Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baptisms on year mark. Full speed ahead!

Had a wonderful week last week. I've grown more and more in love with my mission everyday it feels like. 

As you know last week, on the 23rd, was my one-year mark and we also had planned TWO baptisms.  I'm not going to lie... I was nervous they were not going to happen. 

Shannon was supposed to get married the day before but he didn't go into town and get the marriage license.  So that put a little damper on things.  Then the other investigator we hadn't seen for like three days prior! 

Well, that morning I prayed earnestly that I would have a successful day and work hard to see those 2 baptisms come through. 

We went to Margarita's house in the morning and it looked like no one was home. She finally answered the door and I told her that, "today is the day Margarita!  You are going to get baptized. You ok with that?" She said she was ready and was excited too. SO... we went over the questions with her that they will ask in her baptismal interview.

When we left Margarita's house we were nervous that in the next 3 hours she would leave somewhere and forget because it has happened before.  So we called her 2 times within that time randomly and made up excuses to call!  haha It worked. The Crofts picked her up and then swung by to get us, but Shannon (who was supposed to get baptized too) wasn't in the truck and the Croft's said they stopped by and he said he will drive themselves in 30 min and go get the marriage license then meet up at the church. 

Well, that freaked me out!  Not to be mean, but if a Navajo ever says anything like that it means they are not going to do it and its not going to happen! haha  We got down there and I called 30 minutes later (when he's supposed to leave) and told him he better get his butt out the house to make it! ha He promised he would! 

Margarita got her interview and PASSED which is awesome because a few months ago she didn't so it was a huge hurdle to get her here again. She told us on the way down that she has wanted to be baptized for 2 YEARS now! What a miracle that was. 

Then Shannon showed up at the perfect time with his girlfriend and the marriage license.   The branch president came and then they got married. It was a beautiful event and the Spirit was there.  I got to sign the license as a witness of the marriage which was super cool!  After he went and got his baptismal interview, and also passed. We both went in to change for the baptism and then the baptisms happened. Not a lot of people here come to baptisms  but they are so spiritual. I felt the Spirit the strongest at this one. I was honored to baptize Shannon as well as give him the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. 

Afterwards we went to a recent convert's house and had Navajo Tacos for dinner (my favorite) and it was wonderful. I love their family and I feel at home every time I am there. 
My joy was full on my year mark day. The Lord has answered my prayers greater than I ever thought. He heard my cries and pleas and blessed me. I have never worked so hard for 2 baptisms my whole mission. 

Also, we are super close and basically have the expansion on the building!!!  We still have to get people to church and work hard but its basically going to happen and Salt Lake apologized to our stake president and said they were supposed to put a bigger building here from the start and that they will probably starting building THIS summer!!! :) So great! I met the Church's project manager when he was looking at the building and got some of the gossip of why he's here!  ha He said we could possibly be getting a full sized chapel ... so we will see!

Thanks for all the support. Miracles do happen guys, but only by our faith.

Elder Taylor 

The truck got stuck so i had to dig it out practically haha my comp thought it was funny to take pics of it! 

Playing basketball with the little kids on the dirt out here 

My comp has a sweet camera and took this picture 

We play hard core basketball on a lil hoop on the door, always a fun game of HORSE during lunch ha 

A Native here got me an Elk antler and we made home made Elk antler knifes and used a old hoarse shoe and heated and pounded it into a knife. 
This is ZW, hes the black Smith in Magdalena and is a member and a really cool guy! 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Year Mark. / S.I.T. / Miracles

Hey everyone!  For my email today I've got a lot of cool things to cover so it will be a long one but one that I pray will shed light on my personal thoughts and feelings and experiences. 

As many of you know my year mark is on the 23rd.... I'm not looking forward to it. I love this work too much and to see that I'm halfway done with it saddens me but life moves on. I have reset goals for myself ....it's not anymore about a " TO DO LIST"; I'm making a "TO BE LIST."  A "to be" list isn't temporary; I can't check it off after a day or week or month. A "to be" list is supposed to last forever and to have continuous effort. 

I came up with S.I.T. for my district meeting last week.  Our goal is for members of the church to apply S.I.T and it will help them with the work of salvation; it will help them talk to others about the Gospel and it will help those who are members but have fallen away.


I like to make things simple so I thought of this. If members are 1st SINCERE. If they truly care for that person and wants them to be blessed just like they have been with this Gospel then they need to care for that person. They should want them to have joy and peace; to really want to know about their life, their hobbies, and their family. 

2nd is INVITE. We should invite them to our homes for a family activity, or to dinner when the missionaries are there or to fun church activities, a child's baptism, etc. If we don't invite them they won't and can't change. The Savior always invites us; it's our choice if we want His blessings and to listen. 

3rd is TEACH. At this point and time we should as members truly know and feel a connection with this person. The relationship is sincere, you have invited them to something that they would enjoy and now you teach them a simple truth as the Spirit directs. Maybe, for example, they said they are having problems with their marriage. Well, be sincere; let them open up and tell you and ask them questions to show you truly are attentive to their needs. After that you might say something that helps us is Family Home Evening (for example). One might tell them that they do it every Monday and it has helped our marriage because we spend time together as spouses as well as with our children... it is the happiest times we have and all anger and stress and problems leave....Would your family like to come to our house for it next Monday??  Then, after their response, you teach. Say how much the Gospel or Jesus Christ and the teachings of the church has helped you. Bear testimony on the importance of families and teach slightly of the opportunity all families have of being sealed together forever. Then maybe add that on that night you are having missionaries from your church coming to share a message and that they would love to help teach these important things that will bless your marriage and family. 

This concept is SIMPLE everyone! As members if you remember S.I.T. a situation like the example one I did will happen and you will be contributing to the Lord's hastening the work!! Don't be scared... be honest. 

After I wrote and taught this concept I then received revelation on the same acronym about the blessings that come from it and the benefit we have as missionaries if we teach this simply to our members . We will then see...


Those 3 things are the hardest things in missionary work to me. Its hard getting people to come to church diligently every week, and to take the sacrament.  It's hard for people to commit to be baptized by immersion in Christ's true church under His authority.  And last it's hard to help new members and less active members make it to the temple to make the sacred covenants to the Lord in His holy house.

Now, each and everyone of these very large obstacles will not go away if our members apply S.I.T..  They will still be there but the desire, the help, the support, and the faith will be greatly increased. They will have a friend, or family who cares about them sincerely, who have been kind enough to invite them to activities that will bring them great joy and have taught them truth to answers they have always searched for.
I promise if every member applies this and strips themselves of fear and truly wants to help build God's kingdom they will see the blessings of helping people who were lost, forgotten, or in darkness come and feel welcomed and remembered and in light. You will see those you help come and partake of the sacrament, be baptized by immersion and then enter into heaven on earth... the temple. These blessings are promised to us if we TRY! 

My miracle this week was I was in a home with two members who we keep trying to invite  to church but they won't come. Well, their son-in-law always is there. He's a big guy who is always cracking jokes and has a smile on his face (which is really rare here on the res). Anyways, I've always prayed that we could somehow teach him the restoration of Jesus Christ's church... His one church. A few days ago he came out and said I've got 3 questions for you guys that NO ONE can ever answer me truthfully on... (1) Doesn't it say in the Bible not to drink alcohol or strong drink?? How come I see preachers here drinking all the time?? Well, we answered  this and told him about the word of wisdom. Next: (2) Why should someone pay a preacher to pray for them or to bless them?? Did Jesus ever do that in the Bible or anyone else? We answered that and told Him that no one should ever ask for money like that. Last one: (3) This is the toughest one.  This one no one really has any idea about!  Did God and the Lord just love the people in Jerusalem?  What about my ancestors the Indians?   Were they good in Jerusalem and my people evil so God didn't care about them??    I WAS FREAKING OUT!  hahaha  I got up, and jumped, and said,  "Patrick I have an answer that I've been waiting to give you and you just asked for it. I will tell you exactly what the Lord thought about your people." He answered so many prayers.  I've wanted for so long to tell him these things and it was a miracle he had asked! SO great! He was inspired by God!  We will see next week more of his thoughts. 

Also, we had 80 people at sacrament meeting and a lot of people stayed for their classes and they were all PACKED full! We got great numbers last week... we just need to keep it up for the next few weeks. 

At church we have an investigator who's supposed to get baptized this Thursday but hadn't shown up to church and it was about 15 min into church and he hadn't shown.  Well, I was worried and stepped out and tried calling him. No answer. I told our ward mission leader he isn't here and he needs to come if he's going to get baptized this week. He said well maybe he's just not committed enough yet to come. I felt that it was true but something inside of me said, no, he is committed, but just needs some help.  So I grabbed another member and left my companion (who was blessing the sacrament with a priest) and jumped in my truck and drove a mile up to his house and told him he was at the wrong place. He asked the time and said, "Shoot! I lost the time! Can you drive me?"  I told him to jump in and we went to church!  ha!  I broke 3 big rules right there in 5 min but I live at times the higher law. Yes, I broke rules, but now this man will be following Christ by being baptized and will receive eternal life. I do not regret this decision one bit. Like I always say... make it happen. Sometimes we need to take it into our own hands to get the job done, but only with the spirit guiding us! 

Last thing... I finished the Book Of Mormon for the 2nd time. I went through and highlighted all about Christ in it in different colors for different parts like His attributes, doctrine, His words, comfort scriptures, etc. My testimony has grown so very, very much in our Savior and His love for the people in the Americas so long ago. I'm privileged to have read at the end of the book the promise to the posterity of the Lamanites (who are the Native Americans) and to see that I am that gentile bringing this record to them and teaching of Christ's true gospel. Prophecy is fulfilled!

I love this work. I love this Gospel. I love my name tag. I never want to go home but I know I will someday... but my name tag, my love for the gospel and missionary work will never fade; it will be branded on my heart forever! 

Love always,
Your brother in Christ... Elder Taylor 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIRECT communication

Hey everyone. My Aunt Chelsea who posts all the blog stuff told me how many views I have now and I can't believe it!  That's crazy how many there are! I'm super humbled by it... it's crazy to me honestly. 

Well, we had a super great week. I created a new system of things for goals for Alamo and how much we need to stretch ourselves to see miracles happen. We had a lot of success last week and it was great to see the blessings of the Lord come through. 

Now, as crazy as it is, I really have no idea what to write about.  I'm so dead tired I can't really think about something that has come to me except for one thing... that is DIRECT communication from our Father in Heaven. Now, before you all start freaking out thinking I had an angel come to me or hear a voice from heaven, you are wrong... that's not what I mean. I mean you can literally feel as if our Father in Heaven is communicating with you. For me, the easiest way I have seen it in my life is the SCRIPTURES. I love the quote that says, " if you want to talk to God you pray, when you want Him to talk to you read the scriptures"

At church on Sunday I was flipping through the scriptures and came across a few verses. I  hadn't noticed that I was struggling with something deep within me.  But as I read it those verses they spoke to me. It was a direct communication from God to Me. I felt that those verses were written and made for me. I felt that those prophets knew that Elder Taylor someday is going to read and need this. 

I know if we truly need help, a ray of hope, understanding and guidance and that if we search the scriptures with an eye single to receiving an answer, HE will provide it to you. He will let your fingers flip to a page and you eyes focus on the EXACT verse He wants you to read. 

I pray that we may all search daily to find some sort of spiritual conformation that God does live and that He does care and a simple way of doing that is through His holy scriptures. 

I love this work. I never want to go home. My happiness just increases more and more every day. Christ has helped me so much.  I'm so dearly grateful for Him and His willingness to accept my imperfections as His representative. 

Love to you all,

Elder Taylor 

Here is a pic of the building here on Alamo and our trailer right behind it 

Me and Anita.. she is a mom to the missionaries here! They have overnight meetings and rituals in these... pretty cool. 
But she doesn't do it anymore... not since she was baptized! 

Here some pics of the two desks that I got

All 3 of us are wearing CTR rings. I both gave them little rings to wear and they were sooo happy about it! 
Their names are Viera and Jaz 

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Life

Hope everyone had a great holiday season, It was great hearing from a lot of you. I'm so very excited for this next year. I will be able to have a FULL year out here to work and help the mission reach its baptismal goal of 825 people. There has been crazy stuff going on here lately:

On New Years Eve a less-active guy here (who I know pretty well and have tried to help a lot before with gettting off drugs and dealing and the law) ended up going to the mini-mart here and robbed the cash register at gun point and took off. The reservation was basically on lockdown the whole day... and they still havent found him yet. They are looking in the mountains but we all think he is hiding out in peoples houses here.  It's really corrupt out here... it's kind of sad actually. The law is SO much more loose. 

Well, later that night, the Croft's neighbor had a huge "gang" fight break out.  There were like 30 people there at 1:30am and two people got ran over by a car and there were clubs and windows broken!  It sounded crazy! The Crofts ( senior missionaries here) are so awesome.  They watched the whole thing and are still here and working so hard. We love those guys! 

I don't have too much to write this week... it's been pretty chill but I've really set a lot more goals for myself this next year of things I want to achieve and things that will stretch me personally. I love this life so much... this journey that we are on.  Challenges are so great and help us grow so much!  It's always a challenge working on a new goal but after we are so happy we did it.  We are more confident and are motivated to change more. I challenge you all to set new personal and family goals for this up and coming year! If we have a desire that is burning in our hearts we all can achieve what we are set out for. REMEMBER the Lord does not expect immediate perfection BUT He does expect immediate progression!! 
Keep improving and moving forward while using Christ's atonement daily. Don't forget that you have heavenly help and aid that will come to you anytime you pray and ask with sincerity! 

This past year I've changed more than I ever expected could happen. I finally humbled myself enough and let the Lord change and mold me into a greater person... who I'm supposed to be! I've really been humbled since I've been in Alamo. Like the simple things we take for granted. For example, a washer and dryer... a lot of people here don't have one! Or running water... a lot of people don't have that either! We are so blessed.  Just know that  someone ALWAYS has it worse than you do so stop complaining ! haha 

News!   We had to get 85 people to church last week as you know so we could possibly get a building expansion here and a baptismal font.  President came down and we worked like crazy and fasted and prayed more than ever and we got 132!!!!! Which still is CRAZY to me but I wrote about that last week. There has never been that many people in this building ever for sacrament so it was super awesome to see. 

Well now we need to show Salt Lake that we need bigger classrooms too so the next six Sundays there is going to be a guy here counting. YES! More stress!  haha Just kidding ... its all good.  I love a lot of pressure!  So, if we show we need bigger rooms, they will expand the building (which the branch wants) because in 2 years I believe there is going to be over 100 people here weekly, but if we don't they will just give us a portable. The good thing is out of the whole church we are in the top 5% priority for a building expansion because of our numbers.  So if it does happen it will happen very soon!  That's the new big news.  Now it's just up to us how big we want the expansion to be and if we get a baptisimal font or not!

Have a great week you all ... don't forget to pray!

Elder Taylor 

The Butterfield's youngest son Jonny (from El Paso, TX)

Elder Taylor and Elder Ahloy