Monday, January 30, 2012

Transfers Coming Next Week!

January 30, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, life is good and a lot has happened this week. I don’t have to much time to write this week because I’ve been hitting up the family in Chile con algunas cartitas. Well I got another appointment with the Doctor to get my medication to help me focus further more on the work of the Lord. This is the last week of the transfer and we are all thinking that companion Elder B is out of here, but you never know. We could both be out of here but only time will tell. It has been an awesome run and we have had a good time working with the people in this area. We had a Zone Conference meeting last Friday and when President M talked to Elder B he said good luck sleeping the night of transfer calls Elder. We were wondering what that meant but we will see.

Well the work here in Woodburn is going great and we are seeing a lot of Miracles as always. We did not have a baptism yesterday as we planned but we did reschedule the date and now we have the Father of the family committed. Before we were just planning on baptizing the Mom and her 2 children but I think is better to wait and have them make the covenant to enter the waters of baptism as a family. Church was great and we had another investigator that came to church that is friends with a less active member.  He was super happy to be there and received a huge welcome from the Elders Quorum when he stood up to introduce himself. We have invited him to be baptized as well and he told us he will need to think about it. We hit our goal of 20 lessons and we plan to get 25 this week. If it is Elder B’s last week here we want to work as hard as we can so he and we can leave this area with no regrets. Things are going great and I am seeing so many miracles every day. I love missionary work and I love Woodburn!

My companionship is going great, Elder B is the Man. I have learned so much from him and I know that we were sent to serve together for a reason. We are almost exact opposites in every way but our desire to serve the Lord has helped us to put that stuff aside and put our shoulders to the wheel!!!

That’s cool that you guys were rocking out in Utah and got to see Abuelita, Nana and Claire. I have got to write them again and let them know how things are going. Last week I noticed that there was a video of Abuelita on a flash drive you sent me. It was awesome to see her and listen to her talk in Spanish and a blessing to understand it all now. I hope she stays healthy and well so I can have a good visit with her. I know at 90 years old she is getting weaker but I hope she will be with us for many more years to come as I love her so much. 

Well I’ll try and answer the question that you wanted to know in the short time that I have left. Wow, as you know to sum up this question in two minutes is going to be tough but I have got to say that the biggest thing that has helped me to grow my testimony is prayer. If I didn’t have the ability to communicate directly with my heavenly father I think I would be lost. Through every situation that I have faced out here on my mission that has been difficult, I have found the only way to conquer or overcome it is through faith and prayer. Upon this building block I have learned how to love and grow my testimony. One thing I have come to know is that we have our companions for a reason. Before I thought it was all random, you know President M was just throwing darts at a board but I have come to understand that we have our companions for specific reasons because the Lord wants us to learn from them.

I just want to say I love you guys and hopefully next week I will be able to give you a solid letter.


Elder Payne

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smiling in Woodburn!

January 17, 2012

Hey Family and Friends,

Woodburn continues to be the best place on earth and I’m grateful to be here. I really enjoyed your letters this week and it’s good to see that you’re all doing well. Thanks again for the Sonicare toothbrush and you have started a revolution out here. After I got my toothbrush my comp started to covet it and went and bought his own the next day ha-ha. Now that’s what I call comp unity, we even brush with the same kind of toothbrush. Now the Elders from Gervais that live in our apartment complex have decided to get some Sonicare toothbrushes as well.  We will have the brightest smiles in the mission ha-ha.   Next thing you know the Silverton Elders will be using Sonicare and all the missionaries in the branch will have one ha-ha. Well I would like to go get a cleaning from a Dentist but I feel bad because there are going to be a lot of medical bills coming your way.

Yesterday I saw Doctor Perez about my ADHD and he said he thinks it would be a good idea to start me on a new medication called Vyvanse. Then he told me to go get an EKG so I can make sure that the stimulant doesn’t mess up my heart since I had SVT. I have to go to the Doctor tomorrow to get my EKG and I feel bad because they always charge a ton of money for like 10 minutes of work. I guess I have to do what I have to do to reach my full potential. So no I haven’t started the medicine yet but the Doctor said in a week or so, I just have to get the EKG cleared by the heart Doctor and get permission from SLC.  All the missionaries here are telling me not to take the medicine because I will lose my personality and turn into a robot. I told the Doctor my concern about that and he said that this medicine won’t do that and if it does I've got to go off of it. The medicine shouldn’t make your personality flat but should keep it the same. I hope that’s the case and let me know if it’s still cool to go get my teeth checked after all these tests.

That’s good to hear that the jazz are picking it up and not getting rocked every game. That’s so cool that Pope got its first state title and is leaving a legacy for Coach Haskin. I loved wrestling and now I miss it. We are teaching a family that has a 13 year old kid that wrestles. I taught him the firemen’s carry and he said we would use it in Regionals. The kid is the man and he is going to be a state champ in the future because he’s got the talent. I also have exchanges with Elder N tomorrow, the 2 time state champ from Arizona. We will probably wrestle for morning exercises. O yeah, I told you I wouldn’t wrestle that kid because he’s too big but as always I couldn’t turn down a challenge. We wrestled about a month ago and I got rocked ha-ha. I scored a point on him but he was just too big for me, but we will see what happens tomorrow ha-ha. I saw the picture of my boys from the old wrestling squad and it seems like they are doing well. I miss their attitudes and they were truly my brothers.

That’s really awesome that things are going good with the missionary work out there and that the Rama is exploding. We too are hoping to have a baptism soon so we will have to keep on praying. By the way I’m about to finish up with my journal and send it home with some pictures. Yesterday I bought another journal at Deseret book and it’s amazing looking. It looks like scriptures except its blank inside. Well I’ll send that home soon but the journal I bought will most likely be my last one of the mission. Can you believe it, 5 journals full of the best memories a missionary could ask for ha-ha. Anyway the mission life is the best. I’m just super happy to be an instrument in the Lords hand so I can accomplish His will. 

In answer to your question, what would you say is the most important lesson you have learned on your mission and how do you think it will affect your life in the future.

Well I don’t think there is just one thing I can share that would be the most important thing I’ve learned but I can tell you about something I learned the other day. Yesterday I was reading in D & C 84 about my duty as a priesthood holder and what the Lord expects of me. As I was reading I was really impressed by verse 85 that basically says to not worry about what you are going to say but more trust in the Lord and the Holy Ghost will give you what you need to say in the right moment. Well I meditated on that and found myself guilty of not trusting fully in the Lord. Usually when I teach the gospel, I like to plan out what I’m going to say in my mind so it comes out right and by doing that I don’t exactly hit on the needs of my investigators. I decided to pray for help and ask the Father to help me have the trust sufficient to let the Holy Ghost guide me in all that I do. That night I was able to let go of my own thoughts and I was truly guided in what to say and do in the lessons we had. I had been praying a lot before that experience to know what I must do to be a more powerful teacher. From this experience I learned that the scriptures are full of answers and can direct us to the knowledge we need. I am grateful for this experience because not only was I able to speak with my father in heaven about how I felt, but I truly knew he was there listening to my desires.  That’s a cool lesson I’ve learned and since that experience I’ve been less stressed about what to say and more concentrated on what the investigators needs are. I love the Lord and I love being in his service. I have learned so much about how the Lord works with his children on earth and how gaining a stronger faith in him can help us in our daily lives.

Thanks for being there for me family and I hope you have a good week.


Elder Payne

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Futbal and Crablegs in Woodburn

January 9, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Life is good as I serve in the promised land of Woodburn, Oregon. We just got back from a Zone activity where the North Spanish Zone played soccer vs. the South Spanish Zone. I had a pretty good time but I did get rocked at the game. The futbal was going my way and I was just about to kick it as hard as I could so I could send it flying the other way. I wound up to kick it and right before I was about to kick the ball my boy Elder W came flying out of nowhere and stepped on my shin. It hurt pretty badly but thanks to my buddy Elder W picking me up off the floor and carrying me off to the sidelines, I recovered quickly. O yeah, about Elder W, we chatted about our plans after our missions and  how we are going to rock out at BYUI. We want to room together and get all that stuff set up so you have got to contact his parents and chat about it. I think his parents still have to get his paper work done but we feel like that’s where we need to go. At least that’s what I’m feeling, that BYUI is the place I need to be up to this point. I know it’s a long way off but better to be prepared. Anyway the activity was good and it was funny to see all the Spanish Elders again and talk about the work that is going on in the mission.

To answer your question about the crab legs, I ate crab legs like every day when I was in Seaside. Well maybe not every day but often and it was so good. When we were at the ocean last P-day we caught the one five legged crab but also some clams and ate them the other day with Hermano B! Thanks for sending me the Sonicare tooth brush!! That thing is amazing and it’s a lot better than the old ragged one I was using. Every time I brush my teeth with it now, I feel like a new man. Thanks again!

Too bad the Utah Jazz are not picking things up but at least Portland’s doing well. When Portland beat the Lakers, we got a text at 12:00 at night from one of the members informing us about the victory ha-ha. That’s crazy about all the talk about Mormons that’s going on with the presidential primaries.   I haven’t heard much about it as the Hispanic community isn’t really into that stuff, at least not out here. That’s really cool about my boy Elder Hardy finishing up his mission in Spanish just like he always wanted. We have kept in contact our whole missions and it’s really cool to see him get the desire of his heart at the end of his mission.  I know he will do great!

That’s really great that you guys are having a baptism at the Cherokee Branch. Last Sunday here in Woodburn, a little guy named J, the son of one of the members was baptized after church and everyone showed up. It was so awesome to see the room so full that people had to stand up. It’s good to hear the joy your feeling from being in the service of the Lord. It makes me happy to hear that you’re supporting the Elders in your branch and helping them to do the Lords work. I’m grateful for couples out here that help the missionary work and really love the Lord.

The work here in Woodburn is going amazing. We are seeing a ton of miracles out here and it is awesome. Sunday was great as it was testimony meeting and we were further able to see the miracles coming to pass from working with the members and the less active members. J, one of the less active members we found a couple months ago got up to bear his testimony about how his life has changed as he has come back to the Lord. It’s amazing to be an instrument in the Lords hands and feel of the joy that comes from seeing the Lords lost sheep come back into his fold. J and his wife E brought his sister that is not a member. I can see that when less actives get fired up about the gospel they are willing to share with those that are around them and he has invited all his family members that aren’t members to come to church. Also, we have been working with their family recently and they are progressing and doing great. We were able to see how the Lord works in people’s lives as one of the daughters that has been less active for more than 1 year came back to church. Our investigators that have a baptismal date this month came to the baptism and they had a good experience. Things are going great and I am so grateful to be a part of this work. Daily I see miracles as people are ready to exercise their faith in the Savior.

My companionship is going great and we are both improving 100%. We have both made it a goal to wake up extra early to practice our Spanish and we both have improved dramatically. Elder B is the man and we are learning a lot from each other. I know now why we are together for another transfer.

We had a funny experience this week.  J and E invited us to eat lunch with them last Saturday. There Jose had a chugging contest vs. Elder S so we could see who could chug a Squirt the fastest. It was pretty intense and they both were neck and neck. But Elder S managed to pull out the win as he chugged it in 7 seconds and J chugged it in 7.2. I love teaching the gospel and just having fun with our families so they can see we are just like them too.


Elder Payne

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fishing in Woodburn!

January 3, 2012

Dear Familia,

 Things have been awesome this past week and it’s good to hear that you guys had a good time in Florida. Thanks for the pictures and it was good to see how everyone’s doing. That Indian guy with the Alligator looked like it was a fun show to watch and its sounds like you guys had a blast together. I’ll be sending my memory card home soon that will give you all the pictures from my last couple of weeks in Seaside up until now. I had a good time talking to you guys on Christmas too and I’m glad you feel like my Spanish has improved. Thanks to the help of the Lord and diligent study, I have been able to improve. In no time, instead of saying I’m from Georgia, I will say I’m from Chile and people won’t question ha-ha. Thanks for updating me on my boy Elder Hardy. I talked to him last week and he told me that he wants to go back to Georgia and go to school at GA State. Before the mission, Lansky, Hardy and I talked about getting together and getting a show started and it seems like it might be a possibility ha-ha. Well I still have a lot of time and I don’t need to worry about things like that yet, just got to keep my options open.

Well that’s pretty cool that President P called you to give you a report on how our talks went. The 6 missionaries in the branch all gave talks and it was an awesome experience. This was my second talk I have given on my mission and I learned that if you truly prepare, the Lord will guide your words through the Holy Ghost. President P is the man and it is a privilege to serve with him in the Lords work. Well a lot of things happened this weekend and daily we see the miracles of the Lord.

 Yesterday we had a great experience with one of the members from our branch. He took us and the Elders from Gervais to go crabbing at the beach. So we got ready to go early in the morning and left to go to the beach. It was really fun and we joked around and after 6 hours of fishing and crabbing, we caught 1 crab!!!!!!!!!!!  It only had 5 legs instead of 6 because he lost one so that meant one leg for each of us, Chyeah!!!!!! It was super cold but the jacket I bought from Columbia that is waterproof really helped out and deflected all of the rain. I also used the gloves you sent me for Christmas and they really helped to keep my hands warm. Not to mention I was able to fish with them on since I could use my fingers ha-ha. Anyway,  things have been really good and the work is going really well.

 New Years Eve was pretty exciting as we returned to the apartment around 9:00pm and went to bed at 10:30pm. All in all it’s just another day for a missionary but we had our members let us know when it was new years by sending us some texts at 12:00 and waking my comp up ha-ha.

 I love Woodburn and I love working with the members here. It is a great place and the work is going great. The less actives are coming back to church and little by little things are progressing. We are seeing the fruits of our labors as yesterday we set 3 baptismal dates with a family and hope they will be prepared by the 29 of January. We have been praying hard for this and I feel like the Lord has prepared this family to receive the gospel at this time. We will continue to work with them and help them progress. I’m just super glad to be in this branch and to be working in this exact place at this exact time of my mission.

Things are going really well between Elder B and me as each day we find ways to improve. He is an awesome missionary!!

This week we had some pretty funny experiences and one of them was while we were eating out at a restaurant, this 92 year old guys comes up to us and says "Como estan?" We didn’t know who he was but later he told us that he was a member. He told us that 70 years ago he served his mission in the Spanish States that covered the now southern part of the United States. He kept on telling us that we were great missionaries and to keep working hard. It is always a pleasure to meet other former missionaries!


Elder Payne