Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 02:17:27 -0700
Subject: Re: This week
Hey Family! … (personal notes to family)
So this week was pretty powerful! But i have to go back to last week to have the story make sense. Last week on Thursday our Zone leaders give us a call around Eight in the evening and tell us to meet them at our boarding as soon as possible. At first i was thinking “Awe snap… Some body is getting an emergency transfer.” So we drove like madmen back to our boarding only yo find out that No one was getting transferred, But that Elder Allan F. Packer (first quorum of the seventy) and Elder Carl B. Cook would be coming to our mission on thursday to hold a special Family history training meeting for all the missionaries around the Durban area. So fast forward now to last thursday to where we actually had the meeting. It was powerful. We were told of how we can best teach people how to link back to their ancestors and how talking about family history very easily invites the holy ghost. They shared with us that the spirit of Elijah is just another way that the holy ghost can manifest itself to those who are involved in family history work. Because they are involved in knowing more and finding out about their ancestors, the Holy ghost aids them in their search and blesses their lives. I remember last year when we were told that our mission was chosen to carry out a pilot program for the My Family booklet and how we were encouraged to use it whenever possible. I also remember that talking to people about their families and starting a gospel conversation like that was so much easier than trying to start with something new like The Restoration or The Plan Of Salvation. It was great and i had a prompting to do alot more family history work when i go home, Even if it is just to help someone else learn how to use the family history program. We need to be more involved using the tools that God has given us, so we can best help out those who dont know how to use them yet.
Also this sunday was our primary presentation program. Kids really are so great at inviting the spirit. We may not have been able to hear everything they said, but it was still wonderful to hear children testifying that Christ lives and has called Prophets to be with us in these latter days. I happened to be sitting by a member who had never been involved or seen a primary presentation before, so i ke0pt asking him how he liked it. He said ” These kids are powerful!” Then he asked me “So Elder Payne, growing up in the church you did stuff like this back home?” I told him that i had done the same thing when i was in primary but i was not as reverent as the kids were in these days.
Also i got asked to baptize a youth on sunday. It was pretty interesting for me because i was the person who interviewed her for baptism as well. Then as i baptized her… She put her foot above water. So we calmed her down, explained that we had do do the ordinance again because she had to have her whole body immersed and then proceeded… Only to have her put her foot above water again. So for the second time we calmed her down explained that she had to have her feet remaining on the bottom or else we would have to do it again. I said the prayer… Waited a little bit… then performed the ordinance as fast as possible to avoid redoing it again. After we walked out of the font her mother came up to me and said “ELDER PAYNE! Did you really have to baptize her so fast?! We barely saw what went on the third time!” I explained that if you saw it nicely and slowly the first two times, then it was the exact same the third time. Only very fast. Haha oh well… Maybe next time i should just stand on their feet…
I hope your week is great! Im still loving my mission and im praying for you all every day. I love you all!
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 10:39:40 +0200
Subject: Re: This week
This was another great week to be a missionary. It was a week of almost constantly changing my companionI . On tuesday i was with My zone leader Elder Doane. To start off the day we had service at a members house taking down a wall inside their house. Not going to lie… it felt pretty good beating on a brick wall with a hammer. To quote Elder Doane “I feel like a man having done this!” haha it was awesome. The rest of the day was filled with rain and a little depression, but our hearts were gladdened as we found a DOMINOES PIZZA PLACE!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!! I mean i loved south africa before, but now that dominoes is in the country i think they will have a tough time sending me back home.
On wednesday i was with the newest elder in our district Elder Mcopela from Zimbabwe. He inspired me alot with all the enthusiasm he has. Recently i have been feeling a bit tired, but i think he was able to strengthen me with what we call Greenie fire. It was a moment of realization for me and on how much i have changed and grown since i started all from what feels like centuries ago. He is still looking forward to his Two years, while i am almost at the point where all i can do is look back at my two years. New missionaries bring such hope to all of us that all we want is to be better.
On thursday i was with Elder Olsen whom i have served around for a very long time and have grown to love. We talked alot about our past experiences and shared with each other. During this exchange however, I had the opportunity to interview three candidates for baptism. I was struck with the memory this time of how i was interviewed for baptism, what the bishop said and did and how i responded. I was at first happy i could remember so far back, but it helped me this time because i was interviewing Primary aged children. After all the interviews we had a great lesson that we taught to a man and his wife about the book of mormon. All in all the exchanges were great and i continued to learn of how to be a better person and missionary.
One thing i have learned this week has been about the Plan of Salvation. I started reading Jesus the Christ again and it amazed me how willing Christ Was from the Beginning of time to do what God intended for him and how submissive we have to be to receive blessings to God. To roughly quote the prophet Alma “all men come to earth as Carnal men” so our quest or journey in life is to become spiritual beings who love and fear our creator. As we grow in our desire to become as he is, we shrug off the chains of mortality and become saints through the atonement of His son Jesus Christ.
Well that’s about it for this week. I wanted to let you people know i have three months left exactly today!! Its getting exciting but it is still a long ways away. I hope you all do great this week and really ponder what it is that God would have you do for him!
On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 3:48 AM, Kendall Payne wrote:
So this week was again fantabulous! On tuesday we had our zone conference. It was all about being better teachers and sharing the gospel in more creative ways. In short i loved it. I always have and i know i always will. Something that struck me this time was that i only have one zone conference left. Usually at the end of every zone conference the old missionaries bear their testimonies so this means next zone conference i will be bearing my closing mission testimony. It was kind of a sad thought, but i know that we all must come to a close of our missions at some point. Ever since my mission began i have felt myself become stronger in faith and also testimony. This is a state of progression which is in contrast to a state of degression. We either progress in life or degress. There is no middle ground in this. You just cant stand still. This is not according to the will of the Lord. Staying in motion means you continue to grow stronger and stronger. If you wait and chill then you decrease in strength and power. So to be a powerful servant of the Lord you have to continue pushing forward. There is no turning back in this.
Also this week our mission president held a meeting to train all the leaders in the mission (i was personally very grateful for this because i was still fumbling alot in trying to learn how to be a good District leader). One reason why i think he held such a meeting was so that he could tell us what to do in our callings, and also went over quite a few qualities of great leaders and also horrible leaders. I was not really shocked to see that i lacked alot of the excellent leadership qualities, but also happy that i didnt have very many of the horrible leadership qualities. When our President was at home he worked as a partner for a law firm. After saying this he told us that the best quality that any associate or paralegal could possess was to look at all the responsibilities for the job ahead and start working on everything all at once, even though he was the Head of the case in almost all situations. He said it made his job so much easier, because more than half the work was done by the person working beneath him. Then he added a bit of advice to us as well, saying if we want to be successful people we must have this quality within us, and we will rise quickly through the ranks of our jobs. After pondering about it for a fair amount of time i came to the conclusion all our President was asking us to do was to magnify our callings and widen our circles of willingness. Too often people want to confine themselves in their own responsibilites so they dont get into trouble. But individuals who do this are missing out on some of lifes greatest blessings. It was pretty cool learning that and knowing that what he said was true.
So again i have a challenge for whoever may read this weeks email. Find the boundaries of your calling or position at work. And then expand upon them. Doing so will bring you much praise by fellow employees and members of the church. Many shall call you a blessing to have around, for you do so much more than you are expected to do. Also as an added side to this you will never have a dull moment in life. Again, staying still brings sadness, But keeping busy brings joyfulness. Of these things i add my testimony.
I love you all. … (personal loving notes to family members.)
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 02:09:25 -0700
Subject: Re: This week
Sawubona Umlungus (hello white people)
This week has been pretty uneventful haha. As i lay in bed last night i was thinking about what i wanted to share with you this week, but i came up with nothing. until just now! Fist pump to revelation! It has now turned my weekly letter from something drab to something less drab! POWER.
So again as i have reflected on lessons that i have learned in life i have been amazed at what I have discovered about tongues. I read a verse of scripture that said roughly when you are filled by the spirit your tongue becomes as a two edged sword and delivers freedom to those who are seeking to be free from sin, and cuts those who are currently not repenting to the very center. (i cant remember which verse or where it was so i paraphrased it.) I thought about it and it really is true. The tongue has so many ablities. If used righteously it can be a powerful tool for good. But if used carelessly, the effects could be compared to a bomb, where it strikes at the intended target, but also anyone within a close proximity gets injured as well. So i have decided, that in life we should use our tongues the way God intended. And if we come up clueless, then we are asked to look at the example of his son who never looked to offend anyone with his words, but to declare His Fathers message. To quote 2 Nephi 31:13 “where fore my beloved brethren, i know that if ye shall follow the son with full purpose of heart and acting no hypocisy and no deception before god, but with real intent, repenting of your sins witnessing unto the father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ By baptism- yea by following your Lord and your Saviour down into the water according to his word behold then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost, yea then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, AND THEN CAN YE SPEAK WITH THE TONGUE OF ANGELS AND SHOUT PRAISES UNTO THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.” This tells us as well if we truly follow the son and do all that he has commanded us to do then we are promised that we can speak by the tongue of angels! And when we have this new ability, to say what God would have us say, Then we can become effective advocates of truth and bring many souls unto Christ the King. So my Challenge this week is to watch your tongues, and see what God would have you say, because i can guarantee that he wants us to be caring not only in deed and thought, but also by what we say. I know this may be hard, But the blessings that will come are so wonderful. Also you might find that you get quite a few friends if you are always saying good things about everyone.