Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Season in Seaside Oregon

June 7, 2011
Dear family and friends,

Dang, I don’t know what to say. I just opened my email and it had 23 new notifications, the most I have ever received is like 7 until now. It looks like most of my friends are more computer friendly and would rather write an email than pick up a piece of paper and write on it. But hey, it’s all good, I’m glad I’m hearing from people and they still know that I’m alive and well. I have a lot to tell you as usual because Seaside is the very best place ever. Tourist season is just starting and all the visitors are coming to Seaside. It’s pretty sweet because we end up talking to a bunch of people but most of them are from out of town. It's all good though because we still get to plant that seed.  I’m so happy out here and to hear that everyone’s doing well at home makes me even more excited.

We are giving it all we’ve got out here and the Lord is blessing us with miracles and amazing things. Elder Allred and I are working really smart and really hard and our planning and following up is pretty good. I looked at my agenda at the beginning of my mission when I was a Greenie and compared it with my agenda today. My Greenie agenda was the worst and I used to think I was a good planner, but looking at my agenda now and how it’s pretty structured makes me pretty happy to see that things are improving.

I love it here in Seaside and things are going great. The members are the best and we get fed well every day. It truly is a blessing to be serving here with Elder Allred and we are having a great time. I'll fill you in on how our investigators are doing. I’ll start out with our investigators with baptismal dates. Right now Charlie Reel has a baptismal date for the 18th of June. Well we just made contact with Charlie yesterday as he had been gone on a vacation with his family. His mom is about to finish her schooling so she will be able to start taking the lessons with Charlie. We will have to push his date back a little but I’m glad that his mom can join in the lessons now. German Garcia is an investigator that has a baptismal date for the 25th of June. He went to Vancouver last week to go do some work up there and hopefully he will be coming back today. He is progressing a little bit but we will have to see how he is feeling about his baptism when we make contact. Juliana is a nice lady we met tracting and we set a baptismal date with her for the 9th of July. We gave her a church tour last Saturday and we thought she was going to come to church but she didn’t show up. We aren’t sure why but we will stop by and see her today. We have been teaching a referral named Lynn at a member’s house and we just found out that her daughter is best friends with a member. She invited Lynn's daughter to mutual and she had a great time. We have been trying to work with the members and contact everyone we see. We are working really hard out here and the Lord is blessing us.

Happy birthday Mom, Dad and Nicole, so sorry for the late birthday wishes! I hope you all had great birthdays!!!! Time does go by so fast out here and I can't believe it's already been 9 months in the field. Things have been flying by and it feels good to say that I have tried to give it my all up to this moment but I’m not done yet. About the NBA, I don’t really know who I like out of the Heat or the Mavericks. Well, I hope the Mavericks win because Jason Terry needs a ring because he came out from the Hawks. Speaking about B-ball, church ball is going great. We have this less active brother who has game that comes and plays every Tuesday and is the first one there. He is like 40 years old, a smaller version of Jason Kidd and this guy just flies through the air. Whenever you get him on your team, you know you’re going to win because he’s a baller.

Dad, I see you’re calling me out on my shoes not being shined in the pictures I sent home huh? I will admit that I don't know how to shine my shoes other than rubbing a little black sponge on them. I never did it because I figured that they’ll just get dirty on the road anyway and I can't tell the difference. But I will be humble and take your challenge to shine those bad boys ever day. From now on I will represent and my shoes will be so shiny you can floss your teeth in the reflection. And about the OPM tie thing, most of us missionaries run on a low budget so we go for the 10 cent ties at the Goodwill where you can buy them by the pound. But your right too, they have got to be presentable; I’ll try and throw away the ones that I have that are made out of carpet ha-ha. I’m so glad to hear that the family doing well, I remember all of you each day in my prayers.  I have come to better realize that the family unit is ordained of God and it is so important.

We had a really awesome tender mercy this week. We decided to go see a less active sister in the ward that has not been to church in over fifty years.  She is about 70 and hasn't been to church since she was a teenager. We knocked on her door and chatted on the door step trying to get to know her a little bit.  She was pretty hesitant and I could see that she didn't really want to talk to us. I then asked her how her life was going and if there was a time we could stop by again. She said we couldn't because she had to go to the hospital for a surgery next week and she would be busy. I then said would you like a blessing? She responded with, what’s a blessing? I explained what a blessing is and promised her that it would help her before her surgery to recover and I shared my testimony with her about the Priesthood. Her eyes seemed intrigued and she asked for one. As we gave her a blessing, I knew that she was going to be alright and told her so. After the blessing, she said she felt really peaceful and told us we could come back and see her when she got back from the hospital. I really felt an extreme love for this sister and I know the Lord will bless her. It impressed me that she had the faith necessary to ask for a blessing, when she wasn't to sure what it was. I know that I am a literal disciple of Jesus Christ and I am so grateful to be serving Him at this time in my life.

One funny story happened the other day. We met this surfer dude named Jerr working in a furniture store and became good friends with him. He is the typical surfer dude that you would imagine long blonde hair and says Bro a lot. Well, we were tracting the other day and saw Jerr hanging out with some people at this yard. I yelled to him, “Hey Jerr, what’s up?" He responded," Just kickin it, having a BBQ, about to watch the sunset, you know, the usual. I then said, " Hey Jerr, you have a good time!" He threw up his hand in the air and gave me a hang loss hand gesture without saying anything else. That is when you stick out the thumb and the pinky and shake it. That means that he respects us and what we are doing. I thought it was funny because Jerr is a cool dude, and even though we are missionaries, I can return Jerr's hang lose gesture with a fist pump of approval.

I love you guys!

Elder Payne