Jun 27, 2012

Trent's email 6/20/12

So, all things considered, I'm becoming a better person.
I've decided that God is just testing my patience.  Wow, you guys will be BLOWN AWAY with how PATIENT I'll be at the end of these three months.  Yeah.  That's right.  Prepare to be dazzled.

No, but, in the words of the poet, "All's Well that Ends Well," and I am happy today.
I had a tres leche.  That means nothing to any of you, but I'm extremely happy.  It's like... nothing.  Nothing I can think of describes tres leche.  Cheesecake, kind of, but less solid.  And not even close to the same flavor.  It's like the flavor... of really delicious ice cream cake.  Yeah.  And runnier than cheesecake.  I feel like other American missionaries here would approve of that description of tres leche.
Also, my comp and I have had some good laughing moments together.  Especially today, I helped him pick out a good watch, and find another shirt, so that will make the whole week a little easier for both of us.  Plus, I LOVE exploring.  All those shops in Mexico, right?  Tourist traps that have the same thing, and you get to barter prices?  So, Calle del Sol has a lot of stores like that (it's a whole street... like... market street), and I found two excellent, beautiful ties that I'm really excited about, and they only cost $2.50 each.  Yeah.  Supershopper, I am.  Plus, my comp found a good watch that he likes for $7, mostly thanks to me.  I'm proud.  And we're more united as a companionship.
Plus, last night we had a FANTASTIC Ward-Mission Correlation Meeting with the Bishop and the "Ward Mission Leader."  Finally, I get why we do these things.  We now have a functioning Ward Mission Plan, and I think it will work out really well.  It's been rough with Bishop Mirabal working outside of the city (like, 4 hours away) throughout the week, so I think life's gonna go better.
Plus, Yudelkis and Junior are OFFICIALLY getting married on Tuesday.  We got quite a bit of help from the Bishopric (chemist, doctor, and... business manager), and I helped with $13, and we got $13 from basically every poor person in the ward, gave like, $2.  So, we're there.  It's scheduled.  Five baptisms coming up, and a trip to the temple in a year.  Those kids have been waiting at LEAST a year to get baptized, so it will be a fantastic experience to finally be able to see it.  Yefferson is SO Smart.  He knows SO MANY THINGS about the gospel, and I'm excited.  Furthermore, in that incredible aforementioned correlation meeting, we talked about the manual and the essential parts of a baptismal service, and who needs to be in charge, so I think it will be a fantastic service on the 30th.
Plus, our recent convert Anthony, who, last week, told me he's gonna go back and be Catholic, is sitting next to me in this internet center, and we're buddies, and he's coming to the activity tomorrow, and he went to Church last Sunday, so I think we've got him.  He also told us the other day that he knows the church is true.  I think he just needs to be reminded of how much love we have for him.  Members don't get it.  He acts antipathetic about the Church (says things like, how stupid it is, or how he's never going back) because the members act antipathetically about him.  So, they start complaining and saying that we never should've baptized him.  But, everyone just needs to love him, and he feels welcome and does his job and it's all good!
Things haven't gotten much better with Elder Robertson, but I think I finally figured him out a little bit.  Compliments really do help, thanks for the advice, Mom.  Also, I think one of these days he'll realize that a good missionary isn't one who just does everything that the Mission Manual says, but rather one who tries to treat others how Christ would treat them.  It's kind of motivating to see how much progress I've made in that, compared to someone who just entered the mission field.  I like it.
I think I'm doing all the things you guys have advised me to do-wash the dishes, cook, clean, pray for guidance, pray for faith.
Dad, I haven't thought TOO much about why I'm in the DR.  I think it's because Dominicans are a lot like me-loud, inconsiderate, disheveled-and I need to learn how to mix that world with the Lord's ideal.  That's what I've come up with so far.  But, I will pray about it.
I can't believe we don't live in St. George anymore.  Will you send me the new address so I can tell the mission President?
Haha, President Douglass gets here next Friday.  I'm excited for that!  I got pictures with President Lee last meeting I saw him, it'll be a little weird, but he's had three years of being a missionary, so I'm glad that he gets to go home with his family and go on vacation and stuff (I don't know where Dominicans go for vacation... but I hope he enjoys it). 
But, nothing.  That's what's up down here in the DR.  Dad, when you go to Peru, try to go to Church in el centro de Estaca de La Molina, that's where Elder Robertson's from.  There are two missionaries in my same zone from that Ward, Elder Robertson and Elder Casafranca.  Maybe you can meet his parents.  I feel like that's super cool, and lucky.  And cool.  That's if you're in Lima.  I don't know where you're going.  I hope you like it there.  I asked my companion if there's anything he wanted you to look for while you're in Peru, but he just said that he wants the Church's Pass-along cards, which they don't give us in this mission.  Yeah, he's kind of a robot right now, I'll let you know in a couple months how that goes.
Ta da.  All's Well that Ends Well.  This week will be FANTASTIC, because I am going to break him.  Yeah.  That's right.  And I'll probably eat some more tres leche.  Oof.  So good.

Pictures 6/20/12

Love you family!

Jun 19, 2012

Trent's email 6/13/12

It's been a rough week.
I wonder if my attitude's bad?
But, yeah.  I'm here.  Thanks for your prayers.  I'm actually really
surprised that I'm handling everything that's going on as well as I
am.  Probably thanks to your prayers.
I don't even know where to start, and I don't feel like writing an
email of complaints, so I'm gonna be positive.
It's raining and thundering for the first time in about a month.  I'm
digging it, I missed the rain.  I love it when it rains hard.
I think Junior and Yudelkis are gonna get baptized NEXT week, because
they had a funeral this sunday and couldn't come to Church.  They're
working through everything, even though times are kind of tough.
I got poptarts at a REALLY good deal last week at La Sirena, and they
were delicious.
I still have a lot of money left in my personal account, which is
good.  I was really stressing out about that today, but I checked it
just now, and we're doing alright here.
I'm gonna get some really nice new shoes from "Dajabon," a city that
borders Haiti.  They'll be like Ecco quality, and I won't pay more
than 30 bucks.
I got the umbrella and swedish fish you sent me.  THANK YOU!
I still have lots of chocolate left over from that giant package of
chocolate you sent me.  THANK YOU!
My companion knows the doctrine.  One less thing to stress about.
Elder De Leon, my district leader, is a great support and helping alot.
The ward ended up bailing out that family, and we're trying to animate
them to do all those good things that you're supposed to do.
Alma 5:16 is an excellent verse of scripture.
I'm becoming a very effective teacher, and I am now realizing that I'm
pretty good at talking to people.  It makes me happy.
We have a WHOLE ton of Book of Mormons in the house now, because the
mission received like 60 boxes full.
I have some good new church movies to watch.
The house is clean.  We cleaned lots today.
I'm learning how to cook well.  Or adequately, at least.
Becca wrote me an email :)  I like her hair.
Being a trainer is hard.
Trials strengthen us.
I don't even know why I'm so worn out.  I just am.  I feel like I've
been pulling him around the city all day today.  It really is like
having a kid.  I have to explain every little thing to him, and he's
still not very happy about a lot of the stuff we do, like walking
around with a Book of Mormon, or spending two hours to cook food and
eat and study in the afternoon.  Or, I explain that people can't hear
him and he needs to speak louder if he wants to be heard, and he
speaks the same.
He won't show me pictures of his family.
He won't even tell me how old he is.
He speaks out loud when he's thinkiing, but super quietly, so I can't
The only times he tells me what he thinks is when 1) I ask like, five
times, for him to tell me what he's thinking or 2) I'm doing something
He spends like, half an hour in the bathroom every time we're supposed
to be leaving or studying together.
He doesn't wash dishes or cook, and rarely cleans the house.
I basically have to manage his finances for him because he has NOTHING
this week-he spent it all last week.
We stay up past 10:30 every night talking a lot about the plan for the
next day... It's a good thing that we do, but I'm sleep deprived.
He's a good guy, and a good missionary, but I just am worn out this week.
Furthermore, Anthony and Yanette (I learned that's how to REALLY spell
her name) are difficult because of this corner store they bought...
they work Sundays, so we don't know if we can baptize them.
Yudelkis lost her job.  So I don't know how soon that baptism's going to happen.
So, those have been my challenges this week.  But, I know things will
change soon.  I know I will become stronger, and I know the Lord will
help.  But man, am I tired.  Hey, we have investigators!  That's a
good thing.
So I love you guys.  I'm really really excited to see you guys again,
even though it's gonna be a long time from now.
I'm gonna live.  I just feel weighed down.  Have a great week!  Keep
being a wonderful family!

Jun 13, 2012

Trent's email 6/6/12

Felicidades por terminar con el mudarse!  Yo odiaba el mudarnos, pero
ya ustedes lo hicieron bien rápido.  Bueno, no todo terminó todavia,
pero estoy impresionado.
So, yeah, good work.  It´s always a weird feeling to be in between
houses.  I hope it´s a good house over there in Draper, and I hope
leases are cheaper than rent.  Also, I hope Kevin´s behaving himself
and keeping his dumb little Indian tribe to himself.  Furthermore, how
is Tasha, and when is she getting married, or did that happen already?
I wish people would update me about their lives, especially people
like Tasha... sigh.  Okay, I´m done feeling sorry for myself =D
Hahaha, you guys need to find more ways to entertain yourselves than
the TV.  Where´s Jackson going again?
Woo.  Super nervous about the training thing.  Elder Robertson is,
despite his name, Peruvian.  His great grandfather was American, but
he´s completely peruvian.  Also, he´s incredibly shy.  Like you said,
mom, it´ll be really challenging, but I´m excited.
So, I found out about a little disaster that has been going on for the
last six months, of which I´ve been blissfully unaware.  There´s a
family in the ward, they didn´t come to church on Sunday, and I just
felt like we should visit them.  So we did.  The mom began to cry when
I prayed, saying that they had no money and they´re giving up the
house this week and she´s going to live with her parents and he´s
going to live with his because he´s not happy with her anymore.  They
have a boy who´s seventeen, a girl who´s fifteenish, and a girl who´s
twelvish.  They have 22 years in the church, he´s a graphic designer
and she paints ceramics and sells them.  They´re $400 behind (three
months) in rent, and someone had been robbing their electricity (as
in, using electricity that they were paying for by illegally
connecting it to their house) so their bill was at $100 for the month,
which is about 3x what it normally is.  He´s also got a diploma in
SOMETHING, I think it´s design, and she´s ALWAYS working when we pass
by.  She told us that the bishop promised them a little bit of food a
month and a half ago, and it never arrived.  She was very very upset.
We weren´t very happy either.  Furthermore, no one had visited her,
minus us and a few other members just to visit, so we went to ask the
bishopric and the relief society why they hadn´t been visiting.
We found out, from the bishopric, that 1) the ward has already payed 4
months of rent for them 2) They had offered the head of the household
various jobs that he wouldn´t take, heaven knows why.  Apparently it
embarrasses him to sell things.  Also, for some reason, he rejected
graphic design projects, too.  3) They don´t pay tithing.  4) We
already knew, they don´t really do much in the church, especially as
far as callings and things go.  5)  With the money for food, they have
been completely incapable to transfer the money because they have not
had internet access, and absolutely everything financial with the
church these days is apparently electronic.  They had explained this
to the family five times already when we arrived to talk to the
So, they have decided to never come back to church.  ¨Its the Lords
Church, but he´s not here right now, we´re the only ones, and this
ward isn´t helping us.¨
And we decided to leave it in the Lord's hands.  Hopefully they´ll
learn their lesson.  I feel bad because I feel like the mother is
suffering for the pride of her husband, but I don´t have $400 to help,
and I don´t have a job to offer, and I guess I can just pray.
We´re trying to get Junior and Yudelkis married.  We need about $80.
The bishop said he´s donating about $13.  We´re gonna see if we can
get more from the ward. I´ll probably help with, like $4.  They´re
both really excited about the gospel, and all their kids have been
wanting to get baptized for more than a year now.  It was great when
we finally got Junior on board to listen and come to church, and he´s
caught fire just like the rest of the family.  They´ve given up
drinking, and they call us every other day to see if we´re gonna come
¨share¨ with them.  Keep praying for them!
Thank you for the scriptures!  I love the process of scripture study-
take any problem you have in your life, and ask a question- ¨how can I
fix this?¨ then, read the Book of Mormon, and in SOME small way,
you´ll be answered.  It´s working miracles for me, try it!  The Book
of Mormon is a fantastic gift from the Lord.
I love you, Mom, Dad.  Don´t work too hard!  Thanks for the support
and advice.  Please pay your tithing, for your own sakes.  Love ya!

Jun 4, 2012

Trent's email 5/30/12

Wow, moving this week!  I'm a little nervous!  I can't believe you
guys are leaving St. George, now I'm gonna be telling everyone that
I'm from Salt lake.  I like not being from Salt Lake.  That's okay,
though, the other members are always asking about the temple.  It's
amazing how many people want to go there!  You two are lucky to be
sealed in the temple in Salt Lake.  Haha, you're planning on staying
in that rental for awhile, then?  I was thinking that this would be
another year-long sort of thing.  But, we'll see, right?
Go Mom, U-Haul driver of America!  I can't even imagine driving Esme
right now, much less a truck, much less a UHAUL.  Ugh.  NO thank you.
I'll have to do some practice rounds with Esme before I start really
driving again, hope the neighborhood's still pretty chill.  I'd hate
to destroy my only commodity as soon as I get home.  Ah, I can't
believe I'm gonna miss Tasha's wedding!  Blast it all, this mission
thing.  No, it's worth it.  I'll be there when Junior and Yudelkis get
married.  Which will happen, soon.
Oh, yeah, that's news.  Junior and Yudelkis are planning on getting
married soon, but they don't know how because of the money, but the
Bishop told us that he's gonna pay for it, so that should happen,
like, in two weeks or something.
And furthermore, I know I'll be here, because I got called to train.
That means that I'll be with a new missionary for three months, still
here in Pueblo Nuevo.  I'm excited.  We're pretty sure he's gonna be
Peruvian, but I'll let you know for sure next week.  I'll get to see
Yudelkis and Junior and hopefully Anthony and Janet get baptized (all
of whom came to CHURCH this week!) and there's a delicious bakery
nearby and it's not very hot here, comparatively, and I love going to
Calle del Sol to shop, cuz it's a great tourist trap and a cool
environment, so I'm not upset about staying here.  Just need to work
on talking to EVERYONE, even if I've passed by the street/house a
million times already. I realized on the way here today that I never
had looked at one house that I've probably already passed 100 times
since I've been here.
But I am scared about training.  It's messing with my mind.  In the
mission, if you train someone, they are forever known as your "hijo,"
or "son."  I guess my brain's really confused between a son and a real
son, because I had a dream about Courtney being pregnant, even though
I hadn't done anything.
Oh, luckily, it hasn't been raining very much this week, like, at
all.  I did run out of money, though.
Sheesh, it's been crazy!  We've been trying to help people REALLY
Understand the gospel message, but it's just not working.  I try to
speak as clearly as possible without telling them that their religion
is false, directly, hoping the Spirit will teach them that.
Rodriguez, I'm pretty sure, tries to offend people and tell them that
their religion is false.  So, we're in between right now, sometimes
being harsh and sometimes being too soft.  I don't know how to teach
people that are fixed in their catholic or adventist mindset.  We can
show them a scripture that teaches CLEARLY, VERY VERY CLEARLY that
they're wrong, but they just make excuses.  People are fixed in
religion, and not too keen about changing, even for the truth.
I'm glad you guys are gonna be in Salt Lake. Really, I am.  You'll be
closer to BYU, and it'll be fantastic.  I was thinking it'd be cool to
go skiing with you guys again, like in the old days, or go golfing
with those clubs that we bought and never really used, or playing
basketball.  Dad, enjoy your crazy time in SC and Peru, I'll be
hanging out with a Peruvian!  I think.
Sorry, but I have to go!  I sent you pictures, hope you enjoy!
Elder Taylor

Pictures 5/30/12