Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cut Out Apathy

Hey everyone... I had a great last week. I got the new companion settled in and all is well.  There are 3 of us and we are working hard and focusing on our purpose. 

I love a good challenge and that's what I feel I have overall with all of the new changes going on! 

Our mission president a few weeks ago talked about cutting out apathy ...  Apathy means a lack of emotion or interest.   So I looked for scriptures to teach to some missionaries that I had in a meeting and this is what I found... 

38 And now, my son, have somewhat to say concerning the thingwhich our fathers call ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahonawhich is, being interpreted, compass; and the Lord prepared it.  39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness. 40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God;therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. 41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothfuland forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and thenthose marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in theirjourney; 42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel adirect course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because oftheir transgressions.   

So, in the Book of Mormon we are taught a valuable lesson... that a family or group of people or individuals who were faithful received miracles and guidance with their "compass." Now, for us, we all don't have a Liahona but we have the Holy Ghost which is like a Liahona. If we have faith in the Lord and our Heavenly Father and if we need help and guidance He will do so BUT we need to have "works" too. Work is key to many things; we need to push forward and make things happen and turn to God. I love the quote I heard that says, " Work as if it is all dependent on you, but have faith as if it is all dependent on Him."

 When we do all we can the Lord will help us.  I don't know about you guys but I'd much rather be guided by God than to do it by myself... I'd mess up SO much.   The reason those people in the scriptures messed up is because they had APATHY!  They were " slothful, forgot the exercise faith, diligence."  They got caught up in the "norm" of things; in the world or the Natural Lazy Man.  They thought they could clock out and take a break for a little bit and that God would still do everything for them. PROBLEM. God doesn't spoon-feed us when we are hungry and send down money if we need it or wash our clothes if we are tired. He doesn't work that way. We are all children, even if we are old or young, and the only way a child can learn is by doing things themselves. 

We cannot have apathy towards our family, our job, our callings in church, our children, friends, school or whatever it may be. Again, APATHY is the lack of emotion and interest. We need to have emotions in all parts of our life; to be filled with joy and love and trust and faith. We need to be interested in people around us and interested in our responsibilities so that God can bless us for our works and faith.  

If you need a break then pray and ask for help, take a deep breath, read some scriptures, go on a walk, or do whatever you need to do but DO NOT build up APATHY.  Don't lose your purpose or focus or faith in God and become lazy; always be anxiously engaged in a good cause!! 

Thank for all your support and love. I pray this helps you or someone else that  you feel needs to hear these things! 

Love,Elder Taylor 

Me and my Shi Ma ( Anita ) looking at her horse named Lady

This dog was staring at us the whole time we were knocking on this guys door ... 

Me and Elder Ahloy!! 

Yeaaaa ....  I'm a great leader and example ... falling asleep while planning district meeting! haha 

Fisheye lens picture! 

My comp was playing with his camera and took a picture that lighted everything up.. kinda cool 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Additional companion

Hey not a big email ... don't have time!

Transfers was today and I'm staying! Elder Ahloy is staying too but we got a 3rd companion whose name is Elder Farb from Beaverton, Oregon.  He's a good kid.  President wants me and my companion to work the heck out of him and make him the best missionary he can be so thats what we will be doing!

I'm also staying to oversee a new area in my district open up since I was the one who discussed it with our mission president.  Now it is happening ...which is great. Socorro hasn't had a baptism in over a year and with 4 missionaries now I know it will pick up! 

A lot of new exciting things this transfer mission-wide!  The Lord really does inspire our mission president! 

I hate seeing missionaries go home... I don't want to go home! 

I'm driven more now then ever for this next transfer to make big things happen!! 

Love to you all, sorry for the lame email! 

Elder Taylor 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The 3 S's to Successful Teaching

Great week last week. We saw miracles in our area and we were definitely divinely guided. It is amazing to me even now how much our Heavenly Father knows His children and truly, if we are willing, will guide us to who He needs us to see the most! 

We have had a lot of success. We taught 39 lessons last week and this week we set goals to hit 43 (which would be a record for me)!  The Lord is hastening his work.

Well, today my blog email won't be too long because we are heading to Los Lunas for Zone sports... some missionaries have been asking me to go play ball with them one time so today is the day! 

But I came up with something last night as I was talking to my companion Elder AhLoy and giving suggestions on teaching and stuff. It really, really applies to Navajos but also to ALL people. 

The 3 S's To Successful Teaching .

Slow.   When we teach our minds often works faster than our mouths and when that happens we speed up and words get mumbleded and we stutter, etc. So, teach slowly enough so that when you are teaching they can hear you clearly and put together what you are talking about. Slow also means pause; some of the greatest power I have seen is when I teach slow and look into their eyes, pause a second, and then continue to teach without rushing. The spirit flows when we talk slow!! 

Simple. If we can teach simple there is so much power to it. I think of my favorite teachers or lectures or talks I have heard are those given simply so all can understand it but pack a punch still. Like I always say to my companions and other missionaries, "Simplicity is Strength!"  I always remember that when I'm teaching. A quote that fits perfectly to this section is, It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it.” President  John Taylor. 

Short. Some of the most powerful statements given or lessons taught have been bold and short. I can't stand when people teach and repeat themselves over and over again... its like a mouse running in the wheel ... they get nowhere! You need a goal, and objective in mind beforehand, and then teach it but do it shorter than you think. Once we begin teaching a lot of times we just keep rambling off things, and go off on a tangent but when that happens the effectiveness of the teaching or training diminishes. Stay on target and teach the principles short and to the point so then it sticks with the individuals. If people ask questions and take it off course then lovingly thank them for the comment but tie it back in and keep teaching.

These are 3 things that I thought of that helps me when trying to get something to stick to the individual or group. There are many great teachers but the ones who truly impact and are effective are few. If you remember to teach slow, simple and short those you are teaching will be greatly impacted and will have the lessons implanted in their minds and will leave more filled than they were before the teaching! 

Thank you all for the support! Please email me if any of you have questions about anything or need help...  I'm more than happy to do so! 

Elder T 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two greatest attributes to have

Hey everyone!  I want to thank you all for reading my emails and supporting me when I'm out here! 

Today I don't have a ton of time but I wanted to share what I wrote to my mission president this week, and it's perfect because this was what I was going to share anyways! 

The email the mission president sent to all the missionaries this week had 3 questions.... 

1. How can I develop attributes that will make me a more powerful and effective minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

2. How will developing Christlike attributes help me fulfill my purpose as a missionary?

3. Which attribute do I most need to develop?" 

My response was this..... 

"Now attributes is something I study almost the most. Attributes is the only way to change our entire NATURE. We can't just change our nature by reading the scriptures and praying.  We have to be like Christ for it to happen. 

Attributes doesn't work like other goals we set. Waking up at 6:30am every moring exactly and doing work outs, or making sure I study the Book Of Mormon 10 min a day is what I call a "To Do List."  Attributes isn't a "To DO List," it is a "To BE List." We need to be like Christ and we set goals that will never be checked off. How can you check off "charity?" Or have "virtue garnish our thoughts" for just a week long?? We don't check that off... its life-long. So, if we are expected to teach effective like Christ we are TO BE like Christ; in other words, study His teaching, how He handled situations humbly and with charity. If we are trying to teach a message of Christ and as close to as powerful as He taught we need to be as close to Him as we can by being like Him and following His example... then we will be effective.
Your purpose is to invite them to CHRIST... that's the 1st objective. If they know Christ personally and feel His love because of your personal witness and similar example, then everything else will trickle down.  (for example: commandments, or church attendance.)

To me there are two attributes that are the most important... #1 is Charity. Charity is so key; its like the Holy Ghost, which I believe to be the foundation of all other blessings that proceed it.   The Holy Ghost is the first gift God gives to us for a reason... so, charity is the first attribute we must learn the best. If we are to have Christ-"like" charity .. which I use "like" in all attributes because we can be similar to Christ, but we can never be exactly like Christ in this life, let alone have as much charity as He did to be able to perform the atonement. 

#2 is Virtue. This is key. This is what separates many servants of the Lord in missions or in the church. In order for us to have pure power and divine guidance from the Holy Ghost we must be pure vessels. I also would add virute for missionaries for 2 years also means to forget about home and don't think about what you are missing or what you left behind.  Don't think about a girl or boy you left, or all the " fun" things you can't do now. And, of course, for all people, not having impure thoughts, lust, bad modesty.. etc. Doing all of these things is like throwing mud on a white shirt, and comparing it to a pure clean white shirt. If you put them next to each other it is obvious which one we would rather wear. Our mindset must be like that; most people's intentions aren't to choose the " dirty/muddy shirt" ...we all want the clean and pure white shirt.  We need to have virtue in our mind and CHOOSE pure thoughts every time, then will our actions and work be Divine!! 

D & C 121: 45... is a new favorite scripture. I just found and deeply studied this last week in personal study. If we desire to have these two attributes and really work on them we will be allowed to have "confidence wax strong in the presence of God", therefore charity towards all men and virtue unceasingly in our thoughts will lead us to pure power as a missionary and confidence.

We all need to make a "To-Be List" for attributes! "

I hope this all made sense. I love reading the scriptures and I received revelation on D&C 121:45, and it has changed my perspective. I challenge all of you to read and study it. There's a lot more that came to me that I feel I shouldn't share through email about the verse. 

STUDY the scriptures, dont just read them! 

Work on Christ-"like " attributes and try your best and He will take care of the rest!

My deepest love to you all,
Elder Justin Taylor