Sunday, November 20, 2011

Experiences Elder Taylor had the first two weeks in November

This is a picture of Travis and Shaes kids. Doesn't the boy look somewhat like little Jarret??

This is me mowing the Mckinnies (image 537) lawn with a lawnmower where both the wheels are about to fall off and the pull string cord is busted. Almost as bad as our lawn mower at home!

Me and my companion getting home from a bike ride and we were like sweating so bad it was like a sauna in our room so we had to go outside.

This is a picture of me and my protein sandwhich that I made. (lunch meat, peanutt butter, cream cheese, tuna fish, mustard, cheddar cheese, and mayo) it was very very delicious as you can tell :)

Dear Family,

So this week has been a really trying week, but it has also been a week to remember that has strengthened my testimony tremendously. So One of our solid investigators who we have been seeing for about three weeks now is at a time in her life where she could become an amazing member of the church, or she could turn down the wrong path. Her and her boyfriend have been fighting a lot lately and she says that she isn't happy (she said that the only time that she is happy is when we come to visit her and talk about the gospel) So I called her to try to set up a ride for her for stake conference and her boyfriend answered the phone, and he was not happy.... at all... with us. So I spent the next three minutes getting my bum chewed out and he said a lot of choice words, and It really hurt. But then I right as he hung up I was only worried about one person, this dear sister. I wish that I could just like tell this whole story to you all but I can't, because its hard to all put into writing, but we went over there that night and she was as strong as ever and she said that she was wanting to move out. But one thing is that we have never given her any advice, the whole reason why her and her boy friend have been fighting she says is because she is finding happiness and he isn't. So we have been blessed and reassured that this gospel really does bring joy and peace to everyone in this life.

Another amazing extreme that we have been blessed to see that this gospel brings is marriage. A couple who have been living together for a very long time now got married on Saturday and it is allowing them to be one step closer to baptism. We are really hoping that they follow through with baptism.

Also something else that is cool and that every missionary dreams about, is as we were riding our bikes I hear someone yell at us, (at first I was not wanting to stop because usually when that happens someone is wanting to bible bash us because we are down in the bible belt) and so we went over to him and he asks us for a book of Mormon and wants to set up a time when we can come over and talk to him about the book of Mormon. Me and my companion were just like dumbfounded. But he recovered more quicker than I because that is the first time that has happened to me. So that was a fun experience.

Lets see another funny but amazing experience that we had was last night my companion and I were just kind of toying around on our bikes because it was about 8:40 and we aren't supposed to go into our apartment until 9:00 and so we went into the parking lot and started to like try and pop wheelies and all that fun stuff and so as we were doing that, I hear someone laughing at us and I turn around and there is a man walking straight towards us. It turns out that he is a 7 day adventurous and he is interested in learning about the Book of Mormon and that he wants to have a study session this Saturday, I don't how serious he is about joining the church, but I know that we were supposed to be toying around in the parking lot (no matter how funny that seems) and that we found him for a reason. I'll try to keep you all updated but LOVE you family!!!

One of the benefits of being a missionary is making use of study time. Elder Taylor has come to love and appreciate the time he has to gain a better understanding of gosple principals.

The reason that I have been studying faith is because first off, it is the first principal of the gospel, and second I have been lacking the faith of bringing our investigators to church. I have all of the faith in the world to find the new investigators and that category is awesome, we are actually leading the mission in new investigators per week in our zone. But like I said I have been lacking the faith when it comes to the waters of baptism. Most of the solids that I talked about earlier have either stopped progressing or have dropped us. It was really hard because it just breaks my heart when I get so jazzed up about someone coming to church and then they don't show up, and naturally that is the block that stops me from having faith that they will show up and then eventually baptism. I needed to know how to overcome this natural man of mine and so I thought what better way to get more faith than to study faith inside and out. And so I have been studying faith more and more. And this week we had four investigators set on coming to church, but only one showed up. So even though I was still disappointed, The lord showed me how to plant that seed of hope (which leads to faith) that the investigators will go through on their word. It really helped to boost my faith, and I love it sooo much!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Lexington and Lexington North Zone Conference, October 26, 2011


Top: Elder Draney, Elder Savage, Elder Corry, Elder Jacobsen, Elder Morriss, Elder Henderson, Elder Anglin, Elder K. Wood, Elder C. JohnsonFront: Elder Irwin, Elder Biddle, Elder Nebeker, Elder Mathews, Elder Taylor, Elder Molleman, Elder Lewis

Elder Anglin, Elder Morriss, Elder Corry, and Elder Taylor

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Letter Elder Taylor wrote Nov 1st

Dear Family and Friends,
Lately I have been studying faith. Faith is the first principle of the gospel, but it is so simple, yet so deep and complex that I can probably spend my entire mission studying it and not grasp its entirety. One thing that stuck out to me is faith is the acting principle, it is the faith that drives us to act, but we can't have faith without hope. So we need to hope first in order to have a faith, and then its the faith that we hope for in order to act. Once we act then our faith begins to blossom and to spring forward. Also one main thing about faith is that it needs be centered on Jesus Christ. (Helaman 5:12) Otherwise if its not centered on Jesus Christ then it tumbles. But you can hope for Christs Atonement to cover that. Its such a deep topic and I get lost in even trying to explain it. This morning I also found out that you need the Desire to have faith. So you need all these things to have faith, because you need hope to hope for faith, and then you need to desire to find that faith and build it, but the process of finding all of these attributes are faith and the faith is the acting principle. Its really complex and but I have decided to try to fill in my testimony around faith and strengthen my testimony in those areas. I also read in the gospel principles book that the doubt and the thorn that will make you lose your testimony is the natural man. We are all Heavenly Fathers offspring and thus we have the ability to become like he is, but we are also man and the natural man has the tendency to have flaws in it. We have to work everyday to overcome the natural man. It will never ever leave us and it will never give up the fight. We have to continually work to build the faith, hope, desire, and confidence to smite the natural man and follow Christs example. We have to have the faith to try to be like Christ is, perfect. Christ wouldn't invite us to do such a task without the means to get there. The means to get there is by faith. yea that is what I have gotten so far from my studying. Last night I actually had the chance to exercise my faith and bear my testimony. We we finding and we found a man who was a preacher and he belonged to the baptist faith. He kept saying that "i would encourage you to truly study the scriptures and find out for yourself what the true doctorine of Christ was and how it was pretty much impossible for God the Father and Jesus Christ to appear to Joseph Smith." This guy also believed in the trinity, which was extremely funny hearing him try to explain it to us. he kept on contradicting himself and after he was done he said that its very complex and hard to grasp his meaning. But he threw some scriptures at us and so I was like, I have studied the Book of Mormon and I know that no one who is wicked could write that book and anyone who is good wouldn't write that book except it be from God. thats pretty much all that I said and he just sat there and didn't know what to say so he changed the topic. But last night I found the power of having the faith to bear a small and short testimony that he couldn't deny. At first I thought that I should have said a longer one and explained it more, but that is all that I needed to say to the man.
LOVE Elder Taylor

First Day in the Mission Field

A letter from Sister Woodbury

Dear Taylors,
Elder Taylor arrived here safe and sound Monday evening, after a delay of almost two hours from Atlanta. How wonderful it was to see him as he and
the other nine missionaries in his group, rounded the corner in the terminal at the airport. He was smiling ear to ear!
After getting the bags and loading up the GKLM trailer (Great Kentucky Louisville Mission) the missionaries hopped in the Mission van for the short ride to the Mission Home.
Because of the late hour we sat down to dinner right away, a meal of chicken enchiladas, southwestern salad, frog's eye salad, cheesy bread, and tres leche cake with strawberries for dessert. Don't ask why the southwestern theme since it doesn't have anything to do with Kentucky... It's just what sounded good that night!
President Woodbury began interviews after dinner while I conducted an orientation meeting and the Assistants to the President took individual pictures to be used on the Transfer Boards at the Mission Office and Mission Home. Then we all went downstairs to the Training Room (aka the family room) downstairs to have Testimony Meeting. What a spiritual feast! Your wonderful son bore a humble and strong testimony that more than impressed both me and the President. He seems more like a seasoned missionary than a new one, so well prepared, focused, and anxious to serve. We're looking forward to great things with and through him... Then, it was off to bed with chocolates on their pillows for sweet dreams.
Tuesday morning we had a hot breakfast followed by Companionship Study and orientation regarding finances and vehicles. By 10:00 we were at the church adjacent to the Mission Office for Transfer Meeting.
After the song and prayer, the outgoing missionaries gave their departing "Words of Wisdom" and then it was time for new missionaries to be in the spotlight. Each stood as he or she was introduced, along with the name of their Trainer and their first area. After Elder Taylor estood, Elder Corry ran over to bear hug his new companion and take him to the area in the chapel reserved for them. "Called to Serve" was sung, GKLM style, and then President Woodbury announced the rest of the transfers. Following the meeting, the new missionaries and their Trainers met to be introduced to the new 12-week Training Program, then they and the outgoing missionaries had a deli-sandwich lunch there at the church before having their pictures taken by the sign at the Mission Office. That was it - After pictures Elder Taylor took off to his first area, so pumped-up and excited I thought he might burst!

I've attached some picture you surely will enjoy of Elder Taylor's first eighteen hours in the mission field. These and others can also be seen on our private Mission Blog. I'll send you an invitation, but I won't have the article on this Transfer posted until tomorrow. If you have problems getting into the site, let me know. Also send me the e-mails of any other family members, including grandparents, who might like to see it. By, the way, its private by advice given at the Mission Presidents' Seminar after some missions have had anti-Mormon groups going after new members and missionaries that have been pictured or mentioned.
President Woodbury and I appreciate you sending your wonderful son to us and hope you will be blessed in his absence from your family. He's incredible!
Love, Sister Woodbury

Elder Taylor is serving in Elizabethtown, which is 44 miles outside of Louisville to the North and 131 miles of Nashville to the South. Elizabethtown encompasses 25 square miles of the 616 square miles that make up Hardin County. Elizabethtown's population is approximately 24,000.

Elder Taylor is amazed at how beautiful the changing colors are in Elizabethtown. Elder Taylor and his companion, Elder Corry use their bikes to get around and have the opportunity to enjoy how beautiful Elizabethtown is.

Monday , October 31st

So pretty much here its about a constant 50 to 60 degrees i would think. the grass is still green and the colors of the trees are amazing!! :) mom you would just absolutely love it!
I also really liked what you had to say about administering angels because a lot of the time, people aren't worthy of it and so they don't have the holy ghost to guide them and so we all do need to strive to become worthy of the holy ghost. but also one thing that people forget about is that you have to have the faith to have the holy ghost with you.
As I told dad, that I have been studying faith lately, and I have found out that anytime there is a miracle, faith has preceded it. Faith is really an amazing thing. It was faith that lead Joseph Smith to pray, it was also the faith that he would receive an answer to that prayer. Its faith that allows us to stand up for what we believe, it is also faith to stay away from the things of the world. It is by faith that we take the sacrament and also by faith that we are to be healed and cleansed through the sacrament. Faith is really complex. anyways, how is the scripture reading and also the daily family prayers coming along??

Tell drew that I miss him and I hope that he is doing well!!
Lets see. I am absolutely loving my mission!! I keep thinking that I don't want to leave and that I want to stay here forever serving the people of kentucky!

Marlena, the person that I talked about last week actually ended up dropping us, but it was way cool because after that, I started to get so down and gloomy, but I told myself that I cant' allow this to happen, the lord is going to provide for us. Of course he did. We were on our way home and Both me and my companion decided to take a little detour and go on a route that we have never taken before and there was this lady sitting on her front porch and we talked to her and found out that she used to talk to the missionaries and that her sister is actually a Mormon and she was wanting to get back into the discussions and find out about what her sister was saying with the temple. So it just reaffirmed my testimony and reassured that the Lord blesses us when we follow with FAITH! :) Anyways I have to go. LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!! :)Love elder Taylor! :)