Monday, May 29, 2017

First letter from France

Bonjour Everyone!

So this past week has obviously been very eventful. The plane ride was pretty dismal, but I didn't get sick, which is good. I tried to sleep but couldn't. I forgot to take some dramamine before the plane ride, but it ended up okay. After we got to Paris we were shuttled by the Mission Pres straight to the mission office for some paper work. Then I went contacting for the first time. Then it was off to the Mission home which was pretty sweet. We had dinner there.  President Babin and his wife are super cool. Though they are getting released in about 4 weeks. I got to stay in the mission home for the first night in France, that was the best night of sleep that I have gotten since going into the MTC. The mission home was super nice

The next morning it was off to a place called Consecration Hill, which is most likely where the country of France was consecrated for missionary work. Super cool place. Then it was to the Paris chapel which, by the way, is tiny.

Paris is really cool, scary, but cool. I'm not used to huge cities so that was what was scariest part.

I met my new companion at the mission home.  My new companion's name is Elder Mansfield, he's super cool and he only has 2 transfers left, he knows everything about France.  All the new missionaries hopped on the train to our various areas in France! My train ride was about 4 hours, extremely tiring because we were hauling around 5 peoples worth of luggage. And now I'm here! Elder Mansfield and I got 'whitewashed' into Nantes (means neither of us replaced previous missionaries in an area), which also means neither of us know anything about the area. Definitely a losing weight mission, we walk a lot and don't eat a lot. My first area is Nantes, which is a city close to the french coast, I really wanna see the ocean but haven't gotten the chance to yet.

The apartment I am staying at is okay. I was surprised by the humidity in France. For example, 2 days ago it was 90 degrees here, which, with humidity means death in a suit. Today it has been raining all day, that should cool things down a bit. Lucky for me Elder Mansfield knows how to cook. So meals at the apartment usually consist of him cooking while I do language study. 

Learning french is going pretty well. I think I'm on top of things generally.

Oh and some cool little facts, I met an Elder Haws in the MTC who is from Gallup and knows Aunt Yoni. He heard me joking about New Mexico. So yeah, also, I don't know if Shantae knows this, but her name means "to sing" in French. It's actually spelled chantez, but same pronunciation.

Here is a list of people who I would love to hear from: Lonny, Morgan, Karl, Sergio, Kristen. If you don't email me I will just keep bugging you about it. And Jeff, send me pictures when you finish the longboard.

Au Revior,
Elder Payne

Jay sent the following pictures.

The mission home always has to be ready to feed lots of Elders and Sisters.

No details provided, but must be from the Mission Home.

Jay was able to visit some sites in Paris. No details on the location of this chapel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Elder Payne has arrived in Paris France!

After a 2 hour delay in SLC airport, Elder Jay Payne boarded the plane for the long flight to Paris France.

The Mission President sent us pictures!

Just off the plane!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Last letter from the MTC!

Dear Everyone,

This week has been pretty busy, we all went to in-field orientation for almost ten hours yesterday, which is where they tell you everything you didn't already know about the field (serving a mission in France). I have 3 days left! I'm so excited to get out of here! A little nervous about the plane, but I will just sleep the whole time and be all right. The Branch President told us that we aren't allowed to actively proselyte on the plane because the airport has called with complaints about the missionaries bugging everyone.

These last couple of days are full of getting our last lessons in, departure devotional on Sunday,  also we are singing a musical number of the EFY Medley on Sunday in sacrament meeting. That will be awesome. I heard from one of the Elders in my district that the Paris mission is a losing weight mission because of how much you walk in comparison to the food they give you, which is mostly bread and cheese. 

I will have a refrigerator in France, so you guys can send me things like green chile. Which I need, by the way.

Alright, I know everyone has something exciting going on in life now, so PLEASE email me! If you haven't sent me an email...and you know who you are, please email me. Logan and Courtney set the bar real high by sending me green chile!

Elder Payne  has great information about the church that Jay will be sharing with the people of France.

If you need Jay's e-mail address just post a comment (which won't be published) and I will send you the e-mail address.  Curtis

Saturday, May 13, 2017

More blessings and a tie

Hello everyone! 

So this week was very eventful. First off, we got our travel plans!!!! We leave for a one-way, non-stop flight straight to Paris. We leave the MTC on the 22nd at 11:50am. Our flight departure is 4:50pm. And we should arrive in Paris at 11:15 am the next day. Don't let that confuse you though because we aren't going to be on the plane for 20 hours. We are actually crossing like 4 time zones so it will actually be like 11 hours.  Everyone going to Paris has the same flight I think and the people going to Lyon get to stop in Amsterdam, Netherlands. And thanks to the Dablings for the package! I deeply enjoyed the green chile and everyone in my zone liked the strawberries!

The coolest thing happened this week! So my companion Elder Hayes knows tons of people in the MTC. We can't go like half a day before he recognizes someone. Well this one girl he's known since like second grade was really having a hard time here. And she wanted a blessing but doesn't know any of the guys in her zone that well. So she asked him to give her a blessing. That's a stretch because usually only the zone or district leaders of the person can give her a blessing. But she is in a different zone. So we had to call our Branch President and he let us do it, even though that doesn't usually happen. So we met her and her companion at about 9pm (after all of our classes) we said our own little personal prayers before hand and it ended up being an awesome experience. Then after that in our room before bed, one of the elders asked for a blessing, then another, then another, then another. I got to bless one of them, which was super amazing because I've only ever given 1 blessing. So yeah, the whole night was spiritual. And I got to do sealings in the Temple this morning.

I discovered how easy it is to gain weight here, I've gained a little more than 10 pounds in the MTC. Although I've been working out a lot so I hope most of that weight is muscle. I have started to think in French, I answer Oui to most things just out of habit and
it's weird to not pray in french now.

I have been trading ties with other elders and I have come across the most beautiful ugly tie I have ever seen. And I traded a zip tie for it! Score! I will send a picture of it soon.

Elder Payne

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Many blessings this week

Hey Everyone!

It's been a pretty weird week this week. Monday and Tuesday I got a cold (our zone calls it the French plague). Just a sore throat and stuffy nose. Tuesday night I asked for a blessing from the elders in my room and it was crazy spiritual. Oh!! And if by chance Morgan Armstrong reads this, on Tuesday night we watch films from past MTCs and stuff. The film we watched was an MTC talk by Elder Holland. And in one part I saw your sister Alex sitting in the audience of the video! No doubt it was her! I think the talk was called Loosen your Tongue. Not 100% sure though. Everyone else watching it thought I was crazy cause I just randomly yelled "I Know her!"... Silly me.

Anyway, the night after that, one elder in our room asked for a blessing, then after that another elder got prompted to ask for one, then another elder asked for one! 3 Elders in one night! Super spiritual moment. Sadly I am not district leader anymore, though I wish I was. Our zone leaders left and now we have some new zone leaders and STLs (sister training leaders). Life has been pretty good since they opened up the new field and sand volleyball court. Now I can play Frisbee!!!!!!!!!! I am definitely sunburned now. By the way I found out something I really want! A bunch of the missionaries here have these things called spinners, it's a very simple little fidget toy, all it is is a kind of triangle shaped piece of plastic with a bearing in the middle and 3 others on the outside, and you can spin them on your finger really fast.

I want one!! I don't know how much they cost. Just look up spinner fidget toy on Amazon and you should be able to find one. I will rely on my family for that.

Well I think that's it for this week, I think that I'm good enough at French to bear a simple testimony over email so here it goes! Just Google translate it and you should get the idea.

Je sais que L'Évangile de Jèsus-Christ est cèntrale de Plan de Dieu. Je sais que ci vous priez sincerèment, vous pouvez rèssentir le Saint Èsprit, et le Saint Èsprit va donner vous la paix, et bonheur. Je dis ce choses au nom de Jèsus-Christ, Amen.

Elder Payne

For convenience, here is the exact Google Translation:

I know that The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the central of God's plan. I know that you pray sincerely, you can feel the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will give you peace, and happiness. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Staying in Blois

Bonjour à tous, Well this past week was pretty great! And I am still seeing miracles every day! I am learning a lot of lessons (many of wh...