Apr 17, 2012

Trent's email 4/11/12

So, guess what.  In about three weeks, I´ll get to skype you guys =)
In other news, I´m stoked that Romney´s gonna win it and that the party has decided to step down, Thanks Dad for sending me a Camera, and Becca´s just as crazy as ever, but that´s good. I hope you guys enjoyed Phantom, that´s super exciting.  I realized, and told my comp this week, that the two things I miss the most about the states are 1) being able to buy a candy bar whenever you want and 2) being able to just go anywhere, just drop whatever I was doing and go do something fun.  The mission is definitely rewarding, but we are very limited on our activities, ESPECIALLY on days that aren´t Preparation Days.
But, it´s definitely what´s supposed to go down.  Elder Sweeney hit his year and 6 months last week, so we went to McDonald´s to celebrate Wednesday night.
Now, remember, I´m in a third world country with a lack of education on food hygiene.  They spend lots of time in the MTC telling us not to eat in any place that looks shabby, and never in a cart from the side of the road, and always make sure the members of the ward are cooking safely, and to bleach all our fruits and vegetables.  I´ve been meticulous about that stuff.  Never would´ve thought I´d get my first case of food poisoning from McDonalds.  I couldn´t leave the house all day on Thursday because I was disgustingly sick.  I decided that it was a punishment from God for being out later than 10:30 for McDonalds.  Man, it wasn´t fun.
But, today, I am 100%.  The flu-cold that I had is completely gone, and the food poisoning was gone on Friday.  So, yeah.
I brought my journal, though, to share some cool experiences I´ve had this week.
I did three intercambios in the last two weeks.  Elder Sweeney´s District leader, which means he´s basically in charge of Pueblo Nuevo (our area), and two other areas, Rafey and El Ejido.  He´s supposed to make sure the missionaries are working well and investigators are progressing, and also that the missionaries are getting along and doing their best to be successful.  Last monday, Elder Jenks from Rafey came here; he´s in my ¨group¨ which means that he and I started the mission on the same day, and he was in my ¨district¨ in Provo (This is the same one that comes over every pday to eat lunch or whatever, he´s from California and really chill).  That was cool, he makes a delicious chocolate peanutbutter banana shake.  I love bananas now, by the way.  LOVE them.  But, he doesn´t like to talk much in lessons.  Like at all.  So that was weird, cuz I was basically teaching alone.
Sometimes, I get really angry.  People say things, and sometimes they´re really stupid things.  Like, there´s a verse in Matthew that says, ¨After John are fulfilled the law and the prophets,¨ or something like that, so people think that it means that there will never be another prophet after John the Revelator, when, if anyone REALLY reads the chapter, it´s talking about John the Baptist, and how the Law of Moses and the prophecies of the prophets from the Old Testament are fulfilled when Jesus Christ comes.  It´s just so obvious, but people use it as though we´re completely equivocated.  Also, one guy said that Joseph Smith can´t be a prophet because he had lots of women, and I asked him about Solomon, and he said, ¨but Solomon repented of that,¨ which is outrageous... because the Bible says his wives and concubines were ordained of God. 
Then, I went to El Ejido with Elder Ruiz, who´s a really old missionary (okay, just as old as Elder Frometa, but with lots of experience and different styles).  I learned a lot about loving the investigators; elder Frometa really liked to tell people that they were wrong, so I guess I picked that up from him.  I did that to a guy we contacted in El Ejido, and Elder Ruiz told me to never do that ever again.  So, I´m adapting my teaching style to be more loving and less harsh. If people are wrong, even if they´re directly offensive, I need to just be open, loving, and help them find a way to see the light of our message.
And this Monday, the Zone Leaders (they´re in charge of 4 districts which basically makes up every ward in our Stake) did an intercambio in Pueblo Nuevo, so I went to their zone with Elder Newbold.  He´s a fantastic musician, loves Rachmaninoff, went to BYU before the mission, is a goofy, Arizona kid.  Definitely the most fun intercambio of the three.  Also, he cooks well, so that was nice.  He made me an egg salad sandwich (hardboiled eggs are really growing on me as well).  He is a very quiet person, though, so I learned to sometimes be a little more mellow when we´re street contacting (that is, knocking door to door).  It all depends on the personality of the person answering the door; gotta use that gift of discernment.
anyway, We´re working.  Yesterday was a fantastic day. We just have so many investigators, families, people with a lot of potential. I´m learning how to help people really see how important the Gospel is to me, so they can desire it for themselves, too.  I love how good it feels when we invite a dad to pray for their family, with their family, for the first time in a long time.  I love people coming to church and being excited about the things they learned. I love telling people that God didn´t die with the Bible, but that there´s a prophet today in this day.  I realized how badly I take the council of the modern day prophet for granted.  I get a little more excited every day to apply all this knowledge in the real world one day.
All this talking with stubborn people has really made me think about how stubborn I am with my beliefs, and how I don´t ever want to deny truth because I think I understand.  I´ve been working really hard looking for truth, reasoning it out, and praying about it.  The Spirit is a fantastic teacher, and really the only one worth listening to.  It´s funny how in church, we talk about the same thing all the time, but by the Spirit, we can learn things EVERY DAY that are directly applicable to our lives, past present and future. I love studying the Gospel. I hope all of you are taking time to read the scriptures.
Anyway, That has been my week.  I´m glad everything´s going well out there, that you guys had fun in Church, that you´re enjoying your freedom to go places and see things.  Elder Sweeney and I have decided to go around and take lots of pictures of our area next week just in case one of us gets transferred out the week after.  Sweeney thinks that I´ll train a new missionary next transfer, so that´d be an experience, but another three months in Pueblo Nuevo, too.  We´ll have to see! I´ll find out Friday if I´m training, and otherwise in two Tuesdays what happens for transfers (which happen the day after we find out what´s going to happen).  Anyway, I love you all!  Keep up the lovin and the havin fun and the writing me!
Elder Taylor!

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