Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, December 9, 2013

This week, I froze!

Well hello! Good to hear from everyone, and thanks again to Keith for reminding me about the wonderful weather we have up here haha. Up here we had a couple nice days, then it got nasty and the temperature dropped like 50 degrees. It snowed all afternoon on Tuesday and into the night, then the next couple days the high never got above single digits with a low of around -20, so the snow hasn't had a single chance to melt yet. Then on Saturday it snowed like crazy alllllll day haha. And for some reason Heavenly Father thinks it's funny to put a thatcher kid behind the wheel in the thick of all this haha. I got our malibu stuck on the side of the road like 10 times this week! haha we just laugh every time because I'm such an awful snow driver. But hey, I'm learning quickly! Thank goodness the traffic here is equal to thatcher. suuuper slick roads, we basically slide to all of our appointments now. We had to drive to Richfield which is one hour away on icy roads, so we took it slow and made it safe haha. Gotta watch out for that black ice! No wrecks though mom! Heavenly Father is still very merciful haha. We tried parking the car a few times and walking in the negatives, and my scarf covering my face kept freezing solid haha. What's it like in Thatcher these days? I heard that St. George got pounded with snow and they had to shut like everything down, even church yesterday was cancelled haha. Crazy weather here in southern Utah! Don't come here

Well, despite the weather, it's been a pretty good week for us! I'll cut to the chase as far as transfers goes...we're both staying in Ephraim! Gosh that means I'll have been here at least as long as I was in Buena Vista! By the end of this month I will have spent 11 months in two areas. President Center likes leaving people in areas longer than President Leonard did. Anyway, we're both stoked! We're especially excited because we're getting the addition of Ephraim YSA as well, exclusive for this transfer only! So the sisters are both leaving, s Randolph is going home and s Keenan just got her visa to go to Brazil. We'll definitely miss them from our district, and with them leaving and winter break coming up this week, they decided to just hand everything to us for now! haha sure we'll take it! School gets back in session Jan 6, and this transfer ends Jan 20 so we won't have a whole lot of time to do a whole lot, but we'll see what we can do! So yeah, we now cover all of Ephraim...everyone, and we cover the entire county minus Gunnision in Spanish. Should be lots to do!

And with the new transfer comes new opportunities to make some changes and improvements. We had a zone conference this week with Elder Arnold of the Seventy. No iPads were announced, nor facebook privileges. But the Spirit resonated far beyond your normal church meeting. For some reason, there's so much authority with general authorities! Elder Arnold is the type of guy thats serious faced all the time, but he jokes around a lot. Whenever an elder would say a really great remark, he would immediately call them up to the front, dead serious. Once they made the long walk and stood next to him, he would turn to them and give them a big hug and say thank you. haha The meeting was basically a mixture of any normal zone conference and the mission conference with Elder Bednar. Long story short, there's lots of things I was reminded of in new light, and it's up to me to make some changes. One thing he said was (quoting one of the prophets) "if you go to a meeting and don't change anything because of it, why did you go?" Good question. We should all keep that in mind. 

Well I was asked to give the closing prayer. He did kinda the same thing to me too. I made the long walk up there and stood right next to him. Then he said how whenever the prophet would look him dead square in the eye, he felt like he was piercing into his soul, and that's exactly what he did to me haha. Pretty intense! He closed with a powerful testimony and then told me to say the prayer. I said a simple but convicting prayer and afterwards I expected a mere handshake from Elder Arnold, but instead he gave me a big hug and said thank you. From that example I've been able to better understand how it's possible to gain consistent charity for all men. It doesn't matter who the person is, if we but look for the good within them and look for their potential, we will have a greater capacity to love them as the Savior would, even if we never see the person ever again. 

Well with all that in mind, I was definitely lifted up and ready to go get the plates from Laban or something. We're excited for the new transfer, and we're in a perfect position to take a step back, take a deep breath, and get involved with the members in Ephraim and get to work. We've been doing some "bishop blitz" nights and we're getting a lot of refreshed direction on what exactly needs to be done. We've already met with one of the YSA stake president's and we've gone to a couple ward councils. We have invites to participate in lessons and ym/yw activities and ward parties and FHE's and you name it. The members are starting to see the light, and they're getting fired up. Although there may not be a whole lot of interested non members or less actives here, at least we're all starting to faithfully do our part, yoked together in unity with our Master, Jesus Christ. What an honor it is to be serving right here, right now! 

Well so we'll see what we can do from here. It's not very often you get to spend all the Halloween's, Thanksgiving's, Christmas's, and New Year's with the same companion on your mission one state away from your home, so that's pretty cool! haha and this week a local missionary had to come home briefly for gull bladder sugery. He is still set apart and is serving in the Fresno, CA mission. He says he knows Elder McMaster who just left that mission to Brazil. Cool! and in the Spanish branch here there is a brother Scholes. Awesome guy! He's waiting to go on a mission with his wife to Chile after fixing some medical things. Anyway, he said he was companions with a Harold Payne from Thatcher, and I believe he served in Uruguay. He's 65 years old. Hmm...

Well that's all for this week!
Elder Payne!


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