Monday, September 18, 2017

Paris is Awesome!

Bonjour à tous,

Well this week was pretty cool! We actually got a chance to go to the Paris Temple on Tuesday! It was awesome and the temple here is beautiful.

The trip to Paris was awesome! We stayed overnight with the assistants to the president. That was fun. We went with some other elders from our district. One of the Elders is super cool and me and him get along really well. He did swing dancing and longboarding too! Me and him traded stories while on the train. He's so cool and he's our district leader.  

I believe I sent pictures last Monday of the temple.

This week has consisted of a lot of finding in the streets. We managed to find 2 new people. And we hope that they will progress. This Sunday we actually got a lot of members that came up to us wanting us to come over! So that will be awesome. 

I actually had a cool experience this week while finding. Me and Elder Stanford had been finding all day one day. And with no success, we were feeling pretty down on ourselves. Then we went for one last stretch of finding before we went back to the Church for some stuff for the rest of the day. And what do ya know, it starts raining! It was a freak rainstorm. No one likes talking in the rain. So we walked for a bit and after everyone rejected us we decided that that was it for the day. And we headed back to the Church.

On our way to the Church, in fact we were almost there, we saw one guy walking our direction. Elder Stanford just looked at me and said, "Look Elder Payne, it's our new ami!" And we talked to him and he was Muslim, Algerian, did not speak very good French, and was very interested in the gospel. Those 4 things together, by the way, don't happen like EVER. So we got his number and he told us several times that he is very interested in talking with is in the future.

I can now participate in French discussions. I can understand a lot and I can almost have a normal conversation. #gift of tongues  The Ward I am assigned to has about 500 people, 120 of which come regularly.

In conclusion, I have learned a lesson from this and other experiences that the times when we feel down, when we hit rock bottom, when we feel like there is nothing more we can do, that is when we become humble enough for the Spirit to talk to us unrestrained. And that it when Christ reaches out to us to pick us up and keep us going.

Quote for the day: "when all you've got is nothing, there's a lot to go around."

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Short letter due to Temple Trip

Bonjour à tous,

This week was mostly a lot of finding since our amis dropped off our radar. We found a cool lady yesterday, I hope to meet her again. 

So we got the chance to go to the temple! I didn't think I would be able to until the end of my mission. But elder Stanford had to go to Paris anyway because of legality work. So we figured why not go to the temple?!

I took some pictures that I will attach. Sorry I really can't write that much this week. I promise to be better next week. I just don't have time today because we have to get on our train to go back to Nantes.

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

Paris France Temple

Monday, September 4, 2017

Finding Gold in the Rocks (Importance of Member Missionary Help)

Bonjour à tous,

Well, this week has been interesting. One of my companions got what we call "midnighted". Which is basically a call from the mission president in the middle of the night telling you that you are going to a different city the next day and that you have one night to pack and everything. Elder McCrea is going to Liege,  which is the city he was born in (his first area in the mission field). An elder there broke his ankle so they needed an elder to come there who still had all of the Belgium legality done. So elder McCrea will be there for the rest of the transfer and might come back to Nantes. So I may or may not see him again. Our trio has been able to bond pretty well, and I am sad that we are getting broken up just as we were picking up speed.

So that was exciting. Needless to say, didn't get much sleep last night. 

Other than that, the work here has been difficult for us. Mainly because for some reason, as soon as elder Stanford and elder McCrea came in, our amis have been dropping off the face of the earth. We haven't been able to get contact with Tatiana for about 2 or 3 weeks now. And we had a couple other people that seemed good, but they weren't answering or kept fruging us (that means that they set a rendez-vous, but then never show up). So that all is frustrating. So right now, we just do a lot of finding. We also have 3 meals with members in the next 2 weeks, I'm excited for those.

We received a member referral yesterday which is soooo awesome! We have a meeting set with this new referral this week. And some other small miracles happened too. 

We had one cool meeting with a guy on Saturday night. His name was Celestin. He invited us to a bar that "fit our standards". So we went to the only skyscraper in Nantes, which apparently has a bar at the top. We met, talked bout life, bout God, tried to share our message about the restoration, and in the end he wasn't interested. But I got some cool pictures! I will attach them here.

I really like our new district leader, him and I get along really well. He did swing dancing, longboarding, and is just a good guy. So we have fun.

I did hear about the hurricane in Texas! It was on I am so glad to hear that Lonny and his family are safe.

Lately I have seen the effect of good members. Members can literally make the difference in a missionaries life. When I look back to the days of finding, I can't help but think that contacting is extremely inefficient. It is like looking for a needle in an enormous haystack or one fleck of gold amongst rocks. We can look for it all day and maybe find it. But the members are people who have been looking at the haystack or rocks for years. They have a pretty good idea where the gold or needle is. They point it out and we have soooooooo much higher chances of success. Once I get back, I intend on helping the missionaries wherever I can.  

Well that was about it this week.

Quote for the week
“If we don’t try, then we don’t do; and if we don’t do, then why are we here?” Thomas S. Monson April 2001

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

Monday, August 28, 2017

Crazy Trip to Rennes for Zone Conference

Bonjour à tous,

Well this week has been interesting. We had some rendez-vous set up with some amis. But then we got a random call from the zone leaders saying that we were going to have an unplanned zone conference the day before stake conference. So we ended up cancelling about 3 meetings and going to Rennes for days. 

That was very stressful and hectic. Not to mention that we got to the train station in Nantes and realized that we had forgotten our train tickets back at the apartment and didn't have time to go back and get them. So I ended up using my personal money for a train ticket and 3 bus tickets in Rennes. 

So we had a sleepover at the Rennes apartment on Saturday night. Almost all of the elders in our zone had to do the same thing so we ended up having 17 elders sleeping in one apartment for a night. We were packed like sardines. It was fun, and crazy, and stressful. But in the end we had an awesome zone conference and got 2 new rendez-vous this week from it.

So that was crazy but memorable.

I know that God has been blessing me and definitely taking care of me while on my mission.

Elder Payne

Monday, August 21, 2017

New Companions - Still in Nantes

Bonjour à tous,

How is everyone this week? I heard of a bunch of protesting stuff going on in America, bummer. Over here though I think everything is great!

This week I got my new companions! I am in a trio for the next transfer. I am with elder McCrea and elder Stanford. They are both pretty cool guys. We have fun. They are both pretty old in the mission so that means I have 2 people as my polishers. They both came from some very small towns, so Nantes is a big change for them.

We went to a small town called Pornic. It is right next to the ocean. We went there because we had a referral. So we took a 1 hour bus there. It was a long day especially since we did not find the lady we were looking for. In fact we deduced that she might be dead (we don't know though). 

We got 1 new investigator this week! His name is Jean-Baptiste. He is pretty cool and hope that we will see him again!

We did not get a chance to see Tatiana this week, but we have a meeting scheduled this week with her. And we hope to extend a baptismal invitation to her! At the last meeting we had with her, we helped her to understand what the spirit feels like and how to invite him for personal revelation. She admitted that she has felt it before in her life, and that was super cool. 

Other than that, not kuch this week, just figuring things out and getting settled in. We also went to the cathedrals again today, but this time we got to go in the crypt. I will attach some pictures.

Elder Payne

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.

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".

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.

Paris is Awesome!

Bonjour à tous, Well this week was pretty cool! We actually got a chance to go to the Paris Temple on Tuesday! It was awesome and the temp...