Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, November 11, 2013

Things are Picking Up!

Hi family! And whoever reads this on moms blog too haha much love to whoever. Anyway this has been a good week. Kelly is on date for baptism on the 23rd of November! He's pretty solid...we've gone over everything except tithing and a couple more commandments. I won't go into detail but I've just been super impressed at how open he is with us and he's not trying to hide any details from his life that would prevent him from being baptized. That's a strong sign to us that he's truly honest in heart and that his heart has been changing. I love teaching people that have already made changes prior to meeting the missionaries. They're so submissive and faithful! That's what teaching Kelly has been like...all we have to do is teach him the gospel and invite him to incorporate it into his life, and he takes care of the rest by himself. He understands repentance now, and he's living it. He's gained a testimony that the gospel is true, and although he still struggles with little things like being interested in the Book of Mormon, he tries and tries to overcome those little things. He'll be moving to Nevada for a new job later this week, but he is going to come back on the weekends to keep in contact with his family and friends and to go to church. Things are looking good for him!

Patricia came to stake conference yesterday and she's doing super well! The only problem right now is the fact that we're getting rushed on the lessons since there's less than two weeks until her baptism as well. We'll pick it up though. Our district had a slammin week too! We put 5 investigators on date this past week and we found 9 new investigators. I got to do a baptismal interview for a 13 year old kid named Johannes for the Manti elders. He's solid, and he loves to ride his super expensive scooter with friends and play x-box, and he lives with his Finnish grandparents. Nice! Anyway I'm really starting to see the momentum pick up for the Lord's work! It's exciting! 

On top of that, this weekend was a big regional stake conference for pretty much our whole mission as far as I know. The stake president called us and asked me if he could scan a few pages of my planner on Tuesday. In the Saturday night adult meeting they had an "informal" meeting that was more interactive, very similar to what Elder Bednar did with us a couple months ago. Anyway, pres Averette showed a few pages of my planner on the big screen and everyone in the stake got to see what the past few days have looked like on our schedules. On one day we had only one appointment, so I had written down a bunch of names to visit and off to the side I wrote "Pretend these are appointments!" haha and pres Averette pointed that out to everyone in a humorous way. We got a good laugh out of it haha. He exhorted everyone to help us out and get us more appointments. What adds more to that is that this week the mission released new Standards of Excellence, which are basically the "numbers" we strive to achieve, like how many baptisms a month and lessons a week, etc. Well the new standards have specifically incorporated reactivation and less-active work, so now we are expected to report every week on not just non member work, but less-actives too. I'm glad the change was made! The standards dropped a little, which is okay with me because I rarely achieved them anyway. It seems more realistic and achievable now, especially since many areas have been split in half with all the new missionaries. Man, I wish this happened when I was in Buena Vista! haha

Hmm so things are definitely picking up, and although this email might make it sound like a lot is going on, it's still a step by step process. I'm still learning personally and I feel like by the time I leave the mission I'll be ready to start. A saying I always use is, "If you're not green, then you're old and dead and no good anymore." Gotta keep that greenie attitude and keep the fire for missionary work every day!

Elder Payne!

p.s. I didn't take any pictures this week! Shameful! So I'll borrow some from E Ramirez from the past couple weeks.


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