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