Thursday, August 1, 2013

Week 50 - July 27, 2013 - Let the countdown begin!

Wow! How fast does one year go by. I can't believe I already have one year in the mission. This is crazy!! As I hit my one year mark on Thursday, I refelcted upon all the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that I have had in the mission.

I remember opening my mission call in March, not knowing what to expect. When I saw Mexico, Guadalajara East mission I didnt know whether to be excited, scared, nervous, or happy. So I pulled the classic Payne move and started crying haha.

Then in May Christy having Bailey. In June, Carlee getting married. In July I remember the countdown...3 weeks...2 weeks....1 week.... I didn't know whether I should have been happy or scared to start the mission. I remember all the horrible goodbyes, thinking I would never see any of my friends or family again. I remember packing my bags- then it hit me. I was leaving for 2 years!!! 

I remember that last week going to Utah with the family. We went to park city, mini golfing, bowling, and just having fun. In the back of my mind I knew there wasn't much time left. I remember waking up July 25, 2012 and looking at mitch lying next to me in the hotel bed, just thinking that would be the last morning with my best friend and little brother. I had a pit in my stomach and I had no clue what to expect. Then the worst part, the drive to the MTC. As I had my bags ready and Elder Stevenson hosting me, I looked back one last time to see my family, in which I would be leaving for 2 years.

AND 1 YEAR LATER!!! As I look back on my first year in the mission, I realize how much I have truly learned from every experience. I look back at all my companions and see that I have learned something different from every one of them.

So many good memories that I have had this last year. I would start writing about the members and converts I have met, but I don't think words can describe my feelings for all of them. So you'll just all have to wait another year to hear those stories!!

Well anyways, this last week was absolutely crazy!! So on Sunday we traveled to Guadalajara. We got to President's house at like 6 and then ate dinner there and had his fireside with all the missionaries that were going home. 

We then had to wake up at 3:30am to prepare for Monday. We had to take missionaries to the aiprort and pick up the new ones. At 8:30, the first group of missionaries showed up. We took them to Presidents house to eat breakfast and have their meetings. Then at 4 the Americans showed up. We took them to Presidents house to have lunch and have more meetings. Then back to the airport at 7 to pick up two missionaries from Guatemala. Then we did the same routine and didn't get to sleep until like 11:30.

Tuesday we woke up at 5 to get ready for our big meeting with all the trainers and new missionaries. It ended at 3 and all the missionaries went to their own areas to work. Then I went to President´s house with the other assistants to have a meeting with President. We had to plan for our leadership meetings that we were going to be having and for all the upcoming events in August. We finally finished and got back to the assistants house in Guadalajara around 11pm.

Wednesday we woke up at 4 to go back to Morelia. We got back around 12 and worked for the rest of the day. Summer time is super hard because so many people leave on vacations but this last week we had 3 of our investigators come back from their vacations so we had a good day with them. We are hoping to set baptisms this next week and get them all baptized as soon as we can!!

Thursday we had to buy a bunch of snacks and get all prepared for our leadership meeting that we were going to have on Friday. I completed one year in the mission on Thursday so I bought a cake and celebrated with Elder Rueda.

Friday we woke up early again and had to go to our leadership meeting. Elder Rueda and I had to teach all of it and I was just so exhausted by the end of it because of everything that we had done that week. We went back to our area and worked again and I just collapsed at the end of the day!

The mission is definitely exhausting but I am so thankful for this chance that I have to serve!! There are so many trials, challenges, and struggles. It is crazy so look back and see how much I have truly grown and developed in these last 12 months! I am so grateful because it is helping me to become the best friend, brother, father, and husband that God wants me to become.  

I love you all so much and thank you for all the support and love you give me. I honestly wouldn't be able to do this if I didn't have so many friends and family members supporting me. I can never thank you enough for everything you do for me!!

Have an amazing week and I am praying for you all in every prayer!! Take care and God bless!!!

Elder Payne

The bags from all the new missionaries that came last week!
The bed I sleep on when I go to Guadalajara.  Lets just say that I don't get the best sleeps haha
1 year!!! They didn't have any "1" candles so I had to buy a question mark and cut it haha
Me with President Camarillos son in President's suit haha.  He is such a funny guy! 

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