From: Kendall Payne
Date:25-05-2015 1:41 AM (GMT-07:00)
To: Luana Payne
Subject: Fwd: Photo with Elder Robbins
So this past week was pretty fantastic. Last week during our weekly planning session it kind of just came to Elder Agabu and I were not going to be together for much longer, which was really very sad. I love him alot and i will miss him like crazy. He has been one of my favourite companions ever, just because of his hard working attitude. We were able to find many new investigators together and did our very best to continue to bring people to church. He opened my eyes to alot of the aspects of the work and i am grateful we had the opportunity to be together.
But this was in fact my last week in Thaba ‘Nchu which i did my best not to get to sad over. I love this area really with all my heart and all of the members and investigators who we met as well. It truly is a great place to be a missionary in. One of the members who i have gotten to know so well made me a birthday cake which truly was delicious haha. And i didnt get a letter for my birthday. All i got was best birthday wishes, a cake and another pie from the seniour couples which again was delicious haha.
On saturday we traveled to bloemfontein for stake conference, that was presided over by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the presidency of the seventy and was also accompanied by Elder Hall of the third quorum of the seventy who actually comes from Johannesburg! But the stake conference session on saturday and sunday was awesome. He told us to think about ways we can continue to keep the sabbath day holy, when dealing with people how to be more Christ like in our actions and also the power of fasting. It made me think about how i can be better as a missionary and after mission as an individual. He also spoke of the mantle of authority which President Monson holds and a few of his many experiences with members of the twelve. Another experience he gave that i really liked was when President Packer called him to his office. When he walked in he was told a few things by president Packer. And i quote “Now so you know i am going to reprove you and help you by correcting you. But if you dont like it I wont do it ever again. Do you want me to sugar coat it or should i give it to you straight?” It gave me an example of what we need to do in our lives when someone needs correction. He later told us that this was how Heavenly Father would act as well. He wants to help us, but he wont nag on us. How willingly would you repent if the Lord told you every day of all the things you have done wrong? You would get very tired of it. And he said even though it will be tough, leave a lot of matters to the Lord when you need to give someone correction and it will com out alright.
Well just so you know as well im getting transferred to an area called Kwamashu that is very close to Durban which is exciting.
… (Personal notes to family)
Have a good week family!! I love you and wish the best for you!!
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 11:22:55 +0200
Subject: Families with Divine Potential
(personal notes to family members)…
This past week was pretty great. I had a great exchange with another elder from my district who i have adopted as my second son on mission. He is in the same group as my companion right now, so i felt like adopting him. And i guess the process is complete because he agreed haha.
Recently i have been praying to heavenly father to help us find a good solid father led family and in this past week he has given us two answers to my prayers. The first was an older man by the name of Piet who approached us on the street and asked us to help him quit smoking. And i am happy to say that he has gone from five cigarretes a day, down to two and now he is working on trying to smoke none. He is a pretty big example to me that Heavenly Father can do anything. The second answer to prayer was a call from a woman named Mpho who had some contact with the missionaries in the past and called us to come and give her neighbors child a blessing. The families name whose house we came into was the Sikwela’s. After having a great visit with them and feeling the spirit pretty strongly, it was obvious to me that the Lord had answered my prayers and wanted both of these families and individuals to come into the church. I am grateful that the Lord answered my prayers and continues to aid us in his Work. I know that all three individuals (counting the Sikwela’s as a family unit) can and will progress and that the Lord needs them for some purpose in his church.
(personal notes to family members)…
And ill let you know how my birthday turns out. But as of now we have my favourite activity planned which is missionary work. Have a good week all and remember i love you!!
Date: Mon, 11 May 2015 12:00:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Exciting things.
You guys all looked so beautiful even though it was early in the morning. Thanks so much for being willing to work with the schedule i was allowed. I was happy to talk with each of you and also glad to hear about the people back home.
Our past week was really great. On saturday we had a tombstone unveiling for one of our members parents which was sweet, but i was aware of how misled other churches are in their knowledge of God Since it was led by the pastor of the church her parents belonged to.
After that we went to bloemfontein to have Zone training meeting which was great. Two weeks ago when my companion and i were staying in bloem i got the impression to ask the zone leaders if i could give the spiritual thought this time and they agreed. I used two scriptures. The first was Mark 1:16-20 and the second was John 21:15-17. These verses in mark talk about Christ calling his disciples and how they immediately left all to follow him, then the one in john talks about Christ finding Peter his chief apostle and two other disciples fishing after they had already commited to giving up every wordly thing. I applied it to the work and how we as missionaries at first give every thing up, but then turn back to it even though they have been called to the work. I felt very good about the message i presented and that it was well received.
Then we had a zone activity which was held at the planetarium which was really cool. They showed us the night sky in may and then showed a video about scientists searching for life on other planets. I think if a person really wants to know if there is life on other planets one of the first things you should do is read the scriptures. Second Ask the missionaries. We can help you! It felt a teensy tiny bit like attending the temple, just because of what they said about creation, but it was no where near as spiritual.
From: Kendall Payne
Date: 2015-05-04 6:41 AM
To: Luana Payne;
Subject:Re: Exciting things.
So some big news sort of this week about mothers day call home. In the past in our mission the calls home have been extremely hectic for the senior couples and for the Mission President so he has told us that some changes will take place. 1.We are only allowed one call home for a single hour. So maybe doing a massive group session on skype would not be the best idea because they take alot of time to set up. 2.The call MUST be set up in advance. Seeing as its sunday we will have to get a time when we can speak on to another that works for you and also myself. I am allowed to make a BRIEF phone call home to confirm plans, But Emphasis on the BRIEF phone call. 3. They also highly recommend you call me on the phone that i share with my companion, seeing as how this relieves the church a huge burden, but kind of directs it towards our family. So again i might call home to make a brief Phone call Soon. Our phone number right now is 0732346016 4. I can call home using Skype but i have to get a time scheduled with the seniour couples when i can call you. Plus i need to know who i am calling at what skype address. Hence the massive family group chat might not be the best. But just know as well ill be home for christmas. So expect a call from me later this week confirming plans and some small details.
But this week was great. we had interviews with our mission president as well. One thing he said that made me laugh was “you have been in this area for a very long time” i kind of told him i felt like i had been forgotten about, but that i was still working hard. He laughed and said that he knew i was. I asked him i was remaining here and he said “the reasoning why i left you there and took your companion was because i really badly wanted you to train a new missionary and this was the only way possible.” So i felt a little bit happy hearing that. I told him as well that now i actually wouldnt mind staying in Thaba Nchu for another transfer, but he said “Elder Payne… I dont think i will leave you here this transfer or even bring you back to this area. I need you help, talents and expertise in other areas of the mission right now.” So in the end it was a great interview.
Things have been great as well for work this week. We had a baptism on
saturday and the converts name is Realeboha Jan. She was a referral given to us by the young women presidency four months ago and now we have been able to baptize her. Her mother is a recent convert herself of just barely a year and helped alot in the teaching process. The person who baptized her was our own bishop Sebusi who as well was very involved in the teaching process.
But those are the two major things that happened this week and im happy as well to know that you al are doing so good. Continue to be honest true and faithful! Ill call you later in the week to let you know when i can call home!!
So this week all ill tell you about myself is im great. I had a small battle with a cold, but having amazing senior couples and a good time of rest and a priesthood blessing have helped beyond measure.
But this week i want to focus more on what i learned and what i witnessed.
We watched conference on saturday and sunday which was amazing as usual. As The presidency of the church addressed the members of the church i could feel the love they have for us as our leaders and the love Jesus Christ Has for us as well. I received a confirming witness as well that our leaders are inspired and at this conference they really spoke of the love that is mandatory to be within families. I cant remember who the speaker was but his talk was about the prodigal son and watching and waiting for members of our families to return. For you two Mom and Dad that would be my counsel to you about your sibling who have fallen away. Continue loving them and inviting them to important moments in our families lives. When it comes time i would like the two of you to invite them to my homecoming talk.
As well another lesson learned this week was that the Lord is always watching us. At the end of General Conference our relief society president approached us and said she had a less active referral for us and that we needed to stop by her house later. When we had an available moment we went to her house and met this woman. When we started talking Sister Mathobisa (relief society president) told us how when she was coming to church, she realized she had forgotten her tithe money and went back to collect it. On her way she met a woman who was crying her eyes away. After giving appropriate comfort she said “well right now i am on my way to church, Why dont you come with me?” When they approached the gates the woman told her again “Im so happy your church is my church. I am also a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, but i have been inactive for seven years.” Later as we talked with her she told us how she was raised in the church, baptized as a child of record and progressed from primary, to young womans to relief society and how much love she had felt during that period of her life. When asked why she was crying she said “my life is complicated. But it probably is because i havent kept the commandments.” Immediately my companion and i knew, her needs surpassed our expertise and we needed help. We called our bishop and told him we needed him as soon as possible. Within the next ten minutes our bishop was interviewing this woman in their native tongue of SetTwsana and had a very in depth conversation. After speaking to her he then said in English “Sister, i want to to realize something here and now. When you were at the lowest point in your life, when you truly needed help who were the hands that you fell into? Back into the church with which you are so familiar. Your relief society president met you, the elders came and blessed you and now your bishop is here to help you. Just know that for the past seven years the Lord has kept track of you and that this series of events are not coincidences. No such things happen in the kingdom of the Lord. You were meant to be here this day.”
I can testify to you the Lord is personally watching over us, and is leading all of us by his divine hands.