Have you ever been sitting there during a writing test at school and just have no clue what to write about even though you have already read the prompt about 20 times? I have no clue what to write about even though I have been rereading my journal prompts over and over again. I don't really know where to start this email. It's been a pretty chill week. I got miracles outta the wazoo but I don't know which to share first...
Let's start with one of my absolute favorites; Jose and Elle! I absolutely love this family! The missionaries that were in this area before Elder Williams and I got here were teaching and meeting with Elle pretty consistently. She has been going through some hard times and meeting with the missionaries has seemed to be helping her. Jose, Elle's husband, wasn't actively being taught by the missionaries, yet. Once Elder Williams and I met them we experienced such an overwhelming love for them. We met with Jose this past week and shared with him some topics about the Restoration and other things here and there. He was really interested and was asking so many GOOD questions. We were able to leave him with a Book of Mormon and invited him to read a chapter. We also invited them to watch General Conference this weekend. We were going to watch the Sunday morning session with them but they ended up getting sick and didn't want us to get anything. After conference was over we asked them what they thought and Jose told us that he loved it! He only watched Sunday afternoon but I think that it was perfect. He told us that he was reading the Book of Mormon while watching. He has a few questions for us so we will be going over on Thursday to talk to him. It has been so uplifting to see him be so open to our messages that we have to share. Elle has been pretty busy with work but we are hoping to see her soon as well!
Now for a just as cool miracle! My boy Nelson! Let's get into all the good information on Nelson. So Elder Williams and I are walking back to our car that is parked a bit of a distance away in this neighborhood. We come accross Nelson watering his plants and ask him if he needs any help. He says that he doesn't but we then just start talking to him about his garden and different topics that come up. It was a pretty good conversation that we had with him. We then share with him some of our beliefs and he in turn shares with us some things that his church does. We hand him a Book of Mormon and invite him to read it.
We didn't set a return appointment and didn't get his number. So this past Sunday we decided to stop by again. Thankfully, he was home! We then sat on his porch for quite some time and shared a really awesome conversation. Many back and forth on what his church does and the line of "authority". He was super open to learning more because he knew that if he didn't look into everything then he might miss out on what is true. It was an amazing experience and we knew that he had been prepared by God. An open heart and humbled mind. We will be meeting with him next Sunday to follow up on his Book of Mormon reading.
These experiences alone have helped me grow so much while being back out on my mission. It has had it's ups and downs but I would like to say that I have a pretty optimistic attitude towards the work and looking forward in faith.
One of the downs that I had this week was being attacked by a swarm of wasps! Now just imagine this: Elder Williams and I walking towards a bench to sit down while we are on a call with our zone. *Slow motion* I start to sit down on this bench. I am so close to sitting down and then *STING* A wasp stings me in the back of the neck. I freak out and start running away. As I get up from my almost sitting down position I see a massive swarm of wasps around this bench and around me. I am in the midst of this family of wasps. I fortunately survive and get away with only the one sting. Just know that on our map the bench is now a crossed out area, and we will not be going back there.
I have been loving every second of me being back out on the mission. I have had doubts here and there but I have been told to doubt my doubts before I doubt my faith. I have been working hard to do that this week. Many doubts and many things that have made me question my testimony but as I go out everyday and see countless miracles it just testifies that being out here is where I need to be. The want will come and grow as I continue to trust in the Lord.
Thank you all for the support! I can't wait to update y'all next week!
That's about it. See ya.
- Elder Kohl Payne