Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Work rolls On

Well shoot man that's awesome! They made it to state! 'bout time haha let me know how that goes. When we went to state my freshman year I didn't even care anymore, and I think the rest of our team thought so too haha so we got destroyed. Let's see what happens! I need some footage! haha anyway this week I figured out that mystery building. We drove past the Carl's Jr. here in St. George and I saw the indoor playground thing inside of it and I realized that it looks exactly like the "mystery" building that mom's been updating me with. So I figured it out in the nick of time! haha that's cool Carl's Jr. is pretty good! But I still want a Wendy's....and a Panda Express haha. There's still 16 months though we'll see! So Jake's finally taking off huh! That's so awesome haha I heard about him wanting to serve a mission back when I was in the MTC and haven't heard of anything since then. Sick! That's gonna be awesome! In Thatcher it's weird to have people over 20 to serve missions, but in the rest of the world it's an every day thing haha. there's a missionary here that's like 26 and E Betham just turned 23 this month. Keith and Quentin could go serve another mission if they wanted to....well sort of haha. But anyway thanks for the updates on the "thatch-nasty" life.
I must apologize, by the way, for my lack of detail. That mansion I took a picture of isn't actually our house...just a random example of the hard life we're living here in Little Valley. I'll have to take a pic of our real house, as well as one next to the AZ state line haha. But yeah the work is going pretty slow! E Toropainen collected all of the low hanging fruit in the 7 months he was here. There's hardly any non members in our stake...and the Little valley stake is like the best stake in the church statistically speaking. Very strong activity and very few non members. One of our wards has two non members in the entire ward boundary haha. They've all heard the routine many times, so we're trying to deliver a fresh approach to peak their interest this time around. Unfortunately neither of our finding efforts are very creative haha so things are going slow as far as future work here in the area.
In the mean time we had another baptism on Saturday! His name is Kason, another nine year old. He's a character! His mom is getting back into the church and is super supportive and helpful. Pretty much everyone we're teaching has been taught all the lessons, so I haven't taught anything but bits of lesson four for the past couple weeks haha. Regardless it's been super fun getting to know Kason and his little brother and sister and his mom. Good family! In the RS room where we did the baptism they have "The world's most advanced electronic piano" that can play songs on it's own. I was jamming out to some prelude music and everyone thought I was playing the whole time haha good times. Gotcha! Anyway we still have four, almost five more baptisms line up for this transfer. Should be good!
We gave a talk yesterday in the new Red Butte ward. E Betham is from Hawaii so he got up after the three youth speakers and said "brothers and sisters, ALOHA!" and everyone said aloha back then gave his talk haha. I spoke after him so I got up and said "brothers and sisters, HELLO!" and they all said hello and laughed at me haha. The first talk was on prayer, the next one on the Holy Ghost, the next on Jesus Christ, and the next on Hawaii and being rescued by the Lord. So obviously my talk was about being anxiously engaged. haha it was a pretty freestyle meeting with all kinds of topics. We encouraged this new ward to be proactive instead of reactive (something sis Leonard told us) in their new callings and in missionary work. I told them that even if the Nursery leader gets tackled by a bunch of crying kids, as long as she is anxiously engaged and finds joy in her work, it's all good! Haha so I gave a shout out to mom basically. Anyway it was fun!
I've noticed that whenever people ask me where Thatcher is they either look puzzled and ask "where's that by?" or they'll say "Oh that's Pres Kimball's stomping grounds!" haha if it's the former I'll respond by saying "nothing" and then say it's 2.5 hours southeast of Mesa. E Betham and I have been contemplating about typing up a "get to know Elder Payne" card so that whenever I meet someone new I can just hand it to them instead of saying the same thing over and over again. It's worth a shot! We'll see if I have time to make some haha.
Well so this past week was zone conference! It was good....President is hyping us up and preparing us for all the new changes that are upon us. So there's 33 new missionaries coming next transfer and counting (30 elders, 3 sisters). Although we're getting lots of new missionaries, we aren't getting any new cars. In fact, there's somewhere around 50 new missions opening up and we'll have to share cars with them. Needless to say, it's extremely likely I'll end up in a walking area soon enough. Pretty much all of the 20-30 areas in St. George alone will become walking areas because it's a bigger city and there's transportation available and resources are pretty compacted. Up north they'll still have cars. Either way, new missionaries HAVE to buy bikes. So mom looks like you were right! Should have listened! haha I'll probably have to buy a bike if I can't find one. The Benson's have some they don't use at all that are in great shape, so I'll have to talk with them and see what's available. Otherwise I'll have to browse somewhere else. There's a few bike shops here, but I'll keep looking into it. I still have at least 3 weeks with a car, so if you have any suggestions at all let me know next week! I still have that bike paper that they sent in my welcome packet. I'll have to look at that.
Anyway I gotta go! There's a time limit over here at the Washington Library! I love you guys! be safe this week and remember that the Atonement is like a repair shop for your beautiful new Ferrari and Christ is the repair man. Being anxiously engaged is the key to the car. Quentin is also a good repair man if you need him. Anyway that is all! Buh bye!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I'm Living in a Mansion!

Well shoot it's Tuesday! Sorry about that! MLK day was yesterday so we're doing emails today. I'll try to keep it short sweet and to the point! So transfers were good...said bye to everyone in Cedar City and packed up. It's kinda interesting because me and Elder Toropainen (who is from Finland) are basically just going on a transfer long exchange. We just switched spots! I'm with his companion now, Elder Betham. He's a black Hawaiian crazy laid back goofy Elder haha he likes to have fun and has had some troubles with obedience in the past, including before his mission. He's very chill though and easy to get along with. It's gonna be kinda interesting to find the balance between fun and obedience this transfer, but we'll work on it. We have a bunch of baptisms lined up for this transfer already...7 in total! The oldest is a 16 year old haha E Toropainen just destroyed the unbaptized child list and put them all on date! Anyway we had a baptism for a nine year old named Ivan this past Saturday! He's so awesome! I only got to teach him three times but it feels like I've known him forever! He always has that huge smile on his face and loves the gospel and has awesome parents. It's been a blast! Oh by the way, one of our 14 wards here in the Little Valley stake hits the state line, so when our miles get replenished next month we'll drive down to the Arizona border and take a picture haha. Let's seee....oh! This transfer is only five weeks because next month begins the influx of new missionaries...like 31 of them are coming in one transfer! Gonna be crazy! But yeah Little Valley is basically where the church is already building the celestial kingdom. There's some nice houses here! Richest place in southern Utah! We live with some members in their basement, which has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, pool table, weight room, and a theater. Not too bad! Apparently this is one of the best apartments in the mission haha. But other than all that, we're trying to create an escalator effect instead of an elevator effect as far as the work goes. Amidst all these baptisms we still need to find new investigators to begin teaching! It's kinda rough since neither of us know the area very well. We're trying though! Anyway gotta go for this week! Thanks everyone I love you guys!

Elder Payne!
Elder Payne, Ivan, & Elder Betham

The Mansion

Monday, January 14, 2013

St. George Bound!

So yeah I'm going back to St. George! I'll be serving in the Little Valley area with Elder Betham (BEE thumb). Should be interesting! I already know the area semi well since that was part of my area when I served in the YSA stake over there. Elder Betham, as far as I know him, is a lot like Elder Ramirez...really competitive and outgoing. Hopefully he doesn't have as short of a temper as E Ramirez! haha anyway we'll see how that all goes. I'm taking off on Tuesday at 4:00pm, so I have to get all packed up, which is awful. I hate packing! Oh well haha that transfer call really caught us off guard. We thought for sure E Ramirez would be leaving and I would get a new companion. President Leonard specifically told me this week that I wouldn't be training yet. Either way, it definitely caught me off guard. Elder Ramirez will be getting Elder Toropainen who is from I believe Finland and served in the military there. He's like Keith's age or something like that and he's an awesome Elder. He learned English out here in the field and has a couple months left on his mission. He'll be a great replacement for me! It's always sad to say bye to the people you've been working so hard with for the past few months and then you're gone in a couple days, but that's how the Lord works haha. I wish I could stay for Nate and Angie's baptisms, but I must move on!
We put Nate on date for the 2nd of February by the way. He's so golden and he's so excited! He loves having us come over to teach him. His younger brother is just starting to sit in as well. I'll try to get a picture with them before I take off! We started lesson 1 again with Angie and Tyron. Neither of them went to church yesterday which was kinda frustrating, but regardless they are still not giving up. We found out that Angie is pregnant again, but they say they've been keeping the law of chastity since we taught it to them. Angie doesn't know if she's healthy enough to carry another baby with all the health problems she's been having. Either way, we're really gonna start pushing toward marriage soon so that they can both get baptized together.
This past week we took Hayden to BroComstock's backyard Book of Mormon cave! sounds pretty crazy but it's all true! Coolest thing ever! Hayden and his little sister LOVED it, and even their mom was amazed. We thought it would be the perfect treat for Hayden, and I think we were right! It snowed just before we went over there but his cave is heated and everything. Success! I'll send some pictures. I'm gonna have to take you guys here sometime to see it...he's been having strangers come and take the tour since 2008 haha BroComstock is awesome!
Well I'm glad you all got those prints!! Bro Parson is the man. I'm not sure if we'll have time to see him before I leave, but we'll see! It's been pretty cold over here by the way! Last night the low was around -13 degrees or so. Right now it's 2 degrees outside. Toasty! It'll be warmer in Little Valley though. I've been bundling up just fine though, don't you worry mom. It's really awesome to hear from you guys by the way! Thanks for all the updates on things! Keep doing what you're doing and don't give up. Thatcher soccer better shape up and make it to state.....or else! haha thanks for the pics mom! and thanks for the wise words of wisdom dad I'll definitely have to keep those thoughts in my mind throughout this next transfer with all the changes taking place. I appreciate what you all are doing and accomplishing and just to let you know, you're a huge example to me! I printed out that picture I took while we were skyping...it's my favorite pic in the mission! Anyway I love you guys and keep up the good work!
Elder Payne!

Monday, January 7, 2013

We Killed Our Own Son!

Hi Payne's! First of all...HAPPY BIRTHDAY(S)!!!!! to Dad and Mom and Keith! I'm sending a Christmas/Birthday package this week haha so watch out! So good to hear from mom and dad! Sounds like things are going much better regardless of the craziness of life that's still (and will always be) upon us! I'm so proud of you guys!! Thanks because hearing letters like that makes me want to go baptize everyone haha. Oh and I got your package Keith and Shauna it was awesome! I'm wearing that Gila Valley Temple thing right now haha and turns out Elder Price has the exact same journal that you got me. Go figure! Thanks again! Well keep it up, all of you. As for us over here in Cedar City, we had a pretty good but slow week. We're still trying to get out of the hangover from the holidays, so we're hoping the work will pick back up this next week...
We had a few minutes before a lesson, so we decided to drop by Del Parson's house again. This time his wife led us over to the studio next door where Bro Parson, the master himself, was fixing up a picture of Christ. It was so awesome to see him in action! We're seriously the biggest Del Parson dweebs around haha. Bro Parson is so laid back and funny and just an all around humble guy. Elder Price actually got to sit up on a chair and be a model for Christ haha it was sweet! I took some pics and a video, so I'll see what I can send haha.
I also found out yesterday that bro Olsen (the guy who wanted Mel Palmer's address) actually went to Hawaii for the holidays and met up with him! Bro Palmer was his seminary teacher and bishop! While he was there he met a former member of the seventy who just got called to be the president for the LDS school in Virginia (don't remember the name). Anyway, bro Olsen has a project to do now for him. He used to be a foot doctor but got injured and retired early.....he's in his late 30's haha. He's always been talking to us about how if you follow the spirit and do what is right, opportunities will work out for progression. Anyway, it was just cool to hear this whole story because if I hadn't come to this area he wouldn't have gone to Hawaii to see Mel or the member of the seventy, and he wouldn't have gotten that job for the university. Interesting how the Lord works sometimes with his missionaries.
So yeah Elder Price had to leave in a storm last night! We killed him! Elder Woolley our car coordinator swung by and told us to get his stuff in immediately. Yes Sir! We had hardly any time to say by, just a quick hug and good luck and he was off! He's been with us for a month and man it's been a blast with all three of us! We'll miss him a ton! He's flying out to Mexico from Vegas today! In the mean time, the area here is still in tact. Turns out Tracy is sick with cancer and the doctor's say she only has a few months to live. She was the person we married and baptized my first week here in Cedar. The cancer came back and she's headed to California or something and her husbands dad is going to be paying for everything. He must be loaded! We left during the middle of the Lion King to go give her a blessing at the hospital. The rest of the district put it on pause for us, so we got to finish it once we got back.
To add onto that, Angie apparently has cancer too and she doesn't have the money to pay for everything right now and apparently it's unsure how much longer she will live as well. Now, if she gets married to Tyron (which is their plan) then they'd have to delay it until after Angie gets her kids back, otherwise it will mess up the court case and she won't get her kids back for much longer. That's a problem because she may never see her kids again if that happens. On the flip side, if she doesn't get baptized soon, she might not get the chance in this life. I know however that the Lord will provide, especially for something this important. We gave her a blessing as well....it was intense. We went back the other day and Angie wasn't there, but we talked with Tyron for a solid hour and he explained that he feels like it's time to change, to stop relying on smoking and beer and fornication to solve his problems and to be committed to Angie and to work through things. He's choosing to stay with her despite the whole cancer thing. Every time he's with her, she makes him happy. It's that simple. We testified that this gospel and the BofM is the key to unlock those desires of true happiness. He's willing to try it out and he has come so far just like Angie. Such an awesome but critical situation. We'll see where things go from here...
So I don't normally ask for things like this, but please keep Tracy, Angie, and Tyron in your prayers. We've already made it safely onto the ledge of the foundation of the gospel, but these three are struggling to grip onto that ledge. Even death itself is trying to stop them, but Christ has the power to swallow up the sting of death and pull us all up. They're certainly doing their part, and I just think that a few extra prayers will help them and give them a boost. None of them are going to give up, and they've mentioned that a few times....That takes more faith than I have as a missionary, so they'll make it either way eventually.
Anyway I hope you all enjoy the package! There's something for everyone! Have a great week! I love you all! Transfer calls are this next Sunday!
Elder Payne!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

...and a Happy New Year!

Hi family! It's Elder Payne again! So skype was fun right? I though so anyway haha. It was kinda weird though because right as I started realizing I was actually talking to my family and started getting into it, my time was up haha. I should've had Elder Ramirez speak-a-da-spanish to you guys, and I should have spoken some too haha. I also wish I would have talked about all the cool stories and baptisms I've experienced.... Oh well! It was cool either way haha so thanks for the awesome Christmas present!! As for baby payne I was thinking either Luiz Javier or Taylor Spencer. Either one works for me :) haha
So it's been kind of a slow week as far as the work goes since lots of people are out of town and what not. We basically had two full Pdays on the 24th and 25th. It was fun at first but got real boring by the time Christmas night came haha. I was excited to get back to work! We spent a lot of time at the institute at SUU playing pool and air hockey and foosball and basketball. You could have probably guessed that we play a lot of church ball over here in Utah. I'm getting better at it...in fact I can dunk it now! Well almost. Anyway the next two days are going to be about the same...not much going on. We do get to watch the Lion King tonight though!! We're so pumped! Finishing off another year with the Lion King as a missionary in Utah has been one of my greatest dreams that I never dreamed of!
We've been working really diligently with Angie these past few weeks. We found out that things are going well with the courts and she should be getting her four rowdy kids back within a month or so! Sweet! The blessings are beginning to out weigh her trials now....the end (or should I say the beginning) is in sight for her. The only thing holding her back right now from baptism is her boyfriend that lives with her. His name is Tyron, and at first he just sat in the back and didn't say anything. Now he's sitting in on the lessons and is fully engaged. We'll probably be picking him up as a new investigator pretty soon. They both made it to church yesterday! Unfortunately in Angie's situation with the courts, getting married would severely damage her case (she has charges of being with lots of guys or something like that). Anyway, Tyron has agreed to move out. We're not sure when or where, but we're working on it. Once it happens, Angie can follow through with baptism. We're so excited! Tyron has a lot of support for Angie. They both speak Navajo by the way which I think is pretty cool haha.
In other cool news this week, we picked up two new investigators...Nate who is 15 and Cody who is 17. Cody's not too interesting in converting right now but wants to learn and match up our beliefs with his. Nate on the other hand just moved with his family from Las Vegas. He took pretty much all the lessons over there and almost got baptized. He wants to get baptized with us! Awesome! Also we went to a dinner out in the boonies this week and this relief society president lady has a couple of Irish Wolfhounds, one of the bigger dogs in the world. They're huge! they looked like a couple of polar bear horses as we pulled up haha we almost threw a saddle on them!
So I was just wondering if KP or QP ever served in leadership positions on their missions. I don't even remember haha. DL's? ZL's? I know they weren't ever AP's though. I haven't been called as one or anything, I was just wondering what kind of experience it was for you guys. District Leader in the MTC consisted of getting mail and conducting class haha that's all. So if you have any input on that please share!
Well thanks again everyone it was great to see all of you!! Have a happy new year and a great week and remember that spiritually minded is life eternal!
Elder Payne :)