Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2015 10:44:15 +0200
Subject: Re: This week
So this week was again interesting. We had a massive group of missionaries go home ( 18 in total) and only sixteen missionaries to replace them. They are the biggest incoming and outgoing groups i have ever seen on my time on mission. It was kind of funny thinking back to when i was new and walked around the mission home talking with old missionaries and being amazed at how old on mission they were and all the stories they had to tell. Now everything was on the flipside and i was the super old dude making friends with all the newbs coming into the mission. I liked watching their face light up when i answered their question as to how old i was on mission. “WOW!! 20 months! you are almost finished! You are so lucky!” I agreed with them that yes i was lucky to have gotten this far on my mission. Some elders or sisters experience hard times and then choose to go home. Others develop illness and get sent home before their alloted time is up. But i realised something about being a missionary recently that im sure has been talked about before. The minute you decide to serve a mission, you start making sacrifices, most times immediately. Then coming on mission and working on mission is a completely different story as well. It also requires you to sacrifice, but it more requires you to stretch in ways you never though you could. So just an opinion, but i feel like people judge missionaries who return home from their missions, going almost immediately to asking the question “Are you still worthy?” I find it unfair and unjust. Think about the individuals circumstances. Think about what that person would be like without the support of the church in their lives. It would be a drastic change. So i guess what i am asking is be more of a christ like disciple to those who chose to be Christs missionaries, yet returned home, Even if they returned home dishonorably. I think the Lord understands and still loves them. I think that we should also do the same. To quote the Saviour “Judge not the ye be not judged”
Also yesterday my companion and i gave talks in Sacrament meeting. I had prepared a talk about enduring Temptations and trials and my Companion had prepared about caring for the disabled. I had planned and prayed over my material and strongly about it, yet still asked the lord to bless me with strength to give my talk and to calm my fear of being in front of a large congregation. As we sat down i was feeling great and ready to give my talk and also to speak as bold as a Lion. Then the mission president walked into the sacrament meeting. Seeing him walk in made me more nervous, because i would now be speaking in front of a man who i love and respect so much, i felt like he expected a bit more from me that i had prepared. But sticking to my original plan and determined not to look him in the eyes i gave my talk. It turned out wonderfully, even if my hands were shaking like an old man who had developed parkinsons disease. After my talk finished i sat down relieved. Then i looked at my president. He looked at my companion and I, With a small gleam in his eye. It was more the look a father has for his son after he wins his first award. So i knew the President was happy with what my comp and i had done and i felt comforted at that point. It was really intense haha but i loved it.
I hope you all enjoy your week! Remember i love you!
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:28:37 +0200
Subject: Re: This week
This past week was again great! One problem i have though is i really dont prepare for writing you on mondays. I know we did things, but now i have to scramble to find things to write haha.
Last week after email the district that i am in went to the Moses Mabhida stadium to take some pictures of the surrounding area of Durban. We were able to get on top of the stadium by means of a skycar (which is essentially just a trolley car that is rigged onto the side of the stadium. It was super cool, but really cold because of the darn wind!
Also this week i hspent some time thinking of how we can best find people who are ready for the gospel. And the breakthrough was essentially this – Read a persons face, emotions and take notice of their lifestyle and background. Then you will know if an individual is prepared or not. For example… My companion was getting his hair cut and as we walked in to the hair salon, some people were sitting outside enjoying their alcohol and started hassling us. Even though i really badly want them to improve their life situation, personally can do nothing if such individuals enjoy the life in which they live. In order for the individuals who were drinking to change they need a major humbling experience, which is something only the Lord can Bless them with. So all i can do now that i have realized to read people is to pray members of the church do their part and lead friends which they have to us as well. Because my comp and i will meet alot of people who are not serious before we finally get to the one who needs the gospel. Frustrating? It can be. Discouraging? It has potential to be. But only if you let it! For now we will work and do our part, but we remain focused on what we need to do which is bringing prepared families into this gospel. So my challenge to anyone who reads this weeks email- Pray about an individual to bring to the gospel this month so as the lighten the Load of the work of the missionaries around you.
Also it was transfers! But my comp and i are staying together so no big news haha.
I love you guys and i love all the help which you have given and continue to give to me. Having a big family is a blessing really to all individuals within that family unit. Have a good week!!
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2015 14:45:47 +0200
Its actually kind of sad that the house is now repainted… Ill miss that faded pink… NOT!! GOOD RIDDANCE!! its nice as well to hear that everyone enjoyed the parade this year. Thats again cool. Also mom dont give up on the reading program! It may be tough but it is well worth it! Just keep reading!
So for myself this past week it was pretty great. Our mission president called for a specialized training on tuesday to help us focus on finding families. I have been curious for my whole mission how to bring families into the gospel and he helped with the answer. We just have to start where it will matter most, meaning with the father and mother. finding individuals is good but to help converts stay converted, their whole family needs to know what the standards of the church are. So our mission i guess is really cracking down on finding whole cohesive family units.
Before i go into wednesday i just want to quote a small scripture: “Be ye therefore perfect,even as your father in heaven or I, am prefect.” This scripture was given by Christ to his disciples. I believe there are many reasons why he said such, but i want to highlight only one idea that can come from reading the verse. Christ wanted those who he was with to elevate their goals and perfect themselves and do christ like things their whole lives. Now ill go into the events on wednesday. This Wednesday, for me, was different than any other i think i have experienced on mission, mainly because it was interviews. Usually during an interview with the president he asks you questions about what your goals are on mission, How you can improve in the work and things like that. Its a great and wonderful spiritual experience always for myself for i love My mission president. And we did talk about the work this time as well, but he told me “Elder Payne you are getting to be an old missionary. I think now is the time that we talk about what you want to do after you mission.” I was prepared to answer such a question! Or so i thought. i had thought about what i wanted to do when i get home where to go to school and things like that. And so i spilled the beans.i shared my goals with President Zackrison and he sat there taking all of it in. And then said this “Elder Payne… those are good ideas, but not really good goals for yourself. You are smart and intelligent and have lots of experience behind you. Lets think of some better goals for you to achieve in your life.” Again i was stunned, but not shocked. So for the next half hour or so we conversed and created goals for myself to achieve. Most of my original goals got crushed, but i was still okay with it,because My President knows me and wants me to achieve great things. Counsel he has been sharing with everyone who has stepped into an interview has been this “stay as close to the numbers as you can.” So for myself originally wanting to go into Organizational behaviour he said that is still a great goal. But that if i got an accounting degree i can actually get hired to do much of the same work as a person who has that degree. He also said statistics would be a really great field for me, but i felt more inclined still towards Organizational behaviour or Accounting. Then we discussed which schools to attend. I shared with him how i was stuck between two universities in Alberta (MRU or U of C). But i also told him that if i had opportunity i would like to do some schooling in America. The conclusion came down to this… I need to go to school. Right away. So i am asking you know to help me with my application to attend The University of Calgary. Early Application starts in september, so i would like to have my application in NO LATER than september 10. I would like to get my associates degree in accounting and then after getting it in Canada im going to apply to get into Brigham Young University in Provo utah. The reason is because BYU has the best accounting program probably in the whole world and i plan to get my MBA, masters and potentially a Ph.D in BYU. President felt like i could do it and i definitely felt like i could do it as well. since i made the decision to serve a mission the opportunities are now limitless to me with where i can go in life.
Also yesterday we had a baptism of a young man named Brandon Mthembu who as you can see, asked me to baptize him. I love this guy like one of my rugby brothers. He is truly a fellow brother in christ. Last transfer with Elder Ncube, we found him sitting in a house all by himself. I dont know what else to say because i am so happy about it. He is powerful!! He has also told us that next year on August 9 that he will be applying for his own mission which is very cool.
I love you all and wish you the best during your summer break!! Please help me in my requests to go to school!!
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:46:18 +0200
So this past week was really great. I concluded with exchanges this week. I was with elder Ocitti on tuesday, then i was with elder Morole on wednesday. It was pretty great actually. Im not sure how they enjoyed being with me, but i had fun haha. Also on wednesday i conducted my first interview for baptism which was pretty great. I tried to follow the guidelines in Preach My Gospel as closely as i could for the interview, because it is supposed to be a very spiritual experience for the individual. Luckily for myself i already knew who it was that i was interviewing personally. The man i interviewed was actually found by Elder Ncube and myself last transfer, But we found out that he actually lived in the area for the other elders, so we handed him over to them which was still really cool. I dont know how many missionaries can say they interviewed a person whom they found.
Haha well mom i have to admit. You are reading the book of mormon the way a missionary would read it (in a Facebook group for reading the Book of Mormon she created; please join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1450142388626120/). I would like to join you in your journey to finish the Book of Mormon by Dec.7, but im going to continue from where i am at now in mosiah 5. To answer (a book group member’s) question – Nephi didnt actually want to kill Laban. That is not something that he wanted to do. The lord commanded him twice and Then nephi still had problems with it until he did realize that Laban did try to kill him and his family. He knew the commandment that says “thou shalt not kill” given by the mouth of the Lord. But since God commands all life he has the right to say “thou shalt utterly destroy every living thing” and that is his judgement to make. I do hope that this helps you out at least a little bit. I think she may actually be talking about religion extremists who share the view of being commanded by god to kill others so again try to think of an answer that would best help her. Pray about what you want to share first and use the gift of the holy ghost! It is very, very important that you use the holy ghost.
This past week was pretty great. I did an exchange with Elder Olsen who is a member in my district. I still have an exchange with the Zone leauders tonight and tomorrow and then on wednesday with my other district member. So im very busy these days but things are still doing great! As well we have one investigator being interviewed this week for baptism and then on wednesday i am conducting my first baptismal interview. I am a little nervous for such, but i know it will be great. While i was with Elder Olsen he shared with me something i was kind of shocked that he didnt know. During the day we had dedicated a small amount of time to finding. After we had succesfully contacted one or two people and got back into the car to head off to our appointments he told me that for a little bit he has struggled on how to get more people to teach, but he has always overlooked tracting. After a succesful session of tracting (getting one contact makes the effort a success) he said “I will always try to find new investigators” And he and his companion got a lot of new investigators this week! So it just told me, never think an activity or a job is below you. For “the son of man hath desended below them all.” (D&C 121:6-12) And it actually humbled me a bit haha which was good.
Haha just something interesting you might find funny. Last night as my companion and i were doing nightly planning he told me “Elder Payne do you know how to have fun?” I asked him why he was asking such a question for i considered myself appropriately funny. He then told me “YOU WORK LIKE NOTHING ELSE! WE HAVE NO FUN!!” haha i actually feel bad because i look at all our time together and i have been working him very hard. So i have also come to realize that even if you want to be the hardest working missionary in the mission you can do so and you will enjoy doing it because it is your goal. But others (or companions) may not share the same enthusiasim because it is not their goal. So with wisdom i say this now: Openly share your goals with everyone so they know where you stand and what you want to accomplish. Then if their goals dont match what yours do then there is a beautiful principle you can apply called Compromising. It is important to work one with another with the same goals in mind and not to drag one another to the work.