Aug 6, 2012

Trent's email 8/1/12

Well, I wasn't expecting that.  I'm impressed, you guys always find something new to blow me away.  First Harley's dead, next, the boys are back in town.  Are we living close to the Benhams now?  Hahaha, I'm excited.  I like St. George.  I was looking forward to a more frequent dinner date, but that's okay!  I'm glad Becca's back where she started.  I hope things work out well for Dad.
OH! Before I forget (again), happy birthday Dad, and happy Father's Day!  I'm sorry I don't have any gift, just love, and I'm sorry I forgot so many Wendesdays!  It's great to have my dad.  It's been a good life.
Mom, I know you like house hunting.  That's a bummer that the job wasn't what it was supposed to be.  She didn't want to go to Jordan?  Aaah, Tennis will be so good for her!  But I thought she was gonna do soccer?  And Mr. Christensen will be her coach, he's a good guy.  Fantastic coach, I think he wins in girls tennis regional EVERY YEAR.  He's great.  Work hard, Becca!  I wrote her a letter today, so expect that. 
I knew that the Church settled in Vegas, but I wasn't exactly sure what happened, or how it became such a terrible place...
What about the outskirts of Vegas, like that LDS community... Ah, I can't remember what it's called.  But there are some good places, just stay out of the ghetto areas. 
Hahaha, all moms here cook, like, rice and meat and beans.  It's so interesting to hear some people talk about how fantastic their food is... I don't understand some people.  That's one thing I'm learning a ton about on the mission... understanding different behaviors and problems...
Oh, I've had some great break throughs this week.  First of all, I realized that my comp isn't irritated by me, he's just super shy, and so I just need to be encouraging and fun and everything goes well.  Although it will be nice to have a companion who enjoys speaking to me.
I want to share this stuff I wrote down the other day during my personal study with you guys:
Personally, this is what I think God expects of me.  He wants me to be like Christ.  Perfectly compassionate, humble, patient, strong, charitable, spiritual, meek, and temperate.  The Spirit is our great teacher and protector-if we can develop ourselves spiritually, follow his guidance always.  We can be instruments in the Lord's hands.  Certain rules are given to help us develop spiritually (Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, keep the Sabbath Day holy).  They're made to protect us, like you said mom, from losing our spiritual focus.  A lot of times, the rules don't make sense til we try them out.
For reasons I still don't know, God has also required that we make covenants with Him (baptism, endowment, sealing) for our salvattion.  These covenants made through the Priesthood of God are designed to bring me fantastic blessings if I do my part.  I still don't completely understand the endowment, but it'll come.  The point is, if I keep working at it, I'll have eternal life.  Everyone needs these covenants.  The Spirit is how we learn, how we are guided, comforted, cleaned, notified of our forgiveness, strengthened, and corrected.  These powers of the Spirit are 100% dependent on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, according to the Scriptures.  I have personally felt, in at least a small way, each one of these powers of the Spirit.  Now, the Spirit works these things on the condition of our faith and obedience and repentance.  If we do not let the Spirit guide and clean us, it cannot.  If we do things grudgingly (walking outside in the sun, preaching the gospel, serving), we receive no personal benefit from the Spirit.  1 Cor 13.
That's where I'm at now.  Still working on it.  But, that's what I've been studying.
We've been doing lots of contacting, and lots of book of Mormon giving.  We're trying to find that next golden investigator, that next baptism.  It's hard, but it's worth it.  We found a really genial family this week, I'm super excited to go back and teach them.  They're smart, they want to read, and they live close to the Church.  Woo!
These pictures are my tigraje, my companion, and my sewing skills.  I'm definitely singing Stand By Me at a Ward Karaoke Night.  That's Elder Robertson.  I sewed the little loop on my tie, and it looks pretty good (it's not perfect, but hey, it's functional).
Yeah, I bought honey mustard today.  I think I'll make some good salads this week. And omlettes, Zoe suggested omlettes.
So, that's another day in the life in the DR.  Living it up, you know.  I'm lovin' it.  And I love you guys!  Take care, excited to hear from you again next week!
Oh, and thanks so much for the fourth of July package!  It was really fun.  You guys are the best!
Elder Taylor

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