Sunday, May 24, 2015

Week 11

I can't explain how unreal it was to talk to you guys yesterday!! it was the best. you guys all look so good and happy and it just makes me so happy!!

Yesterday was the best day ever.
MICHAEL CAME TO CHURCH. He was sooo nervous at first. but he loved it. He said it was the highlight of his week. He is a miracle. Heavenly Father is preparing people every step of the way. Last week was so hard and I thought we were going to drop him because he kept bailing on our appointments. But then when we finally met with him he told us how much he has missed us coming over. He started to tear up and told us about how things don't go as well in his life when he is not meeting with us. We read with him from the Book of Mormon and he was understanding everything and asking such great questions. I can't believe this is the same michael we met waiting for the bus 6 weeks ago. 

Every week I am blown away by the miracles I see. This church is true. 

After church we had a sunday brunch at a members home instead of dinner with them that night. They went all out. Oh my goodness it was the cutest thing ever. We had mini pancakes, waffles, yogurt parfaits, and all kinds of breakfast food. It was all decorated and was basically 10 times better than anything you would see off of pinterest. 

We talked to one man the other day and he asked us if after talking to people like him(people who ask so many questions about God and science) if we ever went back to our apartment and really doubted what we are preaching. It really took me back. Sometimes people do say things and I think, yes I can see how you would think that or i even think what they are saying does make a lot of sense. And sometimes I don't have answers to questions that people ask me. But I still know that what I am saying is true. I feel it deep inside me and I know that it is not something i believe just to help me cope with life. But it is something that is true. It is the definition of life and all existence. God is real. He loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us and to suffer for our sins, doubts, fears, heart aches, everything. We are everything that we are because of Him. 
And we all chose Him once before, why can't we choose Him again? It kills me when people cannot have more faith. When they rely more on themselves than the God who created them.

I love you all so much!!
I'm not sure when I will be leaving to brazil but it could be on Monday! It's killing me that I don't even know yet! My companion leaves on Monday for Australia and I am going to miss her so much!! She is such a great companion and we work so well together. I love her. She will be amazing in Australia. 

Love, Sister Taylor

Week 10

tudobem familia!

I GET TO SKYPE HOME ON SUNDAY. yayyy I am so excited!!! happy mother's day mom!!
and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW TOMMY!! I can't believe that in a month you will be finished with high school! so crazy.

well I found out that my visa came! so so crazy. The rest of my district at the mtc received theirs too. looks like we will all be at the brazil mtc together for 2 weeks before we leave to our missions through out brazil. I have so many mixed emotions right now. This is going to be so hard leaving westminster. I have to come to love this place and the people so much. I can't even imagine leaving them. But I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and it is all in His timing. 
PRAY FOR ME. especially with the gift of tongues because my Portuguese is definitely not the greatest currently. 

This week was really great! We had a zone conference on wednesday and it was so good. I learned a lot about keeping our thoughts on our missions and not getting discouraged.

A couple of miracles that happened this week were:

1. Sister Stigen and I were waiting outside our church building for a member to come out with us and we saw this man on the street so we decided to go contact him. Well just as we started walking towards him, he started walking towards us! (that never happens!) He then asked us what church this was and we told him and explained to him that we were missionaries. He then proceeded to tell us how he has been looking for a church to go to and get involved in and asked what time our church starts and if he could meet with us. Sister Stigen and I just looked at each other and had the biggest smiles on our faces. I couldn't believe what was happening! We gave him all the information he needed and set up an appointment with him for tomorrow so we will see what happens. The whole time he was talking I just kept thinking "WAIT, DID HE REALLY JUST SAY THAT?"

2. We were looking through our area book at some potentials and decided to randomly go to this one. Little did we know it was not random that we chose to go to this guy's home. When we knocked on the door this lady answered who looked so familiar. At first I thought it was a member from the spanish ward- you have no idea how many members we have tried to contact not knowing they are members haha. yesterday we tried to give a pass along card to the Bishop's daughter in the spanish ward hahaha it was hilarious. This lady who answered the door though was not a member and she said hey i remember you! and then I realized we had contacted this woman on the street a couple of weeks ago and she was nice but not interested. Well let me tell you Heavenly Father is preparing people. She was interested when we knocked on her door and we are now going to teach her this week! The guy we thought we were going to see was her brother and doesn't live in the house anymore. 

We really needed these miracles this week because it seemed like every single one of our lessons were canceled. Michael canceled on us this week and we are probably going to drop him. It breaks my heart. We are meeting with him tonight though, so we will see how it goes. 
Steve was out of town this week but we will be meeting with him on wednesday. pray for him!!

The church is true. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray. it is the little things that matter. 

I love you all so much and i will talk to you real soon! and this time i mean that! in 6 days!! ahhh. i can't wait! 

Sister Taylor

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 9


How in the world is everyone?

This week was good and bad. Some days are just hard. We try and talk to everyone and meet with our investigators to help them come unto Christ with all of our, "heart, might, mind and strength", but they still don't accept it. They don't understand. People either don't believe there is a God, or they think they already know Him and don't need religion in their life. It breaks my heart. WE ALL NEED GOD IN OUR LIFE. It's not just enough to say you believe in Him. We aren't just here to goof around and try to be better than someone else. We are here to grow. We are here to become more like our Savior. And how incredibly lucky we are to have Him. To know that because of Him we can live with God again, that we can be made completely pure, that we never have to feel alone because He knows how we feel is so comforting. He is always there. It's us who have to let Him in. All we have to do is let Him help us. Ugh. It's so frustrating to me that people won't see this. How much happier, more peaceful their lives could be if they would truly come unto Christ. It's not enough to just say you believe. You must come- which means you must move! OKAY. sorry. I'm done venting. 

Friday and Saturday were the greatest days.

Friday- we had an FHE with the Jamison Family (they are a phenomenal family in our ward) and our investigator, Steve and his daughter. It was such a great lesson. It was on the gospel of Jesus Christ and it went so well. Afterwards we invited them to church on Sunday and he said he would come. Steve has literally been the greatest investigator. He is so solid.

Saturday- we met with Michael. He is the sweetest. When we first met Michael he wasn't sure if there was a God but now he says he believes He is there, but not always for him. The biggest MIRACLE was when we were talking with him and he said he feels something when we meet with him. He said he feels warm inside. WHEN HE SAID THIS I WAS LITERALLY ALMOST JUMPING IN THE AIR. I was so excited. No one has ever told us that before and it made me so happy that Michael was feeling the spirit and recognizing it. He then pulled out these 2 wooden angel doll things that he had made for us. One of them says, "Sister Talor" and the other says, "Sister Stigen". He said he stayed up until 5 a.m. working on them and then he started tearing up and said, "I felt of God's love while I was working on them". It was one of them best moments of my life. These experiences are what make it worth it.

When Sunday came around it was devastating to see Steve and Michael not show up. I was so discouraged. It was seriously the worst day.

Well that's about it. I love you guys so much and can't wait until mother's day!!
Read 1 Nephi chapter 16. It's incredible how much faith Nephi has. He is unreal. 
Love you all!

Sister Taylor

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 8

Wow. All I have to say is missions are amazing. straight up incredible.

I have already grown more in just 2 months than I ever thought possible.
Missions are hard. There have been many tears shed, but missions are also so fun. Everyday is another adventure, trying to find those people who are prepared and ready to follow the example of our Savior.
I am so so happy.
I'm not just happy, but I have joy. I never want to come home hahaha (kidding and not kidding)

This week was so good.
It just seemed like the Lord was throwing all of these people in our path every single day. 
Last Monday night we taught a man named Steve. He was from the Elder's area that we have now, and they had taught him once before. Steve is someone who has been so prepared. He was raised Catholic and when he was in his 20's he moved to Europe and studied there for a year and learned a lot about religion. We taught him the restoration and he was so receptive to everything that we were saying. He said that he believed it. I have never felt the spirit so strong in a lesson before. It was such a neat experience. We invited him to be baptized on May 23rd and he accepted! I was so excited for him. We taught him the plan of salvation last Friday and we are teaching him tonight too. Please pray for Steve. He such an incredible person.

Jerry is one of our other investigators. His son, Brayton was baptized about a month ago and is 13 years old. Ah that kid is going places (he is now getting a temple recommend so he can do baptisms! ah I love Brayton). Jerry didn't want Brayton to get baptized at first, but now he has a baptismal date for May 30!! (miracles!!) He comes to church with Brayton every week and even came to stake conference yesterday!! He also makes sure Brayton is always going to mutual and other youth activities. Every time we meet with Jerry he just seems happier.  Brayton has been such a great example to his dad. That kid is just amazing.  They are such a great family. Please keep them in your prayers. ah i could talk about them forever.

Michael, another investigator who I met my first day here is the one who is addicted to pain meds. We are still working with him! haha he is such a character and makes us laugh all the time. He is coming to family home evening tonight at the stake president's house, so that is exciting! He even wanted to bring an appetizer! haha he's such a great guy! Please pray for him, and his family especially.

People here are just so wonderful. I love getting to know them and then watching the gospel change them. It is such a special thing.

Our district meeting this week so spiritual. It was all about knowing who you are to God. We read in Moses chapter one and discussed how God kept calling Moses, "my son". He calls him that 3 times. And when Satan comes and tries to get Moses to worship him. He calls Moses, "son of man". 
But Moses knows who he is and because he knows he is a son of God, he does not give into Satan. Because Moses knew his own self worth, because he looked at himself as a son of God, he was able to overcome Satan. We have more power over Satan. But yet we still give into his temptations at times. But when we know who we are, when we truly know that we are God's children, we can turn away from Satan. We can say, "I am daughter(or son) of God". When we really know who we are we do not give into Satan's temptations. ah i just loved it. This is one thing that I have really come to learn on my mission. I have come to know who I really am and what it really means to be a daughter of God. We are told to look at our investigators not as who they are now but who they can become. And I have now started to look at myself that way too. It's not about who I am now, but who the Lord knows I can become. It's about who I have always been, and am starting to find.

Missions are amazing. There is so much more to life than the amount of likes you get or the followers you have on social media. Life isn't really about ourselves at all. It's about those around you. It's about helping others. I know we are told this all the time but it's true, the moment we decide to start caring more about others than ourselves is the moment we become happy.

Sister Stigen has been wanting banana muffins for the past 2 weeks and yesterday she finally made some. hahahah. She saved up about about 15 bananas and put every single one of them in her concoction.... needless to say it was quite a show and they turned out terrible. hahaha we were laughing so hard. I attached a picture of her making them. She had such a high hopes! I love her so much.

Okay, I love you all so much!!!
Have such a great week and don't forget to pray!

Sister Taylor

Sister Stigen making banana muffins


Week 7

hello my beautiful fam!!
i miss you guys so so much.

ahh i can't believe another week has come and gone! this week went by way fast.

transfers were on Tuesday and it was really hard to say goodbye to sis. Tabin. she is the best and was such a great example to me. The 2 elders in our ward also left- one went home and the other is now the a.p. Which means Sis. Stigen and I have their old area now too. This week was crazy because we were white washing our new area and trying to meet with the elders investigators. But we have already started to see so much success from this new area so we are really excited! 
Sister Stigen- my trainer- is a visa waiter too, but for Australia and has only been out 4 months so we are both still trying to get the hang of everything. But we are making it through and the Lord is always with us.

Since I came a week before transfers the official "new missionary training" was this week. When i walked in i saw this girl who was waving at me and I looked at her for a second and then realized that it was a girl from my zone at the mtc! 2 other sisters from my zone at the mtc got re-assigned to Long Beach! They came out on their missions a week after us so we were really close with them at the mtc and it's so great to have them here. Most of the missionaries at the new missionary training were visa waiters. Half of the elders were waiting for their visas for Taiwan and one of them was Zach Boyce from Timpview! I couldn't believe I as seeing all of these people i knew! But Zach was only here for 4 days and then his visa came so all the visa waiters for taiwan left today. 
The training meeting was super helpful. It focused mainly on teaching clearly and simply and making sure that the investigators talks more than you do. It's not about just teaching a lesson but making sure that the people we are teaching actually understand the doctrine and feel the spirit. The spirit is what converts people. Not us.

I love our investigators but it's hard to get them to keep commitments. We had six investigators who were going to come to church on Sunday and only one showed up. Ah it broke my heart. Michael, the guy I wrote about last time whose dad has cancer. Well i never thought i would see him again after we taught him on the street but then we were walking in the area where he lives and he drove by and said he wanted to meet with us! so we taught him more about the plan of salvation and he said he wanted to go to church on Sunday! he didn't come.. however, i am really hopeful for Michael. He's just not sure if God is really there for him because he has experienced a lot of hard times where he feels like God was not there.  But we are working with him and I know that he will come to know that God is there and does love him and care specifically for him. please pray for him and his family.

On Thursday we went on splits with the sister training leaders. I was with Sis. Le and Sis. Amalanga. they are so great. i just love them. I learned so much from and it was such a great experience. I was really struggling for a little bit because my comp. and I have different ways of teaching and I felt like I had to teach the way that my companion teaches. But Sis. Le really helped me realize that it is okay for me to teach differently than my companion. I can still be me. 
I love sis. Le. she goes home at the end of this transfer and i will miss her so much. She is the most organized, bold, confident, beautiful, missionary I have ever seen. I am so grateful for her.

In our mission, one of the rules is for exercise in the morning we have to run for 20 minutes. I love it and sometimes really hate it. but we do it because exact obedience. We were talking about it at the missionary training meeting and one senior companion raised his hand and said,
 "I just get up every morning and tell myself that, I am fat. so I have to run."  it was the funniest thing ever. haha

well i think that's it. i love you all and miss you like crazy. California is great.

love, Sister Taylor

stay safe and put the Lord first! always. blessings will come.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 6

My first week out in the field was so great.
It's so different but I love it. 
The first day was pretty tough because we had to leave the MTC at 3:30 a.m. and then we flew into long beach at 10 a.m. California time. 
After that it was kind of a blur. Sister Denton, Sister Magelby and I came a week before transfers so we were all put into trios. 
My companions are Sister Stigen and Sister Tabin. Sister Tabin is leaving us because transfers are tomorrow. I'm going to miss her so much. She is from the Philippines and is the greatest. I love her so much. Sister Stigen, my trainer, converted 2 years ago and is from Mesa, Az. She is really great and has only been out 2 months longer than me so we are both pretty new! We are in the Huntington Beach North Stake and are in the city of Westminster. 

There are people here from all over the world. It's nuts. I am amazed by the youth here. We are currently teaching 5 teenagers and one 13 year-old- Brayton just got baptized last month and now we are teaching his dad. They are incredible. 

I have loved getting to know people and learn about their lives. Everyone is so different but we all have one thing in common- the need of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. My first day out 2 people started crying while we were teaching them. They are experiences that I will never forget. One man was named Albert from Vietnam and he has been struggling with a law suit. You could just see the pain and stress in his eyes and as we taught him he began to cry. I can't articulate the feelings that I felt as I stood there and explained to him the atonement and how God loves him and knows him. The other man was named Michael and he has been addicted to pain meds for 30 years. He is only 55 but looks like he could be 70 and definitely doesn't act that old. He told us he doesn't believe in God anymore. His mom and sister died recently and now his dad is dying of cancer. He told us how he used to be so talented and was going to play professional baseball but then got injured. That's when his life started spiraling downward. It was heartbreaking. We taught him about the plan of salvation and how God is there for all of us. Michael began to cry and put on his sunglasses. I will never forget these experiences. I know that God really does care about each and everyone one of us. No matter who we are.

If you haven't watched the "Because He lives" video, go watch it. That video has been helping so many people we contact and teach. It is phenomenal. 

Wow. I don't think I have ever loved conference so much. It was so good. I loved Pres. Monson's talk and Sister Wixom's. They both helped me so much. I also loved Kevin W. Pearson's about how it is our daily discipleship that will determine our eternal destiny. Another good one was Rafael Pino, The Lord knows what He wants to accomplish with each of us. 

California has been treating me well so far and I have faith that for whatever reason this is where the Lord needs me to be right now.
I love you all!
Sister Taylor

p.s. one of my favorite things is watching people's reactions when they see us. Their body language is priceless. They start nervously walking when they see us, we call out to them and they slow down for a second as if they are considering actually talking to us. Then they think that through and start nervously walking again looking down and around to avoid eye contact. Everyone does everything they can to dodge us. Oh and then there is the classic let me try to give you a head nod as I walk past you as fast as possible. It's hilarious, but none of them can escape talking to us!

MTC Class
Sister Pilcher
First plane ride!
Sister Tabin and me
Sister Stigen and me

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Week 5

Wow! I can't believe my time here at the MTC is up!! I get my re-assignment tomorrow and i am so excited! I can't wait to find out where I will be serving until my visa comes. Ah i just can't believe it is my last week here. so many mixed emotions. I have grown to love this place so much. I have had some of the funniest, hardest and most spiritual experiences here. I have grown more than I ever thought possible in these 5 weeks. It will be a hard goodbye. But I am beyond excited to get into the field- wherever that may be! 

On Thursday morning my companion went home. It was so hard to say goodbye to her. I learned so much from her and I love her to death. She's incredible.

I am now in a trio with Sister Magelby and Sister Denton from my district. they are so great and have taught me so much. ah being a missionary is unreal. on Friday we taught a lesson to what we thought was suppose to be a member in Brazil over skype. His name is Vinicio and he was around 23 years old and lives in Sao Paulo. With some technical difficulties with the sound and his accent and our lack of verbs/nouns that don't relate to the gospel it was very difficult to understand him. He kept asking us if we were "consado" which means tired in portuguese and we would reply, "Oh sim, muito consado!!" ahhhh we soon realized he wasn't asking us if we were tired but if we were MARRIED which is "casado" hahaha. And then our teacher found out the Vincio was actually an investigator! it was quite the experience. haha hopefully next time will be better.

It was Elder Roundy's birthday in our District on Saturday so we had a "little" party for him. we decorated the room and sister denton's mom ordered a cake from the provo bakery and we ate chips and queso and dr. pepper for 15 min. It was so fun. I love my district and am going to miss them muito muito mais. 

Don Clarke of the seventy spoke to us last Tuesday night. It was the best devotional we have had here at the MTC. He gave us the "10 things every missionary should know". It was so inspiring and motivating. This truly is the Lord's work and we are so lucky to be able to help Him.

I don't have much time today but I love you all!
I know this church is true. Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God.- wow i have learned so much about Joseph Smith this week and He is amazing. 
I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it will help us. God wanted it to come forth at this time for US to read. so read it!! 
Jesus Christ is our Savior, He is our Redeemer. Our brother. Our friend. Come unto Him and He will help you through your trials. He knows you personally. Get to know Him personally.

Missions are amazing. I never want to come home. haha I love this so much and am so incredibly happy.

Sister Taylor

UPDATE- Lauren has been assigned to the Long Beach, California Mission until her visa arrives. She leaves the MTC March 31st!