Wednesday, May 27, 2015


April 20, 2015

The difference a couple of weeks make. The rivers and lakes are starting to thaw.

Spring has finally come to Ottawa. We have had blue skies and reasonable temperatures. We have taken walks down to the river and have enjoyed views of the falls, lake, canal and locks. This is close enough that we can see it all from our 10th floor deck but we didn’t know how pretty it was until the weather got better. There are buds on the trees. This past week, however, is colder and rainy. Next week it should be better. It is interesting. When they say it will rain, it rains, when they say that it will be sunny at a certain time it usually is. There are no mountains to mess with the weather.

It is also interesting that I thought that our car was really called on this mission. We live only about half a mile from the our meeting house and less than a mile from the classroom at Carleton University and only about five miles from downtown but we still drive a lot. Since entering the MTC we have driven 4,552 miles. Since we arrived in Ottawa we have driven 1,621 miles or about 200 miles a week. Where do we go? Some of that is going to church or to the store. But most of it is giving people rides. We are often asked to pick up someone and give them a ride to church or take someone home from church. We pick up the Elders and Sisters and take them to the store or somewhere else on P-day and take them home again or to the Church or library so they can email their families. And sometimes we meet them for lessons with their investigators. Saturday we took an investigator home to see his grandmother in VanKleek. It all adds up. Actually, we like giving people rides as it gives us a chance to talk and get better acquainted with the young people we are here to serve. We couldn’t do this mission without our car.

The other thing I have been impressed with this week is the quality of local leadership the church has here in Ottawa. Yesterday at church a young woman spoke who just took out her endowments and who will get married soon. She talked about the role of women in the church. It was a fantastic talk and a fantastic testimony. I was very impressed with her readiness and couldn’t help but think that she will be a great church leader in her ward. After she spoke, a young man, who is a returned missionary, a student and who will get married in June, spoke. He talked about power and the keys of the priesthood. His talk was well documented and heart felt as he talked about fatherhood. He spoke with the spirit. I couldn’t help but think about what a great church leader he will be. Then I remembered that all three of the members of the bishopric in our YSA ward are past bishops in family wards and love these YSAs. They know that some of the YSAs have major hurdles to overcome but are willing to help each and every one. They truly know that these YSAs are children of God and it is important to help in any way to strengthen their testimonies and help get them back to Him.
When they realigned the ward boundaries at a Stake meeting, the meeting was organized superbly by the new stake president who is also a CEO of a national company here in Ottawa. And the mission Zone leader does his job well, he surely will be in charge of more things in the church and in business as well. Another example is the ward mission leader who comes, with his soon to be wife, to correlation meeting prepared with a book of progress reports and asks about individuals and makes follow up assignments. The teacher of our Sunday school class and the Elder’s president and the Relief Society president in our ward are all young singles and are so capable of leading. They are willing to learn and help. I am so impressed that the Lord raised up a whole generation of leaders and the church is not lacking in this area. It is a privilege for us to serve among them.
 The missionaries are busy teaching and are always bringing people to church. These investigators are being welcomed. It is easy for me to visualize the Church growing to double its current size in the Ottawa area because of the layers of leadership the Lord has in place.

We have HEG on Monday night (Home Evening Group). We had kick boxing. It was interesting.

We had an incredible experience with a beautiful Chinese YSA. She was baptized on April 12. The service was in both Chinese and English. Those in the program would say the talk in Chinese first and then in English. Her mother has supported her 100% and Sister Payne was able to have such a good experience and a good friendship with her mother.

After the baptism we had a Break the Fast dinner. These YSA’s have a good time together.


Brother and Sister Martinelli, one of the Bishop’s counselors and Elder Payne


Sister Dustan, The Bishop’s wife.


This was also the last Sunday Elder Mourier was here in Dows Lake. He was being transferred to Montreal. He only has 3 transfers (6 weeks each) left.


We are fortunate that Sister Matos and Sister Arizmendi and Elder Weber are staying and lucky to have Elder Jules as the new District Leader and companion to Elder Weber. He is from Alberta, Canada, but his parents are originally from Haiti and then Montreal. He speaks about 4 or 5 languages. He is a good teacher and he also has 2 transfers left.

On Friday, April 17, we had Institute Recognition (graduation) Night. We had around 50 YSAs that have taken Institute at least one semester this past year and went to class at least 70%. This includes the Mission Prep class as well as the other five Institute Classes offered each semester. A couple of the talks were given by the graduates. They were strong testimonies of the Gospel. After, we had an ice cream social. There were about 20 people there. It was fun for us to put the social together. We tried to make it special so that it would be a memorable evening. We had yellow strips of paper with each of the graduate’s names on the wall and used smiley faced balloons for the tables.  We had some great peanut butter topping, caramel sauce and strawberry sauce as well as the traditional chocolate sauce. We got the ice cream from Costco that was wonderful – Moose Tracks and Vanilla. After we took the names down we put them in the hall on our bulletin board. The YSAs went to Sky Zone (trampoline place) for an activity after.
Note the Bachelor for rent sign. No they don't rent Bachelors. It means that they have a 1 bedroom for rent.


We continue to have spiritual experiences daily and we love this mission and love the YSAs.

Elder and Sister Payne

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Exciting Couple of Weeks

April 10, 2015
On P-Day, we help the missionaries by taking them grocery shopping. Here Elder Mourier and Elder Weber are coming out of the back door of their apartment.
We went to Parliament Hill with the Elders and Sisters on P-day. Sister Matos and Sister Arizmendi are absolutely darling. They are incredible missionaries as are Elders Mourier and Weber.

It was really a neat experience. The middle tower was closed, so we got to go into the House of Commons. We went through several metal detector machines and had to check our coats and bags. We watched someone present a bill (not many MP – Members of Parliament there). This bill just happened to be to make marriage between a man and women part of the law of the land. We were only there for 20 minutes and have not heard anything else about it, but it was interesting.

 After Parliament. we went to get some Poutine. Poutine consists of French fries with a poutine gravy and cheese curds. It is a lot like mashed potatoes and gravy with cheese on top. At this little shop they had several different types of toppings with roast beef, chicken, pork or a Mexican style Poutine. All in all it was an interesting afternoon and a lot of fun with our District.

We are busy having a great time in Ottawa and want to share a few highlights. This week we taught our last class for the semester at Carleton University, but Algonquin College and Ottawa University still have one more week to go.

 Carleton University
Algonquin College

Institute graduation or Recognition Night is going to be on April 17th. There about 50 students who will receive some level of recognition. It could be from one semester class to as much as 8 semesters of institute classes. We have been assigned to do an ice cream bar after the meeting. A lot of the students are now starting to go home or away for the summer to work so we will have a smaller crowd during the summer. We will have one wedding in May and three weddings in June. Things can be exciting around here.

This week we got to attend the missionary zone meeting and were so impressed with the level of leadership in this mission and it was so fun to be in the presence of so many great young missionaries. We also were able to attend the seminary in-service meeting with the early morning teachers. Elder Holland said that there is a throne in heaven for early morning teachers and I think they deserve it. But even better is the Seminary and Institute coordinator who is so great. We are going to go help Brother Turner with training at his home this Saturday for some Seminary students who are having a multi-stake activity.

We went to a farewell party on Friday for a darling girl, Kiffyn DeSouza. She will be leaving next week for a French speaking mission in St. George. If any of you go to the visitor’s center, she will be there.


We were told that we were going to have the fire alarm going off on a Wednesday during the day to test it and make sure it was OK. Unfortunately it also went off at 2:30 am and it was no drill. There were about 3 or 4 fire trucks and we walked down 10 flights of stairs and went outside in our pj’s, and warm coat. Sister Payne picked up her purse. It was cold and we finally went in the stairwell on the first floor to keep a little warm. We knew we could get out easily if needed. There was a family with a little baby and another with an 18 month old in the stairwell. The alarm finally turned off after about 45 min and we hiked back up the 10 stories to our apartment. They said that there had been smoke on the main floor, but they found no fire. Actually, not very many people left the building to begin with.
We have planned our lesson schedule for this summer and the school year and are now starting to read and prepare for those classes. It is overwhelming if you think too much about it, so we have to bite off only as much as we can chew at a time; but, progress is very exciting. We are going to teach the New Testament – the Four Gospels for Spring and Summer at the Institute (ward meeting house) on Wednesday nights. We hope to offer a couple of classes next academic year at each school, teaching the same subject so that more students can attend Institute. The thing is, we have only club status at any of the schools and we depend on the students to reserve study rooms. We, then come in and teach, or more like lead discussion groups, as invited guests of the club. I dream of a time when we will have enough students to justify a better facility arrangement.

On a personal note, the sisters asked us to invite them and a new member over for dinner so we did that. We learned her story. She has been a member only about eight months and lives on her own.  She has given up much for the church and is glad to have our friendship. She graduated as a civil engineer and was in the middle of a master’s program when she joined the Church. Her parents are atheists, are not at all happy that she joined the church. They stopped supporting her and have made it impossible for her to live at home. She works at Nordstrom ad Subway and is saving money so that she can finish the one year she has left this fall. We went to see her at Nordstroms and are grateful that we know her. We hope that we can help her even more. Several of these YSAs have given up a lot to join the Church.
We also followed up with the missionaries who we gave a referral to a few weeks ago. They reported that the lady we sent them to only wanted money to Haiti. Apparently she thought missionaries got paid for our work. Anyway it was fun for us to be involved.

Elder and Sister Christensen are French speaking MLS missionaries in Gatineau, just across the Ottawa River but are in the same Stake as we are. We were able to go to a great restaurant, St. Hubert, with them and enjoyed their company. The funny thing is they live close to Albion middle school and are in a neighboring stake. It is amazing to our members here that we can live so close, not know each other and not be in the same stake.

Most of the snow has melted but it is not yet spring here. It snows or rains a little almost every day.  We have had above freezing temperatures several days and the sun came out a few times but it is still cold, at least to us. We tell the locals that the weather is like living in the mountains of northern Utah or Idaho so we are used to it, at least the end of their winter. Everyone is ready for spring to come. 

Dow's Lake is still frozen

The Rideau Canal is still frozen.

General Conference was wonderful. We went to the Church and watched all four sessions, Elder Payne – 5. It was great to be around these wonderful people in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. We had a few investigators that came to a couple of the meetings. One is going to take the discussions and is very interested in the church. It was a great and powerful weekend.  

We Love You All,

Elder and Sister Payne