Man I'm almost done being trained! Bout time! haha well it's been good. I'm just getting warmed up! I swear the time I've spent in the field has felt like it's gone by twice as fast as the MTC. The MTC felt like 6 months haha. Anyway it's good to hear from Keith and Mom! Oh by the way mom, there's no cotton fields around here. None that I have seen. They have a cotton plant over by the visitors center on display though! And our zone is the St. George East Zone. That's cool that Bishop came up this way! Too bad I didn't get to see him haha oh well. Well if someone wants to visit me or have dinner or something, then they have to call President Leonard and get the okay from him. I have no idea what his number is. I may be out of this area and transferred to a new one in a week. Transfer calls are on Sunday, so we'll find out then. Could be up in Nephi for the winter...we'll see! I've bumped into a few more people that have connections to home. We tried contacting a kid named Tyler Worden the other day. Turns out that his father, Bill Worden, grew up in good old Safford. He's like 59 or so now, so maybe dad knows him? We didn't get to meet Bill, but he knows people like Gene Seale, Paul Kay, Dick Bingham, Tony Goodman (who I know from the temple), and Stan Larsen. Ring a bell? Also, one of our ward mission leaders served in Argentina with Brennin Angle. I think I've mentioned that before, but it's true! He was Elder Smith. Oh and apparently someone named Kassi (Cassie, Kassie, Qassey, I don't know...) is headed to Thatcher, and she asked some other Elders if they knew me. So yeah look out for a Kassi coming to thatcher!
Well this has been a wonderful week over here in the Dixie 2nd stake. We've had a few miracles happen, so I'll share some with you!
First of all we got a text early this last week from Max! Now, we had met Max several weeks ago and taught him a quick lesson. Turns out Max had been married for like 4 days though so we had to turn him over to the sister missionaries who cover the family wards. Then Max basically fell off the face of the earth. The sisters tried a few times contacting him and he wasn't interested. This coming from the man who told us he wanted to get sealed in the temple! So that confused us because he was so ready and willing to get baptized. He's grown up in the church and has been probably more active than a lot of the youth are today. Anyway we didn't know what to do there, and then we got that text the other day. He set up an appointment to meet with us. He had his friend there who is preparing to serve in Africa. Turns out that Max's wife really started pushing him into baptism because he was so ready and willing to meet with us. Max said that he didn't like that and that he wants to do it for him and not anyone else. So what's happening is that he is meeting with us without his wife even knowing haha. He wants to surprise her. So we have to meet whenever she's at work or the store or something haha. So far so good! He said that meeting with the sisters was just awkward and that he had a special connection with us. He reminds me a lot of Travis and Levi Palmer, just the way he talks. He's a sharp guy and knows a lot, but we have to start at ground 1 either way. We're excited for him! It's not every day that we find a non member that wants to get sealed in the temple. The baptism will go to the sisters, but we'll do the teaching. Apparently that's legal if the investigator requests it. So that was a miracle to say the least!
This past week we were doing a baptismal interview over in Washington Fields. On our way back to town we got a call from a sister who had an inactive son who wants to reactivate and make some changes. His name is Kyler. As Elder Gomez was talking to her on the phone getting directions to their house, I was looking at the street signs off to the side. Turns out we were right next to their house! haha so we asked if they had time right then and we parked and went in. Kyler is amazing and is really starting to come unto Christ himself. He has prayed and asked for help, and he knows that Heavenly Father has been answering his prayers. So he's doing well, but has some smoking problems. That's okay though because we invited him to pray that night and he did and the next day he smoked like 4 cigarettes vs. a whole pack. Improvement! the best thing about it is that his girlfriend Sydni is a non member, and she wants to learn more and is really open to the gospel now. So we're teaching them from ground 1, and it's working really well to have Kyler there re learning everything, and even his little brother and sister and mom sit in and participate too. We'll probably extend a baptismal invitation tonight, so wish us luck!
On Wednesday I was having the typical missionary challenges and concerns and just a general hard time. I was having a rough morning and was getting discouraged. Satan never stops trying to grasp onto you! Never. So eventually I pulled out my Patriarchal blessing. Never in my life have I had that much peace and renewal of faith and change of heart that fast! It talks about some of the ways that Satan is trying to pull me down, and how I can fight him off. I received the strengthening and enabling power of the Atonement right then and there. I got up and went to work. That day we taught six lessons and picked up a new investigator. There' s no way I would have been able to teach with power and authority without my patriarchal blessing. Heavenly Father's watching out for me. He needs me to stay in the game! Getting and staying in shape for soccer is one thing, but a mission is another! Haha but I have the best coach.
Oh by the way, family scriptures every night is paying off! It's a cool skill to be able to read any scripture and apply it's significance to ourselves on the fly. At District Training Meeting we did some role plays where we had to use an off handed Isaiah scripture and relate it to our investigators. It was a piece of cake! Everyone else was like "What the heck is wrong with Isaiah!" haha the point was to be able to use any scripture and relate it to a simple truth of the restored gospel. The scripture was 2 Nephi 19:17. So thanks for dragging us in for scriptures every night mom...it helps!
Well, gotta go! Love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Payne :)