Monday, February 25, 2013

First Baptism!!!

I'm so sorry everyone but I forgot my cord to download pictures so I can't send the baptism picture but I will next week.. I promise! His name is Jacob and he's 28. He's so ready for the Gospel. He's already teaching us missionaries. He just is understanding the Gospel so much more and it's a remarkable story. I'll tell the story when I send the picture next week. 

My companion and I did great this week. This area hasn't had a baptism for 6 months and we've had one and another one planned next week... and a lot of promising investigators.

In El Paso there is crazy weather. In one week we had a rainstorm, then it started hailing and then we had a sandstorm yesterday and crazy winds. It seemed every time we were out and about doing the work was in the crazy weather... but it seemed EVERY TIME we had the most success was when it was hard with weather. We knocked on a guys door who said he was just praying for some help and hope in his life then we came to the door. It was a miracle and I can't wait to see how things go with him. I feel he's ready for the Gospel!  I hope everyone has a good week and know I pray for all my family and friends every night ... all of your guys love is what keeps me going! 

Elder Taylor  

Monday, February 18, 2013

First Week in El Paso, Texas!

I'm so tired! I thought I was tired at the MTC but that was nothing compared to this. 

My companion is awesome and our area needs a lot of work but we have a baptism on Saturday. We have a lot of people we set appointments with next week so we're meeting with them soon and have a good feeling about a lot of them so we will see! I was able to attend another wards baptism yesterday and it was amazing to see.. the joy that comes with baptism and making that promise and receiving the Holy Ghost is so awesome.

There is a lot of goodness in the world but SO MUCH evil ... like the world is getting worse and worse and to me it's hard to see. I've talked to people and tried helping people who have done or are going through horrible things.. like stuff I don't ever want to share. So many people are getting divorced too or are in 3rd marriages and that's something I feel is sacred and people treat it like nothing. But there are still a few people we talk to that need this Gospel to help and bless their lives.

I ran into an African American family a few days ago and the dad was a military guy and wasn't at first interested, but by the time we stopped talking he took his hat off and bowed down to us and was almost tearing up and said, "You servants from the Lord are here for a reason. Come back Tuesday and don't eat. I want you to teach my whole family."  I KNOW we were there at that time for a reason. We were kinda sad because our appointment canceled that night so we just went knocking and ran into that guy. So tomorrow we are teaching him.  I'll let you guys know how it is. 

We have taught this guy Raymundo and boy is he something else. He's 60 and alone ... just him and his dog.  He has a Spanish accent and isn't a believer in God and just thinks of the craziest questions but we answer them and even though he gets on our last nerves we still love and care for him. I've only met with like ONE white family this whole week I've been here... everyone is Hispanic here.. it's nothing like Texas. It's like Mexico but just not as dangerous as it is in Juarez which is like 10 min away from us. We hear about the Cartel a lot here too and crazy stories. A lot of Mexicans here are sad because they used to live there but had to leave because of how dangerous it is.

Also there's a 15 year old girl who is an investigator. Her LDS friend (that's a girl)  dropped a rose off at her house and said it was from us. So when we went to her house her mom said she wasn't there but that the rose we dropped off made her day and was so grateful for it. W were ere like uhhhh .... that's not from us! ha ha As missionaries we don't do that! So, yea, that was really awkward!! haha  

Well, anyways, there are a lot more stories I can tell but just don't have time but next week I'll be able to share some more crazy ones and talk about the baptism. Love you all and love hearing from everyone! The church is TRUE! 

Elder Taylor 

This picture was sent from a sister at the mission office.
It is Elder Taylor and other Elders/Sisters at the 
New Mexico Albuquerque Temple on the day they arrived

 LDS Church building in El Paso, Texas

Elder Taylor and Elder Schneider

A glimpse of their apartment

Elder Taylor's family received this email on February 12th (the day after he arrived in the mission field)...

Dear Taylor family,

We just had a great dinner with your son, Elder Taylor! I guess we were his first dinner appointment in the mission field! We are so excited to have him in our ward. We love our missionaries. He didn't want me to tell you his area because he is hopefully going to email you himself tommorow, and he wanted to be the one to tell you.  :) but I thought you'd like to know he is safe and doing well! It was fun to talk to him because my daughter is the same age as your daughter-first grade-so my daughter thought that was really cool. We will take good care of him! This is a picture of my kids with Elder Taylor and Elder Schneider.

Adrianne Snyder

Friday, February 8, 2013

MTC Letter # 3

3 more days!!

I can't believe how fast my stay here at the MTC has gone. Its been great but I can't wait to head to the mission field and teach the people of New Mexico. This week has been great, my companion and I have been doing a lot better at teaching the Gospel and being more effective.  Our teacher was telling us that we have great potential as being very effective missionaries ... so it was great to hear that. The Spirit has been with me more and more each day which helps me understand the gospel better as I study but more importantly to be able to use the Spirit to direct me while I'm teaching and help me know what to say. There are a few great quotes and things I've heard this week that I wanna share:

" There is no such thing as an unsolveable problem with the Gospel".

 "Church is for imperfect people coming to worship perfect things".

"God doesnt count baptisms, He counts Converts!" 


"We don't convert, the Spirit does, we just need to make it present so it can do its part". 

I love all of the quotes and things I've learned. Each and every one is powerful and we can each take something from it. Something else is that sucess requires obedience, hard work and sacrifice. It requires us to WANT to bring others to Christ. Also, that every problem can be solved with work ... work harder when it gets tough.  

I am at the very end of the Book Of Mormon. I've got like 50 more pages and will finish before the MTC like I promised and it has been a blessing. The Lord has helped me so much with it. People don't understand how I've had only like 6 hours of sleep at night and then be able to have an 18 hour day!! It's the Lord... He's giving me the strength to wake up early to read the BOM and be able to continue with my day because He knows it's important that I finish it. It is so powerful ...  this book changes lives... I've seen it and it has happend to me!  Share it with everyone you know ... share the joy.

Here is a scripture that I really love that is exactly what I want to be able to say with power and conviction: "Behold, God is my salvation; I will Trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation."  2 Nephi 22:2

Tomorrow, the 9th, is the 5-month-mark since my loving mother passed away.  I wanna do something special so I deciced I'll write a little email to her as if I was sending it to her and tell her how I feel.
Dear Mom,

The mission has been amazing so far.  I love all of the people I'm with and the sister missionaries are so strong.. there are a few that remind me of you if you were 19. You have prepared me my whole life for this huge opportunity I have.  You have always guided me on the right path, made sure I attended church and made sure I would be a strong man that can handle anything that life throws at you. I know I could have been better at scriprture study and payed more attention at times but i KNOW that besides that you have prepared me to be a missionary and to always continue on when it gets hard. I wish you were there to drop me off.  I just pictured you balling like a baby as I hugged you goodbye and as I walked away (ha) but what's so amazing is that we didn't have to do that ...  that I didn't have to walk away cuz now you can always be with me wherever I am. 

Last night my companion and I taught about the Plan Of Salvation.  Yes, they are actors playing a role but we are teaching them as if it's real and the Spirit was so strong. This person we were teaching hasn't been very receptive to the Spirit as we have met but this time as I spoke about the Plan of Salvation and how it is a plan of happiness his heart softened.  As I shared why it's important and how its blessed my life I could see in his eyes that he knew this Gospel was true.  He said, "Why wouldn't anyone want this?!"  I said exactly... we all need this. We commited him to baptism and after 2 minutes of silence and the Spirit working on him he looked up and said OK!  We were sooooo happy,  my companion and I just wanted to jump up and scream.  He realizes that God and Christ love him and want him to return with them and the first step is baptism. Mom, I want you to know that there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you!  I wear my necklace EVERYDAY under my white shirt and tie.
Love your oldest son/ momas boy/ best friend/ Missionary,
Elder Taylor  

Friday, February 1, 2013

MTC letter #2

Hey everyone!

So I've been here for a week and 2 days, and its like the longest days of my life but the fastest weeks! haha  I'm learning so much here, its almost too much but that.s the point ... they throw a lot at you and you pick up everything you can. My companion and I have 3 people we're teaching here for practice and its been great. Every time we teach them we're able to touch them more and more and I am becoming a lot better at being an effective teacher. 

This week we really talked about prayer a lot and how it's important for everyone to build that relationship with Heavenly Father ... it is so true! HE wants to hear from us and hear our troubles, concerns and answers and all we have to do is talk to Him through prayer. My advice for everyone this week is to pray and not only pray but pray often and see the amazing difference that you'll see in your life.  I've been doing that lately and I've been receiving my answers and being blessed.

 I love you all and hope everything is well. I've had less time to email this week so that's why it's a little bit shorter. The best way to communicate to me while in the MTC is using DEAR ELDER... it's a website.

Much love,
Elder Taylor

If anyone wants to send a letter to Elder Taylor in the MTC NOW is the time ... he is scheduled to leave the MTC for New Mexico on Monday, FEBRUARY 11th.

Elder Justin Williams Taylor
MTC Mailbox # 359
NM-ALB 0211
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

or you can use