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."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Balute Anyone?

Biyaya (Blessings) & Balute

What on Earth, Happy Birthday Lauren!! Can't Believe you are 16! That's insane! Sounds Like everything is going great back home! Everything here is great, We are seeing so many miracles here, day after day! Yesterday we had 7 Investigators at Church!!! Wahoo!!!!!!!! I love seeing people at church, it really is like receiving a present! This week was crazy, finding time to eat was even hard!

The temperatures dropped this week from 30 degrees to 13 degrees (Celcius) which made it pretty chilly! The Humidity really makes it bone chilling here, so Hopefully I won't freeze too bad
! We have been running in the mornings to help us wake up and prepare for the day more, and it's so cold in the mornings! I feel like a pansy because it's not even that cold, but compared to the blistering heat, it's cold! 

Dad, you wrote me last week about Balute, a Filipino delicacy. Well guess what, I had it on Saturday! Let me explain Balute as best as I can, basically it's a Duck or a Chicken Fetus that is hardboiled! It tastes like a pungent hard boiled egg mixed with a chicken, which is exactly what it is. The taste isn't what gets you though! It's the smell when you crack the egg and the texture! You can literally feel the bones and feathers, it's not so pleasant! The Acorda's made them for us and made us eat both a chicken and a duck egg, where did my agency go? Like what on earth, you never realized how big Duck eggs are until you're staring down Duck Balute. Along with that lovely adventure we had Sinagong, which is a stew made out of Basa fish! Basically if you layed a fish on the table and chopped it up and threw it in a pot full of chicken broth and green beans, that is basically Sinagong! It's super good! Also, Filipinos make vegetables taste super good!

Enough about Food! I want to talk about the people we have been working with! We met with our Newest investigator Adam this week and he told us he was quiting smoking! We haven't even taught him the Word of Wisdom yet :) He is doing so great and we meet with him 2-3 times a week! We also set a Baptismal date of October 4th for him this week! I extended the invitation not even realizing that was the same day as General Conference! He is doing awesome and progressing so much each and every day! We met with him for the first time in his apartment and it turns out he use to be a National Champion Motocross rider! He has all these awesome trophies and titles in his apartment! He got mixed up in some stuff that has really affected his life, but it's amazing how the Gospel has been helping him to overcome some of those trials he's been faced with!

Rocky, MJ, and Setti are continuing to progress! They come to church every week, keep commitments, it's so awesome! It's hard to teach them though because we don't cover as much in each lesson because of the Language barrier, but that's okay, because the Lord provides and it's in his time, not ours! We got them started with Family History this week which i'm stoked about! 

We met with Alanso and Mercedes finally this week! We haven't been able to meet with them for 2 weeks because they were on vacation! They have been doing so so well and Mercedes is praying about a Baptismal date! That is awesome! She just wants to make sure she gets baptized for herself and not because Alanso wants her to! Hopefully this time Tomorrow they will have a Baptismal Date! Yes! 

We met with Rosemary this week, she is the lady that we helped with her car that is from Niger! It was really cool to see her desire to get involved in a church that would really help her family out! She isn't able to come to church until November though because she goes to school in Toronto every weekend until November! She is solid, and in the middle of our lesson with her this week her Brother showed up! He joined in on the lesson and we were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon also and invited him to read and pray about it! Miracles miracles miracles

At a meal appointment this week we showed up and Sister McCahon had invited her two neighbors over! We had a great dinner and shared the message of the Book of Mormon! They said we could meet sometime in the future and talk more! He told us that we shouldn't pray out loud though because Satan can hear us if we pray out loud. Ummm... Some people have some weird interpretations of the bible.

Last story, Last night we were out tracting and we met a guy named Mike. He let us into his house, gave us a drink and some fresh tomatoes from his garden and thanked us for spreading the good word. He was awesome, he actually is recovering from a Heart Transplant and said we could swing by anytime and say Hi! We gave him a Book of Mormon and he was so appreciative of it! I really cannot even express the Christlike Love that Mike has, He is an amazing man and I hope that we are able to meet with him to share the message of the Restored Gospel with Him! 

I decided I'm going to leave commitments for all of you this week because I love giving people commitments. So this week I want to invite you all to make the Sabbath Day more Holy! It's such an important thing! It really is a day set aside to bless our lives and our families! Read Exodus 31, it talks about it :)

Well, that's about it for this week! I love you all so much!!!!

Love, Elder Taylor

Monday, September 7, 2015

Temple Day with the District

Goede Morgen 09/07/2015

Goede Morgen means Good Morning in Dutch, not sure if It's considered morning still but oh well! Goede Avond means good Evening but it's not evening yet either! :) Miracles miracle miracles this week in Burlington! I can't even express the love that I have for this wonderful area! I hope your Labor Day is going just dandy, Canadians love their holidays, like, Walmart is shut down today, I'm pretty sure Walmart is even open on Christmas back in the States! We had to have our Preparation Day today because transfers are tomorrow! Hopefully we have enough food that we can make it through the week because we can't find a grocery store that's open today! Hurrah! Haha! We get fed here by the members so much that we hardly buy anything at the grocery store anyways! 

I know that you are all wondering if I'm getting transfered or if Elder McKinnon is getting transfered, and I'm happy to say that we are both staying here! Although, Elder McKinnon is the new District Leader, which means I will get to go on a lot more exchanges! Woot woot! Exchanges are a blast, and I learn so much from all of the other Missionaries! We have been looking over our numbers and we have like 9 investigators working to Baptism, and 4 other investigators! Holy Guacamole, that's insane if ya don't know!

This week we got to teach the Agustin family again! Man, I love their lessons, they are so much fun! We had Sister Acoba translate for us, and she translated into Ilocano, which is a dialect of Tagalog! We also had dinner with them, Filipino dinners are my favorite by the way, and we had Adobo! It basically just really good Chicken!

We met a guy this week who's name is Adam, he is so cool! We met him on his way home from an AA meeting, and taught him the Plan of Salvations at Tim Hortons, Tom Hortons is basically Canada's Starbucks. He is so awesome!! He even came to church on Sunday and commented in Class! 

Last week we were travelling when we noticed a lady stopped on the side of the road with her hazards on. We stopped to see if we could help her out and she said "yes". We weren't able to help her get her car started or anything so she called a tow truck and we left. We felt the prompting to go back and give her a Book of Mormon, so we did, and ended yo push the car out the road into someones driveway that had told her she could leave it there until she got her friend to tow her. We got her a ride home with a member that lived close by and she invited us over on Tuesday because she was looking for a good church to raise her family in!! So many blessings!

We were supposed to meet with an investigator but it fell through so we went down the street and did some contacting in the area. We were walking up to this home last night when I saw the guy in his window. I immediately knew we were going to be let into his house! We knocked on the door and let alone, he let us in! The Spirit was so strong and it had reminded him of his youth when he was active in his church! He kept asking how he could get back to the way he had been and he wants us to come back to help him learn more! It was so cool how the spirit touched his heart last night, I know that I had nothing to do with it, because it seemed like I barely said anything. It really is such a blessing to see how the spirit touches lives, and reminds people of what they once knew!

I had the most interesting experience this week while giving a blessing this week. We got a referal a few weeks ago about a lady who wanted a blessing, but isn't a member. We got ahold of her and she had us over yesterday! We were explaining priesthood blessings and we asked her who she wanted to give the blessing, and she was like "Can I use a pendulum to decide"... Ummm... Sure? She gets this weird pendulum and walks over to us and holds it up. It starts swinging and doing weird things and when she pointed it at a member we brought it just stopped. She held it up to me ago and said it was me? I'm still confused about the situation. I love the people here. :)

Today we had a ward picnic that we went to and everybody kept asking why we weren't in our "P-Day Clothes". I don't think people realized that P-Day isn't a day we stop being missionaries. It's a day we prepare for the week, not lounge around all day in comfy clothing. We also met a guy who is less active and he asked us how long we had been in Burlington. Elder McKinnon said "Since May" and he was like "Man, I gotta get to church more often". People, go to church! It's so important, if you aren't going to church you WILL fall away!

Saturday was the Mission temple trip so we all got to go to the Temple and do a session! Ah man do I love the temple! Take advantage of the Temple, it's an amazing blessing! 

I think that is all for this week!!! I love you all! 

Elder Taylor

D&C 82:14

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Beautiful Toronto 8/31/15

Exchanges with Malaysia 8/31/15

This last week seemed to just fly by so stinking fast! We have been so busy teaching here in Burlington! Everything here is going very very good! Last week the weather cooled down a bit which was so nice, but everybody keeps saying it's going to be hot again this week! Joy. We have been working a lot with ward members to progress the work in the mission field and it has been working wonders! It's so cool to see how many miracles have come just from working with the Members! 

We had a super powerful lesson with Robin this last week where we talked about Christ's love for each and every one of us. She was talking about how she doesn't love herself which was so sad! We began to talk about Christ's love for all of us, and how he performed the Atonement because he loves us so much! The Spirit was so incredibly strong! Without the spirit I would be nothing as a missionary! It's so cool to see people figure out their own concerns by the power of the Holy Ghost!

One Night after Dinner this week we were out walking down the street at like 8:40. Pitch Black out, nobody around, and questioning our inspiration on why were there. We had about 10-15 minutes before we had to head back so we went walking down the street towards a girl at a bus stop! Turns out she was starting a job working for a Optometrist in the area so that got the conversation rolling! We introduced the Book of Mormon to her and gave her a copy! I slipped a card into the book and she looked at it and said "Funny, someone on the bus gave me one of these yesterday, maybe it's a sign." Just then her bus rolled up and she got on and disappeared into the night. Elder McKinnon and I stood there, very humbled by the situation. It taught me to just go where the Lord would have us go and follow the promptings! 

This week I got to go on Exchanges with Elder Ngerantar in Hamilton! It was a total blast! Elder Ngerantar is an amazing Elder! He is 23 and from Malaysia, and he has been out for 6 months. He joined the Church about 3 years ago, his mom just joined the church a few months ago, and his dad is currently meeting with the missionaries! He is so bold and isn't afraid to get his foot in people's doors. We were out tracting and area and we could hear people in the backyard of a house, so he walked over to the fence and yelled over the fence at them! Hahah, they pretty much told us to get lost, but it just made me want to be so much more bold! For Dinner with Elder Ngerantar we had Curried Goat, that was actually really really good! It was leftover's from the night before that Elder Ngerantar and Elder Erickson had at a Jamaican families home.

Really funny experience I had this week that I didn't get a picture of but I wish I had, we were walking down a street in Burlington where there was this tiny baby squirrel running around! It ran up to Elder McKinnon and I and sat on my shoe, where it proceeded to try to climb up my pants! I don't know what was up with that but It was hilarious! 

That's about all for now! Not sure if Aaron is reading this or not, but if you are! Good luck bud! You'll kill it out there, I'm so excited to hear all about it! Just remember to rely on the Lord and all will go well! 

It's great to hear about Coleman's recovery! My prayers are with him!

Love, Elder Taylor