Starting off on Wednesday. This week has been really busy and this is gonna be a struggle from an email point of view. I think we just keep getting busier and busier. BUT it keeps getting better and better. The Busier we are is actually nice, it helps keep me distracted so I won't think of things that I shouldn't be thinking about. Such as: My family going on trips without me, girls, the new movies coming out, friends, and all the good snow in Utah. There are many others but those are the ones I think about the most. First and foremost I would like to thank all for the support I am getting. It is hard to reach out to everyone especially with such a tight schedule. Shout out to Grandma and Pop Pop! I have probably gotten a letter from them every single week that I have been out here so far. Everyone else, y'all are slackin! But seriously, the prayers definitely don't go unheard. I am grateful. It's been 2 months since I have been set apart as a missionary, and all I have to say is wow. It has gone by so fast yet so slow. Two months is quite some time already. I just hope that I can continue to learn and grow. I know I will, it is just really hard to see unless you take the time to look back. Even just a week ago I definitely didn't know as much as I do now. You can always be learning more.
Taylors Valley. Oh yeah. Like I said, something to look forward to every Wednesday. I don't know if we will have it next Wednesday but, I guess we will see.
We have distinct counsel every Wednesday. This week was really good. Elder Johansen, Elder Williams, and Elder Rice all gave amazing training. (Also I don't know if I said this but this Elder Williams is different from my MTC companion) Elder Johansen talked about one of the standards. Being Temple worthy. We don't have a temple in our mission but it is still important to keep your temple covenants. We are told to keep a current temple recommend to have that reminder of what we should be doing. It is a very simple yet powerful thing. Elder Rice talked about the talk of the week. Every week we read and discuss a talk together as a mission. This week was Elder Uchtdorf's talk from the last General Conference titled Jesus Christ Is The Strength of Youth. Go give it a read, no matter what age you are, he did a really good job. We all found a standard that we thought we could do better on this week and will apply it. Everyone chose different things and we counseled together on ways to help, or things that we have done that have helped us accomplish in keeping that particular standard.
We had both lunch and dinner with members today! They are just so willing to feed us and take care of us. We tell them that we will be alright but they insist on feeding us. I don't want to fall into the mindset of "Well, If we have to go out and eat with you, then I guess we will." or "I mean free food." It's just wrong. But the members truly want to help us in any way they can. One member (Bless his heart) told us that if we ever need food that he will go to Sams club and get us anything we need. A lot of the members say that and its something I won't ever take advantage of. It is good to know that they are wanting to help though. At least they are trying. Anyway, both lunch and dinner were really good. For lunch they took us to a SLAPPIN Mexican restaurant called Los Tres Magueyes. ZOOWEEMAMA It was pretty rootin tootin, yeehawin, Muy Beuno! You know? Dinner was alright . . . I'm just playin! Our member made a casserole with cornbread and just woah! I can explain how good it was but just trust me. You put a little hot sauce, some jalapenos, and sour cream . . . MMMMmmmMMMmmMMmmMmmmmmmmm Scrumptious!! I love the food he cooks. Never fails.
So if you are one of my missionary friends reading this you might get upset at this part. So just hear me out. Very unpopular opinion, I really love weekly planning, and Comp inventory. Yes, I said it and I will say it again. NOW, I know I will most likely not always love it, but for now I really do. The goal planning for yourself, for a companionship, and for our friends, really is just awesome! I have some pretty good goals and tasks that I am excited to start working towards. One of those being I want to read the entire Book of Mormon by June 11th. At first I planned on reading 1 chapter every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. So I took the total number of chapters and divided it by 3 then it gave me 79.9999. So I then asked google, what would be 80 days from today and it said June 11th. Now, I realize I did some math wrong. If I am only reading 1 chapter 3 days a week that would definitely not be 80 days from now. Something more like 80 weeks, haha, I had the right idea in mind but the math portion didn't come out the way I thought. But it is ok, I am still shooting for June 11th. I think it is a very reasonable goal and I will have to read more than just 1 chapter 3 days a week. I am also planning on reading the Bible. I realized being down here in Texas, knowing the Bible like the back of my hand might be important in some situations. I don't have an end date for that one but I have at least 1 chapter every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. So you could kind of see the logic that I was going with from earlier haha.
I invite y'all to join me in the Book of Mormon reading. I will update every week where I am at and you can follow along. If I don't give an update, email me and I will tell you.
There is this one song, I don't know how or if it is possible to find, called PUMP UP SONG. It was made by a missionary. We listened to it on the way to comp study today and let me tell ya, this song got me PUMPED! It has quotes from various different talks and just hypes up missionary work. I was feeling good as we went into comp study. We talked to quite a few people today. We talked to people here and there, this one man sorta comes up to us. We do our missionary spiel: "Hey, we are missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Can we share a scripture with you?" One out of many ways to spark a conversation. He said yes. I shared John 10:14-15 which talks about how Jesus has many sheep more than just the sheep in Jerusalem. I asked him "Who do you think those 'Other sheep' are?" He "apparently" didn't know what I said and started talking about Jehovah. Now, due to missionary standards, I am pretty sure I am not allowed to say what his religion is but I think it should be pretty obvious from what I just said. It was a very interesting conversation. We ended up walking away because he wasn't really listening or wanting to listen to what we had to say. But, we are all children of GOD, and He loves us all.
Talked to a man today sitting on his porch. He was just chillin. He had his two dogs, Major and Headache. Two big pitbulls that were really friendly. They would just waddle on up to us, sniff us, lick around and then waddle away. Then repeat. Super good conversation. He wasn't very interested but he knows where to find us if he does get interested.
This is Thursday Elder Payne buttin in beforehand. We have exchanges today, and I can't tell if I am excited or not. I get to ride my bike. (I was going to say I have to ride my bike, but I'm trying to be positive) It will be an interesting day. I am excited to write about it.
"I LIKE TO RIDE MY BICYCLE, I LIKE TO RIDE ME BIKE. I LIKE TO RIDE MY BICYCLE, I LIKE TO RIDE MY BIKE!!" Y'all know that song right? I hope you do. I got to ride my bike today. It was pretty fun! The Belton Elders are running REALLY low on miles so Elder Tyler and I had to bike. Yippie! I was scared at first but then I got pretty comfortable after a while. There isn't a lot of room for bikes on Texas roads but it turned out alright. I was worried for Elder Tyler. . . He was struggling. So much happened, He fell over twice and almost fell over 10 times. It was super funny to watch. I felt really bad as well because he is trying his best. I asked him if he was ok and every time he would say yes. So we just kept riding. The scary moment was when we were heading back to the apartment. We were going across an intersection and the lady in the car stopped for us and Elder Tyler started to go. I yell "WAIT!!" 3 Times! There was a car turning in. And he just kept on going. The driver saw him and stopped but Elder Tyler never saw this other car. I got to him and said you could have been hit! He simply says the lady waved me on. I had to tell him that there was another car!
The Members we had dinner with kept us for almost 2 and a half hours. . . they drove us so we were basically sitting ducks. Nothing we could really do. We told them when we had to be back to end the exchange and they kept us hostage for a bit. lol
Saturday and Sunday nothing special happened except TRANSFER NEWS!! WOOO Sunday was a really good day! We had a family come to church that we just invited. We haven't even taught them any of the lessons yet! The kids loved it and the dad said that they will be coming back. It was fast Sunday as well, the Sunday before General Conference! So Excited! This next week will be great!
Elder Rice and I are staying in the Temple 1 area. Elder Williams in my apartment is heading out. He will be missed. Elder Andrus is heading out as well. A lot of movement.
Elder Duncan Miller, a friend of mine, had his farewell talk today. I was able to listen to it. All my friends are doing such amazing things in their lives right now. I am so proud of every single one of them. I can't even see them or really talk to them but just from the different stories and things I read all of their testimonies are growing stronger and stronger each and every day. Keep up the good work y'all.
We had dinner with the Miller family (not my friends the Miller's from back home) I absolutely love the Millers! Had some burgers and salad and most importantly, Sunny D! Now I know Sunny D is nothing but sugar and there are no health benefits whatsoever but get me a nice cold glass of Sunny D in the morning, afternoon, or night and I will love you forever.
We stayed really busy this week. I tried to write out things every night but only got Wednesday and Thursday. Those are the only important days though. I will update y'all on the Book of Mormon reading next week and tell you where I am at. Start in 1 Nephi 1:1 though ;) Just in case you didn't know where it started. My goal is to get to Chapter 10 of 1 Nephi. Might be a little over, might be a little under. We shall see.
Email me if you have any comments, concerns, remarks, questions, exciting news, sad news, blues clues (lol), or just anything you would like to share. I love hearing updates from your lives. I will do my absolute bestest at responding next P-day but there are no promises. Email is always swamped with missionary things. firstname.lastname@example.org Just DO NOT SPAM me please. I don't know if this is a good idea or not
Keeping it somewhat short this week
That's about it. See ya.
-Elder Kohl K. Payne
That is the Pump Up Song link