Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Miracles of Heaven. Light.

Hey everyone, this week there's a lot to talk about, so hopefully I don't bore you. Well, many of you know how important this last week was. It was a week I'll never forget. I've had to muster up much faith and prayer and diligence to accomplish the impossible. My companion has been a great help to me personally as well and is a great support.

Know that our Father in Heaven is very aware of our lives, and knows the desires of our heart. Well, on Friday I had to plan a district meeting that the Zone Leaders were going to be at. I didn't have time to really sit down and plan it until that early morning but had been pondering the topic which was the Doctrine of Christ and our Purpose. At the very last moment my mind was opened to new revelation. That was LIGHT. Now I wrote down definitions of light and there are two meanings. One is to 'Illuminate' and the other is to 'Not be Heavy'. In the meeting, I turned all the lights off and had a Sister follow the light; me and my companion both had flashlights and guided her to the 5 points which were pictures of Christ representing the 5 points of the doctrine of Christ being: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. I put a chair in between repentance and baptism because this is always an obstacle for those we teach. Now I explained the two definitions of light, its double meaning. I used the scipture in Luke 1: 79 that says "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."  It shows that the Lord uses people and Himself to help guide our feelings in darkness just as the sister had me and my companion guiding her feet on the path with our flash lights;  there may always be light if we choose. 
The next one was Matt. 11: 30 "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." 

This shows that Christ can always lighten our load and He uses it in the other context to help teach us of the two different lights that He has. Well, it came to me while I was teaching it that the 2 points of the atonement cover this subject. Light is so very key. If we follow Christ and His gospel then His atonement will take effect. Our Savior is the " Light" that shows us the way, the path , the truth and helps us as we follow the 5 steps to get out of that darkness. He also will make our souls and loads " Light" again. If we ourselves are to press forward in this life and return to our Father, we need Christ, we NEED our Savior's Light. I drew a picture of the yoke and basically I wrote on one end "you" and said you can try to pull the load yourself, I have and it doesn't work. On the other side, I wrote "Him". If we teach and understand and help others understand this concept that the Savior will help pull with us then we will come to see the true joys in this life and the purpose of the Atonement. Christ LIGHTENS our LOADS and gives LIGHT to our LIVES. 

If we show people these two concepts of Christ and His gospel; and help them feel the Savior shedding light into their life and that he will lighten the tough times then ALL will be converted to the Savior and His true Church. This is true. I received this revelation directly and am so grateful for it. This is His doctrine. A doctrine means a teaching or a tenet. A tenet is a religious principle or a dogma. And a dogma is a strict belief concerning faith and morals. I found all of that out that morning as I read from the dictionary about it. So a doctrine expands to so many things, so Christ's "doctrine" is a strict moral and belief. There is no other way to salvation. That is why he stresses it so much and that is why we MUST give light and be the Light to those who are in darkness searching for a Savior. I hope this makes sense, it's hard trying to type it out! 

So, the next day after exchanges with the zone leaders we met back up in Socorro, as we were switching back, an elder pointed out a flat tire on our truck. There was a screw in it. We hurried and drove to 4 tire shops and ALL were closed on the weekend! So we had to find the tools in the truck and lower the spare down and change the tire haha everyone was looking at these 4 guys dressed up changing this tire. After, I suggested we go to this China Buffet. While there, I was talking to a lady as we were grabbing food and she asked where the church was. I mentioned that I have sister missionaries that can go over to her house and tell her where the church is and the times and stuff and she accepted. Then she mentioned that her father is a member in Albuquerque and has been telling her to go! I looked and told her two daughters who were smiling with so much joy that they would love church and everyone would be friends with them. The spirit overcame me that this was important and special. I gave them the sister's phone number and they left. Afterward, we went to Walmart and SHE happend to be there. She instantly told me that she had already called them, and that they were coming to her house after she ran her errands!! WOW, I was shocked. The sisters called with so much joy and gratitude for giving them this referral. I told them that in my fast I was fasting that they would find a solid person to teach and baptize because that ward has had only  one baptism for over a year now and that she was an answer to my fast and they agreed. It was a complete answer and miracle to find that woman and her family. Currently the sisters have seen her twice already! 

After, we drove home with our spare tire, I could see that Satan was trying to stop me that day, and putting obstacles in our way. Well, that night we gave out 17 flyers for church the next day and ran all over the reservation. That night I couldn't sleep, I had been practicing just that day "How Great Thou Art" because I was going to have to play it for a special musical number and also practicing 3 other hymns I'd have to play for church and worrying about if we will get 85 to a 100 people to church so we can possibly get an expansion. On top of that, our mission president texts and says they are coming down for church!

Sunday morning I prayed so hard. I prayed that ministering angels would be sent to their posterity on the reservation and that these Navajo ancestors would help in getting people to church. For me, I kept saying it's game time , it's game time. Our mission president and wife and another senior couple came first and then many others filtered in. Vans full of people were unloading. Tons of Navajos from Magdalena drove up for church. My heart began to fill as I witnessed the hand of the Lord. Then our speaker wasn't there and I had to play piano and my companion had to bless the sacrament with someone else and all these other things but it ALL worked out perfectly. The speaker came at the end and spoke in Navajo and the spirit was so strong.... at the very end I could see Brother Nelson looking around and counting all the people here, my heart began to swell. That room was SO packed that people were in the hallway but I still didn't know how many truly were there. I had to play the closing Hymn but almost couldn't because of my emotions. After the song and end of the meeting, our mission president comes up and says "Do you know how many people are here? I said "No, I wanna find out." He said, "Elder there are 132 people here at Sacrament meeting, Great Job elders!" .... Words cannot express the joy that came over me. We had over the amount, we doubled our average!! 

The prayers and fasting and hard work and diligence and stress then all payed off, we received so much more! Our ward mission leader came to us after church was over and sat us and the Crofts (the senior couple) down and said that he will eternally have us in his heart. He said,  "You'll go on with your lives after you leave here but when I look at a bigger building someday in the future, I will picture you 4 and the work you did to bless this reservation!" 

That's when it really hit me how much our Father answers prayers and makes miracles happen. I Love Him, I Know Him, and I Glory in Him.

Thanks for all the support everyone, hope this blog helps your friends and family as I know some of you are sharing it!

Also, on Thursday this week I got to meet up with the Butterfield family from El Paso and it was so awesome! We ate a lot and I showed them ZW's blacksmith shop and it was great. Such an awesome week I've had! 

Love and Gratitude, 

Elder Taylor 





Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRIST"mas"

This week may be the most important week in my whole mission ... I've got big news. 

My mission president has been working with us on getting a baptismal font out here and an extension to the building. The stake president was here for Christmas Sunday and pulled us in with the other leadership in the branch and told us about getting an extension. If we are to even have a possibility to get this to happen we need to show growth and progress with our church attendance.  Well, they take it from the whole year. The past 3 quarters we have been growing but this last one (because of the holidays) we have been struggling.  In order to show progress this quarter we need at least 85 people at sacrament ... but the best would be 100 people!! The best way to explain it is, of course, by basketball! ha ... It is the 4th quarter and there's 5 minutes left and you are down by 20 points and EVERYTHING is on the line... if you lose you might not have this chance again. 

This is important! I love a good challenge and I'm not stressed about it because I have faith that we can make it happen! If we take what comes and have a positive attitude and MOST importantly do all we can do then we'll have no regrets. For me I'm doing everything and anything in my power this week to make this work and happen because this will change everything here for Alamo, but if it doesn't work I'll have the comfort of knowing it is not God's will and I gave 110%. 

So, it's Christmas and I want to talk about the Savior.

I got an email from a buddy of mine on a mission here asking for advice and I feel prompted to share it with you all. It can definitely apply to you in your life, and how to help your family and share the gospel with your friends in this hastening of the work. 

"Think about this, i said in zone meeting with pres and sis miller present that i feel missionaries kinda forget christ. Well hes the most important part right? If we are to get anyone into the water or to stay active or get a calling or when "crap" hits the fan they stay or if at church get offended that don't leave is simple... the SAVIOR! Now for you i want you to think... am i truly using the savior EVERYDAY... are you using his atonement to feel his love. People these days are like me ... i came up with this my 3 month out on my mission, right at the end of training. Say i had a large wound in the left side of my chest... well i ALWAYS used to patch it up my self, im strong enough, i believe in christ but i can do it on my own. Well what happens is satan can see that large bandage so he will hit it and reopen it, you see it then put another one on. This is a continual process, but until you yourself and your investigators truly give everything to the savior you really WONT know him. So Christ is the great Physician , he will sew your wound, the skin will join together again and begin the healing process which takes time, but at the end of it you'll be whole again, there will be a little scar left, just as christ hands have them for the reminder . Remember the mercy and power and love of Christ every time but dont dwell on the wound and how you got it.
Teach this principle those investigating the church, help them to REALLY know Christ, who he is, why he does what he does, how do we know him, how can i feel him? And most importantly find these out for yourself. 
I PROMISE you elder that if you teach principles and speak with reverence every time you say the words Jesus Christ they will be emotional and feel His influence. Elder thats our purpose if for us ourselves to love and feel the savior more and then to help others do the same. Dont focus on the area book and numbers and teaching the about the word of wisdom or importance of prophets more than our Lord and Savior who is the MOST important. IF ... If you do this and help them Know our great Physician , they will truly be converted and will want to do ANYTHING else you ask them to do. They truly will follow Him. You can Teach this to your zone in the next meeting or anyone, we all need to know the Lord Christ. Dont get mixed up in the other things of life , focus ALL on Christ first as your purpose then all will follow ! "


What a wonderful season this is. I feel so privileged to be here on my mission and on Alamo. I've come to know the Savior this season.  Each house we go to we invite them to give a gift to the Savior.  I can't wait to give mine tomorrow. I want to make Him happy and by growing closer to Him and being more like Him I know i can.

We had a very powerful experience last district meeting.  I based it ALL on Christ. His importance. How we can know Him and feel Him! Elder Foster talked about Spirituality first and then Skills.  I felt we know the skills great but we forget how important our own spiritual nourishment is, and this meeting was! We all bore our testimony of the Savior and there wasn't a dry eye in the room; our spirits were lifted and testimonies solidified! I KNOW that He was there with His spirit helping His servants feel His love, appreciation and atonement! I've come to know my Savior more and more as I serve WITH Him. That's the key... we are not serving alone; we are not serving all the people we help each day by ourselves. He leads us and we follow. He is alongside of us using us for His divine purposes. All people must know that we are "with" Him. He is my older brother.  He knew of all the dumb mistakes I was going to make in my life.  He wanted to help me through those mistakes so He decided to go through them even though He would never before want to and didn't deserve the pain, heartache and trials but He did it anyways to help His younger brother... Me. He did it for each and everyone of us! Now He asks us to ask Him for help and advice on how He got through it to help us with our past, present and future in this hard world. My brothers and Sisters who read this I hope you know how truly important Christ's Atonement for us is ... which was His suffering the sins, pains, and sickness of each of us and how we NEED to us Him.

I testify that the Savior can fix every wound we will ever get.  Let the Physician fix and sew you.  Remember His grace but forget the sin or mistake. 

I'm gratful for mothers... my mother and Mary. The mother of Jesus suffered so much; she saw the persecution her son, who was perfect and loving, faced. She witnessed His suffering and agony on the cross. No parent would ever want to go through that. Christ's father was a righteous man who led by example in raising our Savior in such way.  He was hated for taking a woman who was pregnant but he loved and cared for her knowing of the baby who was to be born of her.... The Christ, the Lord of Lord, The Great Physician, The Holy One....and my favorite, The Prince Of Peace.

Let His Peace be upon you this Christmas as you give Him something back; give Him a gift of something you will give up or do better.

True and everlasting love,
Elder Justin Williams Taylor 


MERRY CHRISTMAS ! 



This is My Shádí ( Older Sister) in Navajo. She calls me lil brother. 
We are in front of a small Christmas tree! 

This morning we wont on a hike in Magdalena to see the old Kelly Mine.

Then went to the VLA which is Very Large Array. They are a world famous satellite spot and have had alot of movies and music videos filmed here too. Really cool! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Adventure, Adversity, Acknowledgment, Accomplishment

This week has been CRAZY in every way possible. I will be following the order of this post title to structure this email. 

ADVENTURE: The adventure happened on Sunday night.  We were driving in what we call Ghost-town and on the right hand side saw smoke. Well EVERYONE here burns trash so that was our first impression.  All of a sudden I felt impressed to hurry and turn in. We were past the house and went through the neighbors property and might have "jumped" the truck hurrying to see what it is. I could barely see while driving because of all the smoke. When we got closer we saw flames in a little house. We jumped out.  A recent convert lived nearby and we saw them grabbing water so we joined them and were the first ones on site.   I ran in to get water and told my companion to put our jackets in the truck. As we threw the water onto the burning house TONS of smoke blew into our mouths and eyes but, of course, that is not going to stop us so we continued to do that for about 15 minutes running back and forth until the fire grew too strong. The firetruck and ambulance finally came. The ambulance lady came up to us because she could hear us coughing and said we could have carbon monoxide poisoning and the effects of it and that we could have tar in our lungs from breathing in a lot of smoke and getting it into our eyes. Well, we said we have never fought a fire before so we didn't know what we were doing!  haha  Right afterwards we got our jackets back on and went and taught someone before the end of our night. They thought we were crazy!  At the end of the evening I thought we should give each other blessings to help and so we don't have to go to the emergency room. The spirit of the Lord was in our humble trailer that night.  I also felt my mother's presence and it was said in my blessing that she was there when we were fighting the fire. Towards bedtime we began feeling more and more sick but woke up okay! 

ADVERSITY:  On Saturday night I began to feel sick. I woke up feeling worse on Sunday morning and thought about sleeping while my companion was in the shower but had too much stuff to get done. So in my morning prayer I pleaded that I'd have health and strength sufficient enough to go about this day. Well, the Lord answered me and I did, but after the fire my throat began to hurt a lot more and it still is a little off but I'm totally fine! As I've been obedient and pushing through physical adversities I've been sustained in my tasks and the Lord's angels have been pushing along by my side. We had an investigator that had a baptismal date but he stabbed a guy out of revenge in Albuquerque and is going to prison for a few years so looks like we can't teach him for a while.  Many other solid people we had have fallen through the cracks or have had a tragedy happen recently but we never lose faith. As weird as it is, whenever I see adversity I have joy; that's because I'm on the right path because obviously Satan is attacking me in all aspects and attacking those we teach. We grow so much through our trials, and I'm a living testimony of that! 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:   This last Saturday we were privileged to have a member of the 2nd quorum of the 70 visit our mission. His name is Elder Foster!  He is the first person I've ever really met from church leadership. It was so cool. He was saying that our mission has one of the best mission presidents he has seen and a really good mission as a whole. Also we have the largest amount of cars in the whole world, more than any other mission, we have 112. During the lunch we happened to sit by two stake presidents.  I was with my companion, my trainer Elder Schneider, and my best bud Elder Magalei! Well, the Los Lunas stake president said a lot of humbling things at the table to me and for my trainer to hear it was really cool. My trainer was super proud of me and they said that even though Alamo is out in the middle of nowhere our work isn't unnoticed! It was humbling for both of us to hear. I love the mission I serve in so much! 

ACCOMPLISHMENT:  Ever since Elder Ahloy has gotten here we have had a lot to do and meetings and stuff so the work hasn't progressed as much as we want. But we have seen great things recently. As we continue to press forward with faith and diligence the Lord has us blessing others. Yesterday I just walked up to two boys playing basketball outside and started shooting with them.  One is in 6th grade and the other is in 4th. After the 2-on-2 game we invited them to family home evening that night but to ask their parents and they can maybe come next week. Well, by the time we got into the truck they came out running saying they can go and they did go! We are hoping to teach the family later this week :) Then, when we were talking to the boys someone yelled and said to come here. We went inside to this guy's house and talked to him and his wife. He said he wanted to know the difference between Mormons and Christians .... haha  I gladly explained ! We taught the Restoration and the Spirit of the Lord definitely was working on them.  You could see one of them didn't want to open their heart but still felt the Spirit. We got a return appointment. A family we got a baptism date with is progressing more and more. They need to get married soon but they have been working together and not hurting each other physically and emotionally anymore! 
I love how the Lord blesses those who endure and who continue to be obedient in all things and in all places.
Never lose faith.  Never give up. There's great things to come. Just as a car cannot function and operate without GAS, neither will we if we do not FUEL ourselves with faith.  Sometimes we run low... so don't sit and pout and ask someone for gas money. They can't give you faith - you yourself have to FUEL yourself by reading, praying and loving Christ.

Thanks for everything everyone! I'll be emailing on Christmas Eve :) 

Elder Taylor 

 Here's my tow buds going home in two weeks ... had to say goodbye to them!  One is the A.P. right now and the other was my Zone Leader a few transfers ago.  Going to miss them!


 Here is a picture of Elder Foster ... he's a member of the Seventy
 I think I broke the record for having the most groceries on each hand!
 Here's the fire!!!  That's the house ... I took a quick pic of it.  Intense!
 An awesome sunset last night

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Personal and Professional

This week a lot has happened ... I don't have too much time to write, but its been wonderful! A LOT better than the previous week.
 
 I played piano in Sacrament meeting for the branch.  That was scary but I didn't do too bad I guess? ha I was thanked by the 2nd counselor during Sacrament for doing it. 
 
 
We had zone meeting and President Miller and his wife showed up; it was awesome. I had to give the closing prayer too but it was a good meeting. I had to go up in front of everyone and give advice on what I want to work on with my district to help us baptize more. I spoke about how we need to focus on the MOST important thing ... Christ. I feel that we all teach too much of the other things rather than focusing on the Savior...  if they are converted to Him then ALL the other things fall to place.  All the other District Leader's agreed with me and are doing the same so i guess I didn't say anything too stupid in front of President!  haha
 
Just yesterday I had a District leader training at the mission home with President and it went very well. It was great to hear his instructions. The kind of weird thing was he kept saying how much certain things will help us as future fathers and husbands and business owners, but it was great advice. Many things that he taught that helps with being a powerful leader I have already been applying ... which to me REALLY helped me know that the Holy Ghost can give us guidance.  Then my mission pres just solidified it!  He talked about praising people then correcting them...  that's the only way to help people know you love them and know they can progress more! 

The title of this email is Personal And Professional. I've found out that having these two things will help in so many ways. I taught my trainee this a few weeks back and Pres. just said something similar to it yesterday.  ALL of us can do this.
 
Personal: does the person you are talking to know that you care about them?   I hate when you are  trying to talk to someone and they are looking off or have something else on their mind. NO. WRONG. In order for someone to trust and love you, you must give all attention to them.  Ask them questions... PRAISE them for their accomplishments both big and small. Then, of course, crack a few jokes so they know your just a regular person like them. 
 
Professional: Now in order for people to respect you, you must professional. Now i hate this... its mixed up in people's minds that in order to do this you must be a robot and serious ALL of the time. No... WRONG again. Be yourself, but be your better self. They now trust you because you are personal with them , and because you actually care you need to be an example that they would want to follow. Help them know that you have a purpose in ALL things; you are an organized, clean and "real" human being. Joseph Smith would crack a little joke before a meeting , or go wrestle with some kids but when it came to business he was professional.  For school, church, parenting, work ... wherever it may be, remember to be yourself, focus on the person and remember who you truly are. Our beloved prophet, I know, can focus on the one but have his heart for the whole world... so can we all. Help others if they are off the path or don't know of the path.  Do these two things, in order, and I PROMISE that all you know or come in contact with will want to change their lives even more after you meet with them. The Lord is hastening His work so this means we must be examples to all in the world.

Much Love to all those who read this.  I continue to be humbled by how many read this ...  thank you!
 
 I love my  Shibizhee' Ya' 'aashidi ( Father in Heaven). 

Elder Taylor



Only two pictures this week!  Been busy!

This is a gift my dad sent me for my bday (a blanket).  It's so legit.  They are the best pictures and I think my two girls look so beautiful in it (my momma and Jess!)
 Here is a pic that my comp took a week or so ago with a cool sunset by our trailer



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 3 C's

Hey everyone!

First off,  I want to give the biggest thanks and gratitude for all of the love and support that has come my way for my birthday and for Thanksgiving! Words can't express how loved I felt... I do not deserve any of it at all but thank you everyone so much! It was a really slow past week, but this week will be better. My trainee, Elder Ahloy, is awesome.  We get along great. We are making Hawaiian food together now! ha 

I've thought about what I wanted to write this week. Not much has happened except for the fact that I've seen people drawn away from the Gospel here, and seen the buffetings of Satan. So, I want to revisit what I wrote a while ago.... about the 3 D's of the Devil that my dad sent me, and then I added my C's of the Devil I am doing my C's again because I added and took stuff out and I feel inspired to share it.

So here it is ....

Elder Taylors 3 C's Of the Devil
Satan will use ....  

1.  Confusion/ Corruption : D&C 123:7 

2. Contention: 3 Nephi 11:29 

3. Captive: 3 Nephi 18: 15. 

I invite all of you to read each scripture, apply the meaning to your life and think about how often the Adversary uses it on us to pull us away from the light of Christ. As we follow Christ we want to be more like Christ. I wrote a quote using the C's to go along with it that says....  


"As we develop Christ-like qualities we will never CONFORM and COLLAPSE from the CUNNINGNESS of the Adversary, but we will receive COMFORT and CONFIDENCE through our Master, Jesus CHRIST. "


We all know that Satan will use everything against us so we must put on that armor of God and live righteous lives so that, through Christ, we can get that comfort and confidence to keep enduring to the end! 

I bore my testimony in Church on Sunday and didn't really know what to say, but my mouth was filled and the words came out exactly as to what I needed to bear testimony of.  I call everyone in the branch "family" ... because they are. In Alma Chapter 17 it talks about how Alama and the sons of Mosiah reunited and how happy Alma was to see them. I said for me how happy I was to see everyone here at church or around the reservation because I love you. In Alma, right after it says that, it says that he had more joy knowing that they still were his brothers in Christ and that they have searched and pondered the scriptures and prayed and fasted ... these very things brought him more joy than just being reunited!  So, for me, I love visitng everyone in the branch and in Alamo but what brings me the most full joy is knowing that they are growing closer to the Savior; that we both are living the Gospel and that they are reading and praying and fasting for help and direction. I bore testimony on how important that is and how happy our lives will be when we do it! 

For everyone not on Alamo reading this, I want you to know that my joy is most-full knowing that you are turning to the Savior and following the commandments our Our Father, the most High God.

Please continue on this path.  I feel as Alama at this time: my joy is full in love and appreciation for all of you! 

God Lives.

Love always,
Elder Taylor 




My aunts gift to me: new sweater (my companions idea to look off!) 

SNOW !! This was from 2 weeks ago ... I just didn't send them out 
last week.  It got really cold and then it snowed! 



MY BOYZ!! One of them just went home.  They call us the "El Paso Legends" haha 


This is Crystals kids, they all kept saying "take our picture take our picture"
Love these kids 


My BDAY!  Stuff I got in the mail.  Thanks so much everyone! I'm so grateful! 

 This is Kathy and her grand daughter.  She beaded me a necklace... it is so legit! 
She also made me a cake and Navajo Tacos for my bday! 






Thanksgiving day!! 

Wood Chopping with Louie bright and early in the morning then ate a ton after!




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Change: Training a new missionary again!

A lot has happened this last week ... we had a BAPTISM. It was Kathy Secatero and she is so amazing.  She's fully converted and her perspective on life is forever changed.  I'll talk more about it later in this email. 

I got called to TRAIN again so I'm picking up the brand new missionary tomorrow. I'm sad that I'm having to say bye to Elder Gibson; we were killing it but he was called to be a district leader in another area so I'm super proud of him.  He's been asking me advice but I know he will do great! 

My trainee is awesome!  I totally called it that I was going to be his trainer. Elder Magalei came up to me and gave me a huge hug and said that there are two "poly" brand new missionaries and I was like, YES, one will be mine!  I've been wanting to get a non-white missionary forever (haha) and I got one. Hes was born in Hawaii and now has lived in Utah for 4 years... he's Chinese, Hawaiian and caucasian. We are going to have a great time.  I can already see that he will hearken to a lot I say and really be a powerful missionary. 

My heart is full for the love I have here. I feel at home here; they have adopted me into their culture and hearts. Tomorrow is my birthday and a lot of people want me to come over and then come over for Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to really focus on the work here and to put all I have into these people. I'm changing even more things this next transfer and have set high goals that I want to achieve. 

It snowed up here last week and was so cool ... it was freezing cold.  I took some pics that I'll send next week. 

I got to see a ton of people today when we all met up to find out where we are going and who's going with who. I LOVED seeing old buddies and companions; it was one of the happiest days of my mission.  I'm so grateful to be a part of this marvelous work.  I am now more fired up and have a stronger desire to work even harder. I got to hear Elder Krebs, Ballif and Eaton (who called me when I was home to welcome me to the mission) and all of these other great missionaries' testimonies right before they went home. So sad to see them go. I spent last night at the zone leaders apartment and was with Elder Krebs one last time, writing in journals, and packing. 

Well, I got to go to dinner with a member in their spanish ward in Albuquerque last night and it was the bomb.  They had Carne Asada and all of this good stuff. They asked me to say the prayer so again I did an English/Spanish prayer!  haha I don't know too much Spanish but I tried. Then we went and had to go confirm a little kid who was baptized on Saturday and they asked who they wanted to confirm him and he pointed at me!  haha  They had to tell him I couldn't speak Spanish but I thought it was so funny;  I had just met him and he wanted me to do it at first.
Well, I don't have much time.  I have to go show my trainee around and get him settled in but know how much I love this Gospel.
I was SO humbled today to see so many great missionaries and see them going up and talking to my trainee and telling him about me and stuff.

Christ lives and He does lead this church and this work! 

Elder Taylor 

This is Kathy Secatero.  She will be the future Relief Society president here on the Res! 

Here is me and my new comp Elder Kaleb Keith Makoa Ame Ma'e Ma'e Ah Loy!
Haha!  Finally got me a "poly" comp!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GREATEST week of my mission! My heart is full to the brim with joy!

The last week or so, as you can read by the title of the blog, was amazing. No words can express it... Elder Gibson and I will never forget it. 

As you know, last week it started off with Elder Krebs coming up here and we had a great time.  Then when Elder Gibson came back we only taught 2 lessons the next day.  By Thursday we had only taught around 10 lessons. Well, a few weeks ago I decided to write down our goals and specific people we feel we need to pray for specific things for them. Also, we both have been taking everything to the next level ... wanting to go above our calling. We really worked on consecrating ourselves and Alamo so that we can help these people. Well on Saturday, in one day, we found 14 new Investigators ( people who want to know more about the gospel) and taught 12 lessons that day and set up 3 more baptismal dates. That is like impossible. We have no clue how it happened.  We kept working hard all day and saying gratitude prayers before and after everything!!  We have had to skip dinner the past like 3 nights because the work was going so well and we couldn't stop but the Lord helped sustain us.

We are beginning to realize the power and authority we have as representatives of Jesus Christ. If we are pure vessles and have a constant prayer wanting to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost to help teach and touch the hearts of many.

Then, on Sunday, we had 9 investigators at church and LOVED it. It also was potluck Sunday so we had the huge Thanksgiving feast together after and it was great. There were 75 people at church and 112 total for the food after (that is the record for this building). I'm going to try and contact the mission president and stake president and ask about expanding the building and getting a baptismal font out here.   

I truly feel at home here.  The Navajo culture is now feeling like my culture. I have a special love for them. They usually always pray in Navajo when we visit them and at church and it is so beautiful.  We don't understand what they say but the Spirit is definitely felt. We believe their ancestors have a HUGE part in all of this success; they are helping their family here on earth to hear and accept the Gospel.  We are definitely lead by their spirits. When we go and knock on a house they say " OH".  In Navajo that means "yes" ... so you hear " OH" all the time.  haha They never say "yes" in English... even if they are speaking English they incorporate "oh" into everything. 

ALso they eat fried bread every meal. Sometimes we help make it and toss it in our hands... it is really good but SUPER unhealthy. Everyone right now has deer meat because it is hunting season and they have it with green chile. It is starting to get colder here.  We are having to go out and chop wood for people and bring some to people to help them stay warm for this winter. 

Kathy, who is getting baptized this weekend, is one of the most converted investigators I've ever taught. She just LOVES the scriptures and the Gospel and it all makes sense to her. Other churches around here are a little more crazy than other ones I've seen; like they believe that there is witchcraft and possessed people all of the time and stuff and are really superstitious. So Kathy, when she was a little girl, was forced to go to church with her mom, but was a little nervous.  Well, when she was there someone in the front looked at her weird for a while then shouted, "Get her! She's possessed by a devil." Then all of the congregation went after her and another girl. They started beating and kicking her, ripping her clothes and then left her there. That was her last church experience. She lost hope in a God from that point.  Well, we started seeing her when I got here and after a few weeks it clicked. I told her the purpose of this life, our Father in Heaven's plan for her to be happy and she said that I just answered the questions she has been looking for her WHOLE life. Then, like 3 days later, she basically read more than half of the Book of Mormon by then and was understanding everything. We taught her commandments and one she struggles with was coffee, but after we explained how it can be addictive and take away agency she said I will NEVER drink it again. Anything we teach her she does. Well, just yesterday, we were talking about her baptism and she said she wants all of her family to have the Gospel. Then she looked into our eyes and said, "You guys have no idea how grateful I am... you have saved this soul."  We were oversome by the Spirit. We told her that that is why we are here, to find people like her, and I know God sent us to one of His most valiant daughters and that is her. Words can't express how amazing it was to see someone change and shift their entire life and culture for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She knows this is Christ's true church on the earth; His church. 

We also have Margarita Gandanegro being baptized on Saturday as well and we should have a few more the next week. 

We don't boast of ourselves, but we boast of our God. He is who made all of this possible, we are just following the Spirit to the best we can and being a tool in His Hands. 

I KNOW I'm in Alamo for a reason; to help the ancestors of the Book Of Mormon come to the truth and to be the true covenant people. I'm eternally grateful for the experiences I had last week and for what is to come here. 
This email would never end if I were to tell you all what its like here and the success we had last week, but just know that the Lord is blessing me and my family beyond belief! 

All my Heart,
Elder Taylor 

A pic here out on Alamo on a cool sunset day!

After church with 2 Navajo Princesses

Reporting the success of the most blessed week we have ever had our whole missions! 
The Zone Leaders were tripping out on how awesome it was. We are so grateful! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Enjoy eternal experiences ... for they are few

Great past week up here in Alamo. We had a Zone training meeting last Friday and it was super awesome. There were so many things that were said to do that I'm already doing... like using better language or praying for specific things. It showed me how truly inspired the mission and the individuals can be! Now P-day is going to be on Tuesdays mission wide ... our mission president changed it to that.  I'm so grateful to be here as a missionary when all of these major changes are happening and to be of the largest army force ever!

So on Monday I went on exchanges with Elder Krebs (when we switch and go with another missionary just for the day). He has been my Zone leader and best bud for my whole mission, but he's going home on the 27th of this month... my bday actually. We have been together for 9 months. From when I first got into the mission field to now here in Alamo; we have always been stuck together. So, as I've pondered this, how come the Lord has always put us right by each other, I came to understand something. That there is no luck; it truly is the hand of the Lord and it was because I needed to learn great things from Elder Krebs. On exchanges we asked millions of questions back and forth, spoke of who we are and how we want our very natures to be changed, and about how we are not the same people who left on our mission. I've got an inch think of talks on my desk he copied!  ha ha  We are a team. He lost his mom as well and I feel that the Lord knew we could help each other with that challenge. We also believe our mothers are together in the spirit world just rejoicing and looking down on their sons with pride for what we are doing. 

We must all cherish and love those who come into our path of life. This mortal journey is divinely guided and when we submit ourselves to our Father in Heaven we will receive eternal experiences such as miracles, friendships, and trials that only point to a higher power and His perfect plan. Never lose focus on our end goal and our purpose in life. 
Enjoy all of the simple laughs, or when you hear a child's prayer; little things pierce our heart as well.  "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." Alma 37:6  

I'm grateful to have found my true brother, Elder Krebs, who I know will be an eternal friend and who will rejoice as much as I will when we are reunited with our loving mothers and are embraced by their love. We both testify of this plan and that even though we lose love ones we WILL see them again.

We had a miracle story.  That same day Elder Gibson forgot to give me the Alamo phone before he left so we had no phone. Well, there was a family we forgot to tell the Crofts to pick up so we went to the family's house to say that we were sorry because we couldn't get them a ride this week.  When we arrived we saw they were all dressed and ready to go.  So then I said we will find them a ride... just stay there!  We can't call with no cell phone so we start driving towards the church but I thought I saw the Crofts pass us and felt I needed to turn around so I did. We went to someone's house they always pick up and they were there, just about to leave and we barely had enough room to pick up the other family. It was a miracle of both faith and works. The family is awesome but hasn't come to anything and we want to set a baptism date ... so this was huge. They LOVED family home evening and everyone was so nice to them. The hand of the Lord was definitely in it; we could have just told them we were sorry we couldn't  get them a ride this week, but we didn't ... we found a way and because it was God's will it happened!  We truly were divinely guided. 

I challenge all who read this to focus on enjoying the eternal experiences this week; looking for them, and remembering past ones so that your eyes may be opened to the greatness of God through your journey. I testify that He lives.  He is busy striving to bless us in every way but I know He knows we are worth it. 

Thanks for all the support in letters and emails! 

One Love,
Elder Taylor 

Yea... I dunked and broke the backboard!
Nah, it was like this! ha  

One last hurrah for me and Elder Krebs!! LEGENDARY


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Striving to illuminate Christ's qualities will enrich our lives

The seasons are changing... it has been getting colder and colder up here. This morning there was ice on our truck, and on October 25th there was a big hailstorm here ... it almost looked like snow. 

This past week I have seen great miracles, prayers answered and the fruits of my labors begin to come forth. 

We had a BAPTISM of Sydney Apachito on Saturday.  It was wonderful.  Her dad will be baptized in a week or so. We currently have SIX people on a date to be baptized this month! We are planning on getting maybe 3 or 4 more. It has been amazing to see the Lord's hand in all things.  

We have told and been told this past week that God had sent us at this time. As I've pondered my calling, and who I represent I feel I need to become more like Christ. There has been countless people in my life that I've felt the love of the Savior just from their presence and attributes. In Preach my Gospel it teaches that Faith, Hope, Charity, Love, Virtue, Knowledge, Patience, Humility, Diligence and Obedience are all great attributes of Christ. I add to that Positivity (like my email from last week) as well as Focused. We all can work on each one of these. For me, as I've purified myself and become a more consecrated missionary I've seen my heart and nature change. Now I'm working to shift my sails into the direction of changing my attributes to be in-line with the "Lighthouse of the Lord."  If we focus on one attribute at a time and learn from it we will see that change in our lives. Serve, love and strip yourself of all pride; humble yourself, recognize you are not perfect and change your behavior. My thought is this... that God created us to have these Christ-like attributes listed above; that is the kind of intelligences we were made to be but because life on earth is a test we must work on those qualities. You will see that once you work on Charity and Love or whatever it may be that it will almost feel natural;  this is how you have always been... we are reminding ourselves of who we are destined to be. I gave a training on this a few days ago for a district meeting (a meeting with other missionaries) and the assistants to the Mission President surprised us and showed up. It was awesome to have them there and be part of it all.  I taught of Charity, Love, Virtue and Positivity. I left them with this statement and I'll leave the same one with you all... If we continue to seek for help to become more like Christ we will receive aid from heaven, and increased amount of courage and determination.  Then your confidence will increase in your pursuit to be who you are destined to be,,,  like our Loving Savior.

 
Miracle story:  so Charlotte and Billy Joe Guerro are two recent converts to the Church. They got baptized like 2 or 3 months ago.  Billy Joe baptized Sydney last Saturday because he is her grandpa so we thought it would be perfect for him to do it and he accepted. Afterwards they went to the Albuquerque temple to do baptisms. Charlotte said she saw angels in the baptismal water and all around it jumping up and down, almost like dancing, because of the excitement of the ordinances being done for them. She said she's never seen anything like it and told Billy Joe.  He said he saw the exact same thing too. They said they will forever cherish that experience and she said she didnt want to leave... she wanted to live in the temple !  We were taken aback hearing that.  We were hoping they would have a great time at the temple for their first time but we didn't expect that they would see something that spiritual. Temples are so truly amazing and those who are worthy do receive miracles.



We played basketball at the Wellness Center here on the Res and I taught my companion on Pday how to really shoot a basketball and do layups and stuff. There is this Navajo guy who we know from playing ball with.  His family is basically the toughest family on the Res and I think are a "gang".  They all wear blue bandannas and stuff.  He asked if we could split his wood because he broke his rib. So we did but there were a ton of other people who could of done it at the house, and he never came out to say hi to us. So, he played me in basketball and I will nicely say that I dominated him then and  he was humbled by that.   I called him out and asked, "Are you going to thank us for chopping your wood?! " He was caught off guard and said, "Oh, yeah... thanks."  I said, "Yeah, you never came and talked to us.  Now we are coming over to your house to talk to you about something that will change your life."  He said, "Uh, I'm might not be home."  Then I said, "It's fine we will stop by until we catch you."  ;)  haha  He was stuck and had no excuse so he said ok. My companion was tripping out because he couldn't believe I would call out this tattooed big gangster guy like that, and to get him to listen to us. For me I see EVERYONE as my brother and sister.  So if I gotta call out my brother, teach him a lesson and humble him because it will help then I will do it. I fear no one.  Now all of the scary wanna-be gangster kids here on the Res come up to me and want me to be on their team next time I play basketball or they tell me they have got my back if anyone trys to mess with me. It is cool because now the people who thought we were the weird white church men now think we are like the coolest guys on the Res. People's hearts will change IF you are level with them, think as they think, abd put yourself in their shoes; you will help mold them into who they ought to be
.
Thank you so much for all the support!  I couldn't do it without all of the prayers and love.


Elder Taylor 



My companion filmed me being funny and dumb in the church wearing my beanie like this!  ha 

Baptism of Sydney Apachito and the gang! 

A giant shovel I found.  Why would anyone have one this big?! ha 
 
This was the sunset from this week ... I'm in paradise. 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

As We Remain Positive... We Remain Powerful

Words can't express the joy that I have felt this past week serving in this vineyard. I can't help but think of that scripture in Matthew 10 saying if we lose our life for the Lord that we shall find it, and as I contine to forget about myself and be obedient I'm truly finding my purpose and potential. 

My mission president and I are really close and he asked if he could meet us in Socorro and just say Hi on his way down to El Paso  We met up with him.  He wears Ray Ban glasses just like me so I got a pic and threw the peace sign out the window when he drove off.  haha He is awesome! We're grateful for our mission president and for how much he loves Alamo.  He calls us his "heroes" out here and that his goal in life would be to serve on Alamo .. pretty cool. 

In the Navajo culture there are four sacred mountains and the one in New Mexico is called Taylor!! How cool is that? So I want to go up and climb it someday and pray on top of it because it is named after me. haha  I joke around with the natives saying maybe if I got up there I'll come down looking like a Navajo!  

I set a goal for my mission just two mornings ago. I felt I needed to set a goal for how many convert baptisms I was going to have on my mission.  I prayed about it, and thought logically about what I could stretch and achieve...the goal is 40!  I have to get about two or so every single month until I leave.  That is sort of hard in this mission I think, but I know its possible if I work hard and pray with much strength and faith.

I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind recently and about what I feel can help. In district meeting I kind of spoke about this too, but as the title of this blog post says, "as we remain positive... we remain powerful."  I made that up randomly when I was sending out a text to someone, but I believe it with all of my heart. Each and everyone of us are powerful.  As I contemplate the complexity of our minds I've noticed how much positivity will help with our knowledge  joy and the true power that it brings. We can overcome our natural tendencies or the natural man like the scriptures say.  Now I know we all just have those sucky days when life throws us that curve ball and the opposition rises but you must remember the "glad game!"  The "glad game" is what our last mission president came out with before they left.  In the game you take EVERY single thing in your day that is negative and find a positive.  For example: "Oh no, I'm late for my meeting"; you can glad-game-it and think, "Well, at least I obeyed the law and was driving safe."  Another example: "The kids made a total mess in the house!" or glad-game-it and think, "They had a total blast playing and making it messy".  Something I always do is this: "Ah, they weren't home for their appointment;  Well, I know that the Lord must have someone else prepared for us to see."  You see the difference? Adding that positive note on the end makes ALL of the differnece. As we continue to do that in our lives we will see less negative thoughts and words, but our natures will be changed to speaking positively.   Christ was the perfect example of being positive.  He faced so much but continued every day to help others. I've noticed in my life that much opposition has been hitting me with negative thought, but as I've tried controlling my thoughts with positivity the rest of my body receives strength and I smile more and keep pressing forward. Look at the apostles and prophet... don't they just seem so happy and positive? Its because they play the "glad game!" haha  Just kidding...  I dont' know but I do know they always are positive.

From now on BE POSITIVE in all you do.  Pray that our Father in Heaven will help you with this.  It is not easy... especially in the world today, but it is possible through works and faith. 

Miracle story this week is about a guy named Shannon who should be baptized either this Saturday or the next. We were just talking to him outside and he was shoveling a hole and we read a quick scripture to him. I felt prompted to ask, "Shannon, is this book in my hand true? Is this the word of God written by your ancestors?"  He said "Yes, yes it is... I know it is true."  I said, "Well then, does that mean you believe that this church truly is Christ's true church again on the earth?"  He said, "Yes it is His true church."  Then I asked him, "Shannon, how do you know that?"  He replied with something remarkable.... "because it has changed my ENTIRE life.  Since I've met with you my family has been blessed. I've been happier.  I don't get in big fights anymore. I stopped looking for a church because they all seemed to be doing it for the wrong reason until I found truth here.  I want to follow God so that's why I want to be baptized in His true church.  I don't care what others say about me."  My companion and I were almost startled; we have never asked him that before and I was kind of nervous and wasn't sure why I asked him that.  But I do know why... it's because HE needed to hear his own testimony. That right there guys is why I'm out here.  Why I left it all for two years. Why I'm dead tired everyday.  Why I miss my family and left it all is for people like Shannon who say that this Gospel we shared with him changed his life forever.

I testify that this Gospel will and does change your life if you allow it to. Christ lives.  He is our Shepherd and as we follow Him we will not fall astray.

Love to you all and I thank you for the emails and letters of support, they help me tremendously! 

Much Love,
Elder Taylor 


This is the smallest dog I have EVER seen 

This is my awesome outfit that I made out of stuff I had in the trailer. haha 
I'm a nerd I think? 

Here we are passing candy out at the Trunk-or-treat at the church. 
We had a chili cook-off and pie cook-off! 

My 2 little friends! Makes me miss my little cousins 

Anita fed us some bomb Navajo tacos and she's super converted to the Gospel. We love her! 

This is the pic of me and Pres. looking fresh with the Rays on! haha