Holy cow we finally got transfer calls at 9:15 last night during planning! The suspense was killing me all week! I'll share the good word later on haha. So this was a great week. Last Monday after we finished all our chores for the day we went on a tour of the temple! It was so intense and amazing. We started in the annex and made our way all the way to the top of the temple...inside the tower itself! Apparently we weren't supposed to go up there, but our tour guide insisted haha. I swear it felt like we were going back in time with every room we went into. They're making plans over the next four years to completely re do the temple interior and make it look antique...like the 1880's! Equipped with wooden lockers and everything. I thought that that will be pretty cool, especially during the millennium when all the original saints come back to do work in the temple they built. They'll appreciate it! Temples can't be closed for more than 8 weeks at a time, so it will be a progressive project. We'll have to go on my way home! Anyway Bro Goeser our tour guide showed us around. So there's basically the original 1880's temple and then a modern annex attached to it. We kept going in and out of the two, and along the way he opened up some electrical windows and let us see the innards of the original temple wall. It's all red brick painted white! Pretty cool. We saw all the rooms upstairs which used to be apartments for the saints. Now they are all sealing rooms...there's 18 sealing rooms in that temple! We went into the assembly room, which is completely original. Old crickety wooden floor with 1880's benches and everything. They have seats that say P.M.P.H. (President of the Melchizedek Priest Hood) which is where the Prophet would sit. Anyway it was super awesome. We went into an old room that is apparently the old Holy of Holies! They didn't know what the room was for until 6 months ago! There's a spot on the floor where the prophet would kneel and pray and speak to the Father, apparently face to face. That was intense to be in there! I got to see one of the spiral staircases too, which apparently one of our ancestors helped to build. Eventually we made it into the tower itself. The paint on the wood up there is peeling and chipping off. They have a little "museum" up in there where the old mast to the temple is kept. It got struck by lightning a few years ago, so they had to take it down. If you look at a picture of the temple, you'll notice a ball right under the wind arrow thing. They had to cut that thing in half in order to get it down. Well, they cut in just the right spot. Written in pencil on a piece of wood in nice 1880's cursive handwriting was the phrase "Many men of many minds, many firsts of many." A prophecy about a future explosion in the production of temples in our day...by some random temple builder well over 100 years ago. That officially blew our minds! We got to go out onto the tower outside this little door. We could see the whole town! I could have sworn I was gonna look out and see a bunch of horses and buggies and Brigham Young standing on the ground. It was amazing...and I'll probably never get to do that again haha. Can't wait to bring dad over here and see how much he knows about it!
Anyway, back to reality! Our car got taken away this week for three days. The Zone leaders needed a car because theirs was in the shop getting fixed. Well, we had no choice but to use bikes! We rode all over the place. We usually drive around 35 miles per day. On bikes that's difficult because of travel time. I'm not sure how far we rode, but I have a crazy story to tell. But I don't have time! I wrote it in my journal haha so I'll have to share it someday. I started getting charlie horses in both quads at the same time haha we were booking it everywhere. Ultimately lets just say that we're spoiled. That's the downfall of being a Utah missionary. haha cars are a nice thing to have. The exercise was great though!
Shelton was baptized yesterday! Do you guys know anything about him? haha I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned him before. He's a young quiet ranching kid from here in St. George. His parents are less active, but very supportive and are probably in the process of becoming active again. He was being taught by other elders with his younger siblings, but they gave him to us because he is 18 and in the YSA stake. So we took over! He has graduated from seminary though, so we didn't need to teach him too much. We went over a few commandments over the past few weeks and yesterday he was baptized! It was wonderful. His seminary teacher baptized him.
I met a random guy at Arby's this week who says he knows an older couple moving to either Thatcher or Safford. Their names are Russ and Ina Martin, and they are less active. So if anyone meets them, be extra friendly! haha I found out this morning that I'm 1/5 of the way done with my mission...20%! Crazy. That's 4.8 months!
But anyway, back to transfer calls. Our old assistant called us and told Elder Gomez that he's going up to Minersville bilingual. He'll be with an elder Lewis, who is having a hard time. Elder Gomez needs to straighten him out! haha so at this point I thought for sure I would be staying so that our area doesn't die. Well then he said that Elder Payne is headed up to Cedar North with Elder Ramirez! Designated driver and junior companion! Holy smokes! So we're basically ditching our area haha...the assistant Elder Hawkins is going to train a new missionary here in Dixie 2. So that means we need to update our area book hard core tonight! haha we take off in the transfer van tomorrow morning at 8:45. We have to say bye to everyone today sometime! That's kinda stressful, especially for people like Max who specifically wanted Elder Gomez and I to teach him. Well, things will work out! Oh and apparently Cedar North is a Spanish area! Which is weird because President told me in an interview a couple weeks ago that English was just fine for me haha. Wishy washy! I'll keep you all posted next week! I'm excited and I'm gonna be cold! Should be snowing up there sometime soon (if it's not already). Christmas is only 9 or so weeks away! I'm finishing up my freshman year of the mission, and finals are coming up haha. The church is true and the book is blue!
Hey I love you guys! I sent a package on Saturday! the mail guy said it should be there by Monday! Keep your eyes peeled.
Elder Payne :)