Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello everyone!

So this past week I finished my first book called Our Search for Happiness by Elder Ballard. It was awesome.  For all of you who are not members READ it because it explains this Gospel perfectly.  If you are a member your should still read it and then give it to a non-member friend. 

So, I heard a really cool promise yesterday at church for all of the members in our stake. They were told that if they drive directly to the Juarez Mexico temple that they will make it safely  and that the Lord will protect them and NO one has had any problems. 

So, it was transfers and Elder Schneider and I are staying together for another 6 weeks... which is tight!  We used to be in a only sister missionary district but now it is bigger since we got 4 new elders!  Pretty awesome. I had to speak and play piano for the meeting because my comp is the district leader (haha). I hate playing piano when I'm rusty. 

My aunt told me that I've got over a thousand views on my blog!!  That was so humbling to hear ... I truly hope this uplifts people as they read.  PLEASE share it with non-member friends...l want it to be a missionary opportunity as well. :) 

Last Sunday I attended Moises baptism.  He has tattoos all over his body and face, and has been investigating for 5 YEARS and now, finally, after waiting because of certain crimes he committed before he could get baptized.  Anyone can have a change of heart. He paid tithing and did everything without being a member and now he finally is. 

We met with Christopher, a divorced father with 3 girls and an awesome hispanic guy who's job is making commercials and tv shows.  I asked him to be baptized, and he said "YES" and that his step dad was a member.
Tomorrow is my mother's birthday.  March 26th 1970 was when our Heavenly Father gave us a very special daughter of his to BLESS ALL of us. Not a day that goes by that I don't think of her or how she would react in a situation or what she would tell me. I want everyone who reads this to do something on the 26th for someone else!!!  Because my mother was always in the service of others ... so do something on her behalf. I pray that I will feel closer to her as I serve and that her passing will only make me stronger and make me be able to testify of the Gospel and it's impact on one's life!  I have to go because I didn't have a lot of time today, but I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Yours Truly,
Elder Taylor

Some pictures from this week ...

a picture of me planning! haha
that's how many people we've got! so cool!

a beautiful sunset

a letter "C" for my mom from my aunt coco ...
in remembrance of her and her bday tomorrow on the 26th!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Miracle Week

This past week has changed everything for me. It has been the best week of my mission.

 A few days ago we met with a guy named Ray and it was our second lesson with him. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and in the middle of it I invited him to be baptized and he said YES... but when he is ready. So, we finished teaching the lesson and asked when he thought he was ready and he said June or July.  Well, the whole time I was thinking it should be the end of March... so I told him at the end of the month he could be ready and I promised him that the Lord would provide a way and he could be ready. He said, "I Can Do It!"  We were soooo happy!

Later that night we met with a guy named Robby. One of our appointments fell through and we saw him getting his car towed and just waved.  Then on our way back to our car we asked what was wrong with his car. After a hour and a half talk he shared about his car, his life and the hard things he's gone through: like living in a car a year ago, being kicked out of his house, getting expelled from school, drugs, problems with the law, and his father passed away 4 Months ago!!  I was completely able to relate to him and I PROMISED him that our message will bless him, his wife, and his baby on the way.  I told him that this Gospel will help him with the loss of his father because it has helped me with losing my mother. He asked us to go to his apartment the next day and teach him. We taught about the Restoration and he said everything makes so much sense... he always wondered why there are so many different churches.  At the end I committed him to baptism, and literally one second after I asked he blurted out, "YES!!!!"  We were shocked and so happy at the same time.  We read out of the Book of Mormon together and he said every time he reads he feels happy and peaceful... and that he's never felt that before when he's read scriptures. Right before we left he asked if we could teach his wife because he knows she needs to hear this. We said, "Of course," and then I asked him, "Robby, do you believe that this could be Christ's true church restored on the earth once again?"  He replied, "There is no doubt in my mind that this truly is Christ's church!"  It was so amazing that I almost broke down in tears that night because of those two men who realized that baptism in this Church will forever bless and change their life and that this is the true church of God. 

Last miracle I'll share is about my companion.  He's a convert and that in its self is an amazing story.  The missionary that taught him 8 years ago was named Elder Hill. He's a huge part of why my companion converted ... but Elder Hill was transferred out before my companion knew that the church was true and that he was going to get baptized.  Over the past 8 years Elder Schneider has been searching to find him so he could tell him that he joined the church and is serving a mission...  but he NEVER found him.  

One night I called an investigator to set an appointment up, and then i usually call our dinner appointment but this time I felt like he should do it ... so I gave him the phone. He called a member who just moved here from California and asked if it was Brother Stewart? The man who answered said, "No, you have the wrong number, but I used to be a member but I left because I never found a testimony.  I went to BYU and read the Book of Mormon but never got a testimony."  Elder Schneider, of course, talked to him about it and bore his testimony about this Gospel.  He thought it was crazy that he happened to call a member but at the end he said his name was ERICK HILL.  My companion said, "This is a shot in the dark but do you know an Elder Hill who served in Arkansas?"  That man said, "Yes, my brother Brian."  INSTANTLY my companion fell to his knees and sobbed and said he's been looking for his brother Elder Hill for 8 years and that he's a huge part of why I'm serving a mission. 

After that phone call the Elder Hill called my companion and they talked and it was amazing to hear the conversation. Elder Hill told him that they have been praying for his brother to get back to church and he said when he talked to him on the phone that he KNEW he felt the spirit and that this was an answer to his family's prayers and that hopefully he will come back to church. MIRACLE. The Lord made Elder Schneider read the last two numbers wrong and dial Elder Hill's brother. It was so spiritual and touching to see. Elder Hill is now married and has two kids and goes to Northwestern (like my dad did) and graduated from BYU. It truly is something I will never forget. 

This past week has changed my life and my whole mission. My love for the people I teach has been forever growing. I know that we have a LOVING Heavenly Father who gives us miracles like I've had to strengthen us and our faith BUT theres always a trial of faith before we receive these miracle so DON'T give up when things get hard. I love you all and am praying that my words touch those of you who read this that are not members of this faith and even those who are that this will help steer you in the right path and bring hope, faith and joy into your life.
All my Love,
Elder Taylor

We went to Hueco Tanks and it was so cool! 
It's like a really famous place to travel to

My box from my amazing family that they sent for St Patrick's Day 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Elder Taylor's trainer

Elder Taylor's father received the following email and wanted to share :


I'm a student in the JD/MBA program at Northwestern and by a serendipitous set of events, had a chance to talk to your son's missionary companion on the phone last night for a few minutes. I thought I'd send a quick note to let you know if I could hand pick a missionary companion to train my son as a missionary it would be Elder Schneider, his current companion. I taught him in the mission field when he was 17 and he's hard working Arkansas boy that is as kind as they come. He seemed pretty excited to be working with your son so I thought I'd just pass that along (especially since it was even more coincidental that your son was born in Evanston while you were at Northwestern).

Take care and know your son's in great hands,


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Email from March 11th

Hey everyone,
So 2 weeks ago we had a zone conference. My companion and I had to do a role play as master teachers in front of everyone... the mission president and everything. It was on the kingdoms of glory and I felt we did very well. One of the zone leaders made a comment saying that as you taught you seemed like two missionaries... not like one trainer and a junior companion ... so I thought that was cool. 

Well, this last Friday we had a zone meeting just with the missionaries in El Paso and they asked us AGAIN to do a role play. It was just about how a ward council meeting should be like so it wasn't too hard, but still. haha.  

So I think I've told you about Chris.  We've been teaching him and he had a baptismal date. He's been going to Spanish ward but we started teaching him because he speaks no Spanish.  He was referred to us by the Spanish elders so we, of course, figured he lived in our area...  but we found out 4 days before his baptism that he lives in another area and another stake!  So, on Saturday he was baptized at our building so our ward and Spanish ward could come but it was under the direction of his new ward... so TECHNICALLY it's not our baptism but I still say it was!  haha It was amazing. I had to play piano in front of everyone because no one else could play and I was really rusty.  My companion and I were witnesses for the baptism. 

Also, that day was the six-month mark since my mother passed.  I wore everything that reminded me of her... my tie, ring, watch and of course my necklace that I wear everyday! I found a scripture that my mom happened to say helped her when her sister Careen passed away and now this scripture is helping me with my mom. 

D&C 101:36, 37
Wherefore, fear not unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.

Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul,  and for the life of the soul.

This scripture is so powerful and meaningful to me. Not a day goes by that I don't think of that amazing women. I always pray about her and I'm trying to study doctrine about the Spirit World and what she's doing and how I can feel her in my life more. 

So, on Saturday night at 9:15pm I got a call and we were asked to speak in our ward about the Resurrection the next morning. So, after all other missionary stuff we had to do, my comp and I finally were able to start preparing at 10:15 at night. We ended up not finishing until 3:15am because of the hour time change. My desk was filled with books and scriptures and everything. We had to make it really good so we could gain the member's trust so that they will help us more as missionaries.  The missionaries before us lost a lot of their trust.  We only had 3 HOURS OF SLEEP!  It ended up going really well ... I learned a lot from preparing and a lot of members and stake representatives that were there came up and thanked us for our talks and that it kept them awake. haha We've been getting so many people that we need to contact we had to buy a whole new white board to put names on it, and we filled the whole thing up. A lot of appointments fell through last week but we are hoping this week we can actually meet with a lot more!  There is a guy named Ray that I'm going to challenge to get baptized on Wednesday and to get baptized by the end of this month! :)  We will see how that goes. 

Here is a cool quote: "If the foundation of FAITH is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble... it is NEVER too late to strengthen the foundation of faith." Henry B. Eyring. 

I hope you all have a great week and thank you for the letters and emails ... I really appreciate them all!  I'm sending out 10 letters today so I promise I'll reply it just takes some time! ha

I hope everyone will strengthen their foundation this week like that quote says and read Helaman 5:12.
Your all's missionary,
Elder Taylor

Showing off my letters!

Jacob ... the baptism from 3 weeks ago

Valentine's from my ward Primary

Chris' baptism

Picture of my desk while we were preparing for our talks!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Email from March 4th


So, first off I'm going to tell you about the baptism I had a last week. 

So he is a total STUD. His name is Jacob and he's 28 years old and has a 2 year old cute girl. He served in the military for 10 years and on his last deployment he came home and his wife was all packed up and said she's leaving and that he is taking their daughter. So his life completely changed. He had to leave their house with his little girl because the army has a rule if you are a single parent you can't serve.  Now he has his little girl so he can't be deployed or anything so they moved in with his dad.. with No job and No wife and he is going to college right now. His friend Matt is a member and he called him and said as he was moving he found a Book of Mormon that Matt gave him years ago and read some of it. He called Matt and said he wants to meet with the missionaries. 

So, before I got there they taught him the first 3 lessons and he committed to baptism. He read in Moses chapter 6 and a huge power came over him and he knew in his heart that it was true. So now his whole life is changed, he listens to church talks while he works out, he listens to them on his way to school, etc.  He's teaching his little girl how to pray, he reads the Book of Mormon and New Testament every day and goes to Institute every Wednesday and he plays ball with the ward too. He teaches me and my companion when we go over at times ... he is FULLY CONVERTED. We have never seen anyone be so desirable to have this Gospel. At his greatest moment of weakness and depression he found Christ's true church and it has forever changed his life. He will always hold a place in my heart .. the FIRST baptism ... one month since I've been a missionary and he's just amazing. 

So this week has been up and down. We haven't had a lot of appointments,and a lot of people have been canceling on us last minute.  A lot of people are busy when we try to go see them.  On Saturday we had a FULL day and really worked hard but NO ONE answered or let us in or returned our calls.  I know we did all we could and that the Lord will bless us in our efforts because we were doing all that we could!  :)  I have faith that this next week will be amazing. 

We are scheduled for another baptism this Saturday but there's been a lot of complications because his girlfriend is a memeber in the Spanish ward.  He wants to go there but he can't because he doesn't speak Spanish.  So there's a big mess but hopefully he will get baptized this Saturday. 

So I have been growing more of a love for being a missionary and really trying to be fully committed and focused on it.  I've been happier and time has been going by faster that way too, its crazy. But I'm really loving the people here. I'm literally in MEXICO!  haha  45% of the people here ONLY speak Spanish, not English, but I'm trying to learn a little bit.  I can say a few missionary-type things and the Church's name but that's about all!  ha. Well. pray that my comp and I will have a great week and bring others unto Christ. READ THE SCRIPTURES every day ... it will strengthen you in the rough world and will bring you blessings and joy... I promise. 

2 Nephi  9:18 really stood out to me this week. 

Elder Taylor