Monday, October 31, 2016

remember to be grateful

This week has been great! We've been so busy, it's been crazy! We've
had a lot of people to teach, which is awesome! It's just been
difficult to get them to come to church, so nobody is really
progressing. So hopefully this week we can help them better understand
the importance of coming to church and that they will make the effort
to be able to come!

This week we did a church swap with Joan, who we met last week! She
took us to her church and she came to ours! It was a good experience
going to Browns Bridge with her (a mega nondenominational church), it
helped us see where a lot of our investigators are coming from, since
a lot of them do attend that church or a similar one. It was was basically a Christian Rock concert with a sermon at
the end. It was so great having her at our church as well! She said it
was completely different than she thought it would be, and was really
impressed with how nice and welcoming all the members were! She told
one of the members how she's learned a lot and she's now open to the
missionaries/hearing more, where she wasn't really before, because
she's come to church and seen what we are really like.

We had an awesome experience with our new investigator, Drew, this
week! He was a referral from missionaries in a neighboring ward, he
had gone to church a couple times with his friend but hadn't been
taught by missionaries or anything. Since he lives in our area, the
elders sent us his information! He's just so willing to learn and
commit, he is so prepared! He's hard of hearing so he doesn't catch a
lot of what people say, especially at church, but he wants to learn
and participate and be a part of the gospel! We could tell he was
struggling a bit with that, but we told him in the gospel he gets
credit for trying, and as a response to that he asked us what we want
him to do next! He's committed to be baptized at the end of the month,
it's so amazing how the Lord led him to the gospel and to missionaries
through his friend! It's interesting because he lives at the back of
an RV repair park in a camper, where the gate is locked a lot of the
time. I don't know that missionaries would have been able to find him
if it wasn't for his member friend!

Here is a quote from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from this past conference
that I love:
"Life-changing truths are before our eyes and at our fingertips, but
sometimes we sleepwalk on the path of discipleship. Too often we let
ourselves be distracted by the imperfections of our fellow members
instead of following the example of our Master. We tread a path
covered with diamonds, but we can scarcely distinguish them from
ordinary pebbles."
Remember to be grateful for the knowledge of the gospel!

Love y'all!
Sister Taylor

 Sister Thorn and I wore matching outfits :)

 The beautiful fall leaves! There are so many trees here

Monday, October 24, 2016

a crazy week and kind strangers!

This week has been pretty crazy!! A lot has changed in just this last
week, as the Elders were taken out of the area and we got all their
investigators and contacts, and on top of that our ward mission leader
was released and a new one was called! So it's been a bit stressful
with all this going on, but we must be diligent in the work no matter
what happens! Although change is hard, it's also a good thing. This
will be good for us and for the area, kind of like a new start! We can
definitely see the hand of the Lord in our lives and in all this,
leading us to something better!

We were able to have an amazing lesson with our investigators Juanita
and Julio this week!! We had an awesome member team up with us, and
Juanita and Julio listened to us more than they ever had before! We
placed a huge emphasis on the importance of proper priesthood
authority and that we are Christ's same church, established once again
on the earth. (A common belief here in the south is that as long as
you believe in Christ you're okay no matter which church you attend or
if you attend at all, which is sometimes hard to work with because
when we say we are Christ's same church on the earth again it doesn't
really mean anything to them. There are a lot of mega
non-denominational churches out here.) As we have been teaching them
these 2 things have been the biggest concern, and Brother McChesney
(our member team up) was able to explain it so simply and powerfully,
using the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and they actually listened!
They were finally able to understand (we've tried teaching this in
many different ways but it's never really succeeded), and we
transitioned into the restoration (again), emphasizing that this is
all true or it is not, and we bore a powerful testimony that we knew
it to be true and they can know for themselves as well. You could feel
the spirit so strongly testifying to all of us that what we were
saying was true. It was such a powerful lesson and it really made a
difference, hopefully we can keep this momentum going with them!

Friday night we stopped by on a new investigator that the Elders had
been teaching, they were busy so we set up a return appointment for
the next day. Meanwhile, we went to try a former investigator who
lived a few houses down and two neighbors were outside and they struck
up a conversation with us! We talked to them for a little bit about
being missionaries and what it's like and showed them a short video
about Jesus Christ. Joan asked us if we ever attended other churches,
and we told her we could do a church swap, and if she came to our
church then we'd go to hers! She's been trying to get Steve (her
neighbor who we were also talking to) to come to church, who has not
set foot in any church building since the 1980s, but agreed to visit
our services next week only if Joan goes too. And she was persuading
him just as hard as we were to come to the Mormon church! Just before
we leave, another neighbor walks up so say hello, and Joan invites him
to come to our church too! He says "I'll go if he goes!" So this next
week should be exciting for all of them to come to church! Haha and
here's the kind of awkward part about the whole thing, it was starting
to get dark and these past few days it's also been starting to get
chilly as well, and I guess I looked really cold because Steve went
inside and gave me a jacket. I tried to give it back as we were
leaving but he told me to take it and he would get it back when he
came to church next week, so I guess now he has to come to church
because he told us and because he needs to get his jacket back too! It
was a bit awkward, but really nice of him!

Here's a cool quote I found by Elder Brian K. Ashton as I was reading
through some talks from this last conference: "Faith causes us to stop
worrying so much about what others think of us and begin to care far
more about what God thinks of us."

Love y'all!
Sister Taylor

 We did a family night with Ciearra and her little boy, Divine! We

did a lesson and then drew each other with chalk! They loved it!

 I've hit my halfway mark, "Hump Day"!

Me and Ciearra, a recent convert!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Happy Hump Day!!!

Sister Taylor hit her halfway mark!!! She's halfway through her mission!!! Wow!! She's already done so many amazing things!! Missionary work is the best!!!
Happy Hump Day Sister Taylor!!!
You're Amazing!
We love you!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

"What if you're right?"

It's been a good week!! We were able to have some really good lessons
and have a lot of time finding! We had a great lesson with Juanita!!
Her husband didn't want to join us this week though. We taught about
prophets, about how you know if someone is a true prophet or not. We
started with the prophets in the bible, then the ones in the Book of
Mormon, and then modern day prophets!! She got really excited when we
started talking about President Monson, the prophet today! She told us
she has no reason to doubt that he really is a prophet and wanted to
know everything about him! Things are going well with her!

We also had a great lesson with our investigator Santos! We decided to
teach the Restoration since we hadn't taught him the whole thing yet.
We went through it and he understood everything, and at one moment he
stopped and said "What if you're right?" Like he actually made the
connection to what it would mean if this was true and how it would be
the answer to his questions and prayers! I think sometimes we take for
granted what we know, what it all really means, and to see someone who
is not familiar with it to be able to see the significance of it was
really a cool experience! He's not sure on baptism anymore, but he is
definitely sincere in wanting to know if our message is true. We're a
little worried though because he doesn't have a lot of support from
his family listening to us and reading the Book of Mormon. Hopefully
as he learns and applies this to his life they will see a change in
him and also want to learn more.

Great things are happening with Sister Duren, a less active we have
been working with! This week she went to the relief society activity
and to church again! We had a really awesome lesson with her this week
too, we went in thinking we were going to go over the restoration, but
somehow we ended up teaching the first half of the restoration and the
last half of the plan of salvation, and then talking about the temple.
She expressed interest in working towards being able to go to the
temple, since she's never been! It was cool to see how the spirit
directed the lesson and the conversation so we would end up talking
about going to the temple!
While we were at the relief society activity another member comes up
to us and tells us that recently she has been having promptings that
she needs to share the gospel with one of her neighbors, and then we
asked which neighbor and we found out that just 2 days before we had
been tracting in her neighborhood and one of her other neighbors
referred us to the ones that she wants to share the gospel with! It
definitely was not a coincidence that she has been feeling she needs
to share the gospel with her neighbor and the same week we had knocked
on their door!

This weekend we spent a lot of time tracting since we didn't have any
appointments. We knocked on doors for 6 hours on Saturday, and had
been chased/followed by 5 dogs and 2 cats by the end of the day.
People here in Georgia love their pets.  On Sunday night one of our
appointments had fallen through and it was starting to get dark so we
didn't have a whole lot of time left to tract (we have found that
people do not like us knocking on their door once it gets dark
out....) so we're facing a street with time to knock on one or two
more doors, Sister Thorn asks me which door I feel inspired to knock
on, and I pointed to one and we knocked on it. We met this super nice
family who had just moved here from China, and they let us inside!
They didn't know much English yet, and knew nothing about Jesus
Christ. We did our best to share simply about who He is and why He is
important to us. The father said he loves to be happy and he saw how
happy Jesus made us, which is why he wanted to listen! We got a return
appointment, but unfortunately later that night he texted us and said
they decided they didn't want to learn about any religion right now.
But it was cool how the Lord led us to the one house who would let us
inside so that we could teach a lesson!

This week is transfers, but Sister Thorn and I are both staying
together for a 3rd transfer here in Sharon Springs! Although they are
taking the Elders out of our area, so we will also be getting all of
their investigators and potential investigators! It will be kind of
stressful getting all these people that we don't know, but it will
keep us busy! We're excited!!

Here's a cool scripture someone shared with us this week!
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Love y'all!
Sister Taylor

  The sky!!

  the trees are starting to change colors!

  For preparation day today we went to a pumpkin patch 
with some ofthe other sisters!

 Lots of pumpkins!

 Sister Thorn and I!

Me, Sister Lang (my MTC companion!), Sister Crowton, and Sister
Toese! We all came out together, 
celebrating our 9 month mark this week!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

subject lines are too hard sometimes

It's been a pretty good week! Although our teaching pool is getting
smaller and smaller, so hopefully soon we can fill it again, with
people who actually are interested in the gospel! This week almost all
of our appointments either fell through or got cancelled last minute,
which is kind of frustrating. But good opportunities to learn more
about patience and charity!

Things have been going well with our investigator, Juanita! We had a
pretty....intense...lesson with her this week, we brought a member
with us too and her husband decided to join! We're trying to help her
understand the connection between knowing the Book of Mormon is true
and knowing this is Christ's true church on the earth! She says she
believes what she's read so far about it, and feels the spirit when
she reads! She's been slowing progressing, but things are coming

This week we followed up on our investigator Cindy, if y'all remember
we were teaching her a lot like a month ago. She was super solid,
elect, and ready to get baptized and then texted us and basically said
she doesn't want to get baptized anymore. She hadn't been answering
our texts or calls so we decided to just drop by one more time. She
was home and let us in. We asked what happened and she basically told
us that she saw two options, to follow the path we were showing her,
to get baptized, become Mormon, or not. She told us she decided not
to. She had come to see that her current church doesn't have
everything and is good but not completely true, so she's searching for
a new one. We asked her what she thought of what we've shared with
her, and she says that she believes it, but it's not the path she
wants to follow. Which is really heartbreaking, because it looked like
she was so ready. It reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk from the
women's session of conference, that no matter how much faith you have,
you cannot force your will on anyone else. And I guess we've done all
we can for Cindy, and she hasn't chosen to accept it at this time.
It's so sad, hopefully as she's searching for a new church she'll
remember the truths we've taught her.

Another quote I loved from conference was from Ronald A. Rasband's
talk: "In the midst of life’s greatest storms, do not forget your
divine heritage as a son or daughter of God or your eternal destiny to
one day return to live with Him, which will surpass anything the world
has to offer. Remember the tender and sweet words of Alma: “Behold, I
say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart,
and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask,
can ye feel so now?” "

Love y'all!
Sister Taylor

 We did service for a less active helping her build a giant spider to
put on her roof!

 Sister Thorn and I

 It's fall and I bought a pumpkin cake!

Sister Neff, Robert, and I

Monday, October 3, 2016

Conference, Pep boys, and Miracles!

It's been a great week!! We had a crazy miracle filled weekend!! On
Friday night we got a flat tire, but luckily we were close by a
members house so they were able to help us change it! Since it was
later in the day pep boys was almost closed so we couldn't go and get
it fixed that day, so we drove the car back to our apartment so we
could trade for our bikes, so that we wouldn't drive very much on the
spare tire. Because our plans that night were too far to bike to (for
the amount of time we had left) we were stuck without a plan. Then we
remembered that earlier that day we had received a referral from the
Coal Mountain sisters who had wanted a Book of Mormon! She was close
enough to bike to so we decided to go see her! We pulled up to her
driveway right as she pulled in, and she had just enough time for us
to give her the book and set up a return appointment  before she had
to leave again! She was going out of town for the next week so we
caught her just at the right time! We were also able to see a less
active that we have had a hard time getting a hold of! It's always
cool to see when God needs to rearrange our plans a bit to be able to
go where he needs us! But it was really scary biking home in the dark.
My bike headlight broke so I tied my flashlight onto my handlebars,
which worked out okay! But then Sister Thorn didn't have any lights at
all so I gave her my flashlight and she went in front and then I had a
taillight. We made it okay even though I couldn't see a thing! Haha it
all worked out! So the next morning, Saturday, we went to pep boys
right at 10:00 to get the tire changed, and it was only supposed to
take 1 hour but 3 hours later we were still there...waiting.
Conference started at noon so we tried pulling it up on our iPads
which sort of worked! We got the audio to work but not so much the
visual. We made it to the church for the last hour so that was nice!
Then in between sessions our investigator, Santos, came for a church
tour and then watched the afternoon session with us! It was super cool
because there was a member from South Carolina there (he was down here
for work), and both he and Santos are Mexican, and right when Santos
walked in he said "I didn't know there were any Mexican Mormons!" It
was so cool that he was there to meet and talk to Santos! We didn't
have time for a whole church tour, but we showed him the baptismal
font, taught like a 3 minute restoration and invited him to be
baptized!! He was hesitant but after resolving some concerns (and with
help from our member team up) he's on date to be baptized in
November!! Sunday between conference sessions we did short exchanges
with our sister training leaders, all of us stayed in our area, and
miracles happened! Between the 4 of us in 2 hours we got 5 new
investigators!! It was amazing, and we couldn't have done it without
the Lord! We haven't had a new investigator in like 3 weeks, and then
we got 5 in one day!

Conference was so good! I have so many favorites, but here's one part
I really liked from President Nelson's talk: "When the focus of our
lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus’s gospel, we can feel
joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy
comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. … How,
then, can we claim that joy? We can start by “looking unto Jesus the
author and finisher of our faith” [Hebrews 12:2] “in every thought”
[D&C 6:36]. We can give thanks for Him in our prayers and by keeping
covenants we’ve made with Him and our Heavenly Father. As our Savior
becomes more and more real to us and as we plead for His joy to be
given to us, our joy will increase."

I love y'all and hope y'all have an amazing week!
Sister Taylor

  Us with Robert, our recent convert!

 Trying to watch conference at Pep Boys...

 We went out to eat with some other sister missionaries Saturday, after conference!

Today we went laser tagging with sister missionaries in our zone!