Monday, July 7, 2014

The last email!!

Dear Family,
     This is so crazy!!! This is my last email until I see you again.  I feel like the transfer just started! I have heard other missionaries (and Dad) say that the last few transfers went by super fast and I was like… ya, that's just the cliche thing to say... but it's the truth!!!! I still don't really feel like I'm leaving but I know I am but it's just a really strange feeling.  Jake got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so exciting!!!! We met with him a few times before Saturday and on Monday, he had smoked again and he was like "it's just a habit when I'm in traffic on the way home from work" sooo firstly we asked if we could take his cigarettes and he willingly gave them to us and we broke them and then we knew that he loves Oreos so we bought a big pack of Oreos and put them in the back of his truck with a note so that he would eat those on the way home instead of smoke and he hasn't smoked since!!! Later in the week, the Sylvesters had him over for dinner and a lesson and we talked about the priesthood and how he can hold it shortly after he is baptized and it went really well.  We told him that the more good decisions he makes, the more he might notice it is harder to make them because Satan will try to tempt him. He said he had already felt that but that he is doing his best to turn away from any temptations and praying.  So. . .Saturday, Jake got baptized!!!!!! His Mom and sister came and so did President and Sister Morgan and the whole Relief Society room was filled with ward members.  Some really great talks were shared and the spirit was definitely there.  After he was baptized, he gave 2 thumbs up and he looked so happy.  While him and Bro. Sylvester were changing, we had made these little cards for everyone to write a note or their testimony for Jake and we are putting them in a book like you would put photos in and we are going to give it to him this week.  Yesterday, he got confirmed and he just looked SOO happy! It's amazing.  He even showed up with his tithing yesterday without anyone really saying anything about it.  It's just so cool to see how much he has changed and how much his life he has changed to join the church.  He has had a few friends ask him why he is going to church and other comments like that and he has stuck up for what he knows is true which is cool to hear from him.  He is so great!!!! This week we are teaching him about the Temple so he can  do baptisms for the dead in a couple weeks.  Another really cool thing is that part of his family history is done back to the 1600's and so he can do all those names in the Temple. Oh! And before I forget; so he walked into the Stake Center and he was like "I have been here before... I don't remember why or when but I have been here before." Long story short.... Jake is baptized and he is amazing!!!!!
     Anyway, I guess I will tell you about the rest of my week!  On the 4th we had Zone service in the morning and we went to this members' house in a different ward and dug a ditch for a pipe, painted, and did some other stuff, ate lunch and had fun!  We were allowed to listen to patriotic music on the 4th so that was fun too.  The Elders made us a copy of a CD a member made for them and it was mostly country songs which aren't really my favorite but honestly anything is better than Mormon Tabernacle Choir at this point.  We had to have our cars parked by5:00 and the majority of our ward went out of town for the 4th soo Sister Felt and I had nothing to do really. So we parked our car at 5 and walked over an hour away to Target and bought some stuff to make cookies and Jakes' baptism and it was actually really fun! 
     On Saturday we had a lesson with Audre and guess what???? 2 things: 1. she turns 18 on August 15th and 2. SHE'S GETTING BAPTIZED IN AUGUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are so excited for her and she's really excited too.  
     It's seriously so crazy to me that I'm on my last week!!! You have no idea how glad I am that I decided to go on a mission.  I for real wish I could just force everyone to go.  It's amazing!!! Not only do you really gain a testimony and learn more about the Savior and what we believe but the majority of your energy is focused on other people and helping them learn the same things and you just get a ton of new best friends all over the place and see how their lives change!!  The light of Christ really shines through people when they start to recognize the gospel is true.  It's like a whole different kind of joy that you feel being here.  I don't even know how to explain it! It's hard sometimes and can get discouraging but anything that requires work is worth more in the end and you appreciate it.  I know this Church is true and that it has the same truths that Christ put on the earth originally and I am so grateful for it!! Thanks for being so supportive - you have no idea how much I appreciate your letters and the time that you put into everything.  You guys are the best!!!! I can't wait to see you!!!!
     Anyway, I hope you all have a super fabulous day and week!!!!!!!!!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Mini missionary

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I love hearing from you! This last week we had our mini missionary with us until Friday (she asked if she could extend!!) and it was sooo funn!!!! We didn't realize it when she asked to extend, but it had to go through the stake president and our mission president but she got to! Like for real we were so sad for her to leave.  It was like having a little sister around with us all the time that was hilarious.  You wouldn't think it at first but she pretty much made us laugh all the time.  She might come to a few lessons with us towards the end of the transfer again too.  Anyway, I guess I will tell you about my week!
     So on Monday, like I mentioned, I went to a laundry mat for the first time! Fenton Coin Laundry to be exact. It was different than what I expected.  I pictured it like they are in music videos but it wasn't.  They are like a genius idea though!! Like you can do allll your loads at once and it's way faster! Anyway, that night we found a new investigator that lives in the same apartment complex as Jake and then had a lesson with Josh too.
     Tuesday I'm pretty sure I did something totally not socially acceptable!! So. Remember that lady, Laura Newsom from the parade magazine you told me about that lives in Fenton? Well. I looked her up in the phone book! Her name actually wasn't there but there was a Newsom so I wrote the address down and we went there and we got there and her husband answered and this is pretty much how it went.  We went to her house and her husband answered and she was napping but he said we could come by in like 20 minutes and so we did and she answered and I told her how I heard about her and then she's like "How did you find my house?" and I was like "Ummm.. well... the phone book." (creepy right??).  Anyway, she's Catholic and not interested and not at all what I expected but I met her! She actually lives right next door to a member that literally just moved in.  
     Wednesday we had a zone meeting and we were asked to give a training on prayer and Gretchen even helped us out for part of it! For part of it, we watched the mormon message "Wrong Roads" and it's so good! Here it is too:http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=2714780496001  That night we had a lesson with Karen and her daughter Sam came too and she wants to learn as well! Then we had a lesson with Jake and they Sylvesters came with us and they were perfect and the lesson went well.  Bro. Sylvester and his wife are literally the human version of Gaston and Belle.  Both Jake and Bro. Sylvester like to hunt so they talked about that for a while.  Jake wants to get baptized!! We asked him about July 5th and he said he would pray about it.  He said he notices a difference in his life when he reads and prays and things like that.  He also came to church yesterday and we are seeing him on Wednesday!
     Friday, Gretchen left which was sad but we had a fun time with her.  The three of us would play would you rather a ton and it was really entertaining.  One time while we were tracting, one of them was like "would you rather have your skin be an obnoxious orange or green?" and gretchen was like "I would be green because then I could tell people I was an alien" and like literally right after that, we went up the next walking path thing to the door and the house had a statue of an alien and the timing was perfect so it was pretty funny.  I will send you a picture to go along with it.  That's Gretchen and I!
     Saturday we were talking to this lady Tiffany, who is one of our new investigators and she goes to this really common non denomination church here called Faith and she said she didn't like the direction it was going because she said it's so "showy" when they should be focusing on the word - not the dramatic effects.  It's so true!! That always bothers me so much because people want to go to church to be entertained and they mistake feeling the spirit with being excited and dramatic effects and it's not the same.  Anyway, it was nice to hear that from someone else besides members of the church.  We also had a lesson with Jia and she did pray! However, I don't think she did every night.  She said she enjoyed praying and she felt the spirit and she understands everything but she just can't make that big of a leap of faith.  She said that she has made the leap of learning about it but she doesn't have the spring board to believe it.  She was really sincere and so sweet and told us how much we really did teach her and how much it means to her but she just can't do it right now.  We will definitely keep her in our visits every once in a while though.  I think later in life she might change.  
     This week I also got my flight info in the mail... that was weird.  But we found 4 new investigators which was exciting! This transfer we are reading Matthew Mark Luke and John as a mission in our companionships and I'm excited cause I've never read them before! Also, these last couple days I have been reading the priesthood talks from conference and they are so good.  Probably some of my favorites!!! 
     Anyway, I think that's about it!!! I hope you all have a super fabulous day and week!!!! Please be super safe and smart and healthy and don't do anything dumb and please drive safely wherever you go and don't text and drive or be distracted or drive when it's not safe or be distracted or anything like that and make sure no one else does either!!!!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Hey!!!!!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails!! I love hearing from you.  We had transfers this week so now I'm with Sister Felt and she's a great missionary.  She goes home the transfer after me! She's from Lincoln,California.  We also got a mini missionary on Friday night and she is so great.  Like I love having her with us!! Basically, what a mini missionary is, is a priest or laurel aged member spends a week with us and lives with us and does everything we do with us to see what being a missionary is like! Her name is Gretchen, she's 16, and she's hilarious.  She's supposed to go home on Tuesday but we are going to see if she can stay longer because we love having her around!! Like at first you would think she's really strange and awkward and quiet but no... she's a genius and hilarious and she isn't afraid to contribute in lessons and it's so great! A couple nights ago, Sister Felt made these amazing cookies and Gretchen was like "if these cookies were a person, they would be Jesus." We couldn't stop laughing.  Anyway, I think mini missions are the best idea!! Do they even do them in Utah?      
     Last Monday, we went to the Holocaust museum and it was interesting and so sad but I like learning about it.  Then we drove through this place called Lone Elk Park and it's like a park with supposedly a ton of animals like elk, deer, buffalo, bison, and other things but all we saw were a few bison.. 
     Wednesday we had transfer meeting and then that night we had a lesson with Jake and we watched the Restoration DVD and he wants to know if it's true so he said he would pray about it and he said he would like to get baptized also so we are possibly going to set a baptism date with him this wednesday! He said that he feels like he needs some religion in his life and he believes that we are helping him because the night before he wanted to drink but he decided not to.  Cool huh?? 
     Thursday we had a lesson with Audre at the temple and it was really cool.  She LOVES the temple and we challenged her to find a quiet spot on the temple grounds after we left and say a prayer and she even told us that she is going to ask her parents when they get home from vacation if she can get baptized before she's 18.  HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE???? We hope they say yes.       
     Friday we had MLC and it was my last MLC so that was kinda weird.  I gave my "departing testimony" and of course as soon as I stood up I literally forgot everything I wanted to say.  It's so weird to think about though because that was the last time I will see a lot of the Elders and other missionaries! 
     Saturday night we had a lesson with Jia and it was amazing!! We have talked with her over and over about prayer and she still hasn't done it and after we watched this movie called Finding faith in Christ, we talked about prayer again and I told her that if she prayed every single day for a week, she would feel God's love for her and have faith in Jesus Christ.  She laughed and was like "are you making a bet?" But I told her that I had faith that if she did that I know she would have faith as well and she was like "Wow, I'm really going to do that".  She said she liked our confidence we had in the fact that that would happen.  I have never done anything like that before and it was kinda scary! So anyway, we are going back Saturday and we will see how it goes!
     Yesterday we had church and Audre came! Today I will be going to a laundry mat for the first time ever... the members house we usually do laundry at is gone for 6 weeks soooo we are going to a laundry mat! 
     Anyway, I think that's about it!! I hope you all have a super fabulous day and week!!!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!
     It was so great to be able to talk to you yesterday!!!! I love talking to you! It was soo good to hear your voices and see your faces and just talk to you!! I JUST LOVED IT!!!!!!! Anyway, I pretty much told you everything yesterday I feel like but I will just tell you about my week briefly.  
     Monday we had zone pday and we played games outside at Forest Park and it was really fun.
     Tuesday we had zone conference and it was so good! We got to help plan it and everything and it's honestly probably one of my favorite zone conferences I have had on my mission.  Zone conferences in the past have just ended up being kinda heavy and long so we decided to switch it up and make it more uplifting and interactive and it was really cool.  I feel like people respond to that kind of stuff better… at least I do.  
     Thursday I was on exchanges with Sister Nelson! I was companions with her in Frontenac in case you don't remember.  It was fun to be with her again! It's cool to see how she has changed from when she was first out until now.  
     We also saw some less active members and we had another lesson with Jia like I told you about.  We went over the Restoration and I think she understood everything! She was really excited to learn about the Holy Ghost and so we told her to pay attention to the feelings the Holy Ghost gives us when something is true or good.  
     This morning we saw Virginia!!!! AND GUESS WHAT??? We set a baptism date with her for June 21st.  So we will see how that goes!!
     Anyway, that's pretty much my week!!!!! It was so good to see you!!!!! Happy Mothers Day again Mom - I love you!! I hope you have a super fabulous day and week!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, May 5, 2014

I love to see the temple!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I love hearing from you!! Guess what??? I got to go to the Temple this week!!! OH MY GOSH.  Basically, it was amazing and it has been so long since I got to go.  I will send some pictures because it was a beautiful day and it was just so great to be there!! Anyway, I will tell you about my week now!
     On Tuesday we had MLC and they asked me to do a musical number but I feel like everyone is pretty tired of hearing piano solos so I pretty much forced some of the other zone leaders to sing while I played and it was so good!!! They sang Come Thou Fount while I played the piano and the spirit was so strong while they sang - I loved it!! Sister Scott thought she recorded it but she actually just took a picture but it's all good.  That night, we saw Virginia and she totally gets it!!! She had so many questions and she wants to feel forgiven of mistakes and she wants to get baptized!!! We watched a mormon message with her too and she loves those.  She downloaded basically ever Mormon app on her phone that you can get and has been reading the Book of Mormon every day.  She said she would give church another try also! 
     Thursday we had a combined district meeting with our whole zone and the zone leaders challenged us all to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the transfer which means 15 pages a day.  We were so excited!! So we have been trying to stay on top of that which is cool because both Sister Scott and I are pretty much studying the same things during personal study and then during companion study we talk about it.  Afterwards, we went on exchanges with the Washington sisters and I went to Washington.
     Friday we had lessons with Josh, Jia, and Virginia.  Josh is a guy we met when he was out walking his dog.  He isn't really into organized religion because of things like Jonestown and the Holocaust and things like that but he told us he is at a crossroads right now and needs some direction.  So we taught him the Restoration and he prayed with us and he seems really interested! Afterwards, we saw Jia and all of our other lessons with her we have tried to explain who God is and stuff and it just wasn't going anywhere so we decided to just start with Joseph Smith.  So we watched the Restoration video and I think it was what we should have done to begin with! She understood it and I think she can relate to it more.  So I feel like we are finally starting to get somewhere with her now. Friday night we went to the Temple and I already told you that was AMAZING!!!!!!! I loved being there.  Seriously, you guys are so lucky that you can go any day you want.  
     Saturday we saw Audre and she is doing great! We are going to start doing personal progress with her and just continue to meet with her regularly.  I think she is going to bring something up to her parents soon as well which would be good.  We also saw Teena and we were so happy.  She told us a few weeks ago that the Bishop really hurt her feelings and she wasn't coming to church any more and we were sooooo bummed because we had been working with her weekly and she was starting to realize how important church was and she wanted to get her patriarchal blessing and then her feelings got hurt and she said she wasn't coming anymore.  Then, we got to her house on Saturday and she told us she was coming and we were so happy!!! It's so cool when you work with less active members and you watch them change.  
     Sunday we had church and Joe came and TEENA CAME!!!! She even shared her testimony and thanked us for being there for her.  Sister Scott and I were so happy and surprised that she even went up.  
     Anyway, that's pretty much my week!!! Today we have zone pday and we are going to forest park and playing games because guess what.... IT'S WARM OUTSIDE!!!!! I hope you all have a super fabulous week and day!! Please be super safe and smart and healthy and don't do anything dumb and please drive safely wherever you go and don't text and drive or be distracted or drive when it's not safe and make sure no one else does either!!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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1. The Elders singing at MLC... I'm behind the piano
2. THE TEMPLE!!!!!!
3. Also the Temple









Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Tay!

Hey Family!!!!!!!!
     Thanks for your emails!! It was so great to hear from you and I love reading your emails.  Guess what?? I'm 21!!!!!! I don't really feel 21... I didn't even feel 20... I still feel like I just graduated high school like last summer but apparently I have been out of the womb for 21 years now so that's cool. We really didn't do much on my birthday to be honest! Sister Scott "surprised" me with a birthday cake! (haha not really... you can't really keep anything a secret from your companion since you have to be within sight and sound of each other 24/7 so I saw her buy it at the store).  But it was still fun! And THEN when we got home that night I opened my AWESOME birthday package!!! I loved it!!! Thank you so much - it was so cute.  Hahaha I loved all the little boxes you put in with different gifts inside and I shared my cupcakes with my district.  Thank you so much!! OHH and don't let me forget ... THE CARD!!! Hahahahaha the front of it alone was hilarious - thank you so much!! I really loved my package and everything in it and I really appreciate it - you are all amazing!! Also! So you know how we were trying to see how many lessons we could get this week? Well we didn't get anywhere close to 70 or anything BUT we got 23 which is more than we have gotten before!! PLUS we found 4 new investigators this week!!! AND we got more lessons than the Elders in our ward so that's good too.  We are having another competition this week and the winner gets a gallon of chocolate milk (the Elders chose the prize).  Anyway, I will start telling you about my week now!!!
     So on Tuesday we visited this old lady who some Elders tracted into a few years ago.  Her name is Patricia - she's probably in her early 80's and lives in a beautiful home and her husband died a few years ago and you can tell it's really hard for her.  Anyway, we have tried to get in her home for a few weeks now and she always has excuses for why we can't come in.  Things like "Right now, I'm picking out my clothes for the week" "I just sat down to eat" (keep in mind she's pretty old and stuff).  So her excuses are always funny but this time I was just like "can we come and share a short scripture with you? It will only take 5 minutes and then we will let you get back to your day." So she lets us in and she told us about her husband.  They didn't have any children so you could tell they spent a lot of time together and she started crying and so we talked about the plan of salvation a little bit and left her with a pamphlet that briefly talks about it.  And then... about an hour later she finally let us go.  It was so good though.  Before we left she was like "please come back".  She is adorable.  Just a really classy old woman.  We also met with some less active members.  We are working with a lady in the ward who had her name removed years ago but she wants to come back now so we are teaching her the lessons so she can get baptized again.  We also tracted quite a bit and found some really neat people and they all had some kind of connection with Mormons which is always really cool.  We have been using a different approach when we tract lately and it works pretty well!! After we like introduce ourselves and stuff we just say something like "can we share a short scripture with you?" and they pretty much always say sure and so while we are getting out a Book of Mormon, we introduce what it is and then share the scripture with them and it just opens people up to more discussions than usual and it's really cool! One lady we met made a comment on how much it applied to her at this point in her life and it's just really neat to hear things like that.
     Wednesday was my birthday!! That morning we helped out at the food pantry and I was talking to the guy, Ray, who is in charge of it all and I was leaning on like one of those lever/fork lift things that grocery stores use to carry heavy stuff around and I accidentally let the lever go and it landed on his foot!!!! Luckily there wasn't anything heavy on it at the time, just a few boxes, but still I felt so bad!! We were also able to get into a less active members home that multiple ward members have been trying to get in and they told us "don't count on them letting you in".  And they let us in!!!!! It's really sad, they were really active less than a year ago and then apparently they got offended some how and they don't really want anything to do with the church anymore.  Just the wife was home and you could tell she didn't really want us there but we were just so happy we even got in!!!
     On Friday we found 3 new investigators!!! The first one is Katelyn.  She is 22 and has a 9 month old.  She hasn't been very religious for years now because she was always forced into it when she was growing up.  Now, she's on her own and wants something more in her life and she had a lot of questions.  And she literally lives right across the street from the church which is perfect!  She doesn't really know much about God or religion at all and so she wants to learn.  Our next investigator we found was Beth.  She is married, has 2 kids in college and doesn't go to church currently.  We don't really know if she is looking for anything currently but she is interested in learning more about what we believe and I think she's someone who would be able to recognize the importance of it after we talked to her more about the Book of Mormon and stuff.  Before we went in for the night, we found Amy! She was someone Elders tracted into a few years ago and she is currently Lutheran but doesn't always go.  We introduced the Book of Mormon and she has had a ton of connections with Mormons in her past! Her Dad did carpentry for the St. Louis Temple and she had Mormon neighbors and doctors and she always really liked them.  It makes me grateful for whoever the Mormons people met were good examples because it makes such a huge difference in the future!! 
     Oh ya! Hahahaha okay so Friday morning we had district meeting and all the Elders were trying to give us all their Easter candy but we didn't want it either and so we all ended up having a candy war and like throwing it in each others cars or trying to hide it in places we wouldn't see it and Sister Scott and I pretty much lost because they threw it all in our car and then drove off but THEN hahahaha they were behind us at a stop light with their windows rolled down and I gathered all the candy together and ran out of our car and threw it in their car and then the light turned green so they ended up with it.  It was pretty funny.  
     Saturday morning we met with Audre! Throughout the week she had been texting us and she is seriously so amazing.  When she gets bored or has free time during class, she watches mormon messages and the district and things like that.  So we met her at the park in the morning and we brought her a personal progress book and she was so excited about that.  I also gave her a ctr ring and she was so excited.  I think it's just really amazing to me to see how young she is and how interested in the gospel she is.  She wants to get baptized so badly but she knows her parents aren't okay with it right now.  We talked to her about fasting and today she is fasting for some extra help! 
     Yesterday Audre came to church and went to young women and everything and she loved it!! She told us how good of a day she had and how much she loved being at church and around Mormons.  We also saw Jia yesterday and for a while we were stuck as to what to teach her because she doesn't have any Christian background but we decided to just start with the Restoration and Prayer so we will see how that went next time we see her.  
     Ken has been super hard to meet with lately which is frustrating... but he said he could meet on Wednesday so that's good! Shannon's phone has been broken and she has had to work but she still wants to meet with us.
     This morning I was reading the Joy of Womanhood by Sis. Nadauld and a couple things stood out to me that I really like!!! She talks about how we should "celebrate the fact that girls are different from boys".  I just liked that a lot! I think with all the feminist women these days in the church they want to be treated like the men but they forget that we are different and there's a reason for that! Plus... have you ever noticed that feminists look like men...? Like... if you want to be treated equally than at least try to look feminine.  Sorry I kinda have a rant about all those women.  I just don't feel like they get it! 
     Anyway, that's pretty much my week! I hope you all have a super fabulous week and day!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Hoppy Easter!

You have NO idea how much Taylor does not like chili or anything with beans in it. She's a pretty good sport! Enjoy--


Hey Family!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - it was so great to hear from you!! I'm glad you had fun in New York too.  We got transfer calls on Saturday and I'm staying in Fenton with Sister Scott!!! YAY!!! So every day before Easter I was reading the little messages Mom sent me and they were so interesting!!!! HOLY COW I don't know why but I am super interested in Pilate now.  Like I want to learn more about him.  He totally knew Jesus was innocent and he even gave the people the opportunity to save him over Barabas which he thought would be a no brainer to choose Barabbas but they DIDN'T.  Crazy! Also, the fact that he didn't change the sign over the cross is interesting to me.  ALSO, okay, so in the Ensign this month there's an article about theEaster story with the Joseph Smith Translations added in and after Jesus is resurrected and appears to Mary, in the Bible He says "touch me not" but with the Joseph Smith Translation it says "hold me not".  Cool right? I think it kinda puts a different meaning to it but I guess no one really knows!
     Also! Okay, so yesterday, we were talking to someones Mom in our ward, Sandy, that was visiting them for Easter and she lives in the Tulsa mission boundaries and their mission president there challenged all the missionaries to get 77 lessons in 1 WEEK.  That included investigators, less actives, and active members.  So the sisters in the Sandy's ward planned with the women in the ward and got 88 lessons in 1 week.  How cool is that?? So basically that got Sister Scott and I way excited and we want to do something like that! So we are going to do a trial run this week and see how many lessons we can get on our own without asking the ward for a lot of help yet.  And then, towards the end of the transfer we are going to try and basically go on splits all day every day and visit as many people as we can and get as many lessons as we can!
     Anyway, I will tell you about my week now! So basically, this week, none of our investigators were really able to meet with us and that gets kinda frustrating sometimes.  But on Tuesday, I was on exchanges with Sister Leavitt (she's the one I met at Brighton Beehive camp!) and we were at a members home for dinner and we were talking about the Plan of Salvation and Sister Baker said "you can live a celestial life right now by having a celestial home.  Why would you expect to live there if you are only living a telestial life now?" I thought that was a really good thought!
     Friday we tracted a little bit in the morning and almost every single person we talked to either grew up with Mormon neighbors, or had Mormon friends, or had some connection with Mormons but none of them really wanted to learn more about them.  Sometimes it would be nice to force people to want to learn!
     Saturday was pretty much full of trying to visit potential and former investigators and current investigators and no one was home or answering.  We were able to meet with Virginia though!! We basically talked about church the majority of the time and talked about how it would personally benefit her.  That night, our ward had a chili cook off and ping pong tournament and guess who were the chili judges? Yep that would be the missionaries! (You all know my love for chili...) It really wasn't that bad actually haha - I really like white chicken chili though!!! There's this guy in our ward who is a professional chef and he brought 2 different chilis that like are "known" for being super hot and since we were the judges... we had to try them! Holy cow they were so spicy!!!! Like my whole mouth was tingling for like 15 minutes. Not cool.  
     Sunday was Easter!!! I am the current choir pianist for the ward so we had choir practice in the morning and then guess who came to church?? Joe and Virginia!!! I think they both really liked it too!! Joe was like nodding whenever he would agree with something someone would say and I'm pretty sure Virginia started crying.  We had Easter dinner at the Allred's and they are so cool! They are the ones that introduced us to Joe.  Sister Allred's mom lives in Hurricane.  Anyway, it was definitely the most interesting Easter dinner I have ever had haha.  We had pizza casserole for dinner and lemon meringue pie with ice cream for dessert.  Like it was super delicious but just not your typical Easter dinner haha.  The Allreds are for real one of my favorite families here though - they are so cool.  BUT okay, they have these brand new baby chicks in the wreath on their door! I sent you some pictures and they are the cutest things ever!!! Well actually they are ugly but I haven't ever seen baby chicks that were THAT new.  At one point, all 5 of their heads were poking up with their mouths open and it was so cute.  Anyway, last night we visited with a former investigator, Audre.  She is 17 and knows the church is true but her parents wont let her get baptized so she is basically waiting until she goes to college in June or July to get baptized.  We are just going to try and meet with her more regularly until she goes to college just so that she's all ready! She loves Mormons though and it's so cool! She was talking about general conference and how after conference was over she was looking at pinterest and was like "you just scroll through pinterest and see all the hipster general conference quotes and they are all pretty much by president uCHtdorf." It was hilarious just cause she didn't know how to say his name.  She's amazing though!
     Anyway, that's pretty much it! I hope you all have a super fabulous week and day!!!  I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference

Hey Family!!!!
     Thanks for your emails!! I loved reading them! Wasn't conference like AMAZING??? Ever since last conference when I learned that they aren't assigned topics and that they come up with their own topics, I think it's really interesting how there tends to be "themes" throughout conference and how they speak about similar topics.  Obviously it's important! I felt like there were so many messages directed to the youth and that was so cool.  There was a lot about Christ like love, obedience, and just the basic gospel truths.  It was so good!!!! Oh also! There were a few talks about how important it is that we defend our beliefs.  Here's some other things that stood out to me
      Elder Anderson: talked about how the way you feel in the temple is a pattern of how to live your own life - so true!
     President Eyring: Every day and every hour you have the opportunity to KEEP a covenant.
     Robert D. Hales: Why do any of us choose to be disobedient when we know the eternal consequences? (something to think about).
     W. Craig Zwick: Words that can be firm in information can be made soft.  I liked that because even when you are frustrated or upset, there are ways to word things or ways to not raise your voice that can completely change the situation. 
     M Russell Ballard: Hahahaha his missionary/meeting his wife story was hilarious!!
     Gary E. Stevenson: LOVED THIS ONE! I liked how he talked about how we have years or preparation all for a "four minute performance".  And I also liked when he quoted the olympic athlete when she was like "I want my fellow competitors to do their best too!" And then he was like... This is YOUR 4 minutes.  SO GOOD!
     Pres. Monson: Don't have the regret of having a second chance to be kind.
     Hahaha I don't know why buta when Marcos Aidukaitis was like "one should not roam through garbage" I couldn't stop laughing! I think it was just how he said it.  Basically, conference was just so good!!! And guess what? We were watching it at the same time!!! Guess what else? Ken and John both came!!!! Ken is totally already Mormon, he acts like one and since his Dad was Mormon he is familiar with some of the phrases and words we use and he's just great!! He's like a hipster grandpa haha.  Anyway, I guess I will tell you about my week now!
     Last Monday we went roller blading and... ummm.. it's hard.  I didn't fall but it's really hard to get the motions down! So we pretty much just probably looked like we were walking with roller blades on.  It's a pretty good work out though! Ken texted us Monday afternoon just to tell us he had read and prayed that morning.  We also had a lesson with John and like he's progressing but we just get a weird feeling around him so we are going to bring a member to lessons with us from now on. 
     Tuesday we had president interviews and district meeting and we played the game head bands and we used Book of Mormon characters and you can only ask yes or no characters and on Sis. Scott's forehead I put "just say no every time" and it was hilarious! Then we had a lesson with Ken and he is basically amazing!!! Like seriously.  He is starting to make all of these connections with Mormons in his life over the past few years and doesn't think it's just a coincidence.  He said he feels good about what he is learning so far and he is reading the Book of Mormon and like actually comprehending it and applying it to him! He's so cool.  And he's really funny. 
     Wednesday I was on exchanges in the Oakville sisters area and it was really neat.  We decided to visit a less active member who they hadn't met yet and we went there and she told us about herself and that she was addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc.  And she was trying to do better but she had had a really bad week and that just minutes before we came over she was about to leave to go get high and she kept saying "So I find it really weird that you came over tonight..." It's just cool that we went there when we did! It was so sad though just to hear about her life. 
     Thursday morning at like 5:30 the tornado alarms start going off and there was a ton of rain, thunder, and lightning and I was still with Sister Barret on exchanges and I feel like I'm kinda desensitized to them now so I was just like ignoring them and trying to go back to sleep and Sister Barret hasn't ever been here for tornado season so the next morning I felt super bad cause I'm sure she was nervous and I was just like trying to go back to sleep! Anyway, it rained like crazy all day and then that night there were multiple tornado alarms and warnings and watches and the sirens were going off multiple times but like Sis. Scott and I still had things to do haha.  So we were out driving and it was like 8:30 and the tornado sirens were going off but like it wasn't for Fenton and then we get a text that was like "take shelter - NOW!" from the local weather station but like members of our ward told us it was for a different city still (I'm telling you, like the tornado alarms hardly phase me - you would think differently right?).  Anyway, the whole situation that night just made us laugh. 
     Friday we were FINALLY able to see Shannon again! I was nervous that she was avoiding us but she wasn't and we were able to set up a lesson with her for this week.  Afterwards we were also able to finally see Virginia and I thought she was avoiding us too but we got there and she had read the introduction, the testimonies, and started Nephi and read somewhere in the introduction that there was a Joseph Smith History so we left and copied that for her and brought it over and she is really interested in reading that as well as getting her son involved in the church! That night we saw Teena LaRoue (a less active) and it made me so sad.  We have been visiting her every week and she has been making so much progress and we were going over there to talk about the temple so that she could start preparing to go and we get there and she was like "I'm not going back to church anymore" and basically I guess the Bishop made her feel bad about a food order and her feelings were pretty hurt.  We watched the talk "Come Join with Us" by Uchtdorf and talked about how the church is perfect but it's run by imperfect people.  I hope she is able to forgive him though and come back. 
     Saturday we watched conference - yay!!!! Afterwards, we visited this lady the Elders tracted into and she lives in our area.  Her name is Jia and she is from China and she is seriously amazing!!! Oh my gosh.  She didn't grow up Christian so the idea of a God to her is new but she believes there might be a God.  She was asking us how she can find out for herself and so we taught her how to pray and then she prayed right then and there and told us that was the first time she prayed ever! We asked her how she felt and she said she felt happy and cared for.  You could like feel God's love for her - she was so cool!!
     Anyway, that was pretty much my week! Today we have zone pday so we are going to have an Easter egg hunt and then we are watching Ephraims Rescue.  Once again, conference was amazing!!! I feel like President Packer and Monsons testimonies of the Savior were so strong and powerful.  Also, Packer and Hales are looking soo old!!
     Anyway, I hope you all have a super fabulous day and week!!!!  I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Teaching Moments

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I love reading them!! I think I say that every week.. but it's true!! My cut is healing which is great but like one of my stitches came out which kinda freaked me out but apparently it's not a big deal so that's good.  Also, we met this pretty cool guy tracting this week.  His name is Ken and we knocked on his door and he started talking to us and he told us how is Dad was Mormon and his Dad would always try to get him to join him and then he passed away but he had good feelings towards Mormons.  So we asked him if he would want to learn more and he was like "I don't know why I'm saying this but I'm pretty opened minded and I would be interested in learning.... My Dad is totally smiling down on me right now..." He was so cool! We are seeing him again this Wednesday and so we will see how that goes!  Anyway, I guess I will just start telling you about my week!
     Monday was pday and we went out to lunch and then just looked around some of the stores around Fenton and then that night we had a lesson with Mark on the plan of salvation and like we felt like it went pretty well. 
     Tuesday we had a lesson with Shannon and we had Sister Katseanas come with us so that her kids could play with Shannon's daughter and it went really well! Shannon still like wants to get baptized and she is seriously amazing.  Like she really believes the gospel is true and has noticed the difference the spirit has made in her life already - I love it!! I don't feel like a lot of people recognize that change of feeling right away like she has, so that's really neat.  She is getting married in August though and her and her fiance currently live together so that's kinda an issue... and it's not like it's a small wedding, it's pretty big and she is doing a lot of planning for it so we will see how everything goes with that because she can't get baptized unless her fiance moves out or they get married!
     Wednesday we were on exchanges and that night we had a lesson with John and we went over the plan of salvation and like it went pretty well but we aren't really sure what Johns motives are. 
     Thursday was pretty funny! Haha okay, so we went to visit a member of the ward that neither Sister Scott or I knew so like we go to the house and knock on the door (all we knew was that the people we were visiting were older) and this younger Mom opens the door and all her kids come running after her and as soon as I saw that I realized we were at the wrong house and so we just introduced ourselves like we were tracting but it totally took us off guard cause we thought we were at a members house but it was kinda funny.  Later that day, we contacted a media referral and a cute little hispanic woman answered the door and we introduced ourselves and then she told us that she has been waiting for us to come because her friends' son or something is dating a  girl and she doesn't want him to anymore so she wants the Mormon girls to knock at his door so that he will stop dating her and date one of us.  We could not stop laughing afterwards! Good thing that's what we are on missions for... haha not. 
     Friday morning we had a lesson with Virginia!! It was so cool! So we watched the restoration movie and then talked about the Book of Mormon and she had a ton of questions about where it came from and what it was about and then we told her to read the introduction as soon as we left and then pray about it and text us after she did that.  So like an hour later she texts us and is like "Hey... can we meet sooner than Sunday? I started reading and it all makes sense." How cool is that????? She ended up getting sick (thanks Satan) and we didn't get to meet with her but we were so excited when we read that!!
     Saturday we had a dinner theater at the church where all the youth were in a play called Jet Black (instead of Snow White) and while they did the play, they fed everyone dinner and it was cute! Candice came!!! Except I think she felt super out of place:(  Our ward has tons of families with kids and she is single and black and you could just tell she didn't really feel like she fit in.  The ward was great at getting to know her and stuff but I don't know... she ended up not going to church yesterday either. 
     It's supposed to SNOW tomorrow... GROSS!!! Oh also I didn't really explain my companion very well haha so Sister Scott is my same age, she went to BYU in the summer time and so she knows a ton of people I know from BYU too.  She has been out for 10 months and is from California.
     Anyway, I think that's pretty much it!! Thanks again for your letters!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Midnight Snack

Hey Family!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I love reading them! I hope you had a great birthday Dad!! This week has been pretty great - I got to go to Matt Westfalls baptism yesterday and it was so amazing.  You could just tell he knew what he was doing was the right choice and his wife was so excited for him too.  It was fun going back to the ward in Highland and seeing everyone!
  
     Tuesday morning we had a lesson with Arlene.  I think I started telling you about her? She's 85 and her 3 best friends growing up were Mormon and she isn't able to see them anymore so she thought that by learning more about Mormons, it would help her feel close to them again.  We taught the Plan of Salvation and I think it went really well! It seemed to make sense to her and she said if she were to start going back to a church it would probably be the Mormon church but she feels like she needs to keep going to her Baptist church because of social reasons but she hasn't been to that one in a while either.  She is so cute though and she loves talking to us.  Tuesday afternoon we had a lesson with Shannon and she is seriously AMAZING!!!! After we left last time she looked up stuff about missionaries onling and read about our schedule and what we do and she told us how impressed and grateful she is for us and then she also looked up and studied the 10 commandments on her own.  She was confused about the 2nd one about graven images and asked if it was okay for her daughter to have dolls and after we told her it was okay she was like "oh, good! I was about to burn all of her dolls because I didn't want to be breaking any of the commandments!" She also told us that she prayed the night before the way we taught her and she said she felt so much happier and woke up with a different kind of energy. She is awesome!! We went over the Plan of Salvation with her and she really liked it.  She thanked us multiple times for teaching her.  She said she has always felt like she had an old soul but she hasn't started searching until now.  We just need to get her married (she lives with her boyfriend) !!!
     So... EARLY tuesday morning... around 2... I woke up super hungry and I couldn't go back to sleep so I go into the kitchen and I saw a can of chicken noodle soup and decided that sounded good! So I pop the tab to open it and in the process of doing that I cut myself so I quickly run it under cold water and then I turn my hand around and I can clearly see it's WAY more than a small cut.  Blood was like gushing out and it was super deep and it scared me so bad! I had no idea what to do! I kept running it under water and trying to apply pressure and stuff but it was just making it worse so I wrapped a paper towel around it and found a first aid kit and it said to raise the injury above your heart so I did that for a few minutes and it helped a little but it was still bleeding super bad and I didn't know what to do because Sister Minyard was sleeping and like who eats soup at 2 in the morning? I felt pretty dumb.  Anyway, it finally slowed down a little and I went back to sleep and I wasn't planning on telling Sister Minyard just cause the next morning was transfers and I was just going to let it heal on its own but she saw my finger wrapped in a bandaid and asked what happend so I told her and she looked at it and said I should show the mission nurse so I did at transfers and she said I needed stitches! So, after transfers I got 8 stitches on my finger! I was super scared to get them actually.  Moral of the story... don't eat soup at 2 in the morning?  Anyway, Wednesday was transfers and we had (2) 30 year -olds come in to the mission! Crazy right? Sister Minyard is with one of them now.  I'm with Sister Scott and she is great! She's from California and she went to BYU the summer before I went and so we actually know a lot of the same people. 
     Thursday we had a lesson with John and his wife Nicole was there this time and it was the most awkward/uncomfortable lesson of my life!!!! Usually Nicole is sleeping when we have lessons because she is kind of addicted to perscription drugs apparently but she was awake this time and she just started talking about all their marriage problems while John was sitting right there and then she went off about how rude John is to her and how he doesn't care about her and you could tell John was super annoyed but he didn't say anything.  Anyway, Nicole apparently wants to learn more but I guess we will see how that goes...
     Saturday morning we had another lesson with Arlene and we talked about the Restoration and I think she was a little confused but we asked her a lot of questions to help clarify things so hopefully that helped? It's always different adjusting to different missionaries teaching styles too. Yesterday was Stake Conference and the theme of it was hastening the work (surprise!) but they focused a lot on like visting and home teaching and service which was great.There was a super cool statistic that one of the speakers told us too.  He said that if every single missionary in the world were placed in China right now, each companionship would have 30,000 people to teach.  HOLY COW!!!! I thought that was pretty sweet! We had a lesson with Candice last night and we watched the Restoration DVD and she said she would come to church next week!     
     Anyway, I think that's pretty much it!! Happy St. Patricks Day!!!! I hope you all have a super fabulous day and week.   I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, March 3, 2014

14 months!!!!!

Hey Family!!!!
     How are you?? Thank you so much for your emails - I love to hear from you!! I hope the weather is way warmer there than it is here.. church was cancelled yesterday because there was a predicted ice storm but it wasn't even bad like at all.  Anyway, I guess I will start telling you about my week! It was actually kinda a slower week in some ways.   It's a little frustrating because we weren't able to meet with ONE of our investigators and trust me... we tried!! They either cancelled or weren't ever home or wont get back with us or just have a lot going on right now.  President Morgan wants all the leaders to have "model areas" and it's hard when none of your investigators will even meet with you. But we will keep trying!!
     So on Monday evening, we met with a less active member Ashleigh and her husband pretty much is always traveling for work and he isn't a member but she has been coming almost every week lately.  Anyway, she has like a 2 year old I think? She's had a pretty rough life.  She is only 19 and got married when she was 16 and doesn't have contact with her parents like AT ALL and when she got married, her husband only spoke spanish so she learned spanish and now she's a mom and looking at her you would think she was 30.  It was just so crazy to me that she is younger than me and stuff but she still recognizes how important the gospel is in her life. 
     Tuesday I was on exchanges in Sandy Creek and those sisters wrecked their car last week so members pretty much drove us around all day but we weren't able to meet with very many people!
     Wednesday we visited a couple less active members and they went pretty great! We have been trying to meet with Jen H. basically all transfer and we finally were able to catch her at home!  She is so awesome.  Her family was Mormon growing up but they were basically all offended a little bit so none of them are active anymore and her parents live in a nudest community (she told us alllll about it... it's interesting how much people tell missionaries sometimes).  Anyway, her son is actually being taught by the Elders in our ward right now and he wants to get baptized and I think that is going to help her come back to church.  She's so much fun to talk to and be around - our ward needs her!! We had dinner with Linda Cox again that night and I just really like her!! Her granddaughter lives with her and she's 6 and she likes that 'Cups' song from Pitch Perfect and she kept doing the part with the cup and I already knew it but Sister Minyard didn't so we tried teaching her but the granddaughter didn't think she was very good so she was like ... "maybe you can just be the audience".  It was pretty funny!
     Thursday we had district meeting and I gave a training on extending invitations to investigators (funny that none of our investigators want to accept our invitations right now).  So I hope it went alright!
      Friday and Saturday we didn't have much going on.  But Saturday morning we had our Stake Women's Conference and President and Sister Morgan spoke at the beginning and Sister Morgan told a story about a woman who said she wanted to be buried with a fork because whenever you are at a dinner and they are like "keep your fork" you know something better is coming!! (dessert!) So she wanted to be buried with a fork.  The whole theme was like enduring to the end and I just really liked that!! Also, this one lady that spoke used a ton of quilts that she had made as part of her object lesson and she has made a mission quilt for all of her kids that went on missions and I thought that was a good idea! Like it's super cute too not just one of those lame ones with a ton of squares sewn together.   
     Yesterday since church was cancelled we walked to the Matheson's for Sacrament meeting and the Elders came too and it was really good.  We had the sacrament and our own testimony meeting.  I've never done that before and it just was really neat to me that the priesthood can make that happen - I'm so grateful for that! Afterwards, we watched Johnny Lingo and The Phone Call.  Hahahaha if you haven't seen The Phone Call... you have to!!! It's hilarious and super cheesy and old!!! So for some more of the afternoon we tried tracting some of the houses on our walk back to our apartment (it was FREEZING!!!!!) and no one was really interested they mostly thought we were crazy for being outside.  But then, after lunch, we decided to go back out and the first 2 people we talked to became new investigators!! It was so amazing!!! We are supposed to find 2 new investigators each week and we hadn't found any this week PLUS we hadn't had any lessons with our investigators and I was stressing out and then the first people we talked to became investigators!! YAY!!!
     Anyway, that was pretty much my week! Thanks so much again for your emails.  I hope you all have a super fabulous week!!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Book of Mormon Baseball

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - it was so great to hear from you!! The weather warmed up a little bit last week and it's getting cold again this week:( Anyway, I guess I will just update you about my week since Wednesday!
     So on Wednesday night, we had dinner with a recently baptized member, Linda, who is amazing and we played Book of Mormon baseball with her and it's where you ask a gospel centered question and then as you flip through the pages of the Book of Mormon, you have the person who asked the question tell you when to stop and then you ask them to say a number 1-4(columns in the Book of Mormon) and then you say the verses that are on that column and they pick one of the verses and then you read the verse and it will answer their question in one way or another.  It's pretty cool because it shows how the Book of Mormon really does answer any questions we have! Anyway, she asked the question if we will eat food in heaven and the scripture we landed on was Jacob 5 which is all about the olive tree which was pretty funny but then she was like "I have actually been meaning to ask about Jacob 5 because I don't understand it!" And so we talked about it and she brought up a good point how sometimes God answers your prayers when you are looking for answers for other things as well.  Does that make sense? Anyway, it was actually really neat.  On Wednesday, I was on exchanges with Sister Hansen - the one that the Leavitts know!! She's very sweet. 
     Thursday I was on exchanges with Sister Esterholdt in Oakville.  I love Sister Esterholdt!!! She's from the middle of no where in Oregon right over the border from Idaho. She makes all of her own clothes, she was homeschooled, she loves old westerns, and hasn't really seen any movies besides really old ones, she hasn't put any type of heat on her hair since she was 16, and she is just really sweet.  It was honestly one of my favorite exchanges!!! She was telling me a story about this boy that asked her on a date and she was like "I think the term you use is that he was hitting on me?" and she would use the term "Boy howdy!" all the time.  She is a very quiet girl but once we started talking she had lots to say and she is an amazing missionary and has a wonderful testimony.  She is the greatest!! In Oakville was where I met Sister Farmer! Haha she isn't in the ward I serve in but she is like 90 years old and when I got there she insisted that she call my Mom and it sounds like she did! She was adorable. 
     Friday I was on exchanges with Sister Herdman and we went to a trivia night with our new investigator, Krisitie and it was so much fun! There were a ton of people there and we actually knew more answers than the rest of our team and we also found a newly married couple on our team that is interested in learning more about the gospel which is so great!!
     Saturday morning we got a new investigator, Virginia! She lives a couple buildings over from us and has a 3 year old son and her husband is agnostic.  She has been to a lot of different churches but just hasn't found the right one.  She has a lot of similar views and beliefs as we do and she is looking for some wholesome activities and direction in her life for her family and actually wants to stop smoking but hasn't really had a reason to and so she has a reason now! She said she has read parts of the Book of Mormon before and that there is something different about it (maybe because it's true?).  Anyway, she's really receptive and I like her a lot!
     Yesterday we had church and no one came:(.  Mark has been at the hospital with his Mom so we weren't able to see him at all this week but we talked to his friend Sarah who is a member and she said he still wants to get baptized but I'm bummed that we haven't seen him.  Last night, we visited a new family, the Vitale's, who just moved in to our ward.  The wife is a new member but hasn't been active for a while and her husband isn't a member but she wants us to start coming over a couple times a week and to teach her how to do family home evening so we are doing that tonight! Also, Bro. Katseanas (our ward mission leader) and his Dad both served in Nagoya and I'm pretty sure his Dad is the one you know Dad!! Pretty cool right?
     Also, I got your package this week and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! Getting random packages are always exciting!! Muddie Buddies are AMAZING and thank you for the M&M's Erin - I'm glad you enjoyed Hawaii!!!
     Today I think we are going to go to the stake center and play games with our zone - our zone is a lot of fun!! Anyway, I think that's about it!!! I hope you all have a super fabulous week and day!!! I MISS YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Exchanges

Hey Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Thanks so much for your emails - I love hearing from you!! I hope you all had a great Valentines Day! Sorry I haven't been able to email you until today - we had zone conference yesterday so we had to wait for this morning!! Guess what?? Mark is going to get baptized!!! We set March 8th as his date and he came to church and said he felt like that was where he was supposed to be - yay!!! Also guess what?? Remember Matt W? He is getting baptized also!! I guess he had a dream about it and now he feels like he needs to get baptized.  I just found that out yesterday so that was pretty great!
     Anyway, I will just tell you about my week! Alright, so last Monday, Sister Smith colored my hair for free and I love it - she is amazing at hair and so I feel super lucky that she did mine! On Tuesday, we had zone conference and it was all about raising the bar and there were a couple of quotes from it that I really liked. 
The first one is:
"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got"
The other one is:
"If you don't raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?"
The first one, Sister Morgan shared with us and the second one is from a story about a high jumper and his last name is like fosberry or something like that? Anyway, I really liked them because it's true! I feel like sometimes I make goals but then I don't do my part and try to change things and so my goal doesn't really go anywhere so we have to act on our goals!
     Tuesday night, we had a lesson with a referral we got from another ward named Mary and she is amazing! She is probably in her early 60's and she grew up Catholic but doesn't agree with everything and she wants a sense of belonging at a church and she asked if she could come to our church and wants to learn more - she is so great!!
     Wednesday morning we did service at a Baptist Food Pantry and the man who runs it is so sweet! He said he talked about us in his sunday school class and is just really impressed with what we do as missionaries and he is just really sweet! And he thought I was 14... It's cool.  I've gotten that more than once actually haha a lot of people think I'm like 16 or something! Anyway, we went on exchanges that afternoon and I was in Frontenac with Sister Gunter! It was so fun being back in Frontenac.  I saw some of the ward members and I honestly didn't really expect them to remember me but they did and that made me feel good.
     Thursday we went to visit all the less actives that had birthdays to give them cookies and NONE of them were really home but we decided at each house we would tract the 5 houses around their homes and it was amazing!! We found 3 people like one after another that wanted us to come back which was so great.  I think I just always expect people to say no when we ask them if they want to learn more so when they say yes it's so exciting to me!! We have appointments to go back and visit them this week! The weather was so amazing on Thursday (it is today too!!).  Thursday night we had a special district meeting where everyone in our district was asked to bring a convert to the church and then each set of missionaries were asigned to one of them and they just kinda interviewed them and asked about their conversion stories and the spirit was really strong.  Afterwards, the converts bore their testimonies and it was just a really good district meeting! We interviewed an older man and he emphasized how important being friends with your investigators is and that that is what helped him along the way. 
     Friday we had a lesson with Mark at the church and we gave him a tour of the church and it went really well! We had his friend, Sarah, who is a member come with and it just adds so much to the lesson when members come and share their testimonies during the lesson.  I love it!! We ended the tour in the chapel and talked about Sacrament meeting and Mark really opened up and we set a date for him to get baptized!! For Valentines Day, a family in the ward had us and the Elders over for dinner and we played a candy bar game with them and that was really fun.
     Saturday we had a lesson with a former investigator that the Elders told us about and long story short, his name was Jesse and we had a wonderful lesson with him and his boyfriend and probably wont be going back! That night we went around to all of our neighbors and introduced ourselves to them and gave them cookies and I'm so glad we did because a lot of them invited us to come back!!
     Sunday Mark came to church and he said it was different but that he liked it and felt like it was where he was supposed to be - yay!!
     Monday was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!! It was zone p day and we went roller skating and it was a blast!! I'm not very good haha and fell flat on my bottom once and basically ran over the same little girl twice but it was just really fun! Our zone leader, Elder Reay is like amazing and him and his family do this regularly at home and have a video on youtube of them roller skating.  It's so weird though, I'm so sore from it!!  That night, we got a new investigator!! His name is John.  We were trying to contact a less active and when we got there, they had moved but John and his wife live there and his wife was sleeping but John said he will give everything a try once! We left him with a Book of Mormon and shared our testimonies with him and set up a time to come back this week. 
     Yesterday we had another zone conference and then afterwards we found another new investigator!! Her name is Kristie and she is a young busy mom with a ton going on in her life right now and we just really focused on even though making God a priority seems like one more thing on your plate right now, it will only help put things in order and it will help her.  She's mostly looking for something for her 2 young kids and so we talked about primary and she wants to try it out. 
     Oh ya! Haha okay so we have been bringing cookies to the less active women in our ward on their birthdays and we got to this one house and no one in the ward knows who she is so before they answered the door I was like "Sister Minyard, lets just start singing Happy Birthday when she opens the door" and she was like "No! I'm not singing" And I was like "Yes, I'm singing whether or not your singing" And like right before someone answered the door Sister Minyard was like "Don't do it!" And they open the door and for some reasong I decided not to and it's a good thing I didn't because the lady doesn't even live there anymore!! How embarassing would that have been? I would have sung Happy Birthday and then she would have been like, uhhh it's not my birthday... awkward. 
     Anyway, that's pretty much my week! I hope you all have a super fabulous week and day!! I MISS YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH AND I LOVE YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love,
Taylor
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