Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 5 - August 30, 2012

It's P-Day again!!!! I love having P-Day!! I have been working as hard as I can since I have entered and It's nice to have a day to prepare and take some stress off. The temple is like the best part of my week because it just gives me time to reflect...sometimes I'm a little too relaxed hahaha but my companion nudges me when I start to fall asleep. It is so weird because being out here, I am like 10 times more tired!

So this past week, I have been really trying to speak as much spanish as possible!! I have gone a couple days completely in Spanish and starting next week I am going to try to speak only spanish...or at least as much as I know hahaha. I am loving it here! I am learning spanish soooo fast! It's crazy! Every day I feel like I'm passing up a semester of spanish in school! It's crazy how fast we move but at the same time, that's what were doing for like ten hours of the day so it's nice to not have other classes to focus on! The gift of tongues is so real!

Thank you for all the letters and support! You guys seriously don't know how much it means to have people supporting you while you are on a mission. This already has been the hardest 5 weeks of my life but I know that what I'm doing is right. Having letters to come home to at night after an exhausting day is seriously the best feeling in the World! I know I say this like every time but seriously, it is so nice to know that people are thinking about me and supporting me through this experience.

Cam!! You wanted a shoutout so here it is!! Thank you for the letter! I will be writing you back soon! The mail sucks over the weekend so just expect to have it on like Monday our Tuesday. I am so happy to hear you got a letter from BYU!! Work hard this year and when I get back maybe we'll be roommates!!!!

It is so hard to know that mom and dad are here right now!!! But I am so happy they are able to come and support Carlee!  Car if theres any way you can send me highlights of your games that would be sooo sick!!!! Idk if it's possible but I would love that! But yeah every Thursday when I check my emails and see that you guys sent me pictures and videos I get super excited!! hahaha  If you send them from your iphone, that works best! I can't see any videos longer than a minute or so.

Well I hope you are all doing well! If you have time this week, read Alma 26. Verse 12 is my scripture on my missionary plaque but verse 29 is also amazing! Read won't be dissappointed!  

Estoy muy agredicido por la oportunidad de servir una mission. Yo se que con el sacrificio que yo puedo hacienco, mi familia, mis amigos, los personas en Mexico, y yo podremos recibir muchos bendiciones. El trabajar es muy dificil pero yo se que la salvacion do los personas en Mexico es valer la pena. Yo oro cada dia por mi familia y por falizidad en todos nuestras vidas. Yo se que con el ayudar de Dios, por medio de nuestras pruebas podemos venir mas acerca de Dios y El Evangelio. Yo amo este iglesia con todos de mi corazon y yo estoy muy agredicido por todos de mis bendiciones.  

Con Amor,
Elder Mike Payne

Friday, August 24, 2012

Week 4 - August 23, 2012

I feel like time is flying already but at the same time I feel like it's been an eternity since I have seen everyone!! I am working so hard here and it's crazy how fast I am learning spanish! I still need a lot of work on vocab and knowing everything but as for sentences structure, I can pretty much say anything I want. Every day in class we watch videos of native Mexicans speak and I honestly feel that they are speaking a different language!! I am super nervous but I am SOOOO excited to go! The MTC is like a jail...except in jail you get visitations. It's nice to feel the spirit so strong and to be learning spanish but I just want to get to Mexico and start dunkin people!! I can't wait!!! My goal is at least one baptism per week!! A couple days ago we were reading Helaman 5:18,19, and Lehi and Nephi baptized 8,000. I think I can beat that ;) But then again we aren't focusing on numbers, we are focusing on the people and how we can bring them to Christ...I'm just sayin if I could bring 8,000 people to Christ that would be pretty tight!!

Last Friday my companion, Elder Poston felt a sharp pain in his leg. We were playing soccer a couple days before and he kinda collided with another missionary. So on Friday we went to the health clinic and they sent us to the HOSPITAL!!! Maybe you guys should all hang out at the hospital because I've already been there twice...NBD. hahaha they sent him to get an ultra sound to see if he had any blood clots or other internal problems- they couldn't find anything. We had so much fun and took advantage of every second we had in the outside world.On Tuesday, the newest member of the quorum of the 12, Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke to us at the fireside. It was so awesome!!! It was President Monson's birthday on Tuesday so his whole talk was pretty much about Monson and what he would tell us if he were here. There were ten things:

1: Follow the prophet
2: Do your duty
3: Trust in the Lord
4: Let the Lord shape your back
5: Smile, enjoy yourself :)
6: Love the people you serve
7: NEVER ignore a prompting
8: Testify of Joseph Smith
9: Witness the power of the savior
10: Become converted to the Savior Jesus 

On Tuesday night after returning to the rooms, I decided to open my package that I got from Carlee. As I opened it, the smell of something other than MTC cafeteria food filled the air. I didn't even know what it was but I started screaming. For dinner I think we had something from the dumpsters so it was just an average day. So when I got home at the end of the day to none other than CAFE RIO I went nuts!!! Everyone hates me now but I don't care!!! I told my teachers and they were shocked!!! They said it's almost impossible to get food sent to missionaries and Carlee made it happen. Way to hook it up. There were about 20 layers of tape around every item of food haha it took like 20 minutes for me to open everything. I can only imagine how much effort went into that Car! Thank you so much!!! I have the best sisters in the world!!! Christy thank you for all the packages you sent me!!! I'm still workin on getting through all the candy and junk food but my district usually eats most of it hahaha. Just keep sending pictures and videos of Bailey :) She is SOOO cute! hahaha that video of her and Carlee talking to each other was hilarious!!! I can't wait to see her in 23 months! (Just a little over a year ) hahaha

Well I love you all!! Thank you for the support! You guys are awesome!! I am having a blast here and although it is the hardest thing I have ever done, there is no place I'd rather be...although being on the beach of Atlantis would be nice ;) hahaha but I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be a servant of the Lord and work as he would and bring joy to the people of Mexico. I KNOW this is where I should be!

Con Amor,  
Elder Mike Payne

I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Keep sending letters :

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to Write Mike a Letter Fast and Easy!

Okay everyone there is a way you can write Mike that is VERY fast and easy.  When you send him an email to his address he only gets to check that on Thursdays.  If you send him a letter on this website called Dear Elder he will get it the day you write to him!  It is pretty awesome, and best of all it is completely FREE!  You can even do it on your iphone if you get on the web!  So here is how you do it...

1. Go to
2. In the top orange bar click on "Write a Letter"
3. Make sure the scroll bar says "Provo MTC"
4. Click "Write a Missionary"
5. Once you click on that, fill in your information (name and address)
6. Then enter in Mike's information:

Elder Mike Payne
MTC Box # - 374
Mission Code or Mission - Mex-Guae
Estimated MTC Departure Date - 0924

7. Once you enter all of that in put in your email address and Mike's email address (
8. Then write him a letter!!!
9. Once you are finished with your letter push "Send Letter"
10.  Mike will then get the letter and you should get a confirmation email

Mike absolutely LOVES getting letter so please write him.  It really makes his day!

Week 3 - August 16, 2012


This last week has been pretty busy for me!! I feel like I'm starting to get settled in but I'm sure there is no such thing as getting settled in on your mission haha

It seemed like you guys all had a blast at the family reunion. I'm a little sad I couldn't go but getting all those notes from the cousins were nice! So thank you to all who sent me some words of advice!

Thanks for all the olympic updates everyone!! I was a little disappointed that I couldn't watch it but when Elder Murdock went to the hospital, womens volleyball was on so I got to see like 5 seconds of it as I walked past the i guess you can say I'm pretty cool! ;)

So this week for me has just been another super busy and hard working week! Let me start off with my weekly low: So on Tuesday we had a fireside for the whole MTC (which we have every week) and the wife of the main speaker went up and told a story. She started off by talking about an 8 year old boy in her ward, going up one day to bare his testimony during sacrament. Here was his testimony: "Good afternoon...I would like to share my testimony...I know this church is true and I love my family (long pause) I know what my brother is doing is right and although I miss him a lot, I know he is making other people happy." Right after she said that I started balling! I couldn't help to think about my relationship with Mitch. It is SO tough to leave a little brother behind but I know that what I'm doing here is right and I will get to see Mitch soon enough...along with the rest of the fam. But Tuesday night I just felt super homesick and I was so mad at that girl for telling that story! I'm not kidding, I wanted to go slap her! haha probably not very missionary like but she just ruined my day on Tuesday. Then she started talking about what the little boy would do to cope with his brother being gone and that the little boy would just wear his older brothers clothes and play with all of his things. I swear this girl just wanted to make everyone depressed and homesick! I have never been so mad at a speaker before!

On a better note, last night we had a dance off in our classroom. We had elder Herrick (obviously) representing our district and Elder Money...yes his last name is actually money representing the new district. Okay let me tell you...this dance off was probably the funniest thing I have EVER seen! Neither of these guys could dance, so it was hilarious! Last night was the best night I have had since I have been here. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard.

The food here is terrible!! They have a routine and we now know what they are going to be serving every meal. My meal stays the same though. For breakfast, I have a plain bagel with cream cheese. For lunch I have a wrap and for dinner I have 2 bowls of cereal. That's my meal plan every day!! Dan said I was going to gain tons of weight here, I have lost 7 pounds!!! 

Austin Rausch sent me a dear elder a couple days ago. I started crying. I left the dear elder in my room, but it was along the lines of "Hey mike. Or should I say elder Payne. It has been a while since we have talked. I just want to let you know that what you are doing is awesome! You, along with some of my other friends, have definitely inspired me to serve a mission next year." I was so happy to read that! It is so true that I am serving two missions while being out here. One through me being in Mexico and teaching people, but also another through my emails home. 

I know that "The Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the things which He hath commanded.(1Nephi 3:7)" God has a plan and a reason for why I am out here preparing to serve a mission and serve the people in Mexico. My responsibility as a missionary is to go out and find the "lost sheep." In Luke chapter 15, it talks about 3 parbles: The lost sheep, the lost coins, and prodigal son. I was specifically studying about the lost sheep, in the beginning of chapter 15. There were 99 sheep that returned but Christ went out to search for the one who was lost. It talks about how Christ picked up the lost sheep and put it on his shoulders. He didn't just walk the sheep back, but instead PICKED it up and cared for it. He didn't care why he was lost, just as long as he was found. In our lives, there are so many people who are lost and don't know how to get "home." I know that as long as we put our trust in God and faith in Christ, we can all be made clean again. Without Christ, nothing is possible and we must humble ouselves before Christ so that we find the light. We must be someone who inspires and lifts others up. Estoy muy agredecido por la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Yo se que la iglesia es verdadero y con la ayudar de Jesucristo, podemos volver en ciello con nuestras familias y con Jesucristo y Dios. El solo manera estamos poder vivir en en mejor reina es por medio de bautismo. Necesitamos traer el Evangelio en las vidas de otros y amar todos con todos de nuestras corozones. 
I love you all! Thank you for the support and letters! Keep them comin! I mean I don't want to get greedy but seriously getting letters is like gold here! I get so happy when I see my letters!! Even for those of you who I haven't had a chance to get super close with, please write me because I would love to see how you are all doing! And I promise I will write back :)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Mike Payne 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weeks 1 & 2 Pictures

Mike is working hard, but he is having a lot of fun too!  Here are some pictures he sent!

Mike was lucky to have some of his best friends there to greet him on the day he went into the MTC

Mike just being Mike

Mike and his companion, Elder Poston

Friends from home and BYU

Mike and Elder Thawley

They played real life Angry Birds on their Preparation Day

Mike's District in class

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Week 2 - August 9, 2012

Hola Familia!!!

Wow!!! What a week!!

To start off, I think I messed up in my first email home. When I said I have been getting tons of letters, I meant it in a good way!!! I love getting letters! Would it be better if I said I don't get any mail? You guys should all feel super bad for me and write me more ;) hahahaha  Seriously Dear Elders and letters are the best thing in the world to read at the end of a long day!!

Today is P-Day. I just got back from the temple and it was awesome. I have such a great appreciation for the temple, especially since being on my mission becsause it is such a nice time to ponder and not focus on learning spanish, but to just focus on the spirit and the people's lives you are changing.

Well here's a little story for you all: So yesterday was the longest day probably of my entire life!!! So at about midnight, Elder Murdock woke up with back and stomach pain. He fell off his bed into the fetal position on the ground. It was pitch black in the room and I heard him whisper "Help!" I immediately got out of bed to see if he was okay. He was gagging and struggling to get air and his lungs started closing. I ran over, and by this time our whole room woke up. We tried to help him so I gave him a blessing (my first one ever) and it was pretty good! Then we called security and they called for a van to take him to the hospital. I went with him while he got tests and x-rays taken. We didn't end up leaving the hospital until 4 AM. They still aren't sure what happened but he is feeling a lot better!! I ended up getting a total of 2 hours of sleep in the last 43 hours! So I was exhausted all day!

One of the guys that is leaving for Columbia, Elder Herrick, is the funniest kid alive!!  On fast Sunday, for dinner we were fed Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice, steamed vegetables, and a roll. Since none of us had eaten all day, everyone was starving. We told Elder Herrick that we hear the record of plates eaten were 6. He attempted the challenge and made it to 5 1/2 plates!!! I ate half a plate and was full... I was more disgusted and lost my appetite because he was sitting right next to me while attempting this!

On Monday, our whole district went the entire day speaking ONLY spanish!! It was crazy!! I went all day and although there were many words I didn't know how to say, it was a huge success! I learned so much that day!!

Last P-Day we played this game with our zone called "life size angry birds." The first day we arrived in the MTC we got these resistance bands to use for when we want to stretch our legs or whatever else. So one guy in our zone has been collecting package boxes since he has been here, which has been about 6 weeks. We stacked all of them up in the hallway and sling shot the tennis ball I brought into the wall of boxes. It was so much fun!!

We heard this motivational speech from this one black minister. Our teacher pulled it up on youtube and let us watch it. Its called "How bad do you want it." That video might have changed my mission and my life. It is absolutely incredible!!! Just watch it!

Also I have been doing crazy scripture study and reading. Elder Murdock and I spent an hour and a half reading and analyzing Doctrine and Covenants 6. It is probably my favorite chapter I have ever read. The last ten verses just give me goosebumps! WOW I SOUND LIKE A MISSIONARY!! I am sorry if that was too weird for all of you! I promise I'm still the little immature Mike you all know ;) hahahaha I'm just a little more spiritual. nbd

I love you all so much!! Thank you for all the support. Danny the night before I left you said that the mission is like a marathon. When you get tired you want to stop and give up but the day you give up, it is so much harder to start back up again. You just gotta put one foot in front of the other and keep workin hard. I know that last mile (month) will be tough and it will feel like I'm almost done but as for now, I am far from done my mission. I am going to work as hard as I can every week to bring the happiness and joy into the lives of the people in Mexico. I know that this gospel will change the lives of so many!! Estoy agredecido por el evangelio y por Dios. Las iglesia de Jesucristo es verdadero y yo se que el evangelio traen felicidad en las vidas de todo. Yo amo mi familio y el evangelio con todo de mi cabeza y estoy agredecido por la oportunidad puedo aqui a mi mision!!! LA IGLESIA ES VERDADERO!!!!!!!!! :)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Mike Payne

(Mike sent me a memory card with pictures on it, so I will post the pictures as soon as I get it!)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mike's First Email - Week 1 - August 2, 2012

Friends and Family,

Wow!! What a crazy week. I don't even know where to start. I guess ill just start by telling you all of my first day experiences. So as I said goodbye to the family I had never felt so may have been because of in-n-out but i don't know. I was so exhausted and the only place I wanted to be was on the couch at home taking a nap. As elder "Stevenson" was hosting and touring me around, I wasn't even listening to him. All I could focus on was that I just left my family and I was about to begin the hardest two years of my life. I had to enter this building to check in, get my name tag, and take my missionary picture for the MTC. It was about 100 degrees outside, I was in a full suit, and I was crying...just imagine what that picture ended up looking like hahaha. As I walked out of the building doors, I hear a "ohhhhhhhhh nooooooo!" and I look up and I see Elder Thawley and Elder Bebel. It was their P-Day so they were just hangin out. I then almost get tackled by Elder Folsom. I couldn't be happier to see al their faces. It was such a relief to see all my friends within the first few minutes of entering. After I talked to them for a bit, I went to put my suit cases in my room and then my host took me to my class. As I entered the class, my teacher spoke to me ONLY in spanish. I had no clue what he was saying...I was just more focused on wiping all the sweat off my face!! After about 4 hours of class, we went to dinner. Everyone says that if you don't like the food here, your mom is a pretty good cook. Lets just say my mom might be Rachel Ray! hahahaha but that doesnt mean I need tons of food haha so don't worry family. I'm okay.  think I'm good for the next 2 years just from the packages I've received so far hahaha. After dinner, all the new missionaries enetered this big audotorium and we sang and listened to some of the MTC presidency talk. There were 350 new missionaries that entered the same day as me! The opening hymn of the meeting was the efy medley. In the song it says "we will be the Lords missionaries" but in the song we sang the words on the screen said "we are NOW the Lords missionaries." When I saw that I broke down. I immediately had one thing in mind and that was to work as hard as I could to honor my nametag and serve the Lord as best as i can.

Each day keeps getting better and faster. On day two, I was assigned to be district leader over 9 other missionaries. I have mixed feelings about it. I love to lead and to set an example but everyone said that once the first Sunday comes, it all starts to speed up...not for me. Dad I feel your pain hahaha. I was in either church or meetings from 7:30am-8:30pm. LONGEST day of my life!!! I am so happy to be out here though. The harder I work, the less time I have to think about family and all the things I left behind. My branch presidency told me that as district leader it is my job to help the elders in my district stay on their missions. Once we leave the MTC it is up to them but as for now it is my responsibility to be there for the elders if they need it. I have had a couple midnight knocks on the door with kids that are struggling with homesickness and leaving their girlfriends. I am SOOOO happy I didnt have a girlfriend before I came out here!! Best decision I ever made!

My companion is cool. His name is Elder Poston (pronounced like "just postin up with the homies"). I am rooming with two other guys going to the same mission and one of them has become like one of my best friends. He is from Highland, Utah and his name is Elder Murdock. His roommate, Elder James, is absolutely incredible! Listen to this story of his life. His mom had him at 19 years old before she was married and when he was 3 years old. They adopted triplets all 2 years younger then him and then he had one more brother who was one. His parents got a divorce because his dad was abusive. One weekend when all the kids went to visit their dad in Chicago, the police went outside and arrested him for rape and abuse. Elder James and his brothers and sisters all went to foster homes for a couple weeks, not being able to see eachother. All of his life, Elder James has had to be the father figure for his "kids" and has had to help his mom provide for the family by tutoring after school every day. I cried when I heard his story. I have gained so much respect for him.

One of the elders in my district is soooo funny!!! We tell him to do something and he does it. He is about 6'1" and weighs 260. We always make bets that he can't fit an entire piece of cake in his mouth and to our surprise he will try every time. He fails just about every time and starts gagging but it gives us something to laugh at hahahaha thats pretty messed up huh?

It is so funny when I go to get the mail. As district leader I have to go to the mailbox and get all the mail. I check it about 2 or 3 times a day and my district now has an over/under competition to see how many letters/dear elders I'm going to get each day. The most I have received was 14 in one day. Come on guys you gotta step it up!!! hahaha and so far I have received 6 packages! Thanks Bean family for the cookies!!! I LOVE getting letters so please write me! I promise I will write back! I'm a super good writer now so write me and you'll see for yourself ;)

The showers here are the worst things about the MTC. There are pretty much two temperatures: Hell and Antarctica! It is so painful because at one point you feel like you are having a third degree burn and then the next second you feel like you are getting frostbite!! There is one shower that is okay except for the water is like an old man's pee's not always constant. The shower will shut off for about 30 seconds and then start back up so you just kinda have to wait. hahaha

- Dan I will get back to ya soon! Thanks for the dear elder
- Jeff- I got both of your dear elders and I will write you within the next couple days
- Friends: you all wanted a shoutout in my first email home so here it is
- Mitch I am so glad you had fun in Disneyland with the boys. I will be writing you tomorrow night!!
- Carlee- One of the elders in my district loves the byu womens soccer team. Can you do me a huge favor and sign one of your playing cards that says "Elder Moss, best of luck in Colombia" hahaha that would be awesome!!!!

In Moses 6:31, 32 it says "And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake befiore the Lord saying; 'Why is iot that I have found favor in thy sight and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?'  And the Lord said unto Enoch: 'Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth and it shall be filled, and I will give the utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.'"

I know that if I have the spirit with me at all times, I will be filled with words that are not mine. I have had some crazy experiences so far where I am giving a lesson and I don't even know what I am saying but it ends up being perfect spanish. I know that the gift of tongues is true and I am in shock of how much I have learned in just one week.

DC 123: 12
For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of me, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the earth because they know not whgere to find it.

People are just waiting for me to invite them to be baptized. As missionaries, we are called to the work and to 'invite others to come unto Christ.' Our purpose as missionaries is to bring the same happiness and joy that we have in our lives into their lives as well.

Yesterday my teacher gave me the BIGGEST compliment ever. I was studying during personal time and my teacher asked if I could talk to him outside. He told me that he thinks I have the most potential to be the best missionary he has seen come through the MTC. He said that I am a great leader and that once I get the language down it will be dangerous at how many people I will be able to baptize.
Yo se que la iglesia de jesucristo is verdadero y yo estoy agredecido para mi familia y al amor. Yo se que Dios es el Padre Celestial y El hijo es Jesucristo. Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdadero y Thomas S. Monson es un profeita verdadero. Tenemos un amoroso Padre y las familias son eternas. Esty agredecido para mis bendiciones y yo amo mi familia y mis amigos. La iglesia es verdadero!!!! Soy un missionario!!

Con amor,
 Elder Mike Payne

Oh and by the way...CONGRATULATIONS  CHRISTY, DAN, AND BAILEY!!!! I love you guys so much and I know you guys will do great in California. My prayers are with you (that means a lot coming from a missionary) ;)