixty years ago the Queen's Island was a public park with gardens and trees and a great Crystal Palace with a zoological collection. The shallow water behind was used for bathing, and a row of bathing boxes was there, and there was also a bathing pond on the Lagan. Small ferry boats took people across the river for a charge of one halfpenny. Townsend Street was once the end of the town. North Street was the nursery for many well-known merchants. Callendar Street was where calico was calendered. Hyde Park was named for a family called Hyde. In the year 1800, a row of small cottages thatched with straw, stood where the Commercial Buildings are now. Thatched houses were in Donegall Street and Corn Market. In 1810, there was a thatched house in High Street exactly where Messrs. Patterson's is now. It was two stories high, and was used as the Blind Asylum of the town.

The Vicarage House was at the corner of Talbot Street in the church yard, and the house of the Master of the Academy at the other side of the Church at Academy Street. In the year 1801, Donegall Street must have been a damp place, for a gravelled footpath was ordered to be made for the health of the soldiers, as "dry feet are of the utmost importance and wet ones a most fertile cause of disease for armies." It was paved from the Poorhouse to the Academy walls, and the upper part was surrounded by fields and trees. The old Rampart was still beyond the Academy. We read of a house to be let, 34, Castle Street, with a most elegant garden adjoining, abundant vegetables, well-stocked fruit and wall trees. There are some well-stocked fruit shops there now, but no "elegant gardens."

One Arthur Thompson, advertises his farm at Fountainville of over ten acres, and in the year 1802 it was worth £10 a year. A little higher up the Malone Road, Fruit Hill was let at £8 15s. for twelve acres. The Malone Turnpike was at the top of the hill where Mount Charles is now, and when the Lisburn Road was made it was moved lower down, and the old toll-house is still there. A good house was advertised in Smithfield Square with a field to graze two cows. It would be an expensive place to graze cows now!
Old Toll House at corner of Great Edward Street and Chichester Street, Belfast
Old Toll House, Belfast

A large house stood alone at the corner of York Street, which was built by the old Stevenson family, and it is now known as the Oueen's Hotel.

When rebuilding in High Street twenty-five years ago at Messrs. Greenfields, walls were found that were built of turf.

The last thatched house in Belfast was in Frederick Street, and it was said that Lord Edward Fitzgerald was hidden in the roof of it when a price was set upon his head, but no reward, however large, would have tempted the owner of the small thatched cottage to betray his visitor.

Thatched House, Frederick Street, Belfast
Thatched House in Frederick Street

We must close this chapter with a very brief notice of the Long Bridge. Before it was built in 1682, people had to cross the Lagan by Shaw's Bridge or a ferry boat. The new bridge was a wonderful sight, for it was 2,562 feet long, and had twenty-one arches. Ten years after it was built seven arches fell in, weakened by Schomberg's heavy cannon passing over it, and a ship was driven up against it, thus completing the disaster.

Garmoyle, the well-known anchorage, is named from an old word meaning "heaps of fish."

Friday has been the market day in Belfast for over three hundred and twenty years. Where the Belfast Bank now stands at the end of Donegall Street was once known as " The Four Corners," and it was a favourite place for open-air meetings to be held.

On the Road Again

   We had moves call. I'm leaving this blessed city! I'm heading down to Dublin City. It's only about an hour or two bus journey away. My new companion will be ________.(will fill in later)   I am way sad to leave the best city in the Scotland Ireland Mission, I will miss serving with Elder Mulville. It's been great. 

   We are still teaching a lot. We are teaching multiple men, named F____ and D______. Both have dates for February. We are still Teaching S_______. We taught him the story of Esther and how she fasted for before going into plead the king to spare the lives of the Jews. We are going to do a fast with him.. well they are going to do a fast with him and then ask his Government if he can be baptized. He really wants to. There are just a few hang ups that can be over come.

"The Fab Four" as the members in Holywood Road Ward call
them.  Elders Parkinson, Penman, Mulville, Wilson
 It was a great Sunday service. They assumed that Elder Parkinson and I would be leaving so all four missionaries spoke. Literally, I say this all the time... I have never been so loved by one ward! I love them all so much. They are incredible. It's so heart breaking to leave, ha ha. The work has been picking up so much that they are putting two more elders in. So they will have six missionaries. I have never given the Lord so much thanks for one opportunity as this one to serve here. The best part was some of the members even teared up after the sacrament meeting. I know it sounds like I am bragging, but it as through the enabling power of the Atonement of the anointed one, Jesus the Christ. If grace would have never come into my life. I would have not been able to stay on my mission, the plethora of trials would have been too much.

  I was studying the day of Judgment in Alma 5. I realized how the judgment would work. I had heard that the Lord Jesus Christ would be our judge and I wondered how he would do it.  
3Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. 34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the  bread and the waters of life freely; 35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire 36 For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn.  37 O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!  38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
  This is how I imagine it. We will all stand there and we will all be offered eternal life. Many will say no, they will not listen, or they may not be able to stand in the Glory of The Most High. It will be unbearable, or as explained here... "to wail and mourn." 

I truly know that the Holy Spirit Lives among us. The Father is close. Closer than you may think. I know that the Savior has power that is infinite to heal all things... not just some, but all. 

Elder Penman 
P-Day Fun

Saint Patrick's Church Belfast

Saint Patrick's Church Belfast
Another Blitz.  

The outpouring of love from members of the Holywood Road Ward at the news of Elder Penman moving on has been so touching.  They have consented to me sharing them here.  
From Sister Florence Roberts:
Sister Florence Roberts and Elder Penman
"Elder Penman and me. He's always got his mouth open, says its resting!"
"'Taken today at my house. Had 4 super duper missionaries, Abdullah and Dermot. Elder Penman likes to keep his mouth open, in case a fly might pass by. Elder Parkinson (Ginger) has been with us for 6 months and may be leaving, but we hope not. Elders Mulville and Wilson are checking each other's almost like looking in the mirror! These 4 Musketeers have made a lot of difference to Holywood Road ward. They all got to speak today as those assigned were sick. Maybe that's the way it was meant to be...such a special meeting. Such dedication and love from these guys. Parents - thank you for sharing them with us'"
Dermot, E Penman, E Wilson, Abdullah
Elder Mulville and Elder Wilson who she says look like twins
From Sister Debbie White: 

Hi Karen, Your lovely son came by tonight to say goodbye to our family, we will miss him very much he is a wonderful young man we hope all goes well for him in Dublin please know that our lives have been blessed because of him and his example xx Everyone in the ward has been so grateful that he has served here we have be so blessed with the four elders we have had we call them the "Fab Four" lol and yes he has made a difference in many of our lives he's just brilliant xx
E Penman & Jade
From Sister Jade Fox: 

Karen this is a photo of me and Elder Penman from tonight! I've just spent 5 weeks in the US and got home today! I'm so glad I was able to see him before he moves! He might have only taught me recent convert lessons for a short time and I don't know if he told you but he challenged me in November to complete the Book of Mormon again before the 28th of December which is the date I was a member for a year and he agreed to do it with me. He might not know it but it was what I needed most in my life at that time. Not going to lie, there may have been a tear shed saying goodbye! Your son has been such a blessing in my life and the lives of many in Holywood Road, he is such a credit to you and will be greatly missed! I hope to keep up to date with him through his blog over the next 5 months and on my next trip to America in August I hope I'll get to see him and also to meet you! Here's a photo we took before he left!

From Brother Alan Marshall:
I was in Holywood Road Ward with Elder Penman. I just wanted to say that I will miss him. He is a fantastic missionary. I am glad I got to know him. I bought him lunch last Thursday. I thought i would let you know that.  

From Sister Margaret Watson:
 "He is moving to Clonsilla Ward in Dublin still as Zone Leader. you should be so proud of him Karen. I know I am and he isn't even mine. He and his fellow missionaries have made such a difference to our ward in terms of baptizing investigators that we are getting 2 extra Elders to help us with our Chinese speaking people. He is just so wonderful and I will miss him dreadfully. So Monday and Tuesday he has to sort out all the moves in the zone as well as find a flat for the new missionaries. He just never stops. xxxxx"
From Sister Miriam Shearer: 
I thought I'd drop a quick message to you. Im from Holywood Rd ward. I've been thinking about our missionaries all day and thought I'd let you know that your son is wonderful, he always has such a good spirit about him, you can tell how passionate he is about the work. Im not the first to tell you this I know we'll miss him and elder parkinson. The missionary effort has improved tenfold because of their hard work along with their companions so its no surprise that they are needed elsewhere. I have two small sons and can't help but see them when I look at our missionaries. The spirit emanates from your boy and you should be so proud!