Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Woodburn! Best Place Ever!

October 17, 2011

Dear Family,

Life is really good and I love every minute of serving the Lord in Woodburn. Well, a lot has happened this week and my companion Elder B is the man and is a work horse. We are giving it our all out here in Woodburn and putting the rest in the Lords hands. We come home every night dead tired. He is a good example to me and I’m glad to have a companion who is willing to give it all he’s got. This transfer, I have never prayed so much to find the will of the Lord and to find his elect. The Lord has answered our prayers and we are teaching a lot of people who are deciding to act on their faith and follow their savior into the waters of baptism.

I’m getting into pretty good shape now because every day we wake up at 5:45am  and go play soccer at the High School with all the Latino brothers. At first I wasn’t too good but I’m getting better and I’m repping my Chilean jersey. When I have the ball, all the Hispanics yell," Chileno, Chileno, pasamela!!!!" It’s pretty cool because I’m known as the Chileno now. If you guys could hook me up with another Chilean soccer jersey that would be sweet. I’m still rocking the old one from 2006 when I went to Chile on vacation. Maybe if you guys can get your hands on one and send it to me the next time I send you some photos from my camera. Next thing I want to let you guys know about is I wanted to get new glasses. I’ve had my old ones since the beginning of college so it’s been about 2 years. I think it would be good to get a new pair of glasses and there is a member from Salem that said he could hook me up. He is an Optometrist and is a really nice guy. I don’t think we have insurance for our eyes on the medical insurance but its all good as this guy is pretty cool and I think he will hook me up with a sweet deal.

Remember last week I mentioned that I wrote and asked President M why he thought Elder C. S G picked me out of so many Elders to be interviewed?  Well President M replied by saying, “Elder, the Lord picked you. You have a lot to offer to this mission. Keep up the great work...Love Ya, President M”. I thought that was pretty cool and it was definitely an amazing experience. As I reflect on the words and council that were given to us from Elder C. S G, I have been able to change the way I look at missionary work. I will say that the meeting with him has changed my mission and the way I will further look at setting goals. Elder B and I have been praying a lot to find out how many people we will commit and baptize this transfer. We have asked the Lord for his help and have received the answer that we can baptize 9 people this transfer. I know this is a high goal but I know that the Lord answered us with the Holy Ghost and said he was pleased with this goal.

As of right now, we have 4 dates and a baptism on the 30th of A and O. I have never exercised so much faith to find the will of the Lord as before I just tried my best and prayed everything would fall in place. But now we can plan out how many will be ready this transfer to be baptized and work for the goal. I know the power of fasting and praying and I know the Lord will help us to reach this goal that we set. We have other investigators named C and R who have decided to get baptized this weekend. C is so excited to get baptized and she is on fire. We might need to set the baptism back for her as this weekend is stake conference. We are teaching this other awesome guy named C and he has committed to getting baptized on the 13th of November. He is not married to his girl friend but has committed to getting married the day before his baptism on the 12th. He is an awesome guy and really looking to change his life. The work is going great out here and I know it is due to our dependence and faith in the lord. Like it says in Ether 12:13-15, it was through the faith of the lords servants that the great change was wrought among the people that they taught. I know that through this same faith, we can find and teach and baptize. We have about 7 investigators that have agreed to baptism and are coming to church, now our goal is to find another family to complete our goal of 9. I’m so pumped about the work and having this opportunity to serve the Lord. I think I am more pumped now because I have finally come to an understanding that this is only made possible through the our faith, the Lords will, and the faith of our investigators and their willingness to act upon the answers they receive from the Holy Ghost. Well things are going great and I love the Lord. Sorry about going on a big rant but I’m feeling it and I’m super excited.

It sounds like all is well with you guys at home and I’m grateful to hear that as well. That’s so amazing that E is going to be baptized soon and that you guys have helped him make that step towards our savior Jesus Christ. It sounds like the C Branch is really pulling together like here in Woodburn.  President P is amazing and he is really helping us out and giving us a ton of support. That’s so cool that H B in Seaside got his mission call to Brazil, we told him that’s where he was going ha-ha. That kid is a stud and he is going to be an awesome missionary. He is really prepared to serve the lord and is going to be a great instrument in the Lords hands. Please tell him I said congratulations and that I know he is going to do great.

I will close with an amazing tender mercy that happened this past week. I went to the Portland temple last Saturday to attend the sealing of one of the members here in Woodburn. We went through the temple and it was all it Spanish. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had and it was an awesome experience. While I was at the temple I got the pleasure of seeing some of my favorite members from my first area in Keizer. I saw my boys J C D, J D, A GC , and Hermano R. I was so happy to see them and their wives and it was a great reunion. J asked me if I was going home soon and I laughed as I told him that I just completed a year about a month ago. It was a great experience to go through the temple in Spanish and to see all my brothers and sisters that I love. This week was so sweet and there’s no other place I would rather be than serving the Lord out here on my mission right now. I Love the lord and I know that this is his restored Gospel on the earth again. I love you guys and send my love out to Brother S and President N. Those guys rock and I will write them once I get some time.

Any funny stories, well I have a funny story that happened the other day. We were going to visit one of our investigators and some kids walked by us. They were about 5 and 8 years old. The younger kid said “Hey” and his brother said, “Don’t talk to them, they are strangers”. We told them that we were missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ and walked away after introducing ourselves. As we walked away I overheard the younger brother say to his older brother," Are you crazy, they aren’t strangers, they are cool!" So Elder B and I walked away laughing ha-ha.

Give my love to all the family, everyone in the Ward and tell the little G’s to be good and get ready for their missions.  I miss everyone and love you all so much!


Elder Payne