Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A God of Miracles Indeed!

Well I liked your letter mom! Super awesome...I can't wait to come home to new carpets! haha man baby payne is almost here too....where did the time go?? My mission is seriously starting to speed up and I'm loving it more and more. Slow down! Well I thought that mom's "weekly scripture" was pretty relevant because we've experienced a ton of miracles this week! Little ones but good ones! No se si peudo escribir estes milagros como escribo en mi journal, pero tratare! The first miracle is that I said a prayer in Spanish last night for planning and it was the best one I've ever given in Spanish haha and I haven't used it but a handful of times in the past few months. Cool!!
But yeah, earlier last week we were just out contacting in the apartments of our area...the ghetto of sorts. As we were walking to someone's house, an older smoker lady called out to us and asked us to come say a prayer for her friend. Turns out it was Katrina! Now, Katrina was one of the sister's investigators just before we got here in the area, and she got locked up in jail because there was a heroine bust in her roommates' apartment. Well, she's out of jail now apparently! But her kids are still in state custody and she has been evicted and has no job or car and hardly any food. Tough situation! She was in tears and we said a prayer with her (she didn't want a blessing). But yeah we're trying to get back in contact with her because she still wants the missionaries over...she's just hard to catch! But I know Heavenly Father led us to her that night....just another reminder that it's His work and He loves His children.
During weekly planning we were discussing the fact that we have contacted several referrals and still haven't found a new investigator. Well, just as we were talking about the effort we have been putting in to finding someone elect, we got a phone call from the sister missionaries in the stake. They said, "Hi elders!! We have a golden referral for you!" Now I'll be honest, I almost love those kinds of phone calls more than the calls home to you guys haha...we were super pumped! Her named is Nikki Click and she just went through a divorce and wants some answers and direction and she wants to attend the LDS church. We had our first lesson with her Saturday morning...probably the same time Keith was fixing up baby payne's new room haha. She's super excited for the lessons and really wants to go to church! Awesome!! Yet another enormous blessing!
So not too long ago we sat down for church one sabbath morning and this young man named Casey Jones (believe it or not) came in and sat next to us during the sacrament meeting. I think I wrote this before, but he had never been to an LDS church service ever in his life...it was his first time! Needless to say, he picked a pretty good seat! (right next to us!) We gave him our number and foolishly didn't get his. We didn't hear from him for like two weeks until just the other day we randomly decided to go to McDonalds for lunch, which is on the other side of the freeway on Telegraph near Green Springs Dr. (if you want to check google earth or something.) Anyway on our way back from McDonalds we saw Casey just walking down the street, going to the gym! haha we were super pumped! We set up an appointment for that same afternoon and he was excited to meet with us! We met him at the church and unfortunately someone left something cooking in the oven and the fire alarm went off and fire fighters came and so we just had a quick lesson outside. Turns out Casey is 22 and has been sober since Christmas and is making some serious changes in his life and wants some extra spirituality. Since he's 22, he falls under the jurisdiction of my old stomping grounds...the Dixie 2 elders! So we told Casey about them and referred him to them, so they'll start teaching him soon! Such a miracle that we were able to be led to Casey...and thus we see that when in doubt, eat a McDonalds. This is Heavenly Father's work!
We've been working really hard with Carlos, our 18 year old investigator who reminds me of Dakota Casillas. This past week his own brother who is 19 got baptized by the Pineview elders! Carlos actually gave a talk on the Holy Ghost! haha he was so nervous but did a super good job. Anyway, we've been talking about baptism and faith and repentance with him a lot, and a few days ago we finally put him on date for baptism! He's had several concerns about it, the biggest one being that he just doesn't feel ready or committed enough. At least he's mature about it and wants to know that he can actually endure to the end before he commits. Well, we practice that exact situation in role plays all the time at DTM's and ZTM's, so it was as though all my practice in my mission came down to that moment right then... E Bradford extended the invitation to be baptized and he replied "I want to! But...I just don't feel ready yet..." and with all that practice in the back of my head I was able to calmly listen to the Spirit and address his concerns using Moroni 6:4 which is the sacrament prayer for the bread. I emphasized to him that the key word is "willing" and that Heavenly Father doesn't expect him to be perfect before his baptism. I testified of the importance of faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and enduring to the end, and how he can always repent even after baptism. It was super spiritual, and I extended April 6th as the date for his baptism. He accepted! I realized afterwards that it's the church's birthday and also Christ's birthday. Pretty cool!! We're working hard to keep him committed and get him in the water and most importantly to turn his fragile testimony into conversion.
Well that's the main miracles we saw this week. It's been awesome!! I gotta go though...until next time!
Elder Payne!

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