Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lemonade & Rain

It's been a good week here in Georgia!! On Wednesday we got to go to
the Atlanta Temple! It was awesome! (we get to go every 6 months) Also
the coolest thing happened! The time we were assigned to go just
happened to be the exact same time that a recent convert in our ward
was going for his first time! It was so cool!!
Last Monday night we had planned to go knock on doors in a certain
neighborhood, and when we got to the neighborhood, before we even
knock on the first door, someone from down the street yells "Hey! Are
y'all Jehovah's Witnesses? Because I've got some time to kill!" So we
went up to him, and told him we were actually Mormons! We started
teaching the restoration, he had a lot of questions. We were able to
clear up some misconceptions he had about our church and taught him
about the Book of Mormon. He seemed pretty interested and asked us for
a copy of the Book of Mormon and for the church address!
On Sunday morning the weather was so nice, so I decided I didn't need
a rain jacket (I usually bring one just in case because Georgia
weather is so unpredictable). The weather was fine all morning while
we were in church, and as soon as it was time to go out and knock on
doors it started dumping buckets and buckets of water (probably
because I left my rain jacket at home :) )We didn't really have anyone
we could go visit so we just had to knock on doors. People thought we
were crazy. They're like "it's raining, you should go home." Haha and
we just smile and say "Oh, it's not too bad." As buckets of water are
falling from the sky. Luckily we had umbrellas in the trunk of our
car! Haha and that's not even the best part! After the rain stopped we
were still knocking on doors and everything was super wet. We walked
up some stairs to knock on a door, and the people there told us they
weren't interested, and as I turn around to walk back down the stairs
my foot slips (because it's really wet) and I fall all the way down
their stairs. The people who lived there hadn't quite closed the door
and they saw me fall....So awkward and embarrassing! They made sure I
was okay, and then went back inside. I'm fine, I just got an awesome
bruise on my elbow! Although looking back I should've pretended like I
wasn't okay and then I bet they would of let us inside and we could've
taught them or something!
Since yesterday was Memorial Day they switched our preparation day and
had us go out and work. We decided to set up a free lemonade stand at
the park so we could talk to a lot of people, because who doesn't like
free lemonade on a super hot day!? It worked out pretty well, we
talked to a lot more people than we would've knocking on doors! We
didn't find any new investigators but we did meet someone asking about
family history (he gave us his number and we're going to go help him
with his family history!) and we invited some other people to church!
It was nice because we had people asking us about our church instead
of us just knocking on their door and telling them about it!

Here is an awesome scripture I read this week!
Alma 31:5 And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency
to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more
powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or
anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it
was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

Love,
Sister Taylor
 
  at the temple with the Level Creek sisters!

 the Atlanta temple!!

 Our district!

 knocking on doors in the rain!!

 exchanges!

 our free lemonade stand!

a sunset at the lake!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Zone Conference with Elder Dube!

It's been a great week! We still don't have any progressing
investigators at the moment, but there are a couple people who we're
working with! The hardest part is to get them to come to church. The
highlight was on Friday Elder Dube from the seventy came and spoke to
us! It was so good! He talked a lot about building our faith by being
obedient, working hard, and relying on the Lord. He related it to the
story of the Brother of Jared, how the Lord asked the Brother of Jared
what he would have him do so that they would have light. (Ether
2:22-23) The brother of Jared had to be obedient, the Lord told him no
windows and no fire. He also had to work, once he had the idea to use
stones he had to go out and make the stones. Then after he was
obedient and put in the work, he relied on the Lord to touch the
stones and give them light. It didn't say in the scriptures that this
was the right or the wrong way for them to have light, but because the
Brother of Jared was obedient, put in the work, and relied on the
Lord, the Lord made up the difference and provided the light that they
needed! It was a really good conference! Elder Dube is just so
enthusiastic about the gospel and about missionary work!
We've been trying to find more service to do in the area so we went to
an old folk's home to volunteer weekly, haha and I guess we weren't
very clear on what we wanted to do and now we're in charge of a weekly
bible study there....so we'll see how that goes!

Here is a quote from President Uchtdorf's talk from this last
conference that I love:
"You and I may speak most eloquently of spiritual things. We may
impress people with our keen intellectual interpretation of religious
topics. We may rhapsodize about religion and “dream of [our] mansion
above.” But if our faith does not change the way we live--if our
beliefs do not influence our daily decisions--our religion is vain,
and our faith, if not dead, is certainly not well and is in danger of
eventually flatlining. Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by
obedience that we gather light into our souls."

Love,
Sister Taylor

  Sister Anderson and I by a cool looking tree

 Ice cream because we've been out for 4 months now!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ

It's been a good week! Really long though. Our investigator who was on
date to be baptized dropped us, and none of our other investigators
are progressing. This week a lot of our plans kept falling through, so
we did a lot of knocking on doors! There was one day that was
especially rough, we had been knocking on doors for a long time, it
was really hot, and nobody wanted to talk to us either. When we got
down to the last half hour we finally found a new investigator! And
shortly after that we knocked on the door of a less active (who had
recently moved so we had a wrong address for him) and they let us in
and gave us cold water and a sandwich, which was such a tender mercy!
It just shows that even though missionary work is hard sometimes, God
is looking out for us and will place people in our path that we need
to see! Nothing else super exciting happened this week.
I read a really good talk by Pres. Uchtdorf, called "Are You Sleeping
through the Restoration?" from April 2014 conference. Here is an
awesome quote from it:
"There is too much at stake for us as individuals, as families, and as
Christ’s Church to give only a halfhearted effort to this sacred work.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an effort of once a week or
once a day. It is an effort of once and for all. "
Hope y'all have an amazing week!
Love,
Sister Taylor

Monday, May 9, 2016

what makes us happy!

This week was transfers! I'm still in Sugar Hill, but Sister Mitchell
left. My new companion is Sister Anderson! We came out together (but
we didn't know each other in the MTC), so it's been a little harder
since we are both still pretty new! I'm the designated driver now too.
I don't like driving a whole lot, Georgia roads are kind of scary!
They're really narrow and windy and hilly. And they're not really
organized either, just a main road with a bunch of random
neighborhoods branching off! We knocked on doors like almost all day
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It was rough, especially because not
a whole lot of people wanted to talk to us. But we did find a couple
people that agreed to a return appointment, so hopefully we will get
to teach them more next week! Sunday was the best because I got to
call home for Mother's Day! Nothing else super exciting happened this
week. In relief society yesterday they went over the talk "A Summer
with Great-Aunt Rose" by President Uchtdorf, it was a great reminder
that we are in control of our own happiness! Here is one of my
favorite quotes from it:

“It is love--the pure love of Christ,” Rose said. “You see, everything
else in the gospel--all the shoulds and the musts and the thou shalts
--lead to love. When we love God, we want to serve Him. We want to be
like Him. When we love our neighbors, we stop thinking so much about
our own problems and help others to solve theirs.”
“And that is what makes us happy?” Eva asked.
Great-Aunt Rose nodded and smiled, her eyes filling with tears. “Yes,
my dear. That is what makes us happy.”

Hope y'all have an amazing week!
Love,
Sister Taylor
 Grilling hotdogs with the Level Creek sisters on preparation day!

 Sister Mitchell, Kade (who got baptized in March), and Me!

 Our district before transfers
 Sister Mitchell, Me, Sister Allen, and Sister Smith

 Sister Mitchell and I with the Prichards! (The members that we live with)
 
 Me and Sister Mitchell

  Me and Sister Anderson

 Knocking on doors in the rain!

Monday, May 2, 2016

BAPTISM OF THE JOHNSON FAMILY!!!

This week has been so awesome!!! With the highlight being the whole
Johnson family getting baptized Saturday!!! Tim, Tasha, and Jacob!!
(Their younger sons are all younger than 8). It was such a special
day!! Their younger boys are the most energetic boys I have ever met.
None of them fell in the font, which was awesome! (Haha although at
one point they all almost did!) it was just the neatest experience for
the whole family to make that commitment together! Because this
weekend was stake conference, they all got to be confirmed right after
they were baptized! It was so cool, they all got really special
confirmation blessings! It will be such a great day when they can be
sealed together in the temple in a year!! President and Sister Bennion
came to the baptism and afterwords President came up to Jacob (who is
13) and said "Are you going to serve a mission in a couple years when
you turn 18?" Haha I think that scared him just a little :) (he is
SUPER shy). We had dinner with them that night, which was awesome!! We
ordered Chinese food and they all told us how they felt after they
were baptized! They are all just so happy! They made it after almost a
year of investigating the church!!
Since it was the end of the month we were running low on miles we had
to bike a lot this week...which isn't my favorite. But good exercise!
It's starting to get really hot and humid, I'm scared for the summer
here! On tuesday, we had a lesson with one of our investigators,
Victor. His uncle was staying with him and wanted to listen too, but
he only spoke Spanish. So Victor translated the whole lesson for him,
it was interesting. Apparently the uncle is a famous singer in
Honduras! He sang for us, he is really good! Haha but we couldn't
understand what he was saying since he only speaks Spanish. It was a
very interesting lesson. We taught the plan of salvation, and they
both had really hard questions. We'll probably give them to the
Spanish sisters and hopefully they'll be able to understand better!
We had an awesome church tour with our investigators Laura and Tori!
We had a member team up and it went so well! We walked through the
building and talked about some of the paintings and different
classrooms and showed them the baptismal font! We ended in the chapel
and had a CD player set up and played some instrumental hymns and we
just sat in the chapel for a little bit, you could feel the spirit so
strong! We asked Laura and Tori how they felt, and they said they felt
so good, they absolutely loved it! They said that next week they'd
come to church!
Stake conference was so good! Elder C. Scott Grow from the seventy
came, as well as Elder Carter from the area seventy. They talked a lot
about keeping the sabbath day holy and member missionary work! It was
really cool because we've been trying to get the members more involved
with the missionary work! They talked about how in order to be
successful in bringing people unto Christ we need both the members and
the missionaries working equally together, which is so true! Because
every member is a missionary, either part time or full time!

This week I've been reading in the Book of Mormon about Alma and
Amulek and their missionary work! I loved the verses Alma 15:16-17
16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his
Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the
children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which
should be taught among them at the time of his coming--
17 That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might
not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might
receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true
vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.
The work is hastening and the Lord is preparing the hearts of the
people to receive his gospel!

Hope y'all have an amazing week!
Love,
Sister Taylor


  (from left to right) Jacob, Tim, Andrew, Bryce, Tasha,
Leland, Sister Mitchell, and Me!!

 (from left to right) Brother Nicholls (who baptized them),
Jacob, Tim, Andrew, Bryce, Tasha, Leland, Sister Mitchell, and Me!!

Tasha and Me