Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

Dear family and friends,

Hey, how are things going!? Things have been good this week and I’m so grateful for the experiences that I have been having out here in Keizer Oregon. It’s crazy to think but I was sent here for a reason, to this exact Spanish Branch in Keizer Oregon at this time. It’s pretty legit to think that the Lord works with us like that and we don't understand until much later. I'll explain to you what I mean and how the Lord can bless you with revelation if what you are asking for is His will.

Well last letter I told you that Elder White and I sat down one night and wrote out a mission plan for the Keizer area. I know that this plan was direct revelation for this area as I know I couldn't think of it by myself. Elder White, the new missionaries that just got white washed into this area (Elder Avery, and Elder Garballos), and I sat down and figured out how to present it to the leadership in the Branch. We prayed about it and typed it out. The plan came out just as we thought it would and we showed it to our mission leader Mario Hijo. We set goals and figured out how we would present it to the Branch Presidency. Well we figured it all out and yesterday we presented the plan to Presidente Andrade and his counselors. The presentation went well and everyone was fired up about the plan because it really gives us a direction where to go and how to use our time wisely. The plan is pretty much just breaking down how much time a missionary has in his day to proselyte, and figuring out what he will do with that time by answering the questions, what, why and how. Everyone is excited to see the results of this plan in the next two months and see how the work picks up in this area. I now have a testimony and know why I have been sent here to this area at this time, as the Lord has given me a way to serve the people in this area more effectively, through revelation.

Maria Ceja is the best and this is a funny experience that happened with her the other day. We decided to go stop by and see how she was doing. We went to go knock on her trailer but no one answered. So as we were about to walk away, I saw here knocking on the window inside her truck. She opened her truck door and came out to greet us. I asked her what she was doing sitting in her truck. She told me she got locked out of her house and was cold so she had been sitting in her truck waiting for her husband to get back. She told us she had been sitting there for like 3 hours and I felt so bad. She told us that she also had a huge headache but didn’t have any water to take the Tylenol. I remembered that we had an unopened water bottle in the car so we gave it to her so she could take the Tylenol. As soon as we gave her the bottle, she raised it to the air, and thanked the Lord for sending her the missionaries with the Agua de Vida (the water of Life) ha-ha. She is so awesome and her faith in Jesus Christ is really strong. She has a baptismal date of this next Sunday.

My companionship is going really well. Elder White and I continue to grow in our Spanish as we work together. We only listen to Spanish music or the scriptures in Spanish as we are trying to be immersed in the language as much as we can. We are like brothers now and we are pretty close. Elder White is growing so much every day as he never used to talk during dinner with members but now he talks almost as much as I do. I know that I was put with Elder White to help him grow socially and he has been here to help me grow as well.

President Dyches always asks us to tell him if we had any funny things happen during the week in our letter to him probably to help us see that things are not all so serious and the Lord has a sense of humor too. Well one night we went to go visit Rosa at her house. Here kids were screaming and yelling, and going nuts. We somehow got them to calm down and started to teach her. While we were teaching I smelled something kind of funny. As I tried to figure out what the smell was, thinking that it was me, she told me that it was her 4 year olds feet. She told him to go wash his feet but he said no!! The old guy that lives with them named Miguel told him again to wash his feet! The kid refused a second time and them Miguel took matters into his own hands. He grasped the little boy and took him to the bathroom to wash his feet. The little boy started screaming like someone was trying to kill him. Within seconds, the little boy was naked and Miguel put him in the shower. We saw this all happen because their apartment is pretty small. Anyway the boy was yelling FRIO, FRIO, because the water was cold and he didn't want to wash his feet. Somehow things settled down again and we continued teaching the plan of salvation. While teaching, the little boy managed to get out of the bathroom and started running around the small apartment stark naked. They rapped him up in a towel and we kept on going. It was a pretty crazy experience, but it was pretty funny as this all happened because a little boy refused to wash his stinky feet! Sometimes it gets crazy out here, but the work is fun and the gospel is true!


Elder Payne