Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Miracles in Canby and Molalla!

May 29, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,

Oh man this week was great!!! We’re seeing so many blessings from the Lord and the missionary work is exploding here in Molalla! The members are on fire and we are truly seeing the changes that come through real conversion. My companion Elder T is a beast and he’s not going down easy. Elder T only has a few more days on his mission and is a great example to me as he isn’t getting trunky but getting even more exited. He didn’t even want to take a P-day and he just wanted to work and I’m down with that!!!!! Everything is going well and I’m so thankful for the things that I am learning through the spirit and my companion’s great example. The other day after we got done studying Spanish I began to eat a little lunch and he said something like, “What are you doing Buddy, there’s no time to eat, we’ve got to work! So since that day we haven’t taken lunch and we have just been blessed to have people give us food along the way, like the old days of missionary work without purse or script. It’s pretty cool because we don’t have to buy lunch now and if we end up not eating lunch, we can just fast ha-ha. I like his fire and he’s definitely helped me to step up my game. No lunch from now on, time to trust in the Lord and that He will provide los alimentos.

Things are going great and we are seeing a big change in the mission. I went to the OPM Leadership meeting last week and basically the entire meeting was about, Amino (excitement) faith and goals. The Assistants to the President were getting everyone pumped up and waking people up from their spiritual naps ha-ha. It was a sweet meeting and it was a cool sight to see President Morby dropping the hammer and getting everybody pumped up. CHYEAH! This week was amazing and we had the opportunity to see the Lords hand and many miracles! Sacrament meeting was great as we saw many investigators and less active members there!!!!! Many less actives that haven’t been to church for years were there and being fellowshipped by family and friends. We had 80 people in Sacrament meeting and that’s the most we have ever had and I know it is because of the Lords divine help. The members are on fire and so excited about the gospel as we are encouraging everyone to read in the Book of Mormon. We have to start setting some more baptismal dates and I know that they will come as we continue to strengthen the Saints. We are teaching many member referrals and I have seen that this is helping the members to become more focused on the gospel. This week we were blessed to teach many people and this week I taught the most people I have ever taught on my mission. This week we will try to teach 50 people as it’s not impossible with the Lords help. It’s like what Preach My Gospel says, “teach where you find, find where you teach”! My boy G is helping us out a ton as he gets ready for his mission and he is inviting people to be baptized and come to church, he’s such a G!

Thanks for the great letter and the details about my boys speaking in Sacrament meeting.  That really pumped me up as I am starting to come to grips with the fact that I have a very short time to share the best message in the world and I want to leave it all on the mat with no regrets. I haven’t gotten the soccer jerseys you sent yet, but I hope they get here today because we are having a Branch activity and we are playing soccer in the new home of one of the members. She bought a home and a large bit of farmland but she has to remodel the whole house and all the grass had to be cut since it was like 5 feet high.  Well los hermano’s cut the grass in her farmland into a futbol field and everyone’s getting excited to play some futbol.  We hope to have a good turn out!  

I could go on forever about how much I love this area and the people but I have work to do and need to get going.  Things are going great and I feel like the Spirit of the Lord is truly blessing this area as the members are exercising great faith. I love you guys so much and I am so glad to be out here on my mission. I know this church is true and that the Savior lives.

Thanks for your support and prayers!


Elder Payne

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Loving Life in Molalla!

May 21, 2012
Dear Family,

Hey what’s going on everyone! Thanks for the great letter G, it got me pumped up! Sorry, but I don’t have too much time to write today as we have been pretty busy! We have a lesson in just a couple of minutes so I will try to knock out something real quick and let you guys know the scoop. Last week was great and we saw a ton of success and many blessings from the Lord. You know my boy B, the one who just started coming back to church. He was just called as the new branch mission leader, CHYEAH!!! That just makes me super happy and pumped to see how in the Lords kingdom, somebody can change their life as soon as they are willing too. Like it says in Lucas chapter 14 I think, the Lord is happy when we are ready to come back to him!!

Last week I got some sweet boots and a cowboy suit at a member’s garage sale. It is like a $500.00 Mexican cowboy suit and I got it for $5.00. I’m pumped as I’m ready to go and I’ve got my style on now. I haven’t gotten the birthday package from Heather yet but I did get a card in the mail from Alex with some dinero. I will thank her with a nice card once I get some time. We went to Winco with G and his mom today and I got the essentials, fruit, pickles, protein and cereal. G is like my brother and I’m so excited to see where he gets called to serve on his mission. I’m glad to hear that Heather and Ben are okay on their trip over in Egypt and Israel and are doing well. I hope they don’t get stuck in a riot over there.

Things are going great out here and the work is growing. We have been focusing on Sacrament meeting and yesterday went great. Now we are consistently getting about 60 people every week, up from 25 and we are working hard to reach our goal of 100 this transfer. We are seeing so many miracles as the less active members are coming back and getting callings and becoming more involved. I just realized that my companion goes home in a few weeks but he is working so hard we hardly talk about it. He is a good example to me and is truly helping me out to be a better missionary. We are still trying to reach our goal of baptizing 46 people more and I know the Lord will bless us with that desire as we try with all our might to find the Lords elect.

We had a Zone conference last week and I was asked to give a spiritual thought about excitement and truly loving the missionary work. For my spiritual thought I dressed up in my new Mexican cowboy clothes and I roll played as one of our investigators. Then some missionaries taught me a lesson without excitement and then they taught with excitement and there was a night and day difference between the first and second examples. When we share the gospel with excitement and a smile, more people want to listen and can see that the gospel truly means something to you. Like we say in our District, “If you can’t get excited about the Lord’s work, you might as well go home”.  Ensenar con Animo! Everybody loves that and laughs but it is so true, sometimes we get bogged down in all the little things and forget what a privilege it is to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and how important our message really is.  We got the missionaries pumped up and they are doing great work. McMinnville, one of the areas in our district is now teaching 20 lessons a week and doing a great job. Less hour’s tracting and more teaching lessons, now that’s what I like to see.

Well family, I have got to get going but I love you guys and I am loving being in the service of the Lord!!


Elder Payne

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

May 14, 2012
Dear Family,

It was awesome getting to talk to you guys yesterday for Mother's day and it seems like everything is going great back at home.  I don't have to much time to write but I just wanted to tell you guys how much I love you.

Things are going great and I love this area. The missionary work is exploding and the members are working pretty hard. We are seeing more people in the Tuesday activities than we have ever seen and each week lots of the less actives are coming back! We have put all of our focus on church attendance and reaching our baptismal goals and as we center our prayers and work on these two things we are seeing miracles. We have had 70 plus in Sacrament meeting for four weeks in a row and our goal is for 100 in this transfer.

Last Sunday many of our investigators came to church and my companion and I had the opportunity to talk about our mothers. It was a great experience and I will never forget it. This week we have a Zone conference with the Spanish mission and I have been asked to give a spiritual thought about desire and excitement. I truly believe that one of the biggest parts to being an effective  missionary is showing your excitement to serve the Lord and urgency to get things done. I will try to give a good thought that will help the missionaries get pumped up about being in the service of the Lord.
Today for P-day we played the mission soccer game with the North vs. the South Zones and we won. We have most of the Latinos in the south Zone we also had the P family come so we kind of had the upper hand over los gabachos jajaj. I talked to my best friend Elder W and he told me that yesterday he talked to his parents and it’s a done deal, we are hitting up BYUI together after we get home.  He gets back in October and we will both plan on Winter Semester. His parents want to talk to you guys to get everything set up or something so we can be ready when we get back so I’ll be giving Elder W your cell number so we can ponernos de acuerdo.

I’m pretty pumped as every week in the mission is flying by and we are seeing miracles as we are leaving it all up to the Lord. I love it out here and I love the people! It sounds like my boys that are coming home from their missions are also having a great time and are ready to start things up when they get back. Life just goes way to fast and I’m just so glad we have the gospel.
I haven’t gotten any of the birthday packages from Heather or Alex yet and I don’t know if they got lost in the mail but who knows. I got your package and thanks for the beef jerky G! I love you guys and everything is going great. I love the Lord and I will pray for all of you as I know the Lord answers prayers. Chyeah!

Elder Payne

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Molalla, "La Tierra Prometida" The Promised Land!

Mayo 7, 2012
Dear Familia y Amigos,

Things are going great and this week was awesome. A ton of miracles happened and the Lord is answering our prayers. This Sunday the whole branch fasted for more unity and I could definitely feel the difference in church as there was a stronger presence of the spirit. There were a lot of people in church yesterday and we have set new goals to get the church attendance to 100 this transfer. I know we can do it through faith and hard work. The Lord has helped us out so much to this point and I know we are going to see some amazing miracles this transfer.
Thanks a lot for the letter, its sounds like everyone is doing great!!!!! As you know, the family is the most important unit that the Lord has given us. That is so awesome that my cousin Manuel is going on his mission, I love that kid!!!!!! Can you give me his address so I can hit him up and see how he is doing?

That makes me so happy that Alex graduated from the University of Utah with honors and I will definitely follow in her footsteps. She is a great example to me and the whole family. Thanks for the birthday package and I really liked the pen you sent. It lights up and I have been using it in a couple of lessons as a visual. I liked the beef jerky and mangos, protein bars and journal. The journal is pretty small but just what I need, thanks!!!!!! I got your package on Thursday and I was pretty pumped to open it up. About my birthday, it was awesome!!! All the members remembered and the R family gave me this sweet tie. At the Tuesday night activity where we study the scriptures, everyone sang happy birthday and I felt like a million bucks. The P family from Woodburn (my second family) called me and sang happy birthday to me over the phone ha-ha. All and all it was a great day and I will never forget it.

Well I’m super pumped as usual to be out here and everything is going great on the mission. Today I get to watch a Disney movie for the first time with the Zone because we reached out baptismal goal last month, CHYEAH!!!!!!! We are watching Tarzan and everyone in the district is super excited to watch the first non-church related movie on their missions! I’m not saying that church movies aren’t cool, just saying that this is something super new and we are ready to embrace it. G also told me that he added me on Facebook but you haven’t accepted the friend request, when you get some time could you accept that. I think that’s really cool how I will be able to maintain better contact with all the people that I love and have met on my mission.

Well, I don’t have too much time to write as I have got to write a couple other people but things are going great. I don’t know if I told you but we have a gym in our apartment complex so we are getting swollen every morning at 6am. It’s my goal to come back home like a rock and weighing 170lbs of pure muscle and tortillas, Chyeah!!!!!!! Right now I weigh 155 and I’m not too fat so I’m on my way, Chyeah. Well, I love you guys so much and I’m so glad to hear that everyone is doing well. I love the Lord and I love the mission!!!!!

Elder Payne

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy Birthday in Molalla!

May 1, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s my birthday and I’m 21 years old and I’m pretty excited about that. My day has so far consisted of helping out my sick companion porque el tiene los chorros, Chyeah!!! He has been recovering from some bad carne asada that we ate a while ago ha-ha. I guess eating too much carne asada can take a toll on someone, even the Lords anointed. Well, yesterday my birthday dream was fulfilled as G and his mom took us to go eat at my favorite restaurant, “COSTCO”!!!!!!!!!!! CHYEAH. You know I got a piece of pizza and a very berry sundae. Right after we chowed down my companion started feeling pretty sick so we rolled back to the apartment and stayed there for the rest of the day. I spent the whole time cleaning the apartment, ordering things on my desk, so that’s why I didn’t right back yesterday! Then this morning he started feeling better through the healing power of the Priesthood and now we are rolling again.

I haven’t gotten anything in the mail yet but it’s all good, I’ll keep looking for the packages you sent me. Well I don’t have too much time to write this week because I have to respond to some other emails and thank people for the birthday wishes. You should send me a list next week of the people that wished me a happy birthday so I can be sure that people still remember that I’m still alive ha-ha. Just playing, but it would be cool to see that and write some people some hand written letters.

This week was so awesome I can’t explain it with words!!!!!! Every week is awesome and I’m just so glad to be in this area. Transfers came up and no one in the Spanish mission was transferred so next transfer we will see a ton of changes. Well I’m glad that no one in the district got switched out because we are like a brotherhood!!! For our district activity, instead of going bowling, playing basketball or something lame like that, we are going to the fields to pick fruit. Here in the branch one of the members told us that he would take us out with him to go picking strawberries and it’s time to show my boys how some of the Hispanics out here work. I heard picking strawberries is super hard and I want to have a competition to see who can pick the most fruit. I heard its super messy too so we might try to pick la Cherry or la Blueberry. It’s time to immerse ourselves in the Culture G. Some of the Hermanas have been teaching me how to wash dishes without using the dish washer. One of the Hermanas can wash like 50 dishes in less than a minute! I’m working my way up there and I’ll never use a dishwasher again, dishwashers are for the weak. Anyway, I am developing this talent so that my future wife will never have to wash the dishes.  But let’s be real, I don’t know how committed I am to this goal. We will see how good I get at it.

Yeah, I don’t need that ADD medicine anyway but it did help me to read more but I know with the help of the Lord I can reach my goal of reading the whole missionary library. I finished the Book of Mormon and now it’s time to get cracking on La Biblia! I’ll write mom a letter with some good testimonies about how moms rule, I’ll even make it a district meeting activity and I’ll send the Elder’s thoughts to her. Dang, I just thought of that but I think it will turn out pretty good! It will help us appreciate our Mom’s and help Mom with her talk on Mother’s Day too!

Well I have got to get going but I love you guys and I’m loving life. I see miracles daily and I’m sending home my latest journal soon because it’s about full. I love being out here and my companion is the man. I love the feeling of testifying of the truthfulness of the Gospel and knowing that what I’m saying is the truth and the way that Christ intends for us to come closer to him.


Elder Payne