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!!
|Picture of Elder Taylor and Rashad|