Monday, December 8, 2014

STAYING IN ABQ WEST!!! Last 6 weeks ... Finish strong

Hey guys!  Hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas spirit and are getting ready for the holidays.

Obviously, you can tell by the title, I will be staying in the West Mesa YSA branch here in ABQ West and I'm stoked about it!! So cool. I've been stressing these past 2 weeks, wondering where I would be my last 6 weeks. Honestly I would have been heartbroken to have left; things are starting to pick up in our branch, on a stake-level with the missionaries, and just everything else is going well so I'm glad to watch it continue to grow.

We have been having amazing miracles this last week, seriously. For those who read my blog this past week know it was really tough but like I always say ... when there is a down there is always an up and this week forsure was our up. 

One of the miracles I'd like to share happened this past Saturday. We went to visit someone who is trying to come back to church and has been out for years. When we got there they were setting up this huge christmas tree in their living room. We asked if we could help them out and they agreed. Well, when we  got there you could feel the contention. The father had surgery on his leg and was walking with crutches so the mom and the YSA had to do all of it.  He was upset because for 30 some years he has always put up the tree and now he couldn't help so he was pretty salty. We got it looking all nice and we stepped back to look at.  After a few minutes it suddenly started falling down forward and smacked the floor. (By the way this is a 12 foot REAL tree. Yea this thing is a beast).  So the mom screamed and we grabbed it and put it back up, cleaned up all the shattered ornaments that we just put up and tried fixing the stand on where the tree is. They said that stand is pure iron and has lasted them 20 years... they don't know why that happend. But we fixed it and everyone had a happier attitude after. Then the mom said we can do our lesson with the YSA we were trying to visit. So we sat down and started teaching him about the plan of salvation and the Spirit was super strong in that room; you could see in his eyes he was learning things he hadn't thought about in years. Well, as we were towards the end suddenly the father (who is not a member) starts to crutch in to the room asking if they could join us... we say, "Of course!" The father proceeds to say this: "You will never know how thankful I am for your help today. I have always been the one to set up the tree and get on the ladder but this year has been different and its been tough. My whole life I've worked with my hands and now for the first time I'm forced to rest. If you guys weren't here who knows what could have happened; my wife could have been on the ladder when that tree fell down."  He continued saying that for some reason the past few years every single time their family was at a low point, having trials at the most random times people from your church show up and are here to help us. "Now, I'm not super religious.  I was baptized catholic as a baby and I think I'm still good with that baptism, but I never have seen people from the catholic church here to help us...only the mormons. And I've never done anything in that church to be one, and I still think God knows my heart, but maybe I will do something one day.  But if someone asked me before I die what I am ? I will tell them I'm a MORMON. You truly helped our family and your church always is there for us and I thank you for being here today." 

We were taken back!  I'm almost in tears seeing this tough/manly guy express his gratitude, humbling himself to 2 young men and expressing what I would say is his testimony. The Spirit was so strong in that room. The wife / mother is a less-active member and she's just beaming with joy because her non-member husband said that and her son who joined the church when he was younger and has fallen away is now trying to find faith again. She says because her husband isn't working she has a low amount of money for christmas gifts this year.  She is just getting something for her grandson and said she would love for us to both come by and she will have something for us. My heart was deeply touched.  We said, "Yes! We will come by!"  Then they said we both better not leave anytime soon!  ha   Instant -love and connection with this family just in that short time that day. On our way out the mother gave us a bag full of food! I had small tears in my eyes as I walked out of that house; for the wonderful family giving what they can to us and showing their thankfulness. I was a firsthand witness of God saving a family. I saw the adversary try to make something turn bad... like the tree falling RIGHT before we were going to have a lesson to cause more contention and for us to have to come back another time; but instead we all helped clean up and put it back up and fix it ourselves. And because of that we had a great lesson, then his parents come in and put together all the pieces of that day and truly we were able to see the hand of the Lord in that family's life that day! I testify that God sends us where we need to be sent; that He uses bad things for His greater purposes of good. He is reaching out and is putting people and experiences in our paths to bring all of God's children back to our Father in Heaven. Remember to share HE IS THE GIFT  this christmas season; remember and help others remember the true meaning of christmas. 

I've only got 2 years of missionary work and an eternity to look back on it!  I'm going to make sure these last 6 weeks count! 

Love ,

Elder Taylor

This picture is of everyone who came out with me. Two of them are going home earlier then the rest so we took this at our Mission Leadership Council. 

Played golf last p-day... finally learned how to do it!! haha I'm hooked now... its super fun. 

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