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