Friday, October 9, 2015

August – Less than one month of summer festivals left. Part 2

We went to the Greek Festival here. This is for our Greek neighbors, Jamie and Chris Petrigeorge. This festival is large, is located next to where we live and lasts for 10 days. We went to have some Baklava. It reminded us of the Greek Festival in Salt Lake. We had fun eating their delicious food.

Alisa and John and family came for a visit. We showed them the town and had a great time. Thursday they arrived in time to rest, walk around our place and have dinner at our apartment. We took them to see the beach the locks and the falls near our house. There was even a boat in the lock.
Friday we toured the city walking some five miles around all the great places. We saw the locks, the Champlain monument, the War Memorial and changing of the guard there, the canal from the Laurier bridge, the East block building next to Parliament and had a treat at Beavertails. We had Poutine for lunch and after watching more boats we went to dinner at the BaJa Grill on Dows Lake. The Northern Lights, a light show on the exterior of the Parliament Building was a great way to end the day. Saturday Sister Payne and I went early to get tickets for the center block tour of Parliament and then went to a baptism while the family went to the museum of History.

On Sunday, between the church block of meetings and the fireside, we had a potluck meet and greet. We had asked John if he would speak at a fireside for the YSAs while they were here. Both Alisa and John spoke and did a great job. We had promoted this even as the first monthly fireside of the year. We knew that with summer we would have very few YSAs in our ward, but we were hopeful. We were impressed that two senior couples from Montreal came as well as our Stake President and his wife. We were happy that fifty people came. We considered it a great success for the Institute and the YSA ward.

Monday was the Monson family’s last day with us and we went to Alexandria Bay on the St. Lawrence Seaway and took a boat tour of the 1000 islands with them. Then, the hard part, we had to say good-by. They went to Julies and we went home to go see the light show another time with the home evening group. We were so glad they came, we had only a few months with Jaymes after his mission and had not seen Tyler in two years. It was great because Sister Payne can’t hug the Elders in our mission and she was able to give these two past elders long and hard hugs. Megan graduated from high school while we have been here. Jaymes, Tyler and Megan all start at USU in a couple of weeks and Brayden is in 9th grade. How time flies.

Tyler asked what we like most about our mission. There are a lot of answers. For today the answer for Elder Payne is the study time and the baptisms. We have been able to study the scriptures more on the mission than before and that has been great.
And we have been able to witness and be part of new members lives.  This is one of the two baptisms we told you about before but we want to tell you again. The baptism last Saturday was for a Chinese YSA. When Chinese come here or to the states, they take on an English name. He goes by Bruce Lee. Some giggle at the name because as you know there is an actor named Bruce Lee. No, our Bruce is not famous, he is just humble. He just graduated from college and is now looking for a job so he can extend his visa and stay here. He has expressed his happiness with having been baptized and having the spirit with him and it shows. His smile is much bigger now. That makes six new converts in our ward in the six months we have been here. And there a number of others who have joined the church in the last year before we got here who are equally exciting to know. The first year can be a test of faith and they need support. The  returning members are just as exciting to see and work with. We have three or four of those all with amazing stories of rough times and recommitment. The point is the Church is alive here. It is not a place where everyone is gliding along at the same level of commitment year after year.
We were helping Brother Turner and his wife out with their house for the time they were gone. We stayed there a couple of nights and enjoyed the space, the yard, the big windows with a lot of natural light and the relaxing feeling at their place. They live in the country about 40 minutes from where we live. When we went home we took the ferry across the Ottawa River to Quebec and had dinner at a small restaurant.  The smoked meat sandwich and poutine were excellent. Smoked meat, poutine and beavertails are all delicacies here in Ottawa and Montreal.

Our Institute Class was supposed to stop on August 12th, giving us 3 weeks before Fall Semester starts. However, everyone wanted to continue. They like Institute and they like seeing each other. So we asked 3 students each week for the next 3 weeks to teach. We assigned topics to all and they did a really good job. They had fun doing it and everyone was glad they came. We were glad that they enjoyed coming. That is what we want to happen.

We have a new retired couple that will be helping with the up-coming YSA Committee.  They are pretty wonderful. He was the Montreal Temple President and she, the Matron from 2006 to 2009. However, they were in the Temple presidency before that. This committee will consist of two co-chairs, representatives from each ward in the stake. The Institute of Religion Council is also on the committee, with us, this new couple, Brother Turner and Brother Martinelli from our ward Bishopric and a High Councilman. President Piper of the Stake Presidency is over the Committee. We are excited for this committee to be formed. It will help the stake find those YSAs that we don’t know where they are as well as have a stake YSA activity once a month. They will be taking over the Firesides that we started.
Mission transfers were this month. We got a new elder from Belgium. He speaks 8 languages and will learn Chinese while he is here. Every transfer day they need Elder Payne to help shuttle the missionaries leaving the area to the bus station so that they can go to Montreal where the transfers take place. In the evening the missionaries coming to Ottawa, Petawawa and Abitibi come back to the church. It is quite a day and starts at 5:30 am. We are lucky that we are Senior Missionaries and can go back to bed when Elder Payne gets home.

We have Mission district meetings every week. It is a great experience to be around the missionaries as they tell stories. This particular meeting the district leader asked if the missionaries had any questions and no hands went up. Then he asked if there were any miracles to report and everyone’s hands went up. The sisters in Dows Lake told that they found a new investigator and felt that a certain new member needed to go with them to a lesson. The first meeting they were to have fell through the next day the new member called and asked if they had a lesson she could go to so they set it up again. It was a hour and a half bus ride and a long walk but they all got there on time. The meeting went so well they are going to set a baptismal date on their next visit.

The Chapel Hill sisters reported that last week the district leader encouraged them to lookup old investigators so they went through the long list and picked one to go see. When they got there a girl opened the door and said she had been waiting for them. Where had they been? As the story unfolded a set of sisters had taught her a lesson or two about a year ago and then were transferred and the new missionaries didn’t know to go see her. With their visit the Sisters have a great investigator who has been reading the Book of Mormon and is really ready. We heard more stories like this throughout the hour and a half meeting. It is absolutely amazing. The Lord is in charge and he works through us when we let him. The church is alive and working in Ottawa.
Saturday we got up early and went to see the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill, very British and much pomp and ceremony. It was spectacular. Two groups of soldiers in red coats, one group with white feathers and one with red feathers. The old guard comes to the Hill to be relieved of their duties and the new guard comes to take their place. They march about three blocks onto the parade ground, the big lawn known as the east block.
Then they do several manuvers and line up for inspection. There are two bands one Scottish and one brass band. After the inspection they march back three blocks to the guard station room. During the summer they do this every day at 10:00AM. But this was the last time this year. Sister Payne loves the bagpipes and is so excited that they use them so much in Ottawa. You know she is 1/2 Scottish and that explains a lot.

At the end of the month Ottawa had the Olympic paddling tryouts. These included kayaks canoe races for both men and women. It was at the Moonies Bay on the lake by our apartment. It lasted for about 4 days.

Institute is just around the corner. and we are getting serious ourselves about studying and getting ready for our many anticipated institute class this fall semester. Institute has a welcome out week as well as institute and then the fun starts, getting time slots to teach at the Universities. Let the fun begin.

We love this work. We are excited to spend full time working for the Lord in building His Kingdom here in Ottawa. The YSAs we meet are great. We love the missionaries we work with.

Love, Elder and Sister Payne



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

August – Less than one month of summer festivals left - First edition

Summer is festival session in Ottawa. We say less than, because many of the festivals and events in Ottawa officially end August 23rd even though elementary and secondary schools and higher education doesn’t start until September 8th.
Just to let you know we both now officially have bikes. We haven’t been able to ride them very much because there has been more rain this month and it has been very hot several days. But they are fun to ride. It is beautiful to ride along the canal. We are so lucky.


Here is our view of Moonies Bay on the 1st of August. Not much difference.
We started the month off with a baptism. This YSA loves the Gospel and prayed and accepted everything the Sisters taught her. She is from the Congo, but now lives in Ottawa. The sisters met her on the bus as they are busing missionaries. Each lesson the sisters taught her she accepted easily. She is grateful to be baptized and we love to see her at church.  We are so grateful that she has chosen to be baptized. Our Mission Leader got to baptize her on Saturday, August 1st.  Sunday Elder Payne was asked to confirm her a member of the church and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. That was a privilege. We are very grateful for the 4 baptisms we have had since we have been here. There hadn’t been a baptism since last November before the first of the four in April. It is the good work of our Dows Lake Missionaries. They are spiritually sensitive to those who are investigating. They love the Lord and His Spirit shines in their lives. It is so good to watch these missionaries be so excited about the church.

At the baptismal service one recent convert of less than a year spoke on faith. It was very articulate and one of the best most heartfelt talks I have ever heard on the subject. She said that faith grows as you live it “just look at the Payne’s, who are lifetime members”. That was special. There were over twenty people there and we were the only lifetime members there besides the missionaries. It made me think how special it is that we are here and how much they look to us as an example. (Elder Payne writing). My thoughts went back to my own baptism. I was baptized in Richfield in an old church building that had a concrete fount at the end of a hall in the basement and I changed clothes in a classroom. I remember standing to bear my testimony from the choir seats in the chapel on Sunday. That building has since been sold to some other church and replaced with a newer bigger building. Yes, I have been a member for a long time and my testimony has grown a lot. I have had so many experiences, done so much service, made so many choices and felt the spirit so many times that my testimony is indeed strong. I am grateful that the YSA’s here can benefit from it. Frankly, I need to give Sister Payne a lot of credit because it is her they love. After the talks a quartet of sisters sang the primary song “I Feel My Savior’s Love”. It was another tear jerker for me.
The same day we got to participate in Ella’s baptism (she belongs to Kellie and Brandon) through skype just like we had with Eli (Heather and Dan’s son.) in March. It was such a great experience to see these two wonderful spirits want to be baptized and so happy to be baptized. We are so glad that we could participate through Skype. Thank you family, for making this possible.

We got to go to the Garlic Farm again for Home Evening Group. This time it was to sort the garlic. There are the good bulbs that are firm and together and there are those that have started to split. The split ones they separate into smaller garlic. This is the last step in getting ready for the sale the second week in August. They also braid the garlic for the sale. We had two cute Chinese YSAs come that are investigating the church. They had a good time. We ended the night with popsicles courtesy of Brother Jones.

The second weekend we went to La Salle, by Montréal for the mulit-stake single adult conference. The stake center was in the southeast corner of the island. It was a newer building on a commercial street. Our assignment was to just be there and to be easy to find so nonmembers or less active member could find us and ask questions that missionaries could answer. We met so many great people all with stories to tell. We were like the instant friend people came to meet. There were 150 or 200 people from four stakes with about half speaking French and everything was translated. The chapel even has a translation booth. LaSalle is a 2 hour drive.  We met several interesting people and attended two interesting workshops. We invited two younger people that were there with their mother to our institute class. One of the older kids in our class this summer, who is over 30, went and he is very outgoing. At lunch he was at the table near us and he yelled out Elder and Sister Payne stand up. When we did he told the people at his table, much to our embarrassment, that we were his savior. He is now listening to our Savior of which we are very glad. Later at a break he tried to explain that he has only been coming to church and institute for seven weeks and we have had a great profound effect on his life. He went on and on about how great institute is. He told about the first day he met us and asked about our mission. Elder Payne said the best part was his companion. Since that he has set a goal of going on a senior mission with his wife some day. Now that he is active in the church all he needs is a wife and a career, a family and retirement. It is all very attainable.

We went to the National Art Gallery again with one of our YSAs that loves art. The picture shows a room that looks like a cathedral with sound speakers on all four sides of the room. It is interesting that each speaker has someone’s voice that when put with the others is an incredible surround sound choir.


Here is a recent story of a tender mercy. We have a faithful 19 year old sister in our ward that is planning to go on a mission. She has a job to save money for her mission. One of the part-time jobs she has is McDonalds and her shift is Wednesday night so she cannot come to Institute class. The stake president just called her to be a member of our new IRC, (Institute of Religion Counsel). She was worried about how she was going get out of working on Wednesday night. The very next day, Monday, her boss at McDonalds called her in and asked her to work full time on the day shift. Now she will not only be able to come to Institute and accept the call but she will make more money for her mission. When she told us the story Sister Payne told her the Lord knows her and her needs and makes a way for her to do his will. 

Each transfer we usually do something with our district. This time we hiked to the Lusk Caves. While the missionaries hiked all the way to Lusk Caves, we walked along Lac Phillip and enjoyed the stroll.

This picture was taken at the last meeting with our district before transfers. We have District Meeting every Thursday. The District Leader gives a lesson, another missionary discusses a section of our White Handbook, and we usually have a lesson from another set of missionaries from Preach My Gospel. It is always a good meeting and we get to learn from these well prepared missionaries. We only lost one missionary to Montreal. We are so glad we get to keep as many as we can. They are great missionaries.
We had two baptisms. One from our Chinese Dows Lake Missionaries and another from Kanata, a YSA that comes to Institute. They were both wonderful young people with strong testimonies. That is 6 baptisms since the first one in April. We are really blessed here. Interesting to note, that when a Chinese YSA is baptized, the baptism is done in Chinese with English translation. We have a great Chinese missionary from Taiwan. This was his first baptism and he got to both baptize and confirm him. The Kanata baptism in English was supposed to be done on Saturday, but she ended up having to leave Thursday to go to school in the states. An incredible young man that will be serving a mission soon, got to baptize her and the Bishop confirmed her that evening. There were about 20 people there. Elder Payne told her to be sure that she looks up the church when she gets there. She said that she already had and it was a 15 minute walk from the school. What a blessing these two will be in the church. After these two baptisms, we know that the church is growing with strong young people both members and new converts and that the Lord is in charge.

We are lucky to have had several training sessions, both with the Missionaries as well as President Patrick. This time it was the S&I Training (Seminaries and Institutes). The talks were wonderful. We were especially impressed with Elder Kim B. Clark’s talk. He told a story about his life. He and his wife were doing well and were active in the church when he had this distinct feeling he had to be better. He and his wife talked and reviewed two questions. What are we doing that we need to stop doing and what are we not doing that we need to start doing? With that they began systematically improving. He said without that he wouldn’t be standing in front of us talking now. His testimony was from the heart. Elder Clark was the president of BYU-Idaho before becoming a Seventy and before that he was the Dean of the Business School at Harvard.
We are enjoying teaching institute and learning more about the Savior. One week we only intended to cover one chapter, John 17, The Intercessory Prayer. We had a lot of participation and the spirit was strong, except for one moment when a girl on the back row broke out in laughter. So, I told a story of living in the world not of the world. We were able to get through 2/3 of the Chapter. The Savior loved His disciples and wanted our Heavenly Father to help them because He knew that it was going to be hard for His disciples after He was gone.

For our last night of the regular summer institute classes, the lesson was from John 14, 16, 17, and 20. We thought it was important to teach obedience, the Holy Ghost, the sacrament and the importance of the witnesses of the resurrection. It worked out very well. 12 people showed up for choir practice and 17 for class. Because our YSAs do not want to skip coming on Wednesday nights until Institute starts again, we agreed to have institute class but made assignments for some to teach a short topic each week. After class the missionaries showed up and asked for a ride home so I took them home and left Sister Payne to entertain and clean up. Then when I got back there were five others who needed rides home, Sister Payne took two girls home and came back, then we, took the other three home. We got home ourselves about 10:30. What a good night.
To Be Continued!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

July – Continuing Celebrations (Not all we did was sightsee) Part 2

We have found that getting to know Canada helps us to relate to the people here. The YSAs are excited when we know something abut their country. There are some really interesting monuments in the west part of Westboro that run along Wellington St. where one of our YSAs lives. They are marble fire hydrants with sculptures on top of each one. They range from an old computer monitor to corn, asparagus and books. These fire hydrants were donated by the firemen.

This is a marble fire hydrant with a cob of corn on top. There are asparagus, an old computer monitor, books, etc on the top of these fire hydrants that are found in Westboro.

The second Wednesday in institute, we were teaching by ourselves. Brother Turner had finished his spring semester and we had decided to continue to teach until August 12 as we said before. We finished Matthew 27-28, the crucifixion and the resurrection. This finished Matthew’s account of the fulfillment of prophecy. Some of the greatest words ever written were said by the angel at the burial site. “He is not here, he has risen, as he said.” This was our testimony to all who were there, that He lives, that He atoned for our sins and died that we might live again. We are grateful for that testimony and the knowledge we have as well as the opportunity to teach the Gospel to these wonderful YSAs.
Did we tell you before about how great our District Meetings are. We love working with these missionaries and appreciate their service.

It is always great to meet with Brother Turner, our Institute Coordinator. We love to hear his knowledge of the Scriptures. We turned to John 3: 15-19 – “whosoever believeth in Him (Christ) should not perish.” And “God sent His son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” We talked about these two sentences for some time, It was a good meeting.
View toward Parliament from a deck off the Museum

Interesting Architecture and yard art. Below is part of the First Nation Exhibit.

We went to the Canadian Museum of Culture to see two exhibits. The Magna Carta was on display but no pictures were allowed. They only let 30 in the room at a time so as we waited in line a university student came to get in line. He told us how excite he was because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and how he has read a lot of different religious texts. So we told him who we were and gave him a quick lesson on restoration and modern revelation and the book of Mormon. I was just going to offer to have the missionaries take a Book of Mormon over to his apartment when they called for us to go in the room. So, Sister Payne quickly gave him a “He is Risen” pass-along card with our number on it. After that we went into the exhibit on Canada history and of the confederation. The exhibit started in 1838 and progressed up to 1867 when Canada became a country. Canadians are very proud of their history.

Later we went over to the Parliament building and watched the light show called Northern Lights. It is a patriotic light show shined onto the parliament building every night in the summer months, through part of September. We were very impressed and glad they are so proud and happy with Canada. It was quite the light show.



    This is the picture of the end of the light show. The Canadian flag has red on both ends with white in the middle and a maple leaf on the white background.

We have helped initiate a monthly fireside in our Dows Lake YSA Ward. We are really excited about it. We asked the Bishop and he thought it was a great idea and asked the ward council. They thought it was a good idea too. So, onward and upward. Since we do not have a YSA committee or an Institute of Religion Council yet, we were able to help pull this off. John and Alisa and family are already coming to visit in August so we asked John if he could speak at our first fireside in the series. He said that he would be glad to. We made flyers to put up in the meetinghouses from Kingston to Montreal. We don’t have a lot of YSAs come during the summer and it is about 10 days early for the school crowd to come, so we know that the numbers might be few. We will see. We are excited about it anyway. We remember going to firesides all the time when we were at the Institute of Religion at the U of U. These were times that we could date and not spend money but have a great spiritual experience. We hope that this is so for the YSAs. Time will tell. We have been making the flyer for the fireside series both in English and in French.

Singing on Mount Royal
Alley. Below is a heart sculpture in front of one of the buildings

We had a great experience meeting with the other eight senior couples and the mission president and his wife. We hardly ever get  to see the senior missionaries and were glad that they decided to have this get together since Elder and Sister Christensen were going home. We went to lunch at a little French restaurant,  Restaurant Café La Petite Marche, then to Mount Royal, the highest hill in Montreal to see the view of the Montreal Valley. There is an ordinance that no building in Montreal can be built higher than Mount Royal. Mount Royal is the place where President and Sister Patrick bring all the new missionaries. They take pictures and sing President Patrick’s favorite hymn, "Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise". We then had time to drive around Montreal and stopped at Montreal Museum of Fine Art. We walked around outside the 3 buildings. There is an alley between.

We had dinner and a great evening at the Mission President’s home. We loved hearing about each of the couples' assignments. Several are newer to the mission than we are and one couple was going home.
Elder and Sister Christensen from Sandy. They live close to Albion Middle School.
With them leaving we won't have any couples close. All are 2 hours away or further. We also met the CES couple in Montreal. They have loved teaching. One teaches Institute in English and one in French. They do a dinner for two wards of YSAs every Friday. After dinner we had a meeting (counsel) with President Patrick. One couple does not speak English and we do not speak French, so President Patrick translated. It was very rewarding and good to know there are so many couples that want to serve a mission.

We will continue to teach each Wednesday through until August 12. We decided to teach out of John because this is the gospel that was written for the saints. We averaged about 20 YSAs in July. They have a thirst for learning the gospel and like Institute. It is fun to teach them and we enjoy being around them. After one of our lessons we had time and turned it over for testimonies. Out of the four who bore their testimonies, two were new members and one was a returning member. The three told the same story of how the church changed their lives and how extraordinary it is to know God and enjoy having his spirit with them. They just want to be around the church because it feels good. It was like they were trying to convince us that it is even better than we know it is. The member also bore a powerful testimony of his knowledge of the church and how grateful he was to be a part of it. We count that institute class a success, a blessing, a spiritual experience, a tender mercy and thank our Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be here on this mission.
As we said, our car is on this mission too and we are very glad we have it. We sometimes, more than once, wish that we had a car with more seats. Our church building sits on Prince of Wales, between Heron/Baseline and Carling. There is no bus that goes in front of our building. It is about a two block walk from the bus stop at Heron/Baseline to our building. It is not so bad in the summer but in the winter it can be brutal. Also, if our YSAs live in Little Italy, Westboro and China Town they have to take a bus downtown in order to take another bus to a bus terminal and then get the bus that goes along Heron/Baseline. Even though they may only live 10 to 15 minutes from the ward by car, it takes them about 1 hour to get there by bus and on Sunday, the bus time is extended. They stopped this part of the bus route about 3 years ago.

We have had the opportunity to help these YSAs with blessings, heart to heart talks, listening, listening and listening as well as offering advice when asked. We are having a baptism on August 1st. Let you know later. We know that the Lord needs us here. We know that this Church is true and we are being greatly blessed here in Ottawa.

Love you all,   Elder and Sister Payne

Saturday, August 29, 2015

July – Continuing Celebrations – Part 1

We have found the seasons here to be Winter, Winter, Short Spring, a Summer of Festivals as well as Construction. We don’t know yet about Fall. We just know that there are a lot of Festivals in the summer and a lot of construction. Does the construction sound familiar. Every ethnicity has a festival ad there are festivals at the lake, downtown, etc.

Wednesday, July 1, was National Canada Day. It is like the 4th of July for us in the USA. We went downtown to walk around and see the festivities. Most of the streets were closed so we drove part way and parked the car on the street where there were no parking charges or meters and then rode the double decker bus into town.


The Canada Supreme Court building was open for public tours so we went in. We found it very interesting. Canada has nine Supreme Court justices, three from Quebec because they are French speaking and three from Ontario because they have the most population of all provinces, two from the west and one from the Atlantic side. All the judges are required to be bilingual in French and English. They are required to retire at age seventy-five. The building is high quality, French in style and very well finished with wood and stone. The presentation was given in English and French alternately. We both enjoyed the tour very much.
Sorry about the side view, but we could not fix it. This is an RCMP with Elder Payne
We walked on Parliament Hill and watched a Secondary School band play. We were on the grounds when a RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) told a couple that he had to leave because it was going to really come down in about 5 minutes. It did and we had an enormous rain storm. We were prepared with an umbrella and our raincoats and we and everyone else ran toward the Rideau Mall. By the time we got there Elder Paynes pants were soaked below the knee. His shoes seemed to be Ok. Sister Payne's skirt was soaked at the bottom and my shoes were swimming. We finally got in the mall and headed for Nordstrom’s. Sister Payne went into the washroom and wrung out the bottom of her skirt and tried to dry her shoes in the hand dryer, after which she put paper towels in the bottom. The operative word here is try. We decided to eat lunch with about 1,000 people in the food court with no seating. We went around and around and finally found a place to sit.

After it stopped raining we walked to the Canadian National Mint and took the tour. We loved the Mint. The exterior has incredible architecture.
Again it was very interesting. The mint in Ottawa makes collector and investment coins for countries all over the world. I think he said they can make two thousand coins an hour. And they had two hundred million dollars’ worth of precious metal on supply. We lifted a gold bar and of course took a picture. We bought some collector quarters for souvenirs.

After, we walked through Murray Hill Park and bought two cobs of corn from a farm vender. We saw the locks that start from the Ottawa River and go south along the Rideau Canal.
All day we had walked a total of 11,420 steps and finally boarded the bus to go home about 7:30 or 8:00. When we got home we went up to the sports (24th) floor of our building and watched the fireworks through the window. The fireworks were spectacular.
We like to walk along the Rideau Canal. These pictures were taken just as the sun was setting. It is beautiful no matter what time of the day it is.


We love to help at the Garlic Farm. This month we got to go and help sort the garlic. We would make sure the garlic bulb is solid and not splitting and put them in the proper pile. The garlic had been picked and was drying on these large wooden shelves. We had a couple of Chinese YSA investigators helping with garlic. They are both really sweet. We hope they keep coming to church and keep progressing in the Gospel.


It is interesting that many of the Chinese students are interested in the Church; but, from outside influences, they read decide not to listen any further. We have a quite a few Chinese members on our YSA rolls that we cannot find both here and Montreal. Many have gone back to China. We hope when China is open to proselyting, they will come out of the woodwork and be good members in China. However, we have one great Chinese sister that is absolutely darling. She helps a lot in missionary work as she studies at U Ottawa. She is definitely amazing and we love her to death.

This month we had a couple of days to travel. Brother Turner had told us that we really needed to see Jones Falls. We drove down to Jones Falls and saw this beautiful set of locks. There is a 54’ drop in the river at this point. The locks are huge. We watched some boats going through a couple of the locks. Then we hiked up to the top lock, then went back to this quaint little village with its boat docks, a very expensive old hotel and a small, older fast food sit down restaurant.

We traveled to Kingston and stayed in Gananoque. The next day we took a one hour boat tour of the thousand islands on the St. Lawrence Sea Way. This is something that Elder Payne wanted to see since he served his mission on the US side of the St. Lawrence River. It was beautiful.
To count as one of the Thousand Islands, land within the channel must be at least 6’ square and have at least one living tree and one bush or two trees and be above water level year-round.

We had transfers and no we are not going anywhere; but, our grandson Tyler, Alisa and John’s son is coming home. We are so excited for them. We see the missionaries as they are transferred both to another area and home. We love to be these missionaries and we get so attached to them, it is hard to see them leave our YSA area.

Did we mention that the YSA has no boundaries within our mission in Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. Our Dows Lake missionaries also get to use Facebook to communicate with the YSAs, since that is their main form of communication next to texting. It is a good thing they can use Facebook, because they can keep up with their investigators, their less actives and their new converts. The missionaries keep in touch with the new members for at least two years and the less actives as well. The church hopes that they can be friends for life. That is a great opportunity for the missionaries as well as the members, because they can see them progress and know how they are doing.

We have been asked to teach the Temple Prep class to a member of our ward. She is going to get her endowments in August and is so excited. She is a great member and a wonderful YSA. What a blessing we have to see her progress and her love for the Lord as she prepares herself for the Temple.

We had our HEG (home evening group)/institute combined activity at Brother Turner’s home. We roasted hotdogs and s’mores in the fire pit. One of the counselors asked if anyone had a spiritual thought. My mind went blank, but Elder Weber, one of our Chinese Elders assigned to our ward, offered to tell about the scripture he had recently read. It was an excellent end to the night.
We will send part 2 in a couple of days! Love Elder and Sister Payne






Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our very busy June – Installment #2

There is a lot of work to be done here. We are starting to work on the list of all the YSAs in our ward. We have a list of about 181, but during the summer we see about 40 coming to church. Some on the list are at home for the summer, but the majority we don’t know where they are. Let me review the numbers. The stake has 540 YSA members of which about 50 chose to stay in their home ward for one reason or another and 12 are on missions. So we, mostly Sister Payne, are going over the lists making notes and getting help from the missionaries in each ward to find out where everyone is. It is a daunting task but necessary because the Young Single Adults are vulnerable so we need to support them in any way we can. We hope that soon the Stake will call some people to be on the YSA counsel and the IRC counsel who can help with the effort.
During HEG (Home Evening Group) this month we have played sand volley ball on Moonies Bay. We also brought our Kubb set. They have had a lot of fun with it and It is fun to see the energy of these young people. We hope to continue to get to know them better. Picture of Moonies Bay with the sand.

Spiritual experiences abound and the Lord works in mysterious ways.

We had appointments to take the Chinese Elders shopping at 2:30 and bring our Kubb set to the HEG activity later at Moonies Bay. We headed downtown to find the Elders. We called to find where to pick them up and found they were very close to where we were. As soon as they got in the car I, for some reason, asked them if they had had lunch, I don’t normally do this. No, was their answer. So, I said, how about Subway? There was one right where we were and there was a parking place right in front of it. That never happens. I parked and instantly a lady walked up we recognized as the mother of a new convert. She was so happy to see us and agreed to come to church next week. She was Chinese and the elders spoke Chinese with her. Just as she was starting to walk away and Sister Payne was putting money into the parking meter, another Chinese lady came up and asked her for directions. As the missionaries started going into Subway.Sister Payne called them to come back,  Collectively, we were not sure with which way to send her, so Sister Payne got the GPS out of the car and the elders found the street she was looking for. It was close and instead of sending her on her way, these smart Elders offered to walk with her to her destination. By the time they got there they had explained that they were missionaries and she had expressed her interest in finding a church so they set up an appointment for a lesson. The Elders returned so excited that they had found a new prospect. We bought them lunch.

Now on to Moonies Bay. We picked up a YSA and went to the beach where the HEG activity was to be but when we got there we couldn’t find any ward members. So I set up the Kubb game and started playing with him. The missionaries and a couple of other YSAs started coming while we were playing Kubb and Sister Payne was sitting on a bench close by. A young man came up and sat by her. He was from Iran, a Muslim and was working on his PHD at U Ottawa. He finally starting asking Sister Payne about girlfriends. Which one should he date and how do you date. He had never had a girlfriend before and had never dated before. Sister Payne was so impressed with his beliefs and his moral standards she told him he believes a lot of the same things we believe in our church. They talked for the longest time and he was so grateful for the talk, he asked if he could possibly call her if he had other questions. She gave him a pass along card and we hope that eventually he calls to ask about the church. We count that as special spiritual experience. During that time the RS president came and told us that she read on facebook that the activity had been cancelled. She and another couple of YSAs had come and the elders and sisters were there because investigators were supposed to come. We ended up having eleven people there. So I said, let’s sit on the grass and make a home evening out of this. We had prayer and passed a book of Mormon around and each read a verse or two. Then we had a closing prayer. That was significant because HEG activities almost never have a spiritual component. I felt great about it because one member was less active and another boy and girl sat by each other and seem to be developing a relationship. We hope so, they would make a great couple. We are on a mission and the Lord is in charge around here.

We visited the National Gallery of Canada with Elder and Sister Christensen, the MLS French speaking couple that lives by Albion. We had a great time.

This is a large art gallery and the building inside and out is just as much a piece of art as the art in the building. There is a large spider sculpture in front. It is amazing, we couldn’t believe it, because we saw this same sculpture in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the park while visiting Sister Payne’s cousin, Bettye and Roberto and their family.

Sister Payne and Sister Christensen
After seeing some of the art inside, we walked around the building where there are other sculptures on the grounds. We got some good pictures of Ottawa City from a point overlooking the Ottawa River. We could see the back of Parliament Hill.

Parliament Hill and the surrounding buildings are in Uppertown. They don’t use the term Uppertown anymore, just Parliament Hill and centre-ville or downtown. However, it is the highest point in the city. This part of downtown was settled by the English and Scottish. To the east of downtown is called lowertown and was settled by the French. It includes Byward Market, a quaint artist and farmer’s market area and has Ottawa’s famous Beaver Tails.

This is a picture of Champlain off the point behind the Art Museum. You can see a lot from here.
The green space and canals and rivers always amaze us. There is so much of it. When we walk to the falls, we have to laugh because there are always ducks up on one of the ridges of calm water next to the raging water. It is such a big contrast.

There is a machine we call a water Zamboni. It paddles its way down the canal and brings up the grass that is growing in the water, puts it on a conveyor belt and dumps it into a hopper. This keeps the weeds and grass down in the canal so the boats do not get it in their props.

At the end of the month was our YSA “Conference in the Capital”.  The theme was Coming out of Obscurity” and Brother Goldthrop from Toronto was the keynote speaker. He took a fascinating hour to introduce the theme. Then we had a dance, which all YSAs love, with the gym decorated in an Hawaiian theme.
Our ward helped with those who came from out of town to find someplace to sleep or billeting as they call it here. The members of the stake were very gracious. Saturday we had six workshops and two service projects. Provident living, the Temple, one completely French speaking class, the power of influence, dating 101, and social media were the workshops. The service projects included the garlic farm and making sleeping mats out of plastic bags to send to 3rd world countries. That was amazing.
We ended up that evening at Mont Cascade, a ski resort turned water park in the summer and had a great time.
Sunday, we had our Mission President, President Patrick, as well as Brother Goldthrope speak in our sacrament meeting. We had YSAs from Toronto, Montreal, and in between as well as a few from New York. Friendships were formed and testimonies were strengthened.

We love our mission, we are very blessed and we know that trials can be overcome with the help of the Lord. We know that Jesus is the Christ and is the Son of the Living God. We know that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration and that through him the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to its fullness in this the last dispensation.

We think of you often and hope that all is well.

Love, Elder and Sister Payne