Welcome back to yet another weekly email! This week was pretty mid. Got a lot of good things that happened last week that just fell apart completely. With that comes probably the toughest news ever . . .
Do you remember the one guy that had a massive change and told us he wanted to get baptized? His name is Brian. He is such a wonderful guy and just a great person. We had been meeting with him every single day since last Sunday. So for this entire week, we had been meeting with him and trying to get him ready to enter the waters of baptism. Unfortunately, one night he came across some anti and his view of the church has completely changed. It was a pretty tough conversation that we had with him. He doesn't want anything to do with us anymore and doesn't want us to even reach out every once in a while. I think we ended things on a pretty high note. He still loves the people that Elder Giuffra and I are. We tried to talk about the anti he got ahold of but he just kept saying that we weren't going to convince him, and we said that we weren't trying to. It's a pretty sad situation and he hopes he will come around someday. We know he felt the spirit which is a really good step. I guess that he wasn't fully ready at this moment in time, or we just screwed up pretty badly. I don't know. We wished him the best as he continues his journey in life. If you can please say a quick prayer for him to continue in the progress that he has made. Thank you!
Pretty tough. We were in our feels this entire Sunday. It was a really good sacrament meeting! It helped me stay focused and reminded me to keep praying even when the storms come. Because during the meeting, I'm going to be pretty honest here, I was starting to doubt a lot of things. My testimony was weakening and I was starting to doubt. But then the first speaker got up to give his talk. This youth gave the simplest talk but one that will stick with me forever.
He started to describe a tornado and storm that was coming toward his house one night. He and his siblings were frightened while his parents were going outside to see how cool the storm was. They were watching the news on the TV and were told that they should probably take cover from the storm that was about to come. The family then got together on their knees and prayed for safety from the storm. They then hunkered down and continued to pray. The storm eventually passed and they were ok. A very simple story but one that we can all pull from. The spirit was speaking to me so strongly during this talk and told me that these storms, trials, afflictions, and tribulations, will come. But we can pray them through. It was a super simple message that just hit me really strong. Now I am still working on praying through the storm but I know it is going to be alright. Somehow, someway, God will provide a way.
There is a member that we have been hanging out with on P-days. He is pretty dang cool! We go over to his house to play games and just talk. Last Monday we were helping him with his game Mutual (The LDS dating app lol) and playing Risk. It has been such a blast being able to connect with him. He is going through some hard times, and I am glad that we can be here for him. We are trying to get the ward to get him some ministering Brothers. I honestly don't know where they are at with that but we have been trying since Elder Rice left. So. . . yeah.
After playing Risk we then went and played a quick game of Lazer Tag with just the Elders! It was super fun! It brought me back to my days working at Provo Beach. Elder Giuffra, Elder Raban, Elder Stevens, and I had such a blast with just one game of Lazer Tag. It was a free for all game which kind of made it better. Now I am a little disappointed with myself. . . I didn't get first but I did get second. It still really doesn't matter that much though, as Dave Earnhardt said, "Second place is the first loser." So I just lost and am the biggest loser. Double ouch.
We went to a pretty good BBQ place with our members one night called Backyard Barbeque. Elder Giuffra got his massive baked potato that had brisket on it and looked super good but HOLY COW a lot of food. This man was grubbin and devoured that thing in probably 6-10 minutes. It was pretty crazy. As we were leaving we got some toothpicks to help get some BBQ out of our teeth. We go on with our night and I still have this toothpick about an hour later. We were parked at a gas station due to a Zoom meeting that we had. I had wedged the toothpick between two parts on the steering wheel so when the meeting was done I could go back to using my toothpick. Well, time passes and I forgot about this toothpick. We finish the meeting and are about to drive away when I stab myself with the dah gum toothpick that I had forgotten about. . . Right into the palm of my hand. I take it out and go on with the week. I still have a mark but there is no pain so we chillin.
This past Friday Elder Giuffra tried to get his driver's license. There was a lot of prep work coming up to this moment but apparently not enough. We get to the place, check-in, and then wait for about 15-20 minutes. They call him back and we get told he can't get one. He needs proof of residency, which is kinda hard to get when you are a missionary. He could have gotten a Texas ID but not a license. Kinda silly. He also has to do a driver's education course. It was a lot. So we may try again later. Who knows. He goes home soon anyway.
Elder Giuffra and I have been listening to a pretty good podcast on marriage. Here is the youtube link in case you are interested:
Now you might be thinking, wouldn't this make us trunky? NO! It gives us the motivation to keep going! You just need to listen to it and you will understand haha
This week has been a little tough but Elder Giuffra and I are excited to finish this transfer out strong and see many miracles as we continue to put forth our faith!
I have been really enjoying reading the Book of Mormon! I am at Alma 8. Not super far but we chillin. I have been loving marking it up and finding things that stand out to me. My New Testament reading didn't really get anywhere. I honestly might start listening to it in the car or while I am getting ready for the day.
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Hope you are doing well and following the Lord. God loves you!
That's about it. See ya.
- Elder Kohl Payne