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!|