Monday, May 21, 2018

Excited to work with the new Branch Mission Leader

Bonjour à tous,

C'était une bonne semaine! My companion is on the last 2 weeks of his mission! So we are making sure to work as hard as ever and do everything he wants before he leaves. 

We have a new Branch Mission Leader! He is awesome and I can't wait to really work with him. He is kicking the work here into shape and has a lot of motivation to get things done, which is awesome because now we have a chance to do some member missionary work. As all missionaries know, member missionary work is the best kind and it's the most effective. And our new DMB is really gung-ho for that. 

This Saturday is my Birthday!!!! I'm really excited! I will be 21 for the rest of my mission. I feel like I'm still 19. It's weird how life works like that. I am patiently waiting for my birthday package from my parents. I will take pictures of it when it arrives so you all can see. But mainly so that I can have the pictures forever. 

We had some exchanges this week and me and Elder Langley (love that guy) went to a nearby lake. Well I love to skip rocks, it's something I used to do all the time when near lakes and rivers. So I was bent on skipping a few rocks. Instead, we got stopped by a young couple and ended having a 40ish minute long discussion with them about life. They were really cool and although we didn't get to share a formal gospel message with them, it was still really cool to be able to tell them who we are and what we are doing here.

So that was a cool little moment. 

My Pimente plants are starting to flower! I will attach a picture.

Well that is it for the week, I had a great time talking with my family last Sunday! 

Talk to you next week!

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

On our Mother's Day call Elder Payne noted that all 'pepper' or 'chile' plants are called pimento in France. So we don't know what kind of peppers they will be yet.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Short letter after Mother's Day video chat

Bonjour à tous!

Well mothers day was yesterday for America, and I got to talk to my family! Which was awesome!

Well this past week we were outside of our ville again for a lot of the week. We went to Le Mans for district p-day and then we stayed for exchanges. We ended being in Le Mans for a grand total of 3 whole days! Monday we were supposed to be there, Tuesday was exchanges, but then we found out that there was a strike for the trains on Wednesday at the exact time that we planned on going back. So no trains were running. We had to stay for another night. That was long. 

We finally came back on Thursday but on Friday, I had to finally go back to Paris to make myself legal again in France. It was successful we just scraped by though because of conflicting trains and metro lines and stuff like that. 

Well I am now legal in France again. And yesterday we had a mangez-vous with our new branch mission leader. He is awesome and fed us a five course meal. He is a chef, and knows what good food is. But he also knows that we missionaries will eat whatever he feeds us. But it was delicious anyway, I have a picture of the cake he made, I will attach it here.

This next week we are looking at a pretty tranquille week. Although we have exchanges in Blois this time and we have quite a few people to call and set things up with. 

Well have a great week everyone! I love you all and I will see you in roughly 11 months!

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

Monday, May 7, 2018

Blois France - Work Continues

Bonjour à tous,

Bonjour tout le monde! J'ai passé une bonne semaine! Il était très chargé, mais bon. I thought I could give you guys some French.

But boy was it a week. We had zone conference on Tuesday, but we couldn't find any trains that day so we had to go Monday night and stay in another apartment for the night. The next morning we had zone conference. After that we tried to get our train, but the subway line didn't go to our train station to head home. We tried several different lines to get there but they were all closed down due to protesting (there is a lot of that in France right now makes travelling really frustrating). We tried to find out what to do but found out that there was no way to get there and take a train home. So we decided to call the missionaries in Paris to find a place to stay for the night and after calling a million people and no one answering, we found out that there was a baptism with the Elders we stayed the night with already. So we went to the baptism of their ami. That was cool. The next morning we went home. On the way back home, a guy stopped us in Blois and told us that he was there for a rendez-vous with us that we had forgotten. So we had an impromptu lesson which went okay. Then we had a guy come and turn back on our gas. And then we had all of our rendez vous crammed into 4 days. So yeah, crazy week.

And this week we have a ton to do. I have to go to Paris for legal paperwork, we discovered that last week that the office was closed. So yeah.

We taught one of our contacts this week. He is doing really good right now and told us that he is really on the fence about joining our church but he has seen so many good things. He has really been seeing a change of heart and has found somewhat of a home in the Church. Which is really awesome.

Right now we are in Le Mans for district meeting and P-day. We found an escape room here and went today. It was zombie themed and awesome. We didn't make it out but we were really close. We were just at the end when time ran out. But it was so much fun and quite the adventure. 

Well I am at FHE right now and I better get back to being a missionary. Here are some pictures though!

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

Bridge in Blois France

Balloon above Blois

Monday, April 30, 2018

Amazing progress in Blois

Bonjour à tous,

This week was amazing, literally a miracle week! But the miracles didn't show up really until the weekend.

So our gas service at our apartment has been out for the past week. Luckily our stove is electric and so is the oven. However the hot water for showers in the morning? Yup you guessed it - nothing. We now have to boil our own water every morning. I know that other missionaries in other areas have it worse still, but it's still pretty annoying. We expect that to be fixed this week. The problem though is that the utility company is not reliable and for some reason, and they seem to ignore the missionaries. 

On the other hand, to the miracles! So the first one started out as an awful day. We had a progressing investigator who told us that he doesn't see the need to come to church or get baptised. He is too prideful and we left the appointment feeling awful. But we had another rendez-vous right after that with a part-member family. The father being the member. His wife has been difficult and unrespensoive for a long time. We went in with a general idea on what to teach, but we weren't sure. And as we said the opening prayer, the spirit told me in a quiet whisper "have a testimony meeting", so I told my companion and then I testified, he testified and the father testified. Then we turned to the wife and said "now you've seen the testimony of 3 people who you are close friends with, and there are almost 16 million other people out there who are a part of this church because they felt the same feeling, now when are you going to start looking for yourself?" (Paraphrasing of course) she said that she always knew this to be a good church and she trusts the missionaries and loves the members. Thé spirit was so strong in that room and we know that she is really going to be moving along towards baptism soon!

Also the man we are helping to Quit smoking came to church! With his 2 kids! His kids absolutely loved it! I have never seen the man so happy than when he was at church with his kids. I think he caught a glimpse of what his future could look like and he loved it!

Another ami that has been coming to church all on his own told us that he feels at home in our church and is probably going to invest more in our church! Also, another ami that we were going to stop teaching had a sudden change, she used to be completely unresponsive and would not follow commitments and she wasn't progressing. We had a rendez-vous with her and all of the sudden, she seems to have changed, just enough to contribute and listen to what we have to say. 

Man, I love this gospel. I have been doing so much learning and growing over the past week that it's not even funny!

Well I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Short note from France

Bonjour a tous,

Yeah, our ami is still doing well, I have been seeing things start to improve lately. We are trying to set something up for him to go to the temple, we hope he will have a great experience there and really get a desire to work hard.

I did get a haircut today. I decided I like my hair a little longer, but I also need to keep it short since you know... missionary.

The 100 pushup challenge is still going well. The only thing I find difficult is the fact that I am only working a certain muscle group in my body. So I try to switch it up but to still keep the goal of 100 of something. Speaking of counting steps, my pedometer broke. But that's ok because I got some good data while I was in Épinal. Keep in mind, the pedometer broke a while ago, and I have done way more walking since.

Elder Payne

Monday, April 16, 2018

Elder Jay Payne - One Year Mark!

Bonjour a tous,

What's new this week you say? Well, quite a bit. We learned that our ami progressing toward baptism has been experiencing a positive change of heart. He is going strong, and working on quitting smoking. Yesterday at church there was a guy from new York who is here on business. He is a laser specialist and one of the only ones in the world that specializes in his specific field. So he travels a lot. We talked with him about his job and it is sooooo cool. He is an awesome guy and was the ward mission leader in New York. We had a good time talking with him. 

It really was a good week! I got a lot done and learned a lot. I realized this week that I have already done half of my mission! I literally feel like I was in the MTC yesterday. It does NOT feel like 1 year. It has also sunk in and I realized that if you were to ask me about all of the good times and Spiritual experiences on my mission, I mainly would be able to tell you about the big ones. So I decided to start keeping better track. I am now keeping a record of all of the little moments that I have had that touched my spirit and made me happy. Even the really little things. I want to remember them for years to come. Really, I just want to be able to remember the little things, they are so important.

Elder Sebryk and I went to a city called Amboise last Monday. It's a cool city based around a castle. It was fun. I found a cool place to skip rocks (yes I still do that from time to time) on the river.

We had lunch with some members yesterday, for 10 minutes. Long story. But we have a list of members that want us to come over and so we go eat with a member every week.

Also, me and Elder Sebryk have started a challenge for ourselves. Every day, we do our best to do squats or push ups. It's going pretty good and so far, I've been able to do over 50. I like keeping fit because I hate the feeling of not being able to do something if I want to.

Well that's it for this week! Have a good one!

Love you all!!

Elder Payne
France, Paris Mission

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pictures from France

Parent's note:

No letter this week but Elder Payne did send pictures!  This week Elder Payne will pass his one year mark on his mission.  In many ways the time flew by and in others it seems like it will be so long until we get to see him again.

He has mentioned in his letters that his testimony of Jesus Christ has grown tremendously since he began his mission.  He has seen how keeping the Commandments and living a Christ like life can really bless the lives of everybody.  He has also noted that understanding the principle of repentance can help everyone regain focus on their purpose in life and get them back on the right path.

We are so proud of how he has been selflessly serving and look forward to another year of letters and pictures.

Elder Sebryk and Elder Payne

Excited to work with the new Branch Mission Leader

Bonjour à tous, C'était une bonne semaine! My companion is on the last 2 weeks of his mission! So we are making sure to work as hard ...