Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Crib 5/15/17






Quick One Before Toronto 5/23/17


Hey! Sorry, this might be a short one this week, we have to catch a train in an hour for Toronto so we can make it for our plans there. We have lunch with one of the members Elder Martin knows so we have to get there by 11:30. We are hitting up some other places such as Kensington Market, the CN tower, the ROM and Downtown. I'm sure I'll have a lot more updates on details next week!

This week was quite crazy, a couple funny stories, first off I had exchanges with Elder Martin. He's the one I went to Jr. High with, I went on exchanges with him last month as well. We had an awesome exchange, it was really influential to me and helped me out with improving some of the things I've been focused on recently. We met with our investigator Merrill and he brought his friend Derek along. Well, turns out they are Pentecostal and wanted to "Save us from Hell". Really good guys, but it was a cool experience where we were able to really bear strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and Christ's restored Church. They kept slandering the Book of Mormon, and when we asked them what the Book of Mormon taught, they couldn't even tell us, we invited them to read and boldly told them they did not know, they had no experience with it. We aren't meeting again, but I'm really hoping they take the challenge to sincerely ask of God, for they will receive an answer.

Next interesting story, we've been trying to save on our car kilometers, so we decided to take our bikes out after dinner the other night for a few hours. While biking downtown Hamilton at night and we were going through a park when we found a huge group of kids from Africa. Turned out is was one of the local high school gangs, haha, good group of kids. At one point there was us standing in the center of a huge group of like 20 kids. They were asking all sorts of questions,turns out they were all from Northern Africa and were all Muslims. They started asking all sorts of questions about Christianity. When we found a commonality they would all start going wild and yelling and high fiving and stuff. It's funny the situations you find yourself in as a missionary.

We stopped buy a former investigator named Penny this week, and there was this big Pakistani man outside, whe started giving us a hard time about pretending she wasn't there. Anyhow, he started to go on about the end of the world and all sorts of stuff, he might have been slightly inebriated. Right before we were going I told him Thank you in Urdu (Native tongue of Pakistan) He grabbed me picked me up holding me about his head and started to spin me around saying all sorts of words in Urdu. His family was laughing and he gave me a hug. He seemed pretty excited I knew something in Urdu. Funny guy, we probably won't go back, not interested in the Gospel at this time, but hopefully in the future!

Yesterday we had a YSA Bonfire. If you've ever been to Canada you'll know about black flies, these small terrible creatures. Well, we got the the fire and they came in the millions swarming us. Luckily once the fire started, the smoke dispersed some of them.

Sunday we got to go to Churchville YSA in Brampton for a special meeting! It was a combined YSA conference from Brampton, Hamilton, Toronto, Barrie, and Oshawa! Such an amazing meeting, it was so busy that they made all the missionaries sit on the stand to make more room for others. It was probably one of the best meetings I've been too on my mission. We had the Brampton Stake President, Churchville Bishop (Former 70), and Temple president speak. Powerhouse meeting to say the least! They spoke on topics from forgiveness to how to know how you are doing in the Lord's sight, so building faith. Such a stellar meeting, two of my favorite quotes from the meeting were "Heaven is full of those who have been forgiven and forgive" and the other was "We are not called to tend the sheep, but to move the flock forward".

We started working with one of the Member's fiance this week, her name is Katie. She grew up baptist, but is very very very open to the Gospel. I was so surprised by her willingness and excitement to read and pray and discover if it is true. We had a lesson in the parking lot of her apartment complex, and she said such a powerful closing prayer.

The Downtown Elders had some baptisms this week so we got to do the interviews for the kids, and I was asked to Confirm one of the little girls, it was surprising to me but I was ecstatic. It was my first time confirming somebody, what a sweet spirit filled the room and she was confirmed and received one of the greatest gifts from God, the Holy Ghost.

Jaspreet is doing well, we talked about Baptism yesterday with her and she committed to Baptism in June! We're really excited for her, she's really grown a lot in her Testimony!

I gotta get running! Have a great week! Love you all!

--
Elder Adam Taylor

(Check out these Canadian Popo)



Sunshine In The Hammer 5/15/17

Quote of the week "How do I defeat the Cherubim and the Flaming Sword"

What a great week! We had an amazing week, in YSA work we don't usually get to do much planned service, but this week we had tons of it. First service opportunity was Tuesday when we went and helped this random guy named Dan. Dan contacted the Burlington elders and they passed his number to us, he has a huge cement waterfall in his backyard that we helped to break up and haul out to his truck and take to a cement dump. 2 Hours of carrying concrete sure was quite the workout. He was a pretty interesting guy, awesome guy, but not too interested in the Gospel right now. Something that I love about doing service is we can help people who aren't interested in our message. We can still serve the way the Savior did, even if they don't want to hear about the Savior.Tuesday night we got a call from the downtown Elders in a panic because they were moving a lady into her apartment and they needed help bad, we showed up to help. We had an hour and a half to move this lady in, and 3 companionship's of Elders. We were working like crazy to get it done, the last thing was this massive couch up 3 flights of stairs and then disassemble part of it to get it through the door. On Thursday morning, the Agnews (Member of the Branch Presidency) asked us to help them move. They're moving to Alberta to be with their kids. They literally had a Semi truck outside their house, and we filled it to the brim. Every minute was ticking because they had to pay for the truck by the hour so we had to rush, pack, and pound our way through. Some of the Elders were caught riding a tandem bike during the move though... :) Friday we went out to the Hobbs to help Sister Hobbs with some gardening to thank her for all she's done for us. I forgot how peaceful and relaxing gardening can be.

Jaspreet is doing awesome, she came out to church yesterday and really enjoyed it. It was hard for her because all of her family is back in India and she's here alone. She sent us a nice text later on yesterday to tell our Mothers happy mothers day for her. Last week she basically looked up everything about the church, we haven't been able to teach her the restoration yet, because we've been so focused on helping her understand who Christ is and the very basics. She texted us later last week telling us she knew everything about Joseph Smith, explained his story to us, and at church she asked why we don't drink coffee or tea, she then pulled up a funny song to the tune of Adele's "Hello". It's about missionaries, if you haven't heard it, listen to it. She said that the song really did describe what it's like as missionaries asking people to meet.

Brett is doing awesome as well, he's been really diligent in studying the scriptures and he even went and researched the entire next lesson. So we went over all of that, and he wants to start coming to church now. What is up with all these people looking up everything before we can even teach them??

We had a guy named Merrell text us last week wanting to meet up, he's baptist and knows everything about the church. He had a bunch of Questions about scriptures in Isaiah which he said contradicted our Church doctrine. Sometimes it's hard to not immediately start bashing, so I told him I'd take the scriptures and look into them. I read them this morning and got all the answers to them, sometimes you have to look at the context in which the scriptures are given to find the answers. 

I had an Exchange this week with Elder Cruz, he's from California! He was in Niagara with me. We met this sweet guy named Sam who just moved to Hamilton we are going to teach today again, and we also met a guy named Weishi who met the missionaries in Welland got a Book of Mormon and moved. When we started talking he got excited and said he wanted to meet up with us!

The Work here is seriously exploding right now, it's been so much fun, so many memories and great times are being made here!

Yesterday, after skyping, we had dinner with the Julians. Well, Brother Julian is a movie paraphernalia fanatic. He owns the original Nacho Libre Blouse, and guess who got a picture in it... 

I'm so grateful for the Gospel today and how it blesses our families and makes it possible for us to be together forever. I'm so grateful for Mothers and the example they are to all of us. I love them, and am especially grateful for my mom!


Love you all! Elder Taylor

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

To Blessed To Be Tired 5/8/17

 
(Last time with Elder Layton - he is going home.) 


I think this last week has been one of the busiest weeks of my whole mission. We were running all over the place trying to get things figured out and put together, meet with people, find people, everything. We had to take care of a lot of business stuff, and cram lessons into the time we had open. We barely had time to eat, we had dinner at 10pm a lot because we didn't have time for dinner throughout the day. We're too blessed to be tired though.

Early Tuesday morning we had to travel to Brampton to get the truck and trailer because we had to clean out and close down an apartment. That took up a huge chunk of the day, for some reason missionaries have to hand like a million pictures up with push pins so I had to fill all the wholes in the wall. That took forever, I felt like I was working in construction. Later on we had to head to St. Catherines and had dinner with Emily and the Chinese Elders. We went to a Doughnut shop owned by this little chinese couple, and this place has the best Wonton Soup.

Early Wednesday morning we had to wake up to go into Brampton, unload the whole trailer and be at a meeting for 7:30am... Craziness, basically that meeting went all day. It was way good though, we don't have Zone council's anymore. The Area Authorities have gotten rid of them, which is sad because we don't get to do those meetings anymore, but there are plenty of other meetings. By the time we got home, and saw a few people, or day was over!

One of the Burlington members called us and told us she had a YSA living in her basement who's been through a hard time recently, his name is Brett so we went over to meet with him this week. He is so unbelievable prepared, as we met with him we felt very strongly to leave 2 specific commitments with him, first to ask God for forgiveness of his past mistakes, and second, to read Alma 32. It was cool because after our lesson we were talking and we both had the idea to leave the same exact 2 commitments. It's cool to see how the Lord can help us work together so well. Elder Toly and I have been having an awesome time together, it's been absolutely amazing! 

We had such a cool lesson with Jaspreet this week. We met with her at the Chapel and the Hornburgers joined us for the lesson. Jaspreet had been asking us why bad things happen to people when they are doing things like worshipping God or helping others. She has really struggled a lot with that question. We taught the Plan of Salvation, the Hornbergers told of their experiences with the Plan of Salvation, the Spirit was so unbelievably strong, and at the end of the lesson we turned to her and asked the question she had asked us, and she responded by saying something along the lines of "So that we can learn and become better, and also so that we can show God we will make the right choices." All I have to say is that the Spirit taught her, it wasn't us at all. 

Earlier this week we had to stop in at Walmart to get some ink for our printer, while we were there Elder Toly had to use the Washroom so I was sitting on a bench waiting and this old man named Mike sat next to me. I began to talk to him, and without realizing our conversation went on for 45 minutes. I think Elder Toly was ready to die by the end of my conversation with him, but he told me about his life story. Something cool he shared was how he came to know Christ, and as he did that he wanted to help somebody else somehow. He rented out his basement to what he referred to as a "Druggie". Anyhow, Mike ended up having a stroke and this "Druggie" saved his life. He then had a good friend die of a stroke. He asked why was he still alive, and his friend die. He said he hadn't been able to find the answer yet for himself. I testified of the Plan of Salvation and he gave us his contact info, and said we could come by. Too bad he isn't YSA, but we're going to try to get him to meet with the Sisters. 

Sunday was a special broadcast for the North American North East Area. We got to hear from Elder Oaks, Elder Perkins, and our Stake President. One of my favorite quotes was this "Your phone should be a slave not your master". Elder Oaks also went off on members and the need for them to invite their friends to learn of the Gospel. We love whenever missionary work is brought up. 

A very cool things we learned at MLC, was this, when we pray we should ask the Lord for a miracle, and commit to him that if we don't, it won't be before we didn't try. I know that the Lord does send miracles and helps us in every aspect of our lives!

Love you all, Elder Taylor
 
 
 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Hamilton Hog Roast 5/1/17

I'll start off his week with a story to show the excitement of Hamilton. We had a lesson early one morning that we got back from our appointment at around 9am. When we parked out front there was this little asian man in a panic. He started to point at his tires and then proceeded to point at the cars all around him on the street. As we looked, every cars tires were flat. Someone slashed all the car tires parked on the street. There were like 6 cars that had knife wholes in all their tires. I guess we lucked out by having a garage. Thank goodness we didn't park on the street! That's not even the end of the story. The asian man got in his car and started to drive away on his rims!! His rims were bending and his tires were coming off, his car hardly moved but he put on the hazards and proceeded down the street! What the Flip?

What a great start to a transfer eh? Let me tell you all a bit about my companion, man have we had an awesome time together so far! His name is Elder Toly, he is from Lethbridge, Alberta. So my very first Canadian companion. He's been out 1 transfer less than me and he just came from Oshawa YSA(He says the Niagara YSA is already better). He's big into sports, loves basketball, he has 3 siblings, he also likes the outdoors (We'll be friends). The other Elder that moved in with us is Elder Dardon, from Penn Valley, California. His parents are both Latino, but he looks straight while. We all make jokes about how we have an American, a Mexican, an African and a Canadian living in the same house.
 

Last monday we had a HAMILTON HOG ROAST! That was the best way to end the transfer, Elder Stone and I were in charge of butchering, so we butchered this roasted pig for close to an hour. Man was that meat delicious! 
 
 
We had an awesome lesson this week with Belen, she is doing awesome. She came to church, our YSA activity. She's really diving into the Book of Mormon right now, so we're excited to see how she feels about Baptism more this week. It's been cool to see her fellowshipped into the Branch here, it seems like she knows so many of the members! 
 

We met with Jaspreet and her friend Harpreet this week and she took us to her Sikh temple! It was interesting, you have to take your shoes off when you go in, and then we went into this big room where they worship their God, we just sat back and watched, and then they give you this weird stuff, that is similar to bread dough, but it is more moist and not as stick, it's sweet, and oily. Basically it turns out it's like their sacrament. We then went into the basement where they give free meals to anybody so we had dinner down there. It was really cool to get to talk about their beliefs and see how they worshiped, and helped us to know a lot better about what we can do to help her understand the organization of the Church as well as our beliefs. It always amazes me to see commonalities between different religions. 

We started to teach this girl named Michelle, We found her tracting 2 weeks ago and were able to teach her the restoration this week. At the end of the lesson she didn't feel comfortable praying so Elder Toly said the prayer. After the prayer she asked if we believed in Aura, we told her about the Holy Ghost, and explained it's role, and asked her why she asked? She proceeded to tell us that we were both glowing while we were praying. It was pretty shocking, I didn't know what to say really. While we were teaching her she seemed very shy and we weren't sure how much intent she had, but this experience changed our minds on that!

Saturday we had a Branch activity, the Elders Quorum put on a dinner for the Relief Society, we got picked as the entertainment/Spritual thought. We ended up doing a pretty long skit of Book of Mormon stories. Everybody was laughing, not sure if it was at us or with us... 

We were down in St. Cats for District meeting, afterwards we went and met Emily for Beechwood doughnuts and a lesson, I think I'm addicted to them now. They're so good! Emily actually was in charge of the lesson so we all sat in the park with our doughnuts and Emily taught us about God's hand being in our lives.

We got a referral for a guy named Ryan, who's mom is a member, he is reading the Book of Mormon, and we have a lesson with him tomorrow... It's amazing how the Lord prepares so many people, we've been blessed recently with so many miracles just like this.

Yesterday during the sacrament, I had a very strong witness of the reality of Christ's love and forgiveness. I'm so grateful for Christ and his willingness to forgive all things and the example he had given unto all of us. He lives, and he will come again in all his Glory! The Gospel brings joy and rest, and I'm grateful that I know of it, how lucky I am to have been born into the Gospel, and how lucky I am to have the opportunity to share it with those who were not born into it. 


Love you all!


Elder Adam Taylor

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Falls & A Sketchy Bus Stop 4/24/17

We were sitting around for an hour and 27 minutes last night until we got our transfer call. We knew one was coming because the AP's told us but it didn't come till 10:27, literally the last call of the night. Elder Spencer is packing his bags and headed to Chatham, he served there 2 transfers after me, then left after 1 transfer and he's going back. He's super pumped to go back there! I'm staying here and my new companion is Elder Toly, from Lethbridge, Alberta! I'm really excited to serve with him, I served around him when I was here in Burlington and when I was in Barrie! I'm excited to be staying here, Hallelujah! 

We hit up Niagara Falls last Monday, it was fun to be down there. Absolutely beautiful weather we had, Emily took us on a hike down by the river with a bunch of the Zone, we also went up by the Falls, checked um out, and stopped by the Harley Davidson Dealership. We're going to start a biker missionary gang... 
 
 
So Wednesday one of the members, Tallar, took us out for dinner but wouldn't tell me where we were going, so we drove into Burlington and ended up pulling into Ikea. It's been a very very long time since I've been there to eat, but it was super good! The Downtown Elders had their family get baptized this week, so on we ended up there doing 5 interviews that night as well. Their Baptism was very powerful, and the Elders said the confirmation was the strongest they've every felt the spirit. It's amazing to see families join the fold, and come unto Christ.

I can't remember if we told you or not about the Horneburgers, but they are the new Senior couple in our branch. They are from Cardston, Alberta. They have 15 children, yep, that's right, 15 children. We had dinner with them last week and the quantity of food they made was unreal! I'm not sure Sister Horneburger knows how to cook small quantities. They are so awesome, this is their like 4th mission so far, and they are a Celestial Couple. Anyhow, we had this referral way out in the middle of nowhere, so they ended up driving us out there, it was super funny because we were tracting one side of the street and they were tracting the other side of the street after stopping by the referral. I felt like a group of JW's. 

Friday the Chinese Elders had to take our car so we ended up out in Stoney Creek with no car and had to bus back, I sat by this young guy from Albania and pretty much learned all the history of Albania. Apparently it is 80% Muslim there as well, so we also talked about his background. We weren't able to get his number, but we're hoping he comes to church one of these days! 
 


Investigators are doing well, Belen came to church on sunday, she's been loving it in YSA, so we are seeing her on Saturday and hopefully going to set her with a Baptismal Date! Wahoo! A lot of our investigators couldn't meet last week, so this week were going to hit the street running.

Love you all!

Elder Adam Taylor

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Brother, Brother!" 4/17/17


 

Here are a few tips for updates for the week!

Chicken and Waffles: Wednesday was Chicken and Waffles day at our Southern Smoke House. It was a big nice Texas Waffle, with a big old deep fried chicken breast smothered in the best honey glaze y'all would ever imagine.  
 Chinese Exchange: I got to go on Exchanges with Elder Martin this last week, he's from Utah, fun fact, I actually went to Jr. High with him. He was born in Hong Kong, then moved to Utah a few years later. We had an awesome time on exchanges, luckily everybody we taught could speak English as well as Mandarin so I knew what was going on a majority of the time.

Kaku exchange: I got to go on exchanges with Elder Kaku as well, he is from Ghana and his dad is currently serving as a Mission President in Nigeria, however his dad was just called as an Area 70, so he'll be starting that in June. Our exchange was a blast though, we had a booked day, which ended up falling apart, so we ended up on the streets all day tracting and talking with people. It turned into a great exchange, found a really cool Brazilian guy named Mattio who they are going to start teaching. We also had this really interesting guy named David come up to us on the street. We were walking down the street and he came running over to us, jay walked across the intersection, and in a very loud voice started asking us what Fornication was and if Pornography was bad. It was kinda awkward with people walking all around us, but we helped him understand. 

Later that evening we were walking down the street and another guy came running up to us, yelling "Brother Brother". Turns out this guy named Jim had been living in a rough place for most his life, now he started reading the bible and it's been changing his life a lot. We listened to him just talk for close to 35 minutes straight, we hardly said a work. He's a bit crazy, big into conspiracy, but wants to be baptized and we'll be seeing him again tomorrow. 

Good Friday: Good Friday here is interesting, because everything shuts down for it. It's a National Holiday, which I find really weird seeming how we don't even really celebrate it in Utah at all.

Easter Dinner: We had dinner last night with the Hobbs/Gilmore's. They are an awesome family, they do so much for us. We had Yorkshire pudding with dinner, it reminded me a lot of being with Elder Jones. 

Liz: We started teaching Liz again, we stopped teaching her for a few weeks because she was going through a few things, but we started teaching her again, and she should hopefully be baptized next month, Woot woot!

Jaspreed: Our investigator Jaspreed also came to church yesterday, it was her very first time at a Christian church and she really enjoyed it. She is Sikh, and from India. It's been a blast teaching her, and we'll be seeing her again this week. 

I had the opportunity yesterday to read and compare the Sermon on the Mount to the Nephites and to those in Jerusalem. It's cool to see how there are a few differences in and they all have to do with Christ fulfilling Mosaic Law. Christ's sacrifice and the Atonement of Jesus Christ truly did make all things possible for us. I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has given us his son, Jesus Christ, as an example to follow, and as our personal Saviors. I love the Gospel and all it can do for us, and I'm grateful for the church and leaders who help us to know how to better follow Christ, I couldn't do it alone. 

Love you all!
Elder Adam Taylor

 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Straight Outta Hamilton 4/10/17

Good Morning! What a wonderful morning here in Hamilton, it's beautiful outside, it's finally spring time. Hurray! Earlier this week Alonso and Mercedes invited us over for dinner, it was awesome to be back in their homes and too see how far they have come over the last year and a half is astonishing. Mercedes made us a fantastic spaghetti and parmesan chicken dinner, she makes killer Italian food, needless to say I was stuffed the rest of the day. 
 

Our investigator Karen ended classes here at McMaster University, and ended up moving back to Toronto... So sad, we had to pass her off to the sisters up there. She was a blast to teach and super interested in the Gospel, she'll get baptized, I know she will! Wednesday was a crazy day, we had to go to Brampton for a meeting, following the meeting we had to take the truck to Milton, so that we could take some of the other Elders a new mattress and Box Spring. By the time we got done with all of that, we got back about 7:45 and on Wednesday nights we do service feeding the homeless with the Salvation army, so we got back, changed and headed down. This week we were on pastry duty, so we put pastries in a bag and handed them out. 

Thursday we a grand time, it was pooring rain all day so we were soaked all day, but we got to go to a Power to Change meeting at the University, it's a Christian group that talks about Christian debates. They were talking all about faith versus proof basically. There were 2 atheists there who were debating the one side and like 6 Christians on the other. It was kinda unique but we were able to talk to a few guys about their faiths and beliefs and they want to meet up and learn more about "Mormonism" and how we see it. 

Friday was Zone Council, we got to talk about Easter as our instruction to the missionaries, and how we can help use Easter to share our message. It was a powerful meeting and a good time to reflect upon my Savior. 
 

The other Elders found this BBQ place, the owner spent some time in the South so he knows how to BBQ, oh man was it good. It's the new place to go in Hamilton. Sneak peak, but we're going to have a pig roast there in a few weeks, we're pumped! After that though I got to go on exchanges with Elder Gutierrez in Burlington, oh my, it was amazing to be back. They planned the day to go by a bunch of my former investigators so that's what we did. The first stop of the day was Robin, who was the lady I taught my very first day as a missionary, I met her, and invited her to be baptized that very day. It was a very spiritual lesson, and so fun to see her again. She let us know that she is actually working on moving, but she needed spiritual help, so the Elders there are meeting with her again to help her! Oh man, I was so excited to see her, when she saw us, she yelled "You're back!" We use to always bike over to her house, and she's moving right, so she gave us her bikes because she needed to get rid of them, so now we have bikes here. After that we went over by Randy, who is Native, he was super interested in the Book of Mormon when I was there so when he answered we talked at his door and showed him the Prince of Peace video, we all felt the spirit pretty strong, so I asked him if he knew what that was, he answered No, we told him it was God and we told him we would come teach him how he could feel that more. So they're going back to teach him too. Lastly, we stopped by a guy named Ramone, he is from Jamaica, and when we first knocked, his girlfriend Stephanie answered with a baby, I was surprised because when I found him he didn't have a kid, and now his baby is 9 months old. Craziness! He wasn't home, she told us he had left so we started to walk away but I saw a guy down the street the other way, so we turned around and talked to him, guess what, Ramone was out smoking a joint. We started to talk about family, and how we come back to help his family. He had us inside, we had a long conversation about his beliefs and the Book of Mormon. He is a conspiracist, and if you don't know what that is, they believe in the earth being flat, or hollow, or on pillars like a table, it's interesting. Anyhow, he and his girlfriend committed to read the Book of Mormon. 
 


I loved being back in Burlington! It was a dream come true, last experience this week that was a blast, on Saturday there was a YSA activity where we had a Bonfire up on the Mountain overlooking Hamiltion, I didn't have my camera on my so I couldn't take any pictures, but being there just reminded me of how beautiful all of God's creations are.

With Easter coming up this week, I Invite all of you to use the initiative put out by the church on Social Media! :) Check out Mormon.org and use the resources this week!

That's about it for the week, I love you all so much

Straight Outta Hamilton, 

Elder Taylor

New bikes 😊 

General Conference & Dogs 4/3/17

Bowling with the district up


What an amazing week, I loved Conference! Wasn't Elder Clayton's talk so amazing! It was so fun to see him talk, it reminded me so much of all of our conferences we had when he was in the mission. I can really see how he has taken on the mantel of a Special Witness of Christ. He's obviously the same person, but at the same time he has a special look in his eye as well. The rest of conference I loved, how blessed we were to hear from President Monson about the Book of Mormon and the importance of reading it daily. One of my favorite talks was Elder Hales as he talked about Discipleship, and how discipleship isn't just doing the things Christ did, but a lot more, it's a "State of being". While listening and thinking about that I had a thought come to my mind, but the words "Our focus should be to become like Christ, not just be like Christ." Now, as I thought about these words I realized what it meant exactly. We can do good things in our life which is good, but more importantly we need to become like Christ, in how we think and act, and in our desires and motives. 

The day before conference started, we all got to go to the temple, oh my! It was amazing to be in the house of the Lord. I got to do the temple work for Claude Hook who is one of Papa Jac's cousins! It was awesome, our session started at 7, so in order to do all the work beforehand we had to get up at 4am so we could be at the temple by 6, we were exhausted by the end to say the least! 

Super cool experience from this week, after the temple the Chinese Elders got a text from a girl named Karen, she wanted to meet up, so they passed her number on to us. We ended up meeting with her the next day. She met with missionaries close to 4 years ago in Toronto when she was doing a world religion project on the church and she knows practically everything about the church. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and when I mentioned Moroni she asked "Is that the same Moroni that lead Joseph Smith to the plates?" Hahaha, I'm sure my face was priceless when she said that. Anyhow, she came out to General Conference, really enjoyed it, had tons of questions, and we're meeting up with her again tomorrow. It's really cool to see how the Lord prepares people, last week for FHE, everybody shared their conversion stories, and with every one of them, the Lord had been preparing them years beforehand. 

So for the first session of Conference we watched it with Rachel, our New convert. The second session we drove out to St. Catharine's to watch it with Emily, one of the members out there, before the session we stopped by a Doughnut place called Beechwood Doughnuts. Basically they are the best doughnuts you'll ever have, I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to Tim Horton's for a doughnut without being disappointed. I had a Strawberry Rhubarb doughnut, if you're ever passing through St. Catharine's, stop in to Beechwood, you won't regret. Priesthood we headed back to Hamilton to watch it here with some members! Sunday morning we watched in Hamilton with Karen, and then afterwards Elder Spencer had to do a Baptismal Interview, so while he did that I taught Karen, usually with Baptismal Interviews the one not doing the interview just has to sit and wait. It was the best to actually have someone to teach while doing it. After that we drove out to Grimsby where we watched conference with the Hobbs, they go to Stoney Creek ward and are awesome! They feed us every week, and we've gotten super close to their family. After conference we had dinner with their family and headed back to Hamilton to finish off the night with some good old tracting.. It was an awesome weekend. 

We also hit up this sweet Hot dog shop called Alderbrook's in Burlington I use to eat at over a year ago. Sweet place, cheap 12' fully loaded hot dogs. Enough said.
I love the Gospel, we have modern prophets, Jesus Christ Lives!

Love you,
Elder Taylor


 
 Pho with Efe

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cleaning My Feet 3/27/17

Where did March go? Well, it happened! Rachel was baptized, wahooooo!   It was such an awesome Baptism, the spirit was so strong, and her confirmation was amazing as well. When the words "Receive the Holy Ghost" were said, I could feel the spirit enter the room so unbelievable powerful. It was a testimony builder of the power of the Holy Ghost in all things. I'm very grateful for the chance I had to be apart of that wonderful ordinance! I was asked to speak on Baptism at the service, and I came up with a cool analogy I'm sure you'll enjoy. I'll share it basically how I shared it, I didn't write it down so I'll try my best to capture all of the details.

My grandparents have a cabin up on a lake in northern Utah. Between the Cabin and the lake is a huge sandy beach, and around the cabin is sand as well. One of the rules at our cabin is that there is no Sand aloud within the Cabin. Very similar to how our Heavenly Father is with Sin, just as the scriptures teach "No unclean thing can enter the presence of God". I remember when very young I would spend hours playing around in the sand getting extremely sandy and dirty, in this state, I wasn't aloud back into the Cabin until I was clean again. So, my mom would always tell me to go wash myself off in the water, now the water isn't always that warm in the lake, especially when the wind started to blow in the afternoon and the water temperature dropped. Now getting into the water might have taken quite a bit of courage, but once I was clean, I could finally go back into the cabin. The only problem was, that I had to make it across the beach, being wet, without getting any sand on me. Possible to do, except for getting sand on my feet and legs. Now, luckily, my grandpa had already thought ahead of this so we have buckets of water next to the entrances to the cabin that we can rinse our feet off with. I compare cleaning myself off in the lake to the Ordinance of Baptism, the original cleansing, and the bucket of water next to the Cabin the Sacrament. After we are baptized, we still sin, but the Sacrament allows for us to become clean again, time after time, no matter how many times we run through the sand after washing ourselves off.

(Cool news of the day, we just got a referral from SLC of a girl who lives here who has been taught all the missionary lessons! We'll be calling her in a bit, I'll report more on that next week!)

I had exchanges last week with Elder Taylor, haha, as you can imagine, every contact we had was pretty funny. 'Hi, we're Elder Taylor..." I'm sure everybody thought Mormon's were the weirdest people ever, especially since Elder Taylor is from Layton, UT. Right next door. We were in Brampton for the day though, and had quite the busy day! I also got to drive a brand new Dodge Caravan, I never thought I would ever say this, but driving that mini van was pretty dang fun. Just call me Elder Soccer Mom.
 

We started teaching a guy named Jay, he's a pretty fly guy! He met with the missionaries a few months ago, never got super into the Book of Mormon, and had some other questions that were never answered and decided to take a break. He walked into church a couple weeks ago though and we started teaching him this last week! We had a sweet lesson, first lesson we started off with was the purpose of the family and the Law of Chastity, not a typical first lesson, but a really good one at that!

We also are teaching a girl now named Jaspreed, she is from India, and I met her on a bus 2 weeks ago! She's super cool, and it's been a blast teaching her. Our entire lesson was on Jesus Christ and Prayer. It's fun to teach someone who has no Idea who Jesus Christ is!

We had Zone Conference this last week as well and got to see the new #PrinceofPeace video that drops on the 31st for the Easter Initiative! We're super excited for it. The Video is very very very powerful and we're excited to use it to help people understand the role of the Savior and his Resurrection. You can watch it on Mormon.org on Friday!

My first sunday in a YSA branch was super cool! Probably the most reverant/quiet sacrament meeting I've ever been too. It was quite the experience. I love YSA work so far, it's been tons of fun!

I love the gospel, I love the Lord, I love the Scriptures! They're all real. If you don't know, Search Ponder and Pray. You will!!


Love you all!
Elder Adam Taylor

PS We clean the Baptism Font in style
 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

No Other Place On Earth Like Hamilton 3/20/17

There is no other place on Earth like Hamilton, Ontario. It's been a blast here so far! Being in YSA work so far has been a blast, it's so different than serving in a family ward. You have to really change things up in YSA work. There are fewer members, they are crazy busy with school and work, our area is huge. It's pretty crazy, it's a riot though! I'll tell you about those who I've been able to meet this week! I'm with Elder Spencer, he's great. I don't know him super well, but we've had a good time together so far. He's from Springville, and a huge tennis player. We also live with 2 other Elders, Elder Stone from Orem, and Elder Kaku from Ghana! We have tons of fun all together.

Keevin is our Branch Mission Leader, he was baptized last fall. He's solid as a rock, he has so much excitement about missionary work, and loves to serve us and help us out. He's an artist, when we went over to meet up with him, we went into his apartment and he has like 6 guitars laying around, camera's and a bunch of other things!

Eric is one of the Branch Missionaries, he's so sweet! He loves to serve, and even though he's crazy busy, he finds time to come out with us and help us out. He does renovations for work, and he's been a member since May!

Jordyn is also a Branch Missionary, she was baptized a few months ago as well, she was actually asked to speak in Stake Conference this last weekend and she did awesome! She spoke on Being a light to the world.

As you can probably tell, we have some sweet New Converts, and our Branch missionary force is stellar! We're excited to all work together to find those who are ready to learn.

Rachael is our investigator, she's actually getting baptized on Saturday! Wahoo! We're super excited for her, she's super funny. She has been investigating the church for like 4ish months I think.

Besides Rachael, we didn't have any other investigators when I got here, so none the less we had lots of time to find some new investigators. We took some time to get things organized, previously, the Elders were spending almost all their time at the universities street contacting. We went through the area book and organized it so that we could use our time more effectively, it was an awesome use of time. We now have a list of where people all live, and what areas have student housing. It's going to be awesome. Most of last week we went around and met the members, Tuesday when I got here I texted everybody and got a bunch of appointments set up to meet. It's been sweet meeting with all of them. 

First cool experience we had this week, first door I ever knocked on in my new area. We were down in St. Catherines, and we were going by a less-active member. We had been getting pounded with snow all morning so there was like 8 inches of snow on the ground and it was freezing cold out. A guy named Paul comes to the door and invites us right in, sits us down and gets us some delicious soup. Paul had gone on vacation to Utah last year where he did a tour of Temple Square. We were able to talk to him and his girlfriend Liat, who is from Jerusalem. She is Jewish and speaks Hebrew, but isn't practicing Judaism. We talked with them a lot about Prayer and the Book of Mormon and said we could come by anytime. 

Every Saturday, Elder Stone and Kaku have our car and we take the Bus passes, so we had to venture all the way to the far end of Hamilton to meet with one of the members. It took us a very very long time! We were able to meet Jaspreet on the way! She is from India, and currently working at Costco (Shoutout to Costco). She was with her friend from the Philipeans and her friend met with missionaries there! Her friend wasn't interested in meeting, but Jaspreet is meeting up with us tomorrow morning!

Saturday and Sunday was Stake Conference here, which was awesome! I got to see all the Burlington members! It was so cool to see them. Alonso and Mercedes were there!!! Oh man, they are doing so good and they have this amazing light in their eyes now, they have grown so much. Oh man, and their Niece is getting baptized in the next few weeks, she is 25, so YSA age, hopefully she'll start coming out to YSA. We're going to have dinner with them this week or next!
 
In Stake Conference, one of the speakers told a story about when he was on a mission he was in charge of teaching all the missionaries at Zone Conferences (it was obvious he was an Assistant) but he was talking about Obedience to all the missionaries about how sometimes we don't understand rules or commandments, but we out to keep them still. He was a big swimmer in High School so not swimming was very difficult for him, well 4 days before he went home we has playing tennis with his Mission President, and after they finished playing they were walking back to the cars where they passed a pool and his mission president pushed him in and kept walking. He jumped right out of the pool and kept going with his President. In his departing interview his mission president told him he was testing him to see what his reaction would be, if he would swim or if he would get right out after spending the last week teaching about the topic. His mission president told him to keep up the way of obedience he was living. It really stood out to me, mostly because I'm a missionary, but it shows a very important way of life.

Love you all!
-- 
Elder Adam Taylor


Check out this talk by the One and Only Elder (President) Clayton


Back to Hamilton 3/13/17

Transfers have once again come, transfer 15 here I come. It's hard to believe, weird. Anyhow, I'm going back to Hamilton! I'm super excited because I'll be in Niagara YSA which covers the entire Hamilton Stake, which means my area covers Burlington again. WAHOOO! I'm super excited, I'll be living Downtown Hamilton in a house with the Down Town Hamilton Elders. Hamilton is quite the place, it's an interesting place. I've only heard amazing things about the YSA Branch there. I'll be there with Elder Spencer, he came out one transfer before me, and seems like a really good guy. I don't know him too well, but I'm pumped to be with him. I could easily be his last companion. Elder Layton is staying here and Elder Madrigal will be joining him. Elder Madrigal is a Portuguese missionary so they are going to be teaching Portuguese here now along with all we were teaching. I'll really miss London, it's sad to leave, but I feel like it's time for me to move onto another place. I've grown to love the people and the area and will forever miss it here!

This week was tons of fun, not tons to report or right about but I'll come up with a few. Funny story, Saturday we had a triple baptism into the YSA branch here and it was super awesome! The water heater here doesn't work super great so when you turn it on you have to turn it just right so you don't run out of hot water. Well, the sisters didn't understand us when we told them that so they filled the font like 3/4 of freezing cold water and then tried to top it off with warm water... well that didn't do anything. I walked over to the font and it was depleted half way, turns out they tried to drain some of the water but the stopper didn't go back in so it was draining fast! We got the plug back in, almost taking a bath on the way. We got the font filled again but it was freezing! So me and Elder Layton had to boil huge vats of water, and right before the baptism, during the talk on the Holy Ghost, we dumped the boiling water into the font. It was still cold, but it warmed it up a pretty good amount!

We had dinner with a family this last week, and while we were sharing a lesson on Faith, their 7 year old son said "I want to bear my testimony" and proceeded too tell us his testimony. It was very powerful and he mustered up what he wanted to share and say, the spirit was very strong. I don't know what they are doing in their house, but they're definitely teaching their children the Gospel the right way!

Kathleen and Aggie are both doing great, They should both be getting baptized in the next couple months! 

I got to go out to Tillsonburg on exchanges with Elder Garner. Let's just say it is a tiny town surrounded by even smaller villages, holy cow did we drive a lot. We were walking downtown and this guy stopped his car in the middle of the road and yelled at us to go see his grandma who was a less-active member. Not everyday someone gives you a referral from the car while driving, anyhow, we went by and there are quite a few non-members that live with her as well. That was sweet! We had dinner with the Branch President and had Moose Spaghetti, *Say in a Canadian Accent* First time I've eaten Moose up here in Canada, eh? 

I want to share a cool scripture from the Sermon on the Mount "And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God" 3 Nephi 12:8

Yesterday in church the talk was on the Characteristics of the Prophets, and focused on Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith's experience never would have happened if he had never asked with a pure heart, expecting an answer. I hope we can all learn from his example!

Love you all, and don't forget, 7 days without God makes you week

Elder Adam Taylor

The Most Important Years of My Life 3/6/17


What a crazy week we had.. seems like we were running all over the place and getting things ready and all sorts of things. We had MLC down in Brampton this week, and it was an awesome meeting, I'll share something powerful that happened to me before the meeting. I felt like I should flip open my scriptures and study for a few minutes before the meeting. I was thinking about a few different things and rules that had come out and were coming out and how I wasn't really looking forward to them but I flipped to Doctrine and Covenants section 26, and as I read the short chapter, they seemed to speak entirely to my heart. It's kind of a funny scripture to speak to me, but I've been thinking a lot about things to make my mission even more meaningful and to become a better teacher and disciple of Christ. I really just felt that this 2 years is perhaps the most important of my life, and for many others. My focus should be on that 100% of the time, and It gave me a chance to one again recommit myself to my Savior. I'm really grateful for the tender mercies our Heavenly Father gives to us.
Sunday was super powerful, fast and testimony meeting was cool. The focus came from members sharing their conversion stories, and it was amazing to hear the different stories and simple testimonies. One testimony was especially sweet, a 99 year old lady slowly made her way to the podium and said this "I know that Jesus Christ lives and that Joseph Smith was a prophet". That was her testimony, but the spirit was so strong as she bore testimony. It was a powerful meeting. 


Also, as I type this email I'm listening to the Face to Face with President Eyring and Elder Holland. If you haven't had the chance to watch it, I recommend you do it. It's awesome! 

Kathleen is doing awesome, she even got her sister Roxanne to come out to church on sunday! Way to go Kathleen, she is looking good for her Baptism at the end of the month, we get to go out there and see her again on wednesday.

We had to bring furniture back down to London with us from MLC so we had the mission truck, and we had to take the truck back to Brampton on Saturday. One fun thing though was that we had to stop to get something from Hamilton for one of the Office missionaries, so we stopped for lunch in Burlington. It was fun to pass through my old area, it's been over a year since I've been there, so it was a great blessing!

President Shields has been putting a lot of focus on becoming more affiliated with Jesus Christ through reading "Jesus the Christ" So I've been reading 4 pages a day and I've seen my relationship with Christ grow just over this last week of doing that. It's been quite the experience, and If you haven't read it, I recommend it completely!

Love you all!

Elder A. Taylor

Ether 12:6 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Flames Filled My Vision 😳2/27/17

 
In the Old Testament there is this funny story of Elijah and the Priests of Baal, basically the Priests of Baal are very wicked and worshipping idols and false God's. Elijah comes in and basically tells them they are going to put their God's to the test, so they build up a huge pile of wood and then Elijah tells them to ask their God to rain fire down on the stack of wood. Nothing happens of course and then Elijah calls upon God and the powers of Heaven cause something of this nature to happen.



The reason I start with this story is because we had a similar experience like this happen to us, so here we are out helping a member around his property clear old lumber and brush from all around his few acres of land. We were there with the Other Elders and a member who we'll call Brother P for short. So it was a beautiful day, close to 20 C, so we're out in our short sleeves stacking up all this wood. Because it's February, everything is still pretty wet, even with the abnormally warm temperatures. We start to try to light this fire and almost get it lit a few times on one of the far sides, but it ends up burning out, so I'm on one side and Elder Layton is on the other side next to the small coals that are remaining. All of the sudden, Brother P shows up next to me with a red can, and yes it was Gasoline. Now I know what you're thinking, yes it was a bad idea. So Brother P began to put gas on the opposite side of where the fire had been thinking it would be fine. I had the thought it was a terrible idea, but Before I could even realize what to do, it exploded, and by it, I mean the entire pile of wood and timber. Flames filled my vision, and we could feel the shock wave hit our chests. It was crazy scary. I did learn a very valuable lesson that when someone shows up to gas at the party, run immediately. The Lord truly did protect us, that I do know. Nobody was injured, nothing happened, we were extremely blessed. Mom I promise this kind of stuff doesn't usually happen.
 
 


There's the excitement of the week, I feel like I could wrap up my email but I'll share some positive experiences too!

We've been spending a lot of time in Strathroy recently, because the work out there is really booming! We are working with the Ballantyne's still, they are doing well. Kathleen set a date for the end of March to be baptized, so we are helping her work towards that date, she's doing wonderful. We're getting ready to teach the commandments now. We also have been going out to see Sister Pestana, who is so awesome! She was baptized a few years ago, but sometimes it's really hard for her to come out to church. So sunday morning we drove out to Strathroy and read the Book of Mormon with her in the morning before church to help her come, she came and loved being there again. It was cool, we read Alma 1 with her because that's where she was in her reading, if you know Alma 1, a lot is just about the wickedness of the people, but as we read the spirit was very strong, I realized it doesn't really matter where we read or what we read in the scriptures, as long as we are reading, that is what is important. It is how Heavenly Father truly speaks to us. On sunday morning as well we had an amazing miracle. There was a young couple sitting in the chapel I didn't know, so after sacrament meeting I got caught talking with another member, but a different member came over and grabbed me and introduced us to them. The husbands name is George and he just moved to Strathroy from Ghana! He was baptized in Ghana quite a few years ago and married Christy, who is from here. She was over there studying, they met and got married. She isn't a member of the church, but she loved church, and we are going to go see them this week and start teaching her. Really amazing how the Lord works.

This week I also got to go on exchanges in Chatham, hallelujah! I've been waiting 6 months to go on an exchange there. It was this time last year that I was in Chatham, so much has changed and so much has stayed the same. I got to see Kerra while we were there and it was amazing to see how much she has grown in her testimony of the Gospel. She said the prayer at the end of our meeting, and the spirit was so strong, it was cool to see what has happened over the first year of her membership in the church. Her prayer was so sincere and heartfelt, and I could just tell that she has truly become converted to Christ. It was fun to see the old members, and be back in my old area. It's weird how it feels so different when it isn't my area however, London feels like "home" to me right now, but a year ago Chatham would have felt like that.

Yesterday in church I learned a few really cool things that I want to share, first one was a story of a man who goes into the woods to clear a path of fallen lumber with a saw. He works for hours and hours, cutting and cutting away. A man comes down the path and see's this man struggling to cut because his saw is dull. He asks the man why he doesn't sharpen his blade and the man replies that he cannot stop, and he must finish his task for. Little did that man know that if he stopped to sharpen his blade, he would work faster and with more ease. The comparison was to our life, do we stop to "Sharpen our blades" by reading the scriptures and praying? By doing service and helping other? If we do these things, the things of life will flow more easily! 

Brother Evan used a quote in Elders quorum that goes "The same water that hardens an egg, softens a potato" to show how when we go through trials and the refiners fire, it is how we react to the situation which matters. We can let it harden us, or build us up and become reliant on the Lord. 

Lastly, Brother Bayona in his talk in sacrament said that often we believe doing service is one of the things we must do to return to live with Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom, but one of the early prophets of the church said that the Celestial Kingdom is built upon the foundation of service. If we do service for the motions and not from our heart, we won't be comfortable there.

I have really come to recognize the hand of my Savior in day to day life, and I'm grateful to his hand and his love. This is his Church!

Love you all!

Elder Adam Taylor
 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Walk with a Dog...in a Cemetary

 This week gave us some amazing weather, we were up in the teens (Celcius) Which was amazing, it felt like summer. Well, maybe not summer but we were out in just shirts and sweaters. No Jackets, it was pretty amazing. Tons of people ended up outside too, so extra bonus. Yesterday was "Family Day" here in Ontario so our P-day got moved. I also had an exchange yesterday with Elder Shaffer, and we had a riot of a day. All our plans got cancelled and we couldn't find anybody to meet with, but that didn't stop us. We where stopping by all sorts of people and talking with everybody. It seemed like to no avail, but we had dinner with one of the New Converts Beverly who invited her friend Mo over! We talked about the Book of Mormon with him and he committed to come out to church! Who would have thought, such a cool day. It was a bit tough, but it ended amazing. 

Our investigator Kathleen is going great, we went over the Book of Mormon with her again, and it's importance. She was supposed to go to Toronto for the weekend so we didn't think she would be at church on sunday but when we walked into the chapel, she was there sitting. She lives 30 minutes away and doesn't have a car, so of course we where shocked to see her there. She's doing amazing, and we are going to help her set a Baptismal date this week, exciting times! 

I also Had exchanges with Elder Carroll this week, it was awesome. We had an action packed day, the coolest miracle happened that day. We were out and about and got a text from a guy named Ray, I taught him once like 5 months ago but nothing happened and we hadn't been able to meet up since. He set an appointment and we went to see him that night. We talked about Repentence with him and he talked about how he was feeling that his past wasn't wiped away, he still felt guilt from past mistakes, so we were able to talk about and relate baptism and the Sacrament to him. The spirit filled the room so strong and we were able to help him set a Baptismal date. He's already been reading the Book of Mormon and feels like it is true, he also has had some amazing experiences that have been preparing him!


Friday was Zone Conference with President and Sister Shields. What a great day that was, as we talked about the Sacrament and the need for us to repent and become more Christlike. I really took a lot from the meeting, and I was able to have an interview with President afterwards because we get interviews every transfer now.

Sunday was really cool, Hesam got to pass the sacrament for the first time, and it was so cool to see him. After we sat down he was going on about how awesome it felt, it made me realize how much I took it for grantid each week as I passed and blessed the sacrament. It is such a sacred thing, and we should find a way to make it special every week, by repenting before we arrive. 

Last week we also took Beverly's dog for a walk and read the Book of Mormon in the Cemetery with her, it was such a nice day and made me really excited for the warm weather! 
 
Love you all so much!
-- 
Elder Adam Taylor