Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Wow this past week has been a blessed one! It's been challenging, particularly for my companion. He's been getting really frustrated with the work in the area lately, and it's really starting to affect him. He's becoming discouraged, which is weakening his faith, just like it says in Preach My Gospel. There's a lot of factors that are contributing...lack of committed investigators and lack of member support to name a couple. It's a super good reason to be discouraged to be honest...he's sooo focused on the work all the time. Like when we both hit our heads on the pillow at night he'll ask me something like "hey elder what can we do to help the zone meet their goals??" It's a big blessing for me to have such a focused companion. But yeah he's struggling a little bit and we're both afraid that he's just going to stop caring pretty soon. Well if there's one thing that I've learned on my mission, especially from my trainer Elder Gomez, it's that life's too short to be pessimistic. Be positive!! Look at the good in everything, because if you don't then you won't be happy...ever.

We were talking about it the other day and I honestly got tired of his negativity and for the lack of a better word his complaining. I wasn't mad at him or anything...I just felt depressed! haha so I spoke up and just told him straight up that our zone and area are doing the best they ever have been. We're baptizing and hitting our goals better than we have in the past several months. We're getting to the top of a peak, and Satan knows it. He's trying as hard as he can to discourage us and throw us off track so that we'll go back down. And he's starting to do it. A ton of missionaries in our zone are getting discouraged because Satan just wants us to fail and feel like dirt. We can't let that happen! The ONLY way we're going to keep going up and progressing is if we push through these little trials and remain optimistic. Otherwise Satan will win. 

Well I told him something along those lines and he perked up a lot. Plus he's been studying and pondering on what he can do. He just feels stuck, and I've been there too so I know what it's like. We had interviews with President this week and I told him that I feel that a big reason why I was sent to this area was to lift encourage inspire and help Elder Richhart get back to where he needs to be. President agreed and said that's what he feels too (among other things). So even though he's still discouraged, I'm helping him to help himself focus on the positive things.

We had a couple baptisms this weekend! The first one was Lily, our little 9 year old investigator. Super awesome little girl...she just told her mom one day that she wanted to be baptized. Her mom's not a member, but she supported Lily's decision. Lily didn't really know why she wanted to be baptized, but after teaching her the lessons, she knows exactly why. It's sooo cool! She's a huge example to us and especially to her family near and far. She even went to all three hours of church by herself one week! And she apparently drilled her LA biological dad with the baptismal questions the night before her baptism and he didn't know the answers to some of them! haha but yeah the baptism went super well, except for the fact that her grandpa baptized her with his left arm to the square the first time and we didn't catch it until a bishopric member mentioned it haha. I knew something wasn't right. But everything went well, including the confirmation the next day! 

Our other baptism was for Dave! He finally got baptized! He moved into the Green Valley sister's area so it counted for them and for their stake. But that couldn't prevent us from going! His went really well too. I'm just glad he finally took that step. After his confirmation yesterday, he was just beaming from ear to ear and at that moment I was reminded that what we teach and preach as missionaries...Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost...is real, and it truly affects the children of God for their benefit. He just looks so purified and cleansed and happy. It was awesome! 

Focus on your blessings this week! I love you guys!

Elder Payne!


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