Monday, January 28, 2013

Week 25 - January 28, 2013 - Go 9ers!


So this last week has been pretty good! I am feeling a lot better and my stomach isn´t hurting as bad! At times I feel a sharp pain but other than that I am feeling better! Also these last 2 weeks in a row elder Santiago and I have walked 49 miles exact!!!...coincidence...??? hahaha wish I could be home to watch the super bowl on Sunday but brother Martel invited me to have a 4 hour long family home evening with them on Sunday hahahaha probably gunna turn down the offer, but hey a quick visit won´t hurt ;)  I will be wearing my red tie every day this week!  I'm sure it will help them win the game! haha

Anyways we are teaching Eric right now and he is understanding a lot more. We have finally figured out how to teach that kid! hahahaha and it is awesome because it makes every other lesson seem so simple!! Seriously I get so frustrated during these lessons with Eric but when we teach other investigators I feel like this gospel is super easy to teach. So many people get caught up in studying too much and forget about the small and simple parts of this church. That´s what I love about teaching Eric. We teach the bear minimum because that´s all he can understand, but that´s all God asks of us. If we can keep his commandments and endure to the end we will be saved and enter into the kingdom forever!!

Edwin is saving up for a phone haha! I seriously love this kid...probably my favorite investigator I have had. He wants a phone with internet and games on it. He has to save up 14,000 pesos. Every day we go teach his brother Eric, he comes in with his pesos and shows us how much money he has. He now has 24 pesos hahaha funniest kid ever!!

On Saturday I had the weirdest lunch experience of my life hahaha!! So we called the member that we were going to eat with to confirm that she would be there. She told us that she had left to work and that she wasn´t going to be home until later that night. But she told us that at the corner of her street there was like a taco stand with chicken and all this stuff. She told us that her friends own the place and just to eat whatever we want and she would pay for it later that night. So we just ordered one of their rotisary chickens. They told us to sit in the table in the back and they would bring us our food. As we sat down, I realized that we were surrounded by like 100 flies! And on top of that, the open garbage was behind us and it smelt sooooo bad!! I just lost my appetite and didn´t want to eat at all. They brought us our chicken and as we started to eat, I realized this was probably the best chicken I have ever had in my life!! It was absolutely incredible!! Weirdest experience ever!! hahaha the place was sooooooo nasty but the food was soooo good!

Last night we had to go to the offices to host the missionaries that finished their missions and that were going to leave today! They were all so excited and ready to go home! Since we live close to the airport we had 3 missionaries stay in our house. The whole night they were just telling stories of their missions and how excited they were to go home! They were practicing how they were going to greet their families. I just felt so homesick all night! I wish I could be in their position!! I wish I could go home and see you guys today...but nope...gotta wait 18 more months! Tonight we have to go to the offices again and host the new missionaries. They are staying in our house so this time instead of feeling like the young guy I will feel like the one with experience!

Well I hope you all have an amazing week!! Special shoutout to Mackynzie Perry who will be entering the MTC on Wednesday as she goes to Texas! So happy for you! You will do awesome!! I love you all and enjoy every day!

I am doing great and workin as hard as I can! Should be a fun couple months comin up...we have a bunch of ¨prospects¨ and bapstisms planned! Pray for all the missionaries in the world...but more importantly for the 9ers :)

Elder Mike Payne

Mike eating a tongue taco!

Mike and his buddies!
Here is what Mike said about this little guy, "I found this nasty creature living in one of my shoes.  I went to put my shoe on and thought it was a big rock so I stuck my hand in to feel this nasty thing haha I screamed like a little girl!"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week 24 - January 14, 2013


So on Friday we had the baptism for Edwin!! It was such an amazing experience!! On Thursday we had our interview with him and it was different than any other interview I have had. usually there are some questions we need to ask to make sure they are ready for baptism and to make sure they have a sufficient amount of knowledge but the interview with Edwin was amazing!! 

We teach lessons with pamphlets and they have pictures in them that make it super easy to understand. So we basically just went through all the pamphlets and asked him to describe the pictures and bare his testimpony about each of the pamphlets. He did such a good job!! By the end of the interview he was literally sweating and he said ¨That was a lot of head hurts!¨

So Friday we got to the church at 4 to prepare for the baptism because the font always has bugs in it. At 6:30 Edwin and his family showed up at the church. We waited for about 30 more minutes because his mom was at work and we didn´t want her to miss it. It turned out she couldn´t make it because she had to stay late at work. But everything went well and there were tons of people at his baptism!!! Everyone loves Edwin. Every week at church he makes sure to shake everyone's hand. If they walk in 30 minutes late to sacrament meeting, Edwin will get up and run to the door to shake their hand. He is the nicest kid in the world!!

As it came time to enter the water, Edwin was so happy because the water was warm, he had the biggest smile on his face and he was super nervous! As I finished the ordinance, I put him under the water and his legs FLEW up out of the water!! The second time was the exact same!! The ward mission leader came up to the font and said ¨Well it doesn´t need to be perfect, right?¨ haha So then I decided to baptize him on my knees! He was so nervous and all three times he held his breath through the entire ordinance because he didn´t know when I was going to put him under the water!! But it all worked out awesome and Edwin turns14 tomorrow and will be ordained into the teachers quorum and will receive the priesthood next week!!! I am so happy for him!!!

Well my companion is trying to learn english, on Saturday during language study I taught him how to count to ten...for 45 minutes!!! And 20 minutes was him trying to pronounce the word ¨ten.¨ But he is getting better.

Well this last week wasn´t too crazy, but we walked 56 miles! I went on divisions with the missionaries in my district because they are having a pretty rough time. One is super sick and will most likely be going home within the next few months. So I went and worked in their areas for a day to help them out and see how they were doing.

Well I love you all and I hope you are all doing well!! We have another baptism planned for this weekend so that should be good!! He is 9 years old and his parents are less active but we are helping them to be reactivated and they will be baptizing their son this weekend!! It should be another good week!!

Looks like I have another team to fast for... first the Giants then the Cougs and now the 9ers!!! Lets go!!!!!!!!

Con Muchisimo Amor,
Elder Mike Payne

Picture of the baptism with Edwin
Picture of the baptism with Edwin 
I found this super nice bath tub!  Pretty refreshing on such a hot day!
Divisions with Elder Carranza
Me and a big Mexico sombrero haha
The audience at Edwin's baptism

Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 23 - January 7, 2013 - My Best Week So Far!


Well this week has been a good week! For the first time in my mission so far I can honestly say that I am really enjoying it out here. I am getting use to this place and my language is pickin up quick! Right now we have 13 investigators and I have never worked so hard in my life haha! They all live pretty far away from each other so at times Elder Santiago and I are practically running to lessons! It´s awesome though, I love it! The first few months I used to count down the hours until we could go back to the house and now I´m bugged when it´s time to end the day! I love that pedometer thing that you guys gave me for Christmas! Last week we walked 45.7 miles! 

So on Tuesday I got a call from President Camarillo telling us to come to the offices. I was super scared and nervous haha and I was just thinking of all the possible scenarios that could go down haha! But when we got there he pulled us in to his office and started talking about our area and how hard we are workijng. He was being super nice and he was just talking and laughing with us. He then said ¨Hey, you know that kid Edwin?... Baptize him.¨  I was so happy to hear that!!  Edwin is handicapped and is a little slow for his age. He is the brother of Yazbek and our President told us a few weeks ago not to baptize him because he doesn´t need it.  

Well last week our stake president and our mission presidnent talked about the situation and our stake president told him that Edwin could receive the priesthood...but in order for that to happen he needs to be baptized.  We have been working super hard with him this past week. These lessons are probably the most spiritual lessons I have had with someone on my mission. His sister always cries because Edwin is finally understanding his purpose in this life. I have learned so much from this kid. The thing I have learned most from him is patience. He is very hard to teach and we have to teach the same lessons about 5 times for him to understand but it is so rewarding when he finally understands! 

We taught him how to pray last week and he started crying in one of his prayers! This might be the closest I make it to the Celestial Kingdom so I am just makin the most of each moment I have with Edwin. His baptism is this Friday and I am so excited!! When we told him for the first time that he could be baptized he said ¨ORALE!¨  This means like ¨No Way!¨ hahaha  It was super funny! But he is super excited and it will be a great experience!!

So things with the comp are still the same.  He does EVERYTHING I do!  At times I just need to take a few deep breaths so I don´t attack the kid but I restrain haha! Every morning it´s pretty cold so during studies I wear my California sweatshirt that I bought in San Francisco. Keep in mind that this sweatshirt has ¨California¨ written huge on the front. Well as we were about to leave the house for the day I wanted to see what my comp would do if I didn´t take off my we walked out the door he ran up and put on his sweatshirt too. Then I said Ï´m a little hot actually. I´m gunna take this off.¨ He replied with too. I was wondering why you were wearing that.¨  hahahaha  What a character!

So I have set a bunch of goals for myself for this next year and I am hoping to achieve them all! Some are pretty lofty but with faith I know it can be done. Most of them are with the work and how I can change but one goal that I have made is that every morning I make breakfast for my comp and I. I figured this is the only meal that I really have control over so I wanna make it good haha! So this entire year I set a goal to make breakfast for me and my companion. It has been good so far! My companion stands behind me and watches as I make us eggs and oat meal every morning. hahaha  It would be cute if he was 5... but nope- he´s 20 and he watches me make him breakfast every morning!

I also made a goal to exercise every morning for 30 minutes. I bought a jump rope last week so I do that and push ups and sit ups every morning. I feel great! 

Well I hope you all had a great week and that you are all having a good new year!! I love you all so much and thank you for all the love and support!! I feel bad that I can´t write everyone back but know that I am thinking of you all!! 

Elder Mike Payne

It poured last week!  This puddle I am in was like 2 feet deep!
Thanks to the Primary for my gifts and my tie!
Here is our zone! 
Herbie!!!  haha the car looked exactly like the one in the movie!

Week 22 - December 31, 2012 - Feliz Navidad y Ano Nuevo!!!

Well this last week has definitely been a bittersweet one haha! I loved calling the fam and seeing how you guys were doing and actually getting to see you and talk to you but at the same time it was very hard to hang up and end the skype sesh haha!! My Christmas was pretty much the same as every other day here in the field...except for the phone call of course!! But we had some pretty good lessons that day and I was surprised because all the missionaries say that your lucky to get invited into one house on Christmas. 

Hopefully where you guys are it is a clear night and you can see all the fireworks tonight!! Right now in good ol´Mexico it is POURING rain!!! Like flooding!! It´s nuts!!

Well my companion is hilarious...definitely one of a kind!! I mean I know I am a pretty awesome kid but he copies LITERALLY everything I do!!! He won´t buy anything unless I buy it first or unless I tell him it´s okay. During lessons he sits the exact same way as me and it is so funny because I will sit in a super awkward position and he will somehow find a way to do the exact same!! You would think he would catch on but NOPE!! hahaha this last week during one of his personal studies he studied about dogs in the scriptures...FOR AN HOUR!!!! What an interesting dude!! I have realized I can´t change him, but I can change myself and my attitude so I am just trying to love the kid for who he is and appreciate every minute I have with him.

So on saturday the Bishop called me and asked if I would give a talk the following day. I accepted the favor of course and I was actually suprised that I wasn´t nervous. I gave a talk for 15 minutes on the importance of prophets and why we need to have them. I read a few scriptures and bore my testimony and it went pretty well. In this last conference, President Monson concluded and gave an amazing talk. He said that when we have trials or afflictions we must stay close to the gospel. He also said that often times we have afflictions and we just wait for them to pass...instead we must try and learn from every experience we have an make the most out of every situation we are placed in. I then challeneged the ward to read the Proclomation to the Family and set goals for this next year and ways that they can achieve these goals.

Yesterday afternoon we had an interesting lesson haha. The kid is 19 years old and lives in Mexico city but is visiting his family here for the holidays. Part of his family that lives here is mormon so we went by and visited them and had a lesson with this kid. The lesson was awesome and we just explained to why people yell at us and specifically tell mormons that their church is false. Why don´t people do this to the catholic church? or the Christian church?...or all others? I gave an anaology that I really liked. I told him it was like `playing a soccer team and one player on the other team is the star of the team. Obviously you would put extra defenders on him to stop him from scoring. I told him that´s exactly how it is with this church. satan puts tons of temptations in our lives and tries to make the good things seem foolish.... as we were about to leave, his 95 year old great-grandpa started yelling at us and told us that if we ever show up to his house in Mexico City he will kill us. I then replied to the 19 year old, ¨my point exactly.¨ hahahaha Everyone started laughing

Today we went to Wal mart...I know I know...another vacation. I bought tons of chinese food, knowing I couldn´t finish it, and took my left overs to a homeless family of three just getting soaked in the rain. I felt so bad and I wished there was more I could do but they were so happy to have food. It was such an awesome feeling! Then we took a taxi ride back to our house and I started talking to the taxi driver and then he asked who we were and I started giving him a lesson. Well 20 minutes later he accepted the baptismal invitation hahaha and he lives in our area!!! We have a lesson with him on Wednesday! How crazy right?

That´s about it for the week. I wish I could be home with the fam during these times but I now can say I only have one more Christmas away from home. I know things will start going faster and faster so I need to just appreaciate every day I have here and take nothing for granted! I am enjoying it more and more here because I can actually communicate with these people and we are seeing a lot of success!! Hopefully we can start this next year off right! 

I love you all so much and thank you so much for the letters and support!! You guys are all incredible!! 

Elder Mike Payne

Here are some pictures with captions that Mike sent!
My companion and I representing the Cougs 
Me opening my Christmas present that I got from my family
Me right before I got to Skype home on Christmas.  I was so excited!!!
They have this thing called the Tianges here.  It is like the farmers market in Pleasanton, but a lot dirtier... as you can see!
This is a super cool street! 
Giving food to the homeless this morning
Giving food to the homeless this morning
This is my VACATION spot!