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