Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Pioneer's of Buena Vista!

Hi Keith! Sorry I missed you last week haha. Well that's awesome that you guys were able to watch me on TV. I'm famous! What happened to that old giant tv? Haha that thing was a tank! Well it's good to see everyone and I'm glad everyone's alive and well and happy! Thanks for the pics! Oh and we had that granite top on our kitchen when we lived with the Bardsley's. It's pretty nice! Super easy to clean up and what not. Sounds expensive though haha good luck with the new semester I'll be praying for you mother!
Hmm well so we participated in the big 24th celebration over here in Washington, Utah. We had some members in the area drive us over a couple miles to the breakfast, and then we headed over to the parade. There was probably three zones there plus past and future missionaries from the area, so there was probably like 200 of us missionaries! Pretty crazy! Some of us got to carry big flags as we marched and sang some pioneer hymns. Guess which flag I got to carry? NEBRASKA! yeah I don't know why but someone gave it to me haha. Anyway it was pretty awesome! They had a bunch of young men do a stripling warriors thing too with captain moroni and everything...it was pretty awesome!
So Elder Holland was there, but we didn't get to meet him or anything haha. He cruised by us before the parade started in his little horse buggy carriage thing. He told us we all looked terrific! Talk about a man called of God! You could feel the spirit oozing off of him! But that was all I saw of him. But I must say that marching down the main street of Washington and having hundreds and hundreds of bystanders cheering us on and yelling and whistling was super chilling and amazing. I've never had a group of people cheer that loud and wholeheartedly as that to me before! It was such a neat experience because it made me realize that the Lord still needs pioneers today, and I'm one of them! I've been accomplishing and doing things that are just as important to his work as the pioneers of the early church. Very humbling!
To go along with that, it's been even cooler to see the progress of this area. I've been here for over 5 months now, and when Elder Bradford and I got here, we literally had only a house key, our luggage, and an empty area book. We've come so far, and it's been such a privilege to be there every step of the way as this area has gone up and running. And what's even better is that within the last two weeks we've been able to find 5 new investigators. We've been struggling with the non member work and have only had 1 investigator for about a month until recently. Now we're up to six, half of which are on date for baptism and the others are close! What a blessing it has been for me this week to reflect back on the work that has been done since I've been here. I feel like a pioneer myself...like I (and my companions) have done something for the Lord that no one else could. We've baptized the honest in heart, we're teaching the elect, we've reactivated some lost and struggling members, and we've gotten the members involved in the work and have helped to change the focus of the whole stake. We're the pioneer's, the beginners. I'm super excited to see what will happen in the years to come in this stake!
Well we're going to work even harder this next week to bring those six individuals closer to baptism. This might well be my last week in the area though. I feel like the Lord is preparing me for work elsewhere. That's fine with me! I'm ready to move on. This area is in good hands because it's part of the Lords vineyard. The people here will be fine! We went on exchanges with the zl's this week and Elder Noriega and I both agreed that zone leader is probably the next step for me. That is what has been recommended to the assistant's and president center. They will be adjusting the transfer board this week and making all the changes, so make sure to pray that I will be led to the right place! And if I stay and remain district leader, then so be it! Either way the work will move on! Thanks everyone I love you all!
Elder Payne!


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