Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Great Experiences

So for this week's blog I just wanted to give a day-to-day update of my past week. I'm going through the highlights of each day to show you the life of a missionary and how many things come up.This is all quoted directly from my personal journal entrys… 

Gave Crystal Monte who is recent convert a blessing. The Spirit was so manifest it was amazing. She's in her 30's and is struggling with serious heath problems at a young age and is the mother of 5 kids. When the hands were laid on her head I paused for a second for the Spirit to guide me and she began to  cry.  I learned that we truly are the HANDS for God and that we are just acting for Him. She felt it just at the touch. I promised her that her two brothers, mother and grandmother (who are in the next life) are there and will be there to help carry her through her trials. My love is great for her and her family.  They call me : "Elder T" or the "white Navajo." 

At times I think about my dreams a lot. Ever since day 1 in the MTC up until now I have had vivid dreams every night that I can remember. Every dream I am living the missionary standards or am literally a missionary. I guess if you’re a consecrated missionary you even dream about it! ha  SO, I wonder that when I'm home and have dreams if they will be me on my mission? Will they be as vivid? We will see…

I feel that I have been struggling a little bit with all the changes going on.  I feel like I am lacking in my diligence with missionary work; like I'm taking short cuts but you don’t do that in this calling.This isn’t a job or a salary pay; there is no loop holes in the ministry and work of salvation. God is the author of it so therefore it is perfect. If we, as humans, try to find loop holes or be lazy we will eventually destroy the plan and its purpose.

SO many times on missions the adversary attacks you with mental obstacles. He makes things harder for you by bringing up a past life or a mistake or a tragedy.  I am motivated though, at the same time, to be a way better man when I get home. It’s a blessing and a curse. I can see and reflect on how I was empty and unhappy then but am now filled with joy beyond capacity.  My desire for when I get back is to always have and be led and guided by the Spirit and to be a worthy priesthood holder.  Missions truly change us for the better. I feel like I've found out now who the real JUSTIN WILLIAMS TAYLOR is and how I need to stay this way.

I feel that one of the best things I get to do as a priesthood holder (that I get to do a ton on my mission) is to give blessings. There is a member named Rosi Baca who texted us at 1am saying she was in pain and needed a blessing. So, the next day we were at the Crofts house and she banged on the door and came in limping. Her hip was really hurt. She popped it out. Long story short she asked me to give her the blessing and it was so powerful. I felt true direction from our Heavenly Father. Rosi was saying that because we didn’t answer that she almost went to the Medicine Man (Native American Traditional Church) to be healed but she says we know where he gets his power from. She said she almost turned away.  Well, in the blessing it said the power of God is far greater than the power of the Devil. She felt that her enemies on the reservation are putting a curse on her and I also commanded whatever power that was to also leave! It was a crazy night. A lot of weird but spiritual things. Priesthood is real.

Cathy, a recent convert I baptized a few months ago, has been running around crazy. Rewarding to see her this morning. Well, we have been teaching and talking to her about temples lately and doing the work for those who have passed on. She told us of a dream she had that her friend who is dead was talking to her and she went to him. She mentioned she has had many dreams like this or has heard or felt the presence of those who are in the spirit world. She said they were being taught by someone else and learning things but was in a dirty place. Another came up to her and told her his name and then walked away. She said she asked her friend when telling this story if he knew the name of the man in her dream and he said yes, that it is one of my friends who passed away a while ago. This had motivated her and made her decide that she needed to go to the temple.   

At scripture study Rosie said that instantly after the blessing she began to feel less and less pain in her body, specifically her hip. Her countenance had changed in one day; she was happy, had laughter,  joy and peace. I called her attention to it and said look at the difference from last night to now... its because the power of God is more powerful than anything. His priesthood healed you physically as well as emotionally and spiritually because of your faith and His love for you as His daughter.

On exchanges in Socorro. Had a great district meeting; taught them the 3 S’s to successful teaching. Randomly saw President and Sister Miller at the gas station down in Socorro on their way to El Paso. I love my mission president; he is great at praising and motivating missionaries. I love being on exchanges and helping the missionaries I'm over. Trying to find ways to help them always improve. Almost got eaten by these sketchy pit bull dogs chained up at this guys house.  Went to the Technical College there and felt super uncomfortable around all these science kids and a lot of white people... not used to it! We got chalk and for a way to find more people to talk to we drew out the plan of salvation on the floor right in the middle of campus... it was awesome. Got to talk to a lot of the college students there passing by.  Talked to a guy doing a yard sale who said he didn’t believe in God and that his life turned to crap and that this summer he was going to end his life. I felt so sick to my stomach and my heart hurt. I tried telling him why God lets hard times come and how much He loves us but he seemed not to care. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of a Plan of Happiness. I miss Alamo already... I'm not used to a city! ha

A beautiful morning sunrise... half the sky is filled with storm and rain clouds by the mountains with sunshine piercing through the gaps and giving ray of sunlight on the Alamo. How beautiful is this earth?  The Creator made this a special and wonderful place.

Elder Farb felt sick this morning so I went to sacrament while Elder Ahloy stayed in the trailer with him. Beautiful testimonies were born. Rosi went up and said I got a blessing and it has helped me so much. Spoke about her trial earlier that week and the miracle of the Gospel. She said, "I did what you said Elder Taylor... I went to the temple, not knowing why you told me to do so in the blessing, but I just trusted in the words that God told you to say. When I was there I felt like putting names on the prayer roll. The first name that came to mind was my niece Jenessa... I had no idea why. Later, come to find out, that she got in a car accident and somehow made it out with only a few bruises."  When I heard Rosi’s testimony it helped me know that someday all the members here will be as converted as she is and will go to the temple often.

Later I had to go by myself to branch council and figure out the mission plan and also do correlation and be part in a blessing of a man with an addiction.  Only got to visit 2 people because Elder Farb still wasn’t feeling good. Taught Cathy's son Bruce the piano and how to read notes and stuff. She told me on March 22nd she's going to the temple to do baptisms and she wants me to do the names of the men in her family and for me to baptize her in the temple. SO SPECIAL! One of the happiest things I've heard. To baptize her for herself and then in the temple for her family... so cool.

I've been on the phone all the time;  I don’t know why but everyone seems to be calling me lately or I have to be making calls to other missionaries to certain issues coming up, but I love it...  the stress, pressure, more responsibilities because I get to learn and grow.”

That is all for my entries of the past week. I hope this made sense; I wanted to change it up and share with you all personal things I've written while out here in my journal.

I pray that we may look into our lives and ponder, learn wisdom and serve others for truly that is why we are here.

“Don’t pray for lighter burdens...  Pray for a stronger back!” Unknown

Love always,
 Elder Taylor

Parts taken from Personal Journal #2 Pages 49- 62  

So this is my Shi Ma Anita... she taught me last week how to braid hair Indian style and this is the beginner one. Anita was laughing the WHOLE time I was doing it!   haha She's going to teach me how to do a more complicated one next week but I love her. That family has a very special spirit there and a family I'll never forget.

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