Monday, February 29, 2016

Tracting in the Rain!

This week we have been running really low on our allotted miles for
our car so we decided to park at the beginning of the neighborhoods
and walk to the houses of everyone that we needed to see. Which was
great because it was really rainy at the beginning of the week..! Haha
everyone asks what we are doing out here in the rain! So on Tuesday we
were walking through a neighborhood trying to find the house of a
former investigator that we were going to go see and we just kept
walking and walking, and it was the very last house in the
subdivision! Of course the house was vacant with a for sale sign and a
giant padlock on the door. So as we were walking back out to the car
we knocked on quite a few doors, but not a lot of people wanted to
answer or listen to us. Haha and then we got lost in the neighborhood
trying to find our car. That whole time we found one person who wanted
to listen! She actually knew a lot about our church and asked us for a
Book of Mormon! On Thursday we had a similar experience. Almost all of
our appointments had fallen through so we went tracting for several
hours. We knocked on so many doors and talked to a lot of people, many
of which were not very nice to us. We had been to several different
streets, and the very last door we knocked on before dinner we talked
to a guy who was really open to learning more about our church, and
told us to come back the next day! And the next day when we came back
he was actually home and we were able to teach him (which is really
amazing because usually when people tell us to come back another time
they're not home or they don't want to talk to us anymore.) He was
very interested and has a strong foundation of faith in Jesus Christ
and said he was excited to learn more! I learned from these
experiences the importance of persistence and diligence, especially
when it seems like nobody wants to listen, because you just have to
keep going and the Lord will lead you to those who need to hear about
his Gospel!
This Sunday we had 10 less active members come to church! It was so
cool, especially because not very many usually come. Sundays are
sometimes the most stressful day here on a mission, because you have
investigators there that you're worrying about and hope they
understand everything and then there are all the members to talk to as
well! But it's a good kind of stressful I guess. Yesterday the primary
asked us to come teach a primary class since the teacher wasn't there,
so that was fun! It was a good thing they had a manual though or else
we wouldn't have known what to teach them...
Also funny story this week! We had parked the car partway on the road
and partway in the dirt and when we got back in the car to leave the
car was stuck! I was out trying to push the car and then Sister
Mitchell was like it was just the emergency brake! Haha I was so
scared it was actually stuck for a minute! We had a good laugh about
it though!
Here's a good quote I found this week by President Uchtdorf:
"Part of our challenge is, I think, that we imagine that God has all
of His blessings locked in a huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give
them to us unless we comply with some strict, paternalistic
requirements He has set up. But the commandments aren’t like that at
all. In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon
us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these
blessings from reaching us. His commandments are the loving
instructions and the divine help for us to close the umbrella so we
can receive the shower of heavenly blessings."
Have a great week everyone!
Love,
Sister Taylor

Sister Taylor, Sister Mitchell

Monday, February 22, 2016

random bamboo forests

The weeks are just going by so fast!! (Even though some days feel like
they will never end). I've been on a mission for over a month now!
I've been trying to memorize the part of the Joseph Smith story where
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appear to him to use in lessons/door
contacts because it is way more powerful to use Joseph's words. I've
tried reciting it in 2 lessons so far but both times I messed it up!
It wasn't that bad, just switching around phrases and accidentally
repeating parts of it, but it was still kind of embarrassing. But
that's really the only way to make sure you have it memorized is
saying it in an actual lesson! I think I have it now :) We had a
really good lesson with our investigator, Kade! (He's the one I was
talking about last week who said he wanted to think about being
baptized). We had a really good member team up with us, and the spirit
was so strong in the lesson! He told us he definitely wants to be
baptized, he just wants to learn more first! Which is so awesome
because we want people to understand what baptism means before they do
get baptized! It's amazing how the Lord works because the member we
had with us was originally going to come with us to a different
appointment, which fell through last minute. Since she was already
with us we decided to go visit Kade, and having the member there
really helped with the lesson, it was exactly what Kade needed! On
Saturday was Jamall's baptism, he's someone who the Elders in our ward
have been teaching. It was really cool! This week we had a lot of
appointments fall through so we did a lot of tracting and knocking on
doors.  No matter how nicely put, rejection is still rejection. It was
kind of hard because some days we knocked on doors for several hours
but not one person wanted to listen to us. But overall it has been a
good week! We have some really amazing progressing investigators!
Here's a quote I found while I was studying this week by Elder Holland
that I think y'all will enjoy!
"God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and
fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t
pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t
believe."

Love y'all and have a great week!
Love, Sister Taylor

 random bamboo forests


random bamboo forests: Sister Taylor, Sister Mitchell

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BEIGNETS!!

Hello!
So I guess when there's a holiday when there's no school (like
President's day) they like us to work since people are home and then
they move preparation day to Tuesday. Also on my previous  email I put
the wrong zip code for my mailing address- the real zip code is 30158.

Georgia has been great! Although I didn't expect it to be this cold,
we even got a little snow! Haha the cold sometimes works in our favor
because people let us in, but it also doesn't because  they just don't
answer the door because it's so cold!  It's good that we have a car
though, it would be so much colder on bikes! Although we have limited
miles so if we use it all too soon then we will have to ride bikes.
The cars have this thing called TIWI hooked up to it that monitors
your driving and yells at you if you're driving too fast or too
aggressively, it's kind of funny/annoying. We haven't gotten a ton of
southern food...but last week one of the members made seafood gumbo,
and it was actually pretty good (even though seafood isn't my
favorite). Also we got the best thing, BEIGNETS!! They were soooo
good! I ate so many! They're like a donut/scone with powdered sugar on
top (if you've seen the princess and the frog, that's what she makes).
I ate too many but they were so yummy! On Valentine's Day all the
members made sure we were loved, we got so much candy and desserts! I
don't think I've ever had that much sweets on Valentine's Day before!
We were talking about fry sauce with a member and how we missed it
because you can only get it in Utah, and then they went into their
pantry and gave us a whole bottle! They had ordered a bunch online, it
made us so happy! On Valentine's Day we also taped hearts on some of
our investigators and some of the members doors, it was fun!
We had some really good lessons this week with our investigators! We
had a really good lesson on the atonement with someone who is trying
to quit an addiction, we talked about how through the Savior we can do
anything. We just have to do our best and through the atonement Christ
will make up the difference. We also invited another one of our
investigators to be baptized! He has been so prepared and you can
always feel the spirit so strong when we teach him. When we asked he
was a little surprised, but we could feel the spirit telling him that
was the right choice. It sounded like he wanted to but he told us he
wanted to think about it since it's such a big decision. Being a
missionary is hard sometimes when it's cold and your knocking on doors
and nobody wants to listen, but when you have lessons like that, it
makes it all worth it.
I hope y'all have a great week!
Love, Sister Taylor
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB!

 This is a beignet!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sugar Hill, Georgia!

I made it to Georgia!  It's great here!  I have been assigned to the Sugar Hill area, here's my new mailing address:

Sister Karissa Taylor
6398 Lakeview Dr.
Buford, GA   30518

We're living in a basement apartment in a member's house, and we live right next to a lake, it's so pretty!  The last part of my MTC experience was great, I learned a ton and they had some really good devotionals!  Our district was really close, it was crazy how hard it was to say goodbye to people you only knew for 12 days!  We had a direct flight to Georgia, the flight was pretty good.  We rode a train to Lilburn (where the mission home is) and the first thing the mission president did once we got to where the train was was give us all a Book of Mormon and some cards and said on the train ride there talk to as many people as you can and hand out the Book of Mormon!  It was kind of hard at first talking to strangers, especially because most people have headphones in and are absorbed in their phones.  But I was able to give a Book of Mormon to someone and she said she'd read it!

My trainer's name is Sister Mitchell, she's so awesome! She's a great teacher and is very patient and encouraging.  We're in the Sugar Hill area, it's a great area!  All the ward members are so nice, we have a dinner appointment with a member basically every night.  We have gone tracting a lot, going door to door talking to people about the gospel.  There are a lot of people who are Christian around here, and they love to talk about Christ, but a lot of the time they're not interested in hearing more about our church since they already have their own.  On Saturday we taught a really great lesson on the Plan of Salvation with one of our investigators!  He really liked it and was excited about it, and he was really sensitive to the spirit as well!  He was excited to come to church (and he loved it, it was really great because in his Sunday school class they actually talked about the plan of salvation again!).  We have a couple other investigators too, I just love everyone here!  On Saturday night the lady we had dinner with, Sister Thompson, reminded me of Grandma Blake and Grandma Taylor put together!  It was cool!  Church was great, we had 3 investigators come and all the ward members were really welcoming!  Sunday afternoon/evening it was a bit harder to talk to people since the superbowl was on so nobody wanted to talk to us.  But I really love it here!  We're really blessed, we've got a car and iPads.  The iPads are really cool and helpful with teaching because you can show videos when you teach!  
I'll send some pictures later today.
Love,
Sister Taylor

 Sister Bennion, Karissa, President Bennion

This is my new companion/trainer, Sister Mitchell! She's awesome!

Friday, February 5, 2016

MTC pictures

 Here is My district (44A) and district 44B from the MTC!!

Karissa, Sister Lang (MTC companion) at Provo Temple