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 25, 2012

This week was excellent!

Zach in Brookville.

Dear Mom,

I'm glad your week went well! 

This week was excellent. I spent Monday night and all day Tuesday in Brookville. It was such a miracle being there. I was originally (so I've heard) supposed to be a Zone Leader in Williamsport with Elder Robbins (Elder Vaioleti's old companion), but it got changed due to some last minute inspiration from President Topham. I know for myself that I am supposed to be here at this time. I was supposed to come back to Brookville.

This week was the only time David and I could've gotten together to teach Vaughn. Larry and Lori's family have been having a difficult time, and it was a crucial time for me to come and counsel with them and express my love for them. I was there when Sister Powers had the funeral service for her mother and I got to mourn with the ward. It was a time when the Brookville elders were struggling to find people to teach and I was able to introduce them to people I knew who had been lost in the transition when Elder Vaioleti got emergency transferred. It was just uncanny how everything worked out so perfectly. Tuesday was one of the best days I've had in a long time.

Teaching Vaughn with David was so awesome. David goes back out in 2 weeks or so and has physical therapy sessions every day, but it worked out so he could go with us. He tore his rotator cuff in a freak accident (playing four square... not exactly high risk haha) and got sent home. He had been out just under 6 months. While I'm bummed that happened to him, he and I needed to be together to teach Vaughn. David is such an amazing missionary. It was incredible to hear him teach. Even with just 5 months of experience, he has changed so much and has become an exceptional speaker. You used to not be able to get much out of him, but now he's as vocal as me! haha! Imagine that. But the whole situation, us coming to visit him, really touched Vaughn's heart. He even admitted it was incredible that we were all back together. We had an amazing lesson about prophets and the Holy Ghost, and Vaughn committed to read a section in the Gospel Principles manual. Then we made a pizza.

David did missionary work with me and Elder Jolley all day. He even wore his nametag! haha. It was a lot of fun. My favorite part of the day was the end. It was probably 8:45 or so and we pulled into Crissy and Steve's driveway. They looked into our car like we were weirdos or something. They didn't know who we were or what we were doing there. Then we jumped out of the car and Steve stood up and yelled, "Well look who it is!" and they smiled and ran towards me and david and gave us hugs. Ian came out and showed me his new Bumblebee transformer and I played a game with him. The birthday card Vaioleti and I gave him is pinned on his bedroom wall. haha. David was so happy to be there. They asked him why he wasn't still on his mission and he said, "I had to come back and prove to you guys that I actually do talk." Crissy said, "Well, mission accomplished! You've said more to me in the last 5 seconds than you did the entire time you've been over here!" haha it was so funny. They were sad to say goodbye and we only got to visit for a short time but it was the best.

Funny story: Elder Rasband sleeps in my old bed. He took my place in Altoona, so I slept in my old bed. When I woke up Tuesday morning I  got that weird feeling where you wake up and you don't know where you are, and then on top of that I realized where I was and suddenly became super afraid that I had just dreamed the last 6 months of my life. haha!

Wednesday was good. We prepared Zone Conference and then had our scripture class that night. Well, we showed up for it, but then Dave, one of our investigators, had some questions for us. His dad had given him a book called "Kingdom of the Cults" and had read up on Mormonism and had a lot of questions for us. It really freaked him out, but he said, "This didn't match up with the type of people you are. Or what you've been teaching me. So I wanted to get your opinion on this stuff." We spent 3 hours answering every anti-mormon question I've ever heard. We went by the Spirit and it was miraculous. There was such a feeling of love and understanding in the room. I was so glad I had spent a lot of time on the FAIRmormon page before my mission dealing with the anti questions.

My favorite part was at the end when Dave said, "I don't even have to ask this next question. It's: are you guys Christian? My opinion is a resounding yes. My father tried to tell me [his dad is a baptist minister] that you weren't Christian. But I told him, 'Dad, Christ is EVERYTHING to these guys. All of their lessons center around Him. He is THE MOST important figure in their religion. And it shows. They are a Christ-like people. So you cannot tell me they aren't Christian.'" It was awesome. Really powerful.

Wednesday night was a lot of fun. We had 10 missionaries stay the night at our apartment since Zone Conference was so far away from their areas. Elder Jamieson is serving in the Indiana Branch. It's right next to Brookville. So I got to hang out with him. It was a lot of fun. 

We taught Zone Conference on Thursday. We were in charge of an hour and 40 minute training on "Developing Faith to Find." We taught the Elders and Sisters and Senior couples. People cried and thought it was the best training they've received from Zone Leaders. I'm glad, because we worked really hard on it. We talked a lot about how the lord gives us courage and strength to go and do. We also discussed receiving "Spiritual Witnesses" vs "Temporal Witnesses," resolving the issue that some have had where they followed a spiritual prompting to talk to someone and got rejected. Even though it may not have led to a miracle (a temporal witness involving a tangible thing like someone immediately wanting to get baptized) you can still ponder, pray, and reflect on the experience and learn something about yourself, the situation, the person, or the world in general (spiritual witness.) It just takes more effort to gain the spiritual witness, and it requires prayer, pondering, and recording what you are taught from on high. We also trained on following the spirit instead of routine-based finding. It was awesome. The Zone saw a lot of miracles the remainder of the Week due to finding by faith. We did as well.

Friday was good. We taught a lady named Sherry. It went really well. She's super interested.

Saturday was excellent.  We had the ward picnic.  Last Wednesday we got a senior couple, the Neuders (new dares).  We helped them move in.  They're awesome.  Elder Neuder just got released from being a mission president in Ghana.  They took 3 months off and then came out on another mission.  I love them!  Anyway, they picked us up and took us to Riggles Gap park.  The food was great.  The ward had a hay ride and a shoot out.  It was a ton of fun.  We even had Rebecca, one of the people we're teaching, come!  She really enjoyed it.  The Bucks, a family in our ward, went and picked her up and they really hit it off.

We had an incredible experience Saturday night. We went to follow up with this lady named Judy who Elder Kovacs and Elder Harrison had met earlier. She was pretty hesitant at first when we showed up again. But I said, "So, did the elders ever get a chance to teach you any of our message?" She said no, what exactly is your message? I said, "Well, we love to teach people about God's plan for us, the plan of salvation. It's centered around Jesus Christ and answers all of our questions about life after death, the purpose of life, and why we have difficulties why we're here." She said,  Okay. Come in. You have 30 minutes.

It was an incredible lesson. We were able to answer a lot of her questions about life and she said, "I'm going to pass the things you told me on to a friend. His mother is going through some serious health problems and he needs answers. I haven't found answers anywhere else." After we finished the lesson, she said, "I still have questions though. Nobody has ever been able to answer me. What ever happened to the lost tribes of Israel? Where are all the lost books that are mentioned in the bible? Who even put that thing together and did they even have authority to do it? Why isn't there a prophet today?" We told her we could answer every single one of those questions, and she set up an appointment for this saturday. It was great.

Rebecca came to church Sunday and absolutely loved it! It was good to have her there and everyone was so kind to her. She was also happy because she got a lot of free books and she loves to read. We are going to start teaching her in the Buck's home.

We had Stake President correlation after meetings on Sunday and then we had a meeting with Bishop Cross for the rest of the evening. It was a lot of fun. You would love the Cross family. They're hilarious.

So yeah, this week was excellent. I'm working hard and doing my best! I love you guys!

Could you buy the new EFY CD and send it to me? Also, could you send me a copy of A Season for Courage? And could you put the UHS Choir Songs on my ipod or on a CD and send it? I just need new music. haha.


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