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.