August 9, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
Good news, we have two Apostles of the Lord coming to the mission, Elder Richard G. Scott and Elder L. Tom Perry. I’m super excited, and to hear both of these Apostles we have to travel to the Washington Kennewick Mission area so I’ll probably be able to see my boy Elder HARDY, Chyeah! We have been writing each other our whole missions and sharing the crazy experiences we have been having. If I see my Boy Hardy, it’s going to be crazy! I really miss the kid and all of my boys from the Shallowford Ward.
I have to tell you about some really cool experiences I have been having out here. First I’m going to tell you about the Woodman’s, the senior missionaries that serve in our district. Elder Woodman and Sister Woodman are so cool and Elder Woodman is a hard core G. He doesn’t take anything from anybody and he means business. He is about 78 years old and has got the heart of a lion. Well, he had to give the training and practice at district meeting this week and it was awesome. Every district meeting he just stands up and gives us a piece of his mind and talks for about 10 minutes straight, just ranting and flowing like there is no tomorrow. It is the coolest thing to see as he has such passion and doesn’t play around. Well, this week he had to give the training and practice so that means he had an entire hour and a half to go on and give us a piece of his mind. When the district meeting started, everyone had their tape recorders out ready to press record as soon as he began. I got mine extra close to the stand so I could record every word clear and sound!!! He always has these awesome quotes that we all write down and he had some really good ones this district meeting too. Again, he doesn’t play and he gets to the point so just image this old G, talking at the top of his lunges and saying these quotes. “The gospels like a monkey on your back, and you’ve got to give it to other people so they can have it on their backs!!!" “When the gospel is on your back and you don’t keep your commitments, it becomes a gorilla, mountain gorilla, silver back, 800 pounds!" “You don’t want to be driving around, listening to bebop music being a you know what. "Trust...but verify!!!!!!" If people don’t want to listen to the gospel, then just “Kick em in to the curb, burn em in the parking lot, and then do there temple work later.!" I know he was just kidding but he is so fun. He’s pretty hard core but he is so amusing and an inspiration to all of us young Elders. He is still going strong and trying to proclaim the gospel at 78 years old and I give Elder Woodman props. He told me the other day, “Elder Payne, if you worked for me, I would fire you 3 times, but then I would hire you back!!!!!!!!!!!" Chyeah!
I had another awesome experience that really testified to me that I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and I have been given the power and authority to preach his word. So one day we were teaching a lady whose husband is a less active member that doesn't want anything to do with the church. He said it would be cool if we taught his wife because he didn’t care anymore. We went to go teach her and the lesson was going great. The spirit was strong but all of the sudden the guy walks in the room and tells us to get out of his house! He yelled, “You guys are nothing but used cars salesmen and your trying to sell my wife your stuff!"' I was okay with him calling me that once but then he proceeded to hate on other precepts of the gospel and act unreasonable. We heard him out and apologized if he felt that way about the church. But he continued to call us used car salesmen and that’s when I couldn’t take it anymore, I got up out of my seat and said," I’m not a used cars salesmen sir; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ!! He was quiet for a little while and the mood in the room changed and I knew that I had the power and authority to proclaim that. We then shook hands and headed out as we could see he was closed minded but it was a pretty interesting experience because I did not fear or even question why I was there. I knew my purpose and I knew who sent me to fulfill it and I did my best to represent the Lord in the situation. It was intense and I’m glad to have receive the knowledge from the Spirit that I am a servant of the Master.
Last Sunday we had fast and testimony meeting and it was super spiritual. I was able to bare my testimony during testimony meeting and I began to ball like a little baby. I have never done that before but it just hit me super hard that I am in the service of the Lord and this is His restored gospel. I have always known that, but it just seems like the more time I’m out here, the more I feel like I am understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ and trying to give it my all to serve him. We were also able to further involve the Ward with missionary work. We went to the young men’s and young women’s and challenged them to give a Book of Mormon away to one of their friends. We gave them an example on how to do it and almost half of them have been able to do it so far. I know how important the Book of Mormon is and I know it can change lives as it is another sacred scripture of our savior Jesus Christ.
Any funny experiences this week? Well, on the exchange with Elder Peterson, we didn’t have any milk at the apartment because we are cutting back on the money we spend so we both ate cereal with water. It wasn’t too bad and it was good to know we were saving some money!
Well everyone, things are going great and my companion Elder Sanchez is a G. Let me know how everything is going and I’ll write you next week.
Love and peace,