The Field is Ready to Harvest

The Field is Ready to Harvest

ZooWeeMAMA!! What a wild time it has been here in the craziness of Texas. So much has already happened so let me get started right away.

At the end of the day, last Tuesday, the MTC was blessed to have a devotional. It was a different experience than anything I've ever experienced. On every 2nd Tuesday of the month a General Authority comes to the MTC for a devotional. We were all speculating on who it could be. Two of the Texas bond missionaries help with ushering for the devotionals and other events, so they knew who it was. They were told specifically not to tell anyone. So they didn't. . . Kinda. As I would be talking to one of the Elders the other one would mouth who it was. So out of the corner of my eye, I read Holland. By this, I was very excited to be in THE ELDER HOLLAND's presence. He is a powerful man and speaks with such authority, that there is no way anyone can deny his words. The devotional is starting and they announce the speaker, Matthew Holland. I turn to the Texas Elders confused. Once Matthew Holland (who is in the Quorum of the Seventy) starts talking he makes it all clear. Elder Jeffery R. Holland had gotten ill so he asked his son to give his talk. In the 30+ years that Elder Holland has been speaking at the MTC he has never prepared a talk. He follows the spirit to know what he needs to say, absolutely crazy! This time he felt inspired to write a talk. So when he got ill he was able to then asked his son to share his address with the Elders and Sisters of the MTC. It was amazing! The experience was amazing!!

My last night at the MTC was good. Elder Hoops and I walked around the whole building just talking to all we could. We got to the fourth floor and talked to The Wet Witch and one of The Bean Wizards and the rest of their room. They have been at the MTC far too long and still have several weeks to go. They have probably seen about 4 different groups of missionaries come into the MTC and leave.

Getting up the morning that we had to leave wasn't as rough as I thought it was going to be. I got about 3 hours of sleep, due to being anxious and making sure everything was packed. Got up at 3 am and didn't get to bed until 10:30. There was a group of 14 of us that were traveling to the airport. (Much more missionaries would travel that day but at the time we left it was only 14) I feel like none of us knew where we were going but we were led in the right direction. Just a reminder to us that God wanted us to get where we were going. It was a fun experience with the freezing cold weather, the wind, the monkey noises (of course), and confused Elders and Sisters. But, we all got to the airport safe and sound. If you didn't know we have to take the bus to Provo Front Runner, then take the front runner to Salt Lake City, then transfer to Trax to get to the airport. Navigating the airport wasn't bad at all. Going through security was the roughest part. I forgot that I had my full-size toothpaste and shampoo in my carry-on bag, so the airport man stole them.(haha) I was disappointed in myself but then I got a really good waffle for breakfast and that made it all better. Can't stay mad after a good waffle!!

The plane ride was alright! A little rough during the duration of the flight but we made it all safe and sound. In case you were worried! Yes, I made it to Texas. The one and only. It was one of the Elder's first time on an airplane so it was fun to watch him as we took off and landed. He had the biggest smile on his face! The little joys in life are what we live for.
I got my trainer and his name is Elder Rice, and I bet you will never guess where he is from. . . I'm waiting. . . Pleasant Grove, Utah!! 2 towns over from where I live!! We talked and found some mutual friends. It's been fun being able to talk to him about the Utah Valley area and have him actually know what I'm saying!! He has been out for 18 months, play's soccer, and graduated in 2021. He is very disciplined and loves God. He was called Spanish speaking but has been in English speaking areas ever since his second transfer. He still keeps up with his language study and we are hoping and praying that he will be able to get into another Spanish area before he leaves. Pray for Elder Rice!!

I am in Temple, Texas which is in the Waco zone. Elder Rice is actually the Zone Leader, so I am getting the best of the best. President Fox knew I would need it. Temple is kind of a poor area from what I've been able to see. There are some Utah type neighborhoods, like Vineyard, with those small houses all tightly put together. Been to a lot of houses where when you walk in you get hit with thick smoke, weed, or an alcohol smell. That has been a tough adjustment for me.
Been eating enough to survive, the ward members feed us almost every night. First the Wilsons, then we got dinner from the Mimbs, then the Pritchards, then the Clayton's with Geraldo who is one of our friends who is on date to be baptized!! (that's a later story) The members are really nice and do A LOT of missionary work!! We have a lot of members that sit in on lessons with our friends and it helps! If we can get a member to become friends with the person we are teaching it basically means that they are going to be baptized. I have a challenge for you all, Invite someone to come to church. Anyone your heart desires. Pray and ask who you can invite.

A quick list of some things that happened this week because I am running out of time:

1. Got some really good food at a place called Green's Sausage House. Ate my first Kolache and it was so good.

2. It has been really cold the past few days. Due to the wind, feels like home.

3. Grinding out some Saftey Zone videos (which are the missionary safety videos)

4. Cute puppies everywhere but also mean puppies

5. A lot of sad looking homes around.

6. CHURCH. Got to meet a lot of the members, but don't remember all the names.

7. Got a gun waved at me. Pretty cool and scary all at the same time. The guy really didn't want us at his door.

8. It has been hard to adjust to full time missionary life. I need to just be patient with myself and know it will get easier.

Didn't have enough time to put all the things I wanted to in this email but we got next week, right? I will have more photos next time. Thank you all for your prayers on my behalf. I do feel them!

That's it for now. See ya.
Elder Payne

Kolache's look them up, so good
P-Day lunch at Raising Cane's with my district. We played disk golf and spike ball
The whole crew that arrived in the field on Feb 15th
President and Sister Fox. Yep, I am tired. It was a travel day.
Awe, the Texas sunset.
No mountains anywhere