Saturday, April 25, 2015


March 28, 2015

FYI Definition: YSA’s = Young Single Adults ranging in age from 18 to thru 30.

We have been in Ottawa for three weeks now. It may be fun to tell about some of the adjustments we have had to make. It has been interesting to wear a suit every day and even more interesting to wear a coat and scarf over the suite every day. But I did wear a suit when I worked in a bank and I do have a coat so that was not hard. Wearing a skirt every day is harder for Jeanette when she is so used to wearing pants. She loves keeping warm with her fuzzy lined tights, mostly her white coat and the two beautiful scarves she got, one from Alisa and one from Rita.
Our apartment is small so we have to live in confined quarters, at least more than at home. We only have one bathroom and the fixtures remind me of my first mission. We park in a designated spot on the second parking below ground and need to walk 200 yards to the elevator, not like home. We do not have a dishwasher so we wash all our own dishes and we don’t have a disposal so we need to scrape the dishes, now that is a big change. We have to do the laundry in a coin operated laundry on the top floor of our building. It takes a special credit card so we need to load money into the card every once and a while. It cost about $10 to $20 a week to wash clothes. The heat is radiant so it takes several hours to warm up and cool down. It has been difficult to find a good sleeping temperature. Not only do we wash our own dishes we clean the whole apartment ourselves and iron shirts (Isn’t that amazing?) Learning to text on an old flip phone has been an adjustment. From the tenth floor the sky can look blue and warm but when we go out it is 15 degrees Fahrenheit and cold. Here is a picture of the still frozen river from our balcony. The lakes and canals are also still frozen.
Taken from our deck toward the Rideau River

There are a lot of one way streets and bus only lanes, so driving takes a little getting used to. There are high-rise buildings all over in the suburbs as well as downtown and the downtown is three or four times bigger than Salt Lake. We have also had to get use to how much things cost. For instance it costs $4 per hour to park on campus, $16 to park at the public library, $4/gal. for gas, meat is terrifically expensive (we found a 3lb roast that was $23.00 at Wal-Mart) and some food is about double what we are use to.

The people here, in and out of the church, are very kind and helpful but they still honk if you are slow at a stop light. All in all I think we have adjusted very well.

Here is a picture of our building plus the front door and portico to our building.


Here is a picture of the building across the parking lot from us. This was taken since March 28.

Here are some interior pictures:
 Living room area
Dining room area and desk

                                                         Bank of windows in living room

Front door to our apartment

                                           Elevators close to our door
Parking space
I have been studying the Gospel more than before. We have taught institute lessons on Education, Marriage, Health and from CES Devotion talks on Real Intent, Tuning to the Spirit, and Understanding the Spirit. This week we are going to teach Truth and Tolerance. They all take study and prayer. We teach four times a week and since our classes are small we try to get the students to talk about their experiences and we try to add some of our own experiences in a round table discussion format. So far it has worked well. We have had lots of spiritual experiences and have gotten to know some wonderful people, including members, missionaries, returned missionaries, new converts, and students away from home and living at home as well as investigators. It is Interesting that they speak several languages. Most know at least 2 languages and many 3 or 4.

Our Institute Coordinator, Brother Brian Turner, complimented us on a fast start and hitting the road running. You know we had 6 months to get ready and decide on lessons, etc.

On March 21st we drove a rental van 5 hours and took 5 YSAs along with 2 other car loads to the Toronto Temple That was a great experience. We were able to do several baptisms. Julia Yuan, one of our newer Chinese YSA converts was able to have baptisms done for her great grandmother and great grandfather. Akinwumi Abiodun Akindele (Abbey for short) was able to do the work for his father. He was really grateful for that opportunity. He is from Nygeria. (Side note – he was able to go to Salt Lake City and translate General Conference into his native language. He was really excited about it and loved Salt Lake. Also, he is getting his master’s degree in environmental engineering) The Temple trip was pretty special.

Eda, Julia, Sister and Elder Payne, Laura, Abbey
As we said before, we spoke in Church the next day. These YSA’s are wonderful children of our Heavenly Father and we are very grateful to be able to serve them.

Elder and Sister Payne
March 18, 2015

We are in the middle of our second week and still do not have the routine down yet. We have had something to do every day and it seems busy. We do have time in the morning to read and study, something we have not had much of before. In case you are interested I will tell a little about Ottawa.

Today, Wednesday, we taught at Ottawa University. It has about 40,000 students and is located in an urban area with tall buildings crowded together and surrounded by older apartments. It has a commuter train and almost no on campus housing. It is a highly desirable University and draws students from all over the world. It’s reputation is more for liberal arts subjects but it has a big medical school and a lot of other medical related schools as well as a good Law school and accounting, thus a good percent of the students are graduate students. We have between 3 and 5 students (2 are recent converts) plus the chines missionaries who come to institute at Ottawa University.
These are our students at Ottawa U. They include the two missionaries Elder Morier and Elder Weber.
On Monday we teach at Carleton University. It is a newer campus also with a commuter train but it has walking trails and open spaces. Carleton is known more for business and engineering schools and has mostly undergraduate students. Students at Carleton can walk across a bridge and through an experimental farm to the church in about 10 or 15 minutes. We have 4 or 5 regular students come to institute class and they are all very sharp returned missionaries.


Algonquin Collage is located in the suburbs and is more like Salt Lake Community College. It has 2 year and 4 year degrees and certificate programs in things like graphic art and art automation as well as radiology tech and hair styling. We have 4 or 5 students coming there. In a way this is like our first callings as a married couple to the University 13th Ward in Salt Lake.

This week on each campus we taught about Tuning Your Life to the Spirit, a CES talk given by Sister Burton. At the stake center Wednesday night we taught about preparing for celestial marriage.
Today we attended a lesson with the missionaries and a single new YSA convert. Guess what, he was converted by a man from Sigurd, Utah, who is married to a cousin of mine (I think). Tomorrow we will go to the Missionary District meeting in the morning and have a meeting with the Institute Director, Brother Turner in the afternoon. Saturday we are going to drive a van full of kids to the temple in Toronto and back. Sunday we are going to speak in church.

On Monday, March 23rd, we went with our District (3 sets of missionaries including us) to Parliament Hill. It was amazing that we were only there for 20 minutes and we were able to hear a presentation on a bill for traditional marriage. There were not very many Parliamentarians there. The House of Commons is beautiful. We were unable to take pictures and had to go through screening 3 times and had to leave our coats and things outside the House of Commons. 

After we went to get some Poutine. The basic Poutine is French fries, gravy and cheese. Where we went you could have several different kinds of toppings - prime rib, nachos, etc. It was OK! And it was Cold, especially the wind.

We asked to be busy and we are. We are loving our mission.

One thing I have noticed here is a strong sense of nationalism. Canadians move around between cities; but, always north of the border. They do not move into the US or out of the US. Most of them do not have visas to get into the US other for short trips to Utah. That is why we are going 5.5 hours to the temple in Toronto, instead of 4 hours to Palmyra this weekend.

Also everything has its own Canadian brand names. The stores sell a lot of the same things but with different names and everything is labeled in English and French.  For instance our fridge is a Crosley but it looks like a Maytag. Our range is a Moffat but looks like a Hotpoint. Or our crackers are Vinta by Dare but they look like Kebbler. Since 9-11 it has been more difficult to get a Visa to cross the border. This is a picture of our kitchen.

One of the best things has been to watch Sister Payne (Jeanette) teach the Gospel. She is wonderful. She teaches the missionaries and the investigators as well as our students and bears strong testimony she even commits them to action. She got one new member to commit to come to the temple with us. She got one young man to come to church. She told the story of Heather with real emotion twice. Sister Payne has learned the names of most of the YSA ward already and in not afraid to get into their lives. Yesterday she teamed up with the Sisters to commit a man to pay his tithing. We were all blessed to hear her testimony. Any wonder why I love her so much. I couldn’t ask for a better companion.

Our Love goes out to all of you

Elder and Sister Payne

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Adventure Starts

March 13, 2015
We had an absolutely wonderful time at the MTC. Abbey, Lynaea, Ella, Faith and Vi ran up the street as we left.
We were lucky enough to go with our study group friends, the Uzelacs.

We stayed at Wyview, ate meals with the young Elders and Sisters and were taught by returned missionaries and CES specialists - Brother Oldham, Brother Anderson and Brother Udy.

We found Sisters Allard while there. They are both from Ottawa and are as sweet as can be.

The spirit was strong and we loved every minute of it. We were in a group of 38 senior missionaries and were in a district with 4 super couples. We were married the longest.

After 1.5 weeks at the MTC, we packed our car and left Salt Lake packed like sardines on Friday, February 27th.

We drove hard for five days stopping briefly at Winter Quarters, stayed at Ron and Mary’s house and went to church with their daughter Karen in Iowa.

We saw the Mormon Bridge at Winter Quarters with ice flowing.

We stopped for lunch in Duncan, Illinois, where President Regan lived for a short time.

We stopped at Nortre Dame and drove and walked around.


We visited Elisabeth, a lady Kellie helped convert in Rochester on Tuesday before driving to Julie’s through the first real snow (blizzard) since we left. We arrived at Julie’s in Syracuse, NY, late afternoon.
The snow was really deep snow so we helped build a ten foot snowman.
 I also helped plow the driveway and build the snowman with their tractor.
We went cross country skiing (just down the driveway).
 We went with Lentz’ to The Piano Guys at a beautiful theater in Syracuse and had a lot of fun.  

Eric asked us to teach early morning seminary at 6:00 am on Thursday. We had a wonderful stay with Julie and Eric and family and drove the rest of the way to Ottawa on Friday. We stopped at the border for 1 hour and finally made into Canada about 11:30.
We arrived in the afternoon and were met by the missionaries who carried our things into the apartment.  The senior couple, Elder and Sister Adams, who we replaced, showed us around the city for two days. That was VERY helpful. They took us to Beavertails. They are a scone with any type of topping. They were very good. (This picture was taken later. You can see Elder Payne by the FedEx truck.

We met Elder and Sister Christensen, the French speaking senior couple, and our coordinator, Brother Turner on Saturday. Brother Turner took all three of the Senior missionaries to a Sugar Shack in the mountains, where they tap the maple trees and make maple syrup. It was a great breakfast/dinner.
We attended Stake conference on Sunday where they rearranged the boundaries. This change will allow each ward room to grow. The Stake President, President Nemeth, is a wonderful person. He has a vision for this stake that the Stake Presidency will present during our ward conferences. He is an amazing man.
We immediately dove into the work. Monday was the first day to teach a class at Carleton University. We were lucky enough to have Brother Turner teach that class with us there and we were introduced to the 5 YSAs in the class. We taught 5 YSAs at Algonquin College on Tuesday and at Ottawa University on Wednesday we taught 3 plus the missionaries. Then Wednesday evening we taught at the institute at our ward  and had two in our class. So we have had a big first week. But that is not all, we have had four good missionary experiences this week. One resulted in less active committing to come to church and one resulted in a new referral for the missionaries. It is amazing that people want to know about the church. They ask a lot of questions. We find it much easier to talk about the church here because people do not know much about us and are interested in the topic of religion.
Until this afternoon Sister Payne and I have been very busy and have hardly been able to sit down. We are adjusting to everything and loving our mission.
Love, Elder and Sister Payne

This Week Our World Changed

February 21, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

The world has changed this week. We entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC in Provo) on Monday. We got our name tags and have been inspired and taught and inspired and taught some more. We were privileged to be there among so many excellent people where the spirit was so strong. Among our training was several roll playing situations that opened our eyes and helped us become effective missionaries. We had fun meeting people from all over going too far away places to serve in many missionary assignments. There were, I think, 36 couples and 8 single women and two of the couples were newlyweds. Some had been on 3 or 4 missions before so we were not the youngest or the oldest by far, but we were beginners for sure. We have emerged from the MTC confident that the Lord will bless us to help him invite others to come unto Christ.

In our district group was a man that had been a convert, a stake president and a Mission president and both he and his wife were PHD professors at BYU. Not only were we paired with them but we were also paired with a wonderful couple from Calgary, Canada. He was a farm laborer and she was a house wife. We totally loved both couples and were inspired by their testimonies. We were inspired by the video clips of the apostles who spoke, including Elder Holland and Elder Bednar and others and by the young people who helped us learn about missionary work. We look forward to three more days of training next week.

We are going to take our testimony and our experience and knowledge combined with our MTC experience and training to Ottawa and dive into the work. We know something about what we will be doing, more than most Senior couple missionaries, but we will not know everything until we get into it and it happens.

We met Sisters Allard who are from Gatineau in Ottawa. One is going to Calgary and one is going to Boston. It was fun to meet them.

We love you all very much. What a blessing it is to be part of your family. We pray that each of you will do well while we are gone.


Elder and Sister Payne