Well as you all know I am training and I just finished my first week with my new companion. He is not native, but is from Guatamala and doesn´t speak one word of english. His name is Elder Santiago. The first day that we were companions he told me "I was hoping that I would get you as my companion because I want to learn english!" hahaha Every day from 11-12 we have language study and he reads from the english Book of Mormon and I read from the spanish one. I think it´s more frustrating trying to help him learn english than it was for me to learn spanish!! But he is an interesting dude, he doesn´t talk much in lessons and I am pretty much talking throughout the entire lesson. I am exhausted by the end of the day because I am learning so much and my head is killing me!! But it´s all good because we are having a lot of success!!!
So everyone out here calls the trainers ¨papa¨ and it´s super funny because I feel like he´s literally my son! He won´t do anything until I tell him to and he just waits for me to act and then he follows. I mean I know he only has 3 weeks into his mission but it´s just funny. He won´t let me go anywhere without being right by my side! Let me tell ya...before my mission that was one of my biggest pet peeves- when someone just follows you around, but now I´m a missionary and I have a lot more patience with that kinda stuff. When I have to go to the bathroom in our house he will follow me and stand outside the bathroom until I am done!! In the morning if I put on a black sweater, so will he... If I wear a red tie, so will he! This kid´s dedication is incredible!! He is very loyal, he also thinks I´m the most hilarious kid in the world. He laughs at everything I do and he always tells me how funny I am...I mean I know I´m hilarious but he gives me a little too much credit ;)
Well my birthday was on Saturday and thank you all for my birthday wishes and emails!! I have the most amazing friends and family in the world!! Even though I am thousands of miles away, it makes me feel like I am right at home!! We had a baptism in our ward in the morning and it was awesome because the family is less active and we have been working with them for a while! Their son is 8 years old and one of the members baptized him and it was awesome!! Then we went to our Christmas party with our president and a bunch of missionaries here. It was pretty fun!! We had some good food there and then just got to hang out for a while. Then we came back to our area and had a few good lessons!! We found 2 new investigators and set a baptismal date with one!! Last week was awesome!! We have set 3 baptismal dates last week and found 4 new investigators!! We are super happy for our success and we are just working our butts off!!
As for District Leader...it´s tough!! I have to deal with missionaries and other people who have legit problems!! It is very tough but also very rewarding!! I am happy to be doing it because I love having the opportunity to serve others. I am here for 19 more months and as much as I hate to say this- I hope they are the hardest 19 months ever! Obviosuly at the time I don´t want to have trials, but when they are over, I can look back and see how much I learned!
Last week, our ward went to the temple to do baptisms. Denisse and Yazbek both went!! It is awesome because as missionaries, ultimately our goal is to bring people to the temple and two of my converts did that last week!! Rosario is showing a lot more interest because of the change in Denisse! She stopped smoking on Friday night because she said she would stop on my birthday and I called her this morning and she told me she hasn´t smoked since then!!! We are hoping to set her baptismal date for the next couple weeks...we don´t want to pressure her into getting baptized.
Well yesterday I almost died!!! No really...I LITERALLY thought I was going to die! We went to a members house and they gave us chicken, rice, and beans...crazy meal huh? They had peppers on the table and I asked what kind they were. She responded with ¨Chili Manzana¨ which in english is 'apple chili.' So I didn´t think much of it and I put a piece in my mouth...biggest regret of my life!!! It was the spiciest thing I have ever had in my life!!! I´m not kidding it felt like someone stabbed my stomach with a knife and was torturing my body!! It was the weirdest feeling in my life!! I didn´t have control of my body, I tried to play it off like I was okay but I was just dripping sweat and shaking like crazy!! It was one of the worst experiences I have had on my mission so far!!
Well that was my week!! I am glad you guys partied it up on my birthday...without me!! hahaha I mean obviously I would love to be home with you guys during this time of the year but I´m glad you guys are doing things the way I would want to do things on my birthday!! Buffalo Wild Wings and a warriors game is perfect!! I am making so many sacrifices here and being away for these holidays is one of them. But I hope you guys are feeling the blessings hahaha
Well I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and enjoy this time! Obviosuly I want to be home tomorrow but I know that won´t happen and the next best thing I could ask for is to skype with my family... and that will happen haha!!
Well I love you all and thank you so much for the support!!
Elder Mike Payne
Here are some more pictures and captions from Mike!
|Funniest old grandma in the world! We asked her to pose and that's what she did. She is hilarious! The Mom to Sister Luz|
|Familia Martel - this is like my seconds family out here! I will probably be hanging with them most of Christmas|
|My breakfast! I take my vitamins everyday so I don't get sick!|