July 9, 2012
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 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!