Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another Zone Conference​!

Hey I appreciate all the emails! Wow back to Chile again huh? Yeah I was wondering this past week if you were still there or if you had come home or what haha. That's cool though that you guys came up through the mission! I always keep an eye peeled for cars that look like ones from home, and then of course I'll double-take the Chevy Tahoes and Ford Rangers and so forth haha. No Thatcher Fire Chief trucks though! Elder Linville and I always have to grin at each other when after we help with the sacrament on Sundays in some wards, they invite the priesthood to go back and sit with their families haha. We miss our families but at the same time we don't! haha
Well so yeah we had a zone conference this week, our first one with President Center and our last one with Elder Woolley, our infamous car coordinator. He was a military drill sergeant and he gets in our faces all the time. Great man but extremely fiery! We love him and his sweet wife. She's the mission secretary and she's confined to a wheel chair. Such strong and unique personalities! We're going to miss them a ton! But anyway I digress. Zone conference was good. We had some great speakers and trainings from President and sister Center and the assistants E Stewart and Campbell. We even did a reenactment of the story of Ammon and king Lamoni and his father. Swords and everything! It was the ultimate role play. They sang happy birthday to like 15 of us! But yeah lots of revelation and inspiration was received! Zone conferences are the best!
One bit of news we got at zone conference is that there will be no backpacks in any mission worldwide by the end of the year, which is kind of a bummer because mom just bought me one! and I've put a lot of use in it! But yeah I'm not sure what to use instead...probably a shoulder bag haha I'll look like the ultimate nerd with my harry potter glasses but if that's what the brethen up north want then by all means I'm willing to do it! I'll look around at Ross or wherever whenever I have time, but I may need to ask someone probably mom for assistance when the time comes.
Well that's about it for this week! Our "clients" (investigators and less-actives) are progressing pretty well. Some of them are moving on and don't need our help anymore because they're so gosh darn active, which is awesome! Like Stefani and the Jerdens! But yeah we're finding new investigators and not only that but we're finding the elect and honest in heart, which is very encouraging! Transfers are coming up on Aug 4th and I'll most likely be leaving. I wrote on our area progress report that I'm fine with leaving at this point, so stay tuned until then! Oh and we're marching in the 24th parade this week and we'll be meeting Elder Holland and taking pictures! Gotta go!
Elder Payne!

"The Clouds of Success Will Rain on to You"

Hey it was awesome to see all the b-day updates and the little primary kids! Warms my heart :) Yeah I had a good b-day and all that. I tried to keep it on the down low and when some of the sister missionaries found out about it and that I didn't tell them, they got super ticked haha it was funny. Yeah I was surprised sis Holland actually called you mom! I think that was my favorite part haha the cookies were good but more importantly I'm glad these people are connecting with you and keeping you involved in my life while I'm away. Such a blessing!
The new mission president is great! I sustain him whole heartedly! He and his wife are definitely different than President Leonard and his wife. Pres Leonard was more regal and business like, and Pres Center is a little more goofy and awkward. I don't know if that's the best way to describe him, but it's the best I got for now haha. He feels more like a brother to me than a father if that makes sense...kinda like we're on the same level. I can't imagine the pressure of leading an organization you know nothing about. Regardless, he's been getting involved with the work and the missionaries. We had two baptisms in our district (yes!!) this week and he was in attendance to one of them with his wife. He's different but I support him and his decisions. His wife is such a sweetheart too and she's got a firey personality behind her motherliness. She gives firmer handshakes than President does! haha they're both awesome.
So I got a fortune cookie from Panda when we ate with the Brians back on the 6th of July. It said "the clouds of success will rain on to you" and I thought it was pretty unique so I saved it and taped it into my journal. Well fast forward to this past Friday (the 12th) and we found ourselves contacting a referral in some ghetto apartment complex. We knocked and the lady we were looking for, Torrie, answered almost immediately. We didn't even have to say anything to her. She basically just said "Oh! you guys got the memo! Awesome! Hey me and my boyfriend want to be taught by the missionaries...." Best door contact we've had in a long while! They were on their way out to something, but we set an appointment for this week. They requested to start up the 12 step addiction recovery program and we have the perfect fellowshipper to come with us for them. We're super stoked! And the best part was as we were chatting with them, the clouds decided to dump an ocean on top of us. We tried waiting it out for a few minutes but we needed to get going elsewhere haha so we through all our belongings in our backpack and ran out into the rain and took off on our bikes! We got SOAKED! Like seriously! We had to build two or three rafts to cross all the flash flood rivers on the roads and we probably resurrected like four times. We even had to climb the biggest hill in our area, which was pretty much a waterfall at that point. Crazy! We dried off in like an hour haha and we were fine. But yeah I have a strong testimony of fortune cookies now.
So yeah the french sisters had a baptism on Saturday. It was for Amy, who Elder Gomez and I taught way back in September in my first area! I got to interview her for her baptism on my birthday!! Best present ever! haha it was such a spiritual experience talking with her and seeing the progress she has made in the past several months, and to see how the gospel has truly blessed her life and changed her heart is remarkable. That's my favorite part of the mission right there! Her life is under much greater control now and she's soo happy....it's amazing! We got to be at her baptism. It was the best! We also went to another baptism in the district for a girl with selective mutism. I got to interview her as well. Such a sweet girl...didn't say hardly anything but she said enough. I can relate with that! haha I got to confirm her on Sunday! I just followed the spirit and blessed her with the capacity to fulfill her potential and to use the gift of the Holy Ghost in her life. Confirmations are my second favorite part of the mission! So yeah in other words, we've had a great week!
Hmm well that's about all for this week!
Love, Elder Payne!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy 4birth of Juliey Day

Hijo le no manches! qp, en cierto?? su carta esta loco pero como se dice suuuper bien! jaja orale wow! Hey well we've been really busy and focused this week that I keep forgetting about my birthday. I loved all the pictures haha good times! We proselyted like any other day on the 4th except we ate lunch with the payne's I mean the brian's, and we had a zone activity at a chapel in St. George from 6 to 9. We played sproutball and dogdeball woohoo! Oh I don't know if I ever mentioned this but Elder Ramirez is the other DL in our zone so it's super awesome to see him at things like that. We're good buddies and we kept destroying each other with the ball the whole time haha it was fun! We're practically relief society presidents...being in st. george we get soo many sister missionaries in our districts because of the visitor center at the temple. Our zone consists of 8 elders total and 12 sisters. Being a district leader of sisters and having to call them and check on things and offer advice is probably preparing me for marriage. I do notice that phone calls with the elders takes about 5 minutes and with the sisters its like 15...they talk forever! haha but it's all good and we have a sweet zone. We had a zone training meeting this week and if you pay attention to the communicator mom and dad, our zone (St. George Central, or SGC) is a little lower than the rest of the zones. At ztm on Friday we all decided that this doesn't mean we're awful missionaries, it just means that the Lord has put some of his best missionaries in one of the toughest zones in the mission. That's the way we have to look at it, because it's true. We're the best missionaries for the areas we serve in, otherwise the Lord wouldn't have put us there. But there's always room for improvement, and our zone leaders are setting the expectations! One of them, Elder Lopez-Mayta, is from Bolivia. Super good elder!
Anyway, we've had a great week all in all. We found two new less-active couples that we're starting to teach. One of them was a referral from the ward, they told us to go find these people because nobody has been able to contact them. Turns out the wife has been really ill for the past several months and they haven't been to church since they moved into the area. We offered to give a blessing, and we ended up finally giving her one on Tuesday. I got to give it! I love giving blessings...they require you to rely on the spirit soo much haha. It's really humbling but rewarding. Anyway they want us to teach them the missionary lessons and they want to try to get back into church despite her health. Amazing! We were definitely on the same page as the Lord with that couple...in the right place at the right time.
Speaking of blessings though, I got a text from one of our sister missionaries. Her companion is brand new, a French sister who learned her first bit of english at the mtc. Now that she's in the field, she feels super uncomfortable and she feels like she can't express herself the way she wants to and that everyone is judging her whenever she speaks. It's definitely a trial for her! Anyway we quickly called for a ride and got over to the visitor center after studies so that I could give her a blessing. We went into a room and after explaining what a blessing of "comfort" was to her and saying her full name in French, I started giving her the blessing. At first I was trying to keep my words simple so that she could understand them, and I was doing okay, but it was a challenge nonetheless. Then I paused and heard the faint sound of a pencil scratching on some paper. Her companion (bless her heart) was taking notes! She was writing down my blessing so that her companion could refer back to it whenever she needed to. Sweet! So with that assurance, I knew I could just go full blast and give her a proper blessing from the spirit. Such an amazing experience! I got to use all the little bits of wisdom that I have learned from my own mtc experience, learning a language and all the struggles that came with that, and give that knowledge to her through the blessing. It was incredible!
Well, on that note, I gotta go!
Elder Payne