Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 75 - January 20, 2014 - On the bright side... I will be home for the next 49ers game!!

Well sad to hear that the niners lost and I heard it was pretty close. But like I said, I will be home for the next 49ers game...makes it seem like its not too far away!!

This week has been an incredible week. I would first like to start off and say that Elder Cantu might be my favorite companion that I have had out here on the mission. We are always laughing in the street about such dumb things. He is the funniest kid ever and we work super well together. I hope I can end my mission with him… probably won't happen but we will see. I seriously love the mission so much! This is the best thing in the world!! It's definitely not easy but it's worth it!

We are teaching and awesome investigator named Maria Elena. She is from Napa, California and no, she's not American haha. She was a reference passed from the offices and she is amazing!!! Every time we go to her house she is sitting there either reading her pamphlets or the Book of Mormon waiting for us. She has gone to church now 5 times and will be getting baptized on this upcoming Sunday. She is so incredible!! I think she is going back to Napa in March for a few months so I told her I would take her to the Oakland temple when I get home!

Amazing news....Raul and Guadalupe got married on Friday!!! We were so happy to see them finally get married. After 10 years of being together and seeing so many missionaries work with them, they finally decided to get married and start working towards having an eternal family. Guadalupe, along with her two daughters (Tania and Estefani), will also be getting baptizied this Sunday. So we will be having 4 baptisms on Sunday. We are super happy and we are working so hard down here.

We are also teaching a less active member named Jim Johnson. He turns 90 in a couple weeks and he is incredible. He is super sick and just looks so sad but every time he sees us, he starts to smile and tell us how amazing we are. He can't walk and sometimes Elder Cantu and I walk along side him as he uses his crutches. He gets so happy and I find myself crying very often when we are with him. He has Alzheimers and can't remember much. He asked Gloria (his wife), Elder Cantu, and me to write our names on a piece of paper and put it on the wall next to his bed because he said, ¨I want to remember the three most important people in my life.¨  He reminds me so much of Grandpa Morgan and I have come to love him so much. He thinks he is going to die very soon and he told me that all he wants is that we are there at his funeral. It will be a very hard day when he passes away. He is one of our neighbors so we go by his house every day for about 5 or ten minutes just to help out and offer our service for he and his wife. Such a great experience getting to know this man.

Well thats about it for me out here! I am loving it and enjoying every second of the mission... maybe not EVERY second, but I am learning from every experience. I know I still have lots of time left and I am trying to make the most of it. We should be having about 7 baptisms coming up in these next couple of weeks so hopefully it all goes well and that Elder Cantu and I can have some success together!

Les amo y que tengan una muy beuna semana!!!

Elder Mike Payne
Our names on Jim's wall
Jim and his wife Gloria
Hanging out with the Oliva family (Raul and Guadalupe's kids... well most of them are theirs)
At the lake
Kinda like San Fran... just not sea lions haha
Me and Raul and Guadalupe
Everyone at the wedding... they wanted to keep it small
Statue of Jesus the fisherman
Me with the statue behind me
On the swings this morning in the park near the lake
The Catholic cathedral
The little corner of love
Me and Elder Cantu on the dock looking out to the lake

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