Monday, August 14, 2017

Short letter from France

Dear Family,

Yeah sorry I missed writing a better letter last week, being in a trio means that we are busy pretty much all the time. But I have some time today to write.

The trio is fun, although we get the repertoire today which will tell us all about the new companionship and who my next companion will be. I will include that in the next weekly letter because we haven't gotten it yet. The stakes are high though because I could possibly be training, or become district leader, or just get a new companion. But whatever happens, I will be okay with the Lord's help.

The French is coming along, I find it interesting how many people ask me how the French is going. It's not annoying, but how do I respond to that? Anyway, right now I think my French slowed down, because we haven't found much time for language study. But it will come.

I can't believe the amount of personal growth I have already seen on my mission. And actually, last Saturday made 4 months in the mission! I am really learning how to listen to others and not be judgemental or argumentative like I sometimes was before my mission. 

Well I guess I will end it there.

Sincerely,
Elder Payne 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Letter with a package and pictures

Hello Everyone!

How are you all doing? I have been geting all your emails! Thank you!!

The work here is going great and I am continually finding things that I really appreciate about France.  I love French doors. Seriously, the doors here are pieces of art.  And here is something French that you can try at home.  Get some apple juice in a cup, and put an orange slice in with it. I had that at a members house and loved it!!

You can try that or you can try 'bizou' (spelling). Which is kissing someone on both cheeks to greet them.

Well I love you all and as Dad would say, "Remember who you are".

Love,
Elder Payne

Parent's note: We didn't get a e-mail this week so I just transcribed a short letter Jay sent in a package.  Jay is companions with two other missionaries for a couple of weeks.  Transfers are the week of August 14th at which time he should get a new companion.  He did send an e-mail to someone else and stated that the two missionaries he is with now are lots of fun but hard working too.

The pictures were on an SD card that Jay sent along with some other items he sent.
Info from Internet search:  Dreaming the Erdre of Marie-Hélène Richard is a walk on the Erdre between urban and nature that plays with the landscape and the reflections, from one bank to the other.

No notes on this picture - If someone knows about it let me know and I will update the blog.

No notes about this picture, but I guess Jay ate well that day.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Missionary cooking in France

Bonjour à tous,

I going to work with two other Elders this week, right now I am still in Nantes. I will get a new companion in two weeks.

This week has been pretty fun, although interesting because my ATM card didn't work this past week. Elder Mansfield and I have been eating pretty much the cheapest food we can find. Did you know that one large can of beans, some rice, some hamburger, and some tomatoes will make a burrito mix that feeds 2 people lunch and dinner for a week?

I have been learning how to make crepes. They are super easy to make and serve as kind of the tortillas of France. You can literally put anything on their and it will usually be delicious.

We had a service project this week that was pretty much the worst. I spent 6 hours on a roof... scrubbing... each... individual... tile. We didn't even finish. But it was still fun in a sense.

We also went to a cool land bridge last P-day. It was pretty cool. I will make sure to send pictures. I got really sunburned too.

Tatiana and Camille have been coming to church every week and we are really excited to see them progress. You can read more about that later. But anyway, things have been going good, elder Mansfield goes home this Thursday and I will be in Saint Nazaire for the next two weeks. I will make sure to email you guys all about it next week.

Sincerely,
Elder Payne

Monday, July 24, 2017

Exciting end of the week

Bonjour à tous,

Well this week was very exciting!!! First on Monday, my soul died a little cuz Elder Mansfield wanted to do some clothes shopping before he went home, and he decided to invite the Soeurs for clothing advice. Needless to say, I was a tired, zoned-out, missionary zombie for about 2 hours.

Tuesday we went to Rennes for our first interviews with the new mission president. Then we stayed in Rennes because we had some legality stuff to take care of for residence in Paris.

Wednesday was just zone conference.

Thursday we went out to Paris! Super fun cuz I got to meet with my old MTC buds. Funny story, The legality stuff includes a general medical check up, and one part of it you go in a room without your shirt on and talk to a lady about your general health. I told her that I have been experiencing some back pain. In response she reaches over and puts her hand on my stomach (as a missionary I felt very violated) and just said in broken English "strengthen core". So since then I have been doing core workouts.

On Friday we managed to find 2 new amis. That was really cool.

On Saturday is the cool part. So I don't know if any of you remember me talking about Tatiana. But she is the Brazilian woman with the 3 sons. Well we fixed another Rendez-vous with her. We also invited one of the women from our ward and her son. We expected her to bring her son again. When we were waiting at the church or her, we saw a really nice Mercedez pull in to the parking lot. We didn't recognize the car. A guy gets out of the car and none of us new him, then Tatiana also gets out of the car. When you're a missionary you never expect your amis to have a car. We learned that the man is named Camille and is Tatianas boyfriend (she's divorced). Then we proceed to have an awesome Restoration lesson. Camille is really cool and the entire ward loves him because he is a soccer agent. Then we gave them a soft invitation to come to Church and gave them both a Book of Mormon.

On Sunday we had figured out that we already have 3 new amis this week with almost no finding time (the lord provides). And if Tatiana comes with her whole family, we would have 5 new amis and 5 amis come to church. That is unheard of. We were sitting in church when BOOM! They show up!!!! Tatiana, Camille, and her 3 sons! It was AWESOME!!

So yeah, this family is going far. They are so cool.

Sincerely,
Elder Payne

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Importance of Personal Prayer

Bonjour à tous,

This week we had some more exchanges in Rennes, and some with La Rochelle. We also had a Saint Nazaire finding day. That was fun.

Honestly, I can't really remember this week very well, it went by so fast. Although I have started an interesting goal that you might find interesting.

So at the exchanges in Rennes, we didn't have any time in the morning for personal study and prayer. Well for the whole day I was really just zombie-like and really out of it. Then the same happened a couple of days later in Saint Nazaire and that is when about half-way through the day I decided that I needed to find a way to make sure that I always say a prayer. So Elder Mansfield had an idea to put a coin in my shoe, and every time I noticed the coin, I would say a prayer.

So I tried that except decided to amp it up a little, so I put a coin in both shoes. I literally said a prayer every like 10 minutes for the whole day. But it helped a lot. I noticed a huge difference when I don't have my spiritual fill every day.

So I think that that is the most exciting thing from the last week. This coming week will be really interesting because we have interviews with the new mission president on Tuesday, zone conference Wednesday, Legality stuff on Thursday in Paris, and on Saturday is a youth/missionary activity all day.

Sincerely,
Elder Payne

Monday, July 10, 2017

Miracle in the rain

Bonjour à tous,

Well this week was really exciting, met the new mission president, he is super cool and I am confident that I will have no troubles getting along with him in the future. If you want to hear a really cool story keep reading, I know that I would've tuned out by now.

So I will just start with the cool miracle story this week because it might take up the whole email.

So yesterday was a pretty decent day in the morning, normal church. Elder Mansfield and I  didn't have any rendez-vous for the afternoon. So we decided that we would have lunch and some personal studies and then go porting (door to door) in a residential area. We had looked for some places on maps, and decided that that was where we needed to go. Well the weather app said that it was supposed to rain that night but I thought nothing of it because there was clear blue skies. As we were getting ready to go, some HUGE clouds rolled in and it started to drizzle a little bit. I still thought nothing of it. Right before we left the apartment, it started pouring. So we decided we would go anyway (because you know...missionaries).

I have never been happier on my mission so far than I was during that rain. I don't even know why I was so happy but I think that it was because I felt like a real missionary. Our pants were soaked, our shoes full of water, water starting to soak through even our rain jackets. We were doing some porting with no success and decided that we should say a prayer about whether or not we needed to stay there. I got a very subtle impression that we needed to leave. So we left. Then it started hailing, with the already ridiculously hard rain. By this time, any hope of dry clothing was lost. We hopped on the tram to go back to our apartment and decided we would come back later when the storm had blown over.

We were on the tram, soaking wet. And a woman starts talking to Elder Mansfield because she was curious about the name tags. We kept talking to her about who we were and the tram stops for technical difficulties and we all had to get off and walk. She asked us to walk with her so we did, we met her husband later, who had heard about the FLDS church (fundamental LDS) so we cleared up some misconceptions regarding the LDS church and kept talking. By this time we had already crossed half of Nantes with this woman. So we walked with her and her husband, still talking, and got on our tram to get home. We ended completely ignoring our stop and just kept talking. Her and her husband got off and we got off with them. We walked with them to their house, they invited us in, they gave us soda, we scheduled a mangez-vous (dinner app.) and they said that they would invite their daughters too. 

So all in all, we talked to this woman and her husband for about 2 hours, crossed all of Nantes with them, gave them a full lesson, prayed with them, got their number, got their address, and scheduled a mangez-vous, and got 2 new amis and possibly 4 all in one night. This doesn't happen...ever. We are sooooooo excited to meet with them again. Elder Mansfield said that in 2 years he has never experienced anything like that. I said a prayer of thanks that night and my shoes are still soggy.

Blessings. If you skipped to the bottom, please read the email, you wont regret it.

Also, I have some pictures here of an art museum we went to.

Modern art ladies and gentlemen....

Sincerely, 
Elder Payne






Monday, July 3, 2017

More News from Nantes

Bonjour à tous,

How is everyone this week! I am doing great out here, we have actually been getting quite a few new amis this week!

First, we were contacted by a man named Vincent. We apparently contacted him on the bus 2 weeks ago but totally forgot about him, whoops. But it turns out he is super cool, we try not to put favoritism on amis but he is definitely one of my favorites. He is 19 and a practicing Buddhist. But super open to the gospel and learning more. 

We also met a Brazilian woman named Tatiana. We had a meeting with her and she brought her 17 year old son too! Turns out she has 2 other teenage sons! Super cool!! We hope that we can get all of them to church or to at least come to meetings. But Tatiana is pretty awesome. Her son doesn't seem interested in sports so we can't get him to Saturday sports, but ya know, whatever.

In terms of transfers, yes there was one on the 28th, but I stayed and so did my comp as is customary for training to stay 2 transfers. It is so weird to think I am on my second already. If you didn't see, my comp is going home in a month, so I will go to Saint Nazaire for 2 weeks until I get a new comp in the next transfer.

That was the extent of most of our week, along with a service project and an awesome museum today.



Sincerely, 
Elder Payne 




Short letter from France

Dear Family, Yeah sorry I missed writing a better letter last week, being in a trio means that we are busy pretty much all the time. But I...