Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Fruits of Our Labors!

Well hello there family! Didn't hear from anyone today so I hope all is well! Haha Elder Bradford and I are doing well. We had a baptism this week! Carlos was baptized! It was kinda crazy getting everything put together including the pianist and unlocking the baptismal font but we did it! The only thing I forgot was to tell them to bring extra undies for afterwards hahaha oh well. The service was awesome! I gave the talk on baptism and E Bradford spoke on the Holy Ghost. Mic, one of Carlos' friends (who just got called to Honduras...he's only 17!) got to baptize him. It was sooo spiritual and E Bradford started choking up a little bit in his talk. We've been working hard with Carlos and have built a pretty good relationship with him. He's awesome! Glad to see some results here in our area. But then I realize that no effort is wasted and that every day is a success as long as I have faith and do my part!
The confirmation was yesterday. I made Elder Bradford do it haha because he hasn't done one yet. He was sooo nervous and I was really glad because it's a big learning experience for him. Carlos walked in right as bishop got up to start the meeting haha. Elder Bradford was shaking and really nervous as he started, but when he got to the actual blessing he had calmed down and the spirit just took over. It was beautiful! I love confirmations! It brought back memories of the confirmations and blessings I've been able to do myself. Such a sharp and powerful experience! Lots of goosebumps! and not the comic book kind!
Hmm so this week we went on exchanges! Exchanges are actually fun when you're the one in charge of it! haha I got to go with Elder Read in his area since he and his trainee are having some struggles as a companionship and in their area too. I went to help them out! Oh by the way, the area was Dixie 2! hahaha back to my home area!! yeah it was super nostalgic but at the same time it feels like I was there last week. kinda weird! we contacted a bunch of less actives and even hit up the great and spacious building known as Red Rock Ridge. Holy cow the memories! That place is super random and crazy! I saw David ride by us on his longboard! haha he was my first convert on the mission! He must not have recognized me because he flew by and said hi and kept going so I didn't get to talk with him. It was disappointing actually haha because apparently he's less active now! Darn! But it was good to see him. I can't wait till after my mission to see all of my converts again! haha
I don't know if Keith or Quentin or even dad remembers sending in numbers every week, but it's kinda annoying haha. But I love it! But it's stressful! Especially when none of your district knows how to set monthly goals because they're all super new to the mission and the zone leaders need them asap! Well I spent like an hour collecting goals and actuals and more goals and setting district goals and sending everything to the zl's. Lot's of fun! It's kind of invigorating though....at least I'm not a bored junior companion anymore!
Well so what time is church and everything? We get to call (not skype!) for Mother's day in two weeks! Yay! Check the communicator for the guidelines. We were thinking in the afternoon...around 2 or 3 pm St. George time. If you guys have church or whatever, then we'll do it after dinner around 7 or 8 pm. Whichever works for you guys! Consult and let me know next week! That's also transfer call day so we'll see what happens since we're finishing up training. Woohoo!
Oh dad, what's your phone number? I feel bad because I don't know it so all those dinner text messages only get sent to mom haha.
Well I love you guys! keep enduring to the end and remember, "soy lo maximo!" Now that's as conceited or as encouraging as you make it to be! adios jaja!
Elder Payne!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just got back from the Temple!

Well I haven't had time to read any emails yet but thanks for sending some love my way! Things have been going well over here in the Buena Vista stake. We just got back from a session at the St. George temple!! Sooo awesome because I haven't been to the temple for almost 7 months! It's amazing how much more I was able to understand and learn this time around with all the things I've learned thus far on my mission. We got a ride from bro Bardsley our landlord and just hopped into a 10:40 session. As we were in the waiting room I was reading some scriptures and came across Doctrine and Covenants 108 and I had to fight back some tears! It was sooo nice to be inside that sacred building and revitalize my temple covenants. I love the temple!
So this past Monday evening we found Lei! No one probably recognizes that name but she's an investigator that Elder Gomez and I started teaching about 8 or so months ago. Back then E Gomez and I blessed her brand new baby who was the exact same age as Bryson. I got to bless him....his name is Maiki. Anyway, we crossed paths with Lei again! Obviously there's a reason. We got a referral for a Hawaiian single mom with three kids in her 20's named Lei. Now how many people fit that description in St. George? Probably only one! Needless to say it really was the same Lei! She recognized me and we started catching up on her situation. Little Maiki is 8 months old now, which is super crazy. Lei is pretty receptive but is working so much that she barely has time to breathe and is rarely at home. Her life is almost as crazy as it was back then, but things are really improving for her! We're going to go back and try to set something up. What a blessing!
Well we did exchanges with the zone leaders this past week. I got to go to Elder Wade's area with him for the day. Now if you recall (I don't even know if mom will recall this) but Elder Wade was my zone leader at the MTC. He works in Spanish areas so I got to fulfill my original mission call assignment by serving in Spanish work! Haha it was a ton of fun and we talked to a ton of Mexicans. He took me to this hidden trailer park in St. George and I swear we teleported to Mexico. It was awesome! I've learned that I'm still slow of speech when it comes to Spanish, meaning it takes me like 10 seconds to form a response in proper Spanish to people who talk to me. But I can still understand pretty well, which is awesome! It was definitely a refreshing change of pace for me. It was a good day!
So I conducted my first baptismal interview this past week! It was for the sister missionaries' investigator. I got to interview little Tayler for her baptism. She's 9 years old and is as sharp as they come. I asked her about tithing and she excitedly said, "Oh! that's when if I do a really big chore and get 10 dollars, I give 1 dollar to the bishop and he sends it to salt lake and they use it to build temples and churches!!!" haha needless to say the interview was a blast and she passed! I told her to go give her mom and dad a big hug after the closing prayer and she got a big smile on her face and said "Okay!" and went and did it. We went to the baptism on Saturday and it was a success! Being a district leader has its ups and downs, but experiences like that make it all worth it.
Well we're planning on having our own baptism this next week. Thursday at 4pm! It will be for Carlos. I'll send pictures next week. Hopefully he passes his interview haha he's been meaning to get baptized for months now and we're making it happen. He's the investigator that reminds me of Dakota Casillas and Jason Boren combined. Super funny and awesome kid! He graduates with his associates the same day as his baptism, which is awesome! He's 18 and still in high school. he'll be graduating at the end of the semester. His brother just got baptized not too long ago. He's got a lot of support! Go Carlos!
So I really hope you guys have an awesome week and work hard and have fun! haha
Love, Elder Payne

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We're not sick this week!!

So it's been another week! Well shoot as far as I can tell from mom, looks like it has been a good one for you guys! Love the pictures haha what a handsome baby! It's tempting not to go show everyone in the library all these pictures of Bryson haha it's so exciting! Well yeah I used that ipod cord probably once so good riddance haha I'm glad dad can use an Ipad and to be honest I'm kinda surprised he can actually use it. Haha! well if you ever get too many eggs just send some to me because I eat scrambled eggs like every other morning for breakfast. cholesterol yum!
Well I'm always short on time so I'll keep it short but sufficient. This week I found out that fasting actually works! We have an investigator Nikki that texted us and said she's been sick this week. Turns out they found some cancerous cells in her and she went in for surgery to remove it on Friday. Caught us off guard! We've been praying and yesterday we obviously fasted for her until last night we got a call from her fellowshipper, the RS pres in the ward. She's on top of things and told us all about her situation and that the surgery was a success and she's doing well and she's going back to work tomorrow! Wow!!! What a blessing! That really boosted my testimony of the fact that fasting is a great opportunity to exercise our faith in trials and circumstances that we can't control...such as Nikki's health. As we exercised our faith through fasting, the Lord blessed her. We'll meet with her soon and find out more.
We've had a particularly slow week this week as far as nonmember lessons go, but we've been destroying the less active's in our wards haha we went into 10 different less active homes and taught them! It was awesome...I really do enjoy less-active work! It's such a huge blessing to see these people have great desires to come back to the fold of God!
So tell me if this sounds familiar: Family of five, three boys. Dad is a firefighter, mom works at the hospital. Older boys are out of the house and the youngest plays video games (including Nintendo 64) and computers. They have a cat and two dogs and live in the desert. Who is this family? Well if you guessed the Payne's you're right! But if you guessed the Brian's you're also right! yeah we're teaching the youngest boy in this little family. His name's Johnny, and he's 14. He was baptized at 8 but he currently doesn't believe in God. We've built a relationship with the family because both E Bradford and I relate to them pretty well. We're starting the lessons with him! There's always a reason why we are sent places on the Lord's errand, and I would say this is one of those reasons! Haha
We also had beef stroganoff this week at a members house. I requested it haha and I told them that it was a family favorite! After the meal I told them that it passed inspection and would make momma Payne proud! So delicious!
Well I'm out for the week. Hope you guys have a good one! I'll be giving my first baptismal interview this Wednesday at 7 pm and I'll be conducting my first district training meeting this Thursday 11 am! See you there! haha
Elder Payne!

I'm a Missionary​, I'm a Trainer, I'm a District Leader, I'm a Son, Brother, and Now I'm an Uncle!! I'M A MORMON!!

And Mom's a grandma!! Dad you're a grandpa again! Man that's so cool!!! I've been thinking this whole past week...."hmm I wonder if baby payne is here yet?" So this is true right?? No april fools, okay? Haha! man thanks for the pictures I love them! I just want you to know that when Bryson was born I was fast asleep on a couch in the basement of the Bardsley's house haha. amigo eso es super bien!! jaja
Wow so that made my whole day, and my whole week for that matter! I love emails like that! I'm so glad everyone's doing fine and that it was a success! What a beautiful new family! We've had a pretty slow and rough week this past week, so that was much needed! That's why I'm writing this on Tuesday actually haha...Elder Bradford has been sick all week! I won't go into specifics but we couldn't proselyte for about 4 days in total. In the mean time, I built a few puzzles and got acquainted with my district leader duties haha.
We did scrounge up a few lessons. All of our investigators have their various challenges, so baptismal dates are having to be moved back. We're working hard with them and we should put three of them back on date tonight to be baptized before the end of this transfer, which just so happens to end on Mother's day.
Conference was the bomb! Like a big spiritual bomb! We watched four of the five sessions with investigators and we couldn't quite get anyone to come with us to the priesthood session. Carlos took us to the visitor center for the Saturday morning session. Cedar City temple!!!! The rumors are all true! Can you believe it?? We all knew it was coming...the church had already bought the land before I had left a few months ago. I'm guessing they'll put that thing up in a couple years just like the Gila Valley Temple. We'll see! That's another reason to come back once I get home! But yeah you should have heard the visitor's center as soon as pres monson announced it....a bunch of sister missionaries simultaneously gasped and I almost yelled "I knew it!!" We were all super pumped!!
Well I learned this week that it's really hard for your investigators to receive revelation when they're asleep. Such was the case with Bro Mauzy, our Roman Catholic buddy. We don't really know what to do with him at this point since he's not progressing and dropping him would tear down the faith he's been building these past few months. We tried to watch conference anywhere but his house, and we couldn't get anything worked out. So we went over there for the Sat afternoon session and after 30 minutes of sustainings and statistics, he was gone. I kept asking him questions to wake him up, but it was a losing battle. We left halfway through and went to a member's house haha. We love bro Mauzy!
Well I don't have a whole lot of time today. Just know that I love you guys and I'm super proud of where everyone is at right now. Even though I'm far away (a whole state away!) I feel like we've come closer as a family. I really do support you guys in the decisions you're making and I'm definitely a Payne family fan! Much love!
Elder Payne!
p.s. Elder Bradford and I can't remember the music to Treasure Trove Cove in Banjo Kazooie and it's driving us nuts!!!! haha oh well!

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm Gonna Be a Zone Leader!

Now first things first, let me get this straight. QP used my car for a date?? Cool! Yeah you can use that thing to get married in too please be my guest! I remember going to the last little bit of the Easter pageant with mom last year before I left. I watched the resurrection of Christ and mom went to go get a chili dog from DQ haha. That's cool! So is baby payne here yet? I've been trying to brainstorm of something to send home for the occasion. It's a good thing I'm a missionary or else I'd actually think of something cool. Oh well! Keep me posted though! Prayers every night that it will be a success.
Haha well April fools I'm not actually gonna be a zone leader. Well I might, but not right now. But we did get transfer calls yesterday! I got a surprise call from President Leonard "Good morning Elder Payne! .....you will be the new district leader of the telegraph district!" Whoa! haha "Hey thanks president sure I'll do it!" So yeah I'm the new big bad DL! Should be fun...not sure what all to do yet but that's the thing about a mission, you just have to do it and learn along the way. So be it! It's funny though because Elder Gomez became DL halfway through training me, so I'm following in Papa's steps and doing the same thing. This next transfers stacked with a temple trip, ZTM's and a zone conference so I might only get a couple of DTM's to take charge of. But I'm sure I'll get to do a couple baptismal interviews! Sweet!
Well hope you all had a great Easter! (Or to be more religiously correct, Resurrection Sunday) We had a great time ourselves! Mom got a text of our Easter baskets we got from a part-less active family haha. We had a great day at church. Each ward was packed with family and some non members! Three of our own investigators came and enjoyed some amazing Easter talks. Super awesome! We had dinner last night with the best landlords ever, the Bardsley's. I wish I would have gotten a pic of us! They're super nice and amazing. We're so blessed! Whoever all comes to pick me up when I leave the mission, their house will have to be one of our first stops! We also got to see some intense archery skills from their grandson Graham. He has this crazy $600 60 lb compound bow that I could barely pull back! Gotta work out more! haha we had a great Easter!
Well we're trying to prep Carlos for baptism this next Saturday. Turns out he's having some troubles with some commandments so we'll keep working with him. He was supposed to get baptized in January so we're being very diligent with him. Nikki is still on date for April 20th and is on fire with the gospel! She's the best! And Katrina is finally starting to pick up the pace with us! We had a hard time getting her to keep an appointment before but this last week we had three solid appointments in a row! She's doing great and has a super strong desire to come closer to Christ! I'm so happy for her because her life right now is super mixed up and crazy and hard. She's seriously like Angie reincarnated. Remember Angie? She was from Cedar City when I was up there and when I left she moved and never got baptized. Sad! But it's crazy because Katrina's situation is almost exactly identical, so it's as though my experience in Cedar was just preparation for now. Such is life! We'll put her on date for baptism this week.
Well in a bunch of other random news, I met President Larkin from the District 1 the other week. He lives in our area! Crazy...I had no idea he lived in St. George (did I already mention this?) We knocked on a door this week and I swear Derric Casillas answered it. Seriously looked exactly like him. Like, I thought it was him, so I stared at him and looked all confused for like 30 seconds haha. So weird! It wasn't him though. Well missions are awkward! Also, we've had meat loaf like 3 or 4 times this month, and we both hate meat loaf which is ironic. Gross! haha we went to Chuck a Rama (kinda like Old Country buffet or Golden Corral) which is where we ate when we came to St. George when I was a teacher a few years ago. Super nostalgic! haha I met a family that knows brother Alder...the Suman's. Kind of a weird story behind that one. Oh and I learned from the family that sent mom that Easter text that they actually have a bowling alley in Antarctica. What!
K I gotta go! Love you guys bye!
Elder Payne!