Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 16 - November 19, 2012 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike would love to hear from you if you have a chance to email him!


Carlee I was so happy to find out that you guys made it to the Elite 8!!! That is crazy!!! I fasted for you on all my prayers, I pretty much just say, ¨God please bless Carlee and her team that they can play their best. I know it´s probably not okay to pray for them to win but help her team to play just a little bit better than the other team.¨ haha  It seems to work!! It was so hard on Saturday because I didn´t know whether or not you guys had a game but I still prayed for you guys! So, you're welcome ;) hehehe

ANYWAYS... well we were supposed to have the baptism of Donaldo on Friday but when we went to teach him on Thursday , we saw that his whole family was pretty badly banged up. It turns out that Donaldo´s sister, mom, and grandpa got into an accident. His mom had a cut above her eye, his sister cut open her hand, and his grandpa´s shins were just destroyed!! I felt so bad!! This family has practically nothing and they had to go to the hospital and all get stitches that day!! I just wish I could give them all my money but I don´t think we´re allowed to :/ But elder Silos and I gave them all blessings that night and we decided to move the baptism to this Friday instead. They just have so much going on right now that we wanted his baptism to be a memorable experience! His grandpa can barely stand but he REALLY wants to baptize Donaldo so we are hoping that by Friday he will be okay.

On Satuirday, Donaldo had a birthday party. I felt so bad because they didn´t have much! The kids were so happy though! They had this jank jumpy house that looked like it was about to fall over the entire time and the kids were so happy! It was so cool to see how much fun these kids were having with practically nothing!! I brought my camera because the family doesn´t have a camera. I took a bunch of pictures and later this week, we are going to print them off and give them to him for a present. We were like the center of attention...imagine that hahaha missionaries being the center of attention at your birthday party!! As I watched and took pictures I just imagined playing with Mitch, Tyson, Jayden, Zach and all their friends. Out here I kinda have to be mature and grown up but in 20 months you can guarantee that I will be schooling all of the little boys again...I take pride in beating kids 8 years younger than me ;)

Earlier in the week we went and visited a less active member who is about 60. We finished the lesson and then we asked if they needed help with anything. She then asked us if we would help her upload pictures to her facebook because she didn´t know how. She just bought her first laptop OF HER LIFE so she had no clue what to do!! It was so painful because she wanted to do everything and she wanted us just to walk her through the steps. It took a solid hour for us to upload 2 pictures with her!! 

So we found another investigator this last week. Her name is Stephany and her boyfriend is a less active member of the church. They have 2 kids and she is 21 years old! And one of the kids is 6! That means she got pregnant at age 14!!  She is super interested in the church. We talked to them on the street for a little bit but then we set a time to teach her. When we went and taught, the first question she asked was ¨Do Rodolfo and I need to get married for me to become a member of the church?¨ It was such a good way to start the lesson! But we are hoping to get them married within the next few weeks and baptized the week after! 

MACKENZIE!!!! I am so happy you are going on a mission!! I´m assuming you got your mission call already but my guess is Venice, Italy! It´s so crazy to think that if you get called before July 25th, you will come home before I do!! It´s so weird to think about! You will be an awesome missionary! Email me with your call and date because it´s a LOT faster than dear elders!!

Well I got a bunch of emails last week and a package. I am also getting another package tomorrow. But I will try and write people back within the next couple weeks!!

For all that are wondering, I will be eating beef jerky on Thanksgiving! No one here celebrates it so the beef jerky that mom sent will most likely be my dinner! hahaha!! 

Well I love all of you guys so much!! Have an amazing week and keep workin hard and having fun!!

Elder Mike Payne

Mike with a great view of the Mexico lights behind him! 
Some of the streets in his area
This is a bathroom!  Crazy!
A little view of Mexico at night

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 15 - November 12, 2012

Happy Veterans Day Everyone!

So, Mitt Romney lost. I secretly wanted him to win. I say secretly because everyone here DISLIKES Mitt Romney. You guys have to remember that most Mexicans want to be in the United States so the fact that Mitt wanted to make changes in  immigration just made everyone out here dislike him!

Well we were supposed to have our baptism with Yazbek on Friday but her mom had work so instead we had it yesterday after church. On Saturday we had our baptismal interview with her and afterwards we told her what she needed to wear and she said she wanted me to baptize her, uh oh!  I was a little nervous after what happened last time!  So, after church we changed into our white baptismal clothing. Elder Silos and I thought that we told her to wear white that wasn´t see through...she did just the opposite of that. We went and took some pictures and they are hilarious! She looks really mad, she didn't like us telling her what to wear. We had extra white baptismal clothes, but she refused to wear them. The bishop even went up to her and said ¨Yazbek you need to wear this.¨ She REFUSED! I was so embarrassed for her, but she was being a bit stubborn!!  I will try and attach a picture below this email. It's kinda funny!  I'm not making fun of her, I promise! She is a very nice girl and was so excited to get baptized!

It came time for the baptism and I was so scared for her! Well as I submerged her body under the water, I glaced real quick to make sure her whole body was under the water. As I glanced to her legs, I realized her white skirt flew up and that she was wearing BRIGHT pink underwear! It was a nightmare!! And then as she came up, her bra was BRIGHT purple!! As I looked up at the witnesses, they were shutting the doors to the font because they didn´t want anyone to see. But anyways, it all worked out and she was happy...I think?   We have another baptism on Saturday so that should be cool.

Earlier in the week we had a lesson with Hermana Luz. Her neice just had her baby the night before we taught her and she decided it would be a good idea to explain the whole process.  I don´t think I want to be in the room when my wife has our babies!  It was a little too much information! 

Well this week I was studying in Doctrine and Covenants and I read section 12 verse 8. The words ¨Humble and full of love¨ stuck out to me. I thought about the two most important commandments that we have been given: Love God, and love your neighbor. I decided that I was going to work harder at these two things. I feel that I have been trying my hardest to love God out here but at times, I don´t think about the loving your neighbor part. I thought about who my neighbor was. I realized my companion was my most important neighbor, This past week I have been trying my hardest to love and serve him. This whole mission experience is preparing me for the rest of my life. Like my companion, my future family will be with me 24/7 and I need to give all that I have for them. Carlee said something to me a few weeks ago: ¨Your future kids are cheering you on in heaven.¨ That really hit me. I need to be the missionary that my kids would be proud of. I have never faced so many trials and had so much affliction but I have really been trying to put it all in perspective and think about who I am doing all this for. I know that my future career and family will be blessed because of this sacrifice and I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn and grow in faith. 

Dad- I loved your email! I can´t believe it has already been 4 years as Bishop! I can still remember when you called all of us kids into the kitchen and asked if we accept this call as well... since it is a sacrifice for the whole family. I feel the same way about this mission. I am so happy that I have a family that supports me because I need to remember that this is not just my calling, but it is a sacrifice for the whole family! I only get to do this once so I will take you up on that challenge, whenever times get tough and I want to quit I will remember what you said and I will always give it all I've got!

Special shoutout to my Aunt Pam: due to the awesome calender that my father made, I saw that it is your birthday today! One more year of experience Pam. Enjoy number 35! Again!

Love you all so much and I hope you all had an amazing week! Carlee you guys better beat Auburn on Thursday!! I will be thinking about you this week, and hopefully next time I write, you will be in the Elite 8!

Elder Payne

Yazbek's Baptism

Denisse's Baptism

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Missionary Work and the Atonement

Mike wanted everyone to watch this video.  Here is what he says about it...

"Okay, you NEED to watch this video! It´s called, ¨Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Jeffrey R. Holland and Henry B. Eyring. It is absolutely incredible! One of my favorite parts is when Jeffrey R. Holland is talking near the end and he says ¨Why does missionary work have to be so hard? There must be an easier way. Well you´re not the first to ask that question. Someone a long time ago asked it. Someone a lot better... but he asked ´Heavenly Father- is there a less excrutiating way?¨ It is incredible how much Christ suffered for us and he was willing to do it! I literally don´t know how else to describe this video. It is by far the most inspirational video I have ever seen!"

Week 14 - November 5, 2012 - 20 Pounds Later...


Well this week has been pretty good!! I read Nate Johansen's email from Brazil and it is so crazy to see the difference in our missions!! He had 17 new investigators last week!!! That is absolutely ridiculous!! We´re lucky to get 2 or 3!! I wish we could tract or street contact, I know we could touch a lot more people.  But safety first - it's not safe to go into 'strangers' homes here!

We had a cool lesson with a new investigator this week named Raquel. This was the longest lesson I have ever had...or imagined!! It was good but it was 2 1/2 hours long!! She is a referral from the Lizaola family (The family with my funny story with family home evening). We showed up and she started talking about her family and her problems, so Elder Silos and I started teaching the Plan of Salvation. That lesson was about 45 minutes and then we were about to leave and she was talking about how sore her throat is and about how much pain she is in. Then Sister Lizaola offered for us to give her a blessing. So Elder Silos and I taught her about the Restoration and how the priesthood was restored on this earth because we're not just going to give her a blessing without her knowing the importance of it. Then we said the closing prayer and she wanted to know how she can pray and how she can receive revelation. Everything just kept leading into another lesson so we just kept teaching! She is an awesome investigator and we are hoping to set a date for baptism tomorrow in our lesson.

Well the people here are nuts!! So as elder Silos and I were walking down the street I saw 4 little kids holding this cat's mouth shut and laughing. I didn´t think much of it until the next morning when Elder Silos and I walked past the same house and we saw the same cat as the night before, except this time it was dead on the ground...not just dead but in pieces!! Elder Silos told me that the kids put Alka Seltzer in the cat's mouth and when they closed its mouth, the cat's stomach couldn´t handle it so it eventually explodes. I mean I don't really like cats but still... have the decency to not torture the poor thing!

So this past week for some reason the song, ¨You´re Gonna Miss This,¨ popped into my head. It is now my theme song haha It fits perfect into my life right now. The chorus to the song says ¨You´re gonna miss this. You´re gonna want this back. You're gunna wish these days hadn´t gone by so fast. These are some good times. So take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you´re gonna miss this.¨  Whenever a negative thought about my area pops into my head or I want to come home I just take a few deep breaths and sing this song and I feel a lot better. 

Okay, you NEED to watch this video! It´s called, ¨Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Jeffrey R. Holland and Henry B. Eyring. It is absolutely incredible! One of my favorite parts is when Jeffrey R. Holland is talking near the end and he says ¨Why does missionary work have to be so hard? There must be an easier way. Well you´re not the first to ask that question. Someone a long time ago asked it. Someone a lot better... but he asked ´Heavenly Father- is there a less excrutiating way?¨ It is incredible how much Christ suffered for us and he was willing to do it! I literally don´t know how else to describe this video. It is by far the most inspirational video I have ever seen! 

So this past week I think I walked the Tour de France/Mexico in one one time. Okay so we taught one of our investigators and then after we went and taught a less active member. It was 7 miles each way! I´m pretty sure it was the farthest I have ever walked in my life!! 

Well I hope you are all doing well and that you all had another good week! Live one day at a time because tomorrow you won´t receive the blessings of today.

Elder Mike Payne

Mike out teaching!
Very skilled at carrying the dirty dishes!

Mike in Mexico overlooking the city