2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Every Member a Missionary

Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2015 11:01:03 +0200
Subject: Re: Nov. 29, 2015
From: kendall.payne
To: cardstonmomma

Hey family

Haha so this morning i was a little bit depressed, because the thought came to mind “Hey Elder Payne! you go home next week baba! this means today is your last email!” I was sad because that means i no longer will be sending inspirational emails home every week, I will no longer be having moments to teach the gospel Every day and i wont be surrounded by Great wonderful missionaries every day. But i took comfort in the words of David o. Mckay. “Remember… Every Member a missionary!” I realized as well just because i cant teach the gospel to investigators every day, doesnt mean i have to stop teaching the gospel to all who i see including family members and church members. And just because i wont be around full time missionaries every day, doesnt mean i wont be around the part time missionaries our church had to offer. Those thoughts made me glad. And i well i can continue sharing the gospel each week through the internet just like i have been doing for the past two years. While some opportunities come to an end, many more wonderful opportunities will come. I look forward to those, as well as the multitude of blessings that are in store for those who seek to fulfill gods words.

This past week i have become more aware of many of the blessings which god has given me. They are to many to mention but i am grateful for all of them. I will mention just a few however that always stick out to me.

I am grateful for a Loving Father in heaven who has broken me down, but as well has built me up to be something more than i could have become myself.

I am grateful for serving a mission and the skills i have learned, such as patience, diligence and many others.

I am grateful for church leaders who are inspired by God and for scriptures written by prophets ancient and modern. These have become a pillar of strength to me in so many ways.

While there are many other things i could say, i feel like saying anymore would be a little bit boastful. But i know that God can bless your lives as richly as he has blessed mine.

As well i have pondered upon whether or not i should wear my suit on the plane ride home or not. I have come to the conclusion that i will wear my traditional zulu wear that i have acquired and can be seen in the picture below. So i look forward to seeing all of you who are family at the airport in calgary, all who are friends at some other point during the course of my life. But i hope to be able to see everyone of you in the celestial Kingdom of our heavenly father.

Till We meet!!

Elder Payne

Final Testimony

Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:42:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Nov. 29, 2015
From: kendall.payne
To: cardstonmomma

Hey family!

So as you know my mission is coming to a close. On monday right after emailing we drove four hours to Durban so that we would be able to attend our zone conference the next day. So tuesday we enjoyed getting taught from president and understanding how we can be better missionaries. I was happy that i was able to learn and apply some things that president was sharing with us. The week prior to the conference our zone got asked to perform a musical number, so we chose to sing “I Love the Lord” to the tune of “Be Still My Soul”. It was great. We didnt quite sound like the mormon tabernacle Choir, but it really was a close second haha. Also all the missionaries who were going home were asked to bear their final testimonies with those present. It was a wonderful experience. For those who havent had opportunity to hear the final remarks of a missionary you honestly are missing out, because it was so spiritually powerful. It seemed like the spirit kept getting stronger with each young man who stood and testified as well. Finally it came to be my turn. I sort of wanted to make the excuse that i was crying so i had to go wipe my eyes and blow my nose, but it would have been very lame of me and probably would have affected the spirit of the meeting.

I bore my testimony on how church leaders are inspired and how in the Kingdom of God there are no wrong calls. I know because i received two mission calls haha. I told the missionaries how our church leaders are inspired in their callings. I mentioned how the Lord Humbled me on my mission, the gratitude i had for each companion and how we need to depend on the Lord in all that we do. I felt a little bit overcome at some points (meaning i cried again) but i regained control and finished with my love of the gospel, The love i feel for Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.

After finishing what i felt i needed to say i stepped down from the stand, having the feeling that i was able to bear my testimony as powerfully as i could. Prior to the meeting i had said many prayers that God wold bless me so i would know what to say. Immediately after ward i prayed again but offering thanks to the Lord for helping me fulfill another purpose in his kingdom.

My companion and i had a very good week as well. We were invited to celebrate American thanksgiving with our seniour couple and chowed turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and buns like nobodies business. I was so full the next morning i skipped breakfast to avoid feeling sick. It really was a glorious feast and although i may not be an american, i will certainly celebrate any holiday from any country, because most national holidays involve some sort of feasting period and i enjoy that.

Then this morning we woke up at three so i could drive one of my dear missionary friends to a bus station two hours away so he could receive some training provided from the mission for the benefit of elders going home so they have a foot in the door so to speak. As we were teaching throughout the week i heard something that impressed me. It was said by a young man who turned from the streets to become a successful artist and he said “A journey never ends, its only the heel that finishes.” I liked that thought and how it pertained to mortality and what all of us do. I would like to say his statement with a little twist though. “Our missions never end, the work of the Lord never ends. The only thing that does end is the time frame in which we have to work in.” So even though my two year time frame has now been shrunk to two weeks i will forever remain a missionary at heart, because i want to continue to see lives change the way that mine has.

I know this church is true. I know God lives. I bear testimony to that fact and so do thousands and millions of others upon the face of this earth. If you havent started on your journey of discipleship, put the armour of God about you and embark. He will protect you. He loves you and so do I.

Elder Payne

How to Recognize the Savior’s way

… (personal note to family member)

So this week was really great. On saturday my companion and i started a cottage meeting at one of the members houses in our area. A cottage meeting is this for those who dont know: It is an unofficial church meeting where saints of the church gather together and share wonderful spiritual lessons with each other, but we are not permitted to bless and pass the sacrament. It is also usually held in areas where members live that are a far distance from the chapel site. Other Missionaries in our district had started one four weeks ago and we have seen how successful it has been for them and how many less active or inactive members participate in such a meeting. Being inspired by these two wonderful elders, My companion and i set everything up and invited all the members that we knew of, and asked the members to invite more people to the meeting on saturday. Being the first meeting as well Elder Tshuma and i decided we would cover the lesson and decided that the members this week needed to know how the devil leads the hearts of men to hell and how the saviour leads souls to heaven.

The devils following tactics are:
1.Contention. Those with a contentious spirit are not of the saviour, but of the devil. The saviour in his life and teachings was never seen to persuade men to do evil or think an ill deed towards another. Instead he cautioned that we must love one another. The devil teaches if we are offended it is okay to start a fight or dispute with that said person. Such feelings and thoughts are not of god.

2.Deceit that all is well. In other words complacency. Those who feel their lives are okay and really could not get much better because they enjoy all the wonders of the world, get lulled into false senses of security and stop progressing spiritually. We are taught as well in scripture “Wo unto them who say all is well in Zion.” God wants us to progress at every moment, but not to give up and say “things are okay.”

3.Laziness. Something i was taught as a young boy was this. “Idle hands are the devils workshop.” So is the same with an idle mind. If we are not anxiously engaged in doing that which is right or thinking upon the scriptures or thinking upon how we can improve, then we can find ourselves in the very dangerous position of not doing anything. The devil screams for joy when he finds someone not doing anything because he can easily enter the mind and heart of such a person.

4.Flattery. The devil has a golden tongue and knows what to say to tempt us to do wrong. He convinces us that we are good so it is okay to indulge in a little sin. This again is wrong. Dont be deceived by the honeyed words of the adversary. Also listen to flatterers with caution, for in their words they will trap and ensnare you.

5.Anger. This emotion can come easily but it, nor its effects can easily be cleaned up, even though angry words can easily be said. As President hinckley said to the youth “now is the time to watch your anger and always keep yourself in check.” Before you say an angry word or do a vengeful deed, think if you would want someone saying r doing those things to you. I know that no one does. So Strive never to be angry.

These are some of the devils traps. They dont include everything he does, but they are some of the most common things you can find in the ungodly.

Now the saviour has a plan to counter all the devils tricks. And it is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. his following steps are:
1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is an action word and will move us to do things that will bring about the betterment of our lives. We are told to use faith every day for as it says in Alma 32 our seed of faith is meant to grow into the tree of life. Using faith, increases faith. I promise you, that acting on faith will never be a bad decision.

2. Repentance. Faith leads us to become better and to remove from our lives that which is evil and replace it with wholesome activities. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said that walking the path of repentance or discipleship is the only path in all humanity where dropping garbage or trash is acceptable. Repenting is cleansing and helps us prepare for many more things in gods kingdom.

3.Baptism (by proper authority). This is essential to enter the Kingdom Of god. it is the first ordinance in the gospel. Without getting baptized we can in no ways be made clean. But it is incomplete without the second ordinance.

4.Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. (Again by proper Priesthood authority) Without Receiving this gift we cannot be prompted by God to make neccesary changes in our lives, conducive to living in Gods presence. The Holy Ghost Prompts us always to do the right and never to do ill.

5.Enduring to the end.One of the most important phases of the gospel. Without following this our whole lives we shall not gain eternal life which is the greatest of all the gifts of god. This means going through the temptations and trials of the devil. But it also brings great blessings to the individual who does wait.

And we have two choices in life. We can follow god or follow satan. I would strongly reccomend you follow God however. Stay true to the Gospel and the lord will stay true to you. I know these things of myself. I love the words of god.

Have an excellent week. (personal note)

Elder Payne

Try, Try to be Like Him

From: Kendall Payne
Date: 2015-11-16 2:57 AM
To: Luana Payne;
Subject:Re: This week

Hey family!!

(… personal notes to family members)

This week was really good for me. On tuesday we went to Ladysmith to drop off my previous companion Elder Ngulube and picked up my final companion (Or executioner in mission terms) Elder Tshuma also from Zimbabwe. I also had the opportunity to see a man who i grew to love when i was serving in Ladysmith. He told me i have lost weight (which im not sure i believe) and how happy he was to see me again. I told him seeing him was like seeing my mom or dad. It really was almost to good haha.

After Getting Elder Tshuma we had a lengthy drive back to Madadeni, but as soon as his bags were dropped off we went to work. And we have continued to do the Lords work this whole week. At one point in the evening He mentioned to me “Elder Payne i have been around old missionaries, but not every one has finished as strong as you currently are. What is your secret?” I thought about it for a few seconds and then turned to D&C 84:33 which says “for whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which i have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.” I told him time and time again i have leaned upon that blessing especially now as my mission is coming to a close. If we magnify our calling, which is to do the work which is required of us and then do a little bit more, keep the commandments and exercise our priesthood in faith, we shall be blessed with a renewing of our body and receiving more strength. If we are to continue in our calling with faith and strength we need to follow the counsel given us by our leaders and do all that they are asking of us.

I have realized that if one can keep all the commandments of God and church leaders we shall be perfect! But the problem all humanity has is keeping all the commandments. Again perfection is something we are commanded to strive for, but it is not a gift any mortal can achieve until he is resurected. President Joseph F. Smith acknowledged the same but then added this, “There are those who you will find in life who are well Traveled on the path to being perfect.” So we must understand not everything can be achieved all at once, but to be able to do better every day of our lives.

I hope we can all achieve that wonderful goal of being a perfect being one day in the Presence of God.

I love you all!!

Elder Payne

Living a Good Example

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2015 14:33:20 +0200
Subject: Re:
From: kendall.payne
To: cardstonmomma

Hey family!

… (notes to family members)

So this week was the final one in the transfer and a few tears where shed as i realized that i am starting to say more goodbyes to people than introductions. My current companion Elder Ngulube is getting transferred and i am getting someone new who will be my final companion. I was a bit sad when i heard the news that My companion would be leaving even though it was expected. He had been in the area for six months so he was due for a transfer. As He and I were talking about our transfer together he said to me “Elder Payne you are a very strong old missionary. I wish i could finish off my mission the same way you do, Such as waking up at six thirty and doing all the other neccesary missionary labours that we should do.” I am glad that i was able to be an example to him and grateful as well that he was an example to me.

I really have nothing new to add this week though. The work remains the same and i continue to enjoy more and more what we do. I have been realizing as well the timing that some people need to accept the gospel more and more. Some individuals are ready for you and will accept and become baptised within a few weeks. Others may take months or years. But as member of Gods true church we are never to lose faith on those who are around us. It is part of always being faithful and waiting patiently for those souls to bring themselves unto christ. Because we only commit souls to enter into heaven, we dont force people to heaven. Otherwise nobody would be happy.

I am glad that i have a family who is strong in the gospel and for my personal testimony. I love you all

Elder Payne

Also included are two photos sent on a different email, with what Elder Payne had to say about them.

On Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM, Kendall Payne wrote:

Paintballing with the opposing zone!

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2015 15:15:06 +0200
Subject: Re:
From: kendall.payne
To: cardstonmomma

Not opposing zone…Opposing District…
Elder Payne and friends posing for a selfie at the paintball field
Paintballing for the win!
Group picture of the paintballers
Elder Payne and friends about to enjoy some paintballing madness!

Ponder the Path of thy Feet

Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 10:51:03 +0200
Subject: Re: from mom
From: kendall.payne
To: cardstonmomma

Hey Family!

So right now i am currently serving with a missionary who is finishing his mission at the same time as i am. I showed him the past email with the flight itinerary and he said “Your family trusts you a lot! if i got to see my flight plan home i would get really trunky.” So i guess the church hasnt sent the missionaries their flgiht plans home… But i think its okay haha.

This week was pretty great. My companion said something this week that struck me and i have been thinking about it all week. On one particular day we had a day fully booked with appointments. During our nightly planning before the very filled and eventful day he said “Companion! tomorrow we teach the Multitudes!” I laughed at the joke at first but then started realizing that what he said was true. We were indeed teaching a lot of people that day, but then i started to think about it on a deeper level. Over the course of a missionaries mission he will have opportunity to teach many individuals who are seeking to change their lives. Even if the opportunity to teach doesnt come as frequently as they would wish, they can still testify, which in some cases is a much more powerful sermon than a lesson that can be prepared and taught with power. So every missionary will truly walk as Jesus walked during the course of his mission. The paths though in different parts of the world and at different time in history are the same for every one. Every path we walk on or every opportunity we have with the gospel has already been covered by the Master of Mankind. Some of these paths involve great sorrow, dissapointment, humiliation, Achievements, happiness, growth, and many others.

Something as well sticks out to me and that is a message delivered by our dear prophet President Monson titled “Ponder the Path of they feet”. He gave an example of a woman who traveled to the holy land and afterward exclaimed “I walked where Jesus walked!” He said while it can be a moving experience, it is not so important to walk where Christ walked but to walk as he walked. He later explained that the path he was mentioning was the path of discipleship.. So us as his servants or as members of his church are called to pattern our lives after his example and Develop the attributes that he had such as Humility, faith, hope, being willing to forgive and many countless other positive attributes. One reason why we are to constantly think about where a particular path may be leading us is because God wants us to draw closer to him and not further away. Before making a decision we should think if it will aid us or break us down. It is so important to follow counsel given us by all those who have been appointed of christ because they know how we can draw close to him.

That we may always be on the path back to our heavenly home is my prayer. I hope for all individuals and their families that at some point in this life that they will accept gods message and become one in purpose with him.

I love you all!! Have a good week!!

Elder Payne