I'm Back

I'm Back
My siblings assisting me on a walk

Guess who's back, back again

Shady's back, tell a friend

Guess who's back, Guess who's back

Yes it is I! The One, The Only, (pause for dramatic effect) Elder Kohl Keith Payne!

*Crowd cheering and going absolutely wild*

6 weeks have passed on by. Some of the most fun yet depressing weeks of my life. We could either skip on by leaving out all the fun details or we could expound a little bit about my time at home and my week before I left. I kinda want to expound a bit, but I will try and keep it under control.

The week leading up to my sad unfortunate return to Utah was a pretty good one at that. We had one final District Council that was pretty dang fire and took lots of pictures. (You can see at the end some of them or join the google photos album to see all of them) Elder Giuffra and I worked hard but took it slow at times. I had one final day at T-Valley to help serve the people. Elder Giuffra and I got Chipotle the night I left. I mentioned that I had never had it before so he said that we were going. After our visits that we had we went to Chipotle and started grubbin.

I finished packing as the T2 Elders came over, Elder Stevens and Raban. We packed all my stuff in the car and drove down to Pflugerville so that I could spend the night in the AP apartment. Took some more pictures with Elder Giuffra, Stevens, and Raban. It was a hard goodbye. I love those Elders a lot.

Got settled in for the night and then woke up at 4am to get ready and then head off to the airport with the APs. Then  I flew home to my beloved family waiting for me. It was a nice tender moment. All the other missionaries around the world that had gone home that day had already been picked up. So it was pretty sweet to just have my parents, siblings, and whatever bystanders that were just watching us.

Now as you would probably expect, it was very weird being home. But the one thing that got me the most was the stoplights. In Texas they are all horizontal but in Utah they are all vertical! I don't know why this tripped me out so much but it did.

Now being home was super nice and awesome and all that jazz, but I felt absolutely worthless. I could not really do much. It was always so Go, Go, Go to just  n o t h i n g .  I was able to go to the Temple a few times which was super nice.

The surgery. . .Cool miracles happened with this so listen up.

So everything went pretty dang well. I got home on a Thursday and had an appointment with the surgeon for the following Tuesday. When we found out what time I would be getting home we were able to move my appointment with the surgeon to the day I got home! How cool is that!? So we meet with Doc and he looks at all the information and checks for a hernia and said that I do in fact have a herina. He then starts to talk to his assistant on when he could do the surgery and his assistant says, "Well, the earliest you have would be in September."

Doc says, "That's not going to work, we gotta do it sooner."

He sets it up for next Tuesday! The day I was originally going to have the appointment to set up a surgery date. Miracle number 2!! That soon for a surgery!? That is crazy!

Surgery went great. All I remember was being so tired. I kept falling asleep while sitting in the recovery room and whenever someone would come in the door, I would say with a loud voice "Welcome" or "Welcome in" I would be out, eyes closed not a single thought in my head, then door creeking open, "WELCOME IN". Before I was allowed to leave they told me that I had to do 2 things, use the bathroom and take a small walk. Took a nice little stroll around the hospital going 1/2 mph with a really nice lady.

Surgery complete!

All I had to do now was recover. Which I think went pretty swimmingly if you ask me. The first week was me just being a vegetable but then after I learned how to get up out of my bed and up from sitting down on my own, no one could stop me! My brother and I started going on some pretty fun adventures together. We went all over. Had some pretty fun hikes and found an amazing food place that I can't wait to go back to. Overall a solid 8/10 recovery. I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon and he gave me the all clear. So about a week and a half later I was outta there! Flying back to Texas! Saying bye to my family this time was a little bit harder I think. But it was good. I landed and President Carter picked me up.

I came back on a Monday so it was a Pday for everyone which was a little odd. As President Carter was driving me back from the airport we talked about my transfer news. He asked me if I had gotten an email and I told him that I had not. He said that I should have. So he told me where I would be going and who my companion would be. I was going to be in the Pflugerville area with Elder Logan Williams!! Not my MTC comp Williams but the one that I lived with when I first came into the mission! It was pretty neat to hear! The APs were in the Pflugerville area but then President Carter decided to move them away. That means Elder Williams and I are going into this thing blind. It has been super awesome though! But for the rest of the day I hung out with a district that isn't in my zone. We went bowling and got Tacobell.

This week getting to know the area has been pretty wild! Tuesday we picked Elder Williams up from transfers and what a wonderful day that was. Let me tell you an amazing story! So I hop out of the car and start walking to the group of Elders on the other side of the church parking lot. I'm walking past the doors to the church building and they swing wide open with Elder Giuffra yelling "ELDER PAYNE!!" He runs down the stairs and I run towards him and we embrace each other in our arms. It was like a scene out of a movie. We talk and get caught up on how things have been. It was really awesome to see him. He will be training a new missionary for his last transfer. Whitewash train. (whitewash means neither Elder coming to that area knows anything about it)

Elder Williams and I have had a great first week in this new area. It has been fun trying to figure everything out, making plans, working together, meeting members, meeting friends, and the untapped potential that is in this area! We have done a lot of knocking doors and visiting members and trying to meet our friends. We have a few friends that just love the church and have such an amazing love for Jesus! We hope to watch conference with a few of them this week!

Meeting the ward this past Sunday was a bit stressful trying to memorize everyone's names but it was so fun as well. We have a wonderful ward that loves missionary work and wants to be involved in our lives and our work as the missionaries in their ward. It is AWESOME!! We are still trying to figure out the best way to utilize all the tools that we have but when we do we will see endless miracles!

That's pretty much the update of the life of Elder Kohl Keith Payne. It has been wild being back in the mission field but it has also been so good. I have been able to change my mindset a bit. Being home opened my eyes to a lot of different things. The one I think is most important is that I hated the way I acted while I was home. While I was out for the 6 months before I went home the one thing I wanted most was to see a change in myself. I was changing and growing but when I got home I fell off the deep end. I started getting really lazy and focusing on things that weren't helping me with that change. And I don't want to go home that way again. I am going to work hard and make that change permanent. I am very excited to serve the people here in Texas and am ready to go.

Thank you all for reading this zoinka long email. It is a lot but I hope you enjoyed.

Thank you for sticking with me during this crazy time.

Please enjoy these pictures below, but if you want to see even more, you should join my google photos album :)

Love you all!

That's about it. See ya.

- Elder Kohl Payne

Jean our Walmart greeter
Kramer is awesome on the piano
Carnel is awesome
The Pritchard's and pets
The boy's, the night before I left
Goodbyes are hard
So much cooler here
After surgery treats
Chillin at my brothers bike race
Lindon UT Temple being constructed
Temple with my mom
Time to say goodbye again
Let's go
Elder's Jenkins, Lemmon, and Higginson
Elder Lemon (yep there are 2 of them, but different spellings) and my comp Elder Williams 2.0
Elder Williams, I knew him from when I served in Temple
Sweet reunion. Elder Williams 1.0 was my MTC companion and Elder Guiffra was my companion before I left
Back on the bike