Monday, September 25, 2017

Getting Transferred This Week

Bonjour à tous,

Well this week was fun! We did some service and learned how to put up wall-paper! It's pretty easy, but tedious. The Sister's house we worked on looks a lot better now though, it was a mess before.  We had 3 different members feed us dinners, but sadly no investigators. But that's okay, we have been doing a lot of work meeting with less active members of the Church, which is also missionary work, so ça va.

We were able to have lunch with some members at the same time that the Soeurs watched the General Women Conference. It was super fun and I got to help cook. The people that we were with was a very young couple who are both return missionaries. The Brother explained to us his life story and it was super cool. The Sister lived in the poorer parts of France growing up. They are an awesome family though and really missionary oriented. 

In exciting news, I am moving cities! I am going to a city called Amiens. It is in the north above Paris. I go out this Wednesday to Paris and then to Amiens. My new companion's name is Elder Merrit. And I have heard a lot about him and all good things. I hear he is a super missionary. Which is good, so I am really excited. 

We also had some exchanges in la Rochelle. I went contacting in a rich retirement home neighborhood, yeah... the people were not very receptive, so we sere not not very effective. However I love the guy I was with, Elder James. Me and him get along super well and we are really good friends. We bonded over quotes from the three amigos movie. 

Keeping it short

Quote for the day:"I know this from personal experience. Answers to prayer haven’t always come easily or quickly. But they have always come. Time and again, I have been the beneficiary of the Lord’s mercy and guiding hand. Jesus Christ knows the way because He is the way. “For I will go before your face,” He promised. “I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” Sheri L. Dew October 1997

Elder Payne 
France, Paris Mission

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

New Missionary Companion in Blois

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