Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dedication Sunday

Howdy! Has Thatcher had a complete make over yet? Haha well I've actually only met a handful of people that know where Thatcher is. It's proabably because we talk to YSA and a ton of young people. Once I get transferred to a family ward I'll probably meet some more Thatcherites. Anyway, let me tell you about our car. We love our car because our area is ginormous! We're so blessed. We have a 2010 Ford Fusion. Elder Gomez says it's "pewter" which is almost the same color as the Tahoe. It's nice! We have to track all our miles and gasoline and things like that. There's a meter that tells us our time useage...we've been driving for about 120 hours the past 8 weeks! yikes! and we've traveled well over 1600 miles, which somehow averages to about 35 ish miles a day. We get 1000 miles per month. Elder Gomez has never gotten a license, so I've seriously driven more here than I have my whole life! Sometimes when we walk into the house at the end of the day, I'll look up at the sky and see all the stars. The night sky is coming back into alignment for the October sky, which I practically memorized last year in Astronomy. Unfortunately I've practically forgot everything! Ugh it's ridiculous I'm going to re learn it when I get home sometime. haha
Well shoot this past week has been pretty crazy! We doubled our lessons with members present, but we've had to drop four investigators. They're just not ready yet! During one of the lessons with a girl named Sophie, Elder Gomez got a bloody nose right as he started talking about the Book of Mormon. Just a random, uncalled for bloody nose right as he started talking. So he went to clean it up and and the lesson went in a completely different direction. Apparently our lesson plan wasn't right, so Heavenly Father had to divert the whole lesson. The problem was that she had some questions that kind of threw us off. They were completely contrary to what we thought she needed, so we sort of half way answered the questions and half way stuck to our plan. Well, that obviously didn't work. Her problem was that she has had these legitimate questions about the church that no one has ever been able to clearly answer for her. That's what has kept her away...so until she gets answers, she won't open up. She loves to debate, and she even rebuked my own testimony. But I felt complete peace and clarity as she basically told me that I was wrong, and that was evidence to me that Heavenly Father is still in control and her heart is simply closed. The ward mission leader agreed to have her write down her questions and he will answer them for her, no matter what they are. So basically we handed her completely over to him, so we're not teaching her anymore, but her need is being met. Even though that lesson was kind of a fiasco, it went completely according to Heavenly Father's plan! It was pretty cool!
The other evening we knocked on a member's door to see if we could find any referrals. Well, he let us in, and of course he had two free style rappers over for the night, recording some songs! Obviously they're black, and we got to meet them. We talked about missions and what not, and they were super cool with everything. When we left, the member asked us for a Book of Mormon to give to them. We listened to part of one of their songs. Turns out their songs are super clean and talk about God and stuff, so he thought that it might be a good opportunity. Well he ended up forgetting about it and they didn't get the book haha, but I still liked his willingness to share the gospel. And right after that we helped this super drunk guy throw away his empty Smirnoff bottle and beer box haha. He was real nice to us and shook my hand like 8 or 9 times haha.
On Wednesday we had three zones go to the St. George temple for a session! It was so amazing. President Leonard talked to all of us in the waiting room chapel and told us to ponder about the 5 covenants throughout the session. His little talk and advice really put me into the right mindset, and I seriously learned more in that one session than I have the past 30 or so times that I've gone. It was amazing! Plus the St. George temple is beautiful and is rich with history. It's where the founding fathers appeared to Wilford Woodruff...it's known as "Joseph's Temple"...and apparently it's even where one of my own ancestors helped to build a stair case! haha it was amazing. Afterwards we took a picture and ate pizza. I got to talk to Elder Killian which was sweet. He's my only MTC buddy that I've seen since I've been in the field. He's doing great!
So yeah yesterday was dedication Sunday! It was the dedication of the Brigham City temple, and they broadcasted it to the entire state of Utah...so basically our sacrament attendance was shot for the week haha. But it was amazing! There were three sessions, just like the Gila Valley temple dedication. President Packer presided, put in the mortar, and offered the dedicatory prayer in the first session. He cracked a few jokes here and there haha which is always fun. He's really getting up there in age...he's stuck in a wheel chair and has gained quite a bit of weight. But his spirit is stronger than ever. It was cool to watch him in put the mortar in while in his wheel chair haha and his sweet little old wife scooted over there with her cane and put some in too. He and his wife were both born within a mile of the Brigham City temple, and when the temple was announced, he prayed to the Lord that he would live to see it's dedication. Well, prayer answered! His home temple is finally up and running. I'm not sure how much president Packer has left, but he has basically fulfilled his last dream. I learned that temple work is only one half of the work, and family history is the other half. It's like baptism and confirmation...you need to do both! But yeah when I was born there were 44 or so temples. Now we've dedicated the 139th temple. There were like 35 dedicated in the year 2000. Good old President Hinckley!
Well that's all from Elder Payne this week! Tune in next time for another great episode. Love you guys!
Elder Payne!

Censored Letter from Last Week

Note From The Editor:

It is a wonderful thing being the administrator of this blog. I have the power to post just whatever I please... hahaha
Last week's letter came with some information that should not be revealed at this time.... So it got the chop!! It was still a super fantastic letter and I want to share it now(censored, of course)... Enjoy!

Well I don't even know if I've mentioned how big our area is...we cover the whole YSA 2nd stake, which means we cover everything east of Interstate 15 in the St. George area all the way out to Hurricane. Apparently we don't have to go out to Hurricane though because that's like a 30 minute drive, which would rack up too many miles. The Elders over there just take care of the YSA work. We cover 8 wards: Buena Vista, Bloomington Hills, Hurricane, Little Valley, Morningside, Pineview, Washington, and Washington Fields. So basically that's like one set of missionaries for all of Thatcher. It's a lot of work, and yet we're having an awfully hard time just teaching lessons. This past week we only taught seven lessons, not including less active/ recent convert lessons. All those college kids are just livin life I suppose and they're not ready for the gospel just yet haha. We go to this apartment complex called Red Rock Ridge quite a bit. It's basically the party central of St. George. We've found paintballs and even clothes all over the place. It's a little sketchy. We call it the Great and Spacious building haha. It's a huge complex though with tons of non members. Lot's of potential there! It's hard to feel the Spirit though with dubstep blasting in every other room. If you haven't yet, you should check out my area on Google Earth haha. We even have the mission office in our area, which is extremely convenient. We've got Deseret Book here, Walmart, Target, Ross, Staples, In and Out, Olive Garden, Golden Corral...everything that KP and QP probably dreamed of haha so we're good to go for at least the next 5 weeks! We're so blessed!
This past week we got to be involved in the baptism and confirmation of some sister missionaries' little investigator, Emma! She's a 9 year old little girl with ADHD, and she's awesome! Elder Gomez does all the baptismal interviews now, and during the interview he said that Emma was all over the place, jumping off the chair and flying around on the walls and all that awesome stuff. Her baptism was amazing! We sang "When I am Baptized" which is like the best song ever invented. Yesterday we went over to their family ward and helped confirm her. It was neat to just support her and her family and see the difference between little kids and college kids. We're getting ready for another baptism for V on the 29th of September! He's super excited, and so are we! We've had a young man who is 17 come with us on splits. His name is Ryan. They love basketball and shoot some hoops like every day. They're like best buddies now haha...I love fellowshippers! Ryan always talks to us after each lesson and talks about how pumped up he is to go on a mission! "Thanks so much guys! You're all awesome! I'm just gonna leave right now!" haha he feels the spirit so much. After our last lesson with V, we all went to Cafe Rio for dinner. These are the types of things we'll be talking about when we're all like 85 with no hair..."remember when we'd come teach you and then go out for a bite to eat?" haha we're having some awesome adventures. V says he'd love to take us golfing some time. That would make my whole mission haha but we'd have to make time for it. We'll see.
So yeah yesterday Elder Gomez and I spoke at Buena Vista! I had no time to prepare another talk, so I whipped out my farewell talk and basically made version 2.0. It went well! I told everyone that bishop told me to pick a topic. Like every good missionary does, I thought about the needs of the people for a minute. I thought, "hey! they're all in singles ward....so they all need to get married!" So I told them with as serious face as I could muster that I would be speaking on the blessings of eternal marriage. Then I laughed and said just kidding, I'm speaking about conversion. We all laughed and then I spoke for like 25 minutes just like last time, and Elder Gomez only got like 5 or 10 because I stole it all from him. haha!
I love you guys!
Elder Payne!
p.s. is everyone getting my emails?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I was live at the CES Broadcast!

Well it sure sounds like things back home are sounding pretty hectic more or less haha. I suppose life really does have its ups and downs. Hey well sorry I didn't write last week! Labor day...everywhere is closed...can't use member's computers...no email. So sorry mom haha. Yesterday we were writing our emails when the Internet went down all over town, so we're taking some mormon.org time today to send these things off haha. It's super rainy today! Flash flood warnings...streets are a little flooded...need to build a raft to get to the car haha. ITS AWESOME! Anyway, these past two weeks have been crazy...we even had to chase a little lost chihuahua dog in the rain with a laundry basket before an appointment! I don't even know where to begin for this email. I've got some notes haha so I'll just throw everything in here!

First of all, they have Waffle Crisp over here! That's my favorite cereal ever! I had to go to Bolivia in order to find some...and they sell it here! So that's good. We got those little Preach My Gospel's which is sweet! We love them! I also picked up a few new ties at Ross, so that's why my balance went down. Elder Gomez found a sweet hacky sack in his last area, so we do that every now and then when we have time. My foot skills are returning and I love it! We also have this little rubber soccer ball that I'll juggle a lot for stress relief haha it's fun. I love having a companion who appreciates futbol as much as I do. We are extremely pumped for world cup 2014! We put our names at a couple hospitals last week for potential priesthood blessings, but we haven't been contacted yet, so we'll see. The Saturday before last was Robert's baptism! It went well. If you haven't ever been to a convert's baptism, then go! They are amazing! Things are going well for him...he's a firecracker! He loves the gospel, and so do I. The picture is kinda fuzzy, but he is the one right next to me.

We found three new investigators all within a block of each other. All three are single pregnant young women. Their lives are almost completely out of their own control...fiances leaving them, full time school, full time work, getting fired and needing to pay bills, some even have other children that need attending almost all the time. Then all of a sudden all their problems are put onto us, and that's terrifying because we have no idea what to do besides teach! haha Thankfully they are supposed to attend a family ward if they have children, so we turned them over to the Sister missionaries. They are all awesome though! One of them, Lei (Lay), is Hawaiian. Her life is a complete mess, but really wants to go to church and get some sort of hold on her broken life. Well we taught her a little bit. She started having contractions toward the end. She was supposed to come to church, but she went into labor haha. A few days ago we got to go give her and her brand new son, Maiki (Mikey), a priesthood blessing. It's a good thing that his name is five miles long. His middle name translates to something like "Blessed miracle child of God" only in pure, hard to pronounce Hawaiian. It took me like 30 seconds to say his full name, but I did it! That was probably the most powerful experience on my mission so far...anointing and blessing a sick child with a helpless mother who was completely depending on us. He should be good to go now. All of us (except Maiki) were fighting back tears while Elder Gomez gave her a blessing. It was so powerful. I felt as though all of my spiritual strength left me and entered into her. I was exhausted. The spirit really wipes you out! Things seem to be going well with Lei. She is elect and seems the most hopeful of the three.

The food keeps getting better! That Black Bear Diner place is amazing, and we've also been to Olive Garden with Gil (one of our recent converts) before he left to Salt Lake. He is amazing and super fresh. I hope you guys get to meet him some day! I've also eaten Katsu Chicken at this Hawaiian place called Honolulu Grill! It's exactly like Kainoa's only with even more variety. It's wonderful. The $120 per month actually isn't too bad because half the time whenever you buy something someone else buys it for you. Sometimes people fight over who will pay for us. Utah......

We found this awesome Cambodian young man, Vatahna! He goes by just "V" though. He is also extremely elect. He's the type of person that people assume is LDS but are shocked to find out that he's not. He goes to church and is super nice and awesome. He's on date for September 29th, so wish us luck. Things with Yoshi are going well too. I swear we have all the freshest investigators. They're awesome! We tried to find a guy named Ryan at a sweet bikeshop in Washington. Turns out Ryan's not interested, but they have some amazing bikes at that place! Pro road bikes, the ones with those thin tires? They are incredible. Mom needs to come here some day. I'm thinking about saving up for one instead of another car and just ride everywhere haha. The average price is like $4500. They are nice and distracting! Gotta get out of there haha.

Well so yesterday was Stake Conference over here for the Young Single Adults. One of the best stake conferences I've ever been to! It was one of those meetings where the Spirit just dumps light and knowledge onto your lap. We had the CES broadcast last night with Elder Holland! I honestly thought we wouldn't get to go to that, then we got a random call from President saying that he got seats reserved for us and our investigators and their fellowshippers! Score! We forgot that we had dinner appointment already set up, so we rushed out of dinner with the Adams (that's the third time we've eaten over there haha) and we found our seats. We were on the floor of Burns Arena, this giant basketball stadium on Dixie campus. Elder Holland walked in and everyone went dead silent and stood up. Hopefully at least Quentin got to watch it! The stake president that conducted was President Myers. We ate at his house my first Sunday out. He's awesome. We talked to him and his family afterward. He was super nervous conducting! The young woman that said the opening prayer was a fellowshipper in one of our lessons a while ago. She's a ward relief society president. She's super awesome too! Anyway, the fireside was incredible and intense! Elder Holland talked about the importance of judging righteously and loving others. We felt our eyebrows get singed a little bit. The part where he almost screamed "You NEVER check you religion at the door!" was so intense! I looked over at some other investigators (Elders Hawkins and Legizimon, the assistants, as well as Elders Bennion from the blog and Eggen who was my MTC zone leader--they all had some investigators there). These investigators looked quite shocked and were practically gasping haha. Elder Holland is right on the edge of boldness but not overbearance. It was wonderful! His testimony at the end was so powerful!

Anyway, I'm about out of time. Oh by the way, we got transfer calls last night. I'm still in the 12 week program, so we're staying put for at least another 6 weeks. But Elder Gomez es nuestro neuvo "capitan del distrito"!! We're both super pumped for him. We'll be busier than ever, and I'm still sleeping on a couch for another six weeks haha. Elder Dyer who was living with us is leaving back home to Canada. We're all jealous because he gets to go home and play Zelda haha we'll miss him! He had everyone sign a Canadian flag, and everyone wrote nice little paragraphs and what not. I just wrote "Get married" and signed it. He laughed at that. Well, more info to come next week. Hope you all have a wonderful and productive week back home! You are all awesome! I love everyone! Especially my family!