Monday, July 30, 2012

August Excitement!

July 30, 2012
Dear Familia,

Looking back, this week was pretty sweet. A lot happened and we were able to see many miracles, Chyeah! First, I want to address the things that you said in your letter! I’m down with that full teeth cleaning and thanks for hooking me up with an appointment. It's all good that you talked to President Morby and that’s pretty cool that you got to talk to him. He is a great President and an amazing example to me. I figured out why I have been so tired recently and since the last time we talked I have been feeling better. I had been waking up early every morning at 5:50am so I could work out earlier and get to my studies faster but I realized that after doing this for almost a year I’m getting pretty tired. Now I have been waking up at 6:10am instead to get a couple more minutes of sleep and running in the morning and that has really been helping me out to have more energy and stay awake during my studies. I feel a lot better know and I have more energy every day. I think I’ll be good for know, I just needed to get some more sleep and start running, Chyeah!!!!!!

I’m really excited to be able to finish up out here in Canby and I love this place! I’ll let you know what happened with transfers this past week and how awesome the District is that we have out here! Elder W was serving in the North but he got transferred to be the Zone Leader here in the South so know I’m going to be able to go on exchanges with him like old times! He’s the Zone Leader out here with Elder B so we will be meeting up every week to talk about the work and have our District meetings. My former companion in Woodburn, Elder B just got back from serving his time in English and now he is training a new missionary from New Zealand in Wilsonville. It’s good to have him in the district because he is a G and a hard worker. Elder P (my brother in the mission because Elder Hanson, my father, trained him after me) is in the district and training a new missionary. It’s good to have him here because he is the man. Everyone in the district is training and the trainers all have been out on the missions for as long as I have. I’m super pumped to have all my best friends in the district and district meetings are going to be awesome. Last district meeting, we focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon and to express to the missionaries its importance and how it is the most powerful tool we have in helping our investigators to be converted to the lord, I gave them a visual lesson. We went to the gym where I had gotten a Piñata and said it was Satanas o el enemigo. I then got a golf club and said it was like a sword in the battle or good versus evil and it signified the Book of Mormon. I then beat down the piñata to help them know that if we use the Book of Mormon, Satanas can’t win. It was something different but I like to do different activities so the Elder’s don’t fall asleep. I’m just pumped because we’ve got the best district in the mission and it’s time to bajar la cana!!!

We gave our talks in sacrament meeting yesterday and it went great. It was a great line up as G started off talking about missionary work and then Elder W talked about the Book of Mormon and I spoke about conversion. It was great and G’s talk was awesome. He is going to be a great missionary y ya el ha agrarrado la onda. Elder Wright is the man and his Spanish was super good, he already speaks better than I do, Chyeah!!!!! I shared personal experiences from my life and told the members about my conversion story and how I came to know the gospel and church was true. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I thought that this may well be my last time talking in sacrament here pues. A lot of unexpected people showed up to sacrament meeting that we weren’t planning on it was good to see them there. After sacrament meeting, G was ordained to the office of Elder and received el Sacerdocio del Melquisedec. He is ready to go on his mission and he sent in his papers last week! Now we just have to wait 2 weeks and we will see where the Lord calls him to serve. I’m thinking he might go to New York or Atlanta Spanish speaking but who knows! He is a G and wherever he goes, he will do work!

Well, this week was great and I’m ready for the month of August. There are so many great things that are going to happen this month it’s ridiculous! One of the members of the Quorum of the 12 apostles is coming to the mission to speak to us and then a week later one of the 70s, Elder Corbridge, is coming to speak with us! Also, G is having his farewell party and we are going to go back to the temple with our boy B, Chyeah!

The branch is doing well as more and more Hermanos are coming out with us to preach the word. The less actives are doing well but many of them are struggling because they are working on Sundays. It’s hard out here because of the harvest. They only have a couple months of solid work and then for the rest of the year they don’t have much to do. We are teaching them to have the faith sufficient to trust in the Lord and keep his commandments. I’m praying super hard because at times I don’t know what to do to help them but I know they want to do the right thing. We are working hard and teaching all the people we can and focusing more on the Book of Mormon. We realized that we have basically taught them everything but they are not reading in the Book of Mormon regularly. So when we go to teach them, we are focusing more on the Book of Mormon and helping them to understand what it is.  Things are going well and we have a lot of work to do. I’m really excited about the district we have out here and I think I have the best Elders in the mission are in this district. Obviously all missionaries are good but I really love the Elders here and feel privileged to work with them.

Hopefully G will get his call to go to the MTC at the end of September that would be cool. We also have 10 baptisms to look forward to and a lot of work to do. I’m going to give it my all and I know the Lord will help me to complete our goals with his will. I love you guys and I’m glad that you’re doing well! I know this church is true and thanks for serving missions too, you are great examples to me!

Elder Payne




Monday, July 23, 2012

Last Transfer and Staying in Molalla!

July 23, 2012

Dear Familia,
Another great week and we saw some awesome miracles. We got phone calls last night to see what is going to be happening with exchanges and I am staying in Molalla for my last transfer in the mission and I’m pumped. There is a lot of work to get done and not a lot of time to do it. The mission is changing a lot since today we will get  6 new verdesitos (Greenies) arriving so many missionaries are now training. I’m excited to see what happens with all the new companionships and I will try to help them grow.  I'm glad to spend another transfer here in Molalla with my companion Elder W. He is a really good missionary and his Spanish is awesome. We don’t speak English at all so he has truly improved in just 6 weeks. It sounds like everything is going great back at home and I was pretty shocked to get a call from the mission home telling me that my cousin Manuel is going to Chile on his mission. That is so awesome and I can’t wait for him to get out there. I would love to talk to him and give him some pointers and I know he will be a great missionary. I know from personal experience that the Lord sends you exactly where you need to be and Manuel will help out a ton of people back home in Chile.  It truly is amazing how so many of my cousins on Mom’s side of the family who have come to America have been called back home to Chile.  The Lord truly works in miraculous ways.

So are we still planning to go to Chile when I get home? I thought that was something we were going to do but who knows. You just set it up and I’m down for whatever. I think that’s a good idea that I give a talk in the Shallowford Ward and Cherokee Spanish Branch the same week I get back so I can invite all my friends to come. I don’t want to think about it too much but I know it’s coming up really soon. I know the goals we have set for this last transfer will keep me focused and I’m going to work harder than I ever have before.

I’m actually giving a talk this Sunday in the Rama with Elder W and G's going to speak about la obra misional. G is sending in his papers this week and I think he put his availability date for the 1st of September. We’ve got to get that kid on his mission as soon as possible. I’m excited to give a talk and it’s about becoming converted to Christ. I’ve given a lot of talks on my mission and I’ve learned mas o menos on what is the best way to deliver a talk. At the beginning of my mission I would just read my talk and read from the scriptures. I have learned now that people want to hear personal experiences and how the gospel has affected your life. So I will try to give some personal experiences in my talk this Sunday about how I have tried to become converted to the Lord and his teachings. I’ll let you know how everything goes. We have been going out with our branch mission leader B a lot and that is helping us find new investigators. He introduced us to some of his friends and now we are teaching them. We are still working hard with our 10 investigators that we are preparing for baptism and things are going well. We are inviting them to read in the Book of Mormon daily so they can feel the spirit and gain a strong testimony. We have a lot of work to do out here as we are trying to keep half of the branch active while trying to teach our investigators. We are seeing a lot of changes as well, as the brethren are doing their home teaching and visiting their families. I know their faithfulness will help as the less active families will have more fellowship.

Something cool to add to the letter I wrote you last week. You remember the guy I mentioned that offered me an alcoholic beverage at the birthday party and said the Lord said to eat, drink and be merry?  We are helping him keep the word of wisdom now, Chyeah! We stopped by his house this week and he expressed to us that he has desires to quit drinking and so we’ve got his back. We want to explain the atonement better and how through the atonement of Christ we can receive that extra strength we need to conquer the natural man. I have been exercising my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in his atonement a lot now that I’m always tired. I know that the Lord can give me extra strength to carry out his will especially as I ask for it. I have felt his strength and help as some days I am not as exhausted so I know I’ll be using the atonement a lot this transfer. Well, things are going super and the Branch is working hard to fellowship and improve on the things they need to do. We are trying our best out here and appreciate your prayers on our behalf. I know the Lord will help us to accomplish our goals and bring his children unto him through baptism. I love this work and I’m so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my Savior.


Elder Payne

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time is Flying!

July 16, 2012
Hey family,

Well thanks for your letter and the good news and it sounds like you guys are busy out there too. Time is flying and you know that this is the last week of this transfer. I can’t believe that I only have one transfer left in the mission field but you know that’s not going to stop me. I’ve set some goals that will help me to work harder than I ever have as it’s my goal to leave the Rama stronger and at a point that it will continue to grow. I love this place and I love the people and we have got a lot of work to do. Yesterday in Branch Council, the branch leaders were feeling a little down due to the lack of commitment of some of the members and how many aren’t working to fulfill their callings.  I shared with them about how to determine a successful missionary and told them that discouragement will only diminish their faith. Then we told them about our goal to baptize 10 people in the next transfer and everyone got pumped. It was cool to see and feel how the spirit in the room changed as we went from not focusing on the negative and putting our faith in the Lord that we would find 10 new souls to bring unto Christ. Everyone there was on board and they all committed to coming out with us this week. Like I have said before, without the members help, we as missionaries can’t really do anything. If the members here are a little down, we have got to help grow their faith and help them to have the faith to work and find. I know we will meet our goal to baptize 10 people or I’m not going home ha-ha. I love this work and it hurts me to see that some people just don’t understand the importance of the gospel. Maybe they do understand but they just don’t want to do it. Either way,  I know my purpose as a missionary is to invite, teach and baptize and I will do everything I can to help members, non members and less actives come unto Christ.

Elder W and I have been working hard and we can see the blessings from the Lord as D and her 2 kids now have baptismal dates for the 11th of August. What holds her back from being baptized right now is that she still works half of Sunday so we fasted last Sunday with her so that she could get it off. I know the Lord will answer our prayers as he wants her to keep His commandments. We also set 2 dates with P and T and I know that they will receive answers to their prayers as they seek with real intent. Elder W is doing great and his Spanish is almost perfect. He could train right now if necessary! Things are going well and he is a really good missionary. I love him and I want to help him out in any way I can. I know that I’m not the perfect teacher but despite that I love training and Elder W is progressing so well.

After church we had a get together and we all ate carne asada. I was the man at the grill and it was pretty cool as I learned how to grill elote, carne asada, pollo asado, chiles and anything else you can throw on a grill. The little primary kids were surrounding me every 5 seconds asking for hotdogs ha-ha. It was pretty fun to get together after church y convivir. I’ll have to whip you guys up some carne asada in the future now that I learned the secret of how to prepare it. Well, our new Branch mission president B is on fire and he is coming out with us a lot and helping the missionary work go forward.

That’s funny that you went to a party where they had a piñata and fiesta because I went to one last Saturday as well. One of our investigators invited us to a birthday party and it was pretty cool. We rolled up and of course some people were standing outside drinking. While we were talking to some people near the grill, one of the guys who was a little drunk came up to me and said, "Toma Broda, esta bien!" I told him I was all good and I choose not to drink. He made a big scene and started asking me in a louder tone thinking that would help me change my mind ha-ha. I refused and told him I was waiting to drink of the sacrament on Sunday and invited him to come join me. He said in Spanish, "why are you waiting for tomorrow, God told us to eat drink and be merry today and not to wait!!!" I then said, “Yo creo que el diablo dijo eso, I believe the Devil said that." ha-ha. He then walked away and I had a good laugh with the guy I was talking with by the grill. I then was reading in my scriptures this morning in 2 Nephi 28 and what the guy said is exactly what the Book of Mormon prophesied would happen in the last days so I thought that was pretty interesting. I just thought you would like to hear that story as I thought it was pretty funny ha-ha.

Well family, I love you guys and everything is going great out here. Every day I’m trying to give it all I’ve got and I’m super tired, I fall asleep all the time while Elder W and I are planning at night but he’s cool with it. He just wakes me up and we get going again. I know this church is true and I’m so grateful for the time I have to serve the Master.

Elder Payne

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amazing Blessings in the House of the Lord!

July 9, 2012

Dear Familia,

Hey what’s up? This week was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a ton of fun, wonderful spiritual experiences and it was a pretty hectic week due to the 4th of July holiday! We just got back home from playing the big Zone soccer game with the Norte vs. Sur. It was really fun and I got to see all my boys again! Elder W and I ranted on about good times we shared in the past and he said that his Pops was going to call you guys about getting everything set up for BYU Idaho when we get back. It was a good game and I rocked the full Chilean jersey you sent with the shorts included! I wore the white away jersey and I felt like a Chilean G! Who knows, maybe I can try to play more soccer in the future because after 6 months in Woodburn, I’ve learned to love it!

Well, things are going great out here and the work is progressing well. Los Hermanos are getting fired up and now we are getting home teaching going on a more regular basis. That’s going to help us out a ton as we will have more time to focus on our investigators when the members are visiting the families that we have already helped come back into activity. All the auxiliaries have the same goal and with some fervent prayer, I know that the 10 investigators that we have that have been coming to church will get baptized. It’s kind of hard where we are right know as we don’t have the base to support a lot of new converts as we are trying to maintain the less actives but I know as we sacrifice with patience, the Lord will help us out. I know I have been sent here for a reason and I will do whatever it takes to get everything going smoothly. I have come to a point were all my prayers are just asking for the Lords help as I know after all I do it’s not enough, I need some divine help. We went to the Molalla BUCKEROO which is a rodeo here on the 4th of July and it was pretty fun. It was interesting as I’ve never been to a real rodeo before and everyone was going wild about the horses, bulls and guys flying off everywhere ha-ha.

Well I have got to say that last week I had one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had on my mission. We got to go to the temple twice last week as it was our turn to go as a District and then we went again for the sealing of one of the families I taught in my first area in Keizer almost 20 months ago. I’ll talk more about the sealing and when we went to the temple on Saturday in a minute.

First, check this out. On our first trip to the temple early last week, we got there to the session like 45 minutes early because we thought it started at 1:00pm but it started a 1:30pm. So we decided to go to the bathroom and freshen up. While I was waiting for my companion a brother came out and started washing his hands. As he washed his hands, he looked over at me just standing there and feeling a little awkward I told him I was just waiting for my companion. He didn’t say anything and just kept doing his thing. When he got done, he came up to me and said, “What’s your name Elder?" I told him Elder Payne and when I said those words his eyes started to tear up. I didn’t know what to think but before I could respond he said," I’m Brother W" I responded with shock," Uh, okay, uh..." no sooner had he said his name  my companion came out to find his Dad standing in the bathroom right in front of him ha-ha. Elder W had told me earlier that his dad was coming to Oregon with his older brother to attend his brother’s mission reunion because his mission president was front Lake Oswego, Oregon.  I know it was a tender mercy that they just somehow seemed to be in the same place in the temple at the same time. They hugged and I told his Dad that his son was a great missionary. He got pretty emotional and I could understand that. Well, that was a pretty interesting event and my companion was pretty shocked and happy to see his Dad in the temple!

On Saturday I had the most amazing experience at the sealing of my good friend G and his family. We went to an endowment session before the sealing and as we waited I got the chance to see all the members from Keizer, the area I served in when I was a Greenie. It was awesome to see everyone and my boy G was glowing and you could tell he was pretty happy. After the endowment, in the celestial room, G came up to me and asked me to be a witness to the sealing of his family! I thought that was such a great honor and when I got to sign the marriage document, I really felt the importance and sacred nature of the work I am involved in here serving the Lord. The sealing was so spiritual and it was probably the coolest thing I have ever done to be present and witness a family that I had the privilege to teach being sealed in the temple. I can tell you that I will never forget the joy that I felt there at that moment in time. I gave the family a big hug and thanked them for the privilege and how special it was for me to know them and be a part of their special day.  G told me that I needed to come back and visit him and I promised that I would as they are a special family. His daughter takes off on her mission to the Salt Lake Temple visitor’s center at the end of this month. Well, that was probably the coolest thing I have ever experienced and I know this work is true. I love you guys and am so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord! 


Elder Payne

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 4th of July Buckaroo

July 2, 2012

Dear Family,

Last week flew by and it was pretty awesome! The work is going great and there are a lot of people changing their lives. Right now you know the harvest is going on here and most of our members are working in the field so everyone is super busy! Well, thanks for your letter and your encouragement and I’m really glad to hear everything is going great. I can’t wait to see how Alex is doing and to be an Uncle, Chyeah!

Parker truly is a G and I need to take some notes on what I should do because he is a really great example. That’s really cool that you got an iphone and it’s amazing to see how technology has progressed in the last two years, I won’t know what to do with all these crazy phones when I get back. I can’t believe my boys Hardy and Nichol’s are home already and that blows my mind. I’m glad to hear that they finished up like a champs and I can’t wait to ask them about how their time went in the service of the Master! I can’t believe that Bennett is coming home this week as I saw him in the MTC when I got there, man how time flies! I got the soccer jerseys in the mail last week and they are awesome! I got the Chilean national teams home and away jerseys and they arrived just in time for the big soccer game coming up next P-day where the south zone will face the north. Los Paisanos Unidos contra los Soldados Del Sur!!!!!!

Well I’m pretty pumped for this week as there is a lot going on. We are going to the Zoo with G in a little bit to check out some of Gods creations. Tomorrow we are going to the Temple because it’s our time to go again and I’m excited to receive some revelation. Then we have the 4th of July Buckaroo a famous Rodeo that goes on here every 4th of July in Molalla. The place will be packed and it will be an awesome experience as our mission President said we could go. This Saturday we are going to the temple again to be with G and his family as they are being sealed and then his daughter leaves for her mission at Temple Square a few days later.  The Branch will be doing baptisms and it should be an awesome growth experience. We are pretty busy this week and on top of that we have a ton of baptismal dates to set.

The work is going great here and time is flying by, we are seeing a lot of support from the members and they are all inviting there family members to church. Yesterday we had 10 investigators in Sacrament meeting and that is a miracle. They are all so close but we will have to continue teaching them to help them receive testimonies of the restored gospel.

I know that this is the Lords work and I also have come to know that I can’t do this work without His help. I love being a missionary and I know that the Lord is going to help us to see some baptisms and help our investigators change their lives. I know I need to stay mindful of things I need to improve on as I know the Lord will mold me and change me into the priesthood holder and missionary he wants me to be. I love you guys and thanks for the support.


Elder Payne