Hi guys! Let's first of all figure out the calling situation tomorrow. President and Sister Leonard psyched us all out and announced that EVERYONE can skype on Christmas, not just international missionaries! So we will be heading to the Hugh's at 2:00 pm tomorrow afternoon, Utah time. I'm not sure if that's the same for you guys. Anyway we will be using their computers for skype! Now, by the time we get there and get logged on it may be around 2:30... We have practically zero other plans for the day so far except one appointment, so don't worry about being late. There's two computers and three missionaries, so we're not sure who's going first yet. I hope you guys and make a lee way for an extra hour in case I go last haha. I have a max of 45 minutes. If everyone isn't there, I will cut the skype short and call anyone else that can't make it, but I sure hope everyone can be there because that would make things so much easier. Mom was talking about doing it at Keith and Shauna's, so whatever works, just be there haha. I'll try to figure out the sign on stuff. The Hugh's are leaving us at their place to go watch a movie, so I'm not sure if they'll be around or not. Anyway, we'll talk one way or another!
Alright, now that that's out of the way, I can get to the good stuff! Thanks for all the emails and encouragement! I got some letters from ward members back home, like Martha McBride and someone else haha. It was great! I have a bunch of emails too from people which is nice! Anyway it looks like it's going to be a white Christmas up here in Cedar City...it was snowing during studies this morning! Awesome...finally! I don't know if I mentioned this, but I already dug into mom's package haha. I saved one or two for tomorrow though! The best presents already happened though...
It truly is a white Christmas, as President has been telling our whole mission. This year the St. George mission has found a lot less and yet managed to baptize more than last year. That means we have better teachers than ever before! That was exciting news, but not quite as exciting as our own success here in Cedar North. We had three baptisms on Saturday!! So awesome! We've been working so hard with these three amazing individuals...Hayden, Kristi, and Karen! Their baptisms were a success!
Hayden was first at 11:00 am. He (well, his mom) sent out a ton of invitations for his baptism to friends and family. I'll have to send one home or something just for fun. I'm trying to scramble together a birthday/Christmas package thing haha we'll see. Anyway, there were a ton of people there, which was awesome! Living baptisms are some of the most sacred experiences we'll ever experience, especially when you've contributed to them making it to that font. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost haha I compared it to the Patronus in Harry Potter, something Hayden could relate to. We all have Dementors in our lives, so we have to cast the spell (prayer) and let the Holy Ghost help and protect us. I also taught him about CTR, which actually stands for Commandments, Take His name, and Remember Him...our baptismal covenants! It was a great baptism, and Hayden's mom and dad provided lunch afterwards. Sweet!
Kristi was next at 1:00 pm. Her husband is a truck driver and in his own words a redneck. Such an awesome family! They love to just have a good time and laugh and be stupid in a wholesome way. Anyway, they showed up like five minutes before it started haha. I mentioned last week that Kristi broke her arm during a roller derby. Well, she wrapped it all up and got baptized anyway! We got permission to have two missionaries in the font to help her go under and back up. Elder Price said the prayer and I was his co-baptizer! It was pretty sweet. Unfortunately her knee came up the first time, so we had to do it again. No worries! She made it! She's such a trooper haha.
Last but not least was Karen at 4:00 pm. Her family is Hispanic, so her mom and dad only speak Spanish haha it's cool to chat with them, but I felt bad that they probably had no idea what was going on. But I know they felt the Spirit! They're all non members, including Karen's two little brothers and baby sister. Karen's been going to church for 3 years and we finally got her in the font. She was so nervous!! I thought she was crying as she was walking into the font. She was practically hyper ventilating haha. Another successful baptism! Elder Ramirez did the honors. Angie, another one of our progressing investigators, came to Karen's baptism and got to meet her! It's so weird when your investigators meet each other haha but it was awesome! Karen was like "It's the best feeling ever!" or something like that, which got Angie super excited for her own baptism. Sweet!
Yesterday we had two of the three confirmations. Kristi's arm was acting up, and she wasn't feeling up to go to church because of the pain. We'll do her's next week. I confirmed Karen at 9:00 am and E Ramirez confirmed Hayden at 11:00 am. We all spoke in Hayden's ward about Rejoicing in Christ. It was a piece of cake! I just shared some mission experiences and bore my testimony for 10 minutes. Overall, it was one of the best Sunday's in a long time!
So now we're back to square one. We only have Angie progressing towards baptism this next Saturday, so we need to find more. But it's been awesome to see some results and we can't wait to help them out with the recent convert lessons. Anyway, that's about all for this week. We'll talk tomorrow! Thanks for the support family! Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad! Thanks QP! Thanks Keith and Shauna! You guys are the best! I love you all! Merry Christmas!
Love, Elder Payne!
p.s. Check the other email for the baptism pics!