Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week 59 - September 28, 2013 - Teaching again! Yes!!!

So this week has been a pretty crazy week!! I would have to say Monday and Tuesday were two of the longest days of the mission so far, with Elder Rueda's knee still in pain.  I thought laying in my bed all day would be nice...but when you don't have a TV, or computer, and you can only read and watch church movies... it's pretty boring. We taught one lesson.  I seriously felt soooo homesick!!  I just sat on my bed all day and thought about what I could be doing if I were home.  Staying busy makes the time go by so much faster!  Little by little, Elder Rueda's knee started to feel better. On Wednesday we were able to walk around a little bit and have some good lessons. He was on crutches all week so we went super slow. 

Martin had his interview with the stake President last night. HE PASSED!!!  Tonight we are going to baptyize Martin, we are so happy!  Last night we had our ¨Noche Mexicana¨ where we celebrated the Mexican Independence day. It's usually on September 15th but we had a bunch of stuff going on in the church these past couple weeks. Anyways, it was super good!! We brought five of our investigators and a bunch of less actives, they loved it!

This morning President Camarillo called and told us that we are only going to be having only two assistants now - the two in Guadalajara!  Elder Rueda and I are SUPER happy about it!!  We are finally going to be working in our area every day and we don't have to worry about all the other missionaries in the state of Michoacan!!!  So I'M FREE!!!  It was fun to be an assistant for the last 6 months, and really cool to get to travel around the mission and spend time with President, but I was really missing the people and getting to see their lives change as they accepted the gospel.  We did what we needed to do with all the new areas that we opened and all the new apartments that we set up for the many new Elders & Sister missionaries that came to our mission.  Traveling by bus everywhere is a little tiring too, so we are super pumped to get to stay in our area! 

Well this next week we are going to work super hard and try and bring everyone to General Conference. We have tons of investigators and now that we will be able to work every day, we will be able to focus on their needs and help them all out!  So it should be a great week!  

Love you guys and thank you for everything!! You are the best :)

Elder Payne

Reppin the Cougs from Mexico
I thought this was pretty funny... the rims broke so this person used zip ties to fix it.  There are so many cars that have these!
The super big elotes decoration
Eating corn on the cob haha it's super popular in Mexico.  They are called "elotes"
The "Noche Mexicana"
The closet
The kitchen
Our study room.  I'm a lot more organized than my companion... thanks to my father ;)
Where we wash our clothes
Our bedroom
Me outside of our house pointing to our window

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 58 - September 21, 2013 - Sleep!

Well this week went by incredibly fast!! Man I am exhausted!! I think this week has been one of the most exhausting weeks that I have had in the mission so far!! I have never been so tired haha! But that's the mission right?!  We have had a lot of rain and some flash floods and wind, but not as bad as other parts of Mexico.

On Monday President Camarillo and his wife came and picked us up and took us to dinner. It was super good!! Then we drove to Uruapan and got there at like 11. We stayed with the zone leaders. So I stayed up and talked to Elder Quinney until like 2am! It was pretty fun...until we had to wake up at 5:30, not so fun. 

Then on Tuesday we had the zone conference in Uruapan. At about 4 we finished and drove back to Morelia. We stopped for dinner when we got here and it was super good!  I love eating with President because we always go to super nice restaurants! We got back to our house at about 10 and had to get some stuff finished up and plan for the zone conference in Morelia.

On Wednesday we had the zone conferences in Morelia and we were able to work in our area the rest of the day. So we got to our area and had a couple lessons with our investigators. It went really well. Our investigator, Martin, is progressing super well and should be getting baptized this next Saturday. 

On Thursday we had the zone conferences in Aeropuerto and then drove to Zamora. 

On Friday we had the zone conferences in Zamora and then President told me: ¨There is no way I am going to be able to drive home. I am too tired!¨ So we drove him and his wife to their house. I was dying to stay awake, meanwhile President and his wife were sound asleep in the back. It was pouring as well!! A drive that should have taken us 2 hours ended up taking 4 because of all the traffic and car accidents!! It was crazy!! We got to Guadalajara at like 9:30 and President told us to stay the night with the secretaries. So we met up with them at the offices and I got to pick up my packages!! OH MY GOSH!!!! Those packages are amazing!!! I am so happy!! I think I have candy for just about the rest of my mission ahah!! Thank you so much for everything!! And I will for sure wear my BYU shirt tonight as I think about my cougs beating the Utes haha!

This morning we woke up and Elder Rueda couldn't get out of bed. For some reason his knee was killing him and he literally couldn't walk. So we went to the hospital at like 8 this morning. We were there for a couple hours taking x-rays and seeing what was the problem. It turns out that a tendon that is rubbing againts his bone. So then we left the hospital to travel back to Morelia.

The doctor told Elder Rueda that he can't walk or do anything physical for 3 days. So we might have to stay in the house for a couple days because it looks super painful to watch him walk.  I just feel so guilty staying at the house when there's so much work to be done!

Well my week went really well and just flew by!! I seriously feel like this whole last week was just a dream! But I am doing great and loving the mish! I think when I get home I will have to sleep for like 20 days to make up for all the sleep that I have lost!

Hope you all had a great week and thank you for all the love and support!

Elder Payne

One of the young men from our ward that left on his mission last week.  Super funny because his girlfriend is from the Buenos Aires ward which was my first area haha
The Morelia zone... THE BEST ZONE IN THE MISH!!! haha technically that is my zone
Minutes before the flash flood as I was driving to Guadalajara haha
I thought this was a cool picture!

In the hospital this morning with Elder Rueda haha
Eating my peanuts at the central (bus station)

Week 57 - September 14, 2013 - Sunrise to sunset... gotta work all day ay ay... not much time for play

hahaha gotta love the Lydiksen musicals hahaha! That's how I feel out here though! Not much time for play haha...sacrifices bring blessings :)

This week was a super good week!!

On Wednesday we started divisions with the zone leaders in Zamora 2. I got to work with Elder Dominguez. He is like one of my favorite Mexicans in the mission. He is such a cool dude!! We had tons of success over there too! We found a bunch of new investigators and put 3 new baptismal dates with a few of their investigators! We actually taught a super elect elderly lady. Her name is Maria del Carmen and she is so funny. She can't hear very well so we had to sit right next to her and yell in her ear haha! It was super funny. Anyways, she is like 85 years old and has been a catholic all her life. When she was younger she used to be a catholic missionary and she has been super strong in her church. We taught her about the plan of salvation and I think at that point it hit her. It was such an amazing lesson and she was so happy. Her and her daughter accepted to get baptized on October 12. 

When I came back on Friday from divisions, we went an taught one of our investigators named Martin. He has his baptismal date on September 28 and we are working super hard with him. His son, Orlando, is less ative and he is 18 years old. Last night Orlando had an interview with our bishop and has been found worthy to baptize his dad. We are so excited!! The bishop then talked to Martin in his office and I walked by the door and saw that the bishop was giving him a blessing. Martin walked out of the office and told us he is for sure getting baptized on the 28th. We were so excited. We also have a guy who is preparing for a mission and leaves on Wednesday from our ward. He is super cool. His name is Jorge. He was at the church with us last night and during Martin's talk with the bishop, his son Orlando was talking to Jorge about the mission. Hopefully we can get him out on the mission soon!! That would be sooo cool!! We are working super hard with this family. I have seriously come to love them so much!!

We weren't able to talk to Marcos last week because he has a crazy school schedule and because of our divisions and other stuff we had to do we didn't get to talk to him. But there is a stake yoiuth activity today and I think he is there with his girlfriend. He is starting to meet so many people in the church. We are so excited to continue to work with him as well so that eventually he will be able to serve a mission as well and baptize the rest of his famnily with crazy beliefs haha!

Well that's about it for the week. I am doing great and seriously loving it out here!! I would love to be home to see the family and be with all of you guys but I know that there is no better place for me to be right now. I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard. There are good days and there are definately very hard days. As a missionary, you can't hope for the mission to be easy... we ARE teaching the gospel of Christ; the ONLY true church on this earth. If we want to have a testimony of him, we must have trials of our faith. I'm not saying we need to look for trials or that our lives will be harder than that of Christ, but we must be ready to overcome the trials and temptations of this life. I love you all so much and I am so thankful for all the love and support that each and every one of you guys give me!

Que tenga una muy buena semana! Que Dios les bendiga!

Con amor, 
Elder Mike Payne

On top of the water tank!

I was so scared!  Like dad always says, "do it for the picture" haha
Eating mango with hot sauce... that's when you know you are in Mexico!  And you know you are in Mexico long enough when you start to like it haha
The big Catholic cathedral in Zamora.  The guy is selling tons of Mexico stuff for their independence day tomorrow!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week 56 - September 7, 2013 - Another one bites the dust!

The weeks are going by so fast!! Man I can't believe it is already P-day again!!!

This week has been good!! We didn't have to travel too much so we were able to work in our area lots this week!! We have lots of investigators, it's just that they all have really tough situations and I have no clue how to relate to them because lets face it, my life has been pretty easy! 

We are teaching this one guy named Marcos. He is 17 years old. His girlfriend is a member and he showed up to church with her 2 weeks ago. We have managed to stay in contact with him a little bit. This last week we taught him 3 times and they were all super good lessons. In the beginning he told us that he didn't really like our church because he has different beliefs. He told us that he believes in the ¨Santa Muerta.¨ I don't know what it's called in english haha! But he told us that he worships this dead idol thingy haha I have no clue how to explain it.

But anyways, he told us how it has saved his life a few times and how he believes in it. I decided to read in Revelations 8 where it talks about Christ overcoming death and how he is stronger than anything that has ever lived. From that point on he has opened up and is now super interested in the church. On Monday night we watched the Joseph Smith movie with him and he LOVED it!  We invited a few families over and watched it in a members house. 

Then last night we had another lesson with him. The spirit was so strong. We talked about how God loves him and what his purpose is here in this life. His family has so many problems! He told us that before he came to church he had never felt so alone and so depressed.  He told us he prayed for help and the next day his girlfriend invited him to church and he met us. He told us how he is so grateful for what we have done for him and how he wants to serve a mission and help others out as well! I was freaking out but I had to act cool so he didn't get weirded out haha! We didn't even talk about baptism yet and he was already telling us how he is planning on serving a mission!! So then we set a baptismal date for him for September 28th. The only thing is that his whole family all worship the Santa Muerta and we need to talk to them because we need their permission to baptized him since he is only 17 years old. But we are going to work really hard with him so that he can turn his life around and find the happiness that he has never had before!!

That's about it for my week! We were finally able to work in our area so I enjoyed being able to focus on our area, our investigators, and our members! We are hoping to see lots of success in these next few weeks. I am going to work as hard as I can and if its God's will, all will go well! 

Love you all and thank you so much for all the support!!! Have an amazing week!!!

Elder Mike Payne

The view from our area looking over the city of Morelia 
Some of my best friends in the mission - Elder Quinney and Elder Maccarthy
The Morelia zone
Found a calendar of the bay bridge!  Super crazy huh?  Of all the places in the world...
Is that Nick Johnson? haha looks just like him
Walking through the jungle
Bowling last week!
Found this guy wearing a TY DETMER jersey!!! How crazy is that!  He is the husband of one of our investigators 

Week 55 - August 31, 2013 - 400 Days Out!

...But who´s counting? hahahaha I know that Dad and I are! 

Anyways, this week was pretty good!! It went by super fast!! 

On Sunday after church we went and had a lesson with Jose, our investigator that has to wait some time to get baptized. He was kinda sad but after we talked to him about the repentance process, everything was good!!  By the end of our lesson he told us that he doesn't care if he has to wait 20 or 40 years, he is going to stay active in the church and continue to be an example for his family.  

On Tuesday morning we went really early to Guadalajara. We had the zone leader councils on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had our interviews with President in the morning, it went really well. We talked a little bit aboput the situation with Jose and President Camarillo told me that he feels stonrgly that Jose should be baptized, he just has to go to church more.  We are so happy!!  We bought Jose scriptures, Liahonas (The Ensign), and we are giving him 2 of our ties, and a shirt. We are going to give it to him tomorrow before church!

Then Tuesday night we had our dinner and fireside with President Camarillo. It went really well. We had some super good cheeseburgers. He talked about the Holy Ghost and how we can receive answers from the Holy Ghost. It was super good and super spiritual!!

On Wednesday we had our zone leader councils. I had the job to talk about the area books, it wasn't too hard. For the first time ever my part wasn't to lecture haha!!! It was good though! We then traveled back to Morelia and got home at like 10.

The rest of the week has been pretty good. On Thursday I lost my phone though :/. I was carrying a bunch of stuff and we got into the taxi and I put my phone on the seat and forgot about it. Then as we left I tried calling it and no one answered...evcentually they just took out the chip and turned the phone off. So on Thursday I had to go buy a phone. But it was okay because I bought a super nice phone and it was only like 70 bucks!!

Well today we just found out about the transfers. Crazy to think 6 weeks has already passed again!! I have mixed emotions...President Camarillo wants us assistants to stay in Morelia and work with our investigators. That's good, but i
t's always fun to see the new missionaries come in- to see them scared, happy, nervous, and not really knowing what to expect! 

Well that's about it for my week. It was good and I am doing great!! Time is flying by so fast!! I can't believe tomorrow is September! Have an amazing week and thank you so much for all the love and support!!

Elder Payne