Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week of January 23-30

Hey y'all!
It's been a pretty good week!! On Wednesday there was a worldwide
missionary broadcast, it was really good! We also had a huge zone
conference on Friday, which was also really good! They made some
changes, specifically about the missionary schedule (giving us more
freedom to choose how to use our time) and the focus of the missionary
work! It's been really good! They talked a lot about the 5 points of
the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost,
and enduring to the end), how they're connected and how we need to use
it more as we teach people! I also got asked to speak in church last
minute so that was exciting! It went pretty good, I talked about what
we learned at the broadcast and zone conference and how it relates to
member missionary work!

We also had kind of a crazy moment, I was on exchanges in Winder and
Sister Cardon was in the shower and I was doing my hair and someone
knocked on the door, like 4 times! I was freaking out because it
wasn't my area and Sister Cardon was in the shower, so I just didn't
answer the door even though they kept knocking! After she got out we
looked out the door and they left a note, it was the police looking
for someone! The person's name was someone who used to live there I
guess, so we called and told them. It was kind of scary!

We've done a lot of finding this week, lots of tracting. With what we
learned at zone conference and the broadcast we are going to spend a
lot more time finding, and hopefully get more of the members' help
with working with less active members and recent converts. We didn't
find any new investigators, but we met a couple people with potential!
A lot of people have been getting sick so it's been hard to meet.

Bethany, the less active that came to church last week, is doing
really well! She came again this week and was able to stay all 3
hours! She told us there is a lot that keeps trying to stop her from
coming, but she knows she needs to come back and she's going to do
whatever it takes! We're excited for her!

Here's an awesome quote I read this week, by Elder Bednar:
"We come to know the Savior as we do our best to go where He wants us
to go, as we strive to say what He wants us to say, and as we become
what He wants us to become. As we submissively acknowledge our total
dependence upon Him, He enlarges our capacity to serve ever more
effectively. Gradually, our desires align more completely with His
desires, and His purposes become our purposes, such that we would “not
ask that which is contrary to [His] will." "

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

 Sister Allen and I

Cali N Titos, it's a cute little restaurant across the street from
the institute building at UGA

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

the true meaning of baptism

Hey y'all!
It's been a pretty great week! We've done a lot of service, finding,
and teaching! We went to the UGA horticulture farm Wednesday morning
and helped them plant a bunch of onions, which goes to the local food
bank. It rained a lot this weekend, and a lot of our appointments
cancelled as well, so we had to do a lot of tracting in the rain, but
we met a ton of cool people who listened to us and some even let us
inside! We met a family that wants us to teach them, so we're excited
to go back this week.

Kristin and Ayden's baptism and confirmation went well this past
weekend! Leading up to the baptism we saw them a lot, and Kristin has
already had some pretty amazing missionary opportunities, before she
was even a member. She told us at work this week she was talking to
some co-workers and somehow the conversation led to her being baptized
Saturday, and she was having a really cool discussion with someone
who recently had lost a loved one about the plan of salvation. She
told us she was nervous sharing with them, just because this was new
to her and she was worried she was going to say something wrong, but
the words just came to her mind to know what to say! And then a bit
into the conversation another co-worker came up to her and started
making fun of her for joining the "Mormon church", but she told us
that it didn't make her upset or question her faith because the night
before when she was reading the Book of Mormon she was reading about
the persecution of the righteous and it prepared her for that
experience. And then at her baptism she brought so many family members
and friends who were not members, and she picked a couple Mormon
messages to show during the service that she wanted them to see, that
she knew they would touch them and help them understand this new faith
she's found. A couple of her family members even came to church on
Sunday for the confirmation!

I was also able to meet our investigator Megan and her less active
boyfriend, Issac this week. It turns out that I know Issac's parents
who live in the Sugar Hill ward, which was a cool connection! Our
lesson with them went pretty well, we taught them lesson 3, the
gospel, and Megan said she would get baptized when she came to know
this was true! They both have a strong desire to get sealed in the
temple and raise their family in the church. We invited them to the
baptism on Saturday but they weren't able to make it, but they came to
church on Sunday for Kristin and Ayden's confirmations, which was
awesome!

This week at church an unknown less active showed up! Her name is
Bethany, she told us that she got baptized about a year and half ago
in Texas,  but moved the week after and never had her records moved
and never went back to church. Now she's out here in Georgia and she
told us that some things had happened recently that helped her realize
that she needs God in her life again. She said that she knew it would
be really hard to come back, but she did! She found the church and
just showed up! It's amazing how the Lord led her back to church and
that she had the courage to come, even though she didn't know anybody!

Mosiah 18:8-10
8...As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called
his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they
may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and
comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses
of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may
be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be
numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have
eternal life--
10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have
you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness
before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will
serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit
more abundantly upon you?

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

Kristin and Ayden's baptism!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Athens, GA

Hey y'all!
Things are great here in Athens, I love it! It's way different than my
past areas though, it's more south and country and the area is way
bigger. We cover Athens and 5 surrounding towns. And Athens is a
college town! The University of Georgia is in our area, but I'm in the
family ward, and the YSA sisters cover the campus. It's been great so
far, we have a lot of people we are working with right now!

Our top investigators right now is Kristin and her son Aden! Kristin
is dating a member of our ward and asked the missionaries to teach her
a few weeks ago. We had a couple awesome lessons with them this week!
On Thursday, we taught the plan of salvation, and at the end of the
lesson she asked us what she needed to do to get baptized, and if she
could pick a day! We told her of course! And she picked January 21
and her and her son are getting baptized! :) We went over Sunday
and Monday night as well, in order to teach everything before
Saturday and Sunday night she said she had a couple big questions
that she would text us so we could go over it Monday and then on
Monday she told us she had a really cool story to tell us. Since she
had the day off work she decided to spend a lot of time studying the
Book of Mormon and praying. After about an hour she said she was
learning a lot but none of her questions were really being answered,
so she said another prayer, asking to know if she was doing the right
thing, if this really was the true church. When she finished her
prayer she noticed some of the pages in her Book of Mormon had been
folded over, and so she opened it up and it was in the topical guide
in the back. She decided to just start reading and it lead her to
Mormon chapter 7, which answered all of her questions! She was so
excited and is so excited and ready to be baptized! God really does
answer our prayers.

There's a really awesome recent convert in our ward, her name is Otra,
and she got baptized last week right before I got here! She ended up
moving in with a member this week, and we took both of them to a
lesson we had with another less active, which was great! After the
lesson on the way back we asked them if we could stop by another
investigator for a couple minutes, just to invite her to church the
next day. When we got out of the car Otra recognized Angela, they had
worked together years ago! They were excited to see each other and
Otra told her about her baptism last week! She knew Sister Miller as
well, who had sat by her a couple weeks ago at church. It was a cool
little miracle, and when we got back in the car Sister Miller and Otra
were so excited, Otra told us that she had said a prayer before they
came out with us that they would see a miracle, and they did!

James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

Love y'all!
Sister Taylor
Sister Allen and I

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Georgia Snow!

Hey y'all!
So I'm getting transferred tomorrow, to the Athens 1st ward! My new
companion is Sister Allen, I'm excited!!
Here's my new mailing address:
4315 Lexington Rd.
Apartment #6C
Athens, GA
30605

This weekend there was a huge winter storm! It actually snowed/ice
rained! Everyone here freaks out when it snows since snow isn't very
normal. They all go and buy a ton of milk, eggs, and bread and hide in
their houses all weekend! It was kind of crazy to watch. The storm was
Friday night, and of course that night the other sisters took the car
so we were on bike. We biked over to our appointment, and the storm
wasn't too bad at that point, but then after it was over it was
sleeting! They refused to let us bike so we left our bikes and they
drove us back to the church (where the other sisters were meeting us).
So we got stuck at the church for a while since we didn't have our
bikes anymore, but we were able to call some people until the other
sisters came and got us. The ice was so bad when they did that we just
had to sleep over at their apartment. The scariest part about icy
roads here is that even if we know how to drive in the ice, nobody
else does. And since ice and snow isn't normal, they don't have plow
or salt trucks, so it just stays icy. Which is why most people just
stay in. Saturday morning we were able to get our bikes back and
slowly make it to our apartment! Saturday morning when we were out
like everyone else was out too, playing in the snow! It was fun to see
what they used for sleds/how to get ice off their cars. The best was
someone tied some laundry baskets together! And people were using
brooms to try and get ice off the cars (we used a lot of hot water,
all the cars were encased in ice!) Everyone thought we were crazy
being out working since it was so snowy. We had a cool experience with
one of our less actives! Just as we showed up, her non member husband
was walking out the door. After asking us what in the world we were
doing out in this weather, he invited us in and went to go get Sister
Duren. He got her and then sat down and started talking to us! He
ended up staying for the whole lesson and asked lots of good
questions! It was truly a miracle because for the whole 6 months I've
been here I've never had longer than a 30 second conversation with
him! The Lord really is softening the hearts of the people here!

We went on exchanges this week, and while we were on exchanges Sister
Patten and Sister Giddins had an awesome lesson with Andrea and she
accepted a baptismal date in February! I'm sad I won't be here but I'm
so excited for her!!

Also I don't know who said this, but I read it in this month's ensign
and I loved it!
“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never
has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and
salvation.”

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


 Our bikes encased in ice! We had to leave them all night


 MORE SNOW!

Exchanges! Sister Hollowell, Patten, me, and Giddins!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Last miracles of 2016!

Happy New Years! I hope y'all had a good one! It was pretty good out
here, we didn't do anything too exciting! New Year's Eve and Day were
just normal proselyting days. Our church changed to 9am so that was
exiting, haha sacrament meeting was pretty scarce that day! But we did
have one investigator show up, because his church was cancelled since
it was New Year's Day! It was a pretty good week, we were super busy,
and super tired by the end of the week, since we were on bikes. It was
pretty cold and rainy all week as well, and I got a bit sick. But we
made it through! Even though it was a harder week physically, we saw
so many miracles!

So if y'all remember a couple months ago I wrote about Stan, who
knocked on our door thinking he was moving into our apartment, well he
became a new investigator this week! And his mother too! After he
knocked on our door we sent the elders who lived our same apartment
complex to help him move in, which was awesome! After they helped him
they had tried teaching him, but schedules just never really worked
out. But recently they were moved out of the complex, so they referred
Stan to us, since he's in our area, and we were able to get an
appointment and teach him the restoration! He kept telling us how
grateful he was for those elders, and then his mom asked about our
church! They've been looking for one that they both like, since they
just moved in! Stan asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon and said
they'd love to come to church! We're excited to continue to teach
them!

This week we got a really awesome referral! We were visiting some
members, and they have a caregiver comes in during the week. The
caregiver that normally works for them was on vacation so they had
someone else filling in, her name is Tanya. The first thing she said
when we walked in was "you're not setting me up with the missionaries,
are you?" Kind of jokingly, kind of not. We said no, we normally visit
these members on Wednesday's and we didn't even know she would be
there. So we start talking and Tanya is kind of off to the side, and
we ask her what her experience has been with Mormons? So we get
talking about her experiences, she's had many interactions with
members and even went to a temple open house (which she said she'd
love to be able to go back inside!).  Before we know it the member
starts teaching her the restoration! It was a very powerful lesson,
and you could feel the spirit testifying of the truthfulness, that
this is what she is missing in her life. By the end she said "I'm
going to have to think about and ponder what you've told me." So we
gave her our number and a picture of Jesus (which she put on the back
of her phone :) ). Later that day she texts us and asks where she can
get a copy of a Book of Mormon, which we were excited about because
earlier she said she didn't want our book! She was able to go back and
get one from the member before she left on a trip. And the miracle
just gets even bigger and better! A couple days later she calls us and
said she had the most amazing experience. She had the Book of Mormon,
but had no idea where to start, so she said a little prayer and asked
God to show her if this is the path she needed to take, and then opens
the Book of Mormon to the middle, and guess what chapter she had
turned to!! 3 Nephi 11!! Our jaws just dropped, that it was no
coincidence that she had randomly turned to that chapter! She said the
chapter touched her so deeply, and she could hear God speaking to her
so clearly! What an amazing experience! There is no doubt where God is
leading her, and although the journey may be long, the path is clear!

"Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things will
always work out." -President Hinckley

Love y'all!
Sister Taylor
 
 Lots of biking!!
This is in our apartment complex.