Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Celebrations and Shenanigans


In Elder Penman's last email he said, "We had 8 missionaries staying on our flat this weekend with all the Easter celebrations and shenanigans going on in Dublin it was pretty fun... but it will be good for them to be gone and have my own flat back."
I was curious about what he was talking about so I found this article on BBC News about what was going on in Dublin on Easter weekend.  Evidently, it was the 100 year anniversary of Ireland declaring its independence.

From Wikipedia about Easter Rising: 
The Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week, April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish republicans to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic while the United Kingdom was heavily engaged in World War I. It was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798 and it kick started the struggle for Irish independence.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter

Well It was a great week, but really strange and fast! 

  Elder Møller and I gave Instruction at the Zone Conference this week on using scriptures while teaching. It was great. We have practiced expounding, give scriptures background, and helping people look for certain things as they either read or as they follow along. It has helped our teaching a lot to relearn and focus on these basics. 
 It was awesome to be back in Belfast, I got to stay in my old flat.. I wish it would have been on other conditions than being in a hospital. It was so fun to get to go to Queens University and Drive around Belfast. I got to see some of the members it was great! I love that CITY!

Elders and Sisters from Clonsilla Ward at Easter dinner at the Sharpes' home
  We had 8 missionaries staying on our flat this weekend with all the Easter celebrations and shenanigans going on in Dublin it was pretty fun... but it will be good for them to be gone and have my own flat back.
Elder Møller, Ola Lowal, Elder Penman
Ola and Elder Møller
Elder Penman and Ola
 We were blessed to see anther Baptism! Our good friend Ola Lowal went through a two part process, by men holding the Priesthood authority of God, called baptism. Baptism by water and Baptism of the Spirit. Through baptism by water, the 1st part He chose to make a two way promise with our Father in heaven, that he would take upon him the name of Christ,  remember Christ always, and keep the His commandments. The Lord has promised Ola that When he is given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, the 2nd part completing the baptism, Baptism of the Spirit. When he does these things which he has promised, he will always have the Holy Spirit to be with him. This is the AMAZING Covenant we are able to make. This covenant will help him on his path to becoming children of Christ. This is the only way we can truly be "Born again". From now on Every time Ola attends church, He can relive this process every Sunday, it can have the same effect on him as the day he was baptized. I know all of you who have been able to go through this two part process, through men who have been given the priesthood authority, can relive that day every Sunday by putting in the same effort, even more, than the day you were baptized. I testify of that in Jesus Christ name. 

Did any of you have any amazing experiences with allowing your mind to be centered on Christ? Please share them with me. I know I was able to learn so much from our Father in Heaven as I applied my faith. I received so much in return.
Some personal insights from Elder Penman's study this week:

 I was pondering Mosiah 5:7. Wow that scripture blew me away. As I pondered on a mighty change of heart, I really thought deeply about the covenants we make. Which led me to Alma 5, Where Alma teaches the people to have a remembrance of what the Lord in his mercy did for there Fathers. 
 Which I truly believe means to come to know or understand the atonement and have a certain knowledge for them selves of what the Lord God has done for them. That's so similar to Moroni's Promise, receiving the Words of Christ and remembering so they may receive their own answers and acting.Just like Enos and Alma the Younger did before the had their mighty change of heart, then they acted and became beasts!  Which the first covenant we make is Sacrifice. We have to be willing to sacrifice things and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We haven't yet given up all things but a small portion of the things we as natural men/women are doing. Then we will apply obedience strengthening our faith and trust in God. As we do this we, as it teaches in Mosiah 3:19, yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and become children and will live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It says in Ezek. 11:19  that He will give us a new spirit and a new heart. Which here is my favorite part. This is where Jesus Christ gets the name Father from, which has been a huge question of mine. We, as as it teaches in Moses 6:59 & Mosiah 5:7, will become spiritually begotten by our Savior and we will take upon us His name. We will then be called by His name. I love that as we put in our obedience and act in faith Jesus Christ will enable us to Physically, Spiritually, and Mentally Change. Then we will be able to truly consecrate ourselves to God. We then need to keep that conversion burning bright within us. We need to keep applying these things or else we will slip back into the natural ways.(Alma 5:26-27)
 My other favorite part was how personal the change is between God and His children. I think as missionaries we think it is too often it is all us. But truly that change of heart will be between God and his Little Ones! We only deliver the information and the Godhead takes care of the rest according to the others' faith 
"Christ and Mary at the Tomb" by Joseph Brickey
He is not here.  He is Risen.  
 I know that He, Jesus Christ, is risen!! That is the greatest event ever to take place in this fallen world. I know that through Jesus we will all be made alive. He lives!! This is the greatest knowledge I have.
I testify of this witness in Jesus Christ's name.

Elder Penman

Monday, March 21, 2016

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin Ireland!

  St. Patrick's Day was pretty weird, not as wild as I thought it would be.  We had a good time talking to people at the parades. It was a monumental time though. 
A wee Irishman or Leprechaun at the St. Patrick's Day Parade
Hey Elder Penman, you're not supposed
to be hanging out with "the lassies"

Elder Moller, an unknown Irish man, Elder Penman
  On Thursday, I will get to visit Belfast!!! I am so excited to see Elder Mulville and be in Belfast. I hope I see some of the members as well while I am up there. 
  As life rolls on. we see more and miracles poured upon us. We are starting to teach more families and our teaching pool is getting full of fantastic people! I also feel that my motivations have been deepened. I feel like I still have greenie fire. I also have been able to re-find my deep love for the scriptures. I love getting lost in them and learning on an intimate level from God. We truly are blessed. 

"Gethsemane" by Liz Lemon Swindle 
 Because of Easter, this week is a sacred week to deepen our understanding of the Savior and build our faith and knowledge of his Atonement. Will all of you, each day, take 30 minutes each day to ponder the Savior's life from his birth to the day of his resurrection? I have done this myself and when I get lost in these deep ponders I have received revelation from the Holy Spirit. I promise the same will happen to you as you dedicate this time everyday.
"The First" by Jared Barnes

  I know God lives and I have sung the "song of His redeeming love" and I still do to this very day. 

-Elder Penman

And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? --Alma 5:26

Monday, March 14, 2016

Miracles in Dublin

Elder Muller, Elder Penman and some friends
 I feel  like every email i send Is basically the same. That's just my life though... Ha!
Doin' the Pigeon.  

  Well it seems like yesterday I was on the east of Scotland enjoying life as an 18 year old missionary. Now it is a year later and this week was my last week of being 19. Time never slows down. I have found more recently, I feel as if I am running out of time in a normal day. It's time to start lengthening my stride to keep with the loss of time in the day. There has not been a day that has gone by that I have regretted choosing to do something on my mission, every day waking up as a full time missionary is something that never gets old!
  We had a wonderful miracle that happened this week. On exchanges, we talked to a 17 year old, whose mother was a member. He invited us over and to be honest it seemed really dodgy, like always. After going to a dinner appointment we decided to try by. Both of them were there waiting for us, with a meal. His mother was a member that joined when she was 18 in another ward and lost contact with the church, the rest of her family has never joined. We prayed and she told us her conversion story. It was wonderful and her testimony was powerful. We asked her how she was feeling and she told us she was feeling the Holy Spirit. Then her son started talking. He told us he was feeling a way he had never felt before and we identified the Holy Spirit. He told us his mother told him to pay attention to how he felt and he felt the way she told him he would feel. We invited him to pray.... WOWZER!!! It was the most spiritual prayer/ lesson I have ever been in. Both of them are so prepared to come, and come back to the Gospel. 

  That was kind of a boring version of what happened, but it truly was one of the most spiritual experiences of my entire life. 

 I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I am grateful to represent Him at this time in my life. He is real, He lives and because of that we may all live again. I love our Eternal Father soooo much!

Elder Penman
The Redmond family from Clonsilla Ward takes Elder Penman and
Elder Campbell out to dinner. 
Elder Campbell and Elder Penman out to dinner with Redmonds
Sister Brenda Redmond said they were "sharing a spiritual message with our family in Nandos.
I was so impressed they didn't hesitate just whipped out the Book of Mormon and
shared their message. I had to capture the moment"
Running into friends while out working
Dublin YSA group with missionaries?  

Monday, March 7, 2016

With A prophet at Church?‏ and Running Around Dublin...

  Well this week was crazy with moving people around and sending the missionaries going home over Scotland. We were picking up missionaries coming in to Dublin from the rest of Ireland late at night, to wake up at 4:30, to work all day then repeat the next day. Wow it was pretty draining but quite exciting sometimes. I probably got lost in Dublin City Centre 6 times in the matter of 3 days. You would think I would have  figured it out the third time, if not the first or second time.  
    Elder Møller and I were headed back to the flat with a little bit of time left in our night. We decided we would talk to one more person before we went in. So across the street we went to talk to the only man in sight. We introduced ourselves and  the man wanted nothing to do with us. So we left, and while walking away, we ran into another man who was kind enough to speak to us. We walked with him for a little but he was not interested really. Right as we ended our conversation we saw a couple trying to get into their flat. We called over to them a few times but they did not reply. They opened the door and right before it shut, we jogged over there and said hello. They were a lovely couple with 3 children. They have had contact with the church in the past when they were living in Brazil. They were very open, so one of the young men in the ward and myself met with the family the next evening. Wow... It was an amazing lesson, even though there was a language barrier, so we taught a very simple lesson, they were taking everything in we said. The Spirit was so powerful. 
  I love my mission so much. It is absolutely amazing how much. Through the grace of Jesus Christ, our seemingly small efforts, in the sight of everything, are consecrated for a large gain. It is always so humbling, because I could never ever say, that was all me. It would be nothing if it was not done in God's way. The will of the Lord Is mighty!

   At church on Sunday we had 3 random people come off the streets into the church. Two of which were are going to start teaching but the last one, was a little "different." He had a sweet beard and some long hair.  It's how I imagine Moses, the Prophet, to look.
Moses the Prophet, as played by Charlton Heston
(Or Maybe it is Stephen the Prophet....?????)

I brought him in to sit next to me and we were enjoying the meeting and out of nowhere he says, "These people have no idea what they are talking about." So I asked him, "Why do you say that?" Which caused him to pull out his Book of Mormon with tons and tons of markings in it.

He told me he understood everything in the Book of Mormon and told me it prophesied of himself and about how he would come in the last days. He told me he was Stephen the Prophet. He went on to tell me for the remaining 40 minutes of Sacrament meeting, to teach me all the revelations he was receiving and his life story. It was pretty great. Stephen is a great man but his one downfall is that he does not believe that Jesus the Christ is the Savior of the Universe. 

Elder Penman, Maggie & Baby, Elder Møller
  It also was an exciting day at church because one of the people we are teaching, Maggie, had her child  receive a baby blessing. It was such a spiritual moment and a step in the right direction for her. 
   I have a certain knowledge that God the Father lives, that Jesus Christ lives as a separate individual perfectly aligned in purpose, and that the Holy Spirit lives to teach us and guide us along our paths. They all testify of each other. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a man who has been set apart by God to hold all the permission and keys to lead the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and to speak as His mouthpiece to the guide the world! 

Elder Møller, Elder Penman (Thanks to Vanessa Jacobsen Sharpe from Clonsilla Ward)
Elder Penman
Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Short Moves Call

Elder Campbell and Elder Penman
   Well we had moves call and Elder Campbell is leaving me to go to Dundee. I will be getting an Elder from Denmark. I kind of bummed that Elder Campbell is leaving. We have no time to email today because of it.

  All I can say is we probably taught more in these 4 weeks than I ever have on my mission. It has been great and so humbling to see the salvation of God working in our efforts. We had a bunch of our friends come to church and were able to witness Roairi receive the Holy Ghost. 

  I got to go on exchanges with Elder Calton--Elder Perkes' (my trainee) trainee, and Elder Charlesworth Elder Calton's trainer. It was funny because people would say that Elder Charlesworth is my Great-Grandson... And he does missionary work the exact same as I did when I came out. 

  We are working this month and hoping to see most of the people we are teaching to get baptized. Thank you so much for your prayers and fasting for me. I love all of you. 

Elder Penman
Mosiah 3:19 
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
Elders Campbell, Petit, Penman

with Elder Haller

At Roarie's baptism

Elders Penman, Calton, Charlesworth, Campbell

Elder Barton, Sister Sawyer, Elder Campbell