Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well shoot happy thanksgiving everyone! Hope it was a good one. This week for thanksgiving we had 3 different thanksgiving dinners and lots of food. It was great! We ate at two different member homes and one of our investigator's home as well. One of the members, Russ Olsen, knows Mel Palmer really well. He was Bro Palmer's seminary student. I think I've mentioned this before. Anyway he would like his address. It's probably in the missionary newsletter, but I need it either way. Mom will probably send it to me. This past week we drove down to St. George and we ended up leaving the phone there haha. We got back to Cedar City without knowing about it. It was a big mess, and we spent a while looking for it. Eventually we called it and found it and the assistants drove up with it the next day. Oops! haha so we spent the whole day without a phone and we showed up to two cancelled appointments. Such is life! The same day this college girl ran into the back of some guy right in front of our apartment as we were walking outside. Her airbags deployed and all the smokey stuff that comes with it made it look like the car was blowing up haha. She got out of the car and I rushed over. The whole scene was in slow motion haha. She was fine, but shaken up. Her face and neck were all red from the airbag, and her windshield was smashed when they deployed. The other guy came over and was calm as a summers day, asking us where we're from haha. The cops showed up and everything turned out okay, but it was kinda spooky!
The other day we were contacting some people and decided to knock on some apartments. We parked and saw this man ride past us on a bike. We waved (we were still in the car) and he waved back. Well a few doors later we knocked and this man answered the door! I said "hey! wasn't that you we just saw on the bike?" He laughed and said yeah and let us in haha. His name is Jerry. He's really open to learning about the gospel and is trying to find some truth. I asked him why he let us in, and he said that the night before his girlfriend and him were talking about religion and what they were thankful for and what not. They're both non members. His girlfriend wasn't there, but tonight we have an appointment with them. We'll see where it goes from here!
Also, we lost contact with Angie for a couple of days and decided to just drop by her house. Turns out her four little boys all got taken away by the task force. They found a meth tube in her house a while ago and decided it was an unsafe environment for them. Angie had no idea and said someone she let in must have left it there or something. It's a big mess and a big trial for her. We told her now is the time to start showing our faith, and guess what happened yesterday? She went to church for the first time! That's what we like to see. She has a court hearing today and is trying to get her kids back. We're meeting with her tonight as well.
Well, time for me to skedaddle. Hope everyone has a great week! I love you all!
Elder Payne!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My first Zone Conference!

Well shoot this transfer is melting away! We're starting week 5 of 6! I'm almost six months old now! Crazy how that works sometimes....I can't believe qp has been home for over two years now. Ridiculous! Hey I met another person from Ft. Thomas this week! Her husband was putting up Christmas lights and we just started talking to him. They're of course members, but it's crazy how many Gila Valley connections there are (regardless of the fact that I'm only in Utah.) Still, it was almost as weird as meeting those people that were from Safford in the Cochabamba temple.
Anyway you can meet some interesting people on a mission. We stumbled across a young man named Kanav from India the other week. He wasn't too interested, but we gave him our number anyway. He talks with a super thick Indian accent haha it's a blast. "I don't want to stop smoking it's relaxing!" haha anyway, the other night we were walking through the apartment complex he lives in. We crossed paths with him again and he told us he was about to call us up. Turns out he's been going through a super rough time...he feels so lonely here in Cedar City and has no job and little money and is extremely afraid of dogs, and there's lots of them here. Anyway he expressed his concerns and started choking up. Unfortunately he's Hindu and plans to return to India some day, so if we teach him they'll kill him when he goes back home. But he asked if he could come to church because he felt like it would bring peace back into his heart. We called president about the situation and got the okay to bring him to church. Unfortunately he couldn't come yesterday, so hopefully he'll come next week. Anyway it was a different experience for me because usually when people express their life problems like that I can use doctrine to help them, but not with Kanav. I almost felt hopeless, but then I realized that this man has such a good heart that once the spirit world comes along, he'll be able to make the necessary steps. For now, we can only encourage him and invite him to church. He's moving to San Diego at the end of the semester (he goes to SUU). We'll see what we can do to help him!
So this past Tuesday we did exchanges, and I got to go with our District Leader Elder Adams to his area for the day. He works in the YSA wards, so I got to teach some college kids all day long! It was a flash back to my old area! It was a blast. Elder Adams went to the MTC on May 30th too, but in English. Anyway it was a good day to take a break from our area and learn from Elder Adams. We taught the plan of salvation to a black guy named Drake. Another missionary Elder Lessie (who is in our zone) made this Calvin and Hobbes version of the plan of salvation. It's so cool! Elder Adams gave Drake a copy he had of it. For the Spirit world it shows the kid taking a test (prison) and the kid and tiger riding down a hill in a wagon (paradise). Anyway in the closing prayer Drake basically said "Father I want you to help me so I can be riding down a hill in my wagon someday" haha it was the best. Usually exchanges are a pain because I have to stay in my area for the day. Going to someone else's is fun haha.
So yeah this week we had my first Zone Conference! They had one just before I left the MTC haha. It was in St. George! Well, Washington, which is right next to it. It was cool to be back there again after a 3 1/2 week absence haha. It was great...Elder Vincent Haleck of the seventy spoke to us, and of course Pres. and sis. Leonard and a couple other speakers. We had lunch afterwards, and I caught up to Elder Hawkins who is training a new missionary in Dixie two. He said that Yoshi ended up getting baptized and Max as well! Max by the way looks a lot like Michael Phelps...I learned that at subway the other day. Anyway, a couple other people Elder Gomez and I were working with are solid too. I was giggling with joy haha. That's so awesome! I need to write them! As for my current area, we've set four people on date for baptism in December: Angie, Karen, Hanna, and Kristie. We're crossing our fingers that everything will work out! We should be setting a nine year old on date soon too. His name is Hayden. He's awesome and loves to meet with us. He's super sharp too for a kid his age. He has asked us questions like "How can I tell if a prophet is real or fake?" and "Where did the Holy Ghost come from?" and "If Oliver Cowdery lost 116 pages, does the Book of Mormon still have everything we need?" Seriously. He's on top of things and has an excellent memory. He's awesome! His parents are border line inactive. They go sometimes. They're very supportive of Hayden, which is extremely important.
Well that's about it for this week. Oh I learned a couple more things. First, we'll have a total of 180 missionaries come February or so (we have 118 right now). Next year we'll have an estimated 80,000 missionaries, which will die down to 70,000 in a couple of years. Right now there's like 53,000. Awesome! Also, apparently 1/8 of the world's missionaries come from my mission! Southern Utah! Crazy! Well anyway I love you guys and the church really is true! Just ask God! He knows.... Also, life is life-changing, and moments accumulate. Keep working on your Christlike attributes and beatitudes!
Elder Payne!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I looked out the window and what did I see...

Hey family! It's been a pretty good week over here in Cedar City. Thank goodness the stake center is open...it's a holiday today so the library is closed! Anyway, we just got back from the car wash. It turned off half way through, so there was soap all over our car still. The water was still trickling, so it took us like 15 minutes to rinse the rest of it off haha. In the mean time we talked to this guy who lives here who went to San Diego on his mission and was the zone leader for Elder Christensen and Bott and everyone else from "The District 2" small world. Anyway, I got your package on Monday night mom! Thanks for the candy and note! haha we heard all about election Tuesday. We had an appointment with Tracy and she was watching it. Romney was in the lead. Then during planning we got a text saying that Obama won. Then the next day everyone was saying that America is going to kill itself and everything, and I thought "well with that attitude it will." anyway, I liked the 1st presidency's statement on the election. It's on the church's news website.
We had zone training this week, and president Leonard was there. He focused on two things....1) talk WITH everyone, not TO everyone, and 2) there are currently 180 calls to St. George. That's crazy guys! There are 119 missionaries right now, and we have an extra 180 coming!! Yikes! Now I'm still not sure if its 180 extra or 180 total, but either way, we have to start baptizing 1 in every 2 investigators. We have to double our work because once they come in, the work can't slow down! We'll be opening up two or three more zones, and that means there's lots of openings for district leaders and zone leaders. Crazy stuff! They'll be coming in February or so, so watch out haha.
So yeah we got snow this week! Everyone was saying it was gonna snow on Friday, and we were skeptical because it's been so warm lately. Well, it rained all day Friday and Saturday we woke up to snow! I like how people here automatically whip out there snow shovels and salt and snow plows with frustrated faces, whereas in thatcher everyone runs outside and screams and rolls around in it and cancels school. Anyway, it was a good day! That same day we went by Del Parson's place again. We spent the afternoon going by members asking for referrals since the work has been going so slow. Well, Bro Parson was actually there this time, and we got to meet him! He's a cool and funny and energetic guy, just fun to be around. We talked for a while about his painting career and what not, then he let us pick out a couple prints and he signed them! Sweet! He even brought in the blueprints of his latest painting, which is Christ suffering in Gethsemane and an angel comforting him. It was just a photograph of two actors, and since I told him I liked photography, he let me look at it and asked for my opinion. We reviewed it and decided that the angel looked just a little to stern and serious, so I told him he ought to look a little more gentle and loving and comforting...and he agreed. So anyway, if you ever see that painting in the next few months/years, just remember that I contributed to it! haha sort of! anyway he's a great guy, and I'm glad we finally met him just to get it out of the way haha.
Yesterday was the primary program for both of our stakes. We went to three wards, and they were all awesome! There's always that one kid that stands out. In one of the wards, the sunbeams got up to sing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" and every time they sang the word sunBEAM there was this same kid flying into the air jumping over all the other kids. When the song ended, he didn't. He yelled out SUNBEAM for like 10 seconds and everyone laughed haha. I love primary programs! Kids in general are crazy. In our "lesson" with Angie yesterday, her four little boys were all over the place screaming with maniacal laughter and blowing things up...the usual 7 year old thing to do. E Ramirez and I were pretty much yelling the whole time THIS GOSPEL REALLY IS MEANT TO BLESS YOUR FAMILY ANGIE!!! haha it was crazy. She was laughing so hard and apologizing to us haha. We agreed to set another appointment for this week and get her a baby sitter. E Ramirez yelled a closing prayer and we left. Missions are always going to be awkward, so we just have to use it to our advantage sometimes haha.
Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well! I love you guys! Keep progressing in your lives and moving closer and closer to Christ. Don't get stuck in a rut! It's so easy to do that sometimes! Oh and how's thatcher soccer doing these days? Anyway, bye!
 Elder Payne!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Well it's a little late, but yeah! Hope you guys ate lots of candy and got real fat. Our Halloween was interesting. Since there's people who dress up as missionaries, we had to lock ourselves at home at 6 pm Wednesday night. I read the King Follet discourse or whatever it's called...super good. Anyway, it's been a long week trying to find people to teach! We had potential of like 5 baptisms this month, and so far we're struggling to get even one. Our investigators just aren't willing to progress and make the gospel a priority in their lives. No room for oh well as president would tell us. We need to step it up! Man I wish I would have taken notes about this past week, cuz now I forgot everything we did haha. The members here are terrific. We get fed every night, which is awesome. Don't worry mom, I'm cleaning up my plate each night. haha I've gained a whopping 5 pounds on the mission so far! Anyway on Saturday afternoon we knocked on the door of Mr. Del Parson himself! His wife answered, so we talked to her and her son and his son's kids. Unfortunately Del was in the studio painting at the time, so we didn't get to meet him! ah man! haha but in their house hangs the original painting of Christ holding the lamb. Pretty cool! We've been hearing some ugly news about the giant hurricane and new york being evacuated, and then of course election Tuesday this week and all that jazz. Christ really is knocking at the door haha.
We had a cool lesson with a new investigator Hanna this past week. We met her at a ward mission leader's home and started getting to know her. She started getting all worked up about her past problems with smoking and divorce and not being able to see her own child as much as she would like. We spent the whole lesson trying to calm her down and encourage her. The Spirit basically took over the whole lesson. I was throwing out scriptures like Proverbs 3:5-6 and Isaiah 49:15-16 out of nowhere. Great scriptures by the way! But yeah afterwards she said she felt a whole lot better and the spirit testified to her heart that God loves her very much. That's what we wanted! We'll be meeting with her again later this week.
Well anyway sorry this is a shorter email! I love you guys a ton! I need your support! I'm grateful for this gospel and the peace it brings to our own troubled hearts. When we find time to feel and listen to the spirit, we find a renewal of energy which comes through the atonement of Christ. It's awesome!
Elder Payne!