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, June 18, 2012

Hey Ma! June 18, 2012

Hey ma!
My address is:
1201 N Juniata Apt 9
Hollidaysburg PA 16648
This week has just been a whirlwind of activity. Last Monday I got in another car accident. The night before I was leaving the area. Go figure. So I rear ended a lady named Mary right in front of a police car. I just didn't slow down as fast as I thought I would... luckily there wasn't any serious damage to the cars. I apologized as soon as she got out of the car and now we're friends. I actually just talked to her on the phone the other day and she wanted to know how missionary work was going and I wanted to know how her battle with cancer was going. We had a good talk. It's funny how accidents can make good things happen, eh? The police officer didn't fine me either, which was nice. Elder Green, our fleet coordinator, thought we totaled the car for some reason when we reported it. So a rumor flew through the mission that I was in a terrible accident and had to go to the emergency room and stuff. Nope. Zero injuries. When Elder Green examined the car the next day at transfers he asked me if I was sure I actually hit something. haha. Just a scratch on the grill of the car. I'm so tired of driving. I'm surprised I've been so safe on the road. I've been driving every day, almost all day, for the last 9 months.
Monday night was bittersweet. It was hard to say goodbye. Tom and Debbie cried when I said goodbye and so did Sister Lin, a lady we reactivated. She said if it wasn't for us missionaries coming by and making her feel so welcome she never would have come back to church. She also said the things I taught her have helped her to quit smoking. I'm soproud of her. Tom hugged me and made me promise I'd come back and visit. He and Debbie said there probably wouldn't be a nicer missionary than me in Uniontown. Now they have Elder Barker, and he is way nicer than me. haha! He's like Kelsi Clanton in boy form. He's the greatest, and I prayed him there.
We had transfer meeting on Tuesday. I was surprised because I had heard that I was going to be a Zone Leader with Elder Robbins in Williamsport. Turns out, I'm a Zone Leader with Elder Harrison in Altoona. Harrison and Collier. Funny, huh? =D Elder Harrison is absolutely awesome. We've found out we're pretty much the same person. We're both in to music and film editing. We both were on student government. We both wrestled but quit to do acting. We both went to BYU. We both have 3 siblings. Both of our moms are named Lori. We were both district leaders at the MTC. And we came out together and sat next to each other on the plane (he is one of the elders that taught that father and daughter with me). We get along great and this week has been one of the most spiritual weeks of my mission.
I'm really excited to be a Zone Leader in Altoona. It's something I've pretty much always dreamed about. Tonight I get to go back to Brookville, and tomorrow I am teaching Vaughn a lesson. David is coming with us - he's back from his mission for surgery. He tore his rotator cuff. So I really think this is what had to happen... now David and I will be back together, he's trained as a missionary, and we can go teach Vaughn. I'm really excited. It will be a wonderful day tomorrow.
Elder Harrison and I have been working really hard on solidifying our faith. We've had incredibly spiritual experiences together this last week in our studies. Our souls have been poured out in mighty prayer for the welfare of this people. We have found some who have been willing to receive us. On the other hand, we have been reviled and rejected by a lot of people who are openly hostile towards us. We were verbally assaulted by a man and his son. The man is a pastor at another church in the area. The irony is immense. We just went up to talk to them as they were sitting on their porch and said, "Hello! We're missionaries sent by the Lord and we're going around the neighborhood hoping to share blessings with people. Can we talk to you for a minute?" The man said, "Look, fellas. There are gaping differences in our beliefs, and frankly, I believe you have been deceived." Elder Harrison and I just looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Here we go again, I thought.
The man then proceeded to tell us about how he's read the Book of Mormon and thought it was ridiculous and evil. He told us about how he hated the chapter in the Book of Mormon where Joseph Smith said there were men on the moon. He also informed us that we were biblically illiterate people who knew nothing about the true nature of Christ. He also said that, and I quote, "There are no such things as visions and revelations in these days; all of that ended with the apostles and there will never be any more if it." We then promptly informed him that 1) Joseph Smith never said there were men on the moon - it was a fabricated and widley circulated quote from the internet. 2) Even if he had, it wouldn't be in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon isn't about Joseph Smith at all. 3) We were biblically literate - we had read the New Testament together that morning, and in my personal study I am in 2nd Corinthians, reading the New Testament all the way through for the 3rd time. and 4) His assertion that the Lord would never call prophets or apostles ever again wasn't biblical. There was nothing, from cover to cover, in the bible that said so. In fact, just the opposite is true, because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He was taken aback. He proceeded to question us for about 15 minutes, and the prophecy was fulfilled that "we would not be confounded before men." We responded to each of his fiery questions peacably and tactfully, and he continued to rant and to get angry and tell us we were going to hell.

I told the man, "In the name of Jesus Christ I testify unto you that these things are true. I have studied, I have prayed, I have researched, and above all else I have tested and tried and tasted, and I know these things are true for myself from the Living God. How can you say that we have been deceived? We do not believe that you have been - all we have sought to do was to take the things you already know and love and esteem to be true and offer to bless you with more. Our mission is the same as Christ's; we come not to condemn the world, but to save the world. There are hands to lift, knees to strengthen, and help to give, and we have come to do so. The heavens are open again, and we bear pure testimony to you that this is true."

Elder Harrison said, "I add my witness to Elder Collier's. We have been sent to you by a prophet of God, and we invite you to learn more and to see for yourself, and then to ask God if it's true or if it's not. But sir, you can't condemn what you don't know. And you don't know the Book of Mormon at all. I do, and it's as true as the bible."
Everything got very quiet, and the man had tears in his eyes. His face had gone from red to white, and for a while he couldn't speak. He and his son looked intently into our eyes. He said, "I believe you. I know that you believe what you do without a doubt, and that you are honest and sincere, and I may have been mistaken in my claims. I can't dispute that. But I can't accept you."
I asked him, "Sir, if we have been deceived, what should we do?"

He said, "Read the bible. If you read it, you won't be lead astray."

I told him, "We do. Every day."
He said, "I don't know then... I can't answer. Just read the bible or something." His head shook, and then hung low, and he turned around and went inside. His son just sat there and had nothing to say. We wished him a goodnight and left.
We have had others come at us and point fingers and claim we were of the devil. All of them have apologized to us by the end of our conversations and said we were very nice boys. One lady said, "You gentlemen are just so nice! And you're known around the state for that. You do good things and people love you. I just wish you didn't belong to the devil's church and that we had more people like you in our church. Why don't we have more people like you?" I said, "By their fruits ye shall know them, right?" The lady thought that was offensive. Whatever. haha. I didn't say it, the Savior did. If you have a problem with it, take it up with the Captain of our Salvation and the creator of Heaven and Earth.
We have met a ton of other people who were very kind to us. I'm excited for this week because we have a lot of return appointments. We have been led by the Holy Ghost to the places we need to be and have been able to speak with great power and authority through the grace of God. I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows how to give me strength according to my infirmities. I have studied the gospel enough now to know that as of myself, I am nothing - as to my strength I am weak. But the strength of Christ is infinite, and in him I can have all love, all power, and all knowledge, if I but humble myself and do things his way and continue in his footsteps forever.
It's been a wonderful week - very intense, but totally worth it. Plus, I got to meet Tom Cruise. Not the actor, but a man who has been taking care of his dying wife for the last 10 years. Probably the most admirable, humble man I have met my whole mission. He is very kind.
Well, I love you all! I'm proud of Harrison and I hope he and Jenni are pumped for their wedding. I'll send you a picture of  me in that tie for the cardboard cut out as soon as I can.

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