Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Joys of Whitewashi​ng!

Well hello! Man such a crazy week this past week with all the transfers going on....they had me stay with Elder Gomez and Lords for one night then put me with Elder Banta who goes home in two transfers out in Hurricane. I found out by the way that the reason why they say "Hurri - kin" is just because the settlers got lazy. Next time I go there I'll just stick with Hurri - cane and annoy everybody. I'm excited! Anyway E Banta and I taught three lessons, all of which were really good. It snowed over there too (it was on Wednesday) so I guess one giant cloud attacked all of southwest United States. Sweet! On Wednesday evening was the trainer's meeting, so E Banta and I had to drive 30 mins back to St. George. I got to see a ton of Elders that I haven't seen for weeks and months, plus President's training pumped me up for the next two transfers! Afterwards E Banta and I had to drive all the way back to Hurricane just to sleep. All my stuff was still at E Gomez's place so I had to wear everything again and couldn't shave the next morning but oh well! haha we had to get a ride from Hurricane to St. George the next morning for the big "trainers, meet your new trainee" meeting. Long story short, my new companion is Elder Bradford!
E Bradford is from Dallas, Texas and loves drumming. It's crazy because band in Texas is huge. Their mascot is the Eagles too and with just their marching band they could spell out "Eagles" covering the whole football field. Put Thatcher's band to shame! But yeah he's an awesome elder! Only 3 of the 29 total new missionaries are 18 years old, so E Bradford isn't one of them. He's awesome though and reminds me of Elder Holmstead a lot.
So we've spent the first few days trying to get our new area up and running. We left the meeting not knowing where our area even was, so we've been figuring out everything from scratch. We've met all the leadership including Stake President who is 46 and has been serving for 9 years as stake pres and just got called to be mission president in a brand new mission in Mexico, the Pachuca mission, which is where Elder Ramirez is from. Wow! haha yeah our area covers four out of the seven wards in the stake and we have a handful of past mission presidents and even an emeritus seventy or two. Oh yeah and we're in a walking/biking area! haha so we've been asking around and will probably continue to get offers for bikes for the next few weeks even though we'll be picking up a couple from a high councilman tomorrow. We're being well taken care of here! This stake has had sisters for years now, so they were one of the very first stakes in the mission to request elders with the new age announcement. They're excited to have us to say the least!
We have all three classes of people here in our area, from poor to middle class to wealthy. There's even some mansions even bigger than in Little Valley! One of our bishops lives in one up on a hill haha might as well put an angel moroni on top of it and dedicate that thing. He's a plastic surgeon. Our landlords by the way are the Bardsley's. They have a super beautiful home!! We occupy their basement which is better than my last place....so amazing. It's taken the spot for one of the best missionary homes in the mission. So yeah we're spoiled and/or blessed! The Bardsley's are so amazing...bless sister Bardsley's heart she's like my grandmother. She checks up on us like 5 times a day and makes sure we have food and enough blankets at night haha. We're gonna start calling them grandma and grandpa haha. Very nice people! We found out from bishop's wife that sister Bardsley was actually in the book called the Miracle of Forgiveness. Her name is April if any of you are familiar with that book. She's only on like one page but it tells the story of an abusive husband she had that actually left her blind in one eye...crazy! Anyway, they're both amazing!
So yeah missionary work is evolving now days. We've been assigned to work specifically for reactivation efforts and part member families along with regular proselyting. That means we can teach the lessons to a less active member or just a regular investigator. In the four or five days we've been here, we haven't gotten to teach hardly anyone. But we've gotten all our referrals and maps and teaching records and everything we need to start up this next week, so we're excited! It's kinda weird starting a new area with a new companion and new responsibilities, but I'm optimistic and ready to go! It might take things a while to get going but we're being patient and willing to do what the Lord wants us to do! It's been a blast so far! I've even taught Elder Bradford how to solve the Rubik's cube already so things are going good! haha
Well thanks a lot for the emails and support. I just want you to know that I love each of you and that I'm really nervous that Shauna is going to explode pretty soon. Haha but keep your heads up and push through any more blizzards that come your way and don't get too blue Keith while building that crib haha. Thanks a lot family I appreciate you guys!
Love, Elder Payne !


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oh Hey I'm Training!

Well family looks like another transfer bites the dust! This transfer was only five weeks because of the explosion of missionaries at the MTC...they have to come earlier for one reason or another. Anyway, looks like my time here in Little Valley has already come to an end! That was short! It's been a great transfer though...we had another baptism this past Saturday! We baptized another 11 year old named Carson! I never even got to teach him anything and have seen him like three times before but either way his baptism was awesome! His parents are inactive and haven't really given Carson a lot of support. He was supposed to get baptized like all the way back in August but it kept getting pushed back until now. Well we got him in the water! I just hope the ward can keep this little guy active. Things have been picking up with Emmy and a new nine year old named Kaden. Kaden's already on date for March 9th and Emmy is opening up more and making progress. We talked to another lady this week named Leslie who is a non member that has read the Book of Mormon cover to cover...and she read it not to attack or find fault in it but to gain insight from it. That's what we call a "golden investigator" if you've ever heard that term haha. She told us her only problem with mormons is that they seem to worship Joseph Smith a little too much and Jesus Christ not enough. Perfect opportunity for lesson 1! Well we set up an appointment for Wednesday but unfortunately I'll be gone by then. I'm just glad we finally found someone elect after 5 weeks of searching! Cool!

So anyway we were making the transition from coordination meeting to our dinner appointment last night and at about 5:10 pm or so President Leonard called us. Now, usually if President calls for transfers that means you're getting called to leadership of some sort. Well, both of us were expecting to train since we need 30+ trainers this transfer. We were right! President talked to me first and basically said, "Elder Payne, we need you to be a trainer this transfer...you will be training a new missionary and you will be opening up an additional area in the Buena Vista stake in St. George!" and I said "Cool thanks President!" haha So yeah I'm training! Buena Vista is as far as I know a lot like Little Valley and there are Sister missionaries there right now. Me and my new companion will be sharing the area with them, so that'll definitely be interesting! I'm not exactly sure how that will all work out but I'll take it as it comes. We have a car! I'm designated driver...again! I have been my whole mission haha ugh. We'll probably just park it until P-day haha I need some more exercise! Oh well! But yeah I'm actually pretty excited because I've been the big JC for 8 months and now it's time to try something different as a missionary. Should be fun!

Anyway we have a trainer's meeting on Wednesday night and Thursday morning "los gringos" will be arriving for their orientation. I won't know who my new companion will be until then! In the mean time there's changes going on all over the mission, so the missionaries who will be taking over Little Valley will be coming tomorrow to be with Elder Betham and I'll have to camp out with my new zone leaders for a day....Elder Lords and Elder Gomez! Woohoo I haven't seen Elder Gomez for like 17 weeks! I'll chill in their area until I get my new companion, then it's back to work! As for Elder Betham, he's training and opening up a new area for less active work in the St. George east stake. He covers three wards and will share them with the St. George East elders. Oh and he's going to be a district leader over there too! He didn't want to train or be district leader haha but that's how it goes. They're opening up a new zone there...the St. George Central zone and the zone leaders there will be Elder Wade and Elder Holmstead! Remember them? Holmstead was my MTC comp for three weeks! I've only seen him once out here in the field so I'm excited to see him. Apparently Elder Ramirez will be training up in Cedar North haha he definitely doesn't like training! But yeah there's a ton of changes taking place this transfer and pretty much everyone's a part of it!

Well I love you guys have a great week please and choose the right!

Love, Elder Payne!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Flippity Flu, Man!

Hey hey hey! There's not much to write this week....seriously. E Betham and I have been sick pretty much all week! What a bummer! It was one of those applicable "1 Nephi 18:15" moments. I still really enjoy the fact that mom's sixth "mother" sense is still working well. Her package from last week came with cough drops and Emergen-C and chap stick, which is pretty much what I've been using all week! Good call mom! So basically on Tuesday I started feeling a tickle in my throat and on Wednesday it was a full on sore throat. Then Thursday came and completely wiped me out...I woke up with a 101.7 F fever and sis Leonard said I needed to stay home. By this time, Elder Betham was about a day behind me and had a sore throat too. The next day the fever went down but everything else didn't, and Elder Betham felt worse so we stayed in again. At least we only had to cancel three appointments, two of which were dinner appointments with members. Saturday came and we were still advised to get some rest, so we rested up in time for another baptism at 4:00 pm! This time Brad got baptized! He's a big 16 year old kid. He plays football and wrestling and he's just a big teddy bear! He had a bunch of family and ward friends come to support him, which is always really cool to meet the family of the people you work with. That's one of the things I really like about this stake compared to back in Cedar...the fellowshipping is great! Anyway we did the baptism in the stake center's RS room, which has that cool auto-piano I mentioned before. Well, I "played" the hymns for the service and fooled everyone haha! During the postlude some people came up to me and caught me and saw that I actually wasn't playing and they all called me a cheater and laughed haha. One of these days I'll really know how to play the piano! It's one of my goals!

So on Tuesday we met up at the WML's house up in Stone Cliff. This guy has a basketball court and an elevator in his house, but that's beside the point. We were there to meet a young girl named Emmy. She's from Colorado City and grew up FLDS, which in other words means she grew up in a polygamist home. Now, I've never gotten to teach someone like that. I thought it would be easy since she already knows all about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.....well turns out it was super awkward haha. I think a big part of it was we've never taught lesson one for like five weeks. Plus we just planned to get to know her and share a scripture or something. Well we got there and asked some questions and she's real quiet so we asked "Well Emmy what do you want to know about this church?" and she just shrugged and said "everything." So the WML Bro Wyson said well Elders just start from ground 0! And we got pressured into teaching the first lesson haha. It was kind of a train wreck but it wasn't too bad. Just the whole experience caught us off guard haha we've been so sheltered from lessons like that! Well I think she's been prepared either way and I'm pretty sure she's ready for baptism. We just gotta keep doing our part! Ex-FLDS people have to be interviewed by an apostle in order to get baptized though, so that'll be interesting. Anyway, we're not sure yet when our next appointment will be. That flu swept us up from the work like a tornado! Time to get things back together this week! I still have a runny nose and cough, but hopefully tomorrow we'll be cleared to go work!

Anyway thanks for the support and I'm glad mom and dad got the picture from the family we ate with last night haha. I love you guys!

Elder Payne!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Another slow week..with baptisms!

Well so yeah! Super slow week but we had a couple more baptisms on Saturday! Tyson and Josh both got baptized, and both are 11 years old. It was stake baptisms day, so the stake decided to throw them in with the other 16 baptisms that were going on. Sounds good to us! We thought it would be stress free and we could just sit back and let the stake take care of everything. Well, they scheduled Tyson at 11:30 and Josh at 11:50, so we basically had to be at two places at once. We swam though people to get from Tyson's program and take a picture of Josh and get the records filled out and get his program going and then went to the RS room for Tyson's baptism and right after Josh's group came in and he and his little sister who just turned 8 both got baptized and then E Betham and I had to split up to supervise the remainder of both programs (we went ahead and did Josh's confirmation right then) and eventually......it was over! Whew! It was a scramble for sure but we got them in the water! They were the last ones of the day so there were a ton of sins in that tank haha.
Well besides the baptisms, we're going to be getting maps for all 14 wards and go through and knock some doors that we don't know yet and see who lives behind them. That's basically what we've been doing, but know we're basically just remapping the whole stake. Should be fun! Members, non members, less actives....we're desperate for anybody haha. President has been encouraging us to start looking for some less active work in the stake since finding is particularly low right now. We're hoping this will work and to be honest, we would not be offended if we get white washed out of here (we both kind of would prefer that actually haha) In other news, we talked about missionary life at a Priest/Laurel activity the other week. An RM spoke after us....I didn't get his name but he served in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I asked if he met an Elder Payne and he said that there was an Elder Payne leaving right as he got there. We overlapped him! So if you ever heard of a greenie gringo from the "greens of St. George" (Little Valley), then that was him! Also, I've decided that Elder Betham looks a lot like Pres Obama, and I'm up to 17 ties now! I've gotten 10 since I've been here hahah. Anyway that's all for this week! Love you guys!
Elder Payne!