Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 42 - May 27, 2013 - So much traveling!

Wow my schedule is just crazy!! The thing is that it will probably never be normal or relaxed because every six weeks we have to redo the entire routine!! Man it is so much fun, so much work, and just super crazy!! I feel like these last 3 weeks have just been a dream because of how fast time is going by!!

So last Monday Elder Christofferson came to speak to our mission and also the other mission here in Guadalajara.  It was super good!! We got to take a picture with him and the rest of our mission in front of the temple. Later we all got to shake his hand and greet him. 

He talked in spanish and it was incredible!! His spanish is amazing!! He talked about being worthy and ready to receive all the promptings that God has for us. He talked about having hardships and trials in the mission and how we can overcome them and put ALL our trust and confidence in the Lord. Then he asked if we had questions for him. After every question he had a reference in the Book of Mormon and his answers were all just super simple and all spot on. That was such an amazing experience that I will never forget!!

Then on Tuesday President Camarillo came and picked us up and we went traveling around Michoacan all week to have interviews with all the missionaries. We went to Uruapan on Wednesday, Morelia on Thursday, Aeropuerto on Friday, and Zamora on Saturday. During all the interviews Elder Morales and I had to check all their agendas and area books. We had 96 agendas and 192 area books to look at!! After about the first couple hours I was done with that hahaha!! But the rest of it was good!

Every day after interviews we would get into the Presiden'st car and he would ask where we wanted to go eat. Usually he just told us of a really good restaurant nearby and we drove to it. President doesn't like driving so he makes us drive...the only bad thing is that my license expired so he told me I can´t drive until I get it updated. Every time we traveled, President just slept in the back and Elder Morales and I just partied it up in the front hahaha!!

It was so fun to spend the whole week with President. He told us a bunch of stories about his life and how be came to be a mission president. He told us how he and his wife met and just a bunch of super cool and also funny stories. We all got to know each other really well last week haha!!

President doesn't like to travel alone so on Saturday we finished all the interviews and then we traveled 4 hours to go back to Guadalajara and then we had to take a bus 5 more hours to get back to Morelia haha!! So pretty much all day Saturday we were traveling!! 

This week we have zone leader councils in Guadalajara and we will be traveling back on Thursday. Then we are going to have divisions with a couple of the zone leaders from Thursday until Saturday so I am thinking we will most likely get to write again on Saturday...but who knows. As an assistant we are constantly changing plans so we never have any firm plans which kinda stinks!!

But just know that I am doing great and loving where I am at. Our schedule is crazy and I know that I don't get to write you as much as we would all like but I know that sacrifices bring blessings and there is no doubt that what I am doing out here will forever bless me and my family. I wish I could write you guys every day but I just want you to know how much I love you all and miss you like crazy!!!

Have an amazing week and I will talk to you soon. Not quite sure when but I will try and let you know as soon as I can haha!! 

Elder Payne

The mission and Elder Christofferson

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 41 - May 18, 2013 - Blue Eyes?!

This week has been a pretty good week! So on Monday I traveled to Zamora (a zone) to work with one of the zone leaders there. I worked with this kid named Elder De Los Santos, he is a pretty cool dude.  We had a pretty funny lesson... we had a family home evening and as we began, one of the daughters started telling me how much she loved me eyes.  It started to get kind of awkward because she just kept staring at me. The whole family starting commenting as well about how much they loved my eyes and it just completely ruined the family night and our lesson! hahaha  Blue eyes aren't very common in Mexico! Neither is blonde hair!

Then on Wednesday morning, I came back to our area for a few hours and then went to Uruapan (another zone). I dropped off Elder Morales there and came back with Elder Pintor. We worked in our area and had some crazy lessons!!

We had a lesson with one of our investigator families; they are super cool but they have some crazy beleifs!! They told us they have been baptized in 4 different churches and they believe in every belief in every church. They are mainly focused on Krishna right now. It's some Indian religion and they were telling us some of their beliefs and I couldnt take it any more haha!! They showed us a picture of Krishna and he is blue! Elder Pintor looked at me and asked ¨Is that Avatar?¨ hahaha but they said they love reading the Book of Mormon and thery want to come to church, but they have a lot of other beliefs to drop before they can get baptized.

Then we had a lesson with another family, they are all members except for the Dad. As we got up to the house, we noticed him passed out in the drivers seat of the car. We entered the house and then like 5 minutes later we hear the car start and he just started honking his horn like crazy. He was super upset that we were there so we told him that we would leave. Before we could leave, he told us to sit down because he had a few quetions for us. He asked us some crazy questions and then just started ripping on his wife! I felt so bad for her. He was just screaming all of these horrible things and telling us how much his wife has ruined his life and how he wants to get divorced. He just went on for like 15 minutes and we couldn´t stop him because he just kept talking even if we tried to interrupt. We eventually just set another time to come back because there was no way we were going to have a good lesson with him there. We asked if we could end with a prayer and he said that he would do it. In his prayer he just started yelling cuss words and telling God how much he hates his wife and how unhappy he was with her. I wanted to hit the guy so hard, I felt so bad for his poor wife and daughter that were just sitting there listening :(

But then on Friday morning I met up with Elder Morales and we had a few lessons. We had a church activity last night and it was incredible!! It's pretty hard working in your area as an assistant because you are only there like 3 days of the week. But in our activity we had 5 of our investigators there and they loved it! We just played a ton of sports and it was super fun. We had more people at the activity than we did at church last week!!

Tomorrow (Sunday) we are going to be traveling to Guadalajara. Elder Cristofferson is coming on Monday to talk to our mission. I am sooooo excited!! It has been so much work for my companion and I trying to plan how everyone is going to make it to Guadalajara. Imagine trying to find a ride for 86 missionaries without cars to get to Guadalajara which is like 7 hours away!! So I just cant wait for all this stress to be over so I can just sit down and listen to Elder Cristofferson!

I love you guys and I hope you all had an amazing week!! Man it was so good to talk to the family last week!! Nothing like getting to see the whole family again!! Take care and keep enjoying life!!

Elder Mike Payne

Mother's Day breakfast... pancakes with peanut butter.  Yum!!!!
Skyping with the fam on Mother's Day! :)
A Catholic Cathedral... it was huge!
On divisions with Elder Pinto.  I was lost and was calling the sister to get directions to her house haha... it's tough opening up an area!
Morelia Centro at night
Another picture of Morelia Centro at night

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Week 40 - May 9, 2013 - Transferred!!!

Wow what a crazy and incredible couple days it has been!!

So on Tuesday Elder Alvarado and I were walking to a lesson and President Camarillo texted us saying ¨Elder Payne when you get a moment give me a call.¨ So I called him to see what was up and he told me that I was having special changes. I couldn´t hear him very well because it was super windy so all I heard was, ¨Be in the offices tomorrow at 9 am with all your bags ready to travel.¨

I started thinking of all the worst possible scenarios that could have happened. I was almost on the verge of tears because I was convinced that something had happened to my family. So I decided to call president back and I made him promise me that you guys were okay. I think he was more concerned than I was!!  And then came the big news. He told me, ¨Elder are going to be one of my assistants.¨ I was super shocked!! I am definitely not good enough to be an assistant but I will work as hard as I can to be the best I can be.  It will be a lot of work, I didn't realize how much the assistants have to do!!

So on Wednesday I got to the offices and President Camarillo was there and I had an interview with him before I went off. He told me how happy he was for all the work I had done so far and told me that I have one of the highest baptizing percentages in the mission (whatever that means hahaha) and then told me he knows that the mission will be okay if I keep up the attitude and keep working hard.

So yesterday I just traveled all day!!  As an assistant we have to travel(by bus!) to every area of the mission.  I am now in Morales, Michoacan - which is 6 hours from the mission home!  I will have to go there every 2 weeks, so I will not actually be in my 'home' very much at all.  We spend a lot of time visiting other missionaries, and doing divisions with them.  I'm super excited about where I am and who I am with! 

My new companion is Elder Morales. He is a stud!!! He is from Guatemala and he is such an amazing missionary. We are having tons of fun together. This last transfer President just made 4 assistants instead of two. We have two states in our mission (Jalisco and Michoacan) so he decided to put two assistants in each state. So Elder Morales and I are opening an area and it is super tough because we literally have 0 investigators but he is such a hard worker so I have no doubt we will have success together (for the time we are in our area haha). 

But I am doing great and LOVING where I am at and who I am with!! Crazy how much an email can change in two days huh?! hahaha

I love you guys so much and I can´t wait to talk to you Sunday!! That will be such an amazing day!! Only 3 days away!!!

Elder Payne

Soccer as a zone on Monday
My sun burn from soccer.  That part of my neck hasn't seen the sun in 10 months haha
Skyping Mike on Mother's Day!
Mike showing us his cool "new" phone lol
Getting to Skype Mike in Mexico with Carlee in Utah and his immediate and some extended family in California!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week 39 - May 6, 2013 - Rough Week

Well the week that I thought that was going to go by super fast, ended up going extremely slow!!  Man this is going to be a tough transfer!!!  So I will just start with Tuesday and Wednesday; we had our zone leader councils and it went really well. I learned lots! President Camarillo is the man! He just knows exactly what to say! It was nice to see all the other zone leaders and hang out with them. My new companion is probably the hardest working companion I have had, which is awesome... When we get into a lesson he is just super hyper and ready to go!  I think it rubs some people the wrong way, because we haven't had much success this week.  I fasted on Saturday and Sunday so that we can have more success together and that I can have more patience.  My companion is Elder Alvarado and he is 27 years old and used to be a fisherman before his mission.  We set up a bunch of divisions with our ward this last Sunday, so I am going to have him visit the less actives while another missionary and I visit the investigators.  Hopefully we can get some of them back on board! 

Well yesterday we had a pretty funny experience. We got on the bus to go to church - keep in mind that it is 10 am, and some Mexican I guess partied a little hard for cinco de mayo. As we got on the bus, I looked at the ground and noticed a stream of liquid headed toward the front of the I followed the stream, I saw some guy sitting in his chair with his beer in his hand, just completely passed out. As the bus would put the brakes on, his momentum would go forward, making all his beer just pour out of his huge one liter bottle. As I examined a little more, I noticed this man just dripping beads of sweat and his ¨pride and joy¨ sticking out of his zipper of his the things that I see here in Mexico...  Never a dull bus ride!
Well that was my week. I am going to work as hard as I possibly can to do everything I can for this ward and our investigators. 

I love you all so much and thank you for all the love and support. You guys are all amazing!! 
Have an amazing week andI´ll SEE (Skype) you soon!!

Elder Mike Payne
PS- ALL my teams get blessed because of me!! Keep cheerin on the BAY!!!

Last pic with Elder Castro... miss that kid!
Me and my friend Bessy.  She always hangs out by that fence and she is one of my good friends!
The new zone

Week 38 - April 29, 2013 - VACATION 2013!

So this week has been pretty awesome!! My vacation was great!! 

So Tuesday we got to the airport and Elder Murdock and I sprinted to call our families hahaha! That was so awesome! It was so nice to call you guys and hear your voices! Man I can't wait to actually see the fam via Skype in like 11 days!! That is going to be so awesome!
So from Guadalajara we flew to Mexico City. We had to sign a bunch of stuff for our visas so that we weren't illegal!  We had a four hour layover in Mexico City so we just hung out at the airport and waited, then flew to Houston and got in around 9pm....but that didn't stop us from having a party. 
The guy who picked us up told us that we would be staying in a hotel and then proceeded to tell us the plans for the next two days. So we got to the hotel and ordered Dominos Pizza and just partied in the room. The only thing that sucked was having the huge flat screen TV mounted on the wall and NOT being able to watch it! But it was super fun getting to talk to Elder Murdock to see how everything is going. He doesn't talk English because he wants to make his spanish perfect. 

On Wednesday we woke up and went to ihop to go eat breakfast! Man that was probably the best breakfast I have had in like 9 months hahahaha! I took so many things for granted in the states! I think when you can say that you miss have been in Mexico for too long! Then after ihop we went to the consolate to sign a bunch of stuff for our Visas again, it took 2 hours and by the time we left it was noon. So then the guy that was driving and hosting us asked us where we wanted to eat. We found a mall and ate there. Then the guy told us that he wanted to buy a few things for his family (since he lives in Mexico and can't buy the same stuff there). So we walked around the mall and just hung out for like 4 hours! I think if I were ever to be at a mall for 4 hours before my mission I would kill myself. But to be able to have a little free time was super nice!  
Then the guy finally took us back to the airport and we had to wait for another couple we called our families again hahaha!! It was so nice to be able to talk to Mitch on his birthday! I was so happy I got to do that! 

We eventually had to end our vacation 2013 and come back to Mexcio. At least this time I know what to expect! We got to the secretary's house at like 2 am and had to wake up the next morning at 6. So I was sooooo tired on Thursday due to the lack of sleep the last 2 nights!!
This week was a super good week in our area and zone as well. We completed our goal for baptisms for this month. In the beginning of every month, every companionship sets the goal of baptisms that they wnt for the next month. Our goal was 9 and that was pretty high. Remember that our zone had only baptized 3 in the last 3 months! Well this last week we had a baptism and completed our goal for the month. President called us on Saturday to congratulate us on our hard work and the success we had in the month of April. We set 5 baptismal dates on Saturday and Sunday so we are hoping to see lots of success this next month of May as well!
Today was first transfer as a zone leader...and it sucksss!!!! I have been waiting in the big bus station for no joke 6 hours!! President made a new rule that we can't travel alone so I have just been chillin here setting up rides and companionships here.

I got a new companion today and it will definately be a tough transfer. His name is Elder Alvarado and he is from Veracruz, Mexico. He use to be a crazy fisherman before his mission. I can barely understand his spanish, the mexicans can't even understand him!  He talks so crazy!! But the kid loves to laugh so I am just going to work super hard at having fun and making him laugh. I know that when I finish my mission and have tons of trials, I will look back on my mission and say that my time with Elder Alvarado was when I learned the most about myself.

Well right now I am still at the bus station and I have to wait here for like another 30 minutes and then I get to leave and then I have to go to the offices tonight to host the people that are training. So there goes my P-Day hahaha! But I am excited for this next transfer and for the experience I will have to work with Elder Alvarado. We are going to work as hard as we can so that we can seesuccess and have fun together.

I have tons of meetings and zone leader councils this next week so it should be a pretty fast week for me out here! I love you guys so much and thank you for everythinhg you do for me! I can feel your support all the way out here. Even though I am in a different country, I hope you guys can feel my prayers and love! Goodluck and enjoy the next week! 

Elder Mike Payne

We have landed in the States!
Writing in my journal in the bath tub... that was such a clean and nice bathroom!
Eating Dominos Pizza... the simple things!
Breakfast at Ihop!
Elder Murdock and I in front of the mall
Superman Ride!
Elder Murdock and I are the coolest!
Eating a Molten Lava cake at Chilli's in the Houston airport!  Best meal EVER!!!
Going back to Mexico
Vacation 2013 is officially over