Monday, August 26, 2013

Ain't no mountain high enough

This has been a wonderful week of growth for me. I’ve learnt new and wonderful lessons through a “small and wimpy” trial, but I feel any opposition you face both big and small have a blessing and a lesson attached to the end of it. 

Basically ALL of last week I was sick... I got a headache, dizziness, shivers, gagging and the main part is a super bloated stomach and cramps.  To add to that our car got broken into or something and someone stole my sun glasses and my new GPS that I bought like 4 months ago. 

Now I feel like a little girl writing about this on here.  First off I wasn’t even planning on telling even my family about me being sick but I feel my thoughts about my week may help someone. Secondly, this is SUPER minor to what other people face medically, but it was just enough to try to throw me off my game. Immediately after I felt really off I could see the opposition kick in, and I could see how easily of a target I was for the adversary to hit. Then came the thoughts, Do I really wanna do anything? Should I just give up and start tomorrow? I've got an excuse becauseI’m sick”. Whatever the circumstances we are in those thoughts arise, but for me it was against missionary work. I came to the conclusion that if I was to just go to the apartment and mope around not feeling good that would mean that I gave in... so I went out and worked hard. Let me say that I saw MIRACLES guys; even though my companion and the members out with us were saying that i was crazy and I should go home and rest or go to the doctors or whatever I KNEW without a doubt that if I truly am the Lord's missionary that He would help me through. 

I can honestly say that this past week has been one of the most in-tune-to-the-Spirit-weeks on my mission.  I felt guided. I felt angels round about to help me push through and help me see those who needed MORE help than me and we ministered to them. Amazing thing was that every time I felt the Spirit or the Spirit was in the room all my pains went away; my burdens were lifted for that second then returned afterward. No one who reads this or even my companion will understand how much I needed this testing week, and how much I grew from it. I feel like I just conquered Satan; even though he overpowered my thoughts constantly.  I knew that if I had a prefect brightness of hope I would overcome it and I have NO regrets on anything last week because I did not give into the temptations. 

As we face things that we feel set us back, or make things “harder” than usual...  remember the Savior, and know that there are so many blessings to come if we endure it well. My thoughts were on the Savior this week, as He took all of the pains and afflictions of the world ,even mine, and that right there is EXACTLY the thing that carried me and carries all of us to press forward with strength, zeal and courage.

Miracle story:  There was a potential investigator's house that we wanted to see but we didn’t get the address and a member was driving but my companion said we were in the area (note my comp found him 2 weeks prior while I was on exchanges and I went with him once after at nighttime but never got into the house. We had a GPS then and that was a week before this time), but it was the afternoon and hot and all the houses look the same and I’m not feeling good, but then I just offered a little prayer in my head and said, "Father show me where to go."  I looked up and told the member to keep driving , then said turn right, then said turn at the next left, and so on.  After a few blocks we totally drive right up to the house. Now the sad part was he didn’t answer and he was there but I wasn’t discouraged at all because I KNEW God gave me and us that awesome miracle to find the house because someone close by needed us a lot more.  We went to see the first person on my mind and that’s exactly where we needed to be. I can’t give details too much because of personal things about the person, but lets just say that the hand of the Lord was in it.  I gave a blessing to someone that I’ll never forget and I actually cried while giving it (which I’ve never done) because I felt that our Heavenly Father's total love that He had for this person and I felt the veil so thin and it was very special.

I testify that the priesthood is real. That the power to act in God’s name is a privilege and honor. Faith is the key thing to have in good times, normal times and bad times... let it always be your main component in your life to help motivate you to carry on.  

Be bold and believe that God will guide you... if you know that He can, and He will.


Elder Taylor

This is a guy who was visiting.  He was baptized 20 years ago here and has a special spirit. He has some disabilities but KNOWS the church is true and totally loves missionaries. 

An awesome package dropped off from the Butterfields last week ! 

YES!  I am rockin' some khakis ... I would wear them everday if I could!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Press On

The title of this email is exactly what I’ve been having to tell myself this last week. I’ve been learning more and more to just keep going and to press on. This isn’t easy.  It's crazy and I’m sure it breaks some people's hearts but being a missionary doesn’t mean we are always perfect.  Haha  It wasn’t until my mission that I realized  all of the behind-the-scenes that goes on. I always thought missionaries would teach people and they would get baptized right away and that everyone’s so open to the Gospel . There’s life lessons to be learned though ...  there’s some days in life that go by so fast and there are other days that feel that they never end. I’m grateful for a mission to learn this and to learn to press on for the Lord and not give up. There have been trials, tough times, rejection, ignorance and extremely hot weather but that’s the "opposition in all things"  that is spoken about in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 2:11.
This is part of life... to figure out how to face and overcome opposition, weather temptations, sickness, loss of job, family problems, loss of loved ones, laziness and so on. When I teach people about this principle I like to simplify it to this, “So what’s cold? How do you know it is cold? Well, you have to first know what hot is to then know cold.  Or you can only know up if you also know down. Same with life here on earth ... we go through opposition EVERYDAY and learn something new. Now take the lesson learned in that opposition and apply it into your daily life and that is how we become better and more Christ like every day."

A cool story that happened on Wednesday was we had a member out with us named Eddie. I felt earlier that we should have stopped by a lady named Anna’s house. We tracted into Anna about 5 months ago and I haven’t seen her for at least 4 and a half months. She kind of was on the back burner because she didn’t seem super interested and would never answer. So, I said were stopping by there and sure enough she was home and answered. We got talking and then she invited us in because this time we had another member with us so we could go in. She had no idea what our church believes and has misconceptions about the church because she’s been raised hearing it.  All of her questions that didn’t make sense to her basically is answered in our scriptures and from modern day revelation. She would be like, "Ohhh that makes sense... I agree... I'm glad I'm not the only one."   It was awesome to have prophets answering her questions. She was having  a super hard day the day before and I told her that God had inspired me today to go by and see her because He cares and loves her and knew we could bring her peace through the Gospel. Her eyes watered up as we bore testimony and I could feel that she knew this Church is different than any other in the world!  Ahhhh.   I just love bringing  glorious joy to those who are down-trodden.

The Church is true!

Help others find truth because it is out here ... there’s no need for darkness anymore!

Thanks for all of the support from everyone!


Elder T

This is literally someone's front lawn... a little obsessed with the Dallas Cowboys !

 A pic of me eating dinner at the Snyders .... it was my favorite meal, Chicken Alfredo!

 I went on exchanges with Elder Jenson a few days ago and we thought this truck was super big so we took a pic in front of it 

Click on the image below to learn about the life of a Mormon missionary: 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two More Baptisms

Last Saturday, on the 10th, we had another baptism. It was Jose Montoya’s two sons' baptisms.  Alex is 10 and Jerry is 9, and they are totally awesome.  Jose was baptized almost a year ago and is COMPLETLY converted to the Gospel.  He's changed so much and is extremely humble and a dear friend of mine. Well, his boys temporarily are living at his sister's house in Dallas until the CPS tell him that they can fully live with him again... which hopefully will be soon . Anyways, he had the sister missionaries go by his sister's house to teach his boys and so they accepted baptism.  Then they came here for summer vacation so we’ve been teaching them and preparing them for baptism for a few weeks. The Spirit was SO strong at the baptism ...  to see Jose baptize his two sons and give them the blessings that he has already received was just incredible. There were wonderful talks given and great hymns sung.  They are so amazing and everyone knows it.  Even Sister Snyder, the primary president,  told them that she’s going to "slash their tires so they cant leave back to Dallas.” haha  It was so awesome, and I completely agree ... I wish they could stay here. I had another amazing opportunity to give the gift of the Holy Ghost to the oldest son Alejandro Montoya (Alex) . My testimony has grown leaps and bounds this past weekend seeing the true importance of having the Gospel in our families and the joy that it brings.

Many of you know that this past Friday was the 9th and it has been 11 months since my mom passed. I had her in my thoughts and prayers all day, but it was a great day.   I had support from those who remembered and it meant a lot to me. On Sunday in priesthood they spoke about Relief Society and the importance of mothers in the world these days and some of the men spoke of the influence their mothers had on them.  I just wanted to jump up and say you have NO idea how much mothers influence their kids !  haha   But I decided I didn’t want to go on a 30 minute rant about how much better my mom is than everyone else’s!!  If it weren’t for my mom I wouldn’t even be here, or the person I am. Truly I give all of the credit to my mother for making me the man I am today. In letters I often get “ remember who you are there for” and every time I think of my mother . I’m here for, of course  my Savior first,  but also my mom. I know this is the only path she would want me on at this time and that it’s the only way I can grow closer to her and to understand why it's been such a tough year.

I threw down on Friday night to some people about the importance of eternal families and I explained why I'm grateful for them and how I rely on that promise EVERYDAY. I testify that if you want to share with those around you about eternal families you WILL pierce their heart every time, and will plant a seed that should be planted in all hearts.

EVERYONE treat your mothers like a princess sometime this week and tell them they are important in your life.  Mothers are everything to me. 

Miracle this last week... met a lady named Celia. She's an older Hispanic lady who we ran into like 3 months ago and haven’t seen her since. Well, we were visiting someone close by but then I felt inspired to walk to the other street to see the Moralis family but by their house Celia was outside of her house. So we went over to talk and she was so kind to us. She asked for another pamphlet to read but they basically bore testimony of Jesus Christ to us. She totally remembered me from last time and keep looking at me and smiling saying that she's so grateful  for what I'm doing, and that she truly loves me and prays every day for our welfare . Honestly I can’t explain how wonderful it was to hear this sweet older lady almost in tears tell us how amazing we are to do this and to spread the word of the Lord and to bless people’s lives. Also she told us that were going to have the most beautiful wives because the Lords going to bless us!   haha I was laughing so hard!

The Lord ALWAYS puts us in people’s paths at the right time; never forget that.  That’s when the miracles happen ... when you listen.

Thanks for all the support and for reading the Blog!

Yours truly,

Elder Taylor

Jose Montoya and his 2 sons

Making my companion do the navigation!  haha

Monday, August 5, 2013

Make it Happen

I feel people too often settle for less in their lives. Or they make excuses that it’s too hard, not possible or that they can’t achieve it. BUT here’s the thing,  there is a special gift we have and that is agency. Yes, you can choose good or evil, or what color shirt to wear or what sandwich to eat that day but I’m speaking of something different... a choice to do something great. As I look at other people's lives I can see those who made it happen and those who just hoped it would happen. I don’t like the word hope at times because it sounds like a maybe, (for example I “hope” I can get a job). Well, stop sitting at home all day hoping and go out and make it happen!

I’ve used this in my missionary work and I apologize to those who feel this is too straight-up or harsh but these are my thoughts. I was talking to the zone leaders and they are saying that there’s a lot of areas in our zone who could do amazing but they aren’t making it happen or making that area super successful. I believe that there’s NO bad area in a mission, and that all areas have potential to be great if you MAKE it happen. My area when I first got here at the beginning of my mission wasn’t very good at all, but I see where it’s at now and it’s been the best area at different times in the whole mission. That’s because if you set a goal, and put the work in knowing it will happen then you will make it happen. Spiritually the Lord receives ALL of the credit and I hope you all know that. None of it is me or the companions I’ve had here, but we needed to be the instruments. You can either be a dull instrument or a sharp one.  We are all different ones but you CAN be a more useful one in my opinion. Think about your personal lives and how great of a tool you are in the hands of the Lord and pray for help and He may be able to use you for more of His work.

Achieve the unimaginable, both temporally and eternally, both literally and spiritually.

Remember there’s a loving Heavenly Father ready and willing to help in all causes.

Yesterday we were with Brother Butterfield out teaching and we drove by a house who we’ve been trying to teach again for forever. Their names are Lupe and Cielo and we haven’t had the chance to teach them again. But this time both cars were there and one of them I haven’t seen for a long time.  We passed the house and then all of the sudden I told Brother B to turn around. Now keep in mind we were already 20 min late to dinner because of the last lesson getting out late but I KNEW we had to turn around and I didn’t care if we were late to dinner. Brother Butterfield did turn around and Sky answered the door.  We had talked to her barely before about the Book of Mormon and she’s 11 years old but didn’t seem super excited we were there. She said we can come by another time when more of her family is there because no one in the house at the time could speak English.  Then I asked her if she had like 5 minutes. She said yes.  So instantly I pulled out the Book of Mormon and asked her if she’s read the copy we left.  She said, "no" ... her aunt took it and left it somewhere.  So then I handed her the copy in my hand. I said will you take this one so you can have your very own ?  She said "YES" , with the biggest smile on her face, and asked if this really is her own one? You’re giving it to me?  She grabbed the book and pulled it up close to her chest and hugged it as if I was giving her the greatest treasure on earth.  Then I realized that it truly is.  We all need to see that book as the way she saw it and we need to treasure it! I told her about the importance of prophets and about how amazing it would be to have a prophet like Moses on the earth. I asked what it would mean to her.  She said it would be a huge blessing because he could lead and guide me and tell me what I need to do to stay close with God. Our jaws about dropped. I PROMISED her right then after that comment that if  she read she can know that there is a prophet on the earth and that Christ’s church is here again, and she was so excited to read and wants to come to church.

That was a miracle and a tender mercy of the Lord. Sometimes we are late or in a rush but we need to help others and God will do his part too. Go out into the world and MAKE IT HAPPEN , because this last week we did and our success is getting back up there.

Thanks for the love and support.

Much love,

Elder Taylor 

“Christ is the head of this house, the unseen guest at every meal, the silent listener to every conversation”