Monday, September 15, 2014

Its Transfers

Can't believe how fast time is going by... seriously too fast. Its another transfer and my comp is leaving tomorrow morning. I'm bummed out about it but I know that he will do great. He is now going to train and be a district leader in a struggling district so he will do great. 

We had our SMCM report (which is when every month we report to the Stake Presidency and usually a high counselor over missionary work and our mission president and his counselor are there). Seriously, it is so cool. This time was different than all of the other ones because this time our mission president didn't go... so he texted and said good luck and he knows we will do well representing the mission.  haha Yea, no pressure!  But it went well. We talked about the new "Meet the Mormons" movie that is coming out and how that will help this stake a lot because they will probably be showing it in a local theater and hopefully a lot of non-members go. We think this will help people be more receptive to the church, as well as receptive to missionaries who knock on their door. 

There is a great spirit going on right now. I feel an extra added push to do more and to work harder. Thank you all for the support you gave me and my family on the 9th; truly it was a wonderful day to me. I met with my mission president for about a hour and a half and just talked.  I kind of shared my story and about the things that happend in my life right before my mission; we cried and laughed, but it was one of the most spiritual conversations and experiences I have ever had!
I'm excited for this next transfer. Every companionship in my zone is changing except for one so there will be a new mindset and fire going on. I want everyone in their mind to know that were a baptizing and perfectly-obedient zone.  I know if we all have that mindset then the Lord will help us reach new heights! 

Thanks again for everything.
Change is always good everyone ... it helps us to have new experiences. 

Elder T


Pic of the district

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Special Day

I don't even know where to begin this email, I am sure a lot of you have been waiting to see what I write on this day, the 9th, the 2nd year mark of my mother's passing. To be honest I have no words. I have pondered on what I wanted to write and express but I have no words to describe what I feel inside. My heart is full at this time. It's so very bittersweet today for me. 2 years ago from yesterday on the small island of Hawaii, I received my mission call to the Albuquerque, New Mexico mission. I can't even begin to describe the feelings I had at that time; to be honest I wasn't too happy to be called here. I thought I was going some where else. That evening I remember walking by the temple and it was raining (side note last night it was raining and it reminded me of this night of the 8th of September, 2012) and I was told that my mission isn't for me it's for others and that there are specific people I need to help and that the Lord's called me there. I felt so much energy, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me that I needed to serve in that mission. I remember texting my dad that night telling him I wanted to tell mom the next day where I was serving because she was too sick to hear when I called earlier. I went to bed that night with a strong missionary spirit, determined to conquer my misson and to serve my heart out. Little did I know what was in store for me the next day... little did I know that my life was going to change more than I ever thought possible, little did I know that someone else in my family would recieve a mission call as well... 
Next morning was the first Sunday in my new student ward, I remember being excited to tell my mom where I was serving later that day. 2nd hour of church I remember being asked to stand in my mission preparation class and announce where I got called to serve and everone clapped and that got me more excited for my misison. It was in the 3rd hour of church in priesthood that changed my life forever. I will never forget the text I got from my dad hearing that my mom's not doing good. I remember freaking out but knowing that all is ok, it has to be, she's fine, she's gonna call me soon. Waiting and waiting for a response, finally my roomate told me I should just go out and call him, so I did. I remember the clock on the wall, the chair I sat in, the door I walked out of as if I'm there now. Not knowing what was to come once I walked out of the church, the 2nd crack on the right in a pathway is when my dad answered and told me... 
My life flipped. My world changed, every nightmare came true, I wanted someone to pinch me and wake me up. I had to at that time decide if there truly is a God and if so, if he knew me and why he would let this happen. I'm sorry to say but my faith was tested, I had much anger in my heart and sorrow. I didn't know what to believe. Later I had the experience too sacred to share here, many of you know it from the funeral, but that was when I was built up. When I knew that my Savior lived, that He loved me. That my mother was not far, that this was part of a plan, a divine plan, that this had to happen. That my mom, as well as myself, had a greater calling in our lives together, that our bond would only get stronger.  
I again will say, as I said over a year ago in one of my emails, the greatest trials you face will be the greatest blessings you receive, I testify that that is true. I know now for a fact that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that there truly is life after death, that families can be together forever and that there is a plan of happiness for all of us. I love my life more and appreciate it so much more because of this trial, I have been able to bear this witness to those who have lost hope in a God and in a happy life; because of this trial I have been an instrument in God's hand to help bring the world truth. I know that my mom is by my side, she has been a sustaining help to me, she has been teaching and serving others her whole mortal life and now her life in the spirit world.  
I know at times I struggle, I have grief or anger because I miss her, and that this email might sound depressing but I hope it doesn't. I want to share with you all what was on my mind 2 years ago and how much I have changed from that day. Nothing is going to stop me from being EXACTLY the son my mother raised me to be, who she always saw me to be, who she believed I could become. I'm on my course back to her and living in such a way to do that. My family is eternal and to me that is the only thing that keeps me going day to day; knowing that my dad, Dylan, and Jessica and I will one day be with my beautiful mother. 

Let's remember to make it a Claudine day by helping others around you, but not just for today, but always, because my mother always served.
Though time might go on, some people may forget how special this day is, I want you to all know that I will never forget this day, because the 9th of September is where I truly found out who Justin Williams Taylor is and that God does live and how important family truly is. 

Love to you all, 

The SON of the Greatest Woman to Live  

Heres a poem I wrote for my mom on last Mother's Day but just never sent it: 

Charity, diligence, and virtue is how you lived your life
always striving to be Christ like.
I'll never forget that every night
you'd come sit at my bedside.
We would talk about my life
and all my dreams I had deep inside.
You'd leave with an "I love you" as you looked in my eye
I knew you loved me and never lied. 
Now its the 2nd Mothers Day 
that you have been gone to what people think is so far away 
but I know it's not too far because I feel you with me as I pray.
Even as I struggle with my challenges everday 
I know your Near, I hope you Stay,
My Vision is Clear, I'm headed your way.
I've got to live better than my past 
to progress and grow and be my best. 
So that our little beautiful family 
may join in heaven to then be in rest
from all our trials together and all our tests.
If we just endure this time of separation 
I am sure, that we will be eternally blessed!

Love you, Mom! 

2 Weeks ago we hiked up to the volcanos here and got the best zone picture ever!

haha This zone is so awesome! I love it!  

All the Elders who have served on ALAMO... we are called the "Alamo Brothers"! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Restoration

Hey everyone, hope all is well in your lives. Thanks for all the prayers you say on my behalf, I know much of the blessings I receive are because of your prayers!

This past week has literally flown by so fast, time keeps getting faster and faster, I hate it haha and it seems like everyone asks me how long I've been out and I hate that, too. Wish I could just stay out here forever!

So this past week I had a very sweet tender mercy from the Lord. Since I have been here in Albuquerque I haven't taught really a lot at all or had SUPER spiritual experiences in lessons (not trying to be negative) but this lesson we had a few days ago was amazing. We were teaching this guy named Patrick who knows everyone in the stake and the stake leaders because he works for boy scouts and is a camp director and the young women camp was at his camp. He happens to be a YSA (young single adult) in our stake so we just met him a few weeks back and got to know him and finally taught him the restoration. The spirit was so strong in that room, you can tell his heart was humbled. I just said a prayer in my heart that I would speak by the power of the Holy Ghost and that I will only follow the spirit. No words can describe the power in that room, I testified and shared Joseph Smith's First Vision and I KNOW for a fact that He saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ; my testimony grew every stronger just by bearing that witness to him. At the end with the spirit in the room we invited him to come closer to Christ by being baptized and he agreed to it and says when he receives that answer he will follow it!! I'm so excited. He said if he knows that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet he will wonder why he waited so long for him to find out and to join this church, we know he will come to a testimony that he's a prophet.
I KNOW this church is true, I know the Holy Ghost truly is the SENIOR companion to us all and will help guide and train us and give us the words we need to say to touch other's hearts.
Love you all,

Elder Taylor

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

God Knows His Children

Hey everyone!  I hope all is well in your lives and that you don't all hate me for not sending pics and writing anything good the past few weeks. 

So, here in the YSA it is a lot different kind of missionary work than what I was used to before. We have been trying to visit all of these people we have on the branch directory and there was a name someone gave to us to go visit so we drove by.  Well, the gate to the complex was closed so we waited for someone to go in then we snuck in!  haha  We drove around then finally found her place, knocked on the door and what do you know? No one answerd. There was a guy outside when we pulled up working on a truck and I noticed him and felt like we needed to say hi so on the way back I just yelled out, "Hey man!  How's it going?"  He answered saying he was good just working on his truck.  I asked him if he needed help.  He said no, but where are you elders from?  Come to find out that he is a less-active that moved here 9 months ago and hasn't been to church mainly because he works a lot, but also because his girlfriend that he lives with isn't a member but he said she would probably be open to hearing about the Gospel!  Also, he said he wouldn't want to go to a family ward but would want to come to the YSA ... we were freaking out. He told us that the lady we tried to see has moved... look at God's hand. We drove way out there for someone but in God's eyes it was to find this man. He knows His children and we could sense this man's good heart and that he needs to return to the fold. Later we ended up giving blessings to sister missionaries who are really struggling.  I was honored to perform them and felt such an overwhelming feeling of the Spirit. I felt again that God sent us to help His daughters feel better; He sent us so that HE could speak to them through HIS priesthood. I know our Heavenly Father loves us; He needs us as much as we need Him. This last week was crazy.  We had a sister who had to go to the hospital because of horible pain in her stomach area then we had a lockdown and had to stay in someone's house for a hour and a half because a guy who killed someone was on the run and shooting at the cops; we gave a  blessing to someone sick while they were sitting in the car and had to go to my companion's doctor appointment. It has been crazy over here! haha 

I was able to attend a special baptism in the zone this last week of 3 children. Their mom hasn't been to church in YEARS and then came across the missionaries.  They all had a change of heart and were converted to the Lord and baptized. During ALL of their testimonies we were in tears crying and they were saying "I know that this is where I'm supposed to be; I feel at home now. God led me here because He saved me."  Even the youngest one (who was 9).  It was such a tender moment to hear that; all of their testimonies and one of the mother who now has all her children in the church. She felt the spirit tell her to get her kids into the church.  I testify that God uses the spirit to prompt you to do things. He knows who you are. 

I'm thankful for the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father.  It is so personal to me and I hold it in deep reverance. I have no words to describe my thoughts and feeling towards Him but that He is engaged and lives and wants us all back.

I invite all who read this to look for things in your life, like the small experiences I had this week, that tesify that He is aware of you and more importanly others around you.

Love always,
Elder Taylor 

Some missionaries going home or just being transferred! 

Sister Morris, the coolest sister who came out with me, just went home

Also my best bud Elder Magalei went home too :/ 

Elder Ahloy who I trained awhile back is now training a new elder!!  So cool! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hey everyone!

Hey everyone!  Another super-busy day. Didn't have time to type up something good and I'm so sorry about that.  I have a lot of pics to send so I'm going to buy a cord for my camera because I lost my other one.

Know that this Gospel is true, and that the times you truly feel the Spirit you need to record that somewhere and when times of trials come and doubt you can reflect back on those experiences that are recorded to remember how merciful our Father in Heaven is and that He lives and is REALLY wanting you to return to Him! 

Love you all,
Elder Taylor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Craziest week

Hello Everyone -

I don't think I have enough time or enough words to quite express all the things I want to.  I  hope some of this email makes sense to you all.

Transfers was this last Tuesday.  I had to say bye to 2 of my best friends in the mission. Not gonna lie - it's tough seeing people you love so much go home, people that you have grown with. On top of that saying bye to the Bandelier Ward and going into the West Mesa YSA branch was another new experience too. We have had like 4 meetings last week and have been meeting with our branch president and branch mission leader trying to get things figured out. Honestly I can't even begin to tell you how busy every second of every day was last week, and always something comes up with a member or a missionary at the worst timing haha.
The branch is now splitting. It used to cover 2 stakes and now they are splitting off so we had a meeting Sunday for that and the Spirit was very strong. The missionary spirit was there and the stake presidents and mission president spoke and in each of their talks, of course, they spoke about missionary work and this great force in the Church. It really took me back and made me ponder on my mission, that right now is my time to work my hardest for the salvation of men. Now is the only time I can fully focus on the work like this and the only time that everyone's so focused on me and my calling... I came to realize that it will end sometime, that this attention from members and spiritual feasts all the time and long days wearing these clothes and name tag will end - my heart was filled with emotions. Am I truly stepping up to the plate, am I truly letting myself be molded into who God wants me to be? Our mission president said that we will be accountable for the people in our stewardship. Am I truly helping them come to Christ and giving them Christlike love? These questions are stirring  up inside me and motivates me more. I have taken a deep breath at the end of this last week and have truly prayed long prayers and pondered much on my life, my future and if I am reaching my highest potential. I can testify that our loving Father in Heaven will let us know when He wants to push us a little more and make us stretch and I'm eternally grateful for that! 

All those who read this I just want to say that this world brings NO true hapiness. I experienced one of the craziest things and scariest things of my entire life this last week and I don't think I have the right to disclose that information and speak of it. But what I will say is that it has changed my life, has made me grow up a lot more and see how horrible things can flip in people's life and how much the Lord protects His missionaries from danger and His saints who follow the commandments. I feel at times in my mission like Joseph when the Lord said to him... "know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good... Fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." D&C 122:7,9. I know that my life has purpose and a plan and I continually pray for the Lord to put things in my life to make me be who I truly am destined to be, to put me in ways to prepare for being the best husband and father and priesthood holder. 

For those who are stressed and have so much going on that your mind is going 100 miles per hour and your days are filled with ups and downs, know that it will give you more experience. Know that it is ONLY for your good and that if you so simply ask for help to finish the task the Lord will help and carry the rest! Hopefully this week isn't so crazy but I know that whatever happens that I will look at it with spiritual eyes. 

My testimony from this last week is perfectly summed up in this verse...

" Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them... let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God." D&C 123:13,17.

Do all you can in your power and God will send you as angels to save others.

Love always,

Elder Taylor

Monday, August 4, 2014

Area Swap

Hey everyone.  Hope all is well. Don't have much to write about today.
My companion and I are switching areas and will be covering the West Mesa YSA branch and will be covering the whole stake. We were super bummed-out to leave the ward that we were in because we got super-close with a lot of members there but it will be a new adventure covering the YSA. There are a lot of families in our ward that have YSA kids who are active or less-active; so we will still be able to eat with them and stuff so that will be good.
Time is flying by so quick out here... it is starting to freak me out!  One of my best buds is going home tomorrow and others are leaving the next transfer. I've come to better realize how time works in our mortal lifes and how important it is for us to pay attention to our experiences and to learn and grow always!
Love to you all... have a great week!
Going to miss Bandelier Ward SOOO much, but I know the Lord has other plans! 

Elder Taylor