You can write him at:

You can write to Zach at:

Elder Zachary Collier
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission
2600 Boyce Plaza Ste. 101
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241


Elder Zachary Collier
235 West Chestnut Street, Apt. 301
Washington, PA 15301

Monday, May 21, 2012

Elder Collier and his companion going to clean up around Uniontown!

May 21, 2012 

So, this week was a lot better. Elder Kofford and I had a lot of fun and he's doing a great job stepping up and leading. I've been away on exchanges a lot, and so it's kinda forced him into taking some responsibility. I was with Elder Deaton in Carnegie this week, so it was nice just to be able to follow someone around for a bit. haha. I haven't been able to do that for almost 6 months. Elder Deaton picked me up in Monongahela after training from President Topham and a lunch that was provided by the relief society there (they made some delicious pulled-pork sandwiches!).  Elder Deaton and I taught some great lessons and I got to read some great books that he has. It was cool. It's good news that I'm getting a debit card! I sent you a birthday card in the mail and in it I said, "I think this was the Lord's way of teaching me how to budget effectively and sometimes do without." You have a lot of restrictions when you only have 130 dollars for a whole month! That's like 30 dollars a week. Not much. Elder Deaton also gave me this keyboard they weren't using... it is SUPER nice. It's a yamaha like the ones in the Union practice rooms, only the bottom 6 keys got smashed by a free-weight and don't work. but you don't really use those ones anyway. What mattered most to me is the ability to record and play back up to 6 tracks at a time! I've been writing material for an album in my spare time out here, and it was finally nice to actually hear my ideas and to see that they work! Elder Deaton said he had one of the songs stuck in his head all week.
We got back Wednesday afternoon. Brother Adams (the member that let us Skype you guys at his house last Sunday) runs 4 or 5 Subways out here and he happened to be in when Elder Deaton, Elder Heinrich, Elder Kofford, and I went in to eat. He gave us all free lunch. It was so cool! Elder Kofford and I spent a lot of time this week preparing for the art show. We cut and framed a lot of poetry and typed and formatted some other submissions from members. We handed out a lot of fliers. We invited the whole neighborhood by the church to attend. We had a few show sincere interest.
Elder Kofford and I are of the opinion that Angel, Betty's daughter and Marcie's sister, got an answer about the Book of Mormon. We stopped in to say hello and see how Betty was doing, and Angel answered the door and was just beaming. It was the happiest and cheeriest I've ever seen her. She said, "You guys, my mom had to do another week of chemotherapy because they didn't get it all the first time, but she's almost done and it's going well. She's happy and hanging in there. She can't have visitors yet, but we want you guys to come back next week. Please come back. Please come back." We agreed. We can't wait to go see them this week.
Jonathan came out with us that evening to go have dinner with Sister Lin. Sister Lin is almost reactivated now and is working towards going back to the temple. She will hopefully be getting a calling soon. We had a lot of fun there. Sister Lin has a talent for making beautiful food - it looks so delicious - and then having it taste like plain tofu. haha! It's not bad, it's just bland... she's almost 90 and can't have a lot of sugar or sodium, so that's probably why. She also has a talent for giving us giant ziploc bags of leftovers.
On Thursday we had a great day. Tom and Debbie had us up for lunch and we taught a great lesson - just giving more background info on the Book of Mormon and its purpose. Debbie is almost done with first Nephi and she's loving it! We also watched President Monson's opening address from this last conference. Debbie wanted to know who the prophet was. It was way cool.
We saw Ray after that. He and Ariel are gearing up for their wedding in June. It's coming up quick! I can't wait. I'll take lots of pictures. Ray is in Jarom. He reads every day. His friend, Darin, was at the lesson this time, too. Ray is inviting all of his friends to come take lessons. Darin had a lot of questions and we had a lot of answers, and he was really interested. He asked for a BOM and agreed to meet with us the next week. He was bummed that we didn't have multiple wives, though... haha!
Maria had us over after that. She's still going through a rough time but she's finding solace in the Book of Mormon. We bore powerful testimony and she said, "When you boys speak, I really feel it. There's something to all this, and I hope that one day I can feel what you boys do. It will just take time." We expressed understanding and she made me promise that in ten years I'd still be the same, wonderful person. I told her there might be a slight possibility that I'd run off and join a Columbian drug cartell, but she didn't have too much to worry about. We all laughed. We made her 12 year old son Luciano promise to choose the right and take care of his mom, and he promised. Then we all knelt down and said a prayer. It was great.
Sister Sladisky had us over for dinner that night (we did a LOT of driving... ugh). She lived all the way on the other side of the county. But it was great and she gave us a lot of quotations for her quote board for the art show. She's really funny. She's like Dan - she can just come up with jokes and one liners and insightful thoughts. It's really cool.
We had branch presidency meeting after that. Brother Parker is in the hospital, Brother Mosser is in the hospital, and Brother Paroda is in Brazil, so the Branch presidency was just us, president angelo, and brother Johnson. haha at least it made it easy to agree on a branch mission plan!
On Friday we handed out fliers for the art show and made a bunch of phone calls. Then we taught a guy named Fred a lesson about the Restoration... it was awkward because Fred is blind and his wife has bi-polar and schizophrenia and his daughter is blind AND has bi-polar and schizophrenia. Not sure if we're gonna keep going back there. His daughter threw a cat on me.
We had a great lesson with Penny that evening. We taught her about eternal marriage and she said she's already been planning on going to the temple with her husband John. That's what got her to take the discussions in the first place. We gave her a blessing with Brother Chester. Please keep her in your prayers. She's having some health problems.
Saturday was the worst. We left at 9 AM to go help a community action group clean up the ghetto. We worked for about an hour and I got into some kind of grass that I'm highly allergic to out in a field. My face swelled up, my throat got super itchy, I got hives all over, and my nose got so plugged my ears hurt from the pressure. I couldn't breathe well and so we went home early and I took a benadryl and was out for 4 hours. It was awful. We decided to take it easy after that and worked on the art showcase some more. Then we had correllation meeting with Brother Sumey, which was great. When we walked in to their apartment Sister Sumey asked, "Elder Collier, what happened to your face?" haha classic.
Yesterday was fantastic! Ray was planning on coming to church but he texted us at 6:30 AM and said he was still at work - somebody got fired and he had to work the shift by himself. Normally he gets off at 5 AM, so I felt bad for him. But we had branch conference and everyone from the stake came. President Murray, the branch president, was super excited about our art showcase and praised us for it. I felt like a million bucks. We got some great help with our mission plan as well. Tom and Debbie came to church and they loved it! Tom said he loved our little chapel and just felt different there. I played for the combined young women and relief society choir and totally screwed it up (it was like I was playing with boxing gloves on) but luckily the electronic piano was turned down too low so no one could hear the mistakes. Everyone said, "Elder Collier, you played great! The piano was a little soft but it was perfect!" Even the choir couldn't tell that I stopped playing at one point. Success!
We had a fun time with Linda and Clarence after that. They invited us over for one of their Native American club meetings and they made me bless the food again because they like my prayers. They are submitting native american art for the art showcase! The Johnsons had us over for dinner and a lesson. It was so fun. I love them. They watched the Sunday video... uh oh. hahaha. Kara was creeped out.
We went to the Adams' house that night and I worked on a video for the art showcase. I'm putting together a 20 minute re-telling of the Savior's life using the footage from the bible videos. I'll have brother adams put it on youtube once it's finished so you can see.
Anyway, everything's going well! I hope you had a great birthday. I'll keep on keepin' on and everything will work out. Here's a cool quote from Orson F. Whitney's work, "Elias, an Epic of the Ages:"
All human schemes, all hell's conspiracies.
All chance, all accident, all agency.
All loves, hates, hopes, despairs, and blasphemies,
All rights, all wrongs, bend to one blest decree;
And truth — gold, found with dross, in every age
Hath wrought more good than ill to humankind.
In essence, everything works together for your good. The good, the bad, the hard times, the fun times - it's all wrought more good than ill to humankind. The Savior is the Captain of my soul. He's the best navigator through the storms in life, and if I just trust in him, I'll make it through the tempests okay.
Love you, mom! Happy birthday!

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