Monday, February 27, 2012

Faith, Hope and Charity

February 27, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

Hey what’s going on family? This week has been crazy and super busy! I have some bad news but it’s not all bad because all in its due time right, we are on the Lords time table and not our own. Our investigators who had a baptism set for last Sunday did not get baptized yesterday as she has recently had some doubts that have come from her next door neighbors of another faith. It’s all good because we are not giving up. We had dinner with the family last night and she made us tacos de pollo asado. They were so good and probably the best tacos I have ever had. We will continue to work hard with them and I know they are close. The kids are awesome and came to church all dressed up in there suits yesterday. I really think the two little boys are going to be future missionaries. Anyways it’s kind of sad that the baptism didn’t go through but all is well as this just means we have to depend on the Lord more to help them gain a testimony through the spirit.

I have come to realize the importance of having a friend in the church and how this has helped S to talk about her thoughts. We talked to the Relief Society President last night and she said she would pay her a visit. The members are so important in missionary work and right now we are working really hard to gain their confidence and get everyone missionary minded.    I know that the family will be baptized soon and we are going to have to exercise some stronger faith and pray harder than we ever have. As I have worked with this family I have come to understand the true importance of what I’m doing as a missionary from a more eternal perspective. I see the two little boys that can be missionaries one day. I see the parents and how they can be sealed in the temple as a family one day. This means more to me than just teaching but I truly desire that this family will come unto Christ because I truly know it will change their lives. I’m grateful to have this gospel in my life and I’m trying my best to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost so he can testify to the people that live in the area of the truthfulness of this message. Everything is going great and I will continue to search to find the elect.
Well I’m loving life out here in Woodburn as my companions are awesome and we truly are unified as we teach. I have set some new goals for myself as I know that time is short before I head back home so I set the goal to read the whole Missionary Library before I come back home. I want to read the Book of Mormon, Bible, Jesus the Christ, PME, D y C and the Pearl of Great Price. It’s a huge goal but I know I can do it as I have been waking up early enough to get a lot of reading time in. The medicine is working great and I am able to get a lot more done as I am able to focus on a task and get it done. I talked to the doctor the other day and he said everything seems to be going well and if anything he will reduce my dosage.

We had some pretty cool experiences last week as we have been starting to have more Family Home Evenings with the members of the Rama. We have seen a huge change in the members and their desire to do missionary work as we share a short lesson and then play a quick game. We invited S and her family to a Noche de Hogar with a family in the Rama and everyone had a good time. It’s a great way to fellowship and teach an investigator all at the same time as we strengthen the members and their testimonies. I have seen that this is the key and now the members are wondering who they can invite to their next Noche de Hogar because they had such a good time. Tell the Elders there in the Cherokee Rama that knocking doors is not the answer and that should be a last resort. There is always service to do, plans to be made, less active families to strengthen and  the list goes on forever. Especially in a little branch where most of the members are new to the gospel, they need the lessons too and need to be strengthened. It’s a win-win as they will improve their Spanish as well.  Well that’s my opinion and I have seen miracles in Woodburn as the members here are catching on fire. Well I love you guys and let me answer that question real quick that you asked me.
Okay Son, a new question for you to ponder.  How do you answer when someone questions if Mormon’s are Christians and how you feel about the Savior?

Well when people ask about Mormons and if we are Christians I always point to my nametag and say, "We are missionaries from the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints." Then we explain to them our purpose and how it is our desire and duty to bring others to Christ. We also share our testimonies of the Savior and his role in the life of all of Gods children and without the Savior or his sacrifice we wouldn’t be able to return back to the father. We testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ and that he is the Son of God.  I have seen on my mission that a testimony is something that people cannot deny. They may not agree with you but they can’t argue with a personal testimony.   I have especially learned this as the neighbors next to S have been trying to prove everything with their interpretation of the Bible but we can see what happens with that as there are more that 100 church’s alone just in Woodburn that try to interpret the Bible and don’t believe in the need of a restoration of the Gospel or modern day revelation.  Well guys, I love you and I love this work, there’s no place I’d rather be than in the service of the Master.


Elder Payne

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Woodburn, Oregon Pictures!

Loving Life in Woodburn!

February 21, 2012

Dear Family and Friends, 

Hey it’s good to hear back from you guys and I’m really glad you liked the journal. It’s really hard to remember all the experiences in the mission I have had so I’m glad I have written most of them all down. I agree with you guys and I think I should put the date next to the experiences so I can remember when it happened. Well, life is going great out here in the Oregon Portland Mission. We are having a ton of spiritual experiences and the Lord is really blessing this area. I love Woodburn and rumor has it that I might be staying here for another transfer but we will see.  President M talked to my companion Elder A and he said that the Trio is temporary and Elder A will be transferred most likely at the next transfer meeting. We are all enjoying our time together and I love my companions.

Yesterday we played futbol with the whole entire Spanish mission and it was pretty tight. I got to see all my brothers again like Elders W, H, W, B, and the list goes on. We also invited Hermano P and his son Junior to come with us, they are members in the Woodburn Branch, and they tore things up as they are really good at soccer. We had a good time and we played almost the entire P-day. Well things are going cool with the ADHD medicine and I’m really able to get a lot more done now.

I’m going to answer some of the questions you wanted to know about. Let us know more about your companions, where they are from, where they have served and how things are going with investigators. Well to start off, Elder A is from Peru and he is pretty cool. He is about the same height as me and then we have our other companion Elder H who towers over the both of us at 6 ‘4 or something like that ha-ha. Elder A is from Chiclayo, Peru but I’m not sure if I spelled that right. He has been out for 6 months in the mission field and is a really hard worker. He served his first area in McMinnville just north form Woodburn. Elder H is the man and he is from California. He is 23 years old and when he teaches the gospel he lays the law done ha-ha. He has served in 6 different areas and was a Zone Leader in Spanish and in English. He has about 4 months left in the mission field so he will most likely die here or end his mission here. We are all pretty different but we all get along really well. It’s pretty fun because we don’t speak English at all unless we have to go to Wal-Mart and other places to shop. But things are great and this transfer is flying by. I’m glad for the opportunity to be out here in the service of the Lord and thanks for all of your support.

This weekend we have a baptism with a family of 5 but recently the father of the family has been showing some doubts as his next door neighbor is telling him a lot of lies about the Church.  I’ve learned that the adversary always tries to mess things up as families get close to making covenants with the Lord but we are on top of it.   We will continue to work with the family as we know that it would be better to baptize the whole family instead of just the mom and the children. The children really have strong testimonies and are doing their part to show their desire to learn. We had a Family Home Evening with them the other night in the house of a member and they showed up wearing white shirts and ties!!!! I love those kids ha-ha.

I need to think a little bit more about BYU Idaho but it would be nice to start in the winter so I could have a few months to work and a little time to adjust to real life ha-ha. But at the same time maybe going right away in the fall would be good as  I need to get going and find my wife and start my foundation for the rest of my life ha-ha. Obviously this will require more prayer but we will talk about this some more in the next few months. I love you guys and keep on keepin on.


Elder Payne

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trio in Woodburn!

February  13, 2012
Dear Familia y Amigos,

I love you guys and you guys are the best. I just sent you a package today with my 5th journal, 6 gigs of pictures and some CD's that I have received from members that I can’t listen to in the mission field so I will have to wait until after my mission. I hope you enjoy them and after you are done copying the pictures to the computer can you erase all the pictures on the flash drive so I can start adding more pictures? I am sending a lot of pictures home and hopefully you can get the  feel for some of the things that have happened during the last couple of months. I put some videos on there and they all need explanations and I hope you don’t think I’m going to crazy out here. Well everything’s going great and the missionary work is really on fire. My 2 new companions are really hard workers and this transfer is going to be awesome. I’m really excited that I’m in a trio as in the MTC that didn’t really count. I decided to bring the come over back so I cold rock one with my new companions Elder H who is the man. Elder A from Peru is a G and I’m glad we are all serving together.

After quite an ordeal, I got my medicine from Dr. P and he put me on 50mg of Vyvanse. I have been taking it for about a week and I feel like I can lift a BUS ! My studies in the morning are a lot more effective and I am really able to learn a lot more. It hasn’t made me feel moody but I will keep tract of my feelings. But as for now I feel like a million bucks. I’m losing a little weight as the medicine reduces your appetite. I hope the members here don’t get offended because I’m not eating 3 plates of food anymore ha-ha. Well other than that nothing’s really new.
I’m loving life out here in Woodburn and it’s the best place ever! My companions are awesome and the work is going really great. Well I have to say that I have two of the best companions in the OPM. Elder H is a great example to me and a very hard worker. Elder A is a great missionary and really has a love for the people. I have learned so much from them and it has only been one week ha-ha. Well these missionaries are awesome and again I’m grateful to have the opportunity to serve with them here in Woodburn.

We have been teaching this family of 6 for a while now and they are progressing. The father still has a hard time understanding and his heart is a little hard still. 4 members of the family have a baptismal date for the 26th of this month. We will continue to pray so that they will be prepared for this date. We are also teaching the husband of one a less active member that decided to reactive in the church again about 3 months ago. Her husband is a great guy and really sincere. He has already read all the way to Jacob and he really likes the Book of Mormon. We were able to set a baptismal date with him as a goal for the 18th of March. He is really progressing but more than anything his wife is super happy. She is an older lady and every time we stop by to visit her she tells us about how much her husband has changed.
We had an awesome week as I said and on Saturday we had the Valentines party. We showed up there as the 7 missionaries in the Branch. It was a fun activity and we were able to talk to a couple visitors that came to the activity. At the party, all the couples from the Rama that were there got to play games. There was this one game where the couples had to put an orange in between their foreheads and dance to some Latin beats. It was really fun and I didn’t know that my main man Hermano P had moves like that ha-ha. It was fun to enjoy the night with the members and see them have a good time too. Well I am learning so much out here and I know that I don’t have too much time left. I’ll try to write my sisters and let them know what’s going on here in Woodburn and how much I love them. Out here in the mission I have truly learned about the importance of family and how it is the key to happiness. I teach people that they can be together forever as families if they keep the commandments and follow the Savior. But when I think about my family and how we can be together forever if we do what is right, it makes me really happy. I know what I’m teaching is true and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to share this gospel to the people in Oregon.

Something funny happened the other day. We were sitting in gospel principles Sunday school class learning about the plan of salvation. Elder H and I got up to draw a diagram on the board to help the class visualize the plan of salvation. As we drew the pictures, one of our members raised his hand and said you forget to draw the temple. I thought it was pretty funny as it was so true that the temple is essential but I never thought of drawing it. I love Hermano P!!!!!

I love you guys and have a good week.


Elder Payne

Monday, February 6, 2012

Changes in Woodburn!

February 6, 2012

Dear Family,

Woodburn is the best and we have some changes coming our way. After being with my boy Elder B for 3 transfers, he is being transferred to a bike area so we are thinking that it’s his time to serve his six months in English. We will see as we will find out in about an hour and a half and I’ll let you know when I find out.  I’m grateful to have spent 3 transfers with Elder B and to have made a lifelong friend. We have truly had a good run together and I have learned so much from him.  A lot has happened this week and the missionary work here in Woodburn is going great.  Well his last week here we were able to get a lot of work done and taught a lot of people. Our family with a baptismal date is doing really well. I believe that they will be able to be baptized on the 26th of February. We are also teaching another new investigator named F that lives with a less active member that has recently been reactivated. Things are going great out here and we are constantly finding new people to teach and have the support of the members. I truly love this area and the people.

All the Elders that are getting transferred are really good friends of mine so whoever the Lord sends here I know that it will be someone I can learn from. My boy Elder W is getting transferred too so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get to serve with the Big man for at least a transfer but we will see.

You had a question about the wrestling match with Elder N from Arizona. Well we both gassed out after about 4 minutes of wrestling and it was pretty even. He had the weight but I had a little more conditioning ha-ha or better said I eat less tacos and burritos then he does. He’s going to BYUI too after the mission and we are planning on wrestling out there together in the wrestling program. I got a letter from my friend H H who I wrestled with at BYUI and he told me the program is really picking up. He said they are traveling to other colleges to wrestle like Colorado and Boise State. It sounds like Heath has taken the program to the next level as the Wrestling Coordinator.

This weekend was really fun as one of the members invited us to her house for a fiesta to eat tamales. There were a lot of members there and we had a good time chatting about life and missionary work. After eating we all sat down in the living room and sang songs as Hermano T jammed out on his Spanish guitar. It was a pretty cool experience and I’ll send you guys some videos so you can jam out too ha-ha. O yeah, I have an appointment with Doctor P this Tuesday at 7 in the morning so you know I’ll be there bright and early. I’ll let you know how it goes and thanks for being supportive. I fine and think I have everything I need in the mission.  Well, like I said I’m loving life and every day I wake up grateful to be in the service of the Lord. It is such a wonderful gift to see people change their lives through exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and following his commandments.

Okay,  for the question of the week!  How has better understanding the principle of faith helped you be a more effective missionary?

That’s a great question and I don’t know where to start. Once I started exercising faith in Jesus Christ and depending on him more than I did upon myself, that’s when I began to learn. When I started setting goals through prayer and searching for answers that’s when my faith was strengthened. I have come to a knowledge that God lives, Jesus Christ is his son and that this is their work. Having this knowledge and testimony has given me the strength and faith necessary to complete with his will and do things more effectively. I used to wonder if what I was doing was right but now I know that I am doing everything I can to serve him as I exercise my faith. Faith is like a seed as Alma said and I have to nourish it every day. Then it becomes knowledge as we come to understand and recognize our answers. All I can say is that my mission has been a period of watering this seed in my heart and day by day it grows bigger as I am asked to do things that require my faith in the Savior. It’s an amazing feeling to say that I truly know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that all I have to do is follow him and do what he has asked of me. I have found that once I have lost my desire to complete with my own will and do what I want and instead do what the Savior wants, that’s where my faith is strong and how I have been able to use it to be a more effective missionary.  I no longer care about what I want but only desire to serve the Lord and by doing that I have found true faith.

Well I love you guys and I hope you can make sense of what I just wrote as I just typed down what came from the heart. I love you guys and keep it real!!!!


Elder Payne