Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 29 - February 25, 2013 - 7 Meses?!?! Donde se fue el tiempo?

7 Months?!?!  Where has the time gone?

So this last week was a pretty good week!! Definitely ended weird haha but you will hear about that later on...

Well I am teaching in english...hold it...that´s weird! So this girl moved from Utah like 2 weeks ago and doesn´t speak any spanish. Both her parents are members and she has her baptism set for this saturday. It´s pretty weird to teach in english haha I am forgetting tons of words. This girl is 9 years old and at times she is correcting my english! It´s pretty funny because we always have lessons at the church and a bunch of members want to ´watch´ our lesson haha! There are a bunch of members who want to learn english and they are so amused in our lessons. We had like 13 people in our last lesson. No one except her and I understand anything so it´s pretty funny. But yeah we are excited for her and she will be getting baptized on Saturday!!!

We also had a member talk to us yesterday at church asking if her whole family has membership records. We looked up her family and found that 4 of them are ´not members.´  So we are going to baptize these people sometime within the next couple weeks. Our ward used to be 2 wards a year ago and as they moved all of the papers, some of the records got lost! So we have one baptism this week with one of the kids. This Saturday we will be having 2 baptisms!

We have our other investigator - Lupe. She is a stud! She paid her tithing yesterday and #1- she isn´t even a member yet and #2- we haven´t even taught about tithing yet. She said she wants to see if Heavenly Father really does bless us!! We were so happy to see that!! But yeah we had a lesson with her yesterday and she said she IS GOING to get bpatized but she wants to take her time. She is amazing! As much as I would love to baptize her before transfers, it is better if she takes her time and doesn´t feel pressured. Tonight we are going to watch The Joseph Smith Restoration movie with them for family home eveneing! I´m super excited!!

So I learned how to make potato chips this last week!! Mayra (the daughter of Lupe) sells potato chips but she was super busy one day and asked if I would help her. While my companion was just chillin and building towers with the potatoes, I was super interested and I wanted to learn how to make them. So I cleaned and peeled 100 potatoes and then cut them super thin and put them into their deep fryer. They were incredible!! I am such an amazing cook ;) and super humble about it too! hahaha

So dad asked a little bit about this but I wiill explain it. So they are making an MTC here in Mexico and it is going to be HUGE!!! The place is called Benemerito. It is a high school right now but this summer they are going to transform it into an MTC.  Its is like the BYU of Mexico....except it´s a high school! On youtube our president let us watch the talk that Elder Holland gave to the students of the school. It is amazing!! If you can find it, you should watch it!

So last night, like I said, was super weird haha! So we finished a lesson and we were walking back to our house. There is a park that we have to walk through. Some guy was standing in the middle of the park, pants down to his knees, just doin his thing! He saw us looking at him, so we said ¨Buenas Noches.¨ We kept walking and he started yelling at us. He was super drunk. He was yelling in english things that were not very good. My companion didn´t understand what he was saying so I just told him ¨walk faster and don´t look back.¨ And then I could hear him running and he was getting closer. There was a carnival in the park so my companion and I decided to go there so that he wouldn´t do anything stupid in public. He eventually caught up to us and hit the back on my shoulder to get my attention. Then he got in my face and was like screaming at me in english, I had no clue what to expect! He just kept yelling at me asking why were were lying to him and he wasn´t making any sense, so after about 10 minutes of getting yelled at by this guy, he finally walked away. My heart was punding!! I for sure thought I was gunna get hit!!

This morning I was doing laundry and we have to hang our clothes to dry on our roof. The stairs to get to our roof are metal. So my shoes were wet because I was washing my clothes. As I was running up the stairs, I slipped and my shin just sliced open!!  It was super nasty and bleeding like crazy!! I felt super light headed and thought I was gunna have to go to the hospital! I don´t remember but my companion said that I fell asleep for like 20 minutes in my bed! I´m pretty sure I passed out!  It was a weird feeling!  I think it was just shock because I was running up the stairs with wet clothes in my hands and I had nothing to save myself with... it hurt so bad!! 

But overall it was a good week! Pretty interesting but good! I love you all and I am so thankful for all the support here!! I am working my butt off and it is all paying off! We will be having transfers March 18th and we have 5 baptisms planned before then!! We are workin hard and doing everything we can! ¨Do your best and God will do the rest.¨ Have a good week and god bless!! 

Su hijo, hermano, amigo, primo, tio, nieto...
Elder Mike Payne

Who says you can't have a girlfriend on the mission?!
I had so many mosquito bites last week!  It hurt so bad!  I had 9 on my face and tons all over my hands and arms!!
Hot dogs at 7:30 in the morning?  YEP!!!
I was on TV... how embarassing!
I am super strong... nbd
My companion made a tower of potatoes as I was slicing them
My slices open shin this morning... after I cleaned up all the blood haha 

Week 28 - February 18, 2013

This week has been pretty good!  We baptized Fernanda on Saturday. It was such a stressful day!! We had our zone conference in the morning and it ended at 3:15!! The baptism started at 4 and we were stressin because it was a 45 minute taxi ride from where we had our conference to where our church was. We finally got to the church at 3:55 and NO ONE (except for the Bishop) was there!!! We were wondering if we missed it or what happened!! The Bishop got there early to fill the font and he was just hangin out with his family! And then at 4:15 Fernanda and her family were the first people that showed up. About 5 minutes later it was like a stampede!! There were so many people there!! We had to take some of the seats out of the room because they were taking up too much space! We had like 20 people standing in the back!!  Mexican Mormon standard time!  Everything went well and she was confirmed yesterday at church. 

The other elders in our ward also baptized someone. Her name is Eduwiges and she is about 50 years old and she has been catholic all her life.  She bore her testimony of her conversion and it was super good! We had 3 investigators at the baptism who are all catholic. We are hoping that this week we can set a few more baptismal dates. We have two coming up in 2 weeks and 2 more planned for March 15th. I wanna end this transfer with a bang!! I will probably be transferred on March 18th.

So this last week the Pope retired because he was sick. I´m not sure if it is a huge deal in the States but here in Mexico everyone is going nuts!! I bet it´s probably around 85% catholics where I am at right now so everyone is making a huge deal about it!  I was thinking about one of the talks that I watched back in the MTC from Elder Holland. He talked about that when we are called as missionaries we are called for a life time. God only expects us to do our best and to never give up. That's all I'll say about that. some of you have asked...I didn´t do anything special on valentines. As much as I would have loved to spend it with some hot girl...I ended up spending it in Mexico with Elder Santiago, but it was good. I opened my package that morning and it was perfect because it was valentine themed!  We went to go eat and the member said that she was about to leave but that she would give us our food in a bag to-go. So we took our food and ate in a park, my comp and I were laughing so hard! It was such a nice romantic date in the park...

Well I ate chicharron this last week and let me tell ya...I HATE CHICHARRON!! I don´t understand why people eat that stuff! 

But yesterday I had an amazing meal!! So we had 6 elders in Buenos Aires last week so we all went to this members house to eat. He told us we were going to be eating sea food. As he served us he told us what it was and it all started out good with salmon, shrimp, and a fillet...but then it got crazy. He started bringing out squid and octopus and some weird stuff. I was so scared to eat but then it turned out to be incredible!! It was probably top 5 meals that I have had since I have been here!!

Well I am doing great and I am working as hard as possible!!  I am doing great and my comp is still copying all that I do. I told him today that this next week he is going to lead. He has 11 weeks in the mission and I don´t need to be telling him everything to do! So this should be an interesting week! When I focus on his strengths I have a more positive outlook on him and our companionship.  I love you all so much and I hope you all have an amazing week!! Take care and God bless!! 

Elder Mike Payne

My Valentine this year! haha
We saw this graffiti and decided to take a picture with our look alikes 

Our romantic Valentines lunch in the park.  We are just two peas in a pod! haha
I made a meal for my Valentine
Tried to teach these guys the law of chastity... they decided not to listen
Fernanda's baptism!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 27 - February 11, 2013 - 200 Days?!?!

Well this week has been pretty good!! We have been teaching Fernanda and she is preparing for her baptism for this Saturday. She is super excited and nervous for her baptism. I absolutely love that family! We go there every day to teach her because it´s an excuse to hang out with the family. They have the two cutest little girls. One of them is 3 years old and the other is 7. They are soooo funny and always so happy!  Fernanda´s grandma went to church yesterday and she loved it!! She is pretty catholic but she said she loves our church and the people are super nice and friendly. One girl asked if she was the one getting baptized this Saturday and she said ¨not YET.¨ hahaha Elder santiago and I were super excited to hear her say that! We are hoping to set a baptismal date with her hopefully this next week!

Yesterday was so funny at church!!! So on Friday night we were walking back to our house because it was almost 9. One guy on the street, who looked like a homeless druggie told us I´ll see you tomorrow.¨ Elder Santiago and I didn´t think anything of it until we show up to church and he is waiting there by himself. We were super shocked!!! He is such a weird dude!! We sang the opening hymn and after we finished, he yells ¨GLORIA A DIOS!!¨ hahahaha He is pentacostal and he says in that church everyone yells that kind of stuff hahaha!! Then some kid went to give a talk and started by saying "I am super nervous to be up here today.¨ Our investigator, Jose, yells AMEN!¨ It was such a weird experience!! And then we gave him a book of mormon and he wrote a bunch of interesting stuff in it.  But then as he was about to leave we escorted him outside and he asked ¨where´s my bike?" and then 5 seconds later some little kid flew around the corner on his bike. As Jose approached this kid he took his bike and said ¨Ya me voy.¨haha (meaning,' I gotta go'). I´m not sure if this story is funny for you guys but as I am writing this, I am thinking of the experience I had yesterday and I am literally laughing out loud right now!!!

So last night I finished the book of mormon for the first time in spanish! I started in November and I have been working super hard to finish it. Our mission president challenged us to read the book of mormon in 85 days (the same amount of time it took Joseph Smith to translate it) and to mark three different things- 1)Every time it says God, Lord, or any other name that refers to God. 2) Attributes of Christ 3)Every time God or Christ are speaking. I finshed the book last night at 11:45 hahaha!! I kinda procrastinated and forced myself to read 365 pages in 4 days hahaha!!! But hey I finshed and I met my goal so that´s all that matters!!

Tonight we are having family home evening with the Ortega family and we are making DIPPIN FINGERS!!!! We were talking about peanut butter one day and then the thought popped into my mind to make dippin fingers with them! We have family home evening every night at their house and they always make food so I told them that we can go over to their house early tonight to help them prepare and that I can make the food for tonight!  We are also going to have 5 other investigators there!! Mayra is such an awesome member!!! Man I love this family hahaha!!! 

Well I hit my 200 day mark on Saturday! Pretty crazy!! I feel like time is really starting to speed up and I am really enjoying my time here!! I am at the point where everything is going good and where I am loving where I am at...I think that means I will be getting transferred soon hahaha!!! Pretty crazy how fast time goes by!! 

Well I hope you all had an amazing week and that you guys can continue to enjoy life and every second it has to offer!! I am doing great and enjoying my time here in Buenos Aires! We will be having our next transfer March 18th and I really don´t want to get transfered hahaha!! But I will serve wherever I am called and just know that I am working as hard as I can!! I love you all and thank you so much for all the support and love!! 

Take Care and God bless!!

Elder Mike Payne

Getting a massage from one of Sister Martel´s daughters...hey it´s perfectly legal!! She never touched me hahahaha!!
Another picture of Abigail...daughter of sister Mayra Ortega. I don´t know if i have told you guys yet but I love that family!! hahaha
A view from the nicest part in our district. I had to give 2 baptismal interviews in Patria (an area in our district) and the view was awesome, along with all the houses! 
Super good tacos that Sister Martel made for us one day!!
Selling chips at the school with Mayra Ortega and her family and friends
2 missionaries from our ward left for their missions on Wednesday. The one on the left is going to Veracruz, Mexico and the one on the right is going to Uruguay

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 26 - February 4, 2013 - RIP 9ers!


So this week has been pretty good!! Other than the fact that the 9ers lost!! Looks like my prayers didn´t work... I´ll take the heat for this loss! Sorry guys!! 

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we had to host either new missionaries or old ones going home, since we live close to the airport. So that was 3 nights in a row that I had a horrible sleep. I slept on the ground all three nights, AAGGGHHH!!! But on Tusday I got to see Elder Murdock and Elder Silos - they are both training. It was awesome!! 

On Tuesday we had another lesson with Rosario. She is progressing, but very slowly! She has had 5 months with us and she is still not sure. When people say ¨don´t give up on the hard investigators¨ they are all referring to Rosario. 

On Thursday we had lunch at a members house. It was called ¨chicharron¨ and it was awful. It is flesh of pig... I´m not kidding!! Look it up online!! I almost threw up! She sat down at the table with us to talk so I had to act like I was thoroughly enjoying my food! I ate it like pills. I just chewed super fast to break up what seemed to be rubber and then I would put some soda in my mouth and just swallow! She had a 2 liter bottle of Fresca and I drank almost the entire thing! After 45 minutes of suffering, I finally finished my food. I asked if I could go to the bathroom because I honestly thought I was going to lose it!! And then I just felt super sick all day and that night I was throwing up all night! It was TERRIBLE!!

So we have been working super hard with this one less active family, they are awesome! The mom (Mayra), has stayed pretty active but her sister (Arendira) went less active for 4 years and she said she was never going back to church again. We started meeting with them last month. We didn´t really talk about church or anything because we didn´t want to pressure her into going back. Two weeks ago she asked what time our church service was and she told us she was going to go. She has a 13 year old daughter (Fernanda) who isn´t a member. They have gone to church the last couple weeks and loved it.

We went to their house yesterday to have a lesson with them and Fernanda asked what she needed to do to get baptized. We were super happy to hear that! It´s seriously every missionary's dream to be asked that question. We then told her she needed to have a few lessons with us and have an interview to show that she is ready. She then asked when she could get baptized! Another amazing question for missionaries to answer! We told her it was her decision and she replied with, ¨How about right now?¨ haha So we set her date for February 15th and it has been awesome meeting with this family! We have family home evening with them every Monday night and they always invite their neighbors. We have a couple baptismal dates planned with a couple of her neighbors so we are hoping it will all work out!

Well that was it for my week. It was a good week and every week is getting better. It´s weird because as much as I would love to leave this area and see other parts of this mission, I kinda wish I could just stay here for the next 17 months! I am getting attached to a few of these families and I know it will be so hard to leave this area!

Congrats to Ashley Amos & Alex Wassom on their engagement! That´s awesome, so happy for you guys! 

Every week I am more shocked at how many dead dogs I see!!  It´s like seeing dead squirrels in Pleasanton. You just see them layting in the middle of the street and its like not a big deal at all! A couple nights ago we were walking through a park near our house and their was a dog fight and tons of people were crowded around watching! It's so sad what some people do for entertainment!!

Well I love you guys so much and I hope you are all doing well and that you had a good week!! I was super bummed to hear about my 9ers but in a couple weeks I´m sure I will get over it. You don´t know how hard it was laying in bed last night not knowing if they won or lost.  Hey at least Kyle Williams didn´t play! That made it a close game!

Elder Mike Payne

Some bird we found outside of our house. Pretty nasty hahaha we were walking back to our house and we saw this bird laying on its back. We thought it was dead. My companion walked over towards it and picked it up and it was moving!! I absolutely HATE birds and I was so scared to take these pictures. I have the bird in my hands for about 10 seconds hahaha I made Elder Santiago take the pictures super fast!!!

Our zone again after transfers! Not a bunch of changes but here is our new and improved zone hahaha
We ate at this members house who lives on the hill in our area. We decided to take this pic with an awesome view of Guadalajara