Monday, December 23, 2013

Email: Merry Christmas!

Hello to you all back home,

Well I sure hope all is going well for you all back in Utah. From what we have been hearing here it sounds like you are getting a good amount of snow. That is awesome! I'll bet the little kids are having a blast with that. Well my email today isn't going to be super long or in depth because I want to save at least something's to talk about on Wednesday. Speaking of Wednesday I can't believe that it is already here! This month is just absolutely flying by. I didn't think a month could go so fast. I am sure that you are curious as to what the plans are for Christmas and skyping and such. Well as of right now the plan is to start at around 8:30. There
is a member who is feeding us breakfast and letting us Skype there. From the sounds of your email you already know all of that. It is weird that you know a lot of the members here better than I do. Haha you have like a play-by-play of what is going on in my life. Anyways so like is said it will probably be around 8:30 my time so 9:30 your time. Oh also I got your big package and holy smokes yes it was big. Haha I loved it though. I haven't opened any of those gifts those because I am a good boy and can wait. I have loved the 12 days of Christmas. It has been a lot of fun getting to feel a little bit of love every day. So thank you again of thinking of me it means a lot.

So here is a little look into my week. It has been a crazy and irregular week which has sort of thrown me for a whirl. So we started off with a pretty normal week. Nothing to special going on. We had a really neat experience on Tuesday though. We had been planning on doing a few other things that day but seldom do those things ever work out. What I mean by that is somehow we ended up having 3 lunches on Tuesday. The first lunch was our normal one at its normal time. Nothing to special about that one. The second one  however was different. We went and did a baptismal interview for this man in another ward. After we were all finished up and about to leave his wife brought out a huge platter of sandwiches and pumpkin pie. We didn't want to be rude so we accepted and ate with the other two missionaries. We were doing ok at this point then all of sudden we get a text from this guy we have been trying to get ahold of for quite some time now. He asked if we wanted to go get some lunch with him. Of course we said yes because we wanted to get any kind of contact with him that we could. So we met at Panda Express and got something to eat ( side note I like Panda Express now. Weird huh?! Haha ) anyways we met up and had a great conversation about his beliefs and things that have led him to where he is today. He is a bethel student, which is a big mega-church here in redding. We set up an appt. with him on Saturday after we were all done.

So then came Thursday. Now for all of us missionaries in Redding this was a pretty big day. Why? You
might ask, well that is because Thursday was the day we got our iPads! We learned all about the new features and all that we can do with them. Now I am sure that you are a little curious as to what those all
are but I am going to make you wait and not tell you until Christmas. Sorry there is just way to much to cover, and like I said it will give us something to talk about on Christmas. So a lot of Thursday was taken up by that. Then on Friday we drove all the way down to Chico, which is about an hour or so drive, and had our big half-mission conference for Christmas. We had a whole bunch of musical numbers and a few comments from President Weston. Overall it was a pretty good meeting. Then we had to rush back to Redding because we were having our ward Christmas party. The zone all got to sing at that as well. So that was a pretty great day as well.

Now Saturday. We had such an amazing thing happen Saturday morning. 3 little girls were baptized Saturday morning at 11. I was given the honor of getting to baptize all 3'of them. It was such a special experience and one I know that I will never forget. On Sunday I had the opportunity to confirm the 2
younger girls and Elder Andersen confirmed the older girl. What a sweet experience that was. To feel the love that our Heavenly Father feels for them while working as a conduit for the spirit. In the font I had such an overwhelming feeling that overcame me. While I was reciting the baptismal prayer, I had the impression, wow what a blessing it is that I am so blessed to be "commissioned of Jesus Christ" and be able to perform that beautiful ordinance. I am so grateful that I have that in my life, and also that I am able to hold that holy and sacred priesthood. Anyways that has been a lot of our week. It just flew by and was jam packed with all kinds of great stuff. Know that I love you all so very much and I am so grateful for the wonderful family that you all are to me. I love you and pray for you all the time.

Love Elder Payne

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