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!