Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Hey family :). This last week has been hectic and I have been frantically trying to scramble around this morning to get some of the reports that are due for tomorrow done. So this letter may seemed a little rushed, and thats OK if it does, because I am:)
So this last week we went on two exchanges and I stayed in E-town for both of them and worked with the missionaries from their areas, and Elder Anderson went to Sulpher Well and worked in E-town North's area.  It's super weird sometimes I feel like I know how to do missionary work and then sometimes I feel like the Lord humbles me and we just have a day full of strike-outs. Well that was just the case on both of the exchanges that we went on... Strike outs right and left. It was great though because I was able to teach the missionaries what to do if you strike out... you keep trying even if you do strike out.
So our family that we are working with is doing great! They are being fellowshipped into the ward and they are set for the 13th. I'm so excited for them! Last week we had FHE with them again and I felt at home for the first time in months. It was great. Their daughter is awesome, she is like memorizing all of the articles of faith and everything. They are just super solid and definitely kingdom builders. Well family, I love you all so much.  I love you all!!
Love Elder Taylor
This is my Awesome District in E-Town!

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

Hi everyone,

You asked my about the broadcast on missionary work that was broadcast- yeah we heard that the broadcast last night was amazing, and I'm actually watching it right now as we speak. Last night Elder Anderson and I weren't able to watch it because we were actually up on Ft. Knox teaching. I am looking forward to what was announced during the broadcast and hearing about it. So Ft. Knox went a little bit better this last week. There were like 7 people there and one of them was a non-member. So we have officially got a new investigator from Ft. Knox. So we will just keep plugging away up there on Ft.Knox.  So the family that we are working with is doing amazing!! We had an FHE with them last Monday and they absolutely loved it. We played charades with them and it from the scriptures. Their date is set for July 13th and they are so ready to be baptized. They are solid. Now what we have to do is to pray and continue teaching them and keep them away from the adversary.

I had a pretty good birthday. I really loved my present. Elder Anderson and I played with my toys, a little bit too much when we first got them. I really loved the small blueish dude. I named him Ooalala OoLavaley. It means cute, cuddly, and crazy in the Sumoan language. I went on an exchange over to Radcliff on my birthday and they are working with a Sumoan family and so I asked them how to say those words and they told me, so that's what I named him. The reason why is because he is cute and cuddly, but also he is crazy with the lights. Thank you! :).

In Elder’s Quorum we had a lesson on forgiveness and love and it hit home. Forgiving someone is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, and the easier it becomes to forgive people and their trespasses. It's truly a blessing because sometimes I feel like I get stuck in a rut or become overly confident in myself, but then Heavenly Father sends me a trial and it humbles me and reminds me who I am and who I depend on and because of it, it allows me to move forward. 

Love you Family!

Elder Taylor

June 17, 2013

You probably heard that my official release date from my mission is Sept 4th.  So yes I am still going to be going strong. There is so much to do, that 3 months still seems forever away. We are still working with our family and they are doing great! They have a date set for July 13th and that is a really solid date. They already consider themselves part of the church.  They have changed so much already. It has been a real tender mercy being able to work with them. I do have a short time left, but I still feel like there is a lot that's on the verge of happening. So I will just work my hardest and see what the Lord can do in my life and in the life's of others :)  Here are some pictures of the people I am currently serving with.

Something that isn't good though, is lately I have been itching a ton. The humidity and the heat is just torching my skin and at night it takes me forever to fall asleep because I'm itching everywhere. I don't have a rash, but my skin just itches. So I might have a doctor visit or something to figure out how to stop itching. The only way that I can get the itching to stop is to drench my body in the anti-itch lotion. That helps a lot, but I'm almost out of it, so I will have to buy some more.

June 10, 2013

I got news on Saturday that I am going to stay here in E-town for another transfer. I am hoping that I can adequately express how I feel. So this is going to be way crazy. A reason why I am stoked about it, is because I will get to see the family we have been working with  be baptized. I am stoked about this upcoming transfer because FT. Knox is opening up this Sunday. So basically what it is,is  for the summer they are bringing back basic training to FT. Knox. It's a little different than basic training, but its new people in the military coming to FT. Knox for training. So what it’s going to consist of is on Wednesday and Sunday nights, Elder Anderson and I will be going up to FT. Knox and teaching a group of young military people. It’s a class that they can take and so it’s almost like the perfect finding and teaching model, because they come to us because they are looking for something in their life, and also they want to get away from the training regimen for a few hours for religion. So we will be teaching a class of like 10 to 30 people every Wednesday and Sunday. Since they are in the military we will be able to teach and baptize them within a month because they should be living the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. So it’s kind of nerve racking, but it’s reassuring because Bro. Byrnes specifically asked for Elder Anderson and I to come and teach the class. So I am actually pretty happy that I am staying. I might actually die off here in E-town so I should change my mission plaque to the E-town, Lexington mission. So yeah that's going to be a blast.
Love Elder Taylor

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 13th

It was great to hear from you! I really enjoyed it and it was exactly what I needed. I'm sorry mom for getting on you for calling me a spiritual giant. I thank you for the recognition, but I have a hard time seeing myself as that because I see so many other weaknesses and flaws. Also I have a hard time accepting compliments. So thank you.

So the family that I told you about that almost dropped us. Yeah they are back on track! Last night after I got off the call we went over to their house and we sat down and started talking to them. We also brought the relief society president over and she is such a saint. They just clicked. We started to teach and the husband even came in and sat down and listened to us. It was a really spiritual lesson and the entire time my heart was just bursting with prayer in their behalf because I realized that this lesson could have been either a make or a break one. So the entire time we were teaching I was basically crying out in my head for Heavenly Fathers help and acceptance of what we were teaching them. It was amazing. Now they are back on track of investigating and we think stronger than before. They don't have a baptismal date yet, but they know that is our first goal for them.

Also today we will be playing basketball with an investigator, so that is exciting.

 Love ya family!!

Elder Taylor

Went to Indiana to get a portable Baptismal Font


May 6th

Captain Moroni, AKA Elder Taylor

Recent Baptism

So to be completely honest, I am having a hard remembering what we did this last week. The mission truly does seem like the days feel like years, the weeks feel like months, the months feel like weeks, and the years feel like days. No we didn't have a baptism this last week, but we are starting to gear up for some future success. If things go great we could have 4 baptisms at the first of June. But if not there will be at least 8 baptisms coming up in the next 4 months that Elder Anderson and I found and started teaching. We have 6 investigators in our teaching pool are really progressing well, and two other gators are having a hard time reading and stuff, but they have felt the spirit and want more of it. You can just tell the look that they have in their eyes when we come over. They want more, they just aren't quite willing to act on it yet, but they will.

So let me tell you a story that has been going on for about a month now. Its about an Inactive part-member family. A little bit of background on this family is that he grew up Mormon and he fell away at like 16. So he went off to the Army at 18 and he has had to go through two deployments to Afghanistan and through it all, he has lost all but a little strand of faith and he really doesn't want anything to do with God. He married his wife who is catholic and they have four sons. So here is where we come into the picture. We knocked on his door and did our little approach and he told us that he used to be Mormon but he politely told us that he doesn't want to have anything to do with us. So I asked if we could at least leave the Savior's peace and blessing on his home through prayer. So he agreed. We said the prayer and afterwards we offered to do any service that he needs and I could tell that flipped a small switch in his head. He declined and so we left.... but we came back to him and his family again, and again, and again. The first few times were a bit rough because they didn't really know why we kept showing up and so it was a little awkward, but the more we came back the more he started opening up. His wife was down right closed off to us, but this last time we stopped by his wife was sitting out in the garage and we had a really good talk with her, she invited us in. We helped him with some of his plumbing, and it was cool afterwards they asked us to teach their kids... So we are now teaching their kids, and she is even somewhat interested. So good things are coming from them as well.

It was funny while we were doing the plumbing he started to cut some of the pipe with an electric blade and it started to shake a lot, so he asked me to hold the above and below where he was cutting, and I did. As he cut through the first bit of pipe there was still water in it, and it squirted me right in the face. He looked at me and asked if I was good I nodded and so he went to town on the pipe. It was awesome my arms were vibrating hardcore and water was spraying me in the face... I had a flash back of getting drug behind Coach Andersons boat having water splash me in the face.

Well I love you family!

Elder Taylor

April 28th

So this last was extremely crazy!  we had a little mini MTC for the youth and basically what it is, is we are paired up with a young man and we take him around to classes on Friday and then we take them out with us on Saturday. We had 26 missionaries in Elizabethtown for Friday and Saturday and we had to find over 40 appointments for all the missionaries and the young lads to go to. So we spent the entire week trying to find LA's and investigators who would be able to help us out. But I was with two young Deacons who taught me a lot. One of the kids his name was Spencer and he was only 12 but he could have already been a missionary, he was that prepared. As we were teaching on Saturday, he was able to explain the great apostasy clearer than I have ever heard it be explained... it completely blew me away. Yeah anyways that was fun on Friday evening we stayed up till 12 and then woke up at 4:45 to go and play some basketball, and it was so fun, but afterwards I was completely tuckered out!
By the way, after holding those snakes, I have really contemplated getting one. The python was completely harmless (until it saw a mice then it broke its little body, it was crazy) but feeding it and everything costs so much, so I will have to wait a little bit for a snake haha. I almost listened to it when it told me to partake of the fruit, but I pulled back at the last second.
 Love You!!

Elder Taylor
Deacons helping Elder Taylor become even a better Missionary!
Nathan doing the Haka!

Met up with Elder Johnson at the Mini MTC Conference

April 22nd

P-Day in Elizabeth Town

Hey family!! That is so neat that Gentry was able to have a missionary experience with one of her friends. Many believe that we are saved by the grace of God, no matter what we do here on earth.   Except we are saved by Grace, after all we can do. He won't save us if we refuse to change. There is no amount of work that we could do to get ourselves to Heaven, and that is why we need the Atonement in our lives. Christ won't save us in our sins, but he can save us from our sins and that’s the difference. Its the enabling power of the Atonement that saves us because it allows us to climb out of the valley of our sins and climb the mountain of victory to become as he is. Good job. Ashlyn and Porter are getting so big!! Wow!! thats so crazy, it just blew my mind.

 This last week was awesome. We are seeing so many tender mercies from the Lord it is incredible and it has come in a point of my mission when I have needed it the most. Yesterday we ended up getting 5 investigators at sacrament meeting breaking my record and next week we are expected to hopefully hit double digit numbers and that's not even wishful thinking, it’s more than possible. Right now we are teaching two families in particular and both families have two kids above 8. It’s just crazy and I'm loving it and its all because of Heavenly Father. Lately I have felt extremely humble and inadequate in everything I do, even more than at the first of my mission. I have never had this happen to me, but then to see the investigators just fall into our laps is even more humbling and shows me whose work this really is. One of our investigators is a part-member and is 17 years old, his mom fell away when she was like 20ish and now she is 40. Anyways he is surrounded by a bunch of bible thumpers Baptists who give him anti all the time. He has come across so much anti its crazy. He has almost gotten into every single anti there is and he is still interested in what we share. He has such a level head on him its awesome, but he so random as well its funny. He gives us one of his anti-questions that he has and as he is asking us the question he starts to answer his own question and so it comes out as a half question, half statement. The other day after we addressed some of his questions he looked at us all leery like and said, " It sounds good, and you all seem the most convincing this far, but I'm not sold... yet! But at least you all get into the meat of stuff instead of just scratching the surface" So he is really a level headed thinker who is looking for truth and recognizes it when it comes.  
Haha funny story that I just have to tell, we were driving to hodgenville (The birthplace of Abe Lincoln :)) and we saw a turtle in the middle of the road and (remembering what happened to me in pioneer when Elder Hart put a turtle in my bathtub) we picked it up and took it home with us. We went into the other elders apartment and put him in the bathtub and named his optimums prime. So we have had another member of the family. It was pretty funny to hear them as soon as they found that a turtle was in the bathtub, they called us and were like, "we have the best Zone Leaders ever!!!" It was great. Also on Friday we went to a BYU-Idaho Symphonic band in Louisville. That was neat but at the same time weird seeing my past (BYU-I) and present (My mission) coming together. Anyways I enjoyed it.
Well family I have to run!! love ya!!

 Elder Taylor


April 15th

Investigator with 8 snakes
Elder Taylor Teaching the Reptiles of the Earth!
This last week has been a hectic/ crazy week. I'm still trying to decide what has transpired. I guess to start off, last week Elder Anderson and I basically had no one to teach so we decided that we were going to ask for referrals from everyone that we meet. We have been doing that and this past week we ended up getting 10 referrals from members and non-members alike. To top it off we built up an entire teaching pool in just a week’s time. We basically had no one to teach on Monday and then yesterday we ended the week off with 14 new investigators. So we have been able to see the Lords hand a lot here lately. One of the new investigators that we picked up owns like 8 snakes and these snakes aren't just the normal garden snakes that you see every day. All of the snakes that he has can grow up to about 30 feet in length. He has one named Mary Jane and she is already like 6 foot in length. Like the third time we went over there and he brought her out and I taught the restoration lesson with her curled up around my shoulders... It was the craziest thing ever. Elder Anderson had like a 3 foot snake curled up around his arm as well. It was so cool.

Love Elder Taylor

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Conference Weekend

Thank you family for that excellent report! This General Conference completely blew me away as always. I wish it could be General Conference every week. I really enjoyed all of the talks, but a few hit home more than others. I really like the ones from Elder Holland and President Monson just because they are my favorite, but also because what they talked about was exactly what I needed to hear.  Also Elder Utchdorfs talk was amazing. Also the Last one by Elder Christofferson really stood out to me. The one that I am going to point out was the one by Elder Neil L. Anderson and how his talk was entirely upon missionary work. He talked about miracles that happened during Christ’s time, and then also during the early church. He then went on to say how we are still seeing a miracle unfold right before our eyes. It’s just another testimony of the lowering ages of the missionaries. That is something that really struck me was that even though sometimes I don't see the immediate results of my effort, I still know that there are Angels on both sides of the veil who are here to help pull me up and strengthen me. He then went on to stress the importance of member missionary work. It’s so hard sometimes to get members excited about sharing the gospel and so it was great to hear an apostle stress the importance of member missionary work. Anyways its been great to be a part of the surge of missionaries and its extremely exciting. We are getting another set of missionaries here in E-town and that’s something that has never been done. The Lord truly is reaching out his hang and hastening his work.  It’s a bit sad however, that this last General Conference will be the last General Conference that I will ever have on my mission. It was somewhat depressing. I have really enjoyed being a missionary while listening to conference because I have been able to feel the spirit communicate to my spirit.
Also another interesting fact is that I have been able to personally meet 5 of the speakers who spoke. Elder Perry, Elder Cook, Elder Christoffel Golden Jr, Elder Porter, and Elder L. Whitney Clayton. So that was really neat to hear from them over the television. I am so very grateful for living revelation to help guide us and direct us in these days. I truly am grateful for revelation that God can give to each of us when we are living worthy. That story of mom remembering my password was nothing short of a miracle and tender mercy from the Lord. He truly is watching over us. He cares about each and every one of us and knows who we are and what trials we face. He allows us to go through those trials because it will help us to learn and grow. The purpose of life is so we can become like our Heavenly Father and at the present rate (without challenges) we will never get to our ultimate goal. We need to be stretched and put under pressure. Just as a coal who has potential, when its put through millions of years worth of pressure and heat, can turn into a diamond we too can be turned into something greater than we can even imagine. Heavenly Father loves us enough to allow us to be put through pressure, heat, and time to come out on the other side a refined and priceless treasure in his hands. It’s hard but we must catch the vision of eternity and what it means to be spiritually minded. We have this big task ahead of us, but we can't start on the task without taking the first step. Alma 37:6. "By small and simple means" We can one day become great if we just start small and stick true to our covenants. We must remember who we are, "Child of God."
Lately I have learned a lot and am still learning a lot. After our baptism we had last week, we literally had 7 of our investigators drop us. That family that I told you about last week actually ended up dropping us that night. We think they might have gotten anti-ed but oh well, we just have to keep moving forward. We will keep working hard and trying to diligently bring souls unto God. 
Love you all!!
Elder Taylor

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 1, 2013

This last week we were able to pull in another baptism. Her name is Amy and she is a little 9 year old. It was great! I would have a picture for you all, but I don't have my camera on me and the present time. I still have my camera and its up and working great, I just forgot to take it with me this morning to go emailing so it’s still in the apartment. We had been teaching her for about a month and she was someone who just basically fell into our laps so that was a tender mercy from the Lord. We are actually starting to work with this family of three that we found last week. They ended up coming to church and so the only thing that might be a hold up is that the parents aren't married. We have a lesson scheduled for tonight. They have a daughter who is about 15 who was the main reason why we found them. She had been coming to mutual for about a year now and finally Elder Wood and I stopped her a few weeks ago and talked to her, so we finally stopped by her house this last week, and taught them. We are looking forward to good things coming from them.
Tonight after our appointment we actually have to drive all the way to Louisville for an all day meeting tomorrow with President Woodbury. Monthly Zone Leader Councils are always fun. We are trying to rush and frantically put together numbers and our report that we will report on tomorrow. Basically what the report is, is how the Zone did last month as compared to the month before and why that is. Also what we are going to do as leaders to help the missionaries 
Elder Anderson is a good missionary. I can't remember if I have told you this or not, but he comes from a family of lawyers and so he is really good with words. Sometimes he just sits there a picks my brain, at first it was annoying, but now it’s pretty fun because it makes me think and really helps me understand more. It makes me really think before I answer so I would be dang near right to say now I'm actually starting to think before I speak... hahaha finally! ;). Well anyways, we have a lot of stuff to do, but just so you all know, yes we did get taken care of yesterday. The Stake president's wife cooked us dinner and we ate with them. 
Love ya!! Elder Taylor

March 25th, 2013

Hi family! To answer a few of the questions first, Elder Anderson is from Monticello, Utah (All of my companions except for one has been from Utah). He is a really good missionary and both of us are zone leaders together. He has been out about 15 months. So that’s good that we can share the responsibility. So why I'm hoping for is I stay a zone leader for 3 more months and then after that I get sent to a bike area and become a regular missionary for the last 3 months of my mission. Being a Zone Leader is fun and it stretches me, but it gets frustrating sometimes because there is so much work, other than proselyting, that demands our attention. We only get like 3 days out of the 7 to fully proselyte. Even those three days are kind of hindered with some meetings that we have to go to. But I will do what the Lord wants me to do and go where he wants me to go. So that was fun to hear about the little family visit that took place, and I'm happy that Grandma and Grandpa are still alive and kicking
Mom,  I really do love that chapter, Alma 26. It truly shows that we can find joy, happiness, and success in Lord if we lean on him for everything. We truly can do all things, and I think that sometimes we get independent and want to do it all that we forget about the Lord and his loving and matchless love that he has for all of us. I started to think about President Woodbury's favorite scripture Proverbs 3:5-6. I often feel like I'm overwhelmed being in this position, but after President told me about that scripture it really made me start to think. I have weaknesses, as everyone does, so why not rely on the Lord for the extra strength that he has promised he will give if I'm humble about it. So I really like that scripture that you brought up mom. 
Yeah Elder Perry is a good one, and most definitely he has moved up on my radar of favorites, probably top 5 now, but my top 3 are pretty set :). President Monson, Elder Holland, President Utchdorf. Those are the three that blow me away every time. Now its probably Elder Perry and Elder cook is up there, but I also really have grown fond of Elder Oaks and how bold he can be. They are all good ones though. My dream would be to meet Either President Monson and or Elder Holland though. I just love Elder Holland and how bold and up front he is. He is the "bull dog" and I have this talk from him that he gave to the missionaries in the MTC and every time I listen to it, it fires me up. It’s actually pretty similar to the general conference address he gave last GC. 
So it’s actually pretty crazy because we have so much that we need to accomplish before this Friday. Apparently we are getting a new set of missionaries here in E-town and since we are the zone leaders, it is up to us to find an apartment for them, and also to draw their area boundaries. It’s pretty crazy and there is a lot that has to go into it. We get to see a whole new side of missionary work other than just talking to people. Hopefully this Saturday we will have another baptism, so that will be good though, the Lord does truly make up and cause miracles to happen.
Love you all!!
Elder Taylor

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 4, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

The missionary program is growing so fast and we have only seen a few sisters from the great influx of missionaries coming in, but the next transfer is going to be a big change. We have 29 new missionaries coming in and 20 of them are sisters. Only 5 missionaries are leaving and 29 are coming in, so that is going to be a big influx that is felt here in the GKLM. About 15 new areas are going to have to be opened in two weeks. 

This last week was an up and down roller-coaster. I would expect nothing less from my mission, and I have come to know and enjoy whatever comes my way. We were on such a spiritual high being able to hear from two apostles (Elder Perry, and Elder Cook) and it was really a spiritual experience  I truly felt the Holy Ghost stir my heart and my whole body was just ready to go out and work. Then yesterday after it was all said and done after we were high on a spiritual experience Satan was able to throw exactly what was needed to test me. Its nothing to big, but it was enough to know that there is a good and a bad working. It was something that just hit me and made me realize that I do have some holes in my testimony, and so I need to go back and make them stronger so I can make my weakest links stronger. So I have been doing a lot of prayer and reading the scriptures. I know I will be able to make them stronger if I do whats right. I have also been reading my patriarchal blessing as well and that really helps me out. So I have been working on my weak links but also at the same time I can't neglect my strong links so that they are forgotten and become weak. I need to continually nourish every tender mercy that I'm given. I really enjoyed this last weekend knowing that I was able to hear from an Apostle of the Lord though it was really an amazing experience  Elder Perry is so funny and he kept on cracking jokes and kept on making everyone smile and laugh. I couldn't believe that he is 90 years old and yet he was getting around like he was a 70 year old. He explained to us how the process of a Prophet is chosen and it truly is inspired of God. The surprising thing is that . Elder Cook also was just a great speaker. 

So the Lord has been blessing us with people to teach right and left. We have been spending a lot of our time in the apartment trying to plan and pull together trainings that will be beneficial for our zone, so as a consequence we don't have nearly as much time to proselyte, and I don't like it. I feel like I am really rusty when I finally do get to talk to people on the streets because it rarely happens because we are planning so much. So anyways this last week we were able to have 4 member referalls and two of them we set baptismal dates with. So it was amazing to see how this truly is the Lords work and he blesses us with success. So lately I have been making more of an effort of recognizing the Lords hands in my life and it really does make one just a little bit more aware of how much he gives us.
Love ya family!
Elder Taylor

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February 25th

Hi family!
So a little update on me, this last week went by fairly well. The thing that stood out to me the most was I was finally able to put my studies to the test the day that I decided to study it. Lately I have been studying Power and Authority (because that is what we are going to train our district on this upcoming week and I want to be prepared) and so on Saturday in the morning I was studying it and what really stood out to me was that as a missionary it is a commandment to teach and preach with power and authority. It hit me pretty hard because I had been thinking that power and authority was something that is achieved over a long period of time and it takes a lot of effort to acquire. Which is true, but its a commandment that the Lord wants us to have right now, so I was able to quickly fix that misconception.

 Then that day we went out tracting and we tracted right into a Jehovah's witness (I have had many bashes and some good, and some bad, but this one was a little different). As soon as we knocked on the door, he comes out with his bible. Before we even introduce ourselves he just starts quoting all of these random scriptures from the bible to try to prove us wrong. Some of the scriptures he used sounded good in theory, and some of them sounded like he needed to be locked up in a looney house, but needless to say he was just rambling off trying to confound us. He wasn't really making sense, but the first little bit we tried to let him see what the truth was through the bible but that got us no where because he wasn't listening. What was weird, however, was that as soon as he started to quote scriptures to us he started to shake a little bit. I didn't think anything of it until about halfway through when I thought to myself, "Why is he shaking so bad?" then the answer came to me. The reason why he is shaking so bad is because its three of us against one of him and he knows that he is getting no where. Right at that moment I remembered what I had been studying and I remembered what I was and who I was called by and I put down the bible and just called him out for being hard-hearted and basically said that the spirit of the Lord has no place in him. Basically I threw down, and I did it in such a way that it even astonished me. I felt like the spirit was there so strong and we were backed up because we had a pure intent, not to disprove his religion like he tried to do us, but to let him see that this truly is the truth in a non prideful way.  It  was a testimony building experience that helped me to see and remind me that I really was called of the Lord.
This upcoming week is going to be a week full of being spiritually jacked. First of Wednesday, we get to go to Louisville for zone conference where we get to hear from President Woodbury as well that is where we have to put on our training. Then on Saturday we will be privileged to go to Louisville again to hear from 3 G.A.S! Its another mission wide conference and we get to meet and listen to Elder Cook, Elder Perry, and Elder Clayton. Elder Clayton is in the presidency of the 70 and Elder Cook and Perry are apostles. I'm so excited. Then on Sunday we are having another opportunity to go to Louisville for a special stake conference where we will get to hear from Elder Cook again. So I'm super excited for this week.

Love ya family!!
Elder Taylor  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 11, 2013

So I found out how Rashad died. I found out from the missionaries who are now serving back in Lexington so I'm thinking that it’s pretty accurate information. It started with the flu that has been going around, then he went into the hospital to get it checked out and while he was there in the hospital he was diagnosed with diabetic and his sugar level was extremely high, so they kept him over night in the ICU. On Sunday night he started to do a lot better, but then randomly on Monday morning he ended up having a heart attack. I was able to ask a few questions and stuff, and it turns out that his mom and girlfriend are extremely friendly and open to the missionaries now. They kept thanking the missionaries for being there for Rashad and the difference before and after he started meeting with us was incredible. Also his mom said that she was going to look up the missionaries in Washington D.C when she goes back home. So there is still some silver lining in all of this, but I am doing much better now. Change happens but you can't change the past, so only have hope and embrace the future.

This last week we were able to go to Louisville again and participate in the Zone Leader Council. It’s basically a 7 hour long meeting and we have to give reports on how our zone did this last month and what we are going to do this next month to help resolve the problems. It’s pretty hard because it’s like the problems that keep coming up are reoccurring ones and the ways that we are trying to fix them, isn't working, or else the problems wouldn't keep coming back. So we gave our report and our ways to fix it, but I still don't feel like our solutions are good enough. Anyways it was a good time is Louisville and I learned quite a bit.
 I have been thinking a lot lately about the good leaders that I have been able to serve with and around. They had something that just made them a leader and they had "it" the natural ability to lead. I believe I can achieve that but it’s also much more than just that. Elder Wood was telling me of a story of Elder Shaffer, Elder Mason (I replaced Elder Mason when I came here), and Elder Wood all sitting around discussing leadership stuff and Elder Shaffer and Elder Mason were just going off on different Zone Leaders who had "It" and those who didn't. He never found out what "IT" was but as soon as he told me that story, all I have been able to think about was how I can get "IT." 

Love, Elder Taylor

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 4, 2013

So not to put a damper on things, but I want you to know just a little bit of how my week went. I found out that Rashad actually died on Monday of last week and I found out on Thursday. I didn't ever find out what from, but his girlfriend let me know in just a quick letter that he had passed. It went through my heart like a javelin. That was probably the hardest death I have had to deal with since Tyson. I was so close to him and I really considered him as one of my brothers. I learned to love him and care for him tremendously. He was like my best friend and we had plans to hang out after the mission and he was actually going to come down and go to my homecoming talk is what he was telling me the week that I left. I haven't really told anyone how bad it hurt, but it hurt pretty badly. The Thursday night that I found out feels like a big ole nightmare. I didn't sleep hardly at all, and I spent about 3 hours out of the night just tossing and turning and wanting to cry, but not really sure what to do except to pray. I was in a bind and I was trying to pray, but I just felt like there was no one there. Like no one was listening, but I do know that he heard my prayers because eventually I felt a calm assurance that everything will be alright and I was able to finally lay my head down on the pillow and fall asleep. A lot more has happened, and last week I felt empty, but at the same time I have also been able to feel the love and strength that he gives me. Today I feel much better than I have the last few days, but it’s still a healing process and there is nothing that I can do about it now. I did, however, make myself the promise that sometime after my mission, somehow I was going to get in contact with his family and get their approval to take his name to the temple and do his ordinances for him. He was so close to getting baptized and since I wasn't able to get him baptized before he died, I will have to get it done in a year. It was so hard and I just felt weird and empty for the last half of the week almost like I was in a dream. I am grateful for Heavenly Father in sending me this trial, because I learned to rely on him more now than ever. I hope this lesson will stick with me and I can use it for good. When they say that you experience it all on the mission they were right. Also I know that the mission is designed specifically for me. I know that we ran into Rashad for a reason, and even though we weren't able to baptize him, he had said over and over again that he didn't know why he let us come back the first time because he had tried out religion and hated it. I know however that he didn't ever regret it. The Lord had set things up, and hopefully things are working out on the other side, and I would like to think that Tyson is tag-teaming him over there. That would be really neat. 

Anyways things here in Elizabethtown are going great and the ward is doing well, and feeding us pretty good. We average about 3 dinner appointments per week and so it’s nice not having to cook everything. Well family I have to finish up here, we are going to go play some ball at 11, and a missionary whose name is Elder Garrity is coming to play. Usually he doesn't play with us because his area is so far away, but today they came down and supposedly he is really supposed to be good. Like good enough that he went and scrimmaged and played with UK basketball team at a practice and he did so well that the coach wants him to come and walk on after his mission. So I'm really excited to see him play.

 Love you all!!
Elder Taylor

Picture of Elder Taylor and Rashad



January 28, 2013

Having Fun with Alex and Charlie

Ice cycles hanging from the mission car
Baptism of Alex and Charlie
Yikes, Ice Skating on the front step

Dear family,

This last week was awesome! We were able to get two out of the three baptisms.   It was amazing to see what the Lord can do and how he truly blesses us. The gospel truly can change people’s lives and give them a hope of a future. Alex and Charlie are their names, and they have had the roughest lives ever. It broke my heart and still breaks it when I heard about what they have gone through, but because of them being baptized they now have a hope of leaving it all behind and becoming something greater than the circumstances to which they were placed in. They really have good hearts and are truly amazing. They asked me to baptize them and then Elder Wood to confirm them. I was so honored that they asked me, it was a testimony building experience. Their mom was found and baptized by Elder Shaffer, but since she doesn't have full custody, we weren't able to baptize the two that were of age. So things finally aligned themselves up and Juliet filed for full custody and instead got temporary custody and so we just went ahead and did it.( haha take that satan)!  It’s a really good family, and I am excited to see both of them progress, and really excited to see Charlie go on a mission in like 10 years. 

This last week we were able to go down to Sulpher Well and blitz them. I was able to go out with Elder Hildenbrandt and Elder Wood worked with Elder Berube (my MTC Comp :) but Elder Hildebrandt and I literally had so much success in that day it completely blew me away. That day we only talked to 10 people and 4 of them because investigators and 3 of them became potential investigators, and then we were able to teach 7 lessons. That is almost a day unheard of because it usually takes like 10 rejections before you finally find someone who will at least give you the time of day. It was almost as if everyone we talked to was so nice and friendly and just wanted to hear the gospel. It blew me away from how much the Lord had prepared those individuals. So that was a small miracle, but the biggest one came that night when we found out that everything had been prepared so Alex and Charlie could get baptized.

Also while we were up to Sulpher Well there was a big ice storm and the entire ground was covered in 2 inches of ice! it was crazy!  After the ice storm, we all walked/skated down to the well where sulpher water is springing up out of. It took us so long because we had to be careful and we were like clenching our hips the entire way so we wouldn't fall. It was almost like snowboarding, so I think we may have broke a rule "No winter sports aloud." woops! but  anywho, we were able to taste it, and it tasted and smelled like rotten eggs!!  But apparently it is really good for you.

The place that we are staying is 262 Metts ct apt 4. Elizabethtown Ky, 42701, actually just right around the corner from my last apartment.

Time is running short, Love ya!! 
Elder Taylor

Friday, January 18, 2013

January 14, 2013

Hey family!! So much has happened this week; it’s been way.... exciting to say the least! But that is way cool to hear about Annie, I am excited for her. Alaska will be awesome. Also tell Christopher that I wish him good luck! Tell the Andersons I say HI back!
I would like to ask for forgiveness from Ashlyn, I didn't forget her birthday... I just forgot to write it in the letter that I wrote two weeks ago and last week. HAPPY late BIRTHDAY! My mind has just really been preoccupied with the work here that I tend to forget what day it is back home and then before I realize it, its a week and a half past my sisters birthday. So I will wish Porter a happy birthday now so I don't forget next week.... HAPPY BIRHTDAY porter.

So this last week, as I stated earlier was crazy!. On Tuesday we were able to go into Louisville and have a Zone Leader Council conference, which was long and very much like a meeting. The highlight of the trip however was on Tuesday morning all 14 of us zone leaders got together and played some basketball and also a trash can game. It’s a mix of ultimate Frisbee and lacrosse that's played with a soccer ball. It was very fun. Then after that trip we were stuck for like 3 days in a row in the apartment planning for a training that we had to give to our zone. It was one of those, these are Presidents initiatives, how are we going to get them across and get the missionaries excited about them. So that was fun and we gave the training on Friday. Then on Saturday we were actually able to get out and proselyte some. So I have been a little jumpy and upset about the lack of proselyting time that we have, but I have faith that the Lord will provide people for us to teach and baptize.
On Saturday night however was probably one to never forget. We saw a Less-actives name on the roster and his wife is a non-member so we went over there. His wife let us right in and she was way nice and friendly towards us. She started talking to us and then the husband came in and sat down. Right as soon as the husband came in, the wife stopped talking and left promptly. The husband sat there for about like 2 minutes and we tried to break the ice with him, but he wasn't having it. He wasn't answering any of our questions. Then all of a sudden he asked us the question. "Who sent you here?" and it just blew up from there. So to make a long story short, we sat there for about an hour and a half getting railed into by this old has-been Colonel who was in the army. He wouldn't even let us talk and he would only let us answer the questions that he would ask us in a yes-no answer. The funny thing is, they weren't even questions that dealt with the church, because what I got from his rambling was he had a "testimony" (more like a quarter of a testimony), he had just been offended and hasn't come back since. Most of the questions that he asked had to do with our personal life. I felt so disrespected and my tailbone still hurts from him chewing us out so much. I didn't just want to get up and leave and be rude, but finally that’s what we ended up doing. We kept our cool and peace the entire time, but the man was just so unhappy and angry that he was taking his anger out on us I guess. So that was a fun growing experience

So to tell you a little bit about my companion, is his name is Elder Wood and he is from Orem, Utah (all of my companions except for one have been from Utah- Elder Manzano). He enjoys sports, so that’s pretty cool. This is something that I found out that is way cool is that both of his brothers and his dad are Green Berets. That is way neat. He enjoys standup comedy and really likes to impersonate people. He really does a good one of President Woodbury. It’s the best one that I have seen yet.

To close I just wanted to say a few things to Gentry, Ashlyn, and Porter. You were talking about how going through high school there is a lot of peer- pressure and there is. I was just thinking about the new Youth Theme and motto for 2013 and the theme is "Stand Ye in Holy Places, and be not moved." I have thought a lot about that and what it means to stand ye in holy places. When we think of Holy Places we often think of places such as: Church, Temples, Dedicated sites, the home, seminary, Etc; and you could interpret the motto to mean that we need to go to these holy places as often as possible and spend as much time as we can there. For it is in these Holy Places that the Spirit of the Lord is and it is in these places that we can receive revelation, seek shelter from the world, and gain a stronger testimony. Yes that is the case, but I think that the motto can be interpreted this way, and I hope that this can come across as a humble interpretation and not prideful. We are children of God, we have a divine Potential to become like him and as such everywhere we go should be a Holy place. We need to live our lives in such a way that it is proper to call every step that we take a holy step. We need to live our lives in such a way so that we do not diminish the sacredness and the potential that Heavenly Father sees in us. We need to purify ourselves so that we can say that we are always standing is holy places because the person standing in the place is holy. Be not moved :)

Love you all!

Elder Taylor

January 7, 2013

Hi family! So things here are going crazy!!   I feel so inadequate and like I'm in over my head,  it’s not even funny. I'm in the area that all the mission legends have passed through and right now I feel pretty unqualified to be in this position. I just keep holding on to the saying that, "God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called." I am trying, and luckily I have a really good companion who is good at showing me the ropes. I have a bunch more responsibilities. As a district leader I only had to look after 2 other areas beside my own. Now as a zone leader I have to look over 3 district Leaders who each have 3 areas in their District. So needless to say I have done a bunch more planning and trying to figure out how to help all of our areas. Also the Zone leader before I got here baptized everyone that they were working with and so we have like no body that we are working with right now.... UHHHH looks like its starting over from phase 1 all over again. It was good however that most of the ward recognized me and they welcomed me back. It was crazy. They kept saying that it was my first homecoming.

I was a little bit bummed however because Elisabeth, my other baptism while I was here went inactive. So I am going to work hard to get her active. I'm thinking that the Lord is just testing me, but I don't know if Im passing or failing because I feel like sometimes I am miserably failing, but its a good thing that we have the atonement that we can actively use in our lives to better ourselves.

Love Ya,


December 31,2012

I'm sitting here in Lexington for the very last time in the Eagle Creek Library. As you all have found out I am getting transferred, and going back to my birth-place Elizabethtown. I actually wanted that to happen. I knew that there was some unfinished business that I had to attend to, and so right as soon as President called and told me, I felt like it was the right place to be. I'm not sure what that reason is, but I do know that I need to go back.
It was really cool, yesterday we started to make rounds and say goodbye to a bunch of people, and we stopped by Pastor Mike’s house and he had lunch all ready for us and told us to sit down and eat. So during the middle of eating we brought up some of our different beliefs and I was able to explain to him our belief on the Pre-Earth life. It interested him quite a bit. He sat back and was like, "I've never thought about it like that, but that's really interesting view to look at things." So it was neat again. Then as we were leaving he told me that if I ever come back to visit, then I have always got a place to visit and to stay. It was awesome. We really have a mutual bond of friendship and its rooted more deep than that. I feel like that last meeting won’t be the last time I see him. Also Rashad says that he will fly out to Idaho when I get off my mission because he wants to come and meet you all.

I learned something really neat yesterday and it’s a topic that I have been trying to wrap my head around for some time now. I know it’s not what I'm supposed to be studying about as a missionary, but it was about how we obtain our inheritance in the Celestial kingdom. It’s done on an individual effort. "For we are saved by grace after all we can do." So if that be the case, what happens when a family is sealed in the temple and a child goes wayward?  Yesterday I learned the importance of keeping your covenants, and if we live truly faithful, we could be the means of "saving" our loved ones.   So much more relies on us, because we have been sealed and have take upon ourselves covenants so how faithfully we hold true to our covenants could have a big swing on the outcome of our relatives. It’s intense!!

Love ya family, have to go pack!
Elder Taylor


Message from the ward missionary leader Elder Kopher

Your son is being transferred! We will miss him so much in the Pioneer
Ward. He is doing great and in good health! Hardest working missionary
we have ever had! Congrats!