I got transferred today! I am writing this in my new area...Reforma.
First I will start out with my last week in Buenos Aires. It was definitely tough to say goodbye to those people and I will miss that area a lot. I had a lot of good relationships with a bunch of the members and I will miss them a lot! So this last week Elder santiago and I worked super hard to find new investigators. We have a few baptisms planned in that area but we have been having tons of success so it was good to leave that area on a high note.
On Friday we had an activity at the church. The young women in our ward are going on their girls camp this summer and they are trying to raise money for it. They made tomales, nachos and bought tons of candy and just basically had a huge fundraiser. They raised like 2,000 pesos...which is like $170... that's a lot for how poor this area is. President called me during the activity and told me that I was going to be transfered to zone leader this week but he didn´t tell me where or with who, so I was super nervous all weekend and I was thinking of all the possibilities of where I would go....and of course the places that I DID NOT want to go.
I told my comp the one place I didn´t want to go was to Reforma because they don´t baptize at all and they have a lot of disobedient missionaries. I then told him that I had a feeling I was going there because God has a sense of humor!! So on Sunday night we got a call from the zone leaders telling us what was going to happen this next transfer. He told me 'Reforma,' and I just started cracking up with Elder Santiago. I KNEW it! hahaha
My companion is Elder Castro, he is pretty cool - I'm sure we will have a great time together. He is a hard worker and that´s all that matters! The one thing I would hate is to have a companion that doesn´t want to work or that is super disobedient. Our area is actually really nice!! It is like a little town. We have all the fast food restuarants you could ask for!! It is pretty legit! Except we don´t have a Wal Mart or any big grocery store so we have to go pretty far to buy groceries every week. I feel very safe here and I think it is a good area for me. All the roads are paved, unlike Buenos Aires where I was walking on rocks and dust all day. The houses are pretty nice and not nearly as many Mexicans are yelling swear words at me.
Our address is Teresa Reynoso 4054 Col. Insurgentes Guadalajara, Jalisco (please only send letters there, no packages!). I am about 2 hours away from my last area. Our house is pretty nice, kinda dirty but thanks to Dad...I will take care of it!! He taught me how to be a clean freak and how to take control when things are a mess! But like I said, this area is a lot more safe and I feel good working here! I am going to work my hardest to help the missionaries in this zone be more motivated to work, but first I have to lead by example.
I am glad that this last week was over and that all the goodbyes are done. The hardest family to say goodbye to was the Ortega Sanchez family. They are absolutely amazing. Erendira, who was completely less active for 6 years when we first met with her now has a calling and a temple recommend. She is learning english so that she can serve a senior mission in the Salt Lake City temple. Her daughter, Fernanda, didn´t want anything to do with us when we first got there and now she is first counselor in the Beehives. Lupe, the grandma, was super Catholic and yelled at us like the whole first month we visted- telling us how our church was false and how the virgin was the best thing that ever happened. The 63 year old Lupe is now a member, took down all of her pictures of the virgin, and just went and did baptisms for her parents on saturday. She is now trying to baptize her husband so that they can get married in the Salt Lake City temple in a couple years. It just goes to show that there are so many people waiting to hear this gospel and waiting to change their lives. They just don´t know how to start. As missionaries it is our job to establish the Lord´s Kingdom on this earth and to bless the lives of everyone around us. I am so happy I was placed in their lives and that I could be a part of their progression.
Last night when I was saying bye to them I brought them some gifts. I brought them root beer candies, warheads, an english Book of Mormon with my name engraved on the front, and 300 pesos for Fernanda. To go to girls camp the girls all have to pay 300 pesos. Well on Friday, her mom and aunt went out and bought pretty much everything...they didn´t make much of a profit because they divided out all the money and Fernanda made about 40 pesos while all the other girls made enough money to go to girls camp. This family doesn´t have a lot of extra money so I decided to give Fernanda the money that she needed to go to girls camp. It was such a blessing because I know she needed that money more than I did and it was such a good feeling to see their tears of joy and happiness as they received the money.
Well I am doing good here in Reforma and I am excited for this next transfer. I am workin hard and will continue to do everything in my power to give the Lord all I have. I know I am called to this area for a reason and that there are people here waiting for this gosepl. Like it says in my Patriarchal Blessing: ¨You will be called to go to the nations of the earth to share the Gospel message. There will be those whom you alone can touch.¨
I Love you all and I hope you have a great week. I am prayin for you all the time!! Take care and God Bless!!!!
Elder Mike Payne
|Tiny toilet haha it is meant for like 3 year olds. It looked super funny so I decided to take a pic! haha|
|The American boys|
|One of the members has this little dog! It was so cute!|
|The Ortega Sanchez family. Man I will miss them so much!!!|