So to help me be better at emailing . . . I will be typing out what happened each day the night of. That way I won't feel rushed on Monday, especially with how busy our Mondays get!! I don't know if I will like this style of email so let's test it out, shall we?
Not much happened today. We had all of our lessons fall through. No Bueno! Nein Gut! A few made sense such as getting sick, falling, and hurting their shoulder, and the lights to our house won't turn on. Lots of goofy things could happen.
We went disk golfing in the morning for our exercise time. (if you can call any form of golf "exercise") Stretching out his arm as he thinks of his strategy to best tackle this beast, Elder Rice lines up for the 9th hole throw. The whined up, the extend, the throw! WOOSH The disk goes flying through the air as Elder Rice and I watch in amazement. Heading straight for the hole the little disk was still going strong. The disk goes flying right by the cage and down to the river. Oh no, we rush over. There it was, the blue round disk sitting at the bottom of this small shallow creek. We try various methods to get it out. Using a stick only pushed it further away. So it was time, Elder Rice took off his shoes and socks and then went in. Retrieving the disk and feeling accomplished we decided to go home. As we should.
I think I talked about this a little bit in my last email but I lost my Duolingo streak. . . I am so disappointed in myself. I was 140 days strong then as soon as I get to Texas it just started getting super hard to find time to do it. You guys know what this means, right? Duolingo himself is after me. Don't give him any of my information. Please.
MARCH FIRST!! WOOOO Lets gooooo!!! I can not believe that it is already March. Wasn't Christmas just yesterday? Wild how time goes so fast, yet so slow. Let me tell ya, it's goofy man. But you know what March brings? . . . MARCH MADNESS!!! Hold up, wait, you thought I was talking about basketball? NO SIR!! We are grinding out on getting referrals, on who we can teach, or who we can share the gospel with. This is probably my favorite thing to do. We ask members or members who are less active, who they think would benefit from our message. It helps us grow our relationship with the members and then with the friends that they think of. AND IT IS SO COOL!! We love members who like to share the gospel because that's what we are asked to do. Sharing the gospel isn't just for missionaries but for all of us as well. Love, share, invite. That's the goal! Say you love reading or some form of sport, if you truly really love that thing you are just naturally going to share it with others. Whether that be by telling them that it is something you do or by showing them that it is something you do. Then you may feel inclined to invite them to read that book or do that sporting event with you. Love, Share, and Invite is just a normal thing we do as humans. Now if we truly love the Gospel of Jesus Christ why should we hide it? SHARE IT!!
Anyway, that's my invitation to y'all. Find something that you can share with someone. Doesn't matter what it is. Gospel related or not, LSI.
Now about what happened today. Elder Rice and I had to go down to Austin for a trainer, trainee meeting. I got to see my friends from the MTC and those that I traveled with. It has only been 2 weeks but it feels like forever sometimes. Very good being able to talk to them and catch up. All of them have a gym in their apartments! Up here in Temple, it is one of the only places without a gym. Very unfortunate. We got basketball, running, and the occasional pushup, and situp routine in the morning. I know that when I do get an area with a gym I will be able to love it more because I have gone so long without one. We are thriving though. We were able to have lunch together and continue to catch up and hear the different stories that they have experienced so far. They are doing amazing and I can't wait to see them again soon.
We had Dinner at a member's house tonight. (the one that signed up 15 times) I absolutely love them. They are really nice and welcoming and I feel so comfortable whenever I am with them. We had tacos for dinner and OH BOY!! I love some good tacos! They gave us to-go boxes and gave us food for later. Also little cheesecakes. Elder Rice and I have lunch for the next couple of days.
There was a lot of driving today. 113 miles!! OUCH, The limited amount per month is 1000 so we are starting off this month strong!! It's ok though! We finally got my bike all built and ready to go. So we will be utilizing that while we can. I will be able to practice all my cool tricks. I can't have Jansen be a better biker than me by the time I get back. Gotta maintain my skill.
Oh YEAH! THURSDAY BABY! This week has been cruising by. Today was so solid! We had our weekly planning session. During this time we talk about the week to come and what we want to teach our friends and then set goals. We do companionship inventory and Set goals for each other/Invite one another to do something this next week to help improve or just something we feel like inviting them to do. Last week I invited Elder Rice to close the toilet seat after use! Just something as simple as that. Love weekly planning.
We put one of our friends ON DATE FOR BAPTISM! WOOOO CAN I GET A "WOOT WOOT"?! YES SIR!! It wasn't our plan to put him on date, it just happened. God led us in the direction that he wanted us to go. It was amazing. The power of the spirit is wonderful.
Tonight is when things got fun. Now this morning we heard all the rumors about the big storm that was to come. . . It was raining this morning but we didn't think much of it. We had our raincoats in the car ready to go just in case. The rain had died down late morning and it was a beautiful day. We were visiting one of our friends and we were just chatting outside. We could see lightning and the wind was picking up. It started sprinkling just a tad so we stepped under his garage covering. That's when things got wild! Drop after drop getting faster and faster. WOOO We love the rain!! We told our friend that we would let him go because it was getting pretty insane outside. We step out from under the covering and just an instant drench. Not a gradual thing. . . an instant soak! It was so fun! We had parked in the driveway of the friend that we were speaking to, and had to back out. If you didn't know, missionaries have a standard where the non driving companion has to help back the car. For many reasons this is a good rule and practice for situations, when you are in the pouring rain it makes for a really good time. I was chillin out in the rain for a good 1 to 2 minutes while backing Elder Rice out of the driveway. I was dripping when I got in the car, laughing the whole rest of the way back to the apartment.
We made nachos for dinner, with some questionable cheese. As we were eating we watched a silly video on Gospel Media, called The Phone Call. Now I have no clue why we are able to watch this but I highly recommend it. Take some time out of your day to watch this 24-minute masterpiece made by BYU. It changed my life. Though the ending isn't as good as I would have hoped for, I was able to get a good chuckle throughout this film. Now please, stop what you are doing (reading this email), and GO WATCH THE VIDEO!! You won't regret it. I promise. Pinky Promise at that.
What a long, and rewarding day. We had such a great plan for today that didn't turn out quite how we thought it would. But that is ok because we know that this other path was where God needed us to go and for some good reasons.
It was a normal start to the day, workout, personal study, and companion study. Just the usual things. Got to the apartment for lunch, and I was able to get a small nap in. (That was needed for the day to come) Elder Rice, being Zone Leader and all, had a few calls to get on. We went to a park, sat on a bench, and participated in these meetings. I sat quietly waiting just looking at the park and what it had to offer. There was a nice pond with some ducks, geese, and turtles. I watched as they goofed around. The main big boy goose was doing his thing, Hjönk Hjönkin around. The ducks were in some little duck gangs or something. There were about 3 different groups of ducks that would waddle around together and pick on each other. It was hilarious to watch. The Goose is part of one of these gangs and the ducks just follow him around. Anywho that is what I was doing while waiting for Elder Rice to be done with his calls.
After we finished all the calls, we took some time to do language study. Now I wasn't called to speak a language but Elder Rice is a Spanish missionary so we decided to put aside some time for him. I did my Duolingo and then looked up the Book of Mormon in German. I could read one word from the very first verse, which was Nephi. Never have I been more confused in my life. Who knows, maybe I will learn to read it someday. Gotta get myself a German Book of Mormon.
Why am I telling you about language study, well let me tell ya. Our study got cut short by talking to this elderly man and then we had to leave to go do some drop bys. Just contacting some people we think we should go see. During this, we passed by a group and introduced ourselves. They said they didn't speak English. Well, this is perfect, Elder Rice drops their jaws by speaking fluent Spanish. Of course, I had no clue what was happening. But it sounded like a solid conversation. We got contact info from what I could tell. It's fun guessing what people are saying based on context clues.
Later we are in a McDonald's, just finishing up putting in contacts that we had. We started talking to this gentleman. (Sorry, Elder Rice started talking to this gentleman in Spanish) I just sat there for about 45 minutes as they talked about so many different things about religion. I won't go into full detail on what Elder Rice told me they talked about but some people just don't want to listen. . . We were laughing about it later though, saying well if that didn't count as getting your language study in I don't know what does.
We shared the Book of Mormon app quite a few times today. Did you guys know there was an app for it? It is different than your Gospel Library. It sucks not being able to hand out physical copies. But what can you do when you run out?
It is really awesome being able to share a short message of the restoration and bare testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It is stressful at times but the feeling of sharing with others something I love is awesome.
Stake Conference has started. We had Elder Broc C. Haitt of the 70 attend. He is an amazing person. We had the opportunity to talk with him for a bit. One of our friends we are teaching was tricked into coming to the adult session by one of the members. The member said that they are going to dinner and a movie, which they did do, just not right away. Our friend talked to Elder Haitt for a solid amount of time. It was awesome to hear them have a conversation.
We had 2 lessons fall through today. For both lessons, we asked members to attend so it was awkward when they didn't answer the door and we just stand there with the member. I feel bad for the members because they are taking time out of their day to be here and it was just wasted because no one answered. We asked one of the members to come with us and drop by one of our friend's houses and he gladly agreed. As we arrived our friend was outside mowing, we talked to him and he invited us in. We had to have an impromptu lesson. It was fun but difficult. Having a member in the lesson with you always helps. He wanted to cook us some food but we had to get going.
As we were waiting for the other lesson, with a member, we had a random dude come up to us. Now I don't think I could tell you a single word he said. I picked out a few things, I'm pretty sure. He said something about "when are you taking the house?" and I told him that we aren't taking the house. We are missionaries sharing a message about Jesus Christ. He was holding two stuffed animals, a pack of cigarettes, and a bag of something. Very interesting experience and sad as well.
Stake Conference pt. 2! WOOOO Now I think this is the first time I have ever watched Stake Conference from a church building where it isn't being held. It was weird. We are so blessed in Utah to have all of our buildings close by. In Texas, we have to drive 40 minutes to the Stake Center. It is wild but a good time. Our friend that was tricked to go yesterday wanted to go today. So one of the members took him up to the Stake Center, and he loved it. He tried to see Elder Haitt again but he was really busy.
While waiting in the church before it started, we were greeting people coming in. This sweet old lady comes in and thanked us for holding the door. She then tells me how cute I am and that she would kiss me but she couldn't do that because she would get in trouble. I laughed and thanked her, it was pretty funny. It was weird having church in the morning instead of the afternoon. 10:00 Church is way different than 2:30.
That is how my week went. Let me know if you liked this format. It might be too long. Comment below on how I can improve. And don't forget to hit the like and subscribe! 😊
That's about it. See ya.
-Elder Kohl Payne