Monday, August 24, 2015

Leftovers anyone?

These boys are well taken care of. Thank you Burlington!

Kerncliff Park

Yak Shi Mash - Week 4 Burlington

It means "How are you?" in Polish! I learned it from some Polish guy while tracting here in Burlington! This week we were so incredibly blessed here in Burlington! I've never seen as many miracles as I saw this last week in my life. Our District Leader said he's never seen Burlington do that well in a week before, it's so cool that I get to be a part of this amazing work here! This week I've been really working on forgetting myself! As I've done that I've seen so many blessings and learned so many amazing things!

We had a specialty training on Thursday morning where President Clayton shared about the new changes in the mission, and they are huge! Missionary work is no longer teaching new people about the gospel, we are now working with the ward members so close! We also are working on helping members find their way back to the flock. It's such a blessing and just as we have been working with members, we have been blessed with new investigators! One guy named Dave even texted us this week and said "I've been reading out of the Book of Mormon and I love It, I would love to meet up and learn more about it". WHAT ON EARTH?!?! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!! I'm so excited to meet with Dave, turns out he is a former investigator who told the missionaries to go away and never come back, well guess what, that's not happening! Dave, here we come! 

Rocky, MJ, and Setti are doing absolutely amazing! We got to meet with them again this week which was such a miracle! Saturday night we went over to Sister Marcellis' home for dinner. She is a Philippeano lady who is married to an Old Catholic man named Brother Batstone! Basically Bro. Batstone just likes to bible bash, so we went in their praying for patience, and guess what, we didn't bash at all, he was fishing for it but nothing ever happened! If you know anything about Philippeanos they love to have people over for dinner and parties! So guess who showed up, Brother and Sister Acorda with Rocky, MJ, Setti, and Joy!! We had a great dinner and because they love to party we weren't able to leave a long message before dinner was up. After we left we knew we had to go back after our next appointment to share a brief message. When we got there, Rocky, MJ, and Setti were all sitting there and were ready to learn about the Restoration! All of the Sudden Brother Batstone comes in and I'm thinking "Crap, he's going to ruin this". He didn't say one word during the entire lesson! It was such a blessing! Now my goal is to get Bro. Batstone to church :)

We have also been working still with Robin, The lady we met on my first day here! She has grown so so much and we taught her the Word of Wisdom this week! That's what we had prepared to teach but she brought it up. She said she could give up alcohol and cigarettes but not Coffee, but you could tell she almost knew she had too!! You can't deny the Holy Ghost! I'm excited to meet with her this week and see how praying about the Word of Wisdom went!

Mom, I know you wanted to know about all the food here so I looked through my Journal and thought back about all the food and I picked out a few things that really stuck out to me. First off, every Thursday we have our lunch with Greta Zelanko, she is the older lady from Slovenia. She cooks so much delicious food, I'm pretty sure she is trying to kill us with the amount of food! We are so blessed here with the amount of food we get fed! People think we don't get fed or something so they just cook massive amounts of food for us! We have so much leftovers in the fridge right now! When I read about Elder Carling eating tomato soup and dry cereal for the first few days in England I just felt so bad for him! Anyways, this week at Greta's we had Golash which is a Hungarian Curry dish with Pork, it was delicious! She also made bread that had Dates, blueberries, rubarb, bananas and who knows what else in it! It was actually really really good!

We had Dinner with Alanso and Mercedes Aragon like 2 weeks ago and Mercedes made us a really good Guatemalan dish that I have no Idea what it was! It was like Chicken and Potatoes and all sorts of other things! They also taught me how to eat green beans the correct way! You put a little fresh lime on them and salt. So so good! We eat with the Bonus family quite a bit and one time Sister Bonus made a weird Dixie Coleslaw, it was the worst coleslaw i've ever had but you can't say that so I just worked it down! She also mixed fruit with Cool Whip and poured rice in with it. Oy vey, what is this stuff? I don't recommend that either.

Elder Mckinnon and I have been doing Iron Chef Challenges when we actually make dinner and we both pick a random Item and make something. Last week I picked Indian Spice and Elder McKinnon picked canned Peaches! We made Peach Currie with ham and potatoes in it. Needless to say we ate PB&J's for dinner. 

I also had my first experience with Cabbage rolls at Brother Neame and Sister Zacher's home. I was so scared, they looked like dirty socks soaked in juice and cooked! They were actually pretty good!! It was basically a chunk of ground beef wrapped in cabbage! 

My favorite dinners so far have been dinner's with the Phillippeano families however! I love Sanpeet, it's their noodle and vegetable dish! I did have chicken liver however at one of those dinners and decided I don't need to have that again!

Last week for P-Day we went on a hike to Kerncliff Park, and played frisbee for like an hour in this way cool valley in all these trees! I'll send one of the pictures from last week! Our typical P-Day involves studies and laundry, shopping, and cleaning. We also choose a different activity to do each week. This week we are trying to build a giant Book of Mormon for Proselyting, Hopefully it will work out!

Well, That's about all I have to say for this week! My prayers are with Coleman and his family, I know that he is in God's hands. I love you all, and thank you for keeping me updated!

Love you all, 

Elder Taylor

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 3 Elders Taylor & McKinnon

Week 3 "Ay"

ey Everybody!

Thank you all for the wonderful letters and emails this week! It's so fun to hear about what you are all doing! This week was just another week in Paradise! Like really, hot and humid! Haha! Who would have thought the weather here would be like Costa Rica!? There are also about 120,000 people here in Burlington, so it's a pretty busy city! Seems like there are a million stop lights also!

Mom, you asked if people really do say Ay, and they do! Well some people do! It's said a lot more in the states making fun of Canada. The missionaries say it a lot too, ay :)

I haven't told you a lot about Elder McKinnon, but he is from Idaho like I said! He's been talking a lot about how the "spud harvest" works in Idaho! I love Elder McKinnon, he's just down to earth and a hard working missionary! He also ran track in high school, but doesn't like to run on the mission cause it tires us out too much! 

I haven't had a ton of weird food here yet! Most of it is very similar to American food! I have had some Philippeano food though and that's super good!! I'll explain more about that later on. I also had Poutine flavored Chips today! They have better chip flavors here, there are a lot more... Diverse I would say!

This week I was able to start a bunch of conversations with people about Hunting and Fishing! It really helped out because they were comfortable with me and then they would listen to the things we had to say! It's crazy how the interests before our missions can help us connect with different people! One guy had a huge Caribou in his garage that we talked to him about for a bit and then shared a brief message about the Restoration! It's really cool!

Well, Tuesday we met a lovely guy down at the park who wouldn't tell us which country he was from, but he said it was small and communist and in Europe. Any Guesses? His name was Mike, and he rides his bike around so therefore we call him "Mike on the Bike". We talked with him for like 45 minutes and it was just absolutely crazy! He started off the conversation about how we evolved from Kangaroos.... because women carry around bags? And that was just the beginning! Unfortunately he wanted nothing to do with the gospel, but we did get him to accept a pamphlet!

This week we also got to go on Exchanges! Elder Erickson came to Burlington with me where we got to go out finding all day! Elder McKinnon went with Elder Ngerantar (From Malaysia) to Hamilton. Ward Coordination and both of our appointments fell through so we had a great day of finding! We met one lady who opened the door and said "No English" (She spoke spanish) so We replied while pointing to our name tags "La Iglesia De Jesus Cristo de Los Santos de los Ultimos Dias" That's all we could really say about the church so I'm going to take her a Spanish Book of Mormon this week!

Saturday was a little rough because we worked so hard all day but didn't see much progress, we hadn't found any investigators that week and knew it was possible to find some! So Saturday night we planned to find 3 New Investigators on Sunday! As we prayed about it we felt really good about it so we went out Sunday with that in mind!

For church we had Stake Conference where we learned about keeping the Sabbath Day holy! It was so good, and one of the speakers compared it to an ice cream sundae, everybody likes different things on their ice cream sundaes but you also don't put things like hot dogs and lettuce on ice cream! It was really cool to think about the importance of the Sabbath day! 

Last night we had Dinner at the Acorda's home, they are from the Philippines and they made us these super good spring rolls that you eat with Vinegar! Super delicious! They also made Pansit which is a noodle dish with vegetables! That food was so delicious! The best part wasn't the dinner though, it was the fact that they have 3 non-members living in their home with them from the Philippines! Rocky and his Two Sons MJ and Setti just got here about 2 weeks ago and have been coming to church and we got to teach them about the Plan of Salvation after Dinner, and the lesson was all in Tagalog! If that's not the gift of tongues I don't know what is! Brother Acorda translated but we were able to follow along with what they were talking about! It was amazing! We also set up a time that we are all playing basketball this week! That'll be a blast and really help the kids get more involved with the church! If you forgot what I said a bit ago, that means we got 3 new investigators! It's so cool to see how when we work hard and give it our all as a missionary, we are blessed with seeing miracles! 

After we taught the lesson, Brother Acorda asked us to give his son a blessing who has been sick and he asked me to give it. It was such an amazing way to finish off the week, and I'm so blessed to be serving here in Burlington. 

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad!!

Love you all!!

Love, Elder Taylor

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 2 Burlington (Is this really my kid?)

Boy does time fly, It seems like yesterday I was entering the MTC and now I've been out for almost a month! This week has been amazing up here in the CTM (Canada Toronto Mission)! Mom I know you like the details so I wrote down a few things about Burlington that I thought you might enjoy! First off, there are squirrels and rabbits EVERYWHERE! Apparently they even live in downtown Toronto! I probably see like 100 squirrels and rabbits a day! Also parking here is a pain because there are random no parking signs everywhere! There will be like a 30 foot area on an entire street you can park, or you can only park on a curved road (which makes absolutely no sense to me), or you can only park on one side of the road. It's all really weird!

So we've all heard about the Spirit of Elijah right, well I'm here to testify that it's so real! Elder McKinnon and I had the most incredible experience this last week! We were doing our morning studies and I had my family fan chart out on my desk when Elder McKinnon walked over and started to look at it. He ran into the name Charles McGary and said "I have McGary's on my chart too". We compared and they had different wives so we were pretty bummed. Later that week we had some time to be on for part of my training and we pulled them up again, and guess what, the same exact picture popped up on both of ours! We were like WHAT ON EARTH!! As we did our research we discovered that Charles McGary was actually a polygamist and turns out to be Elder McKinnon and I's 4th Great Grandfather! As we looked a little harder the most incredible part of the story happened... *drum roll* HE WAS BORN IN TORONTO!!! Craziest thing ever! He was also a Pioneer who brought his family to Utah! He served his mission in Idaho too, and that's where Elder McKinnon is from! The reason I tell you this story is because there is so much cool things in family history, and not only do we learn more, we get to do family work and bring together our families! My challenge to you all is to do family history! 

Also for some reason Nana Patsy's side of the family isn't appearing on my family history chart, so hint hint, there needs to be a bit of work done there :)

This week I learned why other Christian faiths don't believe we're Christian. We were down at Spencer Smith Park, which is right on Lake Ontario in Downtown Burlington, when we met a man who is Egyptian Orthodox, he told us the reason we aren't Christians is because we don't believe in the Trinity and his explanation of the Trinity made no sense to me! He was great and we gave him a Book of Mormon to read! :) The Book of Mormon answers all questions pertaining to the church, it's the most incredible resource and without it missionary work would be impossible! 

Yesterday we also met two men from Iran, their names were Fred and Sieed. They were super nice and they were both Muslim. We talked religion with them for a solid 25 minutes and basically Sieed told us the 1) We are Polygamists and he knows that cause his friends a Mormon? What? and 2)Christianity brainwashes kids into paying tithing because all Christianity is about is money. I don't get that either, but we were able to bear testimony to both of them of the power in the Book of Mormon and tried our hardest to explain Polygamy and Tithing. We even gave Fred a Book of Mormon and he told us he would study it because it's important to study all religious texts. 

Saturday night I had such a cool experience! We had just finished a lesson with an investigator named Robert, who is really hard to teach because he's scientifically minded and he wants proof but won't read the Book of Mormon, but we were out tracting a street. I was feeling pretty discouraged, but I knew that If we kept pushing on we would be blessed! The last house we went to we met a guy named Marty, who has been having a lot of family troubles! He is here visiting form Calgary because his family is here, but he wants to move back here! He was drinking wine and smoking but he invited us to sit down! We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he invited us back because he wants to know more! It's so cool to see how when us as missionaries have faith, work hard, and are strictly obedient, we are blessed and led to those who are prepared!

Because this week marks my month mark and Elder McKinnon's year mark, so we baked a cake! haha! We didn't have frosting or a recipe, so we decided to just figure it out. hahahahaha! ah man, we started with Frosting sugar and Crisco, that didn't work too well so we added cream cheese and milk! It actually worked! Who would have thought! We also put Cocoa powder in it to make it Chocolate flavored! It was seriously so good! We asked a lady in the ward here how to make frosting and she said that all you really need is water and frosting sugar? oh well, next time right! 

Last thing, I was studying faith this morning and came across Alma 37! It's such a cool scripture and pertains to missionary work so much! It talks about the Liahona and how when we use faith, we are guided! You should all go read that Chapter because it's so cool!

Well, I love you all very very much! 

-Elder Taylor

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week 1 & Weird Milk

Week 1 Burlington 08/04/2015

Hey everybody!!

It's so amazing to have so many emails waiting for me in my inbox, i'm so blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing and loving people! Well, I know you all have questions about where I am, and how i'm doing, and all that jazz. I'm going to skip over my last few days of the MTC because I know nobody really cares about that! Hahah, all you want to know about is Canada!

Well Canada is far better than I ever could have imagined! We woke up bright and early Monday morning where we got on a bus that went to the airport! We flew out and about half of our travel group got first class, what the heck? Of course I didn't so I got shoved in the back of the plane. It actually turned out to be one of the biggest blessings though, and let me tell you why. There was a little bit of turbulence, and there was a lady in the back that was getting super super motion sick, her husband came up to me and asked me to help him give her a blessing! It was the coolest experience! It was a bit crazy though, because the plane was rocking around and she was leaning over, and we didn't have much room, but the spirit was so strong! She ended up being able to fall asleep later and got off looking a lot better than she did, it really shows the the power Priesthood Blessings can have!

After landing in Toronto I realized that everybody around me was speaking a different language, and when I say speaking a different language I mean everybody is speaking all sorts of weird languages from Tagalog to Cantonese! There is a ward in Downtown Toronto that has 50 different languages and nationalities in it! After fighting our way through customs and everything we met President and Sister Clayton! They are amazing, and you can tell just by talking to President Clayton that he is inspired! We all went to the mission home for dinner and a testimony meeting! After that we were taken to the hotel where we got a few hours of sleep and then we were up and at it again! I've never been so tired in my life!

I was assigned to serve in the Burlington Area! It's about an hour or so West of Toronto, and it's right on the water of Lake Ontario! Elder Mckinnon is my Trainer and I couldn't be more blessed! He is from some small town in Idaho, and is the typical potato farmer ya'll are thinking of ;) He legit worked on a potato farm though! He is so kind and shows so much Charity, and boy does he work hard! It's awesome! Burlington is mostly a bunch of White people, and when I say mostly it's like 50% white people! I've met people here from Serbia, Jamaica, Poland, Germany, Uganda, El Salvador, Guatemala, and so many other places! We have a car here, but Elder Mckinnon and Elder Bennett bought bikes here from a garage sale, so those are our primary modes of transportation! It's a lot more effective because we can talk to people as we travel! And I don't think that Burlington Coat Factory is here or has anything to do with this town?

We got to our Area and immediately went out street contacting and tracting! We gave out a bunch of pass along cards and a couple pamphlets, Elder Mckinnon gave an old lady that was smoking a Word of Wisdom pamphlet.. oh boy. But as we were tracting we ran into a lady who was sitting in her garage with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other! We started talking and we sat down with her and really got to know her! Her name is Robin, she has a lot of health and family troubles, and I can already see how the gospel will help her so so much! We taught her the Restoration and she accepted a Book of Mormon! I than invited her to be baptized.. Like, what was I thinking!? But guess what, SHE ACCEPTED!! Haha, inviting someone to be baptized in the first lesson seems crazy, but it really helps investigators, and brings the spirit in really strong! We swing by Robin every day and we haven't gotten to teach her the Plan of Salvation yet because she got sick and had stuff going, but we're going back on Thursday to teach her that! I'm so excited I can hardly wait!

Two of our Progressing Investigators are Alanso and Mercedes. Alanso is from El Salvador and Mercedes is from Guatemala! They are both catholic, but are really excited about the gospel! Alanso is ready for Baptism but wants to wait to be Baptised with Mercedes, so we're working really hard to get Mercedes ready! Mercedes is amazing, and she says that she wants to be 100% sure before committing to baptism! Like we say here in the Mission, "In the Lords time".

Every Thursday for lunch we go over to Greta Zedalski's house. She is a recent convert from Slovenia, and she is an amazing cook! She cooks so much food and says "I know what it's like to have nothing, so we don't waste anything in this house". It's like Thanksgiving on Thursdays at Greta's! It's hard to get to work after eating such a huge delicious meal!

It's really been great here and I've never been better! They call the Canada Toronto Mission the mission where the whole world comes to you, and that's the truth! We are about to start teaching a man named Rocky! He is from the Philippians and only speaks Tagalog, so we are going to have to teach with a translator, but also be super focused on using the pamphlets! Such a cool experience to meet so many people from all over the world! Brother Acorda, from the Phillipeans told me he is having us over for Baloot, which is basically a developed hard boiled egg, woof. We'll see how that goes, but im really excited to eat it!

The weather here is hot and humid! I got here on the hottest day of the year and it's finally starting to cool down because it rained! When it rains here it doesn't sprinkle either! It poors!! We were out on our bikes when it started coming down on Saturday and we were soaked from head to toe!

For Lunch today I experience Poutine for the first time, which is basically the best thing i've ever had, ever. It's a bunch of fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy. It could definatlely kill you with all the grease in it!

My favorite Scripture of the week is in Alma 32 and it starts in verse 26! It talks about how faith is like a seed, and how if we take care of it, it will grow, and if it's a good thing it will grow! It's really a cool passage!

Well, I think that's all for today, it's hard to remember everything that happened last week! I hope everything is going good for everybody! I love you all! God Speed the Right!

-Elder Taylor

PS the money here really does smell like maple syrup

Sunday, August 2, 2015