Sep 26, 2012

Trent's email 9/19/12

Good afternoon, Mom.  I hope the tennis match went well!  And the math homework.  I do miss high school.  I would like to go back.  Don´t feel bad, I went to the internet center very early.  Don´t worry about it.
Hmm.  Football is good.  We watched Forever Strong today about Rugby, for a pday activity.  Very good movie.  I liked it.  I hope you enjoyed yourselves playing football, but don´t forget WHY we have sabbath day.
I´m glad to hear Colton does so well, and that Dillon´s having fun as Defensive End, I think that´s called. I hope Natalie had fun on Drill.
Too bad we lost.
I am SO ready to go camping.  I love the peace in La Vega, it´s so much better than the city.  I decided that I never want to live too far east, or in a big city in California where you´re just jam packed.  I need to be able to escape. 
I got glasses, but she made the perscription too strong, so I can hardly see the computer.  I´m really ticked off, I´ll have to go back on Wednesday to talk to her.  She probably won´t be able to do anything about it unless I pay again.  Stupid doctors.
In your last email you said you wanted to know more about the district.  There are two districts in La Vega, in mine we have another pair of missionaries that go to our same branch, then another pair in another branch, and the Zone Leaders come half the time to our meeting, and they have their own branch.  It´s fun.  I realized that most of my mission, the district leader has done district meetings incorrectly, so it´s fun to figure out new fun things I can do when I do it the right way.  You know, false traditions of our fathers, no one ever reads the manual.  I like reading the manual, tells you how things SHOULD be done.  Usually, it´s pretty well thought out, if we just execute it the way it´s supposed to be executed.  That´s usually where the problems happen... a lot of times, we don´t do what we´re supposed to, so the church ends up... worse.
Anyway, I know the Lord inspires this work.  I know that we are here for a purpose, and that it´s the best purpose we could have.  A lot of times, we have to give up our own will for His, but it´d be stupid not to, because he´s a lot smarter than we are.  My plea is to be intelligent.  Do what the Lord expects and asks you to do, not what you think is best.  Study the scriptures with a spirit of humility, and you´ll get what you need.  Love the Lord above all things.  Does the Lord need our love?  Not at all.  We need to love Him.  When we do that, we put Him first.  Because His work and glory is the immortality and eternal life of man, when we put Him first, we put the salvation of ourselves and those around us as our first priority.  I can´t think of anything better.
So, think about what you do.  Every day, every moment, every word.  Ask yourself if it´s what the Lord would want.  If not, change it.  It´s worth the effort.
I love you all!
Elder Taylor

Sep 19, 2012

Trent's email 9/12/12

Hola familia, es el tiempo de escribir.  Lo siento que vine temprano al centro de internet, pero hoy va a ser un pday suficientemente tranquilo, por fin.  Yo espero DOS correos de mama la proxima semana, y uno de papi, tambien.
let me think... what has happened this week?
I have decided officially that the first place i want to go when I get back from the mission is camping, preferably on a beach, like Lake Powell.  Most important parts are swimming, the campfire, and family, and a dutch oven.  Oh, boy, do I want a dutch oven peach cobbler.  Wow.  Sounds incredible.
Lots of working this week.  Lots of working.  I love Elder Nelson!  He´s such a stud.  So energetic.  We talk all the time, and we stay up late at night talking.  I told him stories last night that I had forgotten, like when I spun off the freeway with Meg and Saya and Blake (holla!), and other things.  It´s fantastic.  We´re always working when we´re supposed to, having a blast meeting new people.  His spanish still isn´t the strongest, but he´s totally cool.  He´s always laughing and having a good time, no matter how frustrating the situation.  We´ve been practicing spanish a lot.
I have a paper on my wall with three goals for every day.  Read two pages of the new testament, do three spanish exercises, and eat a vegetable with my lunch. It´s coming alright, but it´s something to strive for!  I want to finish the New Testament again, and do more exercises.
One of the coolest things I´ve reinforced on my mission is how people can change.  Reason, love, and diligence help people to leave behind their pride, their fear, and follow God.  It´s important to help people leave those things behind because, in reality, we´re required to sacrifice everything to be able to be true Christians. I love this opportunity I have to serve a mission, to leave everything behind to serve him.  I don´t know how easy it will be when I get home to do the same, but I know what´s most important, and I refuse to ever let go of it.  I´ve met plenty of people that say, "no, they will just be upset and things will just get worse if we try."  Then, I try, and things get better.  Faith really is the most important thing.  Faith in yourself, faith in others, and faith in Jesus Christ.  Faith in yourself is a matter of honesty, really.  Be honest with your strengths and your weakness, and don´t compare yourselves to others.  Faith in others has to do with an optimistic attitude.  Look for the good in people.  As Christ said, "judge not, that ye be not judged, for with what measure ye judge, shall ye also be judged" or something like that.  It´s so true.  When we see the bad in other people, they see the bad in us.  Pride breeds pride, humility breeds humility.  Finally, Faith in Jesus Christ comes down to the testimony from the Holy Ghost.  People like to think they know that the Gospel is true or false through temporal evidence, but they´re deceiving themselves and everyone else they talk to about it.  The only way to really know if God exists is to keep yourself Spiritually strong.  If we don´t obey the law of chastity, the word of wisdom (including coffee and tea), keeping sabbath day holy, and all the other commandments, we lose the right and ability to feel the spirit and will lose, bit by bit, the testimony that we´ve gained.  When we don´t do the three basics (read, pray, and go to church), we don´t invite the Spirit into our lives, and can´t build our testimony.  If we don´t dedicate time each day to build our testimony, we won´t have what we need to face the challenges of life when they come, and we won´t be able to enter into the Celestial Kingdom of God after the final judgment, simply for lack of diligence or prioritizing.  Really, it´s depressing.
So, that´s my new perspective. That´s how I feel. I invite each and every person who reads this letter to put their lives in order with the will of God through repentance.  Talk to your bishop, he´s there to help.  If you don´t know a bishop, find some missionaries. You´ll not regret that you did it.  Then, keep living the way He wants, keep reading and praying, and you´ll be blessed with things that are more important than anything or things that you can find in this world.  Try.  Have faith.  Believe in yourself, and believe in God!
I meet new inactive members every day.  Every single day, at least one.  I´m trying hard to meet all the active Melquisedek Priesthood Holders to get them involved in missionary work, too.  It´s a blast.
Keep on keeping on, family.  I love you!
Your son, Elder Taylor

Sep 12, 2012

Trent's email 9/5/12

Hey family.
It´s been a fantastic week.  I had to lead a meeting this week, and it went well, everything was very fun.  I really enjoyed sharing my testimony and my perspective of the scriptures with my friends.  I love my district, we´re gonna do lots of good work for this place.
Still loving La Vega. It´s surprising how many Menos Activos there are in this town, we keep running in to more and more.  I don´t know why we keep baptizing, we should just focus on helping them.
I´ve thought a lot about Anthony.  I wish I could just spend three weeks sleeping at his house and making him go to church so he wouldn´t have any more problems.  I love that man, and he has a desire to go to Church, but he just doesn´t have faith in himself.  He says that God isn´t helping him, that only I can help him.  But, God wants me here, so I can´t really change it.  I hope he keeps going and reading and stuff. I sent him a study guide and told him to fill it out and send it back to me.  I wish he´d do it.
We have few investigators here, so we´ve been doing a lot of contacting.  Elder Nelson´s energy is incredible, I love watching him work and he makes me want to be a better person. Also, Cody Eckman sent me a letter about being strong and doing the will of the Lord.  Really, if it weren´t for my friends, I´d be lost in this world.
Glad to hear that Becca and her partner are having fun in tennis.  Wish I could be there to see it!
We had a Zone activity (that´s why my email´s late) and it was really fun!  We just relaxed at the chapel in the Zone leader´s area, threw around a football (there´s a kid from Richfield and a kid from Cedar in my Zone) and talked about life, then made spaghetti and cookies.  so great.  Very relaxing.  There are sisters in this zone. It was very refreshing to have a feminine influence around.  Women make life better.
I have had SO MUCH FUN with Elder Nelson.  He´s hilarious. I´ve been doing a video journal every night, and when I run out of space on this memory card, I´m going to send it to you, but you guys need to send it back to me quick and take off all the photos (onto my laptop or something) so I can keep recording. I have two memory cards, but videos take up quite a bit of space.  My sixteen gig has about an hour and a half of video, I believe, and I do about three minutes a night, but sometimes more.  So, yeah. 
Gotta go.  Love you all!
Elder Taylor

Sep 5, 2012

Letter From Mission President

La Iglesia De
De Los Santos
De Los Últimos DÍas

September 5, 2012

Mr. & Mrs.

Dear Brother and Sister Taylor:                                                                                                                                                 

Your son, Elder Trent Taylor, continues to progress and is becoming an effective missionary.  He has demonstrated dedication, obedience, and love of his companions and the people here in the Dominican Republic.  He is respected by me and by his peers. 

Now the Lord has called your son to be a District Leader.  In this position he will have a responsibility for several other missionaries.  He will also conduct interviews to determine if baptismal candidates are prepared to make sacred covenants with their Father in Heaven.  In my opinion, this is the responsibility we place on these young men that is most beyond their natural abilities; they must come to know the hearts of those they interview.  These interviews can only be done well if the interviewer seeks and receives help from the Lord.  This responsibility will stretch your son in a good way.  Please continue to pray that he will fulfill his responsibilities and expand his abilities.

We truly feel a great love for your son.  We pray for the Lord’s blessings upon you for all you have done, and are now doing, to help him be an effective servant.


John L. Douglas
Mission President

Trent's email 8/29/12

Mom, Dad!
Here you go, Mom, I´m responding.  This internet´s actually fast, and the center is a lot cleaner than the ones in Pueblo Nuevo. 
Viva La Vega!  That´s the name of the new town I'm in now. It looks more or less like Beaver... but with lots more trees and it´s a lot bigger.  But, spread out like Beaver.  Small town feeling.  I am SO excited to be here.  I´m "step father," or, second companion, of someone from the same group of Elder Robertson.  His name´s Elder Nelson, and he´s from Barbados, which is apparently an island in the caribbean.  He speaks English, is small and brown, and is very excited to do mission work.  I like him a lot.  The mountains here are beautiful, the house is gianormous, and there is a lot less racket.  I´m content.
This last week was incredibly difficult.  Man.  With my birthday, my last week in Pueblo Nuevo, and the baptism of Yanette... it was emotional and hard to work.  I made the best I could of it, though, and I have no regrets.  I made that cake you sent me and brought it to what I THOUGHT was going to be a dinner, but ended up being a giant birthday party for me on Friday night.  Yudelkys (the family I baptized) bought a big chocolate cake and invited all my favorite families to their house and they surprised me with a party.  I´ll send pictures next week.  It was amazing.  Saying goodbye to that family was SO hard.  I really felt like part of them. 
Yanette, Anthony´s wife, got baptized.  He´s still not going to church.  But, he wants to.  He was upset that President transferred me.  A lot.  But, we went to lunch together on my birthday and I saw him last night.  Elder Robertson is gonna take care of them, and I´m gonna call them on Saturday nights so he goes to Church.  We have a baptismal date for Sept 22.  Pray, please.
The storm swerved and went to Haiti.  I was prepared, like, with water and  things, don´t worry.  It was just kinda windy here for a couple days, with rain off and on.  Apparently early Saturday morning there was really violent wind that scared some people, but I´m so used to the racket of Pueblo Nuevo that I snored right through it all.  Nothing fell over and no one died, so it´s all good.
Mom, I have to thank you for your amazingly positive attitude and your love for Dad. It´s so sad to see people who go through hard times that don´t bear it nearly as well as you do.  That´s something I never appreciated before, but reading your email today, I realized how you really learned from Grammy to just focus on the positives and keep working.  I love that, and appreciate it. I´m sure it´s helped me more than I´m aware.  You rock.
Go Becca!  I´m so glad she won!  I think partner tennis will be a really good experience for her, learning how to adjust to other people and stuff.  I like it.  I´m really proud of her. 
I hope math goes well. Man, I love math. I miss studying, really exerting my mind to figure out problems.  Those were fun.  I wish I could give her that for these two years that I´m not using it.
Glad Avyah´s a happy baby =)  How is Nicole and everyone?  Happy things went well with Mitt´s wife.  We´ll have to see!  Keep me posted on Politics.
I went on an exchange this week with Elder Beitia, and it was very fun to get out and work with a different person.  He´s been having some depression and having a hard time working, but I just excitedly told him that we were gonna work, and we did, and it was exciting.  His comp told me that after the exchange, he noticed a great change in Elder Beitia´s attitude.  It´s so weird working with Latins... sometimes they just have... a very different culture, a very different outlook, and a very different level of intelligence.  It´s an adjustment.  Amazing what a little hard work can do for anyone, regardless of their attitude or culture.  I´m learning SO much about working with people from very different walks of life.  Love the mission.
Well, tonight we´re going shopping and working and we have a "read the scriptures with the missionaries activity" that I´m really excited for.  I love meeting new people.  It´ll be really fun.  Stay safe, family, read scriptures together, and I love you lots!
Elder Taylor