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

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