Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011

Dear family and friends,

Hey what’s going down family, times flying over here in Oregon!! I know I tell you this every week but I’ve been learning a ton about myself and the Lord! I’ll fill you in on what’s happening out here and hopefully it won't be something you have heard me say already, Chyeah!!

First of all, thanks a lot for the article about being bold and not overbearing. The key is the Spirit and it is my quest and my goal to have the spirit with me constantly. I've been changing a lot out here bra. My ability to work with others and love has grown. My language or the way I talked hasn't changed to much yet but the way I roll has. I put away the Elder Payne-Dolor name tag because that ain't me. That was cool for like a week but then I realized that's not how I should roll. I put it away but at least I can keep it for a souvenir. I’m rockin the Elder Payne name tag as that’s like an honor seeing as my Pops rocked the same exact nametag back in the day. I have got to carry the last name Payne with respect. The way I think about people and how I treat them has changed a ton as well. Alright, I’ll hit you up with what has happened this week and it has been a pretty good one!


So I have to tell you a pretty awesome spiritual experience that happened out here and how it has changed my life. So we were all waiting for transfer calls and thinking we were all going to get transferred to other areas. I honestly thought that I was going to leave but we got the call saying that Elder White and I were staying and Elder Rangel and Weneirt are both leaving. I felt a little bummed out, I’m not going to lie. I realize, looking back that I was just thinking about myself but as I put my faith in the Lord, he blessed me with knowledge and strength. I’m going to be straight up with you and not beat around the bush and tell you why I was bummed and don’t judge me, this is just how I was feeling. I wanted to be transferred because I felt that I needed another companion that could further train me to be better. It’s not that Elder White and I aren't awesome buddies, I just felt that way because we are basically still on the same level and what they call "Greenies". I have been feeling like this recently, "how am I going to progress if I only had my trainer for a transfer and my second companion was Elder White, an Elder that just got out of an English speaking area and didn’t know that much Spanish." I know this sounds whinny but let me explain. I was just thinking to myself, I wanted a new companion, one that was experienced and could show me the ropes and what I need to do out here. I talked to Elder White about how I felt and told him I don’t feel like I have been properly trained. After a really good talk, he expressed to me that he felt the same as well. As we were talking, I was thinking, how are we going to do better in this area if we both haven’t really been trained or really know what we are doing. But at that moment I knew that the Lord wouldn't put two missionaries or "Greenies" together if he didn't have a purpose. We knew that God does everything for a reason and for that we knew we had to turn to him for help. We asked him in prayer just how two new missionaries like us could really go to work and really succeed in this area. We received an answer and revelation as Elder White and I sat down for the rest of the night and devised a mission plan. I feel like that plan that we devised was revelation from the Lord, for us, to help us in the area that we are in. I know this as the Lord put into our minds the things that we hadn't thought of doing. This experience will change me and my mission for the rest of the time I have out here. I know that the Lord will help us when we ask, and our weaknesses will be made strengths as we come unto Him for help. This has truly helped me to gain a stronger testimony and know that Elder White and I need to be together for at least another transfer, and it’s time to Rock out G!!!

We were knocking the other day and ran into a lady and in the end she told us she wasn't interested but somehow convinced my companion and I to take a stray cat that was lost. I don't know how she did it but somehow we ended up leaving her house with a cat in a box. Elder White and I knew we couldn't keep it as I don't even really like cats and we can't take care of it. We tried to pass by the local members and give them the cat, as it was a pretty good looking cat, but most of them just told us to kill it. Well, after searching for a home for this cat, we couldn't find any takers. We ended up at the apartment with the cat and the box and I said to Elder White," I don’t want this cat man." He was Like," Me either..." So what we decided to do is give the cat its agency, its freedom to choose. We were going to put the box outside and we said, if he stays in the box, we will keep him for a night, but if he runs away, he made his decision. So we took the box outside to see what the cat would do. As soon as we opened the box, the cat flew out with a jumping leap and ran off into the rainy night, we never saw Little G again (that’s what we named him). I felt bad for a little bit but we did what we could, Chyeah!

A pretty awesome tender mercy experience happened to me and Elder White. From this experience I learned that when you are given an opportunity to help someone out, you should do it. Let me explain to you why it’s a good idea to serve and help others. One day Elder White and I were outside contacting people when we got a call from one of our investigators saying that there was an emergency and her kid needed a ride to the hospital. She didn't have a car and she thought that we could help. We started to call members immediately as we thought someone was dying. We ended up getting one of the members to stop by her house with us and we went to go see what the problem was. When we went inside the house, she showed us to her son that was sitting on the couch playing his gameboy and had his ankle rapped. I asked him what was the problem and he told us that he just sprained his ankle running in gym at school. We were relieved to know that it wasn't that serious but also felt like we could have used our time better than to rush over there with a member. Well anyway, they took her kid to the hospital to get his ankle checked on and we started walking back to our car kind of disappointed. As we were walking back to our car, two little kids about 4 and 6 ran up to us and started talking to us. I was like, where did these kids come from. After a while, we saw their mom come up to us and we started talking to her. After a couple minutes talking to her, she told us that she was Mormon. We never saw her before but she told us it was because she got divorced and moved here like 6 months ago and just never was able to go to church because she didn't know where it was and didn’t have a ride. After talking to her for a while, she explained that she wanted to go back to church and bring her kids up in the church. We set up a ride, did some service for her on Saturday cleaning out here garage, she went to church, and tonight we are having a family home evening! Now tell me that everything doesn't happen for a reason. She needed help at this time and the Lord sent us to her as we did everything we could to be obedient and do His will. God lives and is aware of his children. Did we know that we would find her, no, but we were lead to her after doing what was right! Now from this experience, her 3 little boys have the possibility to grow up in the church and be 3 full time missionaries in the future, Chyeah!

Dang G, my boy Elder Rangel has one transfer left on his mission and is being transferred to another area. We made breakfast at a members house this morning as a going away present for Elder Rangel and Elder Weinert. It’s sad to see him go but I’ve learned so much from that Elder. He has helped me to man up more and understand missionary work. Last night we went over to his place and I inherited all the things he didn't want to bring with him. I inherited a 3 peace suit that fits pretty well, some new clothes, a Kitten Calendar, some Air Jordan sandals, and some hot sauce!! I’m telling you, it’s sad when one of your boys has got to leave, but it’s also bitter sweet, cause you get to have all the stuff they leave behind. I will always remember my boy Elder Rangel from the memories we have had and not only that, but I will remember him also as I sport his apparel (wear his clothes)! Chyeah!

Alright Family, works going good out here and this truly is the Church of Jesus Christ. Never have I been happier in my life, than in the service of my Lord and Savior!!!!

Keep it real,

Elder Payne