Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, August 27, 2012

Yoshi is back!!

Well wow it was so awesome to log on over here at the library and to see like 5 emails! Thanks everyone! sounds like everyone is super busy! good. I'm so glad that qp is finding people to teach haha that's so awesome. So far it's the same way for us here in St. George...about 45 baptisms and almost all are referrals. I like not finding people though! It's awesome to see that elect people just show up at our front door ready to be taught. Apparently Keith and Shauna's prayers are being answered! We really are finding and sifting out the pure in heart...those who really need and want the gospel right now. It's fun! I remember having a blowout on my way to EFY up in flagstaff two years ago with ethan mcbride. That was a ton of fun! Sounds like some good adventurous memories! I'm super glad you're alright and receiving so many blessings!

Yeah mom I got a letter from Bro. Evans this past week! It was super awesome. He and his wife had an amazing experience...you can ask them about it at church if you haven't heard it. And I've learned that staying within a budget is not quite the same as just rationing my money for important things. Our mission card has $120 a month, and once it's out we have to use personal cards. We'll see how that goes! I heard about Bro. Echols. It's cool to see that you're helping him! haha good luck with the whole rental thing (again)! By the way, the house looks nice! Keep it up haha and did you ever make that life size portrait of me? I was just wondering about that the other day...

Well shoot this week was actually kind of slow, but in a good way. We've had quite a few (most) of our appointments fall through this week, which means we had to resort to back up plans. I love back up plans! except when those fall through...and then plan c falls through too. Haha it was kinda stressful in a healthy way to figure out what in the world to do. We went on exchanges on I think Friday with the zone leaders. Since Elder Chidester didn't know anything at all about our area, I was in control all afternoon until I reunited with Elder Gomez. I was scratching my head at about plan G or H trying to find someone to just talk to. White washing is interesting sometimes. It made me realize the responsibilities of senior companions a lot more, so more than anything it just gave me a taste of what's coming within the next few months haha. The other day we were looking through our area book contacting former investigators. We were in a deserted church parking lot right next to a tree, so I thought it would be awesome to just climb the tree and make some calls up there. We spent a lot of time in the car that day, so it was a refreshing change of pace!

So yeah we've managed to pull through this week. Right now we have one investigator on date for this next Saturday the 1st of September. His name is Robbie, and he's super elect and awesome! His story is pretty similar to David's...just quit drinking and smoking and decided it was time to change. He has felt the Spirit and knows it's all true, and he's way excited for his baptism. He's awesome! All in all we've actually found five new investigators recently...it's just tough to meet with them. We have appointments this week, so we'll see!

Yesterday was the best! We got a random text from the assistants saying that they had an investigator they wanted to hand over to us. We met up at the Visitor Center and turns out he is a man named Yoshi Suzuki from Japan! He was in our area book and was on date, but he left home to Japan and got stuck there without a return visa for a few months. Saturday we decided to throw away his teaching record thinking he wasn't coming back. Then literally out of nowhere the next day he returns and wants to be baptized! What the heck haha thanks for your prayers Keith, Shauna, and probably everyone else! We need to throw away more teaching records so that Heavenly Father will just send them right to us more often. That was awesome! He's a super cool guy and is very friendly and speaks pretty good english. Elder Gomez and I are so stoked!

So yeah the work pays off eventually! This next week should be busy. Thanks for the support! I love support! haha oh and in case you want my actual street address here in St. George, it's:

Elder Payne
798 So. Cambridge
St. George, UT 84770

Okay until next week! Oh and the food here is fantastic!

Elder Payne :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is the Lord's Work!

Well shoot sounds like things are going pretty good over there! At least from Mom's point of view haha. I had no idea she was thinking about taking classes at EA. Yes, education is important! Good luck with the semester mom! Are they staying in the house for the until the end of spring? Oh and we only get $120 per month on our cards, so I'm trying to save all my money for important things haha. Apparently the $400 per month goes into a church wide fund and is distributed even for all missionaries. I'm not sure how much money I have in my account...maybe I'll check after this or something haha. I need both Andrew's addresses (Andrew Spencer and Andrew Nolan) if possible. Oh and did Bro. Evans ever get those letters that I sent to him?

So right now Elder Gomez and I are doing the 12 week program, which means I'll be in this area for three months. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned that, so there you go! Basically all it does is teach me how to be a more efficient missionary faster so that by the end of the three months I can be a trainer if necessary. We have more study time, and we sometimes don't even leave until about 1 pm in the afternoon. Last week during laundry....it happened. Keith told me the story of a pen in the washing machine that destroyed his shirts. Well, a random pen exploded into one of my shirts. The others got a little pen splatters here and there, but I was able to get it out. Just one is out of commission. All is well!

This past week we had a training meeting for all the new missionaries here in St. George. President Leonard taught us about what our purpose is as a missionary, and specifically for here in the St. George mission. It was just what I needed! Pres. Leonard will be leaving in July, so I'll finish with a new mission President. Anyway, this week has both been slow yet rewarding. We came across this guy called Max Pope. He has grown up here in the church and his mom told all of her kids to get baptized whenever they felt it was right. Max says he feels like it's about that time. In fact, he just got married a few days ago to a member, and he was talking about how he wants to get sealed in the temple. We were stoked! That's the perfect answer! That's the last ordinance here on earth, and it's already a goal for him. Unfortunately we have to refer him to the sister missionaries because he's married. At least we finally found another elect investigator! Later on in the week we got a random text from a member who said they had a friend that wanted to meet with us. The member who is an RM took us to Golden Corral for dinner and then we went off to teach Robbie. That was probably the best lesson we've had on my mission! We didn't even have any time to prepare for it either. All those months teaching lesson 1 in mission prep have really payed off haha. I put him on date for September 1st, and he's excited to be baptized.

I love it when golden investigators just show up at our doorstep like that. It makes things so much easier for us and much more effective. President Leonard talked about the progression of investigators...find; teach: faith, repentance, baptize, Holy Ghost; Melchizedek Priesthood; endowments; sealing. When the members take the roll of finding investigators, us missionaries don't have to waste any time doing it ourselves. We just get to do the things in bold. Then we hand them back over to the members to take care of priesthood and temple ordinances. If I could go my entire mission without having to find anyone, I would be happy!

Well so this past Saturday we had the baptism of Gil Cataluna! It was awesome and reminded me a lot of the baptism we had for David (especially since it was in the same chapel). I said the opening prayer and Elder Gomez gave a talk. Gil's testimony was powerful. He isn't the best public speaker and he stumbled over his words, but his effort to testify allowed the Spirit to carry it to the hearts of the congregation. He had a ton of family there, and we all got refreshments afterward! haha it was a blast!

The only other thing I can say is that St. George actually does have more beautiful skies than Thatcher. I keep meaning to take some pictures of the awesome sunsets, but I never have my camera with me haha. I figure after my mission I'll hopefully have time to come back. Oh and is there a way that you can send some mini Preach My Gospel's? Elder Gomez wants one, and I think it would be cool. We could send some money for it or something haha. I thought I saw some at CMI somewhere...if not that's fine don't worry about it. Well I love you all! Remember to get me those addresses! Happy birthday again QP! Good old Denny's haha. Until next week!

Elder Payne :)
The car was in Salt Lake for a few days, so we rode bikes and walked!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Miracle Baptism

Man oh man...Chance finally passed away. What an awesome friend she was! I already said bye to her before I left knowing I wouldn't see her again. Oh esta todo bien! Thanks so much for taking care of her. She appreciated that. She's finally resting. In the meantime, the work moves on. This past week we had exchanges! I was with Elder Paiz, our district leader, for the day on Tuesday. I felt super out of place because Elder Gomez and I are the only missionaries in our area of 7 wards. Without Elder Gomez, I was the man in charge. It was tough but a good learning experience. The dust is finally starting to settle down and I'm starting to get back on my feet haha.

This past weekend on Saturday we had a baptism! David was baptized eleven days from the first day we met. I would consider it a miracle baptism. He was completely prepared by the Lord. He moved in with LDS roommates and came home drunk one night. His roommates invited him to ward prayer, and there they shared his favorite Bible verse, John 16:33 by "coincidence." God decided to speak to him through miracles. At that point he decided he needed to change, so he quit drugs and everything cold turkey. A couple weeks later he and his roommate were walking to their apartment, talking about speaking to the missionaries, when they came across Elder Gomez and me talking to the assistants. We were just talking about how people will sometimes just walk up to you and ask you to teach them. Well, they walked right between our cars and we asked them if they knew anyone that needed out help. David pointed to himself and we immediately went to his room and taught him the Restoration. We taught him everything, and he just absorbed it all up. A few days ago he was driving home from the lake and decided to ask God all of his questions and doubts about the Gospel. He answered every single question he had. We had scheduled him for the 18th, and he then asked us to moved it to the 11th. We as missionaries didn't do more than simply provide him the mandatory way for him to be baptized. He did the rest on his own. I got to type up his baptismal program! It was awesome. During his baptism, the Spirit reaffirmed to me that everything was where God intended things to be. I don't expect every baptism and conversion to be this easy, but I know it's possible for anyone who opens their heart and is willing to let Christ enter into their lives. As missionaries, we simply help people like that connect themselves to Christ and start their conversion process. It's thrilling to watch!

Well, the mission is tough. I have a long ways to go. But that doesn't matter! All that is asked of me is that I have a pure and willing heart and a testimony of Jesus Christ. Everything else will come over time. My perfectionism will be the death of me yet haha. Oh and after the baptism, we realized we needed to unplug the font. We didn't have any choice but to get in and unplug it. Elder Gomez went in and was baptized too. I'll send pictures haha. We also talked to an intoxicated man yesterday. He spent 15 minutes cussing and arguing with us that Elder Gomez is going to hell because he kills bugs even though our book says thou shalt not kill. It was kinda funny but more sad than anything. His heart was closed. I felt we should just leave, and eventually we got out of there. He felt as though he had won and confounded us, and he had his reward. But "blessed is he that is cursed for my names sake." These nametags are a target! You guys don't have them, so share the Gospel! It's easier and more effective for you. Anyway, you all have a great week! Hope to hear from more of you! Love each of you! Happy b-day this Thursday QP! I'll think of something to do for that, but I need more time haha. Maybe the rest of you can throw him a surprise b day party. I remember when mom did that to me. I hated it! haha Oh well love you all have a great week please!

Con amor, Elder Payne :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to Dixie 2!

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 :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Surprise email from St George!

Greetings from St. George, Utah!!
My husband President Myers, and I had the pleasure of having these two fine missionaries in our home for dinner tonight. They are delightful and are doing a great job!  I asked them if they wanted to relay a message to their moms and they both said, " Tell her I'm doing fine and I'm remembering to brush my teeth and wash behind my ears:)"
They are a good team. Hope you had a wonderful day. Thank you for sharing your son with us.