Jan 3, 2012

Email home 12/28/11

Ooh, Macbook AIR!  How cool.  Those are fantastic for school.  I´m glad dad´s so excited to buy everyone everything, still.  That´s funny.  

I think it´s funny, being out here for only two days and being able to talk to you already.  It was like, everyone in the mission had been waiting for it to happen cuz it´s something that only happens every once in a while, but I feel like I've been talking to you guys all the time lately, simply because I just left two months ago.  But, I did love seeing you guys.  Glad to see everyone's happy.  My companion's family was neglecting to tell him that his dad has had two heart attacks.  Please don't do that to me, in the event that anything happens.  Just let me know.

We've made some more good contacts.  My companion is confused, cuz we're having significantly more success than he did.  He thinks it's because we're happy people, and we take it seriously when we need to.  I've decided that, from my limited experience, a good missionary does three things.  1) Loves everyone-companion and EVERY person he meets, no matter how scary they seem. 2) Has ultimate faith in the Lord 3)  Just does what he's told.  They've figured out this whole mission thing from years of experience, so if you follow the rules and plan and schedule and if you are where you're supposed to be at the right time with a good attitude, everything works out.  I'm not saying I'm gonna have a 60 baptism mission (which exists, apparently), but I know I'm gonna have success, whether the numbers come or not.

So, gross thing that happened this morning.  Apparently evaporated oil likes to recondense on the top of our cabinet, where we've been storing some dishes that we don't use very often.  And in the 4.5 months it's been a mission home, it hasn't been cleaned, and probably a long time before that.  Well, recondensed oil is GROSS, the best way I can describe it is with the viscosity of hot tar.  And when your cleaning supplies are limited to a scrubbrush, water, pinesol, and vivacious youthfulness, you're gonna need a WHOLE lot of the last one to get it off.  I probably scrubbed the top of the cabinet for two hours.  I think I sweated more today than I have walking around tracting.  Anyway, as soon as almost all of it was off the cabinet and on the scrubbrush, I went downstairs to try to expell it from the scrubbrush to the concrete (because the scrubbrush was so dirty, it wasn't working, and the oil wouldn't .  The bishop of our ward, who happens to live right below us, came out and gave me a product that is MADE for removing that stuff.  On the bright side, I think I'm stronger now, we have cabinet space, I have more cleaning experience (future husband points, right?), and I laid aluminum on the top of the cabinet to ensure easy removal next time (thanks to suggestion of mrs. bishop).  But, our kitchen is deliciously clean, thank heavens.  I don't fear E. Coli any longer.  Oh, except maybe from INSIDE the fridge.  I didn't get there, unfortunately (cursed oil).  But, next week.  And my health's still good, so there probably isn't any E. Coli anywhere in the kitchen.  And I can probably survive another week.

In other news, I figured out how to enjoy cold showers.  I just pretend like I'm going down a really big, fun, coldish waterslide (like seven peaks!) and just dive in.  once the water hits your spine and makes you gasp, it stops being so painful.  And I can pretend like I'm at a pool or something, which I sort of miss.  So, killing two birds with one stone.  I feel so efficient and resourceful =)

I still need to figure out how to budget better.  I overspent by about $5, maybe 10 dollars.  I think when I finally get the basics in the apartment (and everything is clean again) I can spend a little less.  I don't really know how to live cheaper... we eat rice, beans, a little chicken, and cereal.  I guess we could give up the powdered milk if we have to.  Or the meat with the rice.  And I did buy oreos and a couple tasty drinks at the corner store.  I'll figure it out.

Sheesh, quite the party with the family, eh?  Sounds exciting, seeing everyone.  

Oh, I got some bleach on one of my pairs of pants.  so, yeah, it's ruined.  I don't need one now, but next time you send a package, if maybe you could get some money out of my account and buy me another pair, that'd be nice.  Did I tell you that Florida's apparently the best for letters, while FedEx to the mission home is probably the best for packages?  I think I did.  I think they said that because Florida taxes out the wazoo for packages.  But, do whatever you need to. 

Thanks for the update.  Kristen and Austin graduating, it's like the world's at an end or something.  Hahaha, lots of UVU students, huh?  Well, it has some REALLY good programs, so that's good.  Tell Jessi good luck for me.  That sounds really hard, all that work and school.  How's Brit?

Some days my spanish is really good.  Some days its really bad.  Today, I haven't been speaking Spanish because I'm a sinner.  But, life's good.  I felt super excellent on... I believe it was Sunday night.  There's a member named Melvin, and he has a sister who's pretty... oblivious?  She's fourteen, just like Becca, and her name's Liliana (pretty, right?).  Anyway, I don't really know her status, she's apparently a member that sometimes attends another ward even though she lives in our boundries.  But, she didn't know who Joseph Smith was, or about the importance of the Book of Mormon and prayer.  so we taught her (and a bunch of other people were there) about those things, the restoration, and she prayed at the end of the lesson, and I felt something so fantastic.  Like, I was immensely happy that she prayed, even though we get people to pray ALL the time.  I feel like Liliana's prayer was something that Heavenly Father was waiting for for a long time, and He was extremely happy when it happened.  I'm definitely blessed to be a part of this process of people getting closer to their Heavenly Father.  I wish I could help everyone I know understand all these things that I'm teaching and learning.

Which, by the way, is so fantastic.  I was just walking down the street yesterday, and felt like I had a backpack full of gold, or money, or something, and I was handing it out to people.  If people understood our message, tha's what would be happening.  This message is WAY better than any physical thing.  The knowledge that God loves you, wants to listen to you, and has sacrificed everything so that you can live with your families for forever, and is willing to help you EVERY STEP of the way, in any aspect of your life--if people understood how true this really was, how much it can help them, they'd want it more than gold.

I'm getting accustomed to being here.  I was looking out at the city today, and it WASN'T weird, this time, that I'm in the Dominican Republic.  It has been the past few weeks, but I'm finally acostumbrándome.  Although I don't understand everything yet, and I generally have NO idea where we are at any given time of the day, I'm feeling comfortable, ready to work, sane.  My companion's got a good head on his shoulders, so he takes good care of the both of us.  And I'll figure it out sooner or later.  Hopefully before he leaves in three months =)

I love you all!  Have a fantastic week.  I pray for you, and love you.  Thanks for everything you do, which I know is a lot.  Two years is gonna go by before y'all know it, just take it one day at a time.  Cuídense!

Elder Taylor

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