Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Record for Me...3 Stakes, 25 Wards!

My goodness, another week has flown by. In fact, another year has almost flown by as well! Honestly the fastest year of my life! It just goes to show that when you drown yourself in a specific purpose and work through the highs and lows and all the hustle and bustle connected with that purpose, time goes out the window! We've had another good week. It's been kinda hectic rapping my head around two more stakes that we cover and trying to keep tabs on all the information, but things are settling in for this transfer quite nicely. Plus it's now Christmas break for all the students and about 97% of them left town haha including our 4 YSA investigators. We managed to locate and contact and teach three of the four before finals ended, each are of course in different circumstances. None of them are on date for baptism except for the one guy named Sergio that we didn't get to contact this week. Haha darn!

Let me tell you about Momoe though. You see, Snow College has some sort of international student acceptance program going on because there's honestly hundreds of Asians walking around campus. Momoe is one of them! She is from Japan and her name is pronounced "Muh-moy." She's so short! But she's so awesome! We've taught her twice now and today she left for New York for a couple weeks until school starts back up. Teaching her is honestly a throw back to teaching Yoshi Suzuki back in my first area. Japanese people are the best! Momoe doesn't know a whole lot of English, but she knows border line enough. Unfortunately her translator/fellowshipper (who ironically is named Yoshi as well, different one though) is gone to Japan now and he's not coming back haha. So we need to find a Japanese/English speaking person somewhere here in Ephraim! Other than that, we stick to the basics. The lessons we've taught her are equivalent to teaching the primary kids and it's kinda awkward sometimes because her accent is soo thick that we can't really understand something as simple as "Jesus help me." It's a work in progress!

While we're on an international basis, we also picked up a new investigator named Rafael from Brazil! He's a foreign exchange student living with the Alder family here in Ephraim. (I've asked them if they're related to the Thatcher Alder's but if so it's probably a little distant.) Anyway, he's a cool kid! He's a sophomore in high school I believe, and believe it or not he doesn't know how to play soccer!! Wha!! He's from Brazil of all places! haha but he's very book smart and his English is a little better than Momoe's, but not much. We just shared a simple Christmas message from Mosiah 3 and ate some ice cream on a toasty 2 degrees night. He comes to church every week with his foster family and wants to learn more! Unfortunately he's going back to Brazil in about a month, so we'll see what kind of a seed we can plant with him. 

We're finally starting to teach Ilaisia again! I met him on like my second or third day here in Ephraim, and now that football and finals are over, he has time to sit down and take some lessons. Big man! He could probably eat me if he wanted a snack. But his heart is as big as the rest of him. haha he cancelled and rescheduled with us like 3 times this week, but we still met a couple times and taught him about Jesus Christ and prophets. He's super open! His wife hasn't participated yet because she has two kids. The other night I had a simple prompting to drive by their house, and when we drove by we saw Ilaisia and some of his giant friends trying to break into his house haha. So we got out and asked what was going on. Turns out he locked his keys and his phone inside haha. So Elder Ramirez used his paisa skills and opened the window just enough to use the wooden blinds to unlatch the window completely. He said the whole time he was wrestling with it, he was praying to open the window haha. It worked! Ilaisia thanked us like 15 times. 

Well anyway, we should have plenty to do now. We cover like 25 wards I think haha and we have 10 non member investigators now. We also are working with a few other less-active families. Other than that, we've been spending a lot more time at our bishop's homes. One bishop in particular, Bishop Stevens in the 4th ward, has really impressed us. 4th ward has been notorious for being an active ward with non members you can count on one hand and a handful of less-active families. Well, Bishop Stevens has been catching the vision with our visits and encounters with him. We're going to a Christmas basket/caroling mutual activity this week and we're going to help his wife in a Sunday school lesson this Sunday. Bishop invited us over to Priest's quorum yesterday and he committed his 4 priests to call a NM/LA friend and set up an appointment for them to practice teaching in preparation for their missions coming up. We're expecting some phone calls in the next couple weeks for that. Bishop Stevens is going to have us over for dinner on Christmas day! We're excited for that and especially for the work he's starting up in his ward. He's putting a lot of effort into his missionary work! It's cool because I didn't even really know who he was for the first like 3 months that I was here in Ephraim. He's on fire! and the rest of the family stake is getting there too....we have a combined YM/YW lesson coming up and some talks we need to give. We're starting to get pretty involved!

Well according to the communicator, I guess we can Skype for Christmas! Gosh we weren't expecting that! Hmm...we're probably going to shoot for late morning or early afternoon sometime on Christmas day because we have that dinner at 2pm. We just need to schedule around some members' schedules and I'll have to let you know for sure what time next week. I forgot how all the skype thing works haha but I'm sure the members here will guide me and walk beside me. Let me know what your plans are! 

Elder Payne!


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