So this week has been an awesome week. So many crazy experiences and miracles and it was just awesome!!
On Sunday, Elder Rueda and I were walking to a lesson and some lady contacted us and told us to pass by on Monday. So we went by later that night and had an incredible lesson with her. She talked to us and told us that Sunday morning she had been robbed and her son was super badly drugged up and she needed help. She told us she prayed to the Lord to help her find someone who could help her and she started walking towards the Catholic church. As we were walking in the street we weren`t really thinking much of it and we walked past her and then heard ¨Hermanos.¨ So we turned around to see and she then asked us, ¨What do you guys do?¨ and I told her that we serve others and help them with the problems they were facing in their lives. Then she looked at us almost in tears and asked, ¨So you guys can help me?¨ and we continued to talk to her and ended up going by the next day to her house. We found 6 new investigators in that house and it was such an incredible lesson. We invited them all to be baptized and they all said they would pray about it to receive an answer. One of their sons died 3 years ago so we explained the afterlife and they all cried and said that they are willing to do anything to see their son again. Their other son is a drug addict and they just have such hard situations right now. I felt so bad as I put myself in their shoes, but so good at the same time knowing all the blessings they are about to receive. We are going to keep working hard with them and hopefully get them baptized!
Then on Wednesday I went to Apatzingan and had special divisions with Elder Garcia. President wanted me to go to their area to see how they are doing. Apatzingan is seriously like the promise land out here in our mission. They baptize like crazy and the people are just super humble. It is an extremely rough area and just so sad to see. It is by far the poorest area in the mission. They have tons of army trucks driving around because there is a war between them and the narcos (drug dealers?) here...I`ll just leave it at that - you can just imagine what it's like over there! Let's just say that there will never be a sister missionary to EVER serve there!! But it was such a humbling experience. We entered houses without roofs, water, and beds. No house had even tile floor and it was just 100 percent rocks and dirt. Apatzingan is known as ¨tierra caliente¨ and it is so true. I felt like I was in Arizona with the humidity of Florida. Man I was sweating sooo bad!! We slept on the missionaries' back porch because their house was too hot to sleep in at night. Man I felt like I was at scout camp again haha!! And like none of the kids wear pants or even underwear, it's super funny!! But it was such an awesome experience and we set 5 baptismal dates with their investigators all for next week. They seriously baptize like 9 people a month over there. I was talking to Elder Garcia and I told him that Apatzingan is the perfect example of ¨sacrifices bring blessings.¨ The area is super rough and very hard to deal with, but they find so many people just so chosen and willing to change. I was so happy to be able to go work in Apatzingan and witness everything there!
I hope you guys had an amazing week and that everything went well! Congrats to Carlee and her graduation!! I am so happy for you Car!! I was thinking about you all day on Thursday and Friday!! Hope all went well!!
Thank you for everything you do for me and I am so happy to have the family and friends that I have. This last week I was really able to appreciate everything that I have been given and to recognize all the blessings that God has given me in my life!! On the bus today I just started making a list of all the blessings in my life and I realized that there are so many things that we take for granted, including even the clothes on our back. In Apatzingan this last week I was able to see all of the little things that I have in my life and realize how strong those people are. I also started thinking about the blessings that the church provides and realized that none of the temporal blessings can even compare to the spiritual blessings we can have. It doesn't take money to be happy in this life, just the gospel. I am so thankful for this change and that I have to serve and grow to be the best person that I can be when I get home!
I love you all so much and I hope you all have another amazing week!!!
Elder Mike Payne
|Getting to see my family in Mexico again!|
|Tortas from Morelia|
|View from Morelia|
|The Monarchs stadium|
|Sitting in a chair in Apatzingan|
|Sharing the gospel with a goat... didn't go so well... he thought the scripture "feast upon the words of Christ" was supposed to be taken literally haha|
|Walking with Elder Garcia|
|The army base in Apatzingan|
|Me and Elder Garcia at the bus station|
|A river in Apatzingan|