Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 67 - November 25, 2013 - Transferred!

Well this last week was just a crazy week. I don't even know how to describe the feelings that I had. I love Morelia so much and I will forever remember the people that I met there. I was able to enjoy my last week there and leave the area with lots of potential. I am excited for the sister missionaries who will show up and get to baptize a bunch!  This last week we just pretty much visited everyone in our list of members and just prepared them for the sister missionaries. They are going to have tons of support as well. 

Last night we were able to baptize this little girl. She turned 8 a couple weeks ago. The bishop baptized her and then I confirmed her. She was so happy. I am so excited for this family. I promised her grandparents that if they get sealed in a year then I would come back and visit so that I could go to the temple with them. So that would be awesome if it all works out!! And in a couple months I'm pretty sure her dad will get baptized. And if he does I'm pretty sure president Camarillo will give me permission to go back and see him get baptized!!!

Getting transfered is definately not easy. Last night was so hard!! I cried so hard!! The baptism was also a going away party for me as well. The last song we sang in the baptism was ¨God be with you till we meet again¨ and everyone was bawling!! I bore my testimony and it was so tough! 

Well today I woke up and finished packing and went to the bus station. Our bus left and I traveled for about 6 hours. I am now here in CHAPALA with Elder Garcia!!! I am so happy! Chapala is like the touristy part of the mission and its super pretty!! There's a big lake here and it reminds me a lot of Lake Tahoe. It's super nice!  Elder Garcia is one of my best friends in the mission. It's going to be a super fun transfer with him! 

Tomorrow and Wednesday we have the zone leader councils. This week should pass by pretty fast! I am doing well and recovering from a hard goodbye. I will never forget the last 7 months that I had to be able to serve in Estadio. I will forever be grateful for the things that I learned and the people that I met. I love you guys so much! Thank you for all the love and support!! 

Elder Mike Payne

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 66 - November 18, 2013 - All good things come to an end

This week has been an interesting week. We are working super hard and having fun. On Wednesday we had interviews with President Camarillo and it went pretty well. On Tuesday night I had a dream that President told me to make sure my area book was good because he was going to be sending sister missionaries to open our area. I woke up and my dream felt so real. Then as I entered the interview with President, he opened my last two emails that I had sent to him. He told me ¨So in your last two emails to me you have expressed your desire to stay in your area...well that's not going to happen. You are going to be a zone leader again in a week. How would you feel if we were to send sister missionaries into your area?¨ So I guess my dream did come true...but not in a good way hahaha

My companion and I are both leaving this area in a week, he is going home!  I am sad I am leaving, but I am happy that sister missionaries are coming to this ward. We have many active sisters in this ward who are always willing to go to lessons with us so it will be nice for them to participate more in missionary work.

We have put a ton of baptismal dates with our investigators and it should be an amazing month in December for the sisters here. We are going to baptize Jose's daughter this week coming up and she wants me to baptize her. Jose is still working hard so that one day he can be baptized. He had an interview yesterday with President Camarillo and it went really well. He also received an assignment yesterday from the bishop and he is excited to participate more in this ward. 

Eating with the other missionaries
The Stake President baptized his daughter on Saturday

With the Stake President's daughters haha I love that family so much!
The Bishop's son, Ariel, taking the war head out of his mouth haha 
Joey haha such a cute kid
Eating in Quiroga today

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 65 - November 11, 2013 - What a week!

What a crazy week!!! We have been working super hard with J. and it was an awesome experience. I don't think I have had an investigator with such a strong repentance preocess. He has had a rough life and has been doing great. This last week we passed by everyday, as we knew Satan would be workng hard on him all week. His baptism was on Friday night and it was great, the members really embraced him.

We also have another investigator that is 17 years old and has also had a strong repentance process. He is one of our investigators who believes in the ´Santa Muerta¨ and has a tattoo on his arm. We talked to him last week and we put a baptismal date for December 14. He turns 18 on Decemnber 11 and his parents won't give him permission to be baptized so he is going to wait until he turns 18. He is already making plans to serve a mission. His girlfriend is a member of the church and also wants to serve a mission so they are trying to work things out so they can both go at the same time!

Also on Saturday I was able to baptize an investigator for the sister missionaries in my district. I have been able to get to know him pretty well and he is an awesome dude.  Saturday was a pretty stressful day because our ward secretary told us that he was going to clean the font and fill it for us, but he forgot! I was so stressed because we didn't have the keys to enter into any of the doors to start the boiler or turn the water on.  Finally we started to fill the font at 2...the baptism was at 4 and the font takes 2 and a half hours to fill up. So as I entered the water I realized it was only up to my knees. I think as I put him under the water his back hit the floor, but it all went well! 

This last week was pretty crazy here because the Morelia Monarcas (The soccer team in my area) won the championship. Everyone was super drunk and it was funny because we left our house the next morning and found tons of people passed out on the sidewalks. The people here LOVE soccer!!! It's awesome!!

We found some new investigators last week and it is super creepy.  I don't know what to do because they are super interested in the church but they are nuts! One of the girls is like 28 yeras old and is obsessed with me. She told me a couple days ago that she wants to kidnap me and keep me in her closet so that no one can touch me. Her mom was running around to all their neighbor's homes telling them to come outside and look at the ¨guapo guero.¨ (Blonde handsome man)  It was super funny but its just getting creepy. I'm pretty sure we are going to drop them this week because I feel super uncomfortable when I am at her house.

We had a super awesome experience this morning. One of our investigators, has been so strong and doing all that he can to make changes in his life.  Last night we went to their house to talk to them and it went pretty well (they had an argument before we got there).  We talked about the Proclamation to the Family and we read it all. It was so nice. Right now they are struggling with money and he says that he works from 6 in the monring until 11 at night and many days he doesn't even eat because they don't have much money. They have three little kids and they spend lots of money on them. Well this morning, the bishop's wife, Elder Bernal, and I went to the market and bought tons of food!! We bought food for the next two weeks so that they could have good meals. I may have spent lots of money but I think they needed it more than I do. As we brought the food to their house they started crying and telling us how happy they were and how much it meant to them.  I have really grown to love this family. Such an amazing experience...the only bad thing is that now I don't have money to eat for two weeks... but I'm fine and doing great!

Halloween with Pedro and Jose!
I'm rich!
At the zoo with Antonia, Jose Avalos, and Joey

Gotta watch out for these little punksters... they like to bite! haha good times... good times
At Peter Pipers pizza with the crew
Our fridge with our Halloween decorations
J Trinidad and us
Jano... the cutest kid in the world!
At the market today... super gross because here they kill the chickens in front of you and it's super nasty!
These poor chickens just waiting for their turn to be killed 
One of the statues in downtown Morelia... makes me thing of Grand Wailea haha
One of the Catholic cathedrals in Morelia

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 64 - November 4, 2013 - My Cup Runneth Over

This week has gone by so fast!!! It was a super good week.  We are teaching a really cool guy!  We met him in May and he wasn't in the best condition. He started yelling at us and wasn't very receptive to us. His wife is a super strong member of the church and we would pass by the house occasionally to talk and see what we could do to help. Throughout time, his heart started to soften and he eventually accepted our message. The spirit has been so strong in our lessons and he is such an amazing investigator. He has his baptism planned for this Saturday and the bishop is going to baptize him. I cant wait!!

We also received a reference on Saturday and called her and invited her to church. She is amazing as well! It was fast Sunday yesterday so as everyone went up to share their testimony the spirit was so strong!! She asked me what she needed to do to be a member of our church. We talked about baptism in our gosepl principles class and she then asked us ¨How do I tell my family that I want to change religions and be baptized in this church?¨ She is seriously so golden and we have only talked to her once. I'm sure we will put a baptismal date with her this week for the end of the month!

Week 63 - October 28, 2013 - Beware of Old Illiterate Ladies Picking Fruit!

This week has been such a good and interesting week!!! I am seriously loving my area so much and all the members that live here!! I hope I can finish my mission in this area haha! But I'm almost positive that I will be here for a pretty long time...or at least until Junuary...but who knows!!

So on Tuesday we were walking in the street and found these two old ladies picking fruit from their tree. We started talking to them and then started talking about the church. They told us they were Christians but that they couldn't read very well and they wanted us to stop by and read the scriptures with them the following day. We read in 1 Corinthians 15 when it talks about the Plan of Salvation and we asked them a bunch of questions. They told us to come back the following day. They invited their Christian pastor along with about 15 other members of their church to participate in the discussion. Man it was nuts!! I think throughout this experience I learned how important a sincere and simple testimony can be. This pastor had the most knowledge out of anyone I have ever met. He started telling us a bunch of blaspehmy and backing it up with a bunch of scriptures. We figured we weren't about to start a bible bash so we just shared our testimonies and let them know the importance of the gospel in our lives. I know we may not have convinced all of the people there but if we could have at least planted the seed into one of them then I will be happy :)

Then on Friday we had a lesson with one of our investigators that has been battling with drugs for a pretty long time but told us he has now been sober for a while and has completely given it up. We set a baptismal date with him for November 9th so we will see how everything goes with that. We are super excited because he has come such a long way!! 

On Sunday at church we were talking to another one of our investigators and he told us that he has now received an answer and wants to get baptized. He turns 18 in December so he told us he is going to ask his mom today and if she says no then he will for sure get baptized in December. He has believed in the Santa Muerta for a super long time and has a pretty rough past but he is progressing super well. We are hoping to see lots of success in these upcoming weeks/months!!

Today we went to this place called Patzcuaro. It is super nice!!! I love that place so much!! You should look at pictures because its seriously super beautiful!! And I bought all the family's christmas presents so I should be sending it off within these next couple of weeks!!

Hope you all had an amazing week and I love you all so much!!  Thank you so much for all the love and support!!

Elder Mike Payne

This is Elder Hulme.  He got here like 2 weeks ago and reminds me so much of Danny! haha he is super cool
This one is for you Christy! 
One of the cutest little kids ever!
How they spell my first name out here haha
haha I thought this license plate was funny!
The Monarchs vs. Chivas game.  We had a lesson up near the stadium and this is the view from outside.  Super cool!
This little kid is so cute.  He turned four on Friday and his family invited us over for his birthday party.  The tradition in Mexico is to take a bite of the cake after you blow out your candles... and usually other slam your face into the cake.  He had his eyes wide open and his sister shoved his head into the cake and he started crying.  So cute but so sad!
Our ward mission leader and young mens president.  They took us out to eat pizza! :)
Loved this kids shirt... miss the good old days with Dad out on Castlewood
Happy Halloween!
The drive in Patzcuaro
Me and Juan... probably the coolest member I have met on my mission.  He is a super good chef and even wants to sell tacos in the states!  This is Patzcuaro... one of the coolest pueblos in Mexico!
With some of the missionaries... Elder Solorzano, Elder Perrett, and Elder Polanco
A scripture carved into one of the benches