Monday, August 15, 2016

Finally Rain & A Baptism!

Well, we got the Transfer call, but just to tell us what was happening in the Zone! Elder T and I are staying another transfer together, wahoo!! So excited! We had quite the week though, let me tell you! We've been having such a good time up here and things are going so so well! Kat was Baptized up in Midland this week! 

It went so well, we got to go up to it, and oh man. It was powerful, I love Baptisms. President Shields was there as well and he gave a short talk after the Baptism on living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was cool, he talked about how the Lord doesn't Judge us on how well we do, and how much we do. But he does on the desires of our hearts and how well we apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our life by having Faith, Repenting, being Baptized, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. What a wonderful day it was.

In 2 Nephi 4 I learned quite a few cool lessons! I loved how he speaks about his hear "groaning due to his sins" and then he rejoices in his heart because of his forgiveness! He also talks about raising his voice to the Heavens.

Earlier that day, the weather decided to turn and poor rain all day, and it just so happened to be the day all of our appointments fell through! Darn it, we got wet! Soaking wet, but luckily it was the Day of Kat's Baptism so that got us dry for a bit. Our feet were soaked so we dried our socks by hanging them out of the window while we drove. It's been really dry here this summer, apparently it's the worst drought in 75 years. So when the rains came, it flooded tons of houses, we helped pull up some members carpets because of it. 

Our Investigators are doing well, the first is Kendra, she's in her 20's and requested a bible a while back, but she's doing super well! She loves reading and is really getting into the Book of Mormon! We also got a referral from a lady named Danette who lives in the middle of nowhere, and she's on vacation this week, but really interested so we are going back next week! Kathy and John are two of our investigators who are doing really well, we saw them this week and Kathy asked for a Chinese Book of Mormon because she didn't understand the English one very well, she's super funny though, they needed help removing wall paper so we went over to help them with that. Kathy told us she was putting on some music, and us thinking, it's probably going to be some like half decent music in the background we could ignore, she puts on some LOUD Emminem, Drake, and a bunch of other Rappers... oh man it was pretty awkward, but funny. They're good friends with a member who came and asked her  to change the music, in fact his exact words were "Kathy, you're polluting the missionaries". 

We met this cool guy named Pino last week, he is from Italy, he was working on putting a roof rack on his car so we stopped to help him out! 

He was awesome, but he hates religion because of all the fraud that takes place in them and he went off on that, so unfortunately he wasn't too interested, BUT, we're going back soon to talk to him again!

That's about it for the Week, I love you all so much! I love this gospel, and I'm very grateful for my Saviour Jesus Christ. It's amazing how loving he is, so much as to forgive us of all our depts, depts we should have to pay for, he paid for out of Love for us! I'll never understand how he could love us that much, all I know is that he does. 

Elder Taylor

Scripture for the Week will be Mormon 9
District Meeting 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Whipped Out My Mandarin 8/8/16

To start off, Alma 36! Such a cool scripture, I love it so much. It's actually called a Chiasmus which is an ancient Hebrew Poetry style that has a central verse it works too and then goes back down and if you follow it, it matches up on both sides. The verses all correspond. I Love the story of how Alma experienced extreme guilt and anguish but that because of his faith, that guilt was washed away and he was filled with a joy as powerful as the guilt he felt! He then is filled with the Holy Ghost and has a desire to share the Gospel to all, when we have a great testimony, we truly desire to share it with everybody. He then recognizes that he can be with God in the Celestial Kingdom, and has Faith that he will.

Overall Investigator wise, pretty good. A lot of our Investigators aren't too interested, which is heartbreaking to see them reject the Gospel.. So we are spending a lot of time finding new investigators. We got a bible referral from a girl named Kendra last week, and met with her, she is awesome. So prepared, she told us she would definitely be baptized if she came to know it was true! She said that anybody who wouldn't is crazy! She has such a strong desire and a passion to find a purpose to life, we are seeing her tomorrow and are hopefully going to help her set a Baptismal Date!

Last Wednesday we had MLC is Brampton, It was amazing! I learned a ton, and it's always tons of fun to be with President and Sister Shields. They are amazing, we talked a lot about the converting power of the Book of Mormon, I love how Elder Holland explains that the Book of Mormon is the most attacked book in the world, yet it still stands because of the spiritual witness that can come from reading and praying about it. I love the Book of Mormon so much, it's an amazing book, it's more than a book, it truly is the Word of God. It teaches of Christ, and has given me faith, and hope. It has helped me feel of the Saviour's love so much.

We went up to Midland for Kat's interview this week, and she passed! She's getting Baptized on Saturday, we are so so excited for her! She's amazing!

We met the nicest/Sweetest lady last night, we got an assignment from our High Priest's group to go out and contact a bunch of people, a large number of of them were "DNC" Now, I hate "DNC" because to me it's like we are giving up on people, I hate it, and last night was the perfect example of why we shouldn't label people like that. We stopped by and this little old lady answered the door, and mentioned how she was too sick to talk, but then she realized who we were, and began to get very excited. She told us she prayed for the Elder's and the Sisters every day, and that she loves the church and missionaries. Years ago, missionaries stopped by and her non member husband told the missionaries to not come back, because of this. This wonderful lady hadn't had contact with the church since, and now, in her times of hardship, she once again has contact with the church. Never give up on anybody, nobody is ever lost or too far gone.

Last night we had a really funny experience, we met this little chinese lady who was walking with her grandchildren, and we stopped to talk, she told us she didn't speak very good English so I whipped out my Mandarin and tried to talk to her... haha, she said "Oh, my my English is not good, but your Mandarin is BAD!" Darn it, guess I better keep practicing! :(

Well, that's about it for this week, Next week I'll have transfer news, not sure what is happening lots of rumors about things, we'll see what happens :)

Love, Elder Taylor

Read 2 Nephi 4 this week for family scripture study! Also, it's Lauren's turn to pick the scripture for next week!

Joshua 24:15
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose youthis day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

OK August Here We Go 8/02/16

What a great week, Mom and Dad, it was cool to see your pictures and read all about your trip! It sounds like you are all having a very good time up there! Beautiful sights indeed! I'm sure it was nice to get away. As for Lauren and Jac, I hope that Trek was the best thing ever, I loved it so much and hope that you found it absolutely amazing! Sorry I forgot to pick a family scripture for last week, I'll try to remember each week. I was thinking that maybe we could read Alma 36 This week?

This week was good, but pretty slow. Things really slowed down for some reason, I don't really know why. People have been on vacation and busy so a lot of our appointments didn't go through. Everybody right now that is here however keeps talking about how we need rain. It's really dry right now, and by dry it's still humid but it hasn't rained. All the lawns are dying, especially because people don't have irrigation systems here.

Kat is doing really well, and she is getting baptized up in Midland next week. Her interview is this weekend and she is looking good for her Baptism. We're really excited for her, not sure if we will be able to go or not yet. We have to ask for permission still. Fingers crossed that we can go! :)

We had exchanges this week and Elder Shepherd came here with me in Barrie, it was an awesome time. He injured his foot so he is on crutches, so I felt bad for him because he had to hobble all day.

Yesterday we met a big group of guys on the street that told us they were all gay and were asking about what our views on Homosexuality is. We talked for quite a while, and even committed one of them to come to church on Sunday. Sounds like he should be coming! Haha, so awesome! We have 6 investigators committed already for church this week, so looking forward to people finally coming out to church! It'll be a great change to see! :)

Sorry my email is so short this week. I'll write a lot more next week! Love you!

Elder Taylor

Getting The Fire Back! 7/25/16

Alright, let's start with Scripture studies! It was a great time, I love the Book of Enos, here's a BRIEF rundown of what I learned! First, Enos is taught of the "Nurture and Admonition of the Lord" Really cool because he understands that God wants us to learn so he will correct us, but he does it out of a Love for us!" Then in verse 2, Enos Wrestles with God and THEN recieves a remission of his sins. I think this is key to remember that just because Christ died for our sins, doesn't mean that repentence is hard and painful. It's like the analogy of a diamond. Diamond is made by taking a piece of Carbon and compressing it and heating it to extreme conditions. Just like us, from these conditions we grow and become better. Verse 8, Enos recieved a remission of his sins due to his Faith in Christ, and he is told to "Go on" which simply is to say, move on. Don't look back, now press forward. Looking back on our mistakes doesn't do anything but fill us with Regret. Verse 12, he prayed with all diligence, in PMG it talks about how prayer (sincere) should take a great effort! Verse 20 is really crazy, he describes the wickedness of the Lamanites, they sounds mean and wicked indeed, in fact, so wicked that they only eat raw meat. What kind of people are these! Verse 27 is my favorite, because it shows Enos' knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and his complete trust and faith in it!

I started off the Week with an exchange with Elder Olsen down in Owen Sound. It was tons of fun, Owen Sound is a very touristy place, and out in the middle of nowhere, 2 hours from Barrie! Elder Olsen is from Price, UT and has been on his mission for a month, oh man was it fun! It made me realize how boring I've become as a missionary, I want the fire back I had at the beginning of my mission. We had a good time, and even found a street called Alma street that we tracted! We spent a lot of time in the car which was too bad, It stinks because you can't talk to people very easily when you're in the car.

Later in the week we had exchanges down in Brampton with the Assistants, that was tons of fun! We spent most the day in Toronto. I love being in the City, such a cool place to be! We were in Weston, which is the west end of Toronto and on a street called Jane St, which is know for all the Jamaicans. Me and Elder Holt were the only white guys on the entire street. Welcome to Toronto.

An update on all that we're working with, Kat, who we have been meeting with ended up moving to Midland last minute, which was a heartbreak for us, but the Midland Elders have been really helping her now, she is workin towards Baptism on August 13th, so we are excited for her! She's doing really really well.

We met with Garnett and Shelly last night and they committed to come to church in 2 weeks, it was amazing. They've been through a lot, and really have some hard questions, the spirit of the lesson really helped them to recognize their need for the gospel. Garnett is really really funny, while talking last night Shelley said she was "The Black Sheep" in her family and Garnett (He's Jamaican) was like "NOOO! I"M THE BLACK SHEEP!" It was really funny, good guy.

We started teaching a young guy named Chhina, he is Sihk and from Punjab India, they're fun to work with because they don't know much about Christ and it's cool to see someone learn about Christ for the very first time!

Well, I loved this week, and I love you all so much. Have a blessed week and a good time with whatever path you take this week!

Love, Elder Taylor

We also enjoyed Korean BBQ last week, yummmmm

OK Kat When Are You Getting Baptized? 07/18/16

We had a really awesome Week and I'm going to skip ahead to such a crazy miracle, it started my 2nd week here in Barrie when we met Kat, a former investigator who wasn't ready for the Gospel, I specifically remember when we met her, I knew that she would be baptized at some point. Well, 3 months later, we got a phone call from her, she had been going through some hard times and she really needed some help! We met with her, talked, and committed her to come to church to find some guidance, She did, and at church we sat down and talked with her with a member who said "Okay Kat, when are you getting Baptized" We set a date right then for her, and she is doing really really well! She is willing to give up everything this time around, and she truly is prepared now. It's amazing to see how the Lord continues to prepare people, at all times! We are really excited for her!

Yesterday we went by our Good friend Garnett, who was sitting outside on his gravel driveway with his cat. He's awesome. Anyways, we sat down in the dirt with him and Kiana (His cat) and had a nice talk with him about how he is doing and everything. He expressed how ever since we've been coming around he has had a lot of things go a lot better for him in he life! He was in a rough place, and now he is beginning to get on top of everything. He's Jamaican, and in Jamaica they speak English but they also have a ton of Slang that they use like "Wag Wan" so he's always saying that to people. It's funny!

We got to do some Service for a member this week and it was crazy hot 34 degrees, and they wanted us to pull some bushes up. It was like trimming back a jungle and uprooting a redwood! It's crazy how hard it is to pull up a bush. In fact it took us 2 hours just to get the two bushes up. Also, I don't think i've ever been that hot in my entire life.

Thursday we had skills and interviews with President and Sister Shields! It was so good! President and Sister Shields are wonderful. I love them so much. President Shields is a scriptorian. He went through Alma 53-57 and made them so interesting. I learned a lot from those chapters that i'd never even thought of!

One of our Returning members got married this last Saturday, and it was the first wedding I've ever been too! It was actually really awesome, when the groom walked down the aisle, they played some rock song, I felt like I was at a rock concert instead of a wedding.

Well, that's about it for the week, I'm headed out to an all you can eat Korean BBQ place. I love the food in Ontario. So many different cultures, it's wonderful. Officially, over half of our investigators are African, I love them!

One last thing, just found out that Elder Ballard is coming to visit in August, really cool because he was the Mission President here! I'm extremely excited!

Have a blessed week, and God Speed!

As for the pictures, there is one from the Wedding, the picture of me on the stairs (I felt like i was walking up to the temple of Soloman, and Elder T getting Eaten by a fish.... More of less!

The power of prayer is real, God speaks to us, we have a prophet of God here on the Earth today. It's all true!

Love you all to Kolob and Back!

Elder Taylor

Elder T 07/11/16

Hope you all had a fantastic week, we did for Sure! I'm sure you are all curious about Elder T! I'll give you a rundown on him. Elder T's dad is from New Caledonia, but his ancestors are from Tihiti, and his mom is from France. Elder T was born in France and when he was 5 moved to Tihiti. His first language is French and he has learned English since he has been out. He has 6 months left and has been serving up North for the last year of his mission. In fact, if you watch the mormon message "Temples are a Beacon" it is of Elder T's family! Really really cool story! Anyways, he has been telling me all about Island life and teaching me bits and pieces of French! I love Elder T so far, he is super funny and we are having a really good time together!

This week was really cool, Elder T even put his French to use, the first person he talked to in Barrie was inside our apartment building, turns out they are from Montreal, originally from the Kongo, but hey speak French. His name is Rick and he is a Pastor at his church, but we were able to teach him the restoration and he is curious about learning more! Also, we met with our Investigator Roderique who is from Cameroon, and brought Brother Thompson who served his mission in Paris. So the entire lesson was in French and I got a taste of the frustration that it would be like to serve in another country and not be able to understand the language. For all those missionaries learning another language, good luck! So I didn't know this, but a lot of Africa speaks French because it was settled by France, so a lot of the African people we meet all speak French.

On Wednesday we got to Meet President and Sister Shields! They are doing great, we love them already! They are from Salt Lake City and were just released as the Pioneer Stake President. They have 7 children and President was a Bankruptcy Attorney!

We had a lesson and dinner with one of the Filipino members and her non-member son! It went really well, unfortunately they just moved out of our area so we can't teach him anymore... for dinner we had BBQ bacon, it was like huge chunks of Bacon roasted over the barbecue... it was as good as it sounds!

We have been working with Garnett, who is our Jamaican, he is in a really hard place right now and really struggling with feeling like he has a purpose. He has gone through some really difficult times and is prepared now! He is really starting to dive into the Book of Mormon now and said he wants to be baptized last night!

We got to take a trip up to Midland this week for a Baptismal interview! I love giving interviews because the spirit is strong, and it's cool to see how much the gospel can change people in such a short period of time!

That's about it for this week, all is well here!

This gospel is true, what can I say more!

Je T'aime

Elder Taylor