Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Ancient Chinese Said "Sing Gong Xui Fu Gong"

As the Ancient Chinese once said, Sing Gong Xui Fu Gong. Here's my saying of the week that the Hong Kong Elders taugh me in Cantonese. It basically means that in order to be rich you have to have a rich dad, now they laugh every time I say it. Haha, anyhow this week was really really cool! We had tons of cool experiences, let me first start by talking about 2 Nephi chapter 1-5 however, I read through these and really thought about some of the amazing things it teaches. In chp. 1 verse 5 and 6 it tells of how all those that came to the America's were lead by the Hand of the Lord, as well it talks of how there is punishment affixed with the use of our agency, we are free to choose, but not to choose the eternal punishment. Chapter 3 is amazing as it shows and prophesies of the Coming of the Prophet Joseph Smith, really amazing how many prophsies there actually are of him, so many don't even see them in the scriptures.

We had some great things happen this week and met some awesome people, I want to tell you a bit about all of them! First off, we met this guy named John, his brother is a bishop and his knowledge of the church is amazing for a non-member! He was telling all of these things and he mentioned how the church really amazes him because most churches on the Earth right now are dying but the LDS church is growing at an amazing rate, he said he's definately keeping his eye on the church. We were joking with him and told him he was what we called a "dry Mormon" because he wasn't baptized and he laughed and said maybe someday we would be able to meet with him. We were walking down the street right after that, it was a pretty busy street so we were talking with quite a few people, when we met a girl named Jo-Jo. As we talked I had a thought to pray with her, I pushed it off because it was a super noisy road, hard to hear... anyhow, God taught me a lesson, she ended up asking us to pray with her, so we did and as we walked a way I learned not to disregard even the smallest of promptings.

This week we started teaching Fadi, he is Lebanese, and was being taught a few months ago but went back to Lebanon for a few months, so now he's back and we're working with him again. The one thing that makes it really unique is the fact that Fadi is Deaf. He is amazing at reading lips, so he reads our lips as we speak in order to communicate! It's been quite the experience to say the least! Also, we started to teach a lady named Fiori, she is from Eritrea, which is a country in Africa near Sudan and Ethiopia, they speak a language called Tigrina there. It's been fun to start working with her, hopefully we can get her out to church this next week :)

The weather sure cooled down this week, on Saturday we went up to a place called Corbette to do some service for a member by stacking some wood. We had to stop on the way up to use the washroom so we stopped at a little rest stop near this small lake, it was BEAUTIFUL! 
        wish the pictures of the trees here actually did it justice, it's unbelievable how beautiful it's been. We got to the Irvines and helped them stack wood for their fireplace for the winter, it took us a long time, I'll send you the picture of the wood pile. We had pretty sore backs the next day! :)
We had a member named the Baetz as well call us up, they were moving and had tons of boxes of food they were getting rid of, so we picked it up and found all sorts of expired food in it. For example, some 9 year expired baking chocolate, let's just say the cookies we made with them weren't very good.....

Now, the reason for the name of the email is this, last week the Assistants all texted us and told us about a 2 week competition between all the Zone Leaders. It's called the Mission Olympics and it's been so crazy! We've had challenges such as inviting as many people to be baptized as possible to asking everybody for referrals. It's been tons of fun, we aren't in first right now but we're going to take it. Right now we have a Gold Medal and a Bronze. It ends next week!

This week was great, I love the Gospel and I'm so grateful for it. It's an amazing opportunity to be a missionary! I love you all and wish you the best of week!

Love, Elder Taylor


Thuggin On The Sunday Drive 10/17/16

 What can I say, we had a great week! Derek Livingstone, who I worked with in Burlington was baptized this weekend! I'm super excited about that, and Stef up in Barrie is doing really well, sounds like he'll be baptized in 2 weeks! So excited for him! So many amazing things going on here in Canada indeed. It's fun to see so many people i've worked with continue to grow so much.

On Tuesday night we had exchanges with the Assistants, and Elder Carroll came to London with me, and Elder Certonio went off to Brampton with Elder Holt. I learned something really cool from Elder Carroll, as we prayed before our nightly planning session he prayed that the will of the Lord be done, even if that involved our lessons falling through. I thought it was such a cool prayer and made me really look at things differently. I've been trying to think of things in that sense now. We had an awesome exchange, started off with a District meeting and then it just went crazy from there, we were all over the place running around from lesson to lesson. We had to run and get some medication for one of the missionaries who was sick and then we went over to one of our investigators named Aggie. Aggie was an investigator here when I was in Chatham and she sounded so awesome, but when I got here they were no longer teaching her. She called us a few weeks ago and asked if we could come by and read the Book of Mormon with one of her friends. So, on exchanges we went by, sat down with her and Miles. Miles is in his 20's, and grew up with out a belief in Christ, but after a series of amazing yet difficult events in his life, he came to know that God is real. As we taught him of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation the spirit filled the room, he accepted the invitation to be baptized, along with Aggie, who knows that she must be baptized by the proper authority. Following that, we went to get some lunch at Soprano's Pizza, it's a super cheap yet super good pizza shop here that all the missionaries love. We then went to see Brother Woofenden, a member here who is so amazing, he's basically a walking encyclopedia, Elder Certonio calls him Trivia Pursuit. :) We then rushed over to the WML for Coordination, and then it was off to the LaFrance's for Dinner! Brother LaFrance is awesome, in fact he is a Ninja. Legit, he's a Ninja! He is a Ninjitsu trainer and even trains people becoming US Marshalls. He was telling us about this time where he was training this huge MMA fighter, and the guy came to him one day and told him he wanted his Black Belt and he would give him $1000 if he signed the certificate, Brother LaFrance told him no way, that if he wanted it he would have to work for it! The guy didn't like that and tried to attack Brother LaFrance, which didn't end too well for that guy, Brother LaFrance knocked him out. Anyways, eventually the Cops showed up and told him that this guy was a convicted felon who had been involved in a Murder and had served time. Crazy story!

The next day we got to have some awesome lessons, but the best part of the day was we had dinner with Brother Cromwell he is a convert of about 7 years, such a great guy, in fact after we went to see Bethany, and had an amazing lesson where we talked about Baptism and the Book of Mormon, after the lesson Brother Cromwell was commenting on the power of the lesson, and how strong he felt the spirit.
  The next Morning Bethany texted us and told us that she was grateful for our visit, because she felt like the reason she had been invited to be baptized in the past was to join the church, but after our lesson she realized we were there to help her work towards making a sacred covenant with God!

Friday, I finally got back to Chatham for a district meeting, it was so weird to be back in an old area, it felt almost like I had never left. When we got Back from that we went to the Palladino's who are an Italian family, and helped them roof their house. We had like 35 men from the ward up there and Got things done so fast! It was cool to see so many helping hands, and plus, we got some fresh Italian Pasta and Bread! Soooooo Good!

Sunday came around, and finished our week off with a great time! I love Sundays, it's so nice to be able to go to church and partake of the Sacrament! After Church we got to go to the Bridge's home for a late Lunch, they are from Alberta but also lived up in Cache Valley for a few years, at the End of lunch they brought out "The Snakes" They have 6 Ball Pythons, we definitely got pictures that I'll attach! They also have 70 rats that they breed to feed the snakes, really cool, we even got to feed one of the snakes. Mom, all I could think was how much you would have hated it.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary, I'm so grateful for both the Redeeming power and the Enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It's amazing to see how much our Heavenly Father Loves us. I've seen the Book of Mormon Speak to me, and I know it can speak to all of you. I love this Gospel, and would give anything for it.

Love you all, have a great week!

Roofing Project

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Perk for Canada....another Thanksgiving!

​The best part of serving a mission in Canada is that you get 2 thanksgivings a year. Maybe not the best part, but it's definitely a perk. This week was so good, many great things happening! One of the Sisters in the Ward we see every week is Sister Antoinette, she is an old Italian lady, so so funny! Anyhow, it was really funny because she gave us Cookies and Chocolate milk, we started to eat the cookies and dipped them in the milk, all I though at first was "These Cookies taste super weird..." Then I took a sip of the milk and realized the chocolate milk was bad.. really really bad, it was nasty. I looked over at Elder Certonio, and he started to giggle a bit. After a while Elder Certonio took his chocolate milk off the table and said he had to use the washroom and rushed to dump his, I started to laugh, but luckily Sister Antionette thought we were laughing about her story so she started to laugh too. It was hilarious, all 3 of us were cracking up, the best part is, she never even found out the milk was bad. :)

On Wednesday we had skills and interviews with President and Sister Shields, it's always fun to be able to have interviews with the Shields, for lunch we went to a place called "Boss Hogs"

which is a really good BBQ place, following the meeting we had dinner with our investigator Bethany, we also have been talking about Temples a lot with Bethany, she is awesome. She has been investigating the church for quite a while now, I taught her when I was in Chatham on exchanges here in London, she's doing so great now though, she comes to church and loves it. We also waxed her car for her this week, first time I've every hand waxed a car, luckily it was the simple spray on stuff. Hopefully she'll be getting baptized soon. Also, Chatham had a baptism last weekend, so awesome to see that Branch growing, Kerra is doing awesome there as well!

The YSA sisters met this awesome guy named Shakuur this last week, he is from Somalia, such a cool guy. He is a Muslim, but we got to start teaching him, he basically really wants us to join Islam, but he started to read the Book of Mormon, so we'll let that perform it's magic and let the spirit take it's course, we'll see him again at the end of this week!

 We got a call on Saturday from a Sister who served here but has been home for about Nine months, she was in town and we were supposed to see one of her New Converts that day so she asked if she could come with us, We went over to see him and helped him set a date for going to the Temple! So cool! We finished our lesson and her mom asked if we had dinner plans, we didn't so she told us to follow them and they took us out to this sweet restaurant! It's called Burrito Boyz, I got a super good Quesadilla, not real Mexican food but still good! We also stopped by our New Convert Beverly and met her son and daughter in Law, the picture below is of her dog Compton, he's like 120lbs, he's huge and he thinks he's a lap dog. 

Church was a blast, it was weird to be in a big ward again (Still not a Utah Ward, but really big for Ontario) Close to 230 people! For Thanksgiving, it was a great day! We started off by seeing Sister Antoinette, no bad milk this time, then we had lunch. We went to see a member in the Hospital named Brother Angus, then we went to see one of the Members, Anjel, he's from Mexico, such an awesome guy! We showed up expecting to share a short message but he had made a late lunch for us, so after eating Juevos con Salsa rojo, super good! We then went and had thanksgiving with the Young Family, they are brilliant, they speak like 8 languages. Within their family they speak Spanish, French, English, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Crazy eh!? Anyhow, after an awesome dinner we went to help the Baetz family move a few things. Overall, a great week! 

We also slept out on the Balcony the other night, it was super cold! Holy Cow

That's about it for this week, I love you all!

Elder Taylor

We found a castle. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Other London 10/03/2016

What a crazy week, so busy, we were all over the place, rushing trying to get things done, glad the week is over, that's for sure! I'm here in the London first ward now, which is crazy big compared to everywhere else I've been the ward has 235 active members, looking forward to working with so many members! London has about 400,000 people, it has a lot of cultural diversity, there are a lot of people from the Middle East as well as many from China and Hong Kong. Basically, there are people here from all over the world. The road system is super hard to learn, it seems like the roads run every which direction, I don't think they planned the roads here. There are quite a few missionaries in London itself, we split the London 1st ward with another set of Elders, they are in a Tripan. The London 2nd ward has some sisters in it, the London YSA has a set of Sisters, and there is a tripan on Hermana's for the Spanish Branch along with 2 Hong Kongis Elders in Mandarin Work. We live in the same apartment building as the Elders, which is lots of Fun! The Mandarin Elders don't have a car so we drive them around a lot, we made a rule this morning that they aren't aloud to speak Mandarin or Cantonese in the car because we think they are talking behind our backs :)

I got to London on Tuesday and that night I ended up coming down with a Cold, then Elder Certonio got it so we have been fighting off a cold all this week, we've been pounding cough drops and Advil all week, we're finally starting to get on top of all of it. Thank Goodness.

We had quite a bit of excitement on Friday, Thursday night we drove down to Bradford and spent the night with the Kitchener Zone Leaders. We got to wake up at 4:30am to drive to Brampton to go to the temple! 

Wahoo! It was awesome, I actually found some family names on Grandpa Paul's side of the family, so I got to do one and had Elder Certonio do one. It was on the Pools line. Following our temple trip we had MLC, where we had a meeting all afternoon, talked a lot about applying some of the things our mission has been focused on, after dealing with some administration things we drove home and didn't get home until 9pm. It was a long day to say the least!

General Conference was AMAZING! I loved it so much, it was such an amazing meeting. It was awesome to hear from President Monson, he said so little but it ment so much. We were surprised to Hear President Monson speak on the Word of Wisdom in Priesthood session. That was quite the surprise. I really enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk, I thought it was very inspiring! There was also a lot of focus on members doing missionary work. I loved it! 

This week we are going to go out and find tons of people to teach, we have a few that I haven't been able to teach yet because of last week's craziness. 

I'm so grateful for the Gospel! It's so amazing, as I listened to General Conference, I truly felt the spirit testify of the truthfulness of this gospel once again! I love the Gospel so much, and I'm so grateful for it in my life!

Love, Elder Taylor