Monday, May 26, 2014

Email: I have kept the faith

Hello family,
Well I do not have much to write because soon enough I can just tell you everything in person. I do have one thing to say though, which pretty much sums up all of what I have to say. Please look up 2 Timothy 4:7.

I love you and May God bless you all.

Love, Elder Hunter Payne

2 Timothy 4:7
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Email: Departing Testimony

Hello Family,
Well sorry that this email is coming so late. We left first thing this morning to go and do something fun for P-Day. We went out to the Harts because down below their house they have these little water falls. We wanted to go see them but mostly we wanted to pan for gold. Apparently their is still a fair amount of gold in the hills around their place. We spent a good 4 hours just hiking around and panning for gold and stuff, it was a ton fun. They also made us lunch which was very, very nice of them. I really love that family, I am going to miss them so much.

So let me tell you a bit about our week, this email wont be super long because there wasn't a whole lot that went on. So the reason I didn't email last week was because I actually forgot my iPad at the
house so I wasn't able to email you, sorry about that. Anyways, we had quite a few good lessons and quite a few fall through. Things are going very well though and so I know everything will be ok.

Tuesday we started out by doing a lot of service. We helped this LAlady prune back a whole ton of her rose bushes. We literally cleared out a wall of them. It was a lot of hard work but I really enjoyed it. Actually before we did all that we had already spent 2 hours laying concrete for a car port. We were helping a man with the foundation part of it. That was fun because I havent been able to do a whole lot of work with concrete so it was a whole new experience. So anyways we
had a good lessons on Tuesday night with the montanez family. We went over the parable of the Good Samaritan.

On Wednesday we did more service. We kept with the construction side of things and actually helped a man in our ward, with Joe Hart, put up trusses for a barn. That was a blast once again I learned a lot of good new skills The rest of wednesday we basically just spent going around and trying to see people. We were able to have a few lessons here and there.

Thursday was a crazy day! We began by having our zone conference. I did quite a bit in it. Mom, you will be proud of this. I actually sang a solo of come thou fount, with an accompaniment from the piano and the violin. It was a really pretty song and I think I did ok. I also had to give my departing testimony in front of everyone. I spoke mainly of how I gained a testimony and just how much my mission has taught me. I spoke of humility and love and how pivotal they are in
the work. It was a really neat experience.

Friday we did more service in the morning. We cleared and hauled the rose bushes away from that ladies yard. We also did some planning and then had quite a few lessons that day. We were absolutely packed that day. We got to eat at the Harts and the Labordas that night. They feed us about once a week now. Once again, I love that family! Saturday we had a few lessons cancel so we helped the Labordas work on their house some more. We also got to lead their horses to a place which was pretty neat.

Then came Sunday, church was amazing. I think that has been one of the things I have learned the most out here, that is just how much i love going to church. Strange the things you are able to learn while you are on a mission. Anyways we had a few appointments and dinner and that was pretty much the day. Nothing too crazy or special. In most regards this was a pretty average week. Nothing to crazy happened, we stayed busy which was good so i loved that. Anyways I love you all. Next week I probably wont have much of email for you. You will probably just get a short little something. Well I hope you all have a great week. Good luck you two girls with Seminary graduation and also the dance revue. I love you all and hope all goes well.

Love Elder Payne

Monday, May 5, 2014

Email: I know why I'm in Oroville

Hello to you all,
Well once again another week has gone by. It is so crazy to me that I will only be writing a few more of these to you guys. Anywho things out here this past week went very well. I have many a grand tale to tell you this week. I have also had it confirmed to me why it is that i am in here in Oroville. So I guess I will just have to begin at the start of the week.

For p-day we did something that was a lot of fun. We went on this hike up to this place called Feather Falls. It is about an 8.2 mile roundtrip hike, for a bunch of out of shape missionaries that was quite the feat. You hike for about 3.5 miles to get to these look out point that is just across this ravine from the falls. it definitely gives you the best viewpoint of the falls. The falls are about 160
feet tall, so yes it is pretty amazing. So we hiked there and back and then headed back into town for dinner.

Tuesday was overall a good day. We started off with District meeting. The topic was Revelation through Church attendance. I have been taught this topic about a millions times because they pretty much cycle through the topics for District meeting and when you have been out 23 months you can pretty much just recite exactly how it is going to be taught, so I decided to switch things up a bit. I allowed everyone to come up and teach a little bit, something about the Sacrament or Church attendance that they have taught in a lesson before and then after everyone had gone through we went into the chapel and in my eyes we had a very spiritual experience. We started talking about the Sacrament and how at some point in time each one of us has had a very spiritual or cleansing experience with the Sacrament. We took turns reading from Moroni 4 and 5, the sacramental prayers. We then discussed how the sacrament can bless our inv. and people we bring to church. After that for our practice teaching we practice taught doing a chapel tour. It was a lot of fun because there are only 6 of us but we were able to teach for about 1 or 2 minutes then we would switch and another companionship would take over the teaching. We just went around and around like that until we had gone through the whole church building. I don't know what everyone else thought but I thought that it went pretty well. The rest of Tuesday wasn't too eventful we spent
a lot of time just simply going around and visiting people and trying to set things up. We did have one set lesson in the evening. It was with a family that we meet with every tuesday. We taught them the restoration as a refresher and it went quite well.

Wednesday was a lot like Tuesday, in that we didn't have a whole lot of appointments. We had our Presidents interviews in the morning and they actually went really well. he just told me that he is proud of the way that I have handled myself here in Oroville that last few weeks. He told me that he didn't expect me to be where I am now, but this was just where I was needed. It was really nice this time because I was able to break through a little bit and get things a little more personal out of him. We talked about the fact that he his going home soon as well. (He leaves the 1st of July) He said that it is pretty strange that it is here already. Apparently his kids arent doing too good with it either.

Wednesday we were able to do a bit of service, we mowed a ladies lawn and then we helped someone people burn some stuff on a burn pile, it was pretty great.

Thursday was a a lot better day as far as lessons go. We were able to meet with quite a few people. We headed out to the Harts pretty early on in the day, around 11, and then we started by doing some service for them. We picked rocks and things and basically just did some random things around their place. After that we had a quick lesson on baptism. We were pretty much just prepping him for Sunday. In the evening on Thursday we had a couple of really good lessons with inv. We taught the Jones family by going over and reading scriputres with them. After that lesson we went and read a conference talk with another one of our inv. that we have been teaching for a while, we have been really trying to get him to quit smoking for a long time. We read a talk from this last conference called "Your Four Minutes" It is about basically now is the time to change your life and become your best self. If you don't remember that one from conference it would be a good one to go back and watch or read.

Friday was a pretty crazy day we did a lot of running around and saw a lot of people. We started out, as usual, with our weekly planning. We had a lot to plan for, especially with the upcoming baptism. After we were done with planning everything we headed to a man named Paul. Him and his family have been inv. for quite a while now. His daughter just recently turned 8 and so we went over to talk to him because she had expressed an interest in being baptized, we wanted to go and talk to him before bringing it up in front of everyone else. We had a good talk with him and we were able to figure out how best to proceed with the family. Later on in the day we met with Robert, the man that came to church and we have met with on a few occasions. Well we were able
to go over the Plan of Salvation with him and he seemed to take it all very well. We talked with him a lot about his parents who had passed away and he actually got quite emotional when we covered that. Then later on we had a lesson with our the young man who got baptized about a month ago, Wyatt Murphree. We taught him the Restoration using the childrens books.

That evening we got to go and have dinner with the Harts and the Labordas. They bought us a rotisserie chicken and we ate it out at their house. Once again I love that family, they are all so
humble and nice and caring towards everyone.

Saturday morning we went out and helped the Harts some more. We have been spending a lot of time with theme lately, which I am totally fine with. Elder Stein used the mower and mowed a bunch of stuff while I helped Joe take down an electric fence. After we were done working
they were nice enough to feed us lunch. So the real adventure of the week began on our way back from seeing them. So about two days prior as we were driving back down this dirt road from the Harts I saw a big rattlesnake in the middle of the road it was probably 4 to 5 feet long. I swerved and hit it but it was able to crawl off into the bushes. Well on Saturday we were driving back and I saw another one. I thought there is no way I am letting this one get away. I lined it up and hit it just perfectly. I slammed on the brakes and backed up to see it. We got out and saw that the tire had popped out part of its guts! by the look of it, it was definitely dead. Just for good measure, and because I am petrified of snakes I used our bike rack and smashed its head just to be sure. Well i claimed the rattle and Elder Stein decided he wanted to try and skin it. We tossed in a box and
then put that in the back of the car and headed back into town. We put it into the fridge so it wouldn't go bad while we went out and kept working. Neither Elder Stein of I have ever skinned a snake before so we weren't sure how to go about it, luckily for us there is an Elder in our zone who knows exactly how to do it, also he know how to tan it. So we did what he what he said and well to make a long story short we now have a snake skin drying on our window sill. So yes it was an
eventful day.

When Sunday came it was a great relief. I will save you all the details of the day and hop right to the baptism. To start off Joes baptism went amazing! We had so much support from the ward we actually had to move it into the chapel. Joe was able to bring his mom and Joes wife, Marcy, was able to bring her mom. i dont think the whole thing could have gone much better, the spirit was strong, the talks were great, and just everything was so fitting for how great of a man Joe
is. As I said earlier I had confirmed to me why it is that I am here in Oroville. During the time when the people are changing we teach everyone that came the message of the restoration. While teaching it I just had this overwhelming feeling that He is why I came here, he is the reason that I had to go through all of the stress of moving and changing and getting switched around and you know what it was worth it. I am so grateful that I was able to meet that family. That are right up there at the top of the list of people that have changed my outlook on life. After the baptism I was able to talk to his mom and , with tears in her eyes, she thanked me for bringing her son back.
That was such a sweet experience for me. To feel that love from another person for my service as a missionary, there is a reason that Joseph Smith said "After all that has been said the greatest and most important thing is to preach the Gospel." Wow what an amazing experience. After the baptismal service we went to a park down by the Sacramento River and ate dinner. It was a fantastic day.

Well I am sure you have a few questions as to when I will be skyping home this coming week.(I cant believe that is already here) We are planning on doing it in the evening. Probably about 7 my time and then just finishing out the evening that way. Will that work ok for you guys? Just let me know and we can make sure that things work out. I love you guys, just know that I am enjoying every moment of these last few weeks. Thank you so much for all of the love and encouragement.

love Elder Hunter Payne

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Elder Payne's Homecoming

A note from Mom about Elder Payne's Homecoming:

Hi there everyone,
   Well we got some very exciting news in this email and also in the mail today:  Elder Payne's official release instructions!!!!  To say I'm excited would be the understatement of the year:)  It has gone by pretty fast, but it definitely has been 2 long years without him home.  I wouldn't trade it for anything, but there is a time and a season for everything and now we are ready to move onto the next season.  He will be arriving on Tuesday, May 27 at 12:56 in the Delta terminal.  We would love to invite anyone who would like to be there to come.  The more the merrier!!  I think I already told you this, but his Homecoming report will be on June 8 at 3:00 in the Tremonton Stake Center. Our sacrament meeting is last so we will go right over to the house after and have a luncheon celebration.  We would love to have everyone be there if you can.  Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers for him.  I know he feels them and so do we!!  We will get to talk to him on his birthday which happens to be Mothers Day this year!!  So if anything changes I will keep you all informed.  Love to all of you and thanks again for everything!!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Email: Joe Hart

Dear Family,
Well here is another installment into the life of Elder Payne. It is crazy to think I will only be writing three more of these after this. WEIRD! Anywho things out here in good ole' California are great. We had a fantastic week this past week and were able to see a lot of miracles.

I will try and answer some of the questions that you had. So things with Elder Stein are great. He is a great comp and definitely knows his stuff very well. We have been wondering why it is that they
downsized the ward and I think it is because we only had about 5 Elders come into the mission and a pretty good size group go home. So they just didn't have the personnel to fill back in. We are pretty sure that they will push it back out again sometime soon. With the organizing thing if you want to you can go through some of my stuff. You don't have to do the whole thing though I can do that when I get back. A question I have for you is do you want me to try and bring the mattress pad back, it is getting pretty old, same thing with the pillow. I have talked with Lindsay and she is going to pick up some of my stuff at the mission office sometime in the coming weeks. Also Linds if you can get my bike and one other little box plus a grey tote that would be great, thank you!

I guess I will start out with the good news because I usually save that for later on in the email but I guess I can do that now. So I dont know what you guys were praying for back there or how you were praying or if you were really doing anything differently because Joe Hart is getting baptized this coming Sunday. Let me tell you about the chain of events that took place for that to happen. Alrighty, so Tuesday evening the Harts invited us out to have dinner with them. They live clear out about 15 to 20 minutes outside of town in a little place called Bangor. So we went out there and we had an awesome dinner. It wasn't anything crazy or special, it was just burgers cooked over a wood fire. All the while we are just chilling outside on a beautiful day. It was my kind of night. We actually stayed out there for quite some time just talking and getting to know them on more of a
personal level. Eventually it came time for us to leave and so we shared a spiritual thought on having faith in Christ. We asked Joe if he had been thinking about a baptismal date and he said that he had. I then told him, Joe we have been thinking a lot about you and when it might be good to have your baptism. I then asked him if he would like to get baptized on the 10th of May. He said he didnt see any problem with that other than he might be out of town. So we said ok lets move
it to the 11th, and he said he would think about it. On Thursday we went over again for our lesson that we have with them. What we have been doing for about the past 2 weeks is we go out have a
lesson and then do some service because they have about 16 acres of land and so it takes quite a bit of work to maintain it all. So during the lesson we started off talking about the baptism. He said that he wanted to get baptized then and he felt he was ready! I don't know what it is but for some reason our Heavenly Father has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity to teach people who are very prepared. I do not feel worthy of being able to meet and teach them but I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me. Anyways we talked about studying the scriptures as well as Modern Prophets and then finished it off with tithing and fast offerings. Then we were
able to do a bunch of stuff for them. I got to mow the lawn while Elder Stein helped with taking somethings apart for them. What a great day!

So the story doesn't end there. On Saturday we headed out there again and like I have told you in past emails we have been helping the, build the Harts daughters house, which is just down the road from them. We spent the morning and a bit into the evening putting their roof on. It was a lot of fun, i really miss being able to get out and work hard and put in a good days work. Anyways we enjoyed being out there with them. They are all just such nice and humble people, grateful for what they have and firm in what they believe. Later that same evening we had a pie and ice cream social. It was a lot of fun especially because I got to be one of the judges, in fact Joe Hart and I were the judges for the event. There were a lot of really good pies there, so it is a good thing that I have learned to like pies out here. That evening a member that is good friends with Joe talked with him and they all decided that because it was Mother's Day was on the 11th they decided to move the baptism to the 4th. We were completely fine with that so we started putting things into place for the whole baptism and stuff.

Sunday was a great day we had a decent amount of inv. come to church. We had Joe Harts baptismal interview which went very well. The Elder that did the interview said that Joe is definitely very ready to get baptized. I sat there with just Joe and his wife for a moment later and asked him what it is that has made the difference, because he has been coming to church for about a year now and his wife has been a member for quite a few years as well. He told me that it is the way that the Gospel has helped his family and his daughter. He also mentioned that us missionaries had made a big difference in helping him feel comfortable. That really helped me feel like he is probably someone that I needed to come here to find and to teach. Anyways the baptism will be this coming Sunday so we are all excited about that. A few other things I wanted to mention were a few other lessons that took place. We met with Robert again and it went really well. He accepted an invitation to be baptized, if he came to know that church is true. We covered the Restoration and he had a few questions about the priesthood and prophets but we were able to explain it all for him. He also came to church with us yesterday, he is a really outgoing guy so it wasn't too hard for him to start finding common ground with people around him. It was really neat because he was making comments and asking questions in Elders quorum and usually new inv. that come to church just sit there. At one point the teacher started getting emotional because he was talking about the Plan of Salvation and hisdad who had passed away. I looked over at Robert and he was getting emotional as well, so i could tell he was really feeling the spirit. Hopefully we will be able to set a baptismal date with him soon and be able to start getting progressing towards baptism.

Well there is a little snippet from my week. As I said things here are going really well. We are seeing success and are constantly busy. I am really grateful that I am able to have the experiences that I am having here at this time. So I got my travel plans. I am sure that you have gotten them as well, or at least you will be getting them soon. From what they say it sounds like I am going to be getting into SLC about 1 or so. Well I love you all and hope everything is going well for you all.

Have a great week! Love Elder Payne

Monday, April 21, 2014

Email: Happy Easter!

Hello family,
          Well I am sending this a little later because I typed up a big message and then it got deleted! Frustrating so now I am retyping the whole thing. So sorry it is taking so long for it to get to you
all. Anyways so we had a pretty great week. Things are really moving a long here. As you can imagine it was a somewhat stressful week with the whole combining of the two areas but it will be keeping us very busy. It sounds like you guys had a great weekend, busy as ever, but still really good. I'm glad that all of the talks went so well. I'm sure you did a great job.
            So Tuesday E. Vaughan took off, the other elder in the other area took off around the same time as well, so Elder Stein and I joined up around 10:30. Elder Stein is a good guy. As you know from my last weeks email I served around him up Redding when he first came into the mission. He is VERY different from me. He has a lot of very different interests and is what you might consider sort of "hipster" but we get a long pretty well.
            Anyways we had a pretty decent day on Tuesday, it was spent mostly moving over all my stuff. This is the fourth different place that I have lived in the past 4 transfers. I am pretty much done with moving. We love with a member which is actually pretty fun. His name is Bro. Carter and he lives by himself. It is pretty nice because we pretty much have the run of the house. Tuesday evening we had a lesson with some inv. from the other area. We taught the plan of salvation and he was throwing a lot of interesting questions at us about Adam and Eve. I was really glad that we had a member who has a great knowledge of the scriptures and also just a great knowledge of the gospel. He was able to help answer a lot of the more difficult questions.
             So Wednesday morning we started out by planning and preparing for the coming week. It wasn't necessarily easy because we are having to combine his full schedule and my full schedule. Anyways that took most of he morning then in the afternoon we went shopping. While shopping we actually ran into a man who started talking to us. He told us that he had met with missionaries when he lived down in San Diego. He gave us his info and told us to come by his place. Talk
about being in the right place at the right time. I will follow up with more about him in a moment.
             Thursday was a good day as well we had a few lessons and spent some time doing service. We met with Joe Hart and had a good lesson on the Ten Commandments. If you remember that about 3 or 4 weeks ago we committed him to live the 10 commandments and how easily he agreed, well his wife told us that since we committed him to do that he hasn't taken a sip of coffee. That was amazing to hear. We are going to be extending a baptismal date to him this week so be praying for him! Ah I also forgot to tell you that we had district meeting on Thursday as well and it went great. It was actually a lot of fun being able to get up in front and teach it. I really do enjoy teaching those lessons. I taught on the doctrine of Christ and how it relates to our missionary purpose. I thought it went really well.
                Friday we spent a lot of time planning and prepping again.  We then were able to go and help a lady move. She is a less active so we spent some good time moving and helping her out. We
actually had quite a few lessons on Friday which was a big surprise because Friday is usually one of our slower days.
              Saturday was a lot of fun because we were able to go out and help Joe Hart and his family build their house, again. We then had a few lessons and actually were able to go and find that man who we met shopping. He was very excited to see us. In fact we were able to sit down and have a great conversation with him. He has gone through a lot of struggles in his life and it seems like the gospel is exactly what he needs.
              Sunday was a great day as well. In church we had sort of an interesting schedule. Sacrament meeting went extra long and then they skipped 2nd hour completely and then priesthood and stuff went short. So we ended up getting out at about 11:30. Sacrament was really neat, they had a lot of great speakers. In fact one of them was that dr. Stutzenneger who, mom, you spoke to on the phone. They all did a great job.
              We had dinner with the bishop and his family and they stuffed us with food. We spent most of the day going around and visiting people that wouldn't mind us coming by on an Easter Sunday. Overall it was a great Easter Day. There was a very nice family that dropped us by some homemade bread and a basket of goodies. We were very appreciative.
                     So this morning I actually got to talk to chellcee jones, but then again you already know that. It was really funny. I just said who I was and she was like wait, like Whitney sandals cousin and I was like yes then she informed who it was. It was a great surprise. So I spoke with an academic advisor this morning and got all signed up for my classes. I am taking English 1010 to make up for when I took it before, as well as Spanish 1010 for a general credit and then I am taking a photography class for a fine arts credit. It isn't a crazy busy schedule so I am going to consider getting a part-time job down there. What do you think? Anyways that was nice to get all of that stress off my shoulders. The lady that I spoke to was very nice and actually grew up near Rocklin.
        Anyways I better get this off to you. I love you all and hope that you have a great week. Sorry I didn't answer all of your questions. The ones about coming home I will answer on Mother's Day when I talk to you. Love you,

Love Elder Hunter Payne

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Address

Elder Hunter Payne
31 Las Plumas Way
Oroville, CA 95966
(just moving apartments)

Email: New Comp

Happy Monday,
Well I sure hope that this past week has been a great week for you all. I know for me things were pretty good. We had quite a few cancelled appointments but hey that is ok we keep in trying. We have been working hard with a few of the people we have to get them to a baptismal date and I think that we are really close with them.
So I said things are good. Monday we had a good time. We actually headed about 15 minutes away to Gridley. We went over there and played like football and baseball and stuff like that. We had a great time doing it and we are probably going to be doing stuff like that again today. The weather here has been perfect. In the low 80's and nice and sunny. We have to make sure and do as much stuff outside as we can before the real bad heat hits.
Tuesday through like Thursday were all pretty boring. There wasn't too much really that went on. We had a few lessons on each of those days but not a whole lot to write home about. Saturday was a really fun day. It was one of the better days that I have had in a while. We spent the morning with the ZL's doing service with Joe Hart and his family. He is building a house with his daughter and son-in-law. We went out and helped them for about 2and a half hours or so. We just did a lot of little stuff because quite honestly none of us had any building experience. It was a blast though. I miss being able to get out and get dirty and get things done. We had a lot of fun doing that kind of stuff. Anyways later on in the day we headed around visiting some people. We dropped back by Mandy and Permas house again. Mandy was really excited to see us. I can tell that she is really opening up
and that she is wanting to share more and more with us each visit. She shared with us how her mother isn't doing all that well and that they don't really know how much time she has left. We shared with her a lot about the Plan of Salvation and how much our Heavenly Father loves her. I shared Alma 40: 11-12, and she loved it. After speaking with her for a moment she asked us to go in and talk with her Mom and see if we couldn't get her to open up, and boy did we. She shared with us a lot about what she believes. We talked with her mainly about the Plan of Salvation and she also really loved our concept of what happens after we die. It was a really neat moment we were able to share with her. When we were about to leave she just kept telling us how grateful she was that we came and talked to her and how much she enjoyed speaking with us. She was like make sure and come back I want to keep talking to you cute boys. Well after we were done talking with her we headed back outside and Mandy was across the street talking to her friend. Her friend apparently was like, "uh there are those
mormons!" then Mandy did something that amazed me, she defended us! She told us how much she enjoyed speaking with us, how we weren't pushy or anything and that we are just normal, good people. That really made me feel good because that is something I have really tried to do throughout my mission is just be a real person. No gimmicks or fake personalities, just real. I was just happy that she noticed that. Anyways we are going to go back this coming Saturday for another lesson.
SoI am sure that you are all curious what is going on with transfers. Well here ya go. Elder Vaughan is leaving. Which to be honest I am pretty grateful for, he has been one of my tougher companions. He is headed down to Antelope. I am staying here and becoming companions with Elder Stein. It is really funny because we have served around each other for all but 1 transfer of his whole mission. I was his ZL up in Redding and now I have been double covering the ward here with him. So they are no longer going to be double covering the ward. His comp. is heading out and so is mine and so we are just going to be combining. It is going to be a crazy last 6 weeks, because we have a ton of work going on and so do they. We are most likely going to be absolutely swamped with work.
Well that is about it for me. i haven't been able to register for classes yet, I am trying to get in contact with my advisor so i can. Mom, have you been able to look into housing for me yet. If not could you please do that for me, thank you so much. Well I love you all and hope that all is well.
Love Elder Hunter Payne

Monday, April 7, 2014

Email: Will Lockwood's Funeral & A Baptism

Happy Monday everyone,
Well I sure hope that this weekend hasn't left you all too tired.  It sounds like it was an extremely crazy and busy week for you all. All of the pics from the trip made it look like you had a lot of fun
and the weather looked like it was great. I cant believe how big the little kids are getting. It seems like every single picture drake is taller, and the two little ones are bigger and cuter.

Anyways so things out here have been going pretty well. This past week was extremely stressful. There was a lot going on and it seemed to all hit within a day or two. So we started out the week pretty normally. As I told you last P-Day President Weston said I would not be allowed to go to the funeral. Well I had a really good talk with him about the whole situation and told him why I really felt like I needed to be there. He told me that with funerals generally the answer is no, which i didn't really understand. He said that with the things that I had told him that he was beginning to feel a little differently about it though. I told him that to be honest I wanted to go for me and that I really could use the closure. That family is by far one of the biggest miracles that I have seen on my mission, I couldn't imagine not being there in their time of need. We probably talked for 20 or 30 minutes about it and about how I have been a little stressed out lately, with school and
just the prospect of coming home. It is such an odd feeling. It is so hard to imagine being home and not being a missionary. i have been doing this for so long that I don't know anything else. I thought it was weird how Elder McMurray was stressing a bit when he was getting ready to go home but now I know what it is like. It is so strange. Anyways so like I said I had a good talk with him about a bunch of stuff that has been weighing on my mind.

So Wednesday was a pretty average day. We spent most of it either in lessons or out trying to
find more people. Thursday was a good day, we had the baptismal interview for the young man that got baptized. He is a rambunctious little kid so he was a little distracted during the interview but he did just fine. We had a couple of lessons cancel that day but we stayed busy despite that.

Friday was the day we headed to Redding. I say we because Elder Andersen is actually serving here in Oroville so he was able to go up with me. There was a viewing at 10 o'clock so we made sure to make it for that part. When we first walked in it was just Tara and her 3 boys. As soon as she saw us she just broke down crying and told us how grateful she was that we were there. The boys,as you can imagine, were having a really hard time. Will had lost a ton of weight in his
closing weeks. It is such a bittersweet thing, sort of like with Grandma Payne. You hate to see them go because you will miss them so much, but they get to leave their mortal, diseased, and afflicted body and return to our father in heaven. Tara asked us if we could sit the boys down and talk with them about everything. So we took the oldest boy, Alex, and sat him down and taught him all about the Plan of Salvation and where his Dad was. We explained to him that soon he will
be able to hold the priesthood and be the priesthood holder in the home. He will have to be the big example for his two younger brothers. We told him to take everything that his father had taught him, all of the good, and share it with others. It was a really good talk and I hope that it helped him a little bit. The funeral itself went really well. It was a great tribute to a great man. A couple of the members of the ward spoke and a couple of his non-member friends spoke as well. There was a great spirit in the room when everyone was done. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the Plan of Salvation. I am so happy that I was able to share just a little bit of it with that wonderful family.

Saturday was a very eventful day as well. We went to the morning session of conference. I absolutely loved Elder Hollands talk from that session. He definitely came out swinging. After the session was over we got picked up by a couple of members from another ward and helped them by going clear up into the hills and moving a little love seat thing. After that we watched the Afternoon session. While watching it we started filling the font because it takes almost 2 hours to fill to the point that you need it. We had the baptism at 3:30, so almost right after the second session. We had a pretty small turnout but that is ok because it is the ordinance that matters in the end. It was quite funny right before the baptism started a lady that was supposed to be giving a talk came up to me. She pointed at the program and was like you have me down giving the talk on baptism but I prepared the one on the Holy Ghost. So there we were with two ladies that had prepared talks on the Holy Ghost and none on baptism. I didn't want to make her pull a talk on baptism out of nowhere so I was like its ok I can do it. So i just sort of pulled a talk out of nowhere. I read a few scriptures (2 Nephi 31:5-10; Mosiah 18:8-10) and then bore my testimony. It ended up not being to bad. Anyways the baptism went great and the family was all really happy. The priesthood session of conference was fantastic as well. Elder Oaks talk was fantastic, I definitely recommend reading it. it explains a lot the role of the priesthood in our lives. Sundays sessions of conference went really well too. I loved the general theme of being courageous and standing up for what we believe in. We cant just sit back and let the world pound us into the concrete we have to stand up and show that we represent something. That is something i really want to be better at, no more sitting on the
sidelines. It is time for all of us to get into the game.

We had a great lesson with Joe Hart after the second session of conference. We talked with him about his feelings on baptism and he told us he is still waiting for a few things to be confirmed. We then moved to pray, this was probably the third time the lesson was led that way. Not necessarily on purpose but that is where the spirit led it. He has a hard time praying for himself because of some things that happened in the past. We assured him that God does answer prayers and we don't always understand what God is trying to do. I love the Scripture Isaiah 55: 8-9, it just talks about that our Heavenly Father knows so much better than us and so we should trust in his judgement.

The rest of Sunday was pretty normal. So there was my week. All of that plus finding out that I got
reaccepted into SUU was a huge blessing. I have been praying so hard lately for The Lord to lead me where I need to go. I just hope and pray that I am going and doing what he wants me to do.

Well I love you all so very much. I am grateful for the wonderful example that you all are to me. Stay strong and keep on keepin on. I love you all!

Love, Elder Hunter Payne

Friday, April 4, 2014

Email: Tough Week

Hello to you all,
I sure hope that all of you had a wonderful week last week. Things here have been great as ever. It was a little tougher of a week because we had a lot of appointments fall through. That didn't come
without its fair share of good and great things though. So this email is probably going to be pretty short. I am apologizing in advance.
The week overall was pretty good. As I said we had a lot of appointments fall through. I am sure you are curious about Joe, well we weren't able to meet with him. We rescheduled for this coming Sunday. We do have a baptism coming up this Saturday. His name is Wyatt, I think I talked about him a little last week. The baptism is Saturday at 3:30 in between the 2nd Saturday session and the priesthood session. It should go pretty well. Anyways overall it was a pretty uneventful week. It
rained quite a bit, which was a major blessing for sure. It sounds like your week was pretty crazy with moving people around and cheer tryouts and such. I am glad that everything is good for you.
Please keep praying for me I surely need it. Also any advice with the whole Will situation would be appreciated. I love you all and hope your week goes well.

Love Elder Payne

Monday, March 24, 2014

Email: Teaching Like Crazy & Fishing Too

Hey guys so this is coming a little later because we went fishing this morning. I caught two one little baby bass and a bigger one that we are gonna cook up soon. Dad any good bass cooking ideas?

Hello family,
Well once again another week has passed. It seems like they are just melting away now. Things out here are steadily improving. The Lord is continuing to bless this area, we were able to have quite a
bit of success this past week which was awesome! So I will start by telling you about the week then I will answer all your questions.

So we started out the week by going to place called bald rock for P-Day. It was actually a pretty cool place. It actually reminded me a lot of the area where we going hunting when we come up the backside. There were a lot of big rock outcroppings and things like that. I kept on expecting big buck to jump out or something. haha Anyways that was a pretty easy hike compared with the ones that I have done in the past, but it was still pretty fun. After that we had to run back to Oroville and I had to quickly email you guys, that is why it was so short and choppy sorry about that, and then we finished out the day. It was overall a pretty good P-day.

Then Tuesday came, we had a lesson with a man named Merlin, besides him having an awesome name he also has a great beard. It literally makes him look like Abraham Lincoln. Anyways we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, because we know he has a smoking problem. He mentioned to us that he didn't really think that the WoW is a commandment but just a good idea. So we went back to Joseph Smith and whether he was a prophet. He said that he does believe that he is a prophet but that when he asked God about the WoW it was just because Emma was tired of cleaning all of it up. So anyways that is sort of where we are with him. He is a super nice guy and comes to church consistently but he just has a few things to work through first.

Anyways the rest of the day was pretty interesting as well. We met with another lady that has been investigating for a while and we had to really throw down on authority. She has been through a lot of religions in her life and so she doesn't really know what to believe, so we are just helping her weed everything else out. After that we had a really neat experience to go to ARP with a couple of our investigators. (ARP is addiction recovery program). Anyways it was really neat because they just teach all of these people to overcome there addictions basically just using the Gospel of Jesus Christ,mixed with some self help activities. I was actually able to learn a lot from it. By the end of this day I was like man it is only Tuesday!

Wednesday was a little less exciting day, we had our district meeting and a couple of appointments, and that was about it. Thursday was a really great day. We started out by going and helping the Stake Patriarch with some service. We helped him dig a ditch for the footing of a parking garage. It was great because I may not be too great at construction stuff but I definitely know how to run a shovel with the best of them! I mainly used the big digging bar, that you will see in the picture that is included. It is sad because we don't get quite as much service as I would like so my hands have
gotten a little soft. I actually got a stinking blister from the digging bar. oh well it is just toughening me up I guess.

Anyways after all of that we got to go do more service for this less active guy in our ward. We helped pull cactus. Yes that is right cactus. Some guy that was taking care of his yard and planted all of these cactus pieces around the yard and the member didn't like that, so he asked us to come take them all out. They were mainly free of spikes but I did get jabbed a few times here and there. After that was the biggest adventure of the day. That same guy who had been taking care of his yard had left a big coop full of pigeons when he left. The member was tired of taking care of them so he had us get up inside the coop and catch about 16 of these pigeons and release them. What was funny was after we had let them all go we saw these 2 big hawks circling the area. They were probably thinking oh good a free meal. haha

Friday was probably the best day we had this past week. We started out with weekly planning, which took quite a while. Then we headed out to a place called Palermo, which is this smaller town about 10 minutes south of us here in Oroville. It is about like how like Bear River city is from Tremonton. We met with one of our investigators named Joe. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he loved it all. He doesnt really feel like he has a connections with God right
now, so we are trying to help him develop that. After his lesson we had a lesson with a 10 year old boy named Wyatt. We taught him about the WoW and then set a baptismal date with him for the 5th of April.

Like I said things are really starting to pick up here. Saturday was a pretty decent day. We had a lesson with some recent converts and pretty much just went around contacting other people. We
were able to meet with a couple of new investigators that we had picked up from the week before, to it was really good to have a follow up visit.

Sunday wasn't a bad day either. My allergies have been the worst I have ever had them and I think I might be coming down with a little bit of a cold. So Sacrament was a little difficult to sit through
because I felt terrible. We got a new councilor in the Bishopric which was kind of neat. Then after church we had another lesson with Joe where we talked with him about the Word of Wisdom. He said that he drinks a little bit of coffee but when we challenged him to stop he was just like, "Yeah I can do that it just depends on whether or not my wife can deal with me.", without any reservations. He truly is an awesome man. He is still waiting for that answer on whether or not this is right, I am confident that he will.

Anyways it was a pretty good week. Things with the companion are alright. He is very different from me and gets angry easily so I am doing my best to keep him calm. Hopefully this next week proves to be as fruitful as this last one. I realized that there were a few things that I didn't answer from the week previous mainly about my tooth. So I got the root canal on Thursday and it really wasn't bad at all. I have actually had fillings hurt worse and be more uncomfortable than that was. He just numbed it up and that was pretty much all I felt. I did do a lot of praying that it wouldn't hurt so maybe that is what did it, but yeah it was pretty simple. I will be going to get my permanent crown put on this Friday. Hopefully that goes as smoothly as the first procedure.

Well I sure love you all and hope that this coming week is a great one for you guys. It is kind of hard to deny that the time is winding down but I am still pushing and working hard. I actually finished the Book of Mormon today for the 7th time on my mission. It is amazing the power that is in those pages. One of my favorite verses is Moroni 10:32, Where he tell us to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. It is only through Christ that we can have that hope and peace. I am just grateful that I get to be here doing this each and everyday. No Regrets that is what I am striving for. I love all of you so much and I am grateful for all you do. Have a great week

Love Elder Hunter Payne