When we were about to start playing disc golf (we just had to wait for the sisters to arrive), a man started walking up to the group of Elders. He noticed our tags and hands us all these comic book things for a Baptist Church and tells us that we as young people need to know the truth. As we read these comic book things we start laughing. He then comes back and just preaches to us for a while. We say 'Amen' here and there and 'We agree'. Don't you worry I am keeping the book to look back on. It was nice that he was sharing his belief with us, we were just laughing at the comic book style and what it was trying to teach. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon because he invited us to read these books. He said No.
I got probably the worst news that I have ever received thus far on my mission. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling a little more normal than usual. It is hard to explain. We start getting ready for the day. I look at my phone and read a message from one of my best friends;
"I should tell you, brother. I got sent home...I need surgery so they sent me home."
Receiving this message broke my heart. It is not a message that I wanted to read on Tuesday morning right after P-day. I then checked on Facebook and saw that he was home. He wrote that he had been able to find peace in this time. I didn't know how to feel at this moment. I definitely didn't find any peace. I did my best throughout the rest of the day trying to forget it. I was on exchanges with Elder Tyler. We had a pretty trash day. I am going to be completely honest. That was probably the worst day on the mission so far. Elder Tyler was very helpful, encouraging, and always lifting me up, even when I was at my low. We had no lessons, no one answered the door when we went by, the Facebook finding was not going great, and just the tone of the day was off. We ended on a high note though. The very last person that we were going to talk to, answered the door. After all the missed contacts, he was the one we knew we were going to talk to. Though, he wasn't very interested in taking the missionary lessons again, we felt as though our prayer to Heavenly Father was answered. It was a super small victory that lightened up that day. We then went and celebrated by buying some frozen pizzas and ice cream. Went back to the Belton apartment, put them in the oven, turned on a Book of Mormon story video, and feasted. Elder Tyler and I were still able to have a fun day even if it wasn't the best day. The pictures we have can and will prove that. Now why do I tell you about this day? Not every day is sunshine and rainbows on the mission. Even though sometimes it may seem that way. I was able to find peace, just as my friend did. The next day was calming, despite how I felt the previous day. We all go through our ups and downs. Just make sure you always go back up. :)
Found a silly watermelon at Taylor's Valley:
It was raining pretty hard that night. I wrote a poem about it that I need to touch up a bit before I reveal it to the public haha. The storms are so nice to watch though!
This Zone Conference was a great one! We had 3 zones that got together in the Temple church building. So, we didn't have to drive far at all. Others had to drive an hour to an hour and a half. But we got lucky. Might not be so lucky next time haha. We helped the APs set up at 9-10 and we were there till 4ish Crazy long. They provided food. It was nice to meet other missionaries and get a lot of guidance from President Fox, the APs, the ZLs, and even other missionaries. I took a lot of good notes that I have actually been looking back on.
Tornado Warning Pictures
We got a tornado warning and watch and then a severe thunderstorm warning during weekly planning last Friday, as you can tell in the photo. We are safe and sound.
Below are pictures that the Spanish Sisters took of me while we had a service project and all the fun little things we found.
We found so many scorpions! It was pretty cool! I picked one up as you can see in the pictures. We found a baby snake. Found a big snake that someone accidentally killed with the Weed Wacker. (didn't include that photo, you're welcome) Super fun service that we got to be a part of.
Overall a good week. I have been seeing the hand of the Lord in every aspect of my mission life. It has been super cool to be a part of. I hope you all are still doing ok and reading your scripters and going to church. I got to 2 Nephi 25 this week. Not as far as I wanted to get but it is ok. My personal studies have been awesome.
Elder Rice will probably be transferred this next transfer. We will get news on Sunday. It is kinda crazy that I am almost out of training. Elder Rice has been the best and I couldn't have gotten a better trainer. He is very diligent in the work, always improving his knowledge, and wanting to grow. He has helped me start off the mission right by working hard and getting out of my comfort zone. It is going to be interesting to see who will be taking his place here in Temple, Texas.
Find out next week. . .
That's about it. See ya.
-Elder Kohl K. Payne