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