Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 10, 2012



Baptism of George Kemp 
 
 
Rashad and Elder Taylor
So P-Hours on Monday came and went and we played pool and decorated the apartment for Christmas and then we went out to work. We started to tract and when we got out of the car, I saw this girl who was walking back from working out and I went up to go say hi to her, but she turned around and screamed in my face, "NO!!!!!! stay away!!" I was dumbfounded because she took off running and apparently thought that we were people who were trying to cause her harm. I tried to gently yell at her, "We just want to talk is all!" but by the time I managed to get that out, she was already up three flights of stairs screaming her head off, running into her apartment. So Elder Clawson and I just looked at each other and shrugged and kept walking. Then we started to knock doors and it was way cool because on the fifth door that we knocked on, we were let in. We left our peace and blessing with him and then started to teach him about the message that we so eagerly share with people. He was pretty stoked to hear it. So he invited us back on Thursday. Anyways more about him later.
So Tuesday for the most part was a normal missionary day out tracting and IQ'ing and getting rejected, it was even quite boring, no real fun stories to tell. Then that evening we received a referral from Lexington-Downtown Spanish and the name of the referral was Shawndelle. They had run into her like four or five times and finally on the last time, she said that she would listen to missionaries again, and since she lives in our area, they referred her to us. So we got the referral and they explained a little bit about her and nothing really stood out to me, but it should have because when we contacted her the next day, she ended up being one of my old investigators from Elizabeth-town. I had no clue what to say. She just started laughing and smiled and said, "God works in mysterious ways." So to make a long story short, in E-Town she had struggled with the priesthood and the necessity for it. She had accepted the Book of Mormon as the word of God, but that was about it. She didn't see why we had to Book of Mormon, so she basically dropped us after a few weeks. So we get there on Wednesdays and start teaching her and I upfront was bold about it and brought all her concerns to the front, to see if they were still the same. So we retaught her the restoration and more concerns surfaced, but the priesthood was still the main one. So on Thursday we went back and she seemed more humble this time, so I was like God has shown you a sign, "so pray about the priesthood and then you will get your answer." So she prayed about it, and we left and then we later found out that not five minutes after we left, she got her answer. So she is also set for baptism on Jan 5.
Now back to the investigator that we found on Monday. So we saw him on Thursday and set a soft baptismal date for Jan-19 and he accepted, and he even invited his roommate to listen to us. So he is so ready, but unfortunately or fortunately (I'm not sure which) him and his roommate are 19 years old and so we won’t be able to teach him more. We have to refer him to the UK Singles Missionaries who are over the singles ward who teach people from the ages of 18-30 who are eligible to go to the Singles ward, so who are single, and don't have a kid.  Then to close off the week, yesterday we had a Christmas Nativity activity that the entire community was welcome to come to. So we had a ton of non-members there and we had like 20 missionaries just trying to pick people apart.... It didn't work very well. Apparently they still like to reject us, even when they are on our turf. I hope that at least a few of them felt the spirit. Love you all! Elder Taylor
Elder Taylor trying on skinny jeans!

Elder Taylor, Elder Whoel, Elde Castenda, and Elder St. Martin

 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 24, 2012


Hey family!!
So just a quick update, I am staying!! ahhhhhhhh!!!! I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I won't give up no matter where I am at though. So I will be here in Lexington for at least 9 months!! That is so crazy, but I love the ward here and the people so I am grateful. I am also thankful to president for allowing me to stay.  Also yesterday at church we had 4 investigators come. That is a record high for me, being that they were all my investigators that I have been working with. I have had 4 before, but two of them were just random show-ups.  . So they weren't really ones that I had been working with closely. I still am working with mike.  Anyways, it was a tender mercy of the Lord to see that much success. Oh yeah and also Elder Woehl is leaving. That’s crazy, so much has happened, and I have seen three missionaries leave, and I will see three missionaries come in. I guess I haven't finished my work here in Lexington.  But yeah just an update, my ankle is doing well, this morning we went and played some basketball and I actually scored like 12 points, so I am able to have some pretty good mobility in it. Also we have a few dinner appointments for Thanksgiving so that will be fun!! Oh yeah just a funny side note, so I counted my tie collection yesterday and I have over 75 ties.... haha I really enjoy trading ties..... :) so sorry this is a short letter, but I am running out of time. I will send you all some photos next week. I am grateful for you all and I love you!!
Elder Taylor and Elder Woehl, Bishop and Son
Elder Taylor and Pastor Mike

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 12, 2012

So you will have to forgive me for lack of fun stories this week, but I do however have a pretty neat testimony building experience. So Friday was a day just jammed packed with a spiritual feast and president came out with this amazing way to tract (which I will explain later) and so we were stoked then on Friday night I had to give a baptismal interview for the Zone Leaders investigator who was set to be baptized on Saturday. During the interview something felt off but however he was answering all the questions to the best of his ability and he was passing off all of them. He was saying all the right answers (except he didn't know what tithing was or who the prophet was, but I explained it to him and he said he would commit to love the law of tithing and follow the prophet so he passed those questions off as well). So I finished up "interviewing" him and for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to tell him that he was ready for baptism. See I had an internal struggle because I kept telling myself that who am I to hold someone back from baptism and then to tell him the reason "I am holding you back from baptism because you answered all of the questions right but I don't think you have a strong enough testimony." That would kind of be a horrible excuse because who am I to judge how strong someone’s testimony is, and then to downgrade his small flicker of flame to tell him that his flame isn't big enough. I was like, "why am I feeling this way!!! it’s just my head getting in the way" So I about told him that he was passed for baptism, but right as I was opening my mouth to tell him that, a thought came that this is a spiritual prompting and I know it is and if this is a spiritual prompting and I go against it then I would offend God for going against his will. So I just sat there for about 2 mins thinking of how I would tell him this, and he looked at me a little funny. So to make the silence a little less awkward he took my planner and started to ask me the baptismal questions. He asked me what it means to repent and so I bore my testimony about the repentance process and how we need to repent through the atonement. He asked me a few more questions and then he gave me back my planner and commented on what I said. (Here is where the Lord answers our prayers. After we have been tested and have made up our mind, we have taken that leap of faith and trust the Lord to see us through). As he was commenting on remarks, he said something that stood out to me and I knew that the decision I was about to tell him was the right thing. It was as if the Lord told me what to listen for and how to listen for it. He didn't really say much that would have given it away, but I know that the Lord highlighted about five words that he said, and as soon as he said those words I knew exactly why I was telling him he wasn't ready for baptism. So I asked him a few more questions and those questions just told me more so what the Lord had already told me. So it was confirmed, we are holding off his baptism for a few weeks.

Well, we went into Saturday with just high hopes, and high hopes it was. We were able to find a really neat family from Africa. They didn't understand anything we were saying, but we tried to explain (it took about 20 mins to explain this, practically playing charades with them) that we could get someone who speaks Swahili to come back with us to teach them. And we left a Book of Mormon in Swahili with them and they read the Introduction and invited us back. So we will hope and pray for them, and that we can match up schedules with our brother who speaks Swahili.
It is awesome how much the Lord is really hastening the work. They have said that by march the number of missionaries out in the field will go from 58,000 to 100,000. How crazy is that! The average ward will have two pairs of missionaries in it. (Exception being Utah, Idaho, and few other western states) It is amazing to see the hand of the Lord go forward at such a rapid pace and it is a blessing to live in these days to help out our fellow brothers and sisters.
Love you all family!!
Elder Taylor

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 15, 2012

Well this last week has been a tiring one, but to say the least, it’s been a rewarding one. We actually ended up getting a car on Tuesday, and so now we are in a hybrid area. We still bike for most of the days, but for those far places that we have to travel we use the car. We have been able to accomplish much more being in a car.
So Yesterday I was blessed to be able to give a talk on missionary work. I got the call on Friday and was expected to talk on Sunday, so it was pretty fun preparing for this talk, because missionary work is what I live and breathe and eat nowadays. It was way fun preparing for it. Also having the chance to talk also opened up more doors for missionary opportunities. So on Friday we got the call that I was talking, and as you know every Friday we go down to a soup kitchen to a non-denominational church and serve food there. The preacher down at that church and I have become really good friends. He still gives me some flack about "John Smith" as he calls him and the three levels of heaven saying, "if I do this then will I be in the top level of heaven or the bottom level of heaven," but other than that we have been able to become close. So on Friday when we were in the middle of serving the food I told him that I was giving a talk and I invited him to come and listen to me speak. The conversation went something like this. At first when he heard that church started at nine in the morning he said, "no way man, I have to work night shift from 11 to 6, so I can't get back up that early and go to church.  Maybe if it started at 12 or something." All I said was come on mike, and he sat there didn't say much for about 10 minutes and then, "Well I will ask the big man upstairs." "So if he says yes then you will come?" I question. "Duh" he replies. "Good." Then I turned to Elder Savage (another missionary in our zone who also helps out at the soup kitchen) and whispered "alright we will see him there." We both had a pretty good chuckle afterwards, just hoping that he would listen to Heavenly Father. So right before we are done the preacher turns to me and was like, "You know I will pick you apart right if I come?" "You can try" I replied. "Alright I will." So we ended like that and on the way out I looked at him and was like, so we will see you on Sunday, and walked out. So Sunday morning rolls around and he gives us a call at 8:30. "Man I can't come, I just barely got home from work, and there is no way that I will be able to make it through without falling asleep." so basically he called and cancelled. Elder Woehl and I were pretty bummed out. So driving to church (mind you we have a new car now! ;)) He gave us a call back and was basically like, alright this doesn't feel right, I can't turn back from what I said that I was going to do, that would be hypocritical of me. So as soon as I heard that he was really going to come, my nerves surfaced. Up until this time I was extremely calm and ready to give this talk. As soon as I heard that I would be under pressure and every word I would say he would try to tear it apart, I decided that I would have to bring my "A" game and bear nothing but pure and simple truths. So I started my process of getting my nerves under control, and unfortunately nothing would work, also remember that I was still fasting for George and felt even weaker at this point. So we got to church and 9:00 rolled around and in walks the preacher. I walked up to him and gave him a hug and thanked him for being there. So during the sacrament I was just praying that everything would be good and would work out, and that the spirit would be there. So Elder Woehl gave his talk first, and it was about 3 mins. Then it was my turn. I got up there and gave my talk, and during the talk I felt the calm assurance of the spirit. I also felt him amplifying my talents and my speaking ability. It was pretty cool. I also felt that due to fasting, my head was clear and words that would normally choke me up flowed smooth. I gave about a 12 min talk and then after sacrament meeting, I walked up to the preacher and thanked him for coming. He said that it was good and he felt uplifted. He said that he was glad that he came. A few hours later as Elder Woehl and I were out working he gave us a call and thanked us for the talks that we shared. I asked him, "So is there anything you want to pick apart?" "No buddy, I actually just sat back and enjoyed the talk immensely. I appreciate you and the service that you all render a little bit more now." So it was a small miracle that we experienced, but it might go miles down the road. Who knows? 
I love you family!!
Love Elder Taylor

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012


Dear Family,
Elder Woehl, Elder Taylor, and Elder Johnson
This week was a pretty good week. We are starting to become pretty solid in regards to having investigators be there at our appointments, as well we ended up getting two to General Conference. One of which was George. He is doing a great job. He doesn't have a testimony yet, but he recognizes the importance of obedience and does everything we ask, so it will only be a matter of time. It also will be up to us how well we teach him. We are starting to see many, many tender mercies of the Lord and as such it is giving us such a push to do better. It also is pushing us to become better teachers and missionaries. After yesterday I determined I can't ever take a play off. Or in other words, I can't ever go through the motions and expect me to change lives. I can't ever approach someone on the street and not give them the best chance possible to accept what I have to give them. In order to change lives, I have to change. I have to be on my best game every second of the day. Not just when teaching, but when tracking, when street contacting, when giving service, when studying and praying. It’s hard because sometimes I fall into a rut. I think "hey, that approach worked last time, so let’s use it this time", but that should not be the case. We all are different, so what this last person needed to hear may be completely different than what this next person needs to hear. Yet we are all children of God and as such we all have needs and wants that can only be filled by the fullness of the gospel, and so there will always be something that I can say that will catch their attention or that the spirit will carry it straight to their heart. So that was something that I came out with for a new resolution.
So much has happened this week and yet I can't remember any of it. Well I do remember one story. There was this like 20 year old kid who I approached on like Tuesday and in many unspeakable words he told me what he thought of me and where I should go. So I was like, "well dangit, that hurt." so we saw him the next day and I approached him again, and once again he sent me away with many harsh words. (I even think he made up some.) Then guess what, we saw him again on Thursday, and so what do I do? approach him again, but only this time I took a tactful approach to it. I went riding towards him and he saw me and was about to start yelling, but I stopped short and talked a young lady like 10 feet away from him. So I talked to this girl for about 30 seconds, and I looked up and he was still standing there. So I said something along these lines "hello sir." and he replied, "look your just trying to mess with me, so stop it" I replied, "No I am not, we talk to so many people, I can recall your face but I don't know from where." "I am the one from yesterday" he replied. "Oh yes I remember. Look, we just stop and talk to people. We will go on our way please excuse me, but before I go could I get a name just to say a friendly hello." He sat there for about three minutes and I could tell there was a war going on in his mind. But he finally gave in "names mike." So to top it off, the very next day I was off talking to another person, and Elder Woehl was sitting waiting for me to finish and Mike walked on by. Elder Woehl said hello, and then as fast as he could speak said, "Mike do you like basketball?" So it caught mikes attention and so he invited mike to play some basketball today. So we will see if he shows, but nevertheless. My testimony was strengthened in the power of long suffering and perseverance. Also people seem all big and bad on the outside, but on the inside they are just as vulnerable and need love as the next person. Also silent persuasion goes a long way. They may not know how important our message is, but we do, and that is all that matters for the present time. Then we have the charge to explain to them, in the few seconds that we get to talk to them, the importance and the urgency of our message. Our call is to bring the vastness and importance of eternity and simplify it so as to allow the spirit to carry it to their hearts.
So we got transfer calls yesterday, and I got word that I am staying for another 6 weeks. So I will be here until mid way through November. Its intense and it pushes me and forces me to have faith, because when you get to a point where you like, "I have rode these streets over 100 times," I have already knocked on this door," it really pushes you to the test to keep moving forward with faith that the Lord will provide. I LOVED elder Holland’s talk! It is close to the same one that he gave to missionaries in the MTC two January's ago. Only he changed it to missionary work and how we should NEVER go back and be the same person. We signed up, and so we signed up forever. Elder Shaffer burnt me a copy of the talk and I have been listening to it on and off for about 8 months now, and yesterday when he talked, he hit a home run. It was amazing. I have studied the story of Peter on and off and I have grown to love the story of Peter and the example that he was to the early vulnerable saints after Christ's time. Well family I love you so much! Tell the family that I say hi and tell dad to get better!

Love you! Elder Taylor

                                                       

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7, 2001

So this week has been an explosive week. I'm excited, anxious, and nervous for this next week to come. Already this morning we had a lesson with a guy who came to church yesterday (not George. His name is Jay). It went well and he is so ready to be baptized, but he has a few hurdles to hurdle (that always seems to be the case with me) but he has to find a job, get married, find a house, and then quit smoking. He has his little family with a girlfriend a two year old kid. The little kid is the cutest thing. He just sits there and talks gibberish just to hear his own voice. But anyways Its nerve racking because we have to be on our A game because the Lord has given us all of these tender mercies and we have to continually take care of them, and grow by grace, so that Justice will keep on being in debt to us, and the Lord will continue on blessing us. It’s harder work to sit down and find out what the grater needs than to go and knock 500 doors. Also I hate tracking. It’s the biggest waste of time ever but It’s good because it builds character and I have gotten most of my stories from tracking. So yesterday George did show up to church, and he is doing great. We are trying to move up his baptismal date. We aren't set on one yet, but he could do it as early as this Sunday in between sessions. So that would be a miracle if we pulled that off. But its his baptism and we don't want to rush him. I just have a feeling I might be getting transferred this next week and so if it doesn't happen this Sunday then I will miss it.
So we get fed pretty often here. At least three times a week. It’s a pretty good ward in regards to taking care of missionaries.
Oh yeah so this last week I crashed my bike pretty good. Like really good. We went over into the North Area and there is this really awesome jump there and so I went off the jump and pulled too hard on the handles and so the whole bike was twisted in the air as I was coming down I came down on my front tire way weird and the tire caught the ground and I landed flat on my handle bars. It was a fun crash. Luckily I didn't get hurt, so next time I go into the North Area I can hit the jump even harder.
So how is the Taylor and the Dance side doing? Grandpa emailed me and said that Alivias walk for cancer or something like that was this last week. That is so cool. Glad that she is almost over and done with it.
Well that is about all I have to write this week. I am wet and cold (Its pouring right now) and so its pretty fun riding out in the rain. Stay strong and continue on building up your testimonies until it will grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day :)
Love ya!
Elder Taylor

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 24, 2012



Lexington North Zone


 
So last Thursday Elder Woehl and I were riding around and we ran into a man at like 8:30 at night and started to talk to him, he didn't really seem that interested, but he allowed us to make a return appointment with him like three days later. I wasn't even sure if we should go to it because a day later we tried calling him to see if the appointment was still on and he didn't answer. So Elder Woehl and I started to head to his appointment like an hour early, just so we can give ourselves some cushion. On the way we ran into like three or four people who wanted to talk to us. They just wanted to chat the breeze with us. So we started to talk to them, but then something told me to keep going, this doesn't feel right. So by this time we had like 30 mins until his appointment and we were only a 5 minute ride away from his house. So to be effective and work hard and not waste time, we stopped and tried a few people who we had seen previous, but they weren't home. So we started to head to his house and we ran into a current investigator. We stopped and talked to her for like 20 mins. And I looked down at my watch and it was 4:10, and something told me that we needed to go to this man’s house. Our appointment was at 4. So I abruptly stopped our conversation with our investigator and we rode to this man’s house. Well when we got there he was home and welcomed us in and everything. We sat down and I don't want to jinx myself, but to make a long story short, so far he is a Golden Investigator. He even came to church yesterday and accepted a baptismal date. So we are praying hard for him!
To switch gears lately, as you know, we have been studying the Atonement. I absolutely love it. And surprisingly enough (or maybe it won't be) I start off with the atonement, and more often then not the studies have ended up on love and charity. I have had to develop these lately with everything that is coming along my path. I haven't been able to receive the attribute of charity, but I am starting to understand it more, and how much it is intertwined with the Atonement. It is so amazing how in the gospel just everything is connected on a simple and deep scale. Wow once again my testimony was just barely strengthened because no man could have come up the restored gospel and have it make sense and have it connect on such finite levels as it does, and still not contradict itself.  I absolutely love the gospel.  Keep up the faith! Living each day to its fullness!
Elder Taylor
 
 





Sunday, September 16, 2012

9-16-2012


Hi family and friends.  You asked me questions about Lexington and the area I am currently serving.  Well let’s see, Lexington can be crazy sometimes. There are always people out and about and I have seen more homeless people, drug deals, car wrecks, and police sirens than I ever have before. I can count on one hand how many days have gone by without hearing or seeing an ambulance, a police car, or a fire truck. Today we saw two different fire trucks at like 10 and 3, so that's been fun... (just heard another one at 6:21). This summer is actually the hottest and driest summer that Lexington has had in like 7 or 8 years and actually in July we had a record high of like 7 days in a row being over 100 degrees, that has never happened here in Lexington ever, and yet there is still green here. The grass is still green outside. It’s pretty exciting.


Elder Taylor and Elder Woehl

This past week was a little bit slower than we have had. But once again my testimony was strengthened in the power of fasting and how if we fast with faith in the Savior then he will be able to work miracles. Since yesterday people have just been coming out of the woodwork. I honestly believe that we are going to have a baptism coming up here in the next month. Good things are happening. We have been working with this old man for awhile now. He is so cute and just adorable, and its hard to be stern with him and tell him that he needs to stop procrastinating and just be baptized, but I believe that he will be able to make it, with a bit more praying and allowing the spirit to work in his heart. I heard a saying yesterday in church that started my mind a buzzing. "If people can be talked into the church, then they can be talked out of it" and he was referring to how sometimes we try to talk people into a testimony and it doesn't work like that. The spirit must do the teaching and so it will be a stronger testimony.
yes I have now officially past my hump week, and I still don't know what to think. Its weird to think that I have less days than I have been out and the time keeps getting shorter and shorter, and I don't like it. Being out on a mission has been one of the hardest things I have done and it has pushed me to limits that I thought that weren't possible, and all throughout all of this I have never been happier than in the service of my Lord.

 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Elder Taylor at District Meetings

Teaching at the District Meeting



Knocking on doors with Elder Rich
What missionaries look like through a peep hole:)


 

Pioneer District Elder Taylor, Johnson, Morrison, and Richins
 


Transfer Day August 28th

9-4-12


Elder Woehl and Elder Taylor

I have a new companion, Elder Woehl. He has a testimony and really has a good memory in regards to remembering people and also the schedule that we have that day. He carries the spirit really well with him, but there is much to learn and I hope that we can learn and grow together. There is a reason we are together, and I know that it will be for the good. He is from West Jordan Utah. He actually wrestled in High School. So that is a common thing between us.

So this last week has been a bit tougher one. Trying to adjust and also getting dropped by two of our baptismal dates was hard. So with that happening it brought to my memory a conversation that I had a few weeks back with one of the assistants and he said something to me that made me start thinking. It was right after Elder Golden visited the mission, they came and dropped off a few packages, and we started talking and somewhere along the conversation it got brought up that I worked extremely hard, I just wasn't doing it the right way. So it made me start thinking, well what is the Lords way. The Lords way is following the spirit right? Becoming sanctified, so as to allow the spirit to help me make certain decisions in my life. So I started a special fast, and have fasted periodically since then, on how I can follow the spirit and do the work in the Lords way. I fasted and prayed more earnestly and harder to know what I needed to do. And it has been three weeks since that has happened and I have received little bits and pieces to my answer all along the way, but yesterday my answer was given to me almost in full in a priesthood blessing. But I'm going to back up for a few. See this last week was pretty tough and it was tiring and we had little success and as such my name was brought up in a conversation between the Zone leaders and the Assistants. The same exact assistant saying the same thing that he had earlier (that I was working hard, but wasn't doing it the right way) and I'm hoping that it got brought up because they want to help not criticize, but anyways. So yesterday one of the Zone leaders came up to me and asked me if everything was ok and was wondering if he could help. So we sat down and had a really good and deep conversation. Afterwards he asked me if he could give me a blessing of comfort and counsel. So he did and in this blessing he said many things that could have only come from the Lord one of which he blessed me that the trials that are going on at home will all be ok. He has no clue what is going on at home with dad. Also it was expressed that the Lord is pleased with my effort and to keep working the way that I have been. So that was a testimony building experience to gain a stronger testimony of fasting and of priesthood blessings.
Well family, my time is running short, but I love you all!
Elder Taylor

Sunday, September 2, 2012

8-27-2012

On Wednesday we were able to witness a miracle. I fasted because I just felt the need to fast and also I needed added strength going into a baptismal interview that I was to conduct for a baptismal candidate in my district, but it turns out the interview was cancelled and rescheduled for the next day. So I went throughout the day still fasting hoping that something will happen. So the day came and went at a pretty normal pace, nothing too exciting happened and I ended my fast at six. That evening we had an appointment at 7:30 and this appointment was a pretty solid one and so we brought a member with us. We showed up at the door and she said that she was having some family problems and that now was not a good time. So I'm thinking to myself, this stinks both of our scheduled appointments today (the baptismal interview and the one at 7:30) has fallen through. So we get into the car and the member asks us what our backs up plans were and so I looked into my planner and looked up our backup plans and for some reason they didn't feel right. I look at Elder Johnson was like, hey what the heck lets go see this guy who we dropped off a BOM to like a week earlier, so we drove clear across our area to this man’s house and he wasn't home. So we drove a little further and stopped at a potential investigator that we had, but she answered the door and said that now wasn't a good time. So by this time it was 8:15ish. My first thought was, there has to be someone here who is ready so let’s go tracking. Then my second thought was, no this member has some homework to do so we can just turn around and drive home and by that time it will be 8:30 and 30 mins isn't too bad to cut short and also we will give the member 30 extra mins of reading time tonight. So I sat there for like 5 mins just contemplating in my head what to do. Then all of a sudden I hear myself say, let’s go down Colorado road. Colorado road was about two blocks away and so we turned down that road and as we starting driving down it I remembered a referral that this area had received like 8 months ago that lived on Colorado road. So we knocked, and she came to the door and invited us in. We found out that she has some medical problems, but she has a strong testimony in the Book of Mormon and also Joseph Smith. The reason she has not been baptized yet is because she has commitment issues and also she is afraid to go to church with her medical problems. So it was cool to see how everything just lined up in order for us to find this girl. We hope that we will be able to work through her problems, and see her into baptism. Well I will at least, seeing as I am still going to be in Lexington. Then we had another miracle this week. The baptismal interview that was cancelled and then rescheduled for Thursday actually ended up getting baptized on Saturday. So we invited a bunch of people to come to the baptism, and only one person showed up. The preacher from the other church that we have been getting close with. He showed up and he loved the service, he had a lot of questions. Questions that we answered as best as we could, but he said that he loved it.
Now I am going to switch gears and talk about trials. I am grateful for the chance that we all have to go through trials and times in our lives where we feel humbled and our dependence on the Lord grows more and more. As I started to write my mind reflected back to a scripture in Ether 12:27 "If men come unto me I will show unto men their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." This last week was a really bitter sweet week and once again I was humbled. I am hoping and praying that this is a good enough humbling experience to last me for a while, but probably not, I can be pretty prideful. Anyways our top progressing investigator, the one who was set for baptism on Sept 15 dropped us yesterday actually. So that was a hard pill to swallow and I am still trying to swallow it. She was doing so well and ready and on fire for her baptism date and then her mom talked her out of it. It was one of those, pinch me now, I am dreaming right?! But she explained how she wants some time to think about it, and if she still wants to get baptized then she will wait for a year or two. So we have experienced both ends of the spectrum this week.

Elder Taylor

Sunday, August 26, 2012

8-20-2012


So this last week was a pretty hectic week. We had a member of the 70 come and talk to us. It was Elder Golden. He was a really nice speaker and I really had a lot of respect for him. I really enjoyed his 2 hour long lecture that he gave to us. He hit everything and anything. From Obedience to faith to hard work even being clean (thus the apartment inspection). He answered one of my biggest questions that has been plaguing me my entire mission. Often while being out here I have seen many missionaries who find success but barely work for it. They get by with doing just enough, even some of them don't even do enough and still yet they baptize. I have been working my butt off for the past 11 months and why in the heck haven't I had very much success. (I'm not playing a woe is me, or that baptisms are life and death, but it’s still nice to have success) anyways I went into this conference with a question as to how I can improve myself. And the answer came. He said that there are two reasons why missionaries don't find success. Number one is they don't work hard enough, they don't know how to hit the pavement and so when the time comes they don't have the spirit with them. The second reason is that missionaries are working extremely hard, but they are working extremely hard in the wrong direction, they aren't doing the Lords work his way. As soon as I heard that my heart sunk into my belly, but at the same time I started to sing praises to Heavenly Father at the understanding of what I need to do. It goes back to working smarter, but smarter in the right direction. It’s going to be a trial and error sort of thing, but already this week we have started to see the fruits of it with one of our investigators attending church.
Although this week we had a really rough lesson with one of our investigators that we have been seeing for like a month now. He feels that us telling him that his church doesn't have the fullness is us telling him that all of his past experiences of him finding God doesn't matter. We tried explaining over and over that we don't want to take away, just add to that he already has and for him to read the Book of Mormon. He then goes off on how he is seeing all of these miracles in his church and numbers are being added daily and so for him to walk away now would be almost insanity. But for some reason he keeps inviting us back. I don't know maybe the Lord has a way to show me patience or maybe he will be humbled, I don't know. We shall see. But we are starting to find and teach more so it has been a tendy mercy of the Lord to see all of this happening.
Also while we were at the soup kitchen the preacher asked me to pray again and then right after that someone walked up to me and started to ask questions. So that was neat to see the Lord working by small and simple means.

Love you all family!
Elder Taylor

 





8-13-2012


So this past week went pretty well. Although on Saturday Elder Johnson and I scheduled an appointment over in the North Area and so I looked on the map and found the place where we were going, and it didn't look too far maybe four miles, and five at the most. So we started to ride, and ride, and ride... and ride.... and forty minutes later we reached our destination... 7 miles away. Then while we got there, we started to look at the houses and this guy gave us a house number that didn't exist. We were upset. Then right as we were about to get on the bikes I looked down and noticed that my tire had gone flat.... and so that was just a horrible day. But now it’s over and it was an experience to remember and to always get the persons phone number so we can call first. So needless to say we had a good day of exercise that day :) Speaking of which... I weighed myself this morning and any guesses as to how much I weighed??.......... drum roll......... 203.4. yeah buddy! It’s all about over-coming the natural man and curbing that desire to over-eat. So as I had promised before, dad since you are making such an effort to eat healthy, so will I:) This is good, and I love it! My ankle is increasing in strength, this last week I worked three out of seven days with my brace off and it was able to hold under the pressure, so I am getting to be back to full motion again. So yesterday we actually went over to the Bishops house for dinner and as I was walking around their kitchen, I spotted someone that I knew from back home up on their fridge... It was lunch detention Jensen. And to top it off, he is getting married!! How crazy is that. I looked at bishop's wife and was like "HOW DO YOU KNOW HIM?!" and she was like I don't... I know her though. She was in my young women’s quorum a few years back. So we started to talk about how small the world really is :) that was crazy!
Elder Johnson and I are getting along pretty well. I am thinking that I will stay in Lexington at least for another transfer cycle though which is fine with me (this one ends in two weeks! wow!)
Well we are working hard, and I am personally working hard in behalf of trying to become converted and healed. Conversion is a life-long process that we can never be idle about.
video

8-6-2012


I am extremely humbled by the experience of Porter and his example. Little kids who are without guile, like he is, they see what they see and they say it how it is. There is no covering up or beating around the bush with him. He gets the point out Innocent and pure and there is no judgment or hypocrisy. He boldly declares what he knows to be right. That's the way we all should be. Be not afraid. So thank you Porter for you example. You keep on softening those hearts and being that wonderful missionary that you are :) Be as a little child. Those words are so true.
I am happy to hear of Jessica and her joining together in matrimony between her and Cody. That must have been an important day in her life, and so it deserves all of the congratulations suited for the occasion.

Wow so you saw Brock this week?! That is awesome! How is he doing? How are the marines treating him? Sheesh it feels like it’s been an Eon since I have seen him. I really do miss him, but it’s weird because I see a few similarities between him and Elder Johnson. It’s been pretty cool. Like sometimes I look at Elder Johnson and it feels like dejavue. But then my mind reflects to Brock and I'm like no wonder, that is something that Brock would do. So it’s been pretty fun serving with him. I hope that we get another transfer together. It is midway through this transfer and it seems like it has flown by! I don't even know where the time is going. I feel like some days I should just sit in my apartment so that way the time will go slower, but no matter what I do the time will go by in equal proportions so why not work it to death :) Also I will get no better by just sitting there. So that would make it void and I wouldn't be able to accomplish much.
This week has been way hard trying to get the goals down and working effectively. Like I have done more planning this week and visiting less active members than I have done in a while. Also I have made more phone calls this week to members to try to get to know them than I ever have done. It has helped me to learn and grow and to be able to step outside of the box. Like for example I used to spend all of my time just going out and trying to find new investigators, but that will only get me so far. If I go out looking for new investigators then I will be able to find what I am looking for. I have discovered that if I look for a member present and do my best then we will have a member present. Also if I put in the work to have someone go to church then eventually someone will come to church. But if we find for a baptism, go out looking for someone who is ready to be baptized, not just taught, then miracles will happen. Granted it hasn't happened yet, but we have been able to experience the fruits of steady constant effort towards achieving goals. Like this week we had a possible four say that they would be able to make it to church with us. Now none of them came, but that right there was testimony enough for me to know that we had the potential to get four to church. The Lord was just giving us a little taste of victory that way so we could want it more. Now why is that, when before this week rarely anyone has said that they will come to church? The fact of the matter is that we focused on getting people to church and so therefore the Lord will grant unto us the righteous desires of our hearts, but that isn't without us first putting forth the needed effort. We distributed an adequate amount of time specifically to invite people and to explain why coming to church is so important. A few people weren't even investigators and we talked to them for about 10 minutes as to why they should attend church with us. But that correlated into our investigators realizing the importance of church attendance. Now only imagine if we could do that for baptism. (which is what we are starting to understand :)) so that was pretty intense and I'm still trying to understand the doctrine and importance of setting goals. Weekly planning is the bane of my existence, but President re-emphasized that it will be the difference between success and not success. So I have tried to sit down and plan things out. Which has been extremely hard for me. I was never the one to go by a time schedule or even neatly organized, so this is making me learn and grow. We have actually been working pretty close with this 16 year old and she is the furthest progressing investigator that Elder Johnson has ever been able to teach, so we are extremely happy about that. She is set for baptism in September, the reason it being so far away is that she works on the weekends and so she has a hard time getting off for church. Hopefully she said that this upcoming Sunday she will be able to come. Just have to keep on hoping and having faith.
Oh yeah by the way, covering both areas has been fun! We actually bought a bike odometer to see how far we travel in a day’s time. We average about 17 miles a day and spend over two hours of the day on a bike. So that has been amazing. Other than my bum getting sore, I am loving life with how much activity is offers :) Also yes I did receive Grandmas and Grandpas package that they sent in the mail. So tell them thanks for me!

Love you all!
Elder Dallas Taylor                         


7-30-2012


Whatever the human mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Well here it is Monday again and the time needs to slow down. It’s going way too fast. I was very grateful to hear about all the experiences that have happened. Thank you dad for updating me on how you’re doing. I hope and pray that your health will increase and also that all will go well with the surgery.
So this past week the Zone leaders sat us down and said that President time and time again has said that we are on the brink. We are so close to reaching our goals and potential and we are doing good but we need to do better. He has given us all these trainings on everything from being obedient to how to better approach people, but it seems that nothing is working. They asked us what it will take to push us over the edge, from being an average mission to being a mission that leaves a legacy. So we sat and talked for quite a while and then they showed us this new breakthrough that President is positive will push us over the edge. They asked us how many times we go out for the day just mindlessly hoping that the Lord will put someone in our way. Or how many doors have we knocked not really sure what to say or what we want to accomplish other than getting this person to accept what we are teaching. They said that what this mission is lacking is something that has been in preach my gospel the whole time. We need to go out with a purpose in mind. We need to fulfill our key indicators. Just a little bit of a back ground, key indicators are goals that we set each week. a few of these are gators with a bap date, gators at church, gators taught with a member present, other lessons, and new gators. So they said that President has set a standard of expectation and we need to focus on every single indicator. Not just investigators hoping to get the investigators to progress, but actually going out with a purpose and expectation in mind. Like if we need someone to come to church then go out looking for people to come to church. So we did that on Friday and Saturday we just went out inviting people to come to church. Everybody we saw :) and unfortunately no one came to church but that night we did have a little bit of a miracle, as to we found an investigator and set a bap date with her, and we did that with brother Kopher, our mission ward leader :) The lesson that we taught seemed to flow so nice and evenly and it was directed by the spirit big time. Elder Johnson and I were also able to teach in unity so it just worked exceptionally well. So hopefully if we keep on this track, it will follow through with a baptism. Actually one of the Zone leaders looked at us and said, "I haven't promised anyone this but if you fulfill these standards of expectation for 7 weeks then you will have 3 baptisms." So we are working even harder and more effective. Which is way cool!

So to update, my ankle is doing good. I can actually move around without a limp. I can run fairly well with a limp, but I can still run. So how are the Olympics coming along? I know that they are almost half way over right? How Michael Phelps do and also the USA did supposed new dream team?
Well today we are actually going to over to play some ultimate Frisbee and so that will be fun because it has been awhile since I have played anything other than tennis on P-days. Elder Johnson and I are still doing great. We are having fun and enjoying our time together. Learning and growing as always. It’s weird because right as soon as I feel like what is happening is too great to handle, the Lord reaches down and strengthens me. The Grace and the power of the atonement of our Lord and Savior is amazing and incomprehensible. I am really enjoying getting to know my Savior on a more personal level and knowing what true love is. Knowing the Savior is more than just trying to follow his example, it is the act of becoming who the Savior would have us be, little by little.
LOVE you family!
Elder Taylor.


 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Heat wave in Lexington

Elder Taylor and Elder Johnson's form of transportation
So to clarify whats going on with the weather, this last week has actually been record breaking digits in Lexington.   I am still alive and kicking it here in Lexington with Elder Johnson). It was five days either at 100 degrees or over. Two days being at 103 or 104. It was way hot and humid. On Saturday I heard that it was one of the hottest days that they have had since 2005 or something like that. Yeah we were out in it for about 4 hours and I think that we were close to heat exhaustion because the next day was Sunday and Elder Johnson and I couldn't get up to save our lives. We were so exhausted and physically drained, but fortunately we were able to make it to church on time, but after church we came home and couldn't move because we were that exhausted. Then we finally recovered enough to go out and then the weather went from pretty hot to a pretty good rain storm, so we still went out in that as well. That was fun to see both ends of the spectrum and the rain tends to rejuvenate me so that was good.
Members for some reason the members have been stepping it up this month in feeding us as well, so that is something to be thankful for. That reminds me, lately we have been going every Friday to this soup kitchen at this "Jesus is awesomer" church and while we are there, there is this pastor and his name is mike. The first week that I saw him, like a month and a half ago, he was extremely standoffish and wasn't sure about the missionaries, he even made fun of some of the things that we do as missionaries in his sermon (studying for three hours a day and whatnot saying that some people take it to the extreme and thats not what is needed). Then last week as I explained he actually asked me to give the opening prayer for the soup kitchen and then this past Friday he said that he was going to show up to church one of these times. So that has been good to see the change that he is going through, with us just silently persevering and enduring patiently while serving. It has been a good lesson. I have noticed this pretty big change and there is still much more effort that is going to have to happen for him to change fully because he still tries to argue with us on parts of our beliefs but its been a good lesson learned. Also there is another man that works there and his name is bill and he is extremely nice and accepting of us and what we believe but he told us when it comes to religion and differing opinions I don't want to hear it because when people talk different religions arguments starts to come about and so I would rather not. So this past Friday he was giving us a ride home and we started to talk about General Patton and how great of a war general he was and how because of his brain and strategic moves many battles were changed (correct me if any of that was wrong). So for the first time I used the war chapters in the Book of Mormon to bring up the gospel and I liked it to Bill and his interest. I started to talk about Captain Moroni and how he was such a great war hero and how because of him and his brilliance many Nephites were able to be preserved. It peaked Bills interest and he asked us for a Book of Mormon, we didn't talk much gospel side of it but it did bring about a pretty good conversation about the historical side of the Book of Mormon and so he dropped us off and he said that he would read it. So that was neat to see as well.
Well lets see, it has been fun being here in Lexington actually. We live right by a tennis court and so lately every morning Elder Johnson and I go out and play some tennis (I have to find some way to get us motivated in the mornings :)). It has been hard at times what with my ankle not being as mobile as I want it to be, which by the way, my ankle is mostly healed, except the scar tissue which has been built up so I lack full mobility in my ankle.Other than that it has been really fun learning how to play tennis. The doctor said that I will probably have to wear a brace the rest of my life whenever I go play sports.
So the five solid investigators turned out to not be so solid after all. It has been pretty hard working our butts off in 100 degree weather and having most of the return appointments cancel on us. But its all about perseverance and not giving up. Now thats not to say that I haven't gotten discouraged, because I was for a time, but I still haven't given up there is always a silver lining. I figure with all this thats going on the Lord is preparing me and sending me through the refiners fire (again) for a reason. Apparently I didn't learn enough the first go around. But if we just hold on tight, good things will happen, like what happened on Friday.

Man it's HOT!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

March Post






Wet from a hail storm that came down within one minuet.






My Lucky Four Leaf clover!!












I found a four leaf clover!! Welts from the hail storm!!


Our District Missionaries


March 26, 2012


Yeah this week was way hard. Its crazy how just when you think that you have climbed to the top and you know whats going on, Satan throws you a curveball and knocks you right off that mountain, and so by the time you have stopped falling, you are at the base of and even taller mountain and you must climb that mountain in order to be victorious. Its wierd, and I know that was a wierd analogy, but I feel that everytime I start thinking that I have a hang of things, I take a step back and realize that I don't. But the thing that I love is the strength that we get from climbing that first mountain will stay with us and give us the strength to climb the second one, and so on and so forth. That strength is only aquired and will only stay with us through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is when we step outside of our comfort zone and do things that make us feel uncomfortable, in a good way, only then can we really change and grow for the better.These are just a few of the thoughts that have been racing through my head.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Being proactive, getting it done missionary style.



Elder Taylor on Taylor street!
Elder Taylor is looking for 309 and 3/4




Elder Taylor and Elder Frye on Transfer Day

A group of Strippling Warriors:)



Every day mode of Transportation

Christmas Devotional

Going Clark Kent Style Afternoon snack?????

Elder Taylor did great surviving the holidays away from his family. He had a very busy December. Elder Cory was transfered and Elder Frye and Elder Taylor are now companions and getting to know each other as they are actively engage in missionary work. Dallas was able to skype his family on Christmas day which was so fun. Getting to talk face to face was so good for both parties. Elder Taylor and his companion was invited to many members homes for Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner. Elder Taylor even participated in the Ward Choir:) We are so greatful for Elder Taylors willingness to dedicate the next two years of his life to serving the Lord. We Love YOU Elder Taylor!