HOLY COW so much has happened this past week! First of all it was awesome to just hear you guys again haha. I'm glad you got my letter and pictures. Keep doing missionary work! We all wrote a letter to our families once we got to St. George...did you get that? That'll explain all my travels to the field. Overall the flight was good and we had orientation at the stake center right next to the temple. My new companion/trainer is Elder Gomez! Mom got the picture of us at the Myers when we ate dinner last night at their house. (President Myers is the stake president for Dixie 2). We are alive and well! Unfortunately I haven't had enough time to pull out my camera at all this week. I'm still trying to adjust to real missionary life! Mom was right when she said that change is stressful. My first day was in a complete daze...I was sick with a cold and after orientation I was paired up with Elder Gomez and he can't drive so I have to drive everywhere and neither of us know the area at all....it was crazy! Anyway, Elder Gomez grew up in Venezuela until he was 9, then his family moved to Utah where he learned English. So we speak Spanish off and on here and there. It's pretty cool! His birthday was this past Saturday! We went to DQ for dinner haha and we just talked about what we did as kids. Well, we are in a brand spankin new area called Dixie 2. It's a YSA stake. They just split the Dixie stake into two stakes, and the AP's cover Dixie 1. Elder Gomez and I are completely white washing the area. School doesn't start until the 15th, so there's hardly anyone around yet. We expect to have lessons sky rocket once it does...the AP's were having about 50 lessons a week last semester. Right now we have three investigators, all on date for baptism this month. Josh, Gil, and David. They are awesome! Josh needs to wait for a letter from the first presidency because he was on probation for a while. He's had the lessons for like 10 months. Gil has been taught for a couple weeks and is excited/nervous for his baptism. He's half Philipino and really tall. David is super awesome. The other two were already being taught by the AP's, who handed them over to us. We found David on the first day. We were at an apartment complex talking to the AP's about how people will sometimes walk up to you and ask for lessons, and David and his LDS fellowshipper and roommate Michael just walked up to us. We asked if they needed our message, and David pointed to himself and basically said "teach me!" So we headed to their room and had a lesson. Since then he has had his prayers answered and he knows this is what he needs to do. We put him on date for the 18th, but now he wants to push it even sooner. He's one of the elect! That's what we've been told to expect. Unfortunately we haven't found any new investigators since the first day. The work is slow but still progressing right now. We get to teach at the Visitor's Center a lot, which I love! Oh and we have eaten at places such as Arby's and Wendy's this week...haven't had fast food for weeks. It was so delicious! We also hit up a mexican place called Irmita's for language study one day. I got a giant burrito (un burrote) and a huge glass of horchata, that rice/cinnamon drink thing. It was awesome! Right now we are living in a member's home in the basement with two other elders. They only have two mattresses, so we're sleeping on the couches. They're looking for another place for us, so I'm basically using my suit cases as a closet. We're going shopping pretty soon, so we'll actually have some food to eat haha. I was so pumped to get mom's package! At the MTC, food is unlimited. In the field, no. So the ritz and nutella and cheeze its and v8 fusion was excellent. Thanks a ton it saved my life! Well, sorry for all my scattered thoughts here. One random thought I had is that Sis. Leonard looks almost exactly like Ms. Calloway haha. It's weird. The picture in the packet is a little different. I also have like two hours for email now, so that's good. If you all need anything, just let me know! Can't wait to hear from the rest of you! Love you all and thanks for all the prayers and thoughts.
Elder Payne :)