Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christ's birth and His Gift

Howdy everyone, this past week was a great and productive one. Again, thanks for all the support, I'm already getting Christmas cards and presents in the mail and I really appreciate it! This past week has been a little crazy busy but that's good, I love being busy. Sunday was awesome but I had A LOT of things to do. I was asked at 8:50 p.m. Saturday night to speak the next morning in church which I will write about in a second, then we had our stake missionary correlation meeting and had all the stake high counselors there ... yea it was intense but super good. And also we had to give a training on 'just serve' for our 3rd hour of church that was a combined meeting and the stake president happened to show up for that, too. What was funny was President Sowards, who's in the stake presidency, was at church when I spoke and said in our stake missionary meeting that I've had a big day having to speak in church, 'just serve' meeting and now this meeting. I loved it all though, learnt SO much from each thing.
I want to share with you all my talk, I'm going to try to type it out the way I spoke it, if I remember what I really said, hope you all enjoy it. SUPER long though, I honestly wrote it in detail so I can always have a copy of it. So, if you all don't read it, no worries. haha 

12/14/14 Sunday's Sacrament Talk:

The vision of what I want for this talk is for each of you to understand the importance of Christ's birth in mortality and the gift of His Atonement to all of us.  
How are signs significant? They obviously are given for important things such as stop signs, communication purposes, etc. Also to symbolize things. We learn in the Book Of Mormon about the Savior's birth and coming in Helaman 14:5,7-8. which says " And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you." verse 7 " And it shall come to pass that ye shall be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth." 
So, when Christ is born in Bethlehem, far away the people in the Americas will know that He is born, because of signs. Also something cool I put together as well is that these scriptures foreshadow the Savior's coming to the people in 3 Nephi 11. That when he comes down from the sky HE is like that star, a sign and also brighter and greater than anything they have ever before seen and because of that they will fall to their knees and that's what happened in both accounts. Kinda cool small connection there. Verse 8 says "And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have eternal life". Why is that possible, how is that possible? I love how right after speaking of the signs of Christ's birth it immediately jumps to Him being the only way for us to have eternal life.  
In Mosiah 3:5-8, we learn about what Christ will do, he will do mighty miracles, heal the sick, cast out evil spirits and experience "pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer". Basically the Savior was to come and experience what you experience, feel what you feel, He wants to be able to say I know what you're going through and that was only in and through His infinite Atonement. In Alma 7:10-12 we know that " He shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers" and that He, meaning  Christ, "shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind... that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities". This means that He will know how to HELP you when going through the hardest and worst of times. Now in order for each of us to really catch the magnitude of this atonement that these Scriptures in Mosiah and Alma talk about I want to do an analogy. Think of the WORST physical pain you have ever had... now imagine that back right now. Then imagine every other physical pain since the day you were born till now all come back at this very moment. Now think of the worst emotional pain like losing trust from someone you love, losing a loved one, a bad break up, emotional abuse. Now imagine that feeling come back with every other one your whole life all back at this moment. Then, let's add more, think of the worst guilt you have had, hardest temptations you have given into, all the times you felt sorrow for your sins and add those in there, too. There's much more I could put into this analogy but honestly could any of you handle those? And that's just you, just your own physical, emotional and guilty sinful experiences, imagine adding someone else's onto you or many others- it wouldn't be possible. Just you alone have a lot, but Christ took yours, and the person next to you, and everyone in this room and every living thing that's ever existed on the face of this earth upon Him all at once. It was so hard that literally angels had to come strengthen and help him. Why? Because He knew you couldn't do it on your own, we couldn't, He had to do it, He knew it was the only way for us to repent and change so we can return to our Father in Heaven.  
Christ boldly stated "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness... I came not to judge the world but to save the world." John 12:46-47.  
Christ knew what He was to do, that it was the only way to save us from all our hardest trials. He truly is our Light, your illuminating Light, that forces darkness out, as well as the power to strengthen and help us so that our burdens are light. Now we know why and how Christ did what He did and why He was born on this earth, but how do we embrace and share this gift?  
Simply, in John we learn that the Christ child said to the Samaritan women, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" John 4: 13-14. Meaning that if you want to keep doing what you're doing then good luck, by yourself, you will have to overcome weakness, trials, fatigue, guilt, all on your own and you will keep struggling and struggling OR you can partake of my "water" or atonement. I have a never ending supply of it that if you drink of it or meaning use it daily, right? Because we have to use water daily to survive so we must use His atonement daily to survive- then you will not thirst again, you won't be searching for something else to help you.  
Now think of another analogy... say you have an unlimited amount of water, you live in the desert and everyone around you is fighting, searching and needing water but its scarce where they are at. Families are getting torn apart because of contention in their homes or with neighbors because one family or person has more water then the other, suffering before your eyes. What would you do? Duh, you would tell everyone to come and partake of this ENDLESS SUPPLY of water where you live, that there needs no more to be pains, contention, suffering, that everyone can partake of all the water. You would SHARE that water, SHARE that Atonement, SHARE that Gift. My invitation to you all is think of a gift that you can give our Savior that would show thankfulness to the greatest gift of His atonement that He gave us.  
I testify that Christ had to come to the earth, if not, we would all be hopeless. Something that came to mind was I'm sure the greatest light, and stars were when Christ was born, everyone on earth and heaven rejoiced, to me I feel that's a SIGN of God's emotions, that it was symbolizing His feelings of joy when His son was born and His Crucifixion was a sign of His sorrow and grief of His son's torture and death on the cross that the earth shook and was in darkness. I know it was not easy for our Father in Heaven to watch His beloved Son go through what He did but that He understood that it was the only way for all of His sons and daughters to come back to Him, it was essential. To me, I feel God's gift to us was sending His son to the earth to give us an example, BUT Christ's gift to us was His Atonement. He had agency to choose if he wanted to suffer it or not and He did and because of it we must remember those amazing gifts. I testify that He Is The Gift. Initiative is a SIGN from on high that this Christmas season is different from others, that we must share the gift with all who we see that they can come partake of the endless supply of the Lord's atonement before His Second Coming. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Love to you all, 
Elder Taylor 

Transfers; saying bye to an awesome sister missionary that I served with a lot of my mission! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

STAYING IN ABQ WEST!!! Last 6 weeks ... Finish strong

Hey guys!  Hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas spirit and are getting ready for the holidays.

Obviously, you can tell by the title, I will be staying in the West Mesa YSA branch here in ABQ West and I'm stoked about it!! So cool. I've been stressing these past 2 weeks, wondering where I would be my last 6 weeks. Honestly I would have been heartbroken to have left; things are starting to pick up in our branch, on a stake-level with the missionaries, and just everything else is going well so I'm glad to watch it continue to grow.

We have been having amazing miracles this last week, seriously. For those who read my blog this past week know it was really tough but like I always say ... when there is a down there is always an up and this week forsure was our up. 

One of the miracles I'd like to share happened this past Saturday. We went to visit someone who is trying to come back to church and has been out for years. When we got there they were setting up this huge christmas tree in their living room. We asked if we could help them out and they agreed. Well, when we  got there you could feel the contention. The father had surgery on his leg and was walking with crutches so the mom and the YSA had to do all of it.  He was upset because for 30 some years he has always put up the tree and now he couldn't help so he was pretty salty. We got it looking all nice and we stepped back to look at.  After a few minutes it suddenly started falling down forward and smacked the floor. (By the way this is a 12 foot REAL tree. Yea this thing is a beast).  So the mom screamed and we grabbed it and put it back up, cleaned up all the shattered ornaments that we just put up and tried fixing the stand on where the tree is. They said that stand is pure iron and has lasted them 20 years... they don't know why that happend. But we fixed it and everyone had a happier attitude after. Then the mom said we can do our lesson with the YSA we were trying to visit. So we sat down and started teaching him about the plan of salvation and the Spirit was super strong in that room; you could see in his eyes he was learning things he hadn't thought about in years. Well, as we were towards the end suddenly the father (who is not a member) starts to crutch in to the room asking if they could join us... we say, "Of course!" The father proceeds to say this: "You will never know how thankful I am for your help today. I have always been the one to set up the tree and get on the ladder but this year has been different and its been tough. My whole life I've worked with my hands and now for the first time I'm forced to rest. If you guys weren't here who knows what could have happened; my wife could have been on the ladder when that tree fell down."  He continued saying that for some reason the past few years every single time their family was at a low point, having trials at the most random times people from your church show up and are here to help us. "Now, I'm not super religious.  I was baptized catholic as a baby and I think I'm still good with that baptism, but I never have seen people from the catholic church here to help us...only the mormons. And I've never done anything in that church to be one, and I still think God knows my heart, but maybe I will do something one day.  But if someone asked me before I die what I am ? I will tell them I'm a MORMON. You truly helped our family and your church always is there for us and I thank you for being here today." 

We were taken back!  I'm almost in tears seeing this tough/manly guy express his gratitude, humbling himself to 2 young men and expressing what I would say is his testimony. The Spirit was so strong in that room. The wife / mother is a less-active member and she's just beaming with joy because her non-member husband said that and her son who joined the church when he was younger and has fallen away is now trying to find faith again. She says because her husband isn't working she has a low amount of money for christmas gifts this year.  She is just getting something for her grandson and said she would love for us to both come by and she will have something for us. My heart was deeply touched.  We said, "Yes! We will come by!"  Then they said we both better not leave anytime soon!  ha   Instant -love and connection with this family just in that short time that day. On our way out the mother gave us a bag full of food! I had small tears in my eyes as I walked out of that house; for the wonderful family giving what they can to us and showing their thankfulness. I was a firsthand witness of God saving a family. I saw the adversary try to make something turn bad... like the tree falling RIGHT before we were going to have a lesson to cause more contention and for us to have to come back another time; but instead we all helped clean up and put it back up and fix it ourselves. And because of that we had a great lesson, then his parents come in and put together all the pieces of that day and truly we were able to see the hand of the Lord in that family's life that day! I testify that God sends us where we need to be sent; that He uses bad things for His greater purposes of good. He is reaching out and is putting people and experiences in our paths to bring all of God's children back to our Father in Heaven. Remember to share HE IS THE GIFT  this christmas season; remember and help others remember the true meaning of christmas. 

I've only got 2 years of missionary work and an eternity to look back on it!  I'm going to make sure these last 6 weeks count! 

Love ,

Elder Taylor

This picture is of everyone who came out with me. Two of them are going home earlier then the rest so we took this at our Mission Leadership Council. 

Played golf last p-day... finally learned how to do it!! haha I'm hooked now... its super fun. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


What's up everyone??  Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving and ate a ton of food!! I know I did.   Also, I had a GREAT BDAY week.  I've been getting spoiled all week long and I thank everyone who helped me have the best birthday. 

Well, because this last week was a week of thankfulness I want to share what I was thankful for this last week: being tested. Truly, I feel it each day;  both my companion Elder Jenson and I feel it. Our teaching pool is small and just as we feel it begins to get bigger, someone drops us or won't answer then it starts getting smaller again. All we want to do is TEACH; there is no better feeling than that so we are searching for all YSA's here in this stake and are praying hard. Honestly though we had 3 days this last week in which we taught 0 lessons... we drove around everywhere going through a stake list of every YSA in the stake and after doing that for 3 hours it gets a little hard... especially when people are mean. For example, we knocked on this door where 2 YSA sisters supposedly live so we were excited and hoping to get both back to church and teach them. But, on the list we have no idea anything about them though ... so its kinda' like we knock and find out. Well a car pulled in as we were at the door, a husband and wife walk up and he gives his wife the keys and says go inside and she says be nice. He then asks if he could talk to us, so we follow him to the bottom of the drive way and he with a very upset asks us why we were there. We just say  we saw their names on a list of Young Single Adults here on the west-side and want to invite them out to activities. Well, after that he, in a loud voice, started shouting and asking what he has to do to get their name off the list, that his wife years ago was molested by a superior leader in our church and wants nothing to do with anyone from this church; he is screaming at us, dropping the F word every other second, and  spit is flying from his mouth.  He's yelling and is so upset.  Thank goodness his wife runs out and tries calming him down or trying to save our lives (ha), but we were just shocked and taken back.  We say we are sorry and that we didn't know because we are new here and were just coming by to find out information.  We said we were sorry to bother them, and that we will tell someone that you want everyone's name off. He keeps yelling saying he's told many people this and all this junk. Well, we both start walking away and I just say, "Sir i hope you have a wonderful Christmas!"  He responds in a harsh voice, "I'll do my best!"

Yep, Elder Jenson and I both agree that it was the worst we have ever seen on our missions of people just being straight up angry and filled with hate. No lie... i had my right fist ready in a position if this guy tried attacking me or my companion; it was that sketchy. I'm cool with getting in trouble protecting my companion or myself, but that wasn't what we were expecting. Basically, that was our past week /// besides the good food and bday love from people that was our week in a nutshell. Filled with testing days and trials, but its wonderful! because that means we are doing something right if satan is trying to get at us so much and that miracles are just right around the corner! 

Transfers are coming up next week, so we will find out this Saturday if I'm staying here for my last 6 weeks or if they are shipping me off! 

Love to you all!  Don't let other people get you down; turn the other cheek and you will be so blessed! 

Elder T

Had a great time visiting people and felt so loved. 

 The Hollands, on their trip, got In N Out stuff for a bday party for me and made burgers!  
It was so LEGIT! Felt like California that night! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My ways, your ways, or OUR ways?

Hey everyone!  Hope everyone had as good of a week and were able to work on pushing through even if the wind is blowing against you as you are biking up the hill of life.

 This past week has been life-changing for me. We had a mission conference with a member of the Quorum of the Seventy who came to visit, named  Elder Corbridge, as well as an Area Seventy too. Boy, was it a treat to listen to him!  He has written the famous missionary talk called "The Fourth Missionary" (for those who might be familiar with it) ...  a lot of missionaries around the world have this talk as well and Elder Corbridge has spoken in General Conference a few times. He was running low on time, so that kinda' stunk, so we could tell he was jumping around a lot;  but one thing I noticed was how well-versed he is in the scriptures.  I swear he could quote the whole Book of Mormon.  Also, he told us of a cool vision he had one night and it blew everyone's mind. So, anyways, he REALLY focused on the Spirit; he said the greatest gift we can get on earth is the Holy Ghost and living worthy to have it always is most important. We get baptized to be cleansed and worthy to receive the Holy Ghost; we have commandments to keep us worthy to have the Spirit with us, etc. His words and teachings really hit me and changed my perspective on a lot of things.

The next morning I received revelation on a passage of scripture that Elder Corbridge had mentioned.  He had read just one verse but I decided to read the whole chapter to better understand its context. It is Isaiah 55. He told us that the Lord ALWAYS teaches us using repetition, like " knock, seek, find" ... same thing, but just used in different words and ways. Also, he told us that effective teaching is like a trip. We have to figure out our destination (doctrine), route (principles), and conclusion (application). The Lord teaches us often times in the scriptures using this form and structure. So, after I read Isaiah I started looking for these patterns and I found them. The Lord starts off basically saying there is no cost for salvation, everyone can "come unto me" (meaning the Lord) and be full of joy ...  so that is our "destination" ... salvation.

Then He says that we must seek Him and be rid of our wicked ways and thoughts, and turn towards him.  In other words repent because "he will abundantly pardon." Then He says that His ways and NOT our ways, or His thoughts and NOT our thoughts. But everyone thinks that means He is talking down to us, but really to me it is an invitation. Because we sin and fall short, His and our ways are divided;  but if we just forsake our wicked ways, change and ALIGN our thoughts and ways with His thoughts and ways then there will be no separation ...we will be one, and it will be OUR ways. The Lord doesn't want us to be below Him; He wants us to rise up unto Him and His attributes by becoming more like him. (Route to achieve eternal life) 

Then in conclusion He says in verse 12 "ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace".  If we just apply the route, repent, change our thoughts, and think of our destination of salvation then we will come to the application,  This is where I act on what I have learned. I now know the doctrine, I know the principles, and now I need to apply it.  For example: praying daily and repenting, learning more about the Savior's ways in the scriptures, etc. 
What I love about that promise at the end is that we will have peace and joy and those feelings only come from the Spirit of God... which is EXACTLY what Elder Corbridge focused on ...having that Spirit to be with us always. 

I won't tell you which verses and the ones in which the Lord repeats basically the same thing because I'd then ruin the surprise of seeking it yourselves!   I don't know if this is all doctrine, per se, but what I used to compare it .  I know I felt the Spirit teach and reveal more things to me and I wanted to share it with you all. It was a miracle I came across a random chapter that aligns  EXACTLY with what Elder Corbridge was training us on. I testify that as you strive to make your ways not so divided from the Lord's ways you will receive power beyond what you can imagine; strength, peace, hope and salvation.  May all of our ways be more in align with the Lord's ways and may they ultimately become OUR ways.

Peace and blessings, 

Elder Taylor 

SERVICE: we cut out weeds on an entire block!

Bday Dinner with the Moe Family

Have not ever met a family who knows what these are (aebleskivers) ... I grew up eating this deliciousness!!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Push on; don't justify and quit

Hey!  Hope you all are doing fantastic and have had a wonderful week. As I have been thinking of this past week and what I wanted to write about nothing really came to me really hard... just little impressions.  So I hope I gather them all in a way that you can understand.

My goal for this last week was to deepen my conversion... you can never deepen it too much right? Well, because of it I feel that I have had a lot of great trials, lessons and experiences to help me with that goal. I have been chastised, yelled at, blessed, strengthened, received deeper knowledge, humbled and so forth. These things seem to be how it is every week in a life of a missionary, but I've just noticed it more this week. 

I was able to go on exchanges in the Bandeleier ward, which was awesome to be back, but they are on bikes. Not only that but to get out to that area it is basically all up hill. Well, being myself and all confident (or maybe "prideful" haha) I thought it wouldn't be that hard because I'm pretty fit right now so I can do it. Well, I was SO wrong!  That huge hill creamed me. I felt like a sissy but I had a great time to ponder and be taught by the Lord. He showed me physically how life is ALWAYS going to be; that it isn't like this just on the mission but for the rest of your life. Also, it is SUPER cold here now if it rained it would totally snow; so we are freezing all of the time and that day it was super windy. So, not only am I biking up a giant never-ending hill, but all of a sudden these large waves of strong/cold wind would hit and that slows you down even more. So I had a choice... do I give up and give in because its really hard and can justify why I can't do it and quit?  I'm sure I had enough excuses why I couldn't really keep going and keep giving it my all.  Well, once I decided I would be a sissy and give up my strength and mentality grew... I just kept pedaling and pushing forward with faith and hope that I could do it.  Well, then all of a sudden I was at the top of the hill. I got a 1 min break because of a light then went on to conquer another hill. But that's how our life is; we don't always have it easy. We may spend most of our lives climbing up a hill on a bike, then only have a minute break at the top until we are having to go up another one, but because of that I'm stronger.  I was humbled in that fact of how hard biking is... especially in the wind. If we know how to use the gears on the bike properly it will help us get up that hill but does that just mean we stop pedaling? No.  All it is there for is another tool to help us finish our task. So it is with our lives; as we are on our spiritual bike climb, don't forget that you can "shift gears" and if it is too hard to peddle you can you can change that gear ... we need to use them. Our gears are our modern prophets, scriptures, wisdom from friends and family and leaders, support from others, power of prayer, church, covenants to give us strength, and, of course, our Savior's atonement. We can switch to any one of the spiritual "gears" whenever we need its help to get up that hill and keep our pace. We need to have faith and WORKS. I'm reading in Miracle of Forgiveness and a statement in it really hit me. It says, "The Lord will not translate ones good hopes, and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself."  Don't get off the bike, don't justify why you can't finish or that you have probably made if far enough and want to ride back down. No.  You finish even if you go at the slowest pace it doesn't matter if you are using those gears to help.  All that matters is that you finish. The Lord can't tell you to get off the bike and He will bike up the hill for you.  No, you still have to pedal but He will for sure coach, help and encourage you the whole way. 

At the end, after I biked up all of the hills, I was able to bike down it all!! I was looking at the left and picturing myself struggling up this very hill and how thankful I was that I didn't give up because the ride down was amazing and I felt accomplished, and I learned great lessons. So it is with our lives; you will someday get to enjoy the ride down and feel that satisfaction.  There are always great blessings for us, and most are worth the struggles. I testify that this is true! Trust in Him . 

Your Friend and brother in the cause,

Elder Taylor  

Only one pic this week! 
On exchanges with Elder Jewett.
 I figured I should get the typical missionary pic with the helmet 
and bike at least once on my mission.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Roots of Your Testimony

Hey guys!  Thanks for reading my emails. 

This last week we had zone training on Friday.  The section I chose to train on was bearing our testimony frequently in lessons as stated in Preach my Gospel. Well, as I pondered this the next morning I was reminded of a memory ... of where my testimony in the prophet Joseph Smith was rooted. So I challened the missionaries to think and remember of a time in which someone or they themselves felt the testifying spirit come over them. For me I wish to share that experience: 

When I was 12 years old and just entered into the young men's program we went to visit the Mormon Battalion  While there we watched the Joseph Smith movie.  I didn't really know too much about his life so it was really eye-opening , but I really felt a connection with Joseph... as if I knew him. In my mind I was thinking I would have totally fought off the mobs and put my life on the line for this man. After the movie I was saddened that he was killed, but grateful for all he did. We had a testimony meeting and I felt the Spirit nudge me to bear mine, but I fought it...  I had felt emotional the whole meeting. I didn't want to go up and cry like a baby in front of all the young women!  haha  But I ended up going up. Guess what happend?  I cried, but I bore a testimony that I didn't know I had on the prophet Jospeh Smith. All I remember is leaving there KNOWING that Joseph was a prophet of God and I could never deny that. From that point on I never lived perfect. I wasn't too into the Gospel or bearing my testimony often but when ever anyone would talk bad about Joseph at school or anywhere I would ALWAYS stand up for him because of the testimony that had been rooted in my soul. Now, because of that root I have been able to grow in that testimony and bear witness of it every single day of my mission. As I remembered that it brought me back to the foundation of my testimony (my roots), and how often times we lose our focus and the  basics of what got us here to this point in our life. 

My testimony has grown tremendously... I honestly feel that I have gotten to a point in which I could never deny the things I teach, feel or believe ... even if my life was staked on it. I'd rather DIE in my faith and testimony than to DENY it.

Three nights ago we went to a member's house to teach a YSA-aged guy who had questions.  The son of the member is friends with this guy and the son is on a mission right now. So we sat down and he mentioned that he's a thinker. Well, he started off asking us why we know the Book of Mormon is true.  Powerful testimonies were born but then he came out with note cards full of anti-mormon literature. In a loving and non-bashing I used analogies to help him understand things.  He spoke of SUPER deep doctrine and more like other people's speculations in the church than doctrine, and he was so caught up on this stuff.  (I won't share what it is though.)   Well, I told him an analogy... I asked him if he goes to the gym?  If I had a bench here with three plates on both sides that was over 300 pounds and asked you to rep it 10 times could you? He said no.  I said, ok, if i had a 10 pound plate on both side and said for you to rep it 10 times could you? He said easy!  I said ok, the things you are focused on right now and are getting caught up on are the 300 pound weights ... but to even reach to that  level you have to start with the 10s and work your way up. But if you go into the gym not even believing you can reach that goal and are not working your hardest to get it by going and lifting consistently (Church), eating healthy (reading the Book of Mormon daily), and being diligent in your goal and staying motivated (praying for help and answers often) then you won't get the result that you want. Having faith that doing those things will get you to that 300 pounds will help you achieve it through diligence, but if you listen to "other" people or look at other sources saying that doing those things won't help you reach that goal to bench 300 then you will lose faith in it and question it. 

Well, sadly he went back to his question and wouldn't really listen and that's fine, but I just pray that something impacts him. That he actually trys to have faith in this Gospel and in the Book of Mormon, and asks God SINCERELY wanting to know if this will help him. Just like the sciptures teach milk before the meat; we can't expect to understand super deep things until we build a strong testimony in the simple principles that bring us true spiritual joy, strength and knowledge.  Then as our roots grow we will understand the meat or the 300 lbs doctrine or speculations. 

Brothers and Sisters: don't get caught up on these things that you hear and read that don't truly pertain to faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end because Satan will start trying to destroy and dig up the roots that have been growing. You don't go to a Ford dealership to asking about the new Chevy Malibu because they are going to tell you that they have a Ford Fusion that is way better and tell you false things about the Chevy. If you want to know the belief of LDS people, or more importantly, the truth that the Lord has taught by His prophets and the real truth of God... go to the actual sources.  I testify if you do that you WILL receivee your answers, you WILL receive deeper roots in your testimony and you WILL receive further light, knowledge, and peace in knowing our one true God and His true doctrine for His children.

I invite you all to go back to the roots of your testimony and let the Holy Ghost remind you of experiences because that is what happened to me.  Record them in a journal and cherish it. Read also Alma 32 37-43... it talks about the roots of our testimony.

All my love to you,

Elder Taylor

Check out my new ride! I'll be driving this instead of my car and walking... I wish ! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Transfer

Hello everyone!  Hope you all are staying warm in this change of seasons. 

This past week has been great!  I am super happy with the Elders and Sisters we got transferred into this zone.  They are all awesome and everyone is already close and has that camaraderie.  That is exactly what I have been noticing lately ... that as missionaries, or just all of us as members, or just as God's children ... that when we are positive and happy we get along great with others. This life is meant for us to enjoy so why not have fun and laugh and live with those around you. 

There is a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants.  The Doctrine and Covenants are a set of scriptures which are revelations that the Lord has given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in which he has recorded down for us today to learn and study. The section is 130 verse 2 and it says, " And that same SOCIALITY which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."  How wonderful that will be!  I think of when we have transfers here or a really big zone conference and all the missionaries are so excited to see one another and catch up and the joy it brings them...  imagine how it will be in the next life? The closest I think I will ever be to this in my life will be when I return home from my mission. Seeing my father and brother and sister and all the others I love and have not seen for 2 years... I feel that the sociality there will be the strongest that I will reach here in mortality. That reunion will be strong of love, joy and laughter. 

But as we know there is opposition in all things. Being TOO social can lead down the other direction. We must still be focused in our cause and always build connections with others, but when we are influenced in a negative way by our peers or when our sociality with them starts to pull us from the iron rod that is when the issues begin. So don't justify being in certain places or with certain people just because the scriputres say it is great to have sociality with others, because the scriputures say we shouldn't do things that even appear to be sinful.

As we follow the commandments of God and strive to be focused on our purpose here in life I promise that our sociality with others, but particularly those of our faith, will grow and that our relationships with others are good and are of God. 

May we all continue to have positive, loving and healthy relationships with others. 

Love , 

Elder Taylor