Aug 15, 2012

Trent's email 8/8/12

Hey ma, pa.
Life's... good.  I just relaxed today.  I didn't clean very much.  I am not stressing out today.
I hate stress.  Sometimes, you just don't know what to do.  Like, we have a meeting and we have a really cool appointment with a cool family at the same time, and we need to find a member so we can go on splits and cover both commitments.  But, there are no members.  So, we miss our appointment.  Then, the cool family doesn't want to set another appointment because we failed them.  It's really frustrating.  Also, sometimes you just don't know where to go - so many houses, so many people, and it's so hard to tell who's REALLY interested or really going to progress because people in this country LIE before they say, "no, not interested," so it just seems like everyone's going to get baptized, when very few people care.  And with a new missionary, it's frustrating because he wants to visit EVERY PERSON that we've EVER CONTACTED, when I know lots of them AREN'T going to progress.  But, patience.  I'm learning, and I'm not letting myself stress about it anymore.  Do my best, and let the Lord take care of the rest.
I'm sorry life's so hectic.  I don't know how you guys handle all this moving, I know you all hate it.
Selling stuff, huh?  Probably means that my golf clubs are gone.  Darn.  I should've used those when I had the chance.  Three years until Becca graduates.  Of course, you guys told me you'd last two in Draper, and you didn't even make two months, so I'm not gonna count any chickens until next September, when they hatch.
I'm glad Becca's going to Iceburg.  That's the place to be, man.  I LOVE it there.  Good memories.  That'll be cool to have those memories in common with her.  And I'm excited to go back and see her junior and senior year, hopefully playing tennis!  Well, I'll get to see a little, at least, whatever's available when I'm not in school.  Tennis should be cool for her.  
And I'm glad she has good friends.  I find it ironic that Becca's finishing her Fitness for Life class in a McDonald's... probably eating french fries.  I envy the thought of you two sitting in an air conditioned restaurant with ice cream and laptops.
I want to know what other classes Becca is taking!  I sent her a letter today.
Hopefully they keep Dad busy.  I know he's not happy unless he's busy.  Glad to know he's still a "whirling dervish."  Oh, how my English vocabulary has diminished in the past 10 months.
So, I was talking with some Elders today about the plan of salvation, specifically the three kingdoms of glory.  I read a quote in the Book of Mormon Institute manual that talks about sin and the price of salvation.  The GA asked, "Christ suffered for our sins so we could be saved.  Does this mean that we can, instead, suffer for our own sins and then receive Celestial Glory?"  He answered his own question: "No. Salvation is more than just paying for sins.  There's something unexplainable that happens when you combine Faith in God with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, allowing Him to pay for your sins--you change.  You become a better person.  Celestial Glory isn't just about justice, it's about becoming what Christ wants us to be.  If we pay for our own sins, that doesn't happen.  We need the Atonement of Jesus Christ."  Okay, so I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point.  Another Elder told me today that suffering in the other Kingdoms (Telestial and Terrestrial) don't come from punishment, but instead come from being unable to satisfy the physical demands of our untrained bodies.  I don't know if that's true, but the concept is fascinating, and makes me want to work so much harder to become what I'm supposed to be.
Also, I want to testify to the power of Love and faith.  In the beginning of this transfer, I had a really hard time getting Elder Robertson to do certain parts of mission work-mostly, speaking when he needed to speak.  Sister Douglas taught me that "success breeds success."  Every time something he did was bad, I complimented the parts that were good, and let him correct himself, so he'd feel appreciated and successful.  Every once in awhile, I'd exert him to do something he didn't want to do, and when I'd try to guilt-trip him or express impatience, everything became more uncomfortable.  But, when I was supportive, encouraging, and loving, he does what I ask (as long as I'm sincere).  He's changed.  He's opened up.  He's becoming a much better missionary.  And we have fun together now.  I'm really glad for this opportunity I've had to train him, and I know that i've learned a lot.
I think it's fascinating and disgusting how warped our perception of "love" has become in this world. Mainstream pop culture expresses love as something that just comes and goes, and we have no control over it, but we need to satisfy it or we can't keep living.  I love how the covenants of God help us realize what love truly is and how we truly use it for our benefit, instead of being something that controls us.  Marriage is a fantastic institution.
Nope, I'm not a teenager anymore.  I realized how cool it is that people call me "Taylor" now, and that I don't really have Dad by my side to protect me as much.  I have to be my own man.  I have to rely on the Lord for my strength.  I've grown up into the name "Taylor," even though it's a tough name to fill.  I don't know if I'm ready to go back to the real world yet, but thankfully I still have another year and two months to prepare myself.  Missions rock.
I got a package this week!  Craisins and peanut M&Ms and crystal light.  Thank you!  I'm really excited to eat the M&Ms.  You guys are the best, and I love you!
How did things go with my glasses?  Am I getting another pair soon?
Love you all. Miss you.  See you soon.
Elder Taylor

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