Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Milagros y Mas Milagros!

August 20, 2012
Dear family,

Last week was great and it was an amazing experience to shake the hand of a living apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. The meeting with Elder Russell M. Nelson was great and he spoke to us about the importance of our callings and priesthood keys. I felt the spirit testify to me that he is truly a servant of the Lord. Elder Nelson left us with an apostolic blessing that our families would be blessed while we are in the service of the Lord and with another blessing to treasure the word of God.  I’m also pumped about tomorrow as Elder Lawrence E. Corbidge; a member of the Quorum of the Seventy is also coming to the OPM for a mission tour. It was a truly great experience and after the meeting got out, all the Branch Presidents and Bishops started coming in as they had a meeting after ours with Elder Nelson. I saw Presidente P from Woodburn and he gave me a big hug. It was good to see him and we chatted for a while about missionary work and life. I truly respect Presidente P and the dedication he has to serve the Lord. He told me I could come and stay with him anytime as he knows that my time is short. I then got to see Presidente A from my first area in Keizer before heading out the door and gave him a big hug. We talked for a while and he said his home was my home if I needed a place to stay. It was a great feeling to see how our friendships and love have grown as we have worked together in the service of the Master. I didn’t get to see Bishop F from Seaside but it was a pleasure to see my other Branch Presidents. It was good to see all the missionaries there as well and I got to see my boy Elder P, the new assistant to the President.
I was talking to G and he is getting his call a week from this Wednesday now that the Stake President has sent in his papers. I’m excited for him to finally get his call as he will get it my last week here. He wants me to come back so I can go to the temple when he goes through and then I can visit the members and converts I have grown to love these past 2 years. I told him you got two weeks off on vacation so we would have to come back like two weeks after I get home unless you guys want to come with me to visit everyone up here. We can talk about this later but just know that I want to come back to visit everybody and you guys should come. Something really awesome that happened yesterday is that G’s mom was called to be the new Relief Society President in the Branch and that is great. She has progressed so much and has such a great desire to help out with the missionary work. Through G’s example, she has begun to work harder in the gospel and it’s truly amazing to see the change that has occurred. There are miracles happening here and we just have to keep working hard.

Well time is flying and we are having fun. That’s cool that you went to the Mount Timpanogos temple this past week and saw Jocelyn and Marcus get married. I’m pretty excited as there’s a lot going on in the missionary work and we are seeing so many miracles. D and her 2 kids F and A are getting baptized this Saturday as she now has Sundays off! Chyeah!!!!!!! We have prayed and fasted and the Lord has heard our prayers! We have been working with this family for a long time and I know they are ready. We are working with P and T and went to the Portland Temple visitor’s center with them Saturday night and had some pretty spiritual experiences as we watched the movie Joseph Smith, The Prophet of the Restoration. It is an awesome movie and I don’t know how anyone can deny that Joseph was a prophet after watching that. We have set another date with P for the 2nd of September and I know if she keeps reading and praying she will be ready. We are working with other investigators as well but it seems like the season of the harvest here in Oregon is really holding up their progression.

I love the temple and soon I’ll be going to the temple for the last time as a missionary with President M and the group of Elders that are heading out in two weeks!  I can’t explain to you how I feel right now because I don’t know, let’s just say I have mixed emotions. I’m pumped about the missionary work and there is so much to do. My companion is a G and a work horse, and yeah that was him in the picture I sent with the “Keep Portland Weird” sign. Oh yeah, the last name of G es A so look out for her as she is serving in the SLC Temple Square mission.  I think she may still be at the MTC right now though!

You say I’m going to get 30 minutes to talk in the Spanish Branch Sacrament meeting, that’s a lot so I’ll have to prepare pretty well ha-ha. The missionary work is going well and we are trying to help our investigators to focus on reading the Book of Mormon as that’s the key to know if our message is true. I went on two exchanges this week with Elder W and his companion Elder W. It was pretty awesome as I learned a ton from both of them. Elder W has changed a lot and is a great teacher and missionary. We haven’t served together for about a year since Seaside, and it’s amazing how much we have changed, for the better. He testifies with power and authority and it was a truly a cool experience to serve with him one more time before the end, Chyeah! 

I love you guys and I know the church is true, I love being a missionary and serving the master! My companion is a great missionary and ready to train if the Lord wants him to. He speaks better Spanish than I do, teaches with power and authority, knows how to plan and be effective! He will do well on his mission and is a born leader. Keep me in your prayers as I’m trying to do my best. I don’t have very much time left but I am truly grateful for my mission and the time I do have to serve. I will not waste a second and I will do my best to find the Lords lost sheep and bring them back to his flock. Keep it real, ponganse trucha! (Stay vigilant)


Elder Payne