June 28, 2011
Dear family and friends,
It’s good to hear back from you and everything is going good out here in Seaside! We are working hard and always sharing the gospel with anyone we come in contact with. It's funny to see people’s reactions when they see us on the road walking towards them. Some turn and walk the other way, others look down, but they know there is no way to escape, we are going to approach them ha-ha. I have got a pretty good experience about how last Saturday we went into the thick of Seaside and it was like going into battle, 2 against like 200 which I will relate later. First let me fill you in on our investigators. We have been able to meet a lot of awesome new people through tracting and found some great new investigators. Well German, our friend with the baptismal date ended up moving to Vancouver but we will send the missionaries to him so he can continue to learn. Juliana still has her baptismal date set for June 9th and it is looking good. She has not smoked or drank coffee for the last three days and I believe the power of God is helping her kick the habit after 55 years of smoking. She is progressing well and we will see what happens. We met this lady named Judy tracting and she is great. She was going to go to church but ended up having back pains. After church we went to her house and explained to her about the priesthood, we then gave her a blessing. Charlie is doing okay, we haven’t had contact in a while but we are teaching him and his mom tomorrow so we will see what happens. The work is going great and we are giving it all we’ve got.
It’s good to hear that mom’s stitches were taken out and she is feeling good. That's really awesome that you got called to teach the temple prep classes in the Rama. If you want to practice your Spanish, just get the book of Mormon in Spanish and read it out loud. At first you don’t understand it but then after time it will make sense. I do all my studying in Spanish and don't read anything in English anymore, only when we are out teaching. Anyway, I will pray for you so you can learn it, then when I get back, we can go kick it in Chile with the natives.
Our new mission president is arriving today and the whole mission is going to have a 5 minute interview with him this Saturday so we can know what to do for transfers. I have a feeling I’m going back to Spanish soon, maybe one more transfer, but we will see. My last interview with President Dyches was sweet. He called me in and we walked into this room where he was holding the interviews. This was his last district meeting where he would be conducting interviews so I was one of the last missionaries to be interviewed by President Dyches before he goes home. Well we got in the room and we started with a prayer. He then asked to see my planner and agenda and I gave it to him. He searched the pages for a while and then said that it looked great, he didn’t have any suggestions for me. He then told me that I was exactly what the doctor order, The Heavenly Doctor, to help team up with my companion and get the area of Seaside really rolling again. I thought that analogy was funny as President Dyches is a doctor too. We talked about his mission a little bit and I told him I had been documenting every day of my mission and haven’t missed a day yet. He smiled and said that I was way ahead of him. He then asked," Well, do you have any questions for me?" I knew this was my last chance to get that gem of knowledge from president Dyches before he took off, so I sat there for a while thinking. I finally asked him “What do you think I can improve on or do better?" I figured that he would bring out some good suggestions but he just stood up and walked to the door. He opened it while saying, “Nothing Elder Payne, you’re doing just great!" I was a little disappointed; I wanted him to bring on some straight up counsel or something juicy for me to work on, you know, like a suggestion that could improve my teaching skills but he just gave me a big hug and we walked out the door. It was a great interview and the spirit that he carries is pretty sweet, I hope that what I’ve said doesn’t make me seem arrogant or prideful, but that’s just how it went and it was a sweet experience I will always cherish. President Dyches is the man!
Now let me tell you about how we went into the thick of Seaside to street contact. There is a place called the Prom which is a giant sidewalk right next to the beach. Everyone hangs out over there and it’s a perfect place to talk to people. Well I was on a blitz with Elder Peterson and we decided to go street contacting there. It started out rough and the first 50 people we talked to said no and one guy even used some profanities. But it was pretty funny because he was like dropping this profanity as he was walking up some stairs. Well as soon as the profanity left his mouth his foot missed a stair and fell flat on his face ha-ha. I felt bad but it was pretty funny. It was starting to get a little discouraging when we decided to contact this huge group of people that were chillen by a bench. We said hello and they greeted us with a crazy accent. They were all from Romania and they were so excited to see us. They all surrounded us and started asking us why we were all dressed up. We told them we were sharing a message about Jesus Christ and they started to get so excited, some of them even started to dance around. They all listened intently as we told them about God's plan for them. We took out the Book of Mormon and they started cheering. We told them what it was about and they all wanted to read it. As we ended the conversation one of the old Romanian guys that had been quiet the whole time piped up and said," I have one question for you, who is God?" I thought very carefully, wanting to give him a good answer. I finally replied “He is our Father in Heaven”. When the words left my mouth they all started clapping and cheering. They were all so happy about the message we brought. One lady told us she was a minister at a church in Romania and she was going to read the Book of Mormon to her congregation and teach them about it. It was a pretty crazy experience and as we walked away from them they all shouted out to us," We will see you in Heaven!!!" They were so nice and made the experience of going to the Prom to street contact well worth it, Chyeah!!
Any funny stories, well I don’t know if this is funny but it was pretty cool. We saw these teenaged kids sitting on a couch drinking red bull and we decided to go contact them. Well it so happens that they all didn’t believe in God and I testified that I knew he existed and lived. They wanted to know how I knew and I told them through the power of the Holy Ghost. I challenged them to listen to our message and they accepted. Hopefully we will be going to teach them this week. It was cool because we just rolled up there to the couch and took a seat with them and then started talking about God.
I love being a missionary!