Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Hi guys! Let's first of all figure out the calling situation tomorrow. President and Sister Leonard psyched us all out and announced that EVERYONE can skype on Christmas, not just international missionaries! So we will be heading to the Hugh's at 2:00 pm tomorrow afternoon, Utah time. I'm not sure if that's the same for you guys. Anyway we will be using their computers for skype! Now, by the time we get there and get logged on it may be around 2:30... We have practically zero other plans for the day so far except one appointment, so don't worry about being late. There's two computers and three missionaries, so we're not sure who's going first yet. I hope you guys and make a lee way for an extra hour in case I go last haha. I have a max of 45 minutes. If everyone isn't there, I will cut the skype short and call anyone else that can't make it, but I sure hope everyone can be there because that would make things so much easier. Mom was talking about doing it at Keith and Shauna's, so whatever works, just be there haha. I'll try to figure out the sign on stuff. The Hugh's are leaving us at their place to go watch a movie, so I'm not sure if they'll be around or not. Anyway, we'll talk one way or another!
Alright, now that that's out of the way, I can get to the good stuff! Thanks for all the emails and encouragement! I got some letters from ward members back home, like Martha McBride and someone else haha. It was great! I have a bunch of emails too from people which is nice! Anyway it looks like it's going to be a white Christmas up here in Cedar City...it was snowing during studies this morning! Awesome...finally! I don't know if I mentioned this, but I already dug into mom's package haha. I saved one or two for tomorrow though! The best presents already happened though...
It truly is a white Christmas, as President has been telling our whole mission. This year the St. George mission has found a lot less and yet managed to baptize more than last year. That means we have better teachers than ever before! That was exciting news, but not quite as exciting as our own success here in Cedar North. We had three baptisms on Saturday!! So awesome! We've been working so hard with these three amazing individuals...Hayden, Kristi, and Karen! Their baptisms were a success!
Hayden was first at 11:00 am. He (well, his mom) sent out a ton of invitations for his baptism to friends and family. I'll have to send one home or something just for fun. I'm trying to scramble together a birthday/Christmas package thing haha we'll see. Anyway, there were a ton of people there, which was awesome! Living baptisms are some of the most sacred experiences we'll ever experience, especially when you've contributed to them making it to that font. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost haha I compared it to the Patronus in Harry Potter, something Hayden could relate to. We all have Dementors in our lives, so we have to cast the spell (prayer) and let the Holy Ghost help and protect us. I also taught him about CTR, which actually stands for Commandments, Take His name, and Remember Him...our baptismal covenants! It was a great baptism, and Hayden's mom and dad provided lunch afterwards. Sweet!
Kristi was next at 1:00 pm. Her husband is a truck driver and in his own words a redneck. Such an awesome family! They love to just have a good time and laugh and be stupid in a wholesome way. Anyway, they showed up like five minutes before it started haha. I mentioned last week that Kristi broke her arm during a roller derby. Well, she wrapped it all up and got baptized anyway! We got permission to have two missionaries in the font to help her go under and back up. Elder Price said the prayer and I was his co-baptizer! It was pretty sweet. Unfortunately her knee came up the first time, so we had to do it again. No worries! She made it! She's such a trooper haha.
Last but not least was Karen at 4:00 pm. Her family is Hispanic, so her mom and dad only speak Spanish haha it's cool to chat with them, but I felt bad that they probably had no idea what was going on. But I know they felt the Spirit! They're all non members, including Karen's two little brothers and baby sister. Karen's been going to church for 3 years and we finally got her in the font. She was so nervous!! I thought she was crying as she was walking into the font. She was practically hyper ventilating haha. Another successful baptism! Elder Ramirez did the honors. Angie, another one of our progressing investigators, came to Karen's baptism and got to meet her! It's so weird when your investigators meet each other haha but it was awesome! Karen was like "It's the best feeling ever!" or something like that, which got Angie super excited for her own baptism. Sweet!
Yesterday we had two of the three confirmations. Kristi's arm was acting up, and she wasn't feeling up to go to church because of the pain. We'll do her's next week. I confirmed Karen at 9:00 am and E Ramirez confirmed Hayden at 11:00 am. We all spoke in Hayden's ward about Rejoicing in Christ. It was a piece of cake! I just shared some mission experiences and bore my testimony for 10 minutes. Overall, it was one of the best Sunday's in a long time!
So now we're back to square one. We only have Angie progressing towards baptism this next Saturday, so we need to find more. But it's been awesome to see some results and we can't wait to help them out with the recent convert lessons. Anyway, that's about all for this week. We'll talk tomorrow! Thanks for the support family! Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad! Thanks QP! Thanks Keith and Shauna! You guys are the best! I love you all! Merry Christmas!
Love, Elder Payne!
p.s. Check the other email for the baptism pics!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

What a week!

Man so much happened this week I wish I could write everything down! Well first of all I loved all the emails! QP's getting ready for the end of the world haha and Keith graduated! Alright!! That reminds me of when I was at FBLA nationals in Florida. I woke up at 7:00 am and my test time was at 7:15 haha so I got all dressed up nicely and skipped my contacts so I couldn't even see and rushed through this giant hotel we were in to my testing place. The line was huge and we ended up waiting for like 10 minutes, but I made it! haha anyway that's awesome congrats! Sounds like mom had a good trip haha and dad was able to see Keith haha that's awesome!
Well so unfortunately you'll have to take a close look at this week's communicator mom. There was a misunderstanding and we don't actually get to skype home...only international missionaries. So sorry about that....sounds like you were getting very excited about it! We'll be calling, not sure what time but I'll have to let you know next week because they're sending us Christmas guidelines tonight.
So yeah we've had some pretty good dinners this week. Our ward mission leader told the families to take pics of us and send them to you guys, so hopefully mom and dad have been getting those. Christmas is just around the corner once again! People are really starting to reach out to us and say hi and Merry Christmas and stuff haha. Just today a lady bought all our groceries. Dang it! Anyway this week we've been working hard to achieve our goals, and it's paid off for us. This was the most productive week we've had here in Cedar since I've been here. No baptisms, but we've been getting three ready for this next Saturday. Hayden, Karen, and Kristi. I'll be taking pictures with them this week and send them next week for a Christmas present haha. We've been working hard with them, and also Angie who's on date for the 29th. We found out today that Kristi broke her arm doing whats called a Roller Derby, so we're not sure on the status of her baptism right now. We're still planning on it though! We just gave her a blessing. We tried getting in contact with Hanna again....she's been dodging us because she doesn't want to get married yet and she knows that's what needs to happen for her to get baptized. Turns out her and her boyfriend John got in an argument, so he dropped her off and let her take a walk for a little while (which apparently is normal for them to do that when they get mad at each other). Well lo and behold the sheriff picked her up and ended up charging John with aggravated assault because it was really cold outside. Ridiculous...anyway she's in a safe house somewhere and apparently John is locked up. That's about all I know. Kinda unfortunate!
So this past week Elder Price went with another missionary for the weekend. Elder McFarland had a death in his family, so he went home for a couple days. In the mean time, his companion needed someone to go with him, so Elder Price went on a 72 hour exchange basically. The other missionary is Hispanic and barely knows English, let alone the new area. So they basically knocked doors all weekend in the freezing snowing cold wind. They had one appointment in three days and it cancelled. haha too bad for them! That would be awful. In the mean time, Elder Ramirez and I did some good work in our area. We got a text this morning from the ZL's declaring that we are the area of the week! Sweet! Elder Price has been a huge blessing for us and this area. He makes us want to be better and work harder. He's leaving tonight to get his visa from Vegas, and he'll come back here in a couple days and spend a couple more weeks with us until his flight leaves. We'll miss him! haha
So yeah we picked up three new investigators this week, one of which is named Laura. She's probably 60 or so and knows the church is true and goes every Sunday, but hasn't ever been baptized. Not sure what happened there and we're still trying to get a straight answer is whether or not she was ever excommunicated, but for now she's on date for Jan 26. She's awesome and seriously has the best smoker laugh ever. Also, yesterday we went by an older lady that we gave a blessing to a few weeks ago. She has Alzheimer's and a brain tumor and her head isn't on quite straight, but she's the sweetest old lady you've ever met. She loves missionaries! We stopped by and she and her husband were watching the football game. Last time they were watching UFC and she spend 10 minutes explaining the glory of UFC to us. Anyway we talked for a while and she randomly turned to me and said "you're going to be a bishop. no, I'm serious! you are!" haha as we were leaving she added "she has red hair....Elder! she has red hair, your wife, and she's short!" haha I didn't really know what to say to that except "awesome!" So if all that comes true, I'm not sure what it will do to my testimony haha but we'll see! We met the "Parowan Prophet" last week in Wal-mart. He drove up to us on his little scooter and stopped and looked at us for a bit, then started asking us questions and stuff. he focuses how in the bible it says "women shall prophesy in the last days" or something like that. Well apparently I believe him now haha. Anyway, I'll have to watch out for red heads from now on.
So anyway I wish I could write more, but we got stuff to do. Thanks everyone for the emails and support! Keep doing good work and stay positive! Love you all!
Elder Payne!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Special letter from the Messer family

Dear Sister Payne & Family,

We had the opportunity to have Elder Payne in out home for dinner tonight. We loved his excitement for life and his love of the Gospel. Thank you for preparing a fine Missionary to come and work in this part of the vineyard at such an important time in the restoration of the gospel.

We will be sure to take good care of him while he is in Cedar City.

Thanks for sharing him with us while he is away from home.

The Messer Family

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Trio

Hey family! So this week Elder Price came to town! We parked at a gas station just outside town and waited for the transfer van to stop by. As they pulled up, I saw Elder Church with a big cheesy smile on his face. I haven't seen him since Aug 1st, so it was awesome to talk to him real quick. Elder Holmstead came running up too. They're both training, which is crazy. It seems like we just barely got out of the MTC! Anyway, we picked up Elder Price and rushed over to a lesson with Karen. We just kinda threw him into everything haha but he's doing well. He's fresh out of the MTC and has been there for like 11 weeks learning Spanish. He's waiting for his visa to Xalapa, Mexico, which is a brand new mission on the east coast down by Veracruz. He's pretty awesome and it's really weird trying to adjust to having a new elder added to our companionship. We're getting used to it though! We're not officially training him, but technically we are because this is his first exposure to the real deal. We're basically co-fathers of Elder Price haha. But yeah he was a zone leader at the MTC and was actually in the same branch as me, with Pres. Stone, and he stayed in the same classroom that I did back in the summer! I thought that was pretty cool. It's kinda cool re-living MTC memories talking with him haha. He's a pretty solid Elder. The other day we had a priest come out with us after dinner. We were early for an appointment with Angie, so we split up...E Ramirez took the priest and I took E Price. We knocked on the door of Angie's neighbor. A 20 year old kid named Alex answered and talked with us for a while. This guy has had a crazy past...he's died twice, shot in '98 and stabbed in the heart in '06. Somehow God has kept him here, and I think he recognized that as we talked. E Price took initiative and taught him about prayer and asked if I had a pamphlet. I was pretty surprised in a good way! He definitely hit the ground running. Alex read the pamphlet and he's agnostic but is willing to learn more. We'll see if he progresses, but he admitted that this just might be what he needs in his life right now. Cool!
So Elder Ramirez got pretty sick this past week. On Friday he was out with the flu, so I did weekly planning with just Elder Price. It went pretty well. Somehow we were more productive in that planning session than we have been the past 7 weeks. Anyway we ended up having to drop E Ramirez off at a member's home, and E Price and I did six hours of work together. It was awesome. We tried making contact with a bunch of potential investigators and investigators, and we ended up catching Kristie Redd (who's on date for the 22nd). She hasn't come to church for like 3 weeks, so we invited her pretty firmly. Well, we saw her and her family there yesterday! Sweet! Elder Ramirez is getting better, but E Price and I have been feeling a little tickle in our throats lately. Hope we don't catch it!
We got up to bear our testimonies in Cedar 4th ward on fast Sunday, so during the week bishop called and asked the three of us to speak in his ward haha I knew testimonies were a bad idea! Anyway, E Price basically just shared his testimony, I talked about the importance of being Christlike during the holidays, and E Ramirez talked about Christ and missionary work. It was awesome! Just remember to make people your presents this year.
So yeah, things are going pretty good. We lost contact with Angie for like 3 days, and we received the prompting to go by her house last night after an appointment fell through. She was finally home! We found out that she's been having a hard time being away from her kids and all that mess. Elder Price gave her a blessing of comfort. I swear we give blessings like every other day. Never know when an opportunity for that will come! We went to the hospital to give a blessing to a new born baby girl of a potential investigator. We left after giving a total of three blessings to other people haha. It was awesome! But anyway we have three baptisms supposed to happen on the 22nd of December, so we're pumped. Karen, Kristie, and Hayden. Hayden is 9 years old, and his mom has got all the baptismal info set up for us. She's on top of everything haha. Karen has been put on date many times and has been coming to church for like two years, but this time she says she's really excited and seems pretty committed. Her parents are Catholic, so that's what's been stopping her. We'll see! She's 15 I think haha. Kristie is awesome. I don't know how to explain her to you so I'll just have to let you meet her some day. She's probably 35 or 40 ish and is quitting smoking and coffee and wants to get sealed to her husband some day. She's pretty committed but needs more diligence with reading and going to church. She has four kids and all are 8 or older. Lots of potential there, but the kids haven't shown too much interest yet. Angie is on date for the 29th of this month. We've been working real hard with her. She's been slapped up side the head with trials since we first met her. She's so strong though and I have faith that she'll be in the font on that day. Either way, she's awesome and is accepting the gospel more and more each day. Our other investigator, Hanna, has been skipping appointments and missing church. She was on date for the 15th, but that won't happen. She has to get married to her less active boyfriend first, and they don't want to do it for another year. We'll keep working with them.
So we've been going to lots of ward parties lately (not all 18 of them though). The other night I sat next to a young married couple. The wife asked me if I knew her sister named Shay Sanders. Apparently she's live in Howard's trailer park since August, so if you ever see her, tell her that her sister says hi haha. Her uncle is Jon Sanders, the bishop of 4th ward. Pretty cool! Anyway I got the big Christmas package mom! I already dug in haha but I saved some of it for Christmas. Lots of candy holy cow! Thanks mother! I'm glad I've got a new camera so that I can start taking real pictures again haha. Anyway, about the Skype stuff, I don't know how to use it. We asked Sis. Hugh and a few other people about it, and they said eh maybe haha they have their own plans and stuff going on, so we don't want to bother them too much. If we find someone I'll let you know, but for now it'll be a phone call.
Well we use CD's for music by the way, so I'll have to burn a CD somehow of that music. I don't have enough time today so maybe next week. We've got lots of music though including a Josh Groban cd haha. Anyway, thanks for watching out for me and supporting me! You guys rock. Thanks for everything and I love you all!
Elder Payne

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Hi! So as I'm sure everyone knows by now (if not, you will in a second), transfer calls came yesterday! These past six weeks have zoomed by. Time for another transfer! Well guess what! I'm staying put here in Cedar City with Elder Ramirez! We kinda expected that. You see, we cover two stakes (18 wards). In a couple more transfers we'll be getting more missionaries. I think they're planning on keeping us here and splitting the area next transfer...I'll get a new companion and E Ramirez will get one. That's the speculation, and it makes sense BUT we won't know until January 13th! For now we're staying. Elder Ramirez and I had some rough spots to say the least, but now we're pretty good buddies.
There is, however, a catch. We'll also be getting a visa waiter on Wednesday! haha we'll be a trio companionship! It's gonna be weird, but we'll see how that goes. We're both excited but I'm worried about laundry haha it already takes all day for just the two of us. Oh well. We also need to find another bed somehow. I might sleep on the couch again haha I did it for twelve weeks before. Anyway we'll find out who the new elder is on Wednesday. He'll be with us for "as long as we say so" says the assistants. Works for us!
Anyway, it's good to hear from Mom and Keith! Sounds like KP and Shauna are as busy as ever. I'm so pumped to find out about the new son/daughter/niece/nephew/grandson/granddaughter!! I'm excited! As for the Christmas phone call itself, details are in the communicator that I forwarded to Mom and Dad. Let me know how that's gonna work out.
We had some pretty awesome dinners this past week with the members. One night we ate at a house and this guy asked me where I was from. "Arizona" "Oh yeah what part?" "Thatcher" "Are you serious do you know Katie Lankford?" "Yeah haha" "She's coming in like 5 minutes!" haha so yeah she showed up and wanted to give me a hug but couldn't so we shook hands. She was all excited and texted Quentin about the random news. Wasn't expecting that! I didn't even know she lived here in Cedar. Well cool that's the first person I've met on my mission that I knew before my mission. For another dinner I shared a spiritual thought with a young family about Nephi. I asked them if they knew the song "Nephi's Courage" and all the kids yelled yeah! So we started singing it haha it was great. Elder Ramirez is a convert and didn't learn that song so he didn't know it haha. But I excitedly sang and I felt like I was in Valiant 12 again! For another dinner we ate at an older couples home. They're from England and have sweet accents. They're so awesome and funny haha. The old man kept telling stories of his mission with his wife to Australia. He walked up to a house once and two little kids ran away because they thought he was Heavenly Father haha. British people are the best!
Well I wish I had time to write about our investigators but I don't. We have five people on date for baptism this month, all from the Cedar North stake. The other Cross Hollows stake is pretty cold right now. We should have four baptisms before Christmas, but we'll see how faithful our investigators will be! I love you guys and I hope you remember to put up the Christmas lights soon because they're all over the place here! We get to drive around and see them every single night haha it reminds me of my childhood! anyway have a great week
Elder Payne