Monday, June 25, 2012

Love and Service in Molalla!

June 25, 2012

Dear family and friends,

Things are going great and we had an awesome week! My new companion Elder Wright is the man and his Spanish is really improving every day. Well, a lot has happened and it’s good to hear that everything is going well out there for you guys. Last week went by so fast and time is flying by. It looks like the Benjamin’s wedding was pretty cool and everyone had a good time out there at the SLC temple. That will be me coming up pretty soon ha-ha! No, I’m just kidding as I've got my mind focused on the work and my hearts locked so I won’t be thinking to deeply about that stuff for a while. I still haven’t gotten my soccer stuff but I’m hoping it comes soon because we’ve got the mission soccer game coming up pretty soon and I want to be sporting my Chilean pride.

That’s cool that you guys had your Branch conference yesterday because we had our branch conference as well. It was a great sacrament meeting and the Presidente did a great job as he spoke to the people with the Spirit. There were a ton of leaders from the Stake and it was good to talk to them about the recent growth and things that are happening here in the Branch. There is so much work to do out here I love it. There is never a dull moment and we are always super busy. The key is working with the members and little by little we are helping them to strengthen their testimonies and invite their friends and families to church. We are seeing miracles daily but as I expressed to you last week, we are just in the phase of helping our investigators  understand why they need to make the commitment to be baptized. The amazing thing is they are all taking the commitment very seriously and are reading the Book of Mormon to know if it is true. There is no doubt in my mind that if someone reads that book and seeks with true intent, they will know that the Book of Mormon is true through the power of the Holy Ghost. It is truly an amazing feeling to further understand the promptings of the Holy Ghost and decide to follow them.

That is one thing I have learned so far on my mission is how to recognize the voice of the Holy Ghost. Every time I feel of his promptings, I follow then without second guessing because I know I need to do something. I’ll give you a little example of what I’m talking about. One day Elder W and I were driving to go visit a family that we have been teaching. As we were driving I got the impression to go visit another less active family. We turned around and when we got there we saw the lawn mower and weed whacker out on the front yard. We jumped out of the car and started to mow the lawn as the boy just had gotten everything out and was about to start. We cut it for him and then taught him the first lesson. It was a pretty cool experience and I know with time the family will come back to the Lord. We just need to show them more love and do some other random acts of service. Things are amazing in the mission and I’m loving life. We are still teaching almost everyone in the Branch and now the home teachers are getting fired up. Once we get them out doing their visits, I know that will help a ton with the growth of the Branch.

Last week I told you that I felt a little overwhelmed with training and leading the District, but I have been comforted in Christ and feel fully capable of being able to take on the challenges that will come with the Lords help. I read the prayer that Alma gives in Alma 31 and tried to offer up my own prayer to express to the Lord how I felt and how much I desire to help the people in my area and have a lasting impact with them and with my new companion. I know the Lord heard my prayer as he comforted me through the Spirit and gave me the strength that I needed. I know in the next two months, we are going to see some amazing things happen as I know the Lord answers prayers.

I’m pumped as my son Elder W is the man and he helps me out a ton. We are working as a true team and we are seeing the Lords hand in the work daily. One amazing tender mercy that I am grateful for is that Hermano G A is getting sealed in the Portland temple with his family el 7 de Julio. You guys remember Hermano G; he was baptized in Keizer a little bit after I got there some 16 months ago. He is going to the Portland temple in a little bit and his daughter  has been called to serve on a mission on temple square in Utah a couple days after they get sealed. I’m super excited to go to the temple with them and see this family change their lives as they make sacred covenants with the Lord in  the temple. I think about Alma chapter 26 and how merciful the Lord is with his children as we try to keep his commandments. It will definitely be an awesome experience and I am looking forward to it.

I love you guys and I’m grateful to be in the service of the Master. Now I know what is truly important in life and what I want in my future. I know what I must do to persevere hasta el fin (until the end) in order to live with my Heavenly Father and family after this life.


Elder Payne