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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hey Mother,

I did get your package, but one of the Italian Ice Pops exploded in
the box so everything was pretty sticky. haha! Luckily the ipod was
okay! I love that thing. It's just fun to play with. The touch
features are pretty incredible. And it was great to be able to hear
the UHS choir. They are SO much better than we ever were when I was
there. They have such a refined, professional sound. I hope that never
changes. If they work hard, they will continue to receive national
recognition. That's a big deal, everything they've done. So cool.

Could you do me a favor and send back that little memory card and
adapter that I sent home a while ago? It has some stuff on there that
I need. =) Thanks!

I loved the story about Harrison and Jenni finding an apartment in the
same complex you and dad lived in... haha that's pretty creepy. =D
Elder Harrison agrees.

So I'm having a dilemma: I have two ties that are almost identical to
each other except for one different stripe..... and I can't tell which
one is the wedding tie. I'll just take a picture in both and send it
to you next week. haha.

This week was LONG, but it was definitely good. Monday night we
visited the Kellers and had a great lesson. Then we visited the Zimmer
family and had cookies and shared a lesson with them. Their two sons
have a lot of potential but are struggling a bit in the gospel, so
we've made it a point to make contact with them regularly and take
them under our wing. They sat by us at church on Sunday =)

The reason why this week was so long was because of all of the visits
around the zone we had to make. We left our apartment at 10 AM Tuesday
morning and didn't get home until 9:30 PM Thursday night. That's
right. We were gone for almost 60 hours straight. So tiring. We left
Tuesday morning and had interviews with President at the church and
had district meeting, and then after that we went to go contact some
potentials. We made it a point the night before to stay ten minutes in
an area and contact people there if a plan fell through. We figured
this: every night we plan by the Spirit, and if the Spirit tells us to
make changes to our plans, we do. So if we go to an area and someone
isn't home, it doesn't mean that we messed up. It just means that the
Lord needed us to go there for another reason. Leaving the area to
drive all the way across town immediately after a plan falls through
does not allow us to complete our mission there. It robs us of good
experiences. So we made this decision, and stuck to it. We had a lot
of success after we realized this and it gave us a more positive
outlook on things.

So the potentials we wanted to contact weren't home when we tried the
first time on Tuesday. But because they weren't home, we were able to
meet this girl named Morgan at the first door we knocked on. We
interrupted her while she was painting a Shadow Box (I still don't
know what that is, but she's an art major so I figure she knows what
she's doing) and she was really nice. She asked us to come back and
said she'd be interested in learning more, but she'd have to talk to
her fiance Christian.

We figured we were 1/1, so our odds would be pretty good if we kept
knocking doors on the street we were on. So we walked next door,
knocked, and then this grumpy guy told us we were going to hell. So we
figured 1/2 wasn't bad and we drove to our next appointment. haha!
Then we had an awesome lesson with this lady named Fran. She is really
kind and gave us ice cream sandwiches. We talked about our mutual
faith in Christ and the grace and mercy found in his Atoning
sacrifice. We were able to share some insights on the true nature of
grace and how it gives us power to do all things if we believe in
Christ and live as he lived. She really enjoyed it, and so did I. It
was fun.

Brother Campenero took us out to dinner after that. He's way cool. He
joined the church in California in the early 2000's and has been super
active ever since. He's the most gung-ho member I've ever seen. He
took us out to get pizza, and then we went to Roger and Katy's and
watched "Prophet of the Restoration." Katy loved it. We told her we
had prayed about it and suggested August 25th as the date for her
baptism. She said that was perfect. We are so excited for her to be
baptized! She is too!

We didn't go home after that. We drove for 2 hours out to Philipsburg
and stayed the night with the Elders there. I forgot both pillows and
blankets, so it was a cold and uncomfortable night. In the morning on
Wednesday, we attended their district meeting. It was great because I
got to see the Mudgetts - the senior couple I served with in
Brookville. After that we went out for pizza, and this guy started
talking to me and Elder Harrison by this picture on the wall of Frank
Sinatra as a baby. He was way nice and super interested in the gospel,
so we hooked him up with the Philipsburg elders and took our leave. We
had to drive to Johnstown. Great tip for sharing the gospel: if you
want people to talk to YOU, stand by a picture of Frank Sinatra as a

We drove 2 hours to Johnstown. It would've taken an hour and 45
minutes, but we had to pull over and get a picture by the Elder
Township sign. =)

We blitzed the Johnstown area, meaning all 4 of us worked in their
area for the whole day. I went with Elder Reese. He came out with us
as well. He's super cool and he's training Elder Platt right now. We
had some incredible experiences with finding by the Spirit. We
finished contacting people and had a spare hour, so we prayed and were
told to go up the street to the house with the flag. Lo and behold, 2
people were sitting on the porch. Pat, the grandma, asked us, "Are you
Jehova's Witnesses?" We said no. She said, "Oh, I know! 7th Day
Adventists!" Again, no. "Well, what in the heck are ya?" We said we
were Latter-Day Saints. She said, "Oh, well I don't care what you are.
Just give me a pamphlet and move along. If I don't like what I read,
I'll put it through my shredder like I do all the others." I handed
her a book of Mormon and said, "This is a little too thick for a
shredder. You might have to use your garbage disposal!" She and her
grandson Kyle laughed at this and invited us to sit down. We talked to
them for an hour about prophets. Eventually Kyle's family came home
and we started to talk to them. Turns out they know the stake
president's family and love them! They became even more interested in
what we had to say after that! We were able to answer a lot of their
questions. Out of the corner of my eye I watched as Pat read through
the whole restoration pamphlet we had given her with the Book of
Mormon. She had a big smile on her face and was nodding in
satisfaction. She told us it was quality stuff. They accepted a return
appointment and thanked us for the fun conversation. I hope Elder
Reese and Elder Platt get to go back and visit them.

I beat everyone at chess that night. I've gotten really good. Tell
Jonny he better look out.

There was a super big miracle Thursday morning as we were leaving
Johnstown. We were downtown when out of nowhere this kid turns the
corner out onto the street on his bike. He wasn't in danger of getting
hit or anything, but I yelled and told Elder Harrison to slam on his
brakes. So he did. I rolled down the window and screamed, "ALFRED!
ALFRED!" But he didn't hear me. Elder Harrison was super confused, but
I told him to turn the car around and follow that kid. We caught up to
him and flagged him down and I hopped out of the car and ran up to
him. He said, "Elder Collier?!" I said, "What's up, man!? It's been a
long time! Like a year or something!" It was Alfred, Jane's grandson
from Punxsutawney. He had recently moved to Johnstown. What are the
odds that on the one day I'm in Johnstown, a year after not seeing
Alfred, that I'd see him as he was riding his bike through the same
part of town as us in an area I've never served in? That's uncanny. It
was a miracle. We took a picture together and we gave him Elder Reese
and Elder Platt's number. Turns out, he's friends with a family they
are teaching. Even more miraculous. Small world.

We had a great night on Thursday. We met with Richard. He bore his
testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. He's doing really
well. Brother Stombaugh came with us and bore his testimony to him and
they were able to relate really well. It took Brother Stombaugh 12
years to join the church, but he read the Book of Mormon all the way
through twice before he joined. Richard has been meeting with Elders
for 2 years now. He is convinced that it's true, but he's just
mustering up the courage to live what he's learned. He wants to buckle
down once he gets home in 2 weeks from vacation, so we will see what

After that we went with Cooper (a kid who's going on his mission later
this fall) to see Robin again. She had read the plan of salvation
pamphlet and agreed with it. We touched on a few gospel topics but
didn't get into a full lesson. Mostly she just likes talking to us
because it's like having 3 missionary sons with her instead of 1 in
California. haha. She misses her son Trevor a lot. I gave her your
info, mom, and told her to friend you on Facebook. She loves being a
missionary mom. We are meeting with her this Thursday (we weren't
planning on it but she called us frantically, realizing that transfers
were next week and if we didn't meet this week one of us could be
transferred and she hadn't gotten pictures. haha!). Hopefully we can
share a lesson with her! I know she'd love it.

Friday we met with Bud. He's this awesome old guy. He's still smoking
cigars on his porch. I love meeting with him. He's a crack up.

Later that day we saw a mother and a daughter down the street from our
place in Hollidaysburg struggling with some heavy boxes. We offered to
help them, seeing that they were moving in. Joanne, the mom, said, "Oh
goodness! Will you? We really need some help." It was funny. So we
dropped everything and helped them move a ton of stuff into their
apartment. They'd been trying to do it on their own for the last 2
days and were super tired. They didn't have a truck or anything, so
they were just constantly driving their car back and forth to pick
stuff up. We helped them for about an hour and a half and became
pretty good friends. Joanne's daughter's name is Sarah. We agreed to
come back and help them Sunday.

Saturday afternoon we worked out in Tyrone. We met this cool guy named
Barry. He had just had a rough day at work because a vehement atheist
had just shredded his testimony. haha poor guy. Now he has a taste of
what it's like to be an elder! =D Nah, just kidding. We felt really
bad for the guy. He had a ton of questions. He asked, "Well, why would
God let Christians do what they did during the crusades?" among other
things. So we taught him the concept of apostasy and restoration. He
said, "That makes sense! Wow! I never thought I'd ever get anything
out of the Mormon boys! I was wrong! I've really enjoyed talking with
you. You should come back." So we're gonna go see him next week! We
are pumped. He's such a cool guy.

Wynter had us over after that. She is 2 years older than us and she is
a Pagan. But she is really open and wants to learn more about the Book
of Mormon. Elder Harrison and Elder Kovacs met her before I got here,
so I hadn't met her before, but she is way cool. It was our first
lesson - she'd been out of town a bunch and finally had a free weekend
so she texted us and invited us over. She enjoyed our lesson and
invited us over next week! Closing prayer was a little awkward,
though, because she believes in the Fertility God and the Goddess
Diana.... uh....

Saturday night we took one of the Zimmer boys on a team up with us to
teach Rebecca. It was a good lesson about the Plan of Salvation. She
had read the pamphlet, done the study guide, and even wrote her
baptismal date on the back of her book. She has like everything
memorized! It's incredible. We are so blessed to be able to work with
her. She even tracked down a stand-alone copy of the Doctrine and
Covenants. Not a triple combination. Just a Doctrine and Covenants. I
don't even know where to find that! haha. She's getting baptized on
August 18th.

Sunday was great! Katy and Rebecca came to church. We had some great
talks. A little boy named Chase got baptized after church, so Rebecca
got to see a baptism. Katy had to go home because she was sick. She
has to have her gal bladder removed. =( But Rebecca loved the baptism!
She is even more excited for her own.

We went and helped Joanne and Sarah later that day. We had to carry a
ton of mattresses and furniture and things. haha. But we had a cool
experience. They know David! One of the guys in our ward! They went to
med school with him and knew he was Mormon. They saw or Book of
Mormons on the ground and made the connection. We told them he had
gone on a mission a few years ago. They said, "Oh, well isn't that
sweet! David is such a great guy! You guys are too!" haha. They said
they didn't know what they were going to do the next day (today -
monday) because they had a bunch of furniture that wouldn't fit on the
top of their car that was super heavy. We called some members of the
ward and Brother Stombaugh offered to help us move with his truck!
They were amazed. I love the church! We help each other out so much.
Sometimes I take that for granted. I'm grateful for faithful guys like
Brother Stombaugh. So we helped them move in all this morning. They
invited us over for dinner later this week to say thank you. Hopefully
we can share the gospel with them!

Sunday night we had a miracle. We went to go visit Lateefah, but as we
drove by we saw that she probably wasn't home, but we figured we'd try
anyway. We always pray before we go visit anyone, so we said a prayer.
In it, we said, "Please bless us that we will be able to bless
Lateefah's life. But if she is not home, please give us the spirit so
we can adequately preach the gospel to her neighbors." We ended the
prayer. She wasn't home. But her neighbors were all outside. We struck
up conversation. They were super cool, very funny, and their kids were
super bright. They all had a lot of questions for us. So we taught
them the plan of salvation and answered all of their questions until
the sun went down. It was a lot of fun and all the little kids high
fived us and the parents said they really enjoyed it. Hopefully when
we go back over to visit they will still be interested. But yeah, that
was a little miracle. It was a great way to end the week.

Well, that's pretty much it. This Sunday makes 13 months. Time is flying by!

I love you guys. I hope Jonny has a good time at EFY! I hope this
email wasn't too choppy or scatterbrained. I'm exhausted from moving
cabinets and dressers all morning. I just want to go nap. I'll sleep
when I'm dead, I guess. haha.

Anyways, have a great week!


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