Well hello! Man such a crazy week this past week with all the transfers going on....they had me stay with Elder Gomez and Lords for one night then put me with Elder Banta who goes home in two transfers out in Hurricane. I found out by the way that the reason why they say "Hurri - kin" is just because the settlers got lazy. Next time I go there I'll just stick with Hurri - cane and annoy everybody. I'm excited! Anyway E Banta and I taught three lessons, all of which were really good. It snowed over there too (it was on Wednesday) so I guess one giant cloud attacked all of southwest United States. Sweet! On Wednesday evening was the trainer's meeting, so E Banta and I had to drive 30 mins back to St. George. I got to see a ton of Elders that I haven't seen for weeks and months, plus President's training pumped me up for the next two transfers! Afterwards E Banta and I had to drive all the way back to Hurricane just to sleep. All my stuff was still at E Gomez's place so I had to wear everything again and couldn't shave the next morning but oh well! haha we had to get a ride from Hurricane to St. George the next morning for the big "trainers, meet your new trainee" meeting. Long story short, my new companion is Elder Bradford!
E Bradford is from Dallas, Texas and loves drumming. It's crazy because band in Texas is huge. Their mascot is the Eagles too and with just their marching band they could spell out "Eagles" covering the whole football field. Put Thatcher's band to shame! But yeah he's an awesome elder! Only 3 of the 29 total new missionaries are 18 years old, so E Bradford isn't one of them. He's awesome though and reminds me of Elder Holmstead a lot.
So we've spent the first few days trying to get our new area up and running. We left the meeting not knowing where our area even was, so we've been figuring out everything from scratch. We've met all the leadership including Stake President who is 46 and has been serving for 9 years as stake pres and just got called to be mission president in a brand new mission in Mexico, the Pachuca mission, which is where Elder Ramirez is from. Wow! haha yeah our area covers four out of the seven wards in the stake and we have a handful of past mission presidents and even an emeritus seventy or two. Oh yeah and we're in a walking/biking area! haha so we've been asking around and will probably continue to get offers for bikes for the next few weeks even though we'll be picking up a couple from a high councilman tomorrow. We're being well taken care of here! This stake has had sisters for years now, so they were one of the very first stakes in the mission to request elders with the new age announcement. They're excited to have us to say the least!
We have all three classes of people here in our area, from poor to middle class to wealthy. There's even some mansions even bigger than in Little Valley! One of our bishops lives in one up on a hill haha might as well put an angel moroni on top of it and dedicate that thing. He's a plastic surgeon. Our landlords by the way are the Bardsley's. They have a super beautiful home!! We occupy their basement which is better than my last place....so amazing. It's taken the spot for one of the best missionary homes in the mission. So yeah we're spoiled and/or blessed! The Bardsley's are so amazing...bless sister Bardsley's heart she's like my grandmother. She checks up on us like 5 times a day and makes sure we have food and enough blankets at night haha. We're gonna start calling them grandma and grandpa haha. Very nice people! We found out from bishop's wife that sister Bardsley was actually in the book called the Miracle of Forgiveness. Her name is April if any of you are familiar with that book. She's only on like one page but it tells the story of an abusive husband she had that actually left her blind in one eye...crazy! Anyway, they're both amazing!
So yeah missionary work is evolving now days. We've been assigned to work specifically for reactivation efforts and part member families along with regular proselyting. That means we can teach the lessons to a less active member or just a regular investigator. In the four or five days we've been here, we haven't gotten to teach hardly anyone. But we've gotten all our referrals and maps and teaching records and everything we need to start up this next week, so we're excited! It's kinda weird starting a new area with a new companion and new responsibilities, but I'm optimistic and ready to go! It might take things a while to get going but we're being patient and willing to do what the Lord wants us to do! It's been a blast so far! I've even taught Elder Bradford how to solve the Rubik's cube already so things are going good! haha
Well thanks a lot for the emails and support. I just want you to know that I love each of you and that I'm really nervous that Shauna is going to explode pretty soon. Haha but keep your heads up and push through any more blizzards that come your way and don't get too blue Keith while building that crib haha. Thanks a lot family I appreciate you guys!
Love, Elder Payne !