Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Oh my gosh this week fllleeewww by so fast! Every day just keeps zipping by! We've been super busy this week, and last week I think I mentioned the difference between just being busy and being effective and productive. Well, we're super good at the former, and the latter is picking up momentum as well.

So first of all, we did exchanges with two companionships this week. On Tuesday morning after studies we drove out to Hurricane and ate lunch with E Hendershott and Blauer. Then I took E Blauer back to Little Valley for the day! He's a pretty awesome missionary. We only had two appointments that day, but they both went pretty well. The rest of the time we were contacting potential families and key contacts for those potentials. Elder Blauer is really good at opening his mouth...he's not afraid to share his thoughts and his purpose with everyone! He reminds me a lot of Elder Linville (shout out) so it was awesome to serve with him for the day. He has a natural talent too...he can sight read music and play it on the piano. Jealous! 

Then the next day we exchanged back (exchanges are for 24 hours) and I told Elder Lewis everything that happened and showed him our plans for the day, then we exchanged with the other DL companionship in Hurricane, E Holmstead and Anduro, about an hour later. E Lewis took E Anduro to Little Valley, and I stayed in Hurricane with Elder Holmstead! My very first companion! We kept telling everyone how awesome it was to be each others' very first comp the minute we arrived at the MTC. Good times. Needless to say, we had a great day in Hurricane. In fact, we found a potential investigator at home and stopped by. Well he let us in and we taught him the message of the Restoration and put him on date for baptism next month! It was awesome haha and it was just cool to see how natural it was for us two to teach together. We've both come a long way since those first few very timid lessons in the MTC!

Then of course there's our own area. Elder Lewis and I got a little behind on our goals this week because of exchanges and some other things. So on Saturday we decided to put three of our investigators on date for baptism, no questions asked. Gosh I wish I would have done that for the past 20 months of my mission. We just geared the lesson plans based on the baptismal invitation and wherever the respective investigator was at in the lessons. 

We're teaching a 16 year old named Slim. cool name huh? He's awesome. He doesn't even live in our area haha but we were asked by the sister missionaries who cover him to go ahead and teach him. Okay! So on Sat was our third lesson with him and we watched the Joseph Smith dvd with him. He's pretty reserved and doesn't say too much, but he's opening up a lot more now. He's a stud! haha he's super athletic and kinda reminds me of Eric/Brennin Angel. He wants to be baptized! I invited him to be baptized on March 15!! We saw him yesterday at Zion's and he said he'll have to move it back a week for his family to all be there. But he's committed! 

Later on we started up the Plan of Salvation with a 15 year old girl named Lindsey. She's like the same as Slim...very quiet but proactive. She's probably the quietest cheerleader I've ever met. But same thing...she's opening up a lot more and she committed to be baptized on the 8th of March!! Her mom is atheist and her dad is super inactive, but Lindsey's fellowshipper Jerri Jorgensen (who is awesome by the way!) asked Lindsey's mom a while back if she wanted her to be baptized. You know what Lindsey's mom said? "I've always pictured Lindsey marrying a mormon boy!" boom, we're in...and we're capitalizing let me tell you! 

And we didn't stop there. On Saturday night we met with Shane. Have I told you guys about him? 26 years old and he's been taught everything and wants to be baptized for the right reasons. He's just trying to quite smoking. We've been helping him and encouraging him and setting plans with him. He's gone from 12-14 cigarettes a day to.....drum rolll......none!!! Well kind of! haha yesterday he switched from 2 puffs of a normal cigarette to about 5 with an electronic one. Hmm, well, we'll take that as improvement. We committed him to March 1st. He has to quit smoking for at least a week solid to be baptized. He's so close!

On Sunday night a couple wards put on a youth fireside at one of our chapels. The entire middle rows were packed with kids and there leaders/parents. The bishop asked Pres/Sis Center to speak to them, and the night before President called us up about it and asked us to speak 10 mins on bofm and the other 10 mins on pmg. We literally flipped a coin haha. I took PMG. The fireside itself went really well! All four of us spoke respectively and trained all these future missionaries on what to expect and how to prepare successfully. Some of the kids were taking some serious notes! It was awesome. It was just one of those moments where you can say as a missionary without hypocrisy that you're doing what you need to be doing and you're truly being a light on a hill that cannot be hid. It was humbling and reassuring for sure. Plus one kid came up to us right before the meeting started just to tell us how good our brownies were haha. We made some earlier this week and gave them to some bishops. He must have been right on cue, because Pres/Sis Center were right next to us and they're the ones that told us to do that in the first place haha. Brownie points! 

So we came across a part member family and the dad is from Safford, AZ! Woah! Brother porter is his name, and there's a few porters in st. george that I've met that are from safford. Anyway, his dad is Dorren van porter if that rings a bell (probably to dad or grandma). His uncle is Rick Haller and his first cousin is Eric Haller, who was like the best 8th grade Social Studies teacher and track coach ever! haha weird connections.... Also we ate dinner with an older couple this week. The wife is from La Paz Bolivia, so we got to talk about the country and culture a little bit. I always get super excited when I meet someone who has been to Peru or Bolivia, especially if they're natives from there! "Ohh! my brother served there!" haha

So yeah yesterday we went to Zion's National Park. President's day is a free day there! We got permission from President to go early and do a couple hikes there. Suuuper awesome! One of the coolest guys in our area Bro Stout took us. Just the three of us! It was incredible. That man is full of wisdom, but he's super crazy haha. I learned a lot with him yesterday, and I wrote it all down in my journal. Anyway, there was a ton of people there for the holiday. On our way down from one of the hikes, we passed a big group of missionaries going up haha. It was the place to be! I think we heard "Elders?! great p-day activity isn't it!" like at least 500 times haha. The recognition of us missionaries in Utah is ridiculous haha. We had a great day.

So Julie is going through the temple for her endowments? Well if I had more time I would throw in some great advice. But in short, just enjoy the ride. Your first experience can either be a fire hose to your face, or it can be a nice little sip at the drinking fountain. My first experience I tried to take a sip of the fire hose and well that doesn't work too well. haha so fast and pray before hand, read through the temple prep pamphlet and ponder over your patriarchal blessing, then just take it easy the first time. Keith always taught me to take short choppy steps when trying to push a big vehicle, so go often and get a little bit here and there.

Oh and I got a little valentines package from the Goodmans! Can you let them know for me? Tell them thanks!

Time to go work!
Elder Payne!


Ministerin​g vs. Administer​ing

Well let's start off with a scripture this week. I read it this morning and liked it! D&C 97:8 is the one. Sometimes, at least for me, I get wrapped up in all the expectations and responsibilities I have. I don't necessarily get stressed out or anything but sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and relax and realize we're trying to do what's right. And if we're honest and moldable and willing and obedient, then the Lord will look at us and regardless of whether we're struggling or doing okay, he'll be pleased with us.

Well it's been a pretty crazy week! We had MLC which is our mission leadership counsel meeting for zone leaders, sister training leaders, assistants, and Pres/Sis Center. Super good meeting! It's just nice to know you're among some of the best missionaries in that meeting, coming together and talking about the same thing, which is our purpose and how we can carry out the focus of President Center to the rest of the mission. We learned a lot of things in the 5 hour meeting, but most of it was exclusive to our own leadership assignments. The idea behind the meeting is to take notes and use what we learn to form an outline for our zone meeting a couple days later. So we prepared a training on the importance of goals, planning and preparation, and we assigned the STL's in our zone to give a training on revelation through the Book of Mormon. 

The only problem was that we got caught up in our own area the night before our zone meeting. We were teaching our closest investigator to baptism, Shane, about the Plan of Salvation and things went into overtime, plus we gave him a blessing to help him quit smoking. So by the time we got home it was like 9:45pm haha and then we had to plan the next day as well as prepare for our training the next morning. We went to bed at like 11 and woke up and got ready and started up our zone meeting at 9 am. It turned out pretty good! We were kind of all over the place, but the spirit was there guiding us and that's the main thing. It was nice to just finally meet all the missionaries in the zone...our zone goes out to Kanab and Kaibab! Anyway, President and Sister Center were there as well just for fun or something beats me. But it just goes to show if you have an extra 10 minutes to burn, just ask President an inspired question about how we can be better missionaries and he'll fill up the time! haha but the sisters gave a great training as well and the whole meeting itself was a success in our opinion. It's just been tricky to find the balance between ministering and administering between our own area and all the missionaries we cover. We're getting a hang of it though!

I got to go on exchanges with Elder Pukahi from Hawaii after zone meeting. Such a big teddy bear! One of my favorite elders! He's working in the Pineview Spanish area, so I got to speak some spanish! que bueno. We had 0 appointments though and like only 4 people answered there doors all day, so not a whole lot happened. But we did get to go into Buena Vista 2 for a little bit! Gosh I miss that area! We contacted a couple spanish families that I had run into while I was there last year. I'm honestly more trunky to go back there than I am to go back home. But oh well! Elder Pukahi has been out for 6 months and half of his mission has been in English, so his spanish is about as good as mine haha. We made it a fun day though.

Yesterday we decided to go to the Crimson Cliffs ward to get more involved and maybe meet a potential part-member family. Well, turns out the ward was doing part of their "Mission Impossible" program going on, which is the ward's little exclusive missionary effort for the youth. Part of it was that the youth needed to prepare talks in advance because as a missionary you never know when you're going to get called on to speak or teach a lesson. So the bishopric called up like 7 random youth to speak, and they had a musical number by the young women, and even after all that, there was still 20 minutes left of sacrament haha. So the bishopric pulled one on Elder Lewis. Haha the counselor re-emphasized the fact that as a missionary, you never know when they'll ask you to speak... "...so we'd like to ask Elder Lewis...if he could give us a few remarks..." hahah I was laughing at him! I was thinking the whole time that we'd probably get asked to go up, and so I was thinking of scriptures and experiences. But they only asked him to go up! haha shoot. He did a good job and shared a couple great thoughts. Lesson learned though, and the bishopric definitely got the point across!

Other than that, we've eaten a lot of Mexican food this week. I think the families we've eaten with have all conspired because we've gotten tacos, tacos, fajitas, and tacos respectively this week. Go figure!

Well, gotta run!
Elder Payne!


We're Busy But Not at the Same Time!

Well so first of all I just realized that last week I got an email from someone named Julie, so I figured it was like Julie julie, as in quentin's beloved new bride (almost). But it wasn't haha. It was someone from my last area in Ephraim. Woops! Well, either way, hi julie! haha I was excited to see the cardboard cut out...gosh I look handsome! My new new year's resolution is to get as fit as george bush. Looking good! Hope everything with the rest of the family is going good!

I'm trying to remember what happened this past week haha...Elder Lewis got sick yesterday and died and so I'm getting a new comp today sometime. just kidding but for real, he got a pretty nasty bug right after we finished teaching the young women. The class went pretty well! We introduced the plan of salvation to them and got some group participation and watched a couple mormon messages. They were "Men's Hearts shall fail them" and "Mountains to climb." Super good! Anyway, after that Elder Lewis got nailed with something. The assistant's and I gave him a blessing last night and he's doing much better today though so that's good. Got plenty of rest! 

Well we're busy pretty much all the time, doing one thing or another. Running errands, proselyting, teaching. The only problem though is we are pretty short on people to teach right now! We're teaching Shane, who is on date for Feb 15 and all he needs to do is quit smoking. Then there's Krista who is 14 years old and has a little baby boy named James. yeah! She's a good girl, but she's sooo young to be in her situation and she seems very oblivious and distracted all the time. She's willing to meet but her desire isn't really there. And we're teaching a couple others, including Lindsey who is 15 and is a cheer leader but she's super quiet which doesn't make sense to me but I'll roll with that. She accepted to be baptized but we haven't set a specific date yet.

Other than that we met a potential new move in. We knocked on the door to say hi and the husband answered. Very friendly and courteous, but on a conference call. So we left and then the wife Debbie came running out after us. She said she wanted to thank us for our generosity and willingness to help. They need our help to move a couple AC units this week. Both non members from California. Debbie invited us in for some hot chocolate. She says that she loves the neighborhood here and the people are super nice and welcoming vs. California. Turns out Debbie used to be a big sports contract signer and is on a first name basis with people such as Kobe Bryant, Britney Spears, Shaq, and John Elway. What!! Yeah she used to go to like every super bowl and every world series and was tight with a ton of big time athletes (except britney spears, not sure where that came from haha). Pretty crazy!! But Debbie is super humble and has a ton of Christlike attributes. She was in some sort of terrible accident a while back and had to get her back reconstructed and this and that. She's moved here to utah with her husband, and they don't really have a reason for doing so. We didn't even talk religion before we had to bounce to another appointment. We'll be going back for sure.

We had an interview with President and Sis Center this week, for an hour and a half haha. They showed up to our apartment and just talked about our area and our zone and so forth. We swapped ideas and suggestions and feedback the whole time. It was awesome!! It's so nice to be able to work with the two of them in person like that instead of sending a vague message every week. They are super great people and super great leaders! President Center is really starting to get a hold of this mission now. Sis Center is just as amazing as always. She's a fireball! They both lovingly commanded us to make some cookies to give to our bishops haha so we attempted that the next day. Turns out our "sugar cookie" mix was actually shortbread mix. Woops! Maybe next time!

Well I love you guys!
Elder Payne!