Wednesday, December 30, 2015

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...and all that was stirring was a Big Fat Squirrel

A Wolf, Too Much Food & An Amazing Christmas 12/29..

Hope you all had an incredible Christmas Day! It was awesome to be able to see you on Christmas, Really was such a blessing!

Alanso and Mercedes are doing super well! We still don't have a date set for them yet for Baptism, but hopefully in the next few days we will! Richard, the single Dad we met with last week is doing great as well, we stopped by yesterday and were able to talk about Prayer with him and 2 of his sons! We are still pushing forward with everybody else.  Christmas week is hard because nobody wants to meet because they have family and such, so this week should be lots better for that. :)

We started off our Christmas Week at Niagara Falls with the Aitchisons! It was so much fun! We started off by checking out the Beautiful falls, we then traveled up into the City of Niagara which reminds me of a mixture of DisneyLand and Las Vegas. We had dinner up there and then we went on this huge Ferris Wheel that overlooks Niagara, it was phenomenal! While we were walking down the sidewalk there was this HUGE squirrel, and by huge I mean morbidly obese. You could tell that people feed this thing sugared nuts and popcorn all day long. It ran right up too us and jumped on my knee as I took a picture of it, that things was heavy, luckily it jumped off my leg after a few seconds.

Our Christmas Week had us all over, and everybody wanted to feed us! 

We had Dinner with the Bootland Family Last week and had an incredible dinner, turns out they have a pet wolf! Well, it's like 3/4 wolf and 1/4 Husky to make it legal, but still, it's a flippen wolf. How sweet is that! I forgot to take a picture of it, so I have no proof, but it was absolutely beautiful!

Christmas Eve rolled around and we found ourselves at Lunch with Greta Zelanko. She had us over and invited her two friends over as well! Her friends were from Germany and Slovenia. It was what Elder Jones called my "First European Dinner". It was the loudest dinner I've ever had! I often find myself sitting at dinner tables being the only non-european there! We had a Christmas Rooster for dinner, I didn't even know people at roosters, but it was very enjoyable, and tasted pretty much the exact same as any chicken you buy in the store besides it was a bit less sweet. 

For Dinner the Aitchisons took us to Mandarin, which is very different from the Mandarin in Utah. Here, it is a HUGE buffet. Let me tell ya, missionaries in buffet's are like Kids in candy stores. I had soooo much food. They seriously had more food than I have ever seen. They had everything from General Sou's Chicken to Crab Legs to creme brulee. 

Christmas Morning we woke up and had our typical morning! During studies we were able to read out of Luke 2 and watched the MoTab "Joy to the World"! We weren't able to proselyte on Christmas so we stopped by members and Investigators! We then met up with Jira, who is from Thailand and headed to Skype from there! After Skype we went to Alanso and Mercedes where they fed us Pan con Chipe, which Is a latino turkey sandwich! It was delicious, along with the sandwiches we had rice pudding, horchata, and cheese!

We then had the typical Turkey Dinner with the Bonus', watched some of the MoTab Concert from last year, and then headed back home for the end to a wonderful Christmas Day. In Canada however they have Boxing day, which is the day after Christmas! We love it because everybody is home so we were able to talk with a lot of people! 

Sunday night in Planning we decided we were going to do a Car fast for Monday, so we planned it all out and began to pray for miracles (A car fast is exactly what it sounds like, we don't drive for the day as a sacrifice and pray that we will have miracles). As Monday came around we found ourselves in a In the first snow storm of the year, figures we pick the first snow storm of the year to do a car fast in, but it ended up super well! We ended up walking about 12 Kilometers total for the day! We weren't able to find anybody new to teach the whole Day, but right as we got back to our Apartment last night we got a text, and it was our first media referral throughout the Christmas season! Such a  blessing, we are giving her a call today to get things arranged to meet!

I've been really bad about Ponderize scriptures the last few weeks, but I decided that this week mine is Mathew 25:34-36

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

It stands as a perfect example of what we should all do day to day to follow the example of the One who gave all for us. I'm grateful for that example to me! 

I love you all so much! 

Love, Elder Taylor

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sermon In The Flat 12/21/15

The Picture here is from our "Sermon in the Flat" video we made cause we had some time before bed last night.... haha :) Someday you'll get to see the video. But the scripture we used was from D&C 4

It's Going To Be A Sunny Canada Christmas 12/21/15

Merry Christmas, can't believe it is Christmas this week, where has the time gone! Dang! Well, It finally snowed last week! Like, it snowed maybe like an inch, but it at least snowed here. But, this morning it is raining and like 7 degrees (Celcius), so who knows what is up with Canada!? I never thought in Canada we would have a sunny Christmas, but that's what it looks like is going to happen. Anyways, we are headed to Niagara Falls today with the Aitchision's, Elder Jone's barely slept last night because he was so excited for Niagara Falls! 

On Monday night we left behind Preparation day to stop by a potential and work around him, it was amazing! We ended up finding a lady who was interested in the Christmas video and ended up inviting us back on in the week. When we went by again later in the week she wasn't home but we were able to teach her husband who was home about the restoration and he invited us to come back again! It was amazing! But, on Monday after talking with her we knocked on a door and nobody came to the door, and just before we stepped off the porch a huge rainstorm came down. We stopped for just long enough to look at our plans because our next plan was to be out Contacting some people on the street and the man who hadn't answered his door came outside.His name is Richard and we ended up teaching him the restoration on his porch and we have been able to meet again with him since! When we went by again, he invited us in and he was doing a Christmas Craft with his 6 year old Daughter, she told her Dad when we knocked on the door "There are 2 very nice men at the door for you?" He said he knew exactly who it was :)  He is a single dad with 5 kids and we are hoping to get his kids involved next time we go.

Church Yesterday was incredible!! Man, we had 7 investigators there with us, and 11 Less- Active members! It was amazing to see how the Christmas spirit reaches out to everybody. We don't have any scheduled Baptisms right now at the moment, but we are going to try to get Alanso and Mercedes set with a new Baptismal Date so that they can work towards that. We found out basically what the concern was and next time we meet we are going to try to help him see how the Gospel with Bury the concern.

Starting in March the MTC stay for all English missionaries is going to change back to 3 weeks, not sure exactly why, it's probably for the best, I'm just glad I got to be the lucky 12 day MTC stay group! I loved the MTC, but man, It was nice to get out of there. Can't believe it's been like 5 months since there. I'm almost at 6 months so I can't use the excuse of "I'm new" kinda stinks, but It's also good because I know what is going on now

I learned this week the Jehovah's Witnesses really know the Bible, we had a Jehovah's Witness invite us into his home and he thrashed us with the bible. They interpret the bible really weird however, and use a New World Translation which pretty much gets rid of all credibility. It makes sense however what their religion is based on because they HATE blind faith, they think there needs to be physical evidence for all things. 


I love you all and am super excited to talk on Christmas!

Love Elder Taylor

Monday, December 14, 2015

Yep....He's still a nut. Thank goodness.

A Little Mandarin & A Little Cantonese 12/14/15

Good Morning Everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful week last week! Ours was pretty good. Full of some really awesome lessons, and a few disappointments. But that is just the usual missionary week! I know you are all wondering about Alanso and Mercedes, but unfortunately they needed to postpone their Baptism until the End of January. They have some personal things they are working out that we don't even really know about. So keep them in your prayers please. I think that was some of the hardest news because I most likely won't be here when they are Baptized now, I'll have been here 6 months by the next transfer. I could stay, but I have a feeling that I'm leaving after this transfer! But, I'm super excited for them, and they will be baptized when the time is right for them and when they are ready! I'm super excited to know that I was able to be a part of teaching them. 

We had dinner with Alanso and Mercedes last week also and Mercedes taught us how to make papoussas. They are so good! When I get home I'm opening a Papoussaria and a poutineria! Two amazing foods that you don't really get in Utah!  Papoussa is a dish from El Salvador that is a corn tortilla with frijoles, peppers, and cheese inside. They are phenomenal! 

On Monday we met with Sandy again, she is awesome! We taught the most powerful first vision I have taught since I have been out! The spirit was so thick you could have cut it with a knife as we told the first vision. It really was a powerful moment for all of us, and not only did it help Sandy to begin to recieve a spiritual witness, it strengthened everybody that was there! 

I got to go on Exchanges with Elder Lau on Friday and Saturday! It was a total blast! Elder Lau is from Hong Kong, NOT China. He made that very clear, haha! He is a Chinese missionary, he speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese. The difference between the two is huge, I had no Idea! They aren't similar at all, but Mandarin is spoken in Taiwan and China. Cantonese is what is spoken in Hong Kong, basically when Hong Kong split from China they created Cantonese cause of their dislike for China. We had a wonderful time on exchanges however, we got to go to downtown Hamilton and contact on the street! There people downtown are super humble and so nice, this man even stopped us to tell us some poems he wrote about Christ. We ended up meeting a young Chinese kid named Charles, and I pretty much stood there and said nothing while Elder Lau taught him in Chinese for 10 minutes. I told Elder Lau that the next time he started speaking to someone in Chinese I was going to talk to someone else around us that spoke English, cause I felt so awkward. We also taught one of their Investigators in an English/Mandarin lesson. I would teach in English, and then Elder Lau would teach in English and Mandarin! Over all the exchange was a blast, and I learned how to write my name in Chinese, so plus!

We have also started meeting with a lady named Jira, she speaks very little English, just Thai. So we are helping her to learn English, it will be tough teaching her, but she is awesome, and she want to cook us dinner! Thai food is some of the best! :)

We are still working with Rocky, MJ, and Setti. They are the Philipino family if you don't remember, but they are doing good! We met with MJ and Setti last night and they are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of Baptism! Hopefully next week we will be able to set a date with them!

Well, have a wonderful week and a Merry Christmas! I'm excited to talk to you on Christmas!

Love, Elder Taylor

Monday, December 7, 2015

Missionary Modeling 😳???

No More Mincement pleeeeease 12/07/15

Boy are we excited for Christmas here in Burlington! Everything here has been super good, I have learned however that I HATE mincemeat. People here love it, and I just can't figure it out. We have dinner with a member family every week and it's always mincemeat tarts for dessert. When I get home I an never eating Mincemeat again :) I don't even know what the stuff is, cause i'm pretty sure it ain't meat. 

Last week we started meeting with Sandy, she is one of the Member's friends here that wants to start coming out to church! She is super awesome, one of the kindest most down to earth ladies I have ever met! She is coming to church next sunday, and we are sooooo excited! We are going to try to set her with a Baptism Date tonight :)

We got a text last week from a guy we met on the street at the beginning of Last transfer! His name is Matt and we ended up sitting down with him and talking about the Restoration! He was baptized as a Catholic not too long ago and he says he thinks that Rehearsed prayers are dumb, so we discussed the Apostasy and he even came to Church on Sunday! He moved here from Russia about 9 years ago and we found out he is only 25, he looks older than that, so we are going to have to pass him to the YSA Elders, Sad day, but he is super solid and wears a super cool bracelet made of pictures of Jesus. He also has the most firm handshake I've ever felt, I feel like the life is getting squeezed out of my hand every time I shake his hand!

Yesterday was Stake Conference here and the focus for the meeting was on Sabbath Day Observance! The First Presidency has been really focused on that recently, which obviously means we aren't doing good enough. I guess we should all focus on making the Sabbath a more meaningful day. In Mark 2:27 it says the "Sabbath is made for Man, not man for the Sabbath" and I love that, it is so true!

Alanso and Mercedes are doing FANTASTIC! They are looking super solid for their Baptismal Date of December 19th, and they have their Interview this week! We are super excited for them, and Alanso asked me to Baptize him, and Elder Jones to Baptize Mercedes! While we had a lesson with them last week we had a cool experience. We found out that Alanso was confused on the whole "Hot Drinks" thing, when he was taught the Word of Wisdom he thought it meant temperature wise, and was confused on why he couldn't drink tea. So he asked for scriptural proof on the tea thing. As I opened to Doctrine and Covenants 89 I was praying that Alanso's heart would be softened and we could say what he needed to hear! After a brief discussion it all made sense to him and we could tell that the Spirit had taught him and softened his heart! It was amazing! Alanso and Mercedes also gave us some Chicherones. If you don't know what they are it's what Nic had on his mission, which is deep friend pig fat. They are super good! Basically like deep friend bacon. 

The First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night was phenomenal! I loved hearing the wonderful messages about Christmas, and I felt like it was the perfect way to start off the Holiday season. If you weren't able to see it, you can watch it online! 

Well, I love you all!

Elder Taylor

Monday, November 30, 2015

Good Evening Trailblazzers

We are having Dinner tonight with the Aitchison's and this is an awesome text we got from him last night!

Still Kicking it in Burlington 11/30/2015

Tis the Season! Man,i am so excited for this upcoming Christmas season! The Church launched a Christmas website yesterday called! It is AMAZING! They released two new videos on it an they are incredible. There is a huge push for us to use them, so we have special pass along cards and other things! It's going to be way cool to use it. They also have a special video they will release for the 12 days of Christmas. It's spectacular! 

Well, transfers came and went and Elder Jones and I are safe! Looks like we will be kicking it here in Burlington for at least another Transfer! Which means 6 months in my first area! Man, I'm super excited to be here for Christmas, we have some super solid investigators that we are working with right now! Alanso and Mercedes are still looking good for Their Baptism on December 19th! 3 weeks away and we are pumped! We also have a lesson with a member referral tonight who sounds super solid! Her mother passed away a few months ago, and she wants to know where she is, so we are going to talk about God's plan for all of us tonight! We are super excited :) Member referrals are the best because they are always way more solid than people we meet on the street!

For Thanksgiving we got to go to one of the places that I am most thankful for! THE TEMPLE!! It was incredible. At the end of a new missionaries first transfer, they get to go to the temple, and because I am with Elder Jones, we got to go. It was such a good time, I was able to learn so much and the spirit was so incredibly strong! 

This week was absolutely nuts, it started off with Elder Jones getting very sick. He has been having Migraines since he got here, after going to 2 doctors that didn't do anything we ended up in the Emergency Room because it got so bad on Monday! Man, I've never seen a busier Emergency Room. We got there about 3pm and didn't get home until 11:30pm.. I've never been that tired in my life! He had all sorts of tests done on him with no diagnosis, which was frustrating so we ended up at a doctor 2 days ago in Brantford, who put him on some Medication to help and it has been making him feel a lot better. So hopefully it can keep his Migraines in check. Anyways, President and Sister Clayton came down to the Hospital with us, and so Sister Clayton became my companion for about an hour and a half. We started talking to this super nice girl and her father from South America. Sister Clayton and I even ended up teaching the First Vision to them in the Hospital Waiting Room at 11:00pm. I never ever ever thought I would be teaching with The Mission President's wife in a hospital, let alone at 11pm on my mission, but the Lord puts people in our path! It's amazing :) 

While walking around the apartment a few minutes before curfew one night we met a man who asked us about why Satan could betray God. We talked for a little about how the Book of Mormon helps to answer that and he had to go but he gave us his number and said he wanted to understand more! It goes to show how important it is that we use every last bit of time we get, even if it is knocking one more door, or talking to one more person! It seems like those are the situations that we find the most in! 

I'm reading the Gospels right now in the New Testament, I decided I wanted to read through them the month of December so that I could understand Christ's life more fully. It's been amazing how I've been able to understand more about who he is. I know he lives, I've felt him in my life so much, and I'm so grateful for him. His spirit is strong this Christmas season, and I'm grateful to stand as a representative of him at this time and place. 

Love You all so very much

Elder Taylor

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful for Birthday Wishes

"The Catholic Church down the street has me booked for Heaven and hell and all that stuff." (Most interesting quote of the week.)

Thank you all for the Birthday wishes!  Man, the weather has cooled down so much! We had our first snow storm yesterday, and let me tell ya, the humidity makes the weather sooooo much colder! Wowza! Hahaha! I love the snow however, it makes me happy!  

:) Man, this week was pretty good!! Elder Perkins of the Seventy came and spoke to us on Wednesday and we learned some AWESOME stuff! One really cool thing we talked about was always going to meetings with questions in our mind, and as we do so we will receive those answers! I've done it twice since and It is so true! It's amazing how the Spirit teaches us such wonderful things when we are searching for answers! We also had some time to ask him questions and one Elder asked how we address the concern about evolution. We talked about it for quite sometime, and then got into other stuff and Elder Perkins said, "I don't know about Dinosaurs but everything happens for a reason and I believe Dinosaurs lived so that they could die, be buried for thousands of years, become fossil fuel, and then we would suck it up and use it for fuel so we can fly missionaries all over the world" Hahaha, oh man, I never thought of it that way but hey, makes sense to me!

Yesterday we had the Montreal Temple dedication, it was absolutely amazing, and the spirit in the meeting was so strong! We all gathered at the church and watched it over broadcast. They cancelled church for it which was a bit hard because all the people we are working with couldn't come to church or anything, so that was the only downfall. 

Alanso and Mercedes are still on the Path to Baptism and have been super good! They are on vacation this week in the States for Thanksgiving so when they get back we are going to hammer and get everything done! 

One really cool miracle we saw this week however was that we went by a Less-Active this week to meet at 8pm and when we got there they weren't home. So we set out pounding the streets looking for somebody to to talk to and knocking the doors in the area. It seemed like nobody was home but as we kept going we ran into a man who just got here from India and was super interested in the Book of Mormon. It's amazing how the Lord Places us in those places where his children are prepared!

Yesterday for dinner we got to go eat at the Acorda's! Luckily they forgot to get Balute! :) But we had this fantastic meal called a Hot Pot, which is Beef, Chicken, Squid Balls, chinese spinach, and lettuce all cooked together in a broth! It was delicious! They also had a really good dessert that is called Toupig, and another called Bibanca. They are made of Rice and coconut milk and cooked in Banana Leaves! It was the most unique dessert I have ever had! 

That's really all for this week! I love you all

Love, Elder Taylor

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Bulk Barn & Easterbrooks

Good morning everybody! It's a beautiful day here in Burlington! Can't believe I've already been out for 4 months, where has the time gone? We had a blessed week here full of excitement! First things first, I keep forgetting to write about it, but remember in the Saratov Approach the tattoo of the guy that the missionaries see on his hand? Well we were out walking along the park on Lake Ontario and met this Russian guy, we shook his hand and he had the exact same Tattoo! Oh man, it was crazy, it was a flashback to that movie! 

Elder Jones and I discovered our new favorite store this last week, it's called Bulk Barn. Basically imagine a huge store full of barrels of random food. Yep, and you walk around and fill bags with however much stuff you want. It's incredible! We bought a bunch of different kinds of granola that we have been eating for breakfast, we also bought some dried mango that was delicious! Yum!

 So, we met with Alanso and Mercedes this week and guess what, set up a solid Baptismal date! YYYYYAAAHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!! Man, I so pumped for them! They are getting baptized on Dec. 19th! Now I just gotta keep praying I don't get transferred, I shouldn't because they don't usually split up a trainer and trainee until after the 2 transfers, so I have high hopes!

Brother Aitchison, one of the Member's in the ward took us out to eat at this hotdog shop called Easterbrooks! Basically it's this rundown hotdog joint that was opened in the 1930's, but boy do they make good Hot dogs. I have a 12 inch Chili Dog called the Bellie Blaster, yeah, it sounds scary, but It was so good! 

We also found this super good restaurant called Babaz, that sells Egyptian food. That's where I learned how to say Azyk. ;) But Egyptian food is super good, basically it's just meat and rice with some vegetables with Tiziki Sauce, but let me tell you, we WILL be going back to that place!

This week we get to go to a special Conference in Kitchener where Elder Perkins will be speaking! We are so excited to get to go to hear him speak! It's supposibly all day, and those days are awesome because it's like recharging the battery and just makes all of us even more pumped about missionary work! This last week I also realized how much I love to promise people blessings! The times that I have promised Blessings by the spirit, I have felt the spirit so strong. Whenever it happens It just shows me that the promise is not from me, but from the Lord Himself!

We have been working with an Older Gentleman named John Smith, just the most typical name of all times. He has said almost every time we met with him so far that there is no way that he will be Baptized, so before we went to meet with him we where praying so hard that his heart would be softened! At the end we asked him why he wouldn't join the church and he said because he is content with what he knows, BUT he said that he wasn't completely closed to it and would Join if he found out it was all true! He is going to spend a week with his daughter who is a member and he wants to talk with them about what he has learned in the Book of Mormon so far, so hopefully after that, He will be even more receptive to the spirit!

2 Nights ago we were walking back from stopping by a Less-Active family when we met a lady named Pam! (Not the Pam we are already working with that told us she wants to be baptized) but we started talking and were able to share a super powerful message about Joseph Smith with her! You could just see the spirit working with her and she was very very interested to learn more! We are going back this week to meet with her again!

It's been getting quite a bit cooler here, today it warmed up a bit, but It's been cold enough that I've even been wearing a scarf, you know it has to be cold to get me to wear a scarf ;) Elder Jones doesn't feel the cold however, so I'll be bundled up and he will be in a short sleeve shirt, it's ridiculous! 

Well, that's it for this week! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Taylor

Monday, November 9, 2015


Ce Faci (Love ya Wil!)

How are you all doing? Ce Faci is Romanian for How are you doing?... that one goes out to Wil Cowser since that's where he got his call too! 
This last week was full of wonders and amazement! We started off the Week by stopping by a Less-Active who the Bishop asked us to stop by and we ended up having an awesome conversation with her and she wants to start coming back to church! She just worries about what everybody will think of her. Surprisingly that is one of the biggest concerns keeping people from going to church, whether it is a member or one of our investigators!!

Guess what, We be having a BAPTISM!! AHHHHHH!! Alanso and Mercedes are getting Baptized in December! We had the coolest lesson with them. We watched a Mormon Message called "You know Enough", and then we went on to talk about Faith and taking that leap. We talked about the Jaredites and how they had to exercise their faith to leave what they knew to board a ship, and then we invited them to Baptism! Mercedes sat for like 30 seconds staring at me, and then she was just like "yes, I'd like to do it around Christmas" Man, Christmas miracles are already happening and we are only the first week of November!!! 

We meet with some of our Returning Members on Friday nights and we arrived 5 minutes early this week so we ran down the street to knock a few doors before our appointment! We knocked on Roz's door, and she literally sounds just like Roz off of Monster's Inc! She went on to tell us that we were totally Cooky, we helped answer some of her typical questions like Polygamy and such and gave her a Book of Mormon. She invited us to come back this next Sunday, she wanted to read some of the Book of Mormon before we meet! So sweet!! 

I went on Exchanges with Elder Vang again this last week but I spent the Day in Oakville! It was a total Blast! We were all over the place! We did some service by raking leaves for one of the members of their ward and he fed us lunch and gave us some Combusha, which is fermented Herbal Tea, it was quite interesting. Don't worry it was Herbal tea so I wasn't breaking the Word of Wisdom :)

On Saturday we got to go to the temple with Paul Vila, one of our New Converts. We have a mission sponsored Proxy Baptism every month and it was awesome! It ended up taking 3 hours though and I was a witness the entire time.  We were all pretty tired by the end of it! I never thought I would get tired from just being a Witness in the temple for Baptisms, but I was tired. Man, it was an incredible experience to see 22 new converts go to the temple for their first time. The temple is an amazing place! 

All week long I have been praying that we could find a family this week to teach, lone behold, last night as we stopped by a lady that was in the area book, we met her husband, who we talked about the Plan of Salvation with and Eternal marriage.  He was interested and invited us back next week. Man, my prayer was answered, that's for sure! It's amazing how by just asking in Prayer we are blessed.  I can't even express the importance of prayer and how much it means to me now. 

Elder Jones has these Nasty Ties that he made me wear so we could take a picture.  I think he gave me the uglier tie. I'll send a picture of them!

Love you all,

Elder Taylor

Monday, November 2, 2015

Spencer Smith Park, Burlington

Happy November!

Can't believe that it is November Already!! Man, where has the time gone? The leaves are falling off the trees now and people are starting to complain that winter is coming. On the Bright side, people keep telling us it will be a mild winter, but who really knows, we can all hope right?

Elder Jones and I are having so much fun together! It's funny how sometimes we don't understand each other just because us Americans have changed the English Language so much.  For example, the phrase "see you soon" in England basically means goodbye, not literally see you soon. It's weird, I still like American English better, it makes more sense! We also have a new obsession, Tim Horton's White Hot Chocolate, man, it is so stinking delicious! We are going to try to see if we can buy the powder so I can send some home! :)

The Strange food of the week was a pickled vegetable called Picaya. Apparently it is a delicacy in South America. We had it with Alanso and Mercedes. It's alright, it's just super BITTER. 

We had one of the members we are working with tell us something that made us worry a bit. We meet with him every week and we were talking about how important the Sabbath day is. He went on to tell us about how whenever he misses church he pours himself a glass of juice and gets a slice of bread and prays over it.... ahhh... 1st off he doesn't have the Priesthood and 2nd he can't because it isn't under the Bishop's supervision. I hope I was able to handle the situation okay.  We are meeting with him again tonight and we are going to discuss the Sacrament more. 

We have a HUGE teaching Pool here, and when I say huge I mean we are working with 20+ investigators! It's so much fun! We saw 4 huge miracles this week that all came from inspiration and dedicated work! 

First, we finally met with Pamela! She is a single Mom and her son's name is Noah. She is so so solid and we have been trying to meet for 6 weeks and we're finally able to meet! She is a referall from a man named Brother Chamberlain in Utah. She works international real estate, and travels a ton but she is already reading the Book of Mormon, and loves the standards of the Church! We meet with her tomorrow to teach her the Restoration and invite her to Baptism! I'm so excited for that Lesson!

Second, We were out working an area around a former investigator knocking doors in the pouring rain. I was just thinking in my Head, "Please, please, please, let us find somebody to teach!" Then, the door next to the one we were knocking on opened... and then it closed. We were wondering what on earth happened so we knocked and the door flew open! We met Jan, who is studying Life Science and wants to be a teacher! He is super super humble and he invited us to come back! We taught him the restoration and he is super excited about the Book of Mormon! We meet with him again tomorrow! Miracles, Miracles I tell you!

Third, We were eating breakfast one morning and a Less-Active lady just came to my mind, and I was like, we have to go by her! So we made plans to go by and when we knocked on her door she invited us right in! Turns out she was talking to her Daughter about Proxy Baptisms the day before! She invited us to come over again for Dinner on Thursday, so that will be really good! We also found 2 solid Potential Investigators right on her street! 

Fourth, Last night it was dark out and we were contacting near our Apartment when we ran into a guy named Mat. Just with one T, because Matt with two T's is from the Bible and his family is atheist. We talked to him on the street for 45 minutes about Prayer and invited him to Pray, he was super pumped about us and said we were out of our minds for giving up 2 years of our lives for this, but those are the moments that make it all worth while! :) Mat is a tattoo artist down the street from our Apartment and turns out he lives right around the corner! We are meeting with him tonight at Tim Horton's!

Miracle after Miracle this week, boy do I love Missionary Work! My Ponderize Scripture for the Week is D&C 6:2-3 

I know that Jesus Christ Lives, and because he lives, so can we. I know that this Gospel has been restored through a Prophet of God! And I know that President Monson, is a Prophet, called of God, and holds the Authority to Preside over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!I Hope all is going well and here is a picture of me rocking out on the dock at Spencer Smith Park

Love, Elder Taylor

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Introducing.....Elder Jones

Elder Jones, Pumpkin Honey & Crazy Kevin

Well, I'm sure you are all wondering who my new companion is, and it is Elder Jones! He is from Birmingham England, he has been a member of the Church for 23 months and is 24 years old! He is an amazing Missionary, with such a strong testimony, we are going to have lots of fun together, and he's helping me work on my British Accent, also I never realized American's have accents, but it's hilarious to hear him make fun of us :) Fun fact about him is he use to work on Movie sets for BBC so he scouted out locations and then he would be on set for filming shows like Top Gear and Dr. Who. Really cool eh?

We had a really great lesson with Alanso and Mercedes, we talked about the Holy Ghost and Mercedes says she isn't quite ready for Baptism but she is getting closer to being ready!! They are still reading out of the Book of Mormon for an hour each day! I'm so excited for when she finally feels like she is ready! They also gave us this super interesting dessert, which is Pumpkin soaked in Boiled Sugar Cane, it tastes super similar to pumpkin pie, but it isn't quite as sweet! I can't remember what it is called exactly but Im pretty sure it translates from spanish as "Pumpkin Honey" I should have taken spanish class more seriously... ;)

The other Night we were out contacting on the street and we met these 2 guys and a girl and they had this weird looking Cane. Turns out the end of it was a million-volt tazer!! He started to tell us about how he had just bought it because he got attacked by a pack of coyotes while he was walking his dog the other night! Crazy eh?! We kept talking to them about some things and the one guy was Buddhist and was talking about how the Bible taught evil things? He was quite the guy let me tell you, his name was Kevin, and he would always say something and then clasp his hands in front of his face and like bow. I love people here :)

I felt so bad for Elder Jones, he ended up getting sick on Thursday so we had to spend the day in the apartment, luckily I had a bunch of records we had to update and some planning I needed to do so I was able to get all of that done in that time! He's doing a lot better now, but he now has a cold, poor guy, just can't get well! 

Yesterday on our way to church we saw this absolutely amazing rainbow that seemed to be shooting out of the Ground and it was right over the church! As we got to church the sun was shining on the church so brightly! Talk about Brightly Beams :) When we got inside we realized it was the Primary program! Even better, you know primary programs, they are the BEST!!

Today Elder Jones, Scofield, Vang and I are headed to get all you can eat sushi for lunch! We are so pumped :) Then it's back to the apartment for some deep cleaning and organization, we still have to get all of Elder Jones stuff put away! 

Alma 34:32 is my ponderize scripture for the Week! It is so simple, but it helps us to remember the purpose of our life here on earth! We are here to learn, grow, and prepare! I've learned a lot about true joy while I've been here! I'm so grateful for all of you and your influence to me!

Anyways, I love you all!

Elder Taylor

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hanging Downtown

Elder Taylor with Elders McKinnon, Rodriguez & Winn at the downtown Hamilton apartment. 

Something BIG is Going Down!

Hello Everybody! I hope all is going well this wonderful morning! Last night we got a phone call from President Clayton, and you know something big is going down when you get a call from President! So we answered and he said, "Well Elder Taylor, you wore your companion out, so you'll be training a new missionary in Burlington" Oh man, I was so shocked! I couldn't even believe what I heard! He then went on to say that Elder McKinnon was getting shipped up north to be a Zone Leader in Sudbury! We are both super excited, but also super sad to be leaving each other, but It is the Lord's will, and that is exactly what we are supposed to be doing! 

On Monday evening after our Thanksgiving feast, we made our way over to McDonalds where we met with Dwayne, he is from Guayana and has a huge knowledge of the Bible! He has a real desire to know more about the Book of Mormon and he is so much fun to teach because of his knowledge of the Bible! We texted him about Church and got no reply, but lone behold, he was there! It was so good to see him sitting there in church! 

I went on 2 exchanges this last week with Elder Turner and Elder Winn! Both times I stayed in Burlington with them and learned so much from them that I'm excited to apply to the area. Elder Winn served here last year so he told me about some people to stop by so that is this weeks goal to go by all of them. One of my focus' I wanted to learn more about was finding Less-Active members and helping them return. So Elder Turner gave me some ideas and in planning that night we planned to randomly stop by a Less-Active who we had helped move my 2nd day here. The next day once I was back with Elder McKinnon we stopped by and got into her apartment building, but it had turned out she had moved, so we found her phone number and called her and she said she had a few minutes to talk so we ran over to her new apartment and shared a message about Faith with her, she even invited us to come back next week for cake on her birthday! It's cool to see how when we have Faith and follow the spirit, we are guided to those who need our help! 

I know I'm suppose to write about the food I've eaten, which is weird because coming to Canada I never thought I would eat weird food, but lone behold, yesterday we went to one of the Filipino members home's for lunch and had what they like to call "Blood Pudding". Yes, it is as bad as it sounds but they love it! When we got it they were like, "you have to eat it before we tell you what it is". Basically it looked like a bunch of meat in black sauce. After getting it down with some rice and sweet chili sauce she went on to tell us that it was pork cooked in it's own blood. If you have anemia it is a really good food for ya. ;)

My Ponderize scripture of the Week is Mosiah 4:20! It's such an amazing scripture and I know that as we turn to the Lord we WILL find peace and joy!

I hope everything Is going well for all of you! I'm sending a picture of Elder McKinnon, Elder Rodriguez, Elder Winn, and I in the Hamilton Downtown apartment!

Love you all!

Elder Taylor

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Holy Guacamole that's ALOT of H20!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING!! Today has been so good so far! Today is still preparation day even though it is Thanksgiving! So, you will never imagine where we traveled to today! Well, the Georges talked to us yesterday and invited us to Niagara Falls!! It was soooo amazing! The Canadian side and Canadian falls are so much better, from the New York side you can barely see the Canadian Falls! The falls are absolutely huge, and can't even compare to anything I've ever seen, and there were soooo many people there! So that was a riot! 

This week is the last week of the transfer and we aren't sure what will happen exactly, but we are guessing that Elder McKinnon will be transfered because he has been here for 6 months already and in the Zone for 9 and a half months! So Sunday we will find out what is happening, who will stay, who will leave. It's sad that I'm almost done with training, I won't be able to use the "I'm still in training" excuse.

We started teaching a man named Dilip this week, he is Hindu and from India! He is super humble and a referal from a member out west! We gave him a Book of Mormon and are going by again this week to meet with hime! Super excited to really begin teaching him about the Restored Gospel! A few days ago we got a text from a guy that we don't even know who had met the missionaries last August, so we are meeting with him tonight at McDonalds, should be super awesome because when people come to us they are actually really interested! As missionaries we are suppose to be in the apartments at 9:00pm, not before or after that. So as we were doing our "obedient walk" which is when we walk around and talk to people at like 8:55, we met a man named Syed. He was super kind and gave us his phone number! We also met a man named Sergey, from Ukraine! He had met missionaries back in Ukraine and wanted to learn more so we are hopefully going to pay him a visit this week and start teaching him also! Alanso and Mercedes are doing really well, they are reading the Book of Mormon for an hour a day and working towards Baptism, they don't have a date yet but I know that they will be Baptized eventually! Unfortunately our Baptism we had scheduled for this upcoming weekend had to get postponed due to some unexpected difficulties! We are still working with Dave to get him ready for Baptism! We have a Baptism scheduled for November 7th which is still looking promising, super excited for that! 

There is the basic rundown of how our Investigators are doing! Did you all notice how in Conference almost every talk talked about the Sabbath day and the Sacrament? It just goes to show how important it is to keep the Sabbath day Holy! My challenge for everybody this upcoming Sunday is to change something you do on the Sabbath with something better! For example: Instead of watching television, you would do Family History! :)

 Looking forward to this week! It's looking super promising! Sorry my email isn't super long this week, we ran a little short on time due to Niagara Falls! We are headed out now to Thanksgiving Dinner with Brother Neame and Sister Anne! Sounds like there is a whole turkey for the 4 of us, I hope I don't die from over eating!

Love you all!

Elder Taylor

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Potato Farmer Elder

Elder Taylor's companion Elder McKinnon and his potato plant. And yes...I believe he is brushing his teeth. 

Halet Chet O Re 10/05/2015

Good Morning Everybody! Halet Chet O Re means How are you doing in Farsi! I met a Persian man named Muhammed on the street the other night and he taught us that! :) I hope you enjoyed Conference as much as I did! We had the opportunity to watch at the Church and it was so cool to see and sustain the New Apostles, Elder Renlund, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Rasband! I loved their testimonies, they were so sweet and the Spirit was so strong as they did so! I loved how Devin G. Durrant talked about Ponderize, I thought that was so cool! So this morning I chose Ether 12:27 to Ponderize! Basically it talks about how we all have different struggles and trials and weaknesses, but through faith in Jesus Christ, and through repentance, we can over come them and make them strong! It's so cool and It's something that we should all remember day to day, because repentance and change comes over time, it is not immediate.We are downloading all of the Conference Talks onto our Jump Drives so we can relisten to all of them in the car when we are driving, that's one of the blessings to having a car :)

Last week we got the opportunity to go do some service for a Single Sister in our ward, it was quite the adventure, let me tell you. Hahah! It was so much fun though! We were out of Kilometers to drive for the month so we decided that we were going to bike it, not realizing quite how far it really was. Turned out to be about a 16 Kilometer round trip, which equates to approximately 10 miles. Woops :) So here we are in our jeans and t-shirts going to mow this lady's lawn and it starts to rain on us.. We finished cutting the grass and she was at work but she left us some sandwiches to have for lunch, so we sat on her back porch and had lunch in the rain, I can honestly say it was way fun! I never thought that as a missionary I would be doing that, but hey, it's so different out here than I ever expected! 

On Friday we had an awesome Zone Council where we learned a lot of awesome things! Elder McKinnon and I had the opportunity to give a short instruction on Extending Commitments to people and I learned a lot about it as we taught! Right near the end of the meeting President and Sister Clayton showed up! They talked about how every area can see a Baptism every transfer! We really began pondering on that and tried to think about what we could do in order to achieve that with our investigators, having only 2 weeks left in the transfer it seemed kinda crazy, but we went forward in faith. As we got back to our apartment that night, we got a text from one of our investigators who we had invited to Pray about a Baptismal date, he said he wanted to be baptized on Oct. 17th!! Ah man! MIRACLES! It was an answer to much prayer and now we are working really hard with Dave to help him be ready for baptism that day!

We have been having a really hard time finding new people to teach, we have been trying to meet with a lady named Pam, but our appointments with her keep falling through! Hopefully she we can meet with her in the next few days, she is really prepared, but she keeps having super random things come up. We stopped by another man named John who we have been trying to get a return appointment with, he is super excited about getting back into religion which he has been out of for so long. He hasn't been able to meet because his wife is super against us meeting, but It was a blessing to get his phone number and set up a time to meet with him! He is super prepared, the Lord really does prepare people for us to meet with!

It's been super rainy and windy the last few days because of Hurricane Joaquin. The waves on Lake Ontario the other day were huge!! Like, you could of surfed them huge!

Elder McKinnon decided to grow a lovely potato plant a few months ago and here is the fruit of his labors, there is a tiny potato growing in the soil, typical Idaho Boy.

Well, That is about all for this Week! I hope everything is going fabulous for everybody!

Love, Elder Taylor  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Good Times & Scary Bugs

Jamaican Centipede and Pday Hockey

Dinosaurs & Jamaican Centipedes 09/28/15

Hello from Canada! Another Week has gone by and it seems like yesterday I was writing my last email, I know for you it probably doesn't Mom, but it does for me! So earlier this week I heard about Jamaican Centipedes which are basically HUGE centipedes that live here in Canada! Some people tell me they get like 6+ inches long! I really hope not, but as we started emailing this morning one crawled across the wall right in front of us! It was like an inch and a half long but its legs were so long. If you don't like bugs, this thing would really creep you out! Elder McKinnon smashed it with our Clipboard... ahaha :)

Last Preparation Day we went into Hamilton and Played Hockey with a bunch of other Missionaries and a few members! It was a RIOT! We played that and a few other things for a couple hours and Elder McKinnon and I were so sore for the next like 4 days! It was worth it!

We had dinner with the Stiglich family this last week and it was so much fun and so funny! They are originally from Peru but just moved here from Montreal. They speak Spanish and English in their home and have 2 kids, Stephen (5) and Miah (2). They are both Bilingual already and it makes me feel really dumb because all I speak is English! Haha, Miah is hilarious though because everything she speaks is in Spanglish, and she yells, and she is 2. Put all those together and you couldn't understand her either. I guess the Gift of Tongues doesn't work in that situation? We meet with members a lot and teach them the missionary lessons so we taught them the Plan of Salvation. When we were talking about the PreEarth Life, Stephen asked us if we knew who was on Earth Before us. He ran over and grabbed a book and yelled "Dinosaurs!" He went on and showed us a book about dinosaurs and told us how they had been killed by huge flaming rocks. It was hilarious :) Luckily we were able to finish our message with them :)

We meet with one of our investigators on the fly each week. He works in the GTA and gets home at random times, usually he will give us about an hour or so notice, but we got a text from him and we were at a dinner appointment on the other side of Burlington. After dinner, we raced too meet with him at McDonald's for like 25 minutes and then had to go back to the other side of Burlington for another Appointment! We talked about the Restoration a little bit and helped answer questions he had. He asked us about what makes Baptism in our church different because he said he was baptized by immersion twice into different churches but he felt like something was missing both times! :) We explained to him Priesthood Authority and he became super excited about being baptized! His lessons are super scattered but they are so much fun to teach! He also said that the other morning he was sitting down and he had the realization that he needed to be Baptized! Ah man, it's so cool to hear those stories from people when they receive answers from the Holy Ghost! We haven't set a date yet with him, we are going to do that next time we meet!

I got to go on Exchanges on Friday with Elder Smith! He is one of our Zone Leaders and him and I spent the day in Niagara YSA. Let me tell you, YSA work is so different from Burlington! We spent like an hour down by McMaster University and got like 5 phone numbers and 2 return appointments. In Burlington, we are lucky if we get that in a week! College aged kids are a lot more open to hearing more. Elder Smith is from a dairy farm in Idaho, he has 7 siblings and he is so awesome! He is super hard working and we had a blast spending the day together! We taught a Shiek man named Roop, and it went pretty well. He told us that he believes in all Gods, including Hindu Gods and Jesus Christ, which makes no sense because there can't be both? They also carry small swords on their belts are a symbol for their religeon. It symbolizes that they are willing to help any other shiek who is being attacked for standing up for their religion. They don't use it to protect themselves however, just other Shieks. The Zone Leaders live in Hamiltion in an apartment known as the "Batcave". It's in the upstairs of a Member's home and they live with the Mandarin Elders! I learned how to say the Churches name in Mandarin, but I have no Idea how to type it, so you'll just have to trust me on that one. 

One of our Investigators has been investigating for years. She has missed a few baptism dates so she felt like we were holding her back, we have been working really hard with her to help her learn and we found out she wasn't reading the Book of Mormon! She didn't understand the Restoration or why Joseph Smith wasn't talked about in the Book of Mormon. I felt like a ding-dong for not catching onto that. She has been investigating for so long and gone through so many missionaries that I didn't even think to ask her. We invited her to read and just over the last week we have seen so much change in her! Her desire has sky rocketed! We even set her with a Baptism Date to work towards! Before she was reading I found myself doubting that she could reach the date, but as I put my trust in the Lord, I have found the Faith that she could easily meet that date! It just went to show me that I really don't know that compared to the Lord.

Man, I am so excited for General Conference! 3 new apostles! Oh my goodness gracious, I'm pretty sure all the missionaries are guessing the Whitney L. Clayton will be one of the, that's President Clayton's brother! He is a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and gave an amazing talk last conference! I hope you all are preparing questions to have answered at Conference! This week our Zone is trying to have each companionship invite 20 people a day to conference which would mean we would invite over 2000 people this week! Yes! 

Last night we had a Fireside at the church where Brother Ryan talked about strengthening relationships. He game some awesome pointers to use, and it was really focused on focusing on Jesus Christ, and our own improvement, not focusing on what others are doing wrong. It really is about communication too!

Interesting experience this week, remember the Nigerian lady who we helped with her car? We went over to teach her and basically we got preached too :) We'll go back and give it another shot! Haha, she is awesome!

That's about it for this week! I love you all and hope everything is going well! CHEERS! 

Love, Elder Taylor 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Posterity Picture

Elder Taylor with his "dad" Elder McKinnon and his "grandfather" Elder Vang. 

Salsa, Pride & Hockey 09/21/15

It's been cooling down over the last few weeks, but something really funny I noticed, I was looking at the Missionary Map in the Burlington Chapel and realized that I am actually a lot farther South than I realized! Even though it's Canada I'm at the same Longitude as like Boise. I'm not that far up here! I've been fantastic and I'm loving Canada more than ever! It's amazing up here!!

Last Preparation day Elder McKinnon and I decided we were going to take the Tomatoes that Mike gave us and make some Salsa, surprisingly, it was really good!! Haha, We also have this huge Pork Roast in the freezer that we don't know how to cook, so we decided to buy a Crock-Pot from Value Village, basically the D.I. of Canada. There are all sorts of goodies in there. 

We got to have a Zone Conference this last week and it was so so so so so good! The instruction we received was on asking people for referals and teaching more by the Spirit! We talked a lot about how to teach the Restoration simply and powerfully! After we had our Conference we got to go meet with Bro. Livingstone, who I love meeting with! The spirit was super strong and he asked some awesome questions that really made me think! Funny thing, Bro. Livingstone also mentioned to me in church that he found my blog online and had read it! So if Bro. Livingstone is reading this, Hey Brother Livingstone!

I also am sending a picture from Zone Conference of my posterity picture (Basically for those unfamiliar with what that means is that Elder Mckinnon is my "dad" and his trainer, Elder Vang, is my "Grandpa".)

At Greta's house this week for Lunch we had a Bosnian Gyro called a Cevapcici, you probebly just pronounced it wrong as you read it cause I can barely say it ;) Basically it was sausage, sour cream, and onions wrapped in Pita bread! Super Yummy

Alanso and Mercedes are doing very good! They are still working towards baptism and I know that they will eventually get there. I love to meet with them and they are so awesome! Mercedes says she just wants to make sure she is getting baptized for her and not Alanso, we are meeting with them on Friday night, well maybe, we have exchanges so I might be in Hamilton? Not sure yet, but hopefully we will help them set a date on Friday!

We have been meeting with Adam Still and it's been really good! Not sure if he will quite reach his Baptism date because he has a few things he is trying to figure out, but he is a super humble guy and I love meeting with him! Hopefully we will meet with him tomorrow!

We also Invited Rocky, MJ, and Setti to be baptized and they said they were open to it if they find out it is true! I'm super excited! Sister Acorda bore a super powerful testimony in Tagalog, man, the spirit was so strong! We also ate dinner with them and had this super good vegetable lasagna and fried fish! They eat a lot of vinegar and I'm really starting to enjoy it! 

Sunday Elder McKinnon and I taught a lesson on Pride and I learned that so much about what Humility is! I would explain it but I thought I would just let you all look it up. It's in the teachings of the presidents of the church; President Ezra Taft Bensen chapter 18.

Well, that's about it for this week! Elder McKinnon and i are headed to Hamilton to play Hockey with the missionaries from the Zone. I'm super excited :) Good ol' Canada, Hockey season starts in not too long! Hahaha!

Love you all

-Elder Taylor

Ether 12:27- "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."