Thursday, August 15, 2019

Catching Up on Elder Paxton in England

So this month has been a busy one for our family.  We did our annual camping trip where we really missed Chance, but we are all happy that he is where he is.

We'll have a great camping reunion two summers from now when Chance is home again. And then he can chop the wood for the fire as usual.

Chance has been seeing the sights of England and taking pictures.
Some pictures are better quality than others.

 Trees, clouds and green space.....this is the stuff of Chance's dreams
I think this picture speaks for itself.

Chance took LOTS of pictures of this particular spot so I think he really likes it. He is a nature lover in his core.

Here is a portion of what Chance had to say in is letter this past week:
It was very touching to read his thoughts about families.

Ever since I have been out on my mission, one of my main motivations and driving forces to do missionary work and desire to teach has been about the Family, particularly how I have been so blessed by my family and the wonderful blessing I have to be together with my family forever. It brings much comfort and peace to my soul to know that I will for sure see my family again after this life, as I strive to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and to be more like him. 

There is no family that is perfect, but we can all strive to do our part to make our families a little bit better. Do you find yourself being a little bit selfish to your siblings? Strive to be nicer and selfless. Do you find yourself possibly distancing yourself a little bit further away from your family? Evaluate if you have shared your testimony with your family recently and if you have spent some quality time with them. Have you noticed that perhaps you spend a little bit more time with friends then with family? Try to change that. Perhaps you don't listen to your parents as much as you should, they are there for your good, and they have been in your shoes before, they know a lot of what you are going through. Consider giving them a listen when they give you advice, and who knows, you may learn something new about your parents. There are many other different things small or big, that we could do to improve our family relationships. 

My family is not perfect, nor am I perfect, but I have a wonderful family and loving parents that care for and nurture each of their children, including myself. I have been blessed to be raised with the gospel and the wonderful knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I have been blessed with a loving family who support me in everything. 

Now I understand that there may be others that may not be as fortunate as myself in having a loving and supportive family, or may not have had a strong gospel centered home or childhood, but I would encourage you to look at those things and figure out what you can do now to improve those things. Whether it is for now or for the future. Remember that God is always with you and that he loves you very dearly and that you are his child regardless of your circumstances. He loves you more than you can comprehend.

I know this email was kinda long but I wanted to share those thoughts with you. 
I love you all so much and I hope that your weeks have been good and that you are enjoying life!

Sunday, July 07, 2019


So this is what Chance had to say about his week last week:

This past week has been a busy and good one! We've gotten a lot of contacts and I've been able to see a number of sunsets here, they're not like sunsets at home, but they are sunsets so I'll take what I can get. I'll include some pictures of those. 
We helped a member move his fridge and then he took us out to eat and he told us some awesome stories about missionaries before us that he had known and it was a blast. Lots of good laughs!
Our mission president and his wife, President and Sister Turvey, left this past Saturday because their mission was done. They are awesome and I'm going to miss them but my new mission president is going to be awesome. I've met him once and he seems like a really cool guy. I'm excited to meet him again this Wednesday! 

I would invite you all to go read Alma 32 this week and allow your minds and hearts to be open to how you can become more humble. 
I wish I could've written more about the people I am teaching, but I must go now. 
I love you all and y'all are the best! Have a fantastic 4th of July back at home y'all! I'll be there in spirit!

Not a sunset, but still a cool view

Monday, July 01, 2019

Root beer and Guitars

Chance has been experiencing some nice warm weather over there in England.
From a report I read, Britain was hotter than Jamaica one day!
I did not see that coming.
Apparently neither did Chance.
He was quite surprised to experience such temperatures since everyone
has been telling him that England doesn't get that hot in the summer.
I don't think he minded the weather as much as he was surprised.

I wonder if Chance is using his dry and store unit more in England for his implants?
We are a pretty dry climate here so he hasn't had
a big struggle with humidity, but
he may be finding that in England,
he has to pay more attention to humidity levels.
I will have to ask him

Here is part of Chance's email home this week:

My mom sent me a package of root beer! In England, they don't have American sodas and their sodas aren't as good so I've been craving some root beer for a while and I finally got some! My companion and I both had one and we "cracked open a cold one with the boys" with this delicious root beer. It was so good! I was in Heaven. 

I Got a Guitar!!! I have finally purchased a guitar, it is an English guitar and it plays and looks amazing! 

At zone conference the main focus was personal conversion and it was super cool and eye opening. Personal conversion comes from the desire to change. It doesn't just come from having a testimony and knowing the gospel. It requires an effort and a constant desire to change and become better. I would invite you all to listen to the talk "Full conversion brings happiness" by Richard G. Scott in April 2002. Also consider asking yourselves these questions: 
Where do i need development?
What do I want out of life?
Where do I need to go?
How can I get there?
What is it that I need to improve?

As you reflect these questions, write down a plan of how you will improve and increase your own personal conversion.

I love you all and y'all are awesome! Have a fantastic week! Keep up the good work!

Monday, June 24, 2019

So Chance is Still in England

It has been a minute since I have given an update about Chance.
He is still in England.
He has experienced major rainstorms and 
he got to visit Cow and Calf.

You may be wondering what exactly Cow and Calf is.
It is an outlook that overlooks a gorgeous 
When new missionaries arrive in England they visit the site
and get their picture taken.
Then they visit again for another picture when they are getting
ready to return home.
Chance arrived in England, his mission president was in 
a meeting in another part of the country so he was
told that he would visit Cow and Calf a month
later when new missionaries came in.
Chance loved it.
Since he knew about the tradition, he was anticipating the moment when 
it would be his turn to visit.
He was not disappointed.

And here is Chance in his own words on how his week 
has been:
"This past week I've had some discouraging moments and it's been a bit rough trying to adjust to England and the missionary life outside of the MTC. However, my dad pointed something out to me that was really cool that often times we all forget, and that is this: Great things come to pass after the trial of our Faith. This is so true. Often times we might find ourselves in the middle of a storm trying to figure out why we are there and why we are doing what we are doing, but it is after the storm has passed that we truly see how that storm shaped us and how we were able to grow closer to our Savior, and that we are truly being refined by the Saviors refining fire. After those storms, those hard times are when we see the blessings that come from them. 

And lastly, I just wanted to give thanks to my Father and to my grandfathers and who ever else may have been somewhat of a fatherly figure in my Life. My dad has been an excellent example to me, he has shown me what a man should be and how he should act. I hope that I can be half as hardworking, loving, humble, and selfless as my dad when I grow up. 

Our Heavenly Father is our loving Father in Heaven. He truly genuinely cares and loves each one of us and knows us personally. He is our perfect father. As we draw closer to him, he takes joy in that and as we draw further from him and disobey his commandments, he wishes you to return back to his presence. He truly wants the best for all of us. If you are not as close to your Father in Heaven, draw closer to him and get to know him. I know that he is happy when we make the right choices."

I would invite you all to give thanks to your father's, and if you don't have a father, thank the men in your life that have lead you, guided you, and are the fatherly figures in your lives. Thank them for all that they do and never take them for granted, because they are truly a huge part of our lives. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Horses and Rain

Chance is now in England. 
Ironically, he has been getting less rain than we have since he got there.
We have been having rainy day after rainy day.

Chance has been eating new foods and riding horses.
Okay, riding horses might be a stretch,
but Chance managed to get in his horse/cowboy fix
for at least one minute anyway. 

Here's an excerpt from a recent letter:

The thing with the horse. I was at the chapel this past week and we went into the gym just to do some language study and when we walked in, I noticed one of those stick horses that you put between your legs and I got it, and "rode" the horse around the gym. It was pretty epic if I do say so myself! And don't you worry, I have a picture of me riding the horse! (Dont worry I didn't actually break any rules, in the Missionary handbook, it says that you're not allowed to ride horses so I "rode a horse.")

Spiritual thought for the week. I was really studying the 2000 strippling warriors and their courage and the strength they had this past week to give Myself strength and courage as I am a missionary for the next two years in England. 

Alma 57: 21, 25-27
  21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

As we obey and seek to be the best we can at following Gods command, he will deliver us and will help us through our hard times in life. As we try to be the best we can be, and work as hard as we can work, being as obedient as we can be, having faith, God will be satisfied. 

  25 And it came to pass that there were two hundred, out of my two thousand and sixty, who had fainted because of the loss of blood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army, there was not one soul of them who did perish; yea, and neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds.
  26 And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe—that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power.
  27 Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually.

The stippling warriors were delivered from death and were delivered by the hand of God because of their faith, their obedience, and their desire to obey God and follow him. As we continue to do the same thing, God will preserve and will protect us as we go through hard times and struggle through life. He does not leave us comfortless. He is the light and the way and as we seek him, we will feel his peace and love and he will help buoy us up in our hardships and trials. 

I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Link to The Book of Mormon that Chance referenced. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Chance Has Arrived!

He is officially in England. I am a bit behind in writing, but Chance arrived in England 
 about two weeks ago.

Chance's first view of England, from the plane.

Ahh, he sent his mom flowers... ok, a picture of flowers...

A snippet of Chance

Chance arrived, but his luggage did not.  Chance had a few lay overs, and 
apparently, his luggage got left behind somewhere.

He had a layover in The Netherlands for about an hour which was wonderful
because he took pictures out of the plane window and I was
able to see the land where I served my mission. 
I still love that place and it's people.

Losing luggage while traveling can be a bit of a nightmare, and Chance
ended up having to borrow some of his companions pants for a service project.  I 
imagine those pants were a bit short on him since Chance is 
taller than his companion, but there was an upside in this drama for this momma.

One of my first thoughts after finding out that the luggage would be sent to the 
mission home when it arrived in England, so Chance would eventually
have access to his stuff, was that Chance did it!

Chance lost his luggage while traveling to another country, was able to talk to the 
airline and figure out what had happened and then figure out 
what to do.

This does my heart good because as a momma, you want your kids to be
able to be independent and figure things out.
And Chance was able to do this while understanding the accents of England.

I had to ask for directions in Boston once when we were lost, and the police officer's 
accent was so thick, that when I got back in the car, I told'the driver
I was mostly certain that I had heard everything right.

When you have a deaf child that you try to raise to be independent and able to go 
out into the world and be able to take care of business, 
this is a triumphant moment.

Chance has now received his luggage so he no longer has to wear
his companions pants when doing service projects.

Chance actually packed in such a way that he could live out of his carry on for about a week
just in case something like a loss of luggage happened.

He just didn't pack jeans for service projects in that carry on.

Here is a snippet from Chance's weekly emails home:

England is a different place y'all! It's not the same as America and Utah that's for sure. 
My first day which also happened to be my birthday was zone conference and it was good but I fell asleep so many times haha. 
Not too much has happened but we have been able to teach a Chinese college girl yesterday and she is so prepared for the gospel. I was able to translate the English into Chinese for her because we had an English member present. 
Spiritual thought of the week:
8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.
I love this because it is focusing everything that we do on God and thanking God for everything that we have for the many blessings that we're so blessed to have.
Sorry it was kind of short but I love you all and will talk to you next week!
Quote of the week:
"I don't Rob banks, I mean, I can't."
This is a funny story, so we saw this guy that was on a wheel chair with a leg half Missing ahead of us coming towards us as we were walking and when he got close to us he started talking. He talked about a lot of weird things and we could hardly understand him because he only had one tooth. Well he started asking us about Donald Trump and then he started talking about robbing banks. Well he then said "I don't Rob banks, I mean, I can't." My mission companion and I had a good laugh about that and then questioned if he would if he could. 

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Chance and His Critters

If you look really carefully, you can see that there is a spider camouflaged in this picture.
It is Chance's new buddy.

Chance found a new critter to enjoy in the MTC this week.
Yearning for critters seems to be a common thread in Chance's life at the MTC.
I am glad that he has the bounty of the earth to help supply him 
with critters to love.

I wonder what new critters he will find and bond to in England?
When I served a mission in The Netherlands, my 
critters of choice were the little quarter sized frogs. Just seeing one of those on the path
as I rode my bike across the countryside brought joy to my soul.
I wonder if Chance will find frogs in England?
Until he gets there and sees with his own eyes,
 I guess he'll settle for bonding with spiders at the MTC.

Here is an excerpt from Chance's weekly email home:

For clarification, this scripture he quotes comes from The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, in the book of first Nephi chapter 17 verses 13-14.

1 Nephi 17:13-14
13 And will also be your light in the wilderness; and will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keemy commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised landand yshall know that it is by me that ye are led.
14 Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived ithe promised land, ye shall know that I, the Lord, am God; and that I,the Lord, did deliver you from destruction; yea, that did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem.
When we are having our hard times in life, and are wondering why we are going through our trials, remember that the Lord is with you. And he is alongside you preparing the way for you to overcome your hard times. Through our trials, we will come to learn of God, and learn of his mercy. For it is through our hard times, that we are able to see the true mercies of God and how his hand influences our lives. I promise that as you look to our Lord and Savior, and recognize how much he can help you and seek that help, that he will help you and will be there always. 
I love you all! Thanks for all of y'alls support! I will talk to you next week! 

Elder Paxton