Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Phone Call from Chuuk


We were lucky enough to hear from Elder Payne two times this week!

He surprised us with a call on Sunday December 21.  Jeff called Curtis' cell phone and we almost didn't answer because we didn't recognize the number that was displayed in Caller-ID.  Luckily Curtis decided to answer. Jeff simply said, "Hey".... long pause ...  "This is Jeff".  Curtis was very surprised and felt bad he didn't recognize the voice.  He had to hang up so we could call him back because the missionaries can't pay for the international call.  We called right back and scheduled the official Christmas call (and chatted for a few minutes).  We learned that he had just arrived back in Chuuk the night before and hadn't really been able to see anybody or do anything.

The scheduled call was for Christmas Eve, 7pm Mountain time in the U.S.  Noon on Christmas Day in Chuuk.  We decided to completely skip trying to Skype since it didn't work so well last Mother's Day.

Skipping ahead to the Christmas Eve call!

The phone call was excellent.  The only technical difficulty was the slight delay which meant we had to repeat questions a few times.

Jeffery is on the island of Weno serving Mechitiw area.  He began his mission on Weno and was very excited to be back there.  His companion is Elder Klevin (don't know about the spelling yet - we didn't ask) from Utah (somewhere, Jeff couldn't remember what city).  He will miss the air conditioning and luxuries in Guam, but isn't worried at all about getting by in Chuuk.

We asked about his apartment and living conditions.  His apartment is okay, there isn't a microwave, but they do have a refrigerator.  The refrigerator doesn't have a working freezer.  They have an electric stove that works when there is electricity.  He is back to taking 'bucket showers' since there isn't running water for a shower.  His bed is a table without a mat.  We offered to send a sleeping pad which he declined.  He says they are available if he wants one.  This is the same kid that used to sleep on picnic tables when camping.  He's okay on a hard flat surface for sleeping.

For Christmas he was going to go visit some families that had invited the Elders over.  They got permission to watch the movie 'Polar Express'.  He had already opened the Christmas packages we sent.  He liked the Slinky and socks.  He said that before leaving Guam he decided to buy extra socks.  Then got the socks we sent and received more socks from a family in Guam!  He has plenty of socks now!  He enjoyed the home made cookies.  Dodie wrapped them up in little bundles and packed tightly in a plastic bowl.  That kept them from getting dry and/or crushed during shipping.

To end the call Jeffery bore his testimony in Chuukese.  It was awesome!  We could feel his love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  He spoke of the prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the Gospel.  We heard about how the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.  We know that he loves serving God's children in the Micronesia Guam Mission.

Ending the call was a little emotional.  We all got to say how much we love Jeffery and how proud we are of the man he has become.

What an awesome Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sites in Guam and transfer news

December 4, 2014 Letter sent with package of gifts

Dear Family,
I am still doing good though a little sick right now.  Just a runny nose and a sore throat, but it isn't bad.

Recently on P-day Elder Kruger (one of the other Elders in the area) and I have gone to see stuff on Guam.  This past Monday we went to see Two Lovers Point and took pictures and stuff.  Last week we got a chance to drive down South and saw a few people that Elder Kruger knows and some other cool places.

Love Jeff

December 14, 2014

Hey guys,

I am very surprised that the box I sent is there already. But am glad it got there.  I hope the boxes you sent get here today or this week because of... Transfers, thats right it is that time again (dang it) and I have been transfered back to Chuuk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to be in Mechetiw on the main island so I can still email every week if the internet is up haha.  I am going to miss Guam and the people of Dededo really bad (and air conditioning, good cars, warm water, fast internet etc.). But I am excited to go back to Chuuk and apply what I havce learned here in Guam to the work there and try and keep the work going forward.

For Christmas, if it is okay, I am just going to call this time because I dont like the whole trying to work with skype thing in Chuuk.

Love Jeff
The Elders always attract a crowd.

He said he was only a little sick...
All better now.  :)

and now a few post-card shots from Guam by Jeff

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving letter from Guam

Dear mom,                                                                             November 30, 2014

Ok what I want for Christmas is (my 2 front teeth, haha heard that in a store today and thought why is Christmas music on it isn't even cold yet...) I could use new white shirts because the ones I have are getting to the point of dirty that the dirty doesn't come out when you wash it haha.  Some other things that would be nice but not necessary; some more of the nice family pictures like a bunch if possible because I like to give them to the families that I get to know really well,  I would like a tie clip/pin, I need a new oil vial (it dissapeared somewhere between Chuuk and Guam and I have looked everywhere) and whatever other random New Mexico tourist stuff to trade people for random Guam/Chuuk tourist stuff, haha. 

We do have a Christmas tree!

Right now it's just me and Elder Rice, Elder Matalolo got moved last transfer.  Elder Rice "dies" or goes home on December 18th.

We are teaching Mattheus and Irine, they are an older Chuukese couple that we have been seeing. They agreed to be baptized if they find out it is true, they are really cool people and they always make us kool aide when we come, and Mattheus is from Uman and Irine is from Wichap.  We teach a ton of Chuukese people and they are all super cool.

So I had 3 thanksgiving dinners and 2 others that I couldn't eat anymore on Thanksgiving so we just packed some plates to take home and eat later.  And here on guam thanksgiving consists of rice/red rice (depending on if they are Chamoro or not), BBQ chicken, turkey, ham, potato salad, turkey tail and a few other things depending on who you eat with.  It is was hard for a lot of people to do a thanksgiving dinner because they don't have a lot of money.

Well Love you guys.

Elder Jeff Payne

Elder Payne's current mailing address:
620 W. Route 8
Barrigada, Guam 96913  U.S.A

The Elders all enjoying Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Letter from Guam and pics from Chuuk and Guam

Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014

Well to start I would like to apologize for the lack of snail mail this past transfer. E-mailing is just so much easier and faster but I am sending my SD card so snail mail it is.  Well this past transfer has gone by mind blowingly fast but more or less enjoyable because the people here on Guam are super prepared (except for some) and are very kind and generous to us poor hungry servants of the Lord, ha ha.  I am writing this transfer night because it is possible that i will get sent of Guam but I dont think I will.  Man some of the people here are definitely becoming my favorite people.  The Villario family or this recent convert from the sisters named Jennifer who feeds us every sunday, ha ha.  I have been thinking recently of moving here for a while, I dont know yet we'll see what happens.  In some ways Guam is harder than Chuuk, like it is hard and takes lots of planning to get peopley married. People here are more attached to their churches and want less to learn about another. Another wierd thins is knocking on doors... never had to do that in Chuuk and I am super awkward when it happens but I am working on that so anisiei non iotek, ha ha.  I am working hard and trying to baptize the island!

Love Elder Jeff Payne

Sunday Nov. 9, 2014

Hey so transferrs came and went and I am staying with Elder Rice in Dededo South... So this means that I will send Elder Rice home, mwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  I am doing good, still working hard. I sometimes get a little frustrated because there are tons of less-active recent converts in our area and not many of them are making any real progress. There are a few rays of gold like Rachel's family and this Chuukese family we are teaching. But for the most part everything is good.  We have been starting to tract! We are really awkward at it because neither elder rice or I have done any tracting our entire missions, so if you have any advice, and I mean any, it would be greatly appreciated :) 

Well love you, Elder Payne 

Elder Fermanis and Chuuk wildlife

Elder Jeff Payne selfie

Last sunset in Chuuk

Resorts in Guam

Elder Payne relaxing.

Rocking the cheap duds picked up from one of the locals.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

News from Guam - October 2014

HEY HEY HEY, ITS SKINNY PAYNE! hahaha that was dumb... ok haha
What is this I hear of another dog I can eat when I get home, yes! Well this week has been good nothing to note yet other than I gotta chance to stop by and have dinner with Justin and Crystal. They were super excited and super nice and the food was awesome (though it made me super trunky because i miss food like that). It was a super good time and we had a super good lesson too, well I felt it went well you will have to ask them about it. haha You can be my insider haha.  
Well this week was kind of normal, outside of that, coming up on a new transfers next week so, sipwe iotek pwe upwe chok nomnom non dededo south haha. 
So I came across this cool scripture the other day in my studies, it was Alma 41:12-13 me a era 
"12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?
 13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.
So when I read this I had a thought that that is the reason that we call it the RESTORATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because to restore something is to bring it back in its natural state.  Alma is referring to the ressurrection and says that all of our body will be "restored" limb for limb and joint for joint so we will be brought back to the way we were before.  This definition also applies to the gospel, it was brought back word for word and doctrine for doctrine.  Well I don't know if this makes sense to any one else but for some reason it just clicked in my head.  Food for thought.

Well love you all very much!

Elder Jeff Payne
The Payne's have a new pet dog (Cocoa needed a friend)...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Phone call to Elder Payne and new photos!

We did not receive an e-mail from Elder Payne this weekend but we did get to talk to him on the phone!

Jeffery is enjoying his area in Guam.  He said that there are a surprising number of people on Guam that speak Chuukese and other languages from the other islands.  His companion is Elder Rice from Burley Idaho.  Elder Rice will complete his mission in December so Jeff thinks he will be the one to send Elder Rice home.  Jeff will be able to e-mail much more often because the Internet in Guam is way more reliable in Guam!

Jeffery has to get used to Guam, his last island Uman was only a mile across and he could walk around it in no time at all.  Plus there weren't very many modern conveniences (like Taco Bell and McDonalds).  Jeffery's first two purchases on Guam were at McDonalds and Taco Bell.  As Jeff would put it, ha ha ha. But he is determined not to re-gain all the weight he lost in his first areas.

One of Dodie's former co-workers, Justin, and his family now live in Guam and they were able to contact Jeffery and his companions.  They treated the missionaries to some New Mexico enchiladas!!  So much for keeping the weight off :)

And Justin provided us with some great pictures!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Elder Payne transferred to Guam just in time for typhoon Vongfong

September 28, 2014

Dear family,

Hey, so transfers have come around and I have been transerred to Guam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will email the letter I was going to send snail mail.  I wasn't sure what the Internet on Guam was going to be like, but it is super fast and I will be able to e-mail every week. So for snail mail and what nots start sending it to 620 W Route 8 Barrigada Guam USA 96913.

October 5, 2014

I have already talked to the zone leaders in Chuuk and if the packages you sent arrive in time they will bring them to Guam with them this weekend and if not they will send them to me.  So far it has been good and there are tons of cars and MCDONALDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha but I havent lost all this weight in Chuuk just to gain it back  here in Guam so I am going to work out hard core. 

Hey so the typhoon has already past.  It passed at like 4am this morning with little to no damage whatsoever. We had to stay inside last night and we were going to stay in today too but President Zarbock lifted it because they say Guam is safe. So here I am emailing you guys now.  My companion, his name is Elder Rice, he is from Idaho and is done with his mission in December.  He is super cool and a super good missionary.  I was super sad to leave Chuuk but Guam is super cool and full of super prepared people.  Oh and I am in the Dededo South area.  I will attach a pic from google earth.  Well hope the "inquiring minds" are now satisfied haha.

Love you all
Elder Jeff Payne

Elder Payne's general location in Guam

Missionaries in Guam - Elder Payne 3rd from left on front row.

Typhoon Vongfon headed toward Guam

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Elder Payne's letter to the Academy Heights Ward - Primary Children

Dear Primary!                                                             September 11, 2014

First, here in Chuuk we greet each other with 'Ran Allim'!  I am sorry that it took me so long to write back to you guys.  It has been quite busy here teaching the people of Chuuk about Jesus Krist and everything He did for us.  I love it here in Chuuk.  It is hot but it rains a ton here so sometimes it gets a little colder, ha ha.

I have eaten dog, but other people usually save it for birthdays or other special occasions.  Some other things I have eaten, octopus (in Chuukese - nipatz), shark (poko), turtle (pwapwa (with long A sounds)), coconut, and crab (amatang).  We eat tons of bananas and drink lots of coconut water.  I love coconuts!

The people here really love and respect the missionaries and they really love Jesus and want to do what he wants them to do.

I will end with my testimony.  I know that this church is true and that God's Priesthood or His power and His authority to baptize and act in His name is in this church. That means that this church, Ewe Mwichifenen Jises Krist ren Aramas mi Pin non Fanson Spodon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is the true church of Christ, me wa apasa ekkei mettoch fan itan Jises Krist, amen.

Love Elder Payne

Elder Payne and Chuuk Primary Children
Elder Payne and even more Primary Children

Sunset in the State of Chuuk, Micronesia

The church building on the island of Moen in Chuuk

Beautiful Chuuk Lagoon

Typical hike to visit the people on the island

Elder Payne visiting the children on the island of Uman

Fish and rice for dinner.

Letter from Uman

Dear Family,                                   Sept. 10, 2014

Super sorry for not "snail mailing" recently, it has been long busy days here in Uman.  I am doing good, just working and trying to baptize all of Uman...  That plan is moving slow but will happen at some time, Ha ha.  No, but really, Uman is a cool place.  It is interesting having a whole island as my area, ha ha.  Kind of makes me feel like a missionary way back in the day when they had whole countries or states as their missions.

Well chuuk is still the same except for President Zarbock is really cracking down on mission rules.  All the missionaries in Chuuk came in for a Zone Conference where the president reminded all the missionaries of the rules.  It was way super good because wee needed the reminders.  It's been hard to hard to keep the schedule.  Also socks are extremely hard to wear because they get dirty and destroyed fast.  Now the zone is being very obedient and it is bringing huge blessings (still not sure what blessings come from wearing socks, but there must be some, ha ha).

Change of subject... Christmas is coming! It hasn't gotten any colder here, which is definately wierd and makes me miss the different seasons.  No change in seasons means there isn't a break from mosquitos, but that's life here in Chuuk.  Mom asked what I want for Christmas, and thinking about it, maybe ties and pictures would be about it for this year (of course food and candy will always be gratefully appreciated).  I am very excited and nervous for my first Christmas away from home.  Excited because I get to spend Christmas here in Chuuk, nervous and kind of bummed that I don't get to spend it with all of you guys.  But I do send my love with this letter, ha ha.  I will call from a cell phone at the appointed time, ha ha, no early call this year so I can talk to you guys with no osukosuk (problems).  I wont even try to skype because it was too stupid last time.

Well I will wrap this up with my testimony of obedience.  I know that blessings only come when we obey.  If we are disobedient we do not receive blessings, it's as simple as that.  There is not grey lines in this principle because you personally know what is right and what is wrong.  When you disobey no one is responsible but you. You made the choice and that is beautiful and comforting to me personally because that means that even Satan in all his power can do nothing to "force" you to sin.  The choice is always yours and God will not let any temptation come to us that is too much for us to say "no" to (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).  I love the gospel  and I love our Lord and Savior.

I love you guys and always pray for you!

Love Elder Jeff Payne

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Home in Uman.

Jeff's source of electricity - solar panels outside the apartment charges the batteries during the day.

Multi-purpose furniture.  A bed and a table.  IKEA eat your hear out!

Elder Fermanis preps the firewood.

Elder Payne cooking rice over a fire (they were out of propane that day).

Elder Payne on P-Day relaxing.

What's for dinner?

Let's eat!

Elder Payne in Uman.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pictures from Zone Conference - September 19, 2014

Jeff still hasn't had a chance to send us an e-mail since being transferred to the island of Uman.  But President Zarbock posted some pictures from the Zone Conference they just held.

We are still waiting for any letter via regular mail.   But it great to see him!

Thanks President Zarbock we love the pictures!

The Elders practice teaching and role-play different scenarios.

Elder Payne studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just a little break from their studies.

They hold Zone Conference at the Chuuk Blue Lagoon Resort.

Chuuk Zone - September 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Elder Payne Transferred to Uman

Jeff wrote a short e-mail this week to let us know he has been transferred.  His new area is the small island of Uman.  South of the island of Weno.  His new companion is Elder Fermanis who is from New Zealand.

He will only be able to e-mail us about once a month.  Continue to send regular letters to the main Chuuk Zone post office box:

Elder Jeff Payne
P.O. Box 861
Moen Chuuk, FSM   96942

We had sent Jeff a package a while ago and he let us know that, "The Red Robins Salt is like gold here".  He is in need of some new pants because he has lost a lot of weight.  Something more sturdy like Dickies.  We will have to get them in the mail - they might make it to him by Christmas.

That's the report for this week.  The rest of this week's e-mail was just answers to other personal questions.

Stay tuned...  He promised a 'big letter'.