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, September 4, 2012

September 3, 2012 (part 1)

Hey mom,

Just sending you this from the office. It's labor day, so the library is closed. We have to go pick up new missionaries from the airport in about half an hour, so I don't have long to write. Transfer meeting is tomorrow, too, so I won't have any time to write then. It's going to be another busy week! I'll get in as much detail about the week as I can.

First off, I'm all better! I scheduled an appointment at the doctor's office but they never called me back. And I never called them back. I got better, so there wasn't any point in doing so. Sister Topham is so amazing. I'm glad she responded to your email. Her dad has been really sick and she was in Utah all last week taking care of him and helping him move into a home, so it's really impressive that she wrote you back. She even found time to call me to make sure I was okay. She's such an incredible person. It really says a lot that she still does her job even when things in her life are really difficult.

So I'm completely exhausted right now. haha I'm pretty much falling asleep at the desk. You'll see why. This week was week 6 of the transfer, which meant planning and gearing up for transfers... we had to sit in on transfer board meetings with president, receive revelation, plan for the new missionaries coming in, calculate logistics for transfers, open a few apartments with the office staff, and then proselyte on top of that. Crazy!

Monday we went to the dentist. Brother Snow worked on my teeth. Still no cavities! 20 years and not a single one!

The Whitings fed us dinner Monday night and introduced us to their neighbor, Mrs. Roper. She let the Whitings borrow a TV (theirs broke and she had an extra one) so that they could watch the Olympics. We helped carry it back over. She was super excited to see Elders. She's an elderly retired nurse that used to have Elders come work for her at a hospital as volunteers back in the 80's and 90's. She's had a love for the Mormon people ever since then. She talked to us all about the documentaries the news channels have been doing on us this past week. She said she loved them all.  She was especially impressed by Welfare Square. She thought it was really neat. She has a big Mitt Romney sign in front of her house and has a copy of the Book of Mormon upstairs on her bookshelf. She said she would enjoy a visit from us in the future.

Tuesday we had a transfer board meeting from 10 AM to 4 PM. It was a really spiritual experience. You really get to know the missionaries on an individual level. President has two large boards with the individual areas marked out and all of the missionaries' pictures and names on cards. You pray about it, discuss possible options, and then it comes to you and you move the Elders where they need to go. Sometimes you hit a wall and you feel that it's not right. That "stupor of thought" comes in and things don't sit well. But once you figure it out, everything just clicks and it feels right. It's really difficult to describe. The mission is definitely run by revelation.

Nick had us over for a lesson after that. He's been really sick. It's interesting that when he's sick, he calls us. He said, "You guys, I need a lesson today. I'm sick and not feeling good." haha most people would cancel on us! Nick is so great. He just gets it. He understands the need for the gospel to be in our lives and how it makes everything better. He's such an example of faith and sincerity.

Sue had us over for a lesson that night as well. We sat on her steps and taught her about the story of Nephi breaking his bow from 1 Nephi 16. She has had a lot of financial and health struggles recently and has been doing all she can to get things functioning properly in her life, but she felt like she didn't have a clear cut path to follow or help from God to figure things out. We were able to teach her through Nephi's example. She said that the lesson was an answer to prayer. She wrote the chapter down and also all of the steps we taught her that Nephi followed to obtain food for his family. She thanked us sincerely and said the closing prayer. It was a sweet experience.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with a guy named Bill. We met him tracting. he used to be a mechanic until last year when he had a serious stroke. His whole right side is withered and it is hard for him to talk. Sometimes he drools and it gets difficult to understand him. But he understands everything you say perfectly, and when something clicks or hits his funny-bone, he just lights up with a smile that makes you feel like a million bucks. We teach him on his porch. We noticed that he had a big pile of branches in his back yard and asked him about it. He said that he used to have a really nice back yard until he had his stroke, and then everything went down hill. You could tell - he had a really expensive grill, some great cement work on his back patio, plots laid out for plants and trees and stuff. The framework was there, but it had just been neglected. We offered to move the pile of branches and stumps to the street for him. He didn't believe that we would do it in our shirts and ties, but we did it anyway. We moved all the stumps to the street. Bill even did one himself! He was really proud. We had a great time and he was smiling from ear to ear.

Well, that's my week so far up until Wednesday afternoon. I'll email you the rest when I have free time this week! 

I love you, mom!

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