Dec 26, 2012

Trent's email 12/19/12

Hey Mom!
I´m soo good.  We went to a campsite in Bonao and had a blast.  It´s been very fun.  The weather was a little warm, we were sweating a bit as we played basketball.  I actually MISS the cold, the hot chocolate, the sledding, the cuddling, the snow.  Hahaha, she can do it.  Poor girl.  Tell her she can come walk around in the sun all day every day and never stop talking to people if she would prefer.

Aww, I had SO MUCH FUN singing.  I love to sing.  I might want to make it a more permanent hobby when I get home.  Christmas music is fantastic.  I´m sorry that no one wants to accompany you.

No, I´d never seen Ben Hur before, but the 1.5 hours we watched were FANTASTIC!  I want to see it badly.
I mostly just ached today when we were playing basketball and I took a couple of elbows in the chest, but nothing too bad.  It´s a good story, right?  Sister Douglas is SO FUN.  The flash mob involved us singing loudly in a mall, one by one starting to sing.  Very exciting.  We should be getting a youtube link soon, once they get it all edited together.  I´ll keep you guys posted.  Hopefully it makes an impact in the mission work.

Thanks for sending me the stuff.  I got the package =)  It was fantastic!  Thanks so much!  I was surprised that there was no fudge or divinity or peppermint bark--don´t tell me you´ve stopped the tradition this year.  It was delicious, always nice to have some chocolate in the house.  My orange sticks are in the freezer.  MMmmm.

Hahaha, still, you two are standing in front of people.  I´m so proud!  Good work =)  I hope you had fun, and hope it leads you to do more theater in the future =)  I´m sure I´ll do community projects and will need your help in the future.
Yeah, Courtney lived there almost all of her life.  A little time in Pennsylvania, but mostly Parkersburg.  I think it´s amazing she´s going to Jerusalem, lucky duck. 
I feel like Dad starts a new job every week.  Like, every time I get to the internet center, you say something about Dad and a new job.  No one really helps his style flow, do they?  They´re crampin him up.

15 pounds!  alright!  I heard weight loss was just about calorie intake?  I´m glad he´s exercising.  I hope I can find some time to go down to go people watching/walking with him when I get home.  I need to spend more time with that man.

I´m glad you three are having a fun Christmas holiday.  Skyping is looking good, we should be good to go at 1:30 PM my time on Christmas, which will be 10:30 AM your time, I believe.  I´m super excited to see Becca and her growingupness.  It´ll be very fun!  I am also excited to open the presents you sent me in the package.

Anyway, that´s all for now.  I love you!  Have a fantastic week, and talk to you on Tuesday!
Love, Elder Taylor

Dec 19, 2012

Trent's email 12/12/12

Hey Mom!
My week has been really good.  Very eventful.  We had our Zone conference, aka Christmas party on Tuesday, and I was the only one who got musical numbers together.  It was very fun, Elder Grover and I worked hard on a version of O Come all ye Faithful in Spanish, and we were really proud of it.  Sister Douglas made stuffing, turkey, ham, fruit salad, crossaints, delicious pumpkin bars, and more to celebrate.  We had a big testimony meeting, and we watched half of Ben Hur, a movie about Jerusalem in Christ's day.  I love President and Sister Douglas.  Wednesday... I got hit by a motorcycle.  It was my own stupid fault, I got distracted crossing the street.  Got the wind knocked out of me pretty badly, but that was it.  Sister Douglas told me to go to the hospital just in case, and I'm fine.  So, we spent all day Wednesday in the hospital.  Today we're in Santiago, because tomorrow we're participating in a flash mob in a mall around here, that Sister Douglas organized.  She needed loud voices =)  We spent all morning in the mission home helping President and Sister Douglas get the other zone conference ready.
I'm learning a lot this week about the importance of companionship study and always focusing on your investigators.  I get so excited to teach when we find new scriptures and new ways to teach, new things to say.  We got a bit of that in this week, and I want to try to do it every day.
Also, today, I bought fabric to get some more pants made.  I like custom made, and I'm low anyway.
OH!  PLEASE send me Compound W.  I have lots of warts, and I got medication from here, but it is NOT WORKING at ALL.  Don't get me the liquid, get me the gel, please, and send it quickly!  They're starting to really damage my self image here.
Anyway, I'm going to buy new shirts next week.  I've got one stained really badly, one with big holes in it from barbed wire, and one I gave away to Junior, the father of the family I baptized in July.  I need more.
Go Becca!  I know she can do it.  She should enjoy the time with her friends while she has it!  Johannes Brahms!  I wish I could see her report.  That would be excellent.  How's piano going for her?
I can't imagine Christmas shopping right now... it doesn't sound that fun.  Hope you enjoy it.
Wow, what a good celebration for your anniversary!  That's wonderful to hear that you two are enjoying your time together.  Marriage is so underappreciated these days... I mean, I don't know anything about marriage, but I feel like basic affection and spending time together are important... I don't see a lot of that.  I feel like people are missing a huge part of God's plan.  Go parents!  I hope you're having fun together =)
I sent a message to Sister Fuller, and sent you a Carbon Copy.  It's in Spanish, but you'll get the gist.  She should get you the new address on Monday at the latest.
YOU TWO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THEATER!  I'm so proud!  That's excellent!  What parts are you doing??? Aww, that's got to be SO FUN!  I wish I could see it.  I never thought you guys would do ANYTHING like that!
Haha, that makes me happy.
Ask Courtney where SHE'S going next summer.  Big news.
Family, I love you all so much!  You're the best.  Don't worry about me, I learned my lesson and I won't be crossing streets erratically for awhile, I promise.
I love participating in this work.  I love learning about the Savior, doing what He would do if He were here.  I love being here for Christmas.  It's the 2nd best place I can think of being.  Being with YOU three would be the 1st best.
Love you, family!
Elder Taylor
P.S.  Next week, Pday should be Wednesday again.

Dec 12, 2012

Trent's email 12/5/12

Mom, Dad, Cody, and others,
Happy December to you, too!!
Hahaha, the Dominicans don't celebrate Thanksgiving or Halloween, but they DO celebrate Christmas, so they've been feeling that spirit since October.  It's kind of lame, actually, it gets old faster that way.  But, more and more trees and lights go up every day, so that's really exciting.  I love singing Christmas hymns.
We don't have decorations (and money, much less), except the nativity set that Courtney colored for me on cardboard last year... but I can't find a spot in the house to put it.  We have very little furniture and wind blows hard through our house, so it's not really UP, it's just chilling on my desk.  And that's all we have for Christmas.  I'm gonna see if my friend still has those stockings I sent him last year (he's from the Christmas Islands, so I sent him stockings when he got to the mission, the ones you sent me in my package).  See if I can get them back :)
Uh oh, I hope Kenji gets better!  And I'm glad to know that Mrs. Pickles isn't such a turkey.  You guys were making me scared.  I'm sure Becca's having a diabolical amount of fun spraying her with water.

Miami's expensive.  Maybe you could try sending them to the mission office directly through UPS?  I don't know.  The address has changed since I got here, so you have to check that out.  I don't know what it is anymore.  But, I thank you kindly for the many packages you have sent!  They're fantastic, and always bring a little home back to me.  I like that.  And, more importantly, reminds me of how great a family I have.  You guys are the best. 
It's amazing how far a little service goes for a hardhearted nonmormon.  People just light up when we help them, even if we don't leave them a book, we leave a good impression.  Plus, behavior is a big deal.  We've gotta always set a standard when we're around people so they don't think we're just crazy.  Well, they all think we're crazy and worship Joseph Smith, so we have to do our best to fight those steriotypes.
I have learned a LOT about Catholicism.  It'll be fun to talk to Darlene Newell about her experience in the US, because it's very Dominican Catholic here.
I hope we come back here a lot.  Better fruit than Mexico, even though the food isn't as good in general.  Limoncillo is a tiny thing that looks like a lime on the outside, a grape on the inside, and tastes like... a sweet lemon.
I'm glad Teresa's good.  I miss festivals and lots of food.  I hope Dillon and everyone else is happy and healthy, too, there in Kanab.  Dallen Root emailed me, he's doing good and excited to go on a mission, I guess.
Sabrina's SO ADVENTUROUS!  That's awesome.  I never really liked Indian food when I was roommates with Sarva (sorry Sarva, if you ever read this), but that's awesome.  Lamb Curry?  Wow.  I do miss Thai food.  Go Tasha!  I can't wait to meet her husband.  Glad to know they're doing good.  Where's Jackson on his mission?  We don't trade ties that often, but I could get something going if I wanted to.
This week has been great.  I've gotten a new hold of what it means to be a missionary, and learning SO MUCH and working MUCH HARDER.  I love it.  I've been exhausted and motivated and stoked all at once, and I couldn't be happier.  I think the only more rewarding job is being a parent, but I'm not sure.  We're planning an activity for couples to help fortify families, and I'm mostly heading it off, but we've invited President Douglas and Sister Douglas and four other couples in the district to help people learn more about tricks for raising a gospel-centered home.  I hope people show up on time.  We had some really nice invitations made and hand delivered.  That'll be the hope of this week.
Furthermore, we're having our Christmas celebration on Tuesday, it'll be three zones here in La Vega to sing, bear testimonies, and probably eat lots of food.  I'm stoked.  We're preparing various songs, and I LOVE TO SING CHRISTMAS SONGS!  I wish I had a prettier voice, but I'm definitely grateful for the knowledge and love of music that I HAVE acquired.  It's going to be fun.
And, hopefully Senso gets baptized.  We're doing everything we can.  Pray lots, please!
I love you all!
Elder Taylor

Dec 5, 2012

Trent wrote a play

So, I wrote a play for an activity we´re doing tomorrow... ward talent night.  I ran it through a free translation document, and I wanted to send it to you.  Hope you laugh as much as I do when I read the horrid translation.
It´s a good play.  Many laughs will be had.

Obra de Helamán 5, Libro de Mormón
NARRADOR: Hace casi dos mil años en la tierra que se conoce ahora como “Las Americas.”  La tierra era rica, llena de guineos, manzanas, y uvas (eat a grape!)—pero allí vivía un pueblo lleno de malicia, orgullo, y desesperación, un pueblo llamada los lamanitas.  Los lamanitas no amaban a Dios, rechazaban a los profetas, y no querían saber de ningún “Cristo.”  Dentro de ellos había un capitán super malvado, y con él en ejército.
CAPITÁN: Somos libres, somos fuertes.  Somos felices.  Y tengo una espada demasiado grande. (high five)
NARRADOR: Vinieron muchos profetas para predicarles, pero hacía mucho que habían olvidado del Señor.
PROFETA: ¡Arrepentíos!
CAPITÁN: ¡Cállate!
NARRADOR: Al mismo tiempo, había dos hermanos, Nefi y Lehi, que se habían puesto fuertes por medio de la oración, el ayuno, y el estudio de las escrituras.
NEFI: Lehi.  Necesitamos predicar de Cristo a los lamanitas.
LEHI: ¿A los lamanitas?  No quiero morir, Nefi.
NEFI: No seas tonto, muchacho.  ¡Dios nos va a proteger!  Ora, y nos vamos.
NARRADOR: Y así, salieron.  Tenían que caminar mucho, pero en el camino, vieron a muchos milagros, y cambiaron muchas vidas.  Predicaron lo que les dijo su padre.
NEFI: Y ahora bien, recordad que es sobre la roca de nuestro Redentor, el cual es Cristo, el Hijo de Dios, donde debéis establecer vuestro fundamento, para que cuando el diablo lance sus impetuosos vientos, sí, sus dardos en el torbellino, si cuando todo so granizo y furiosa tormenta os azoten, esto no tenga poder para arrastraros al abismo de miseria y angustia sin fin, a causa de la roca sobre la cual estáis edificados, que es un fundamento seguro, un fundamento sobre la cual, si los hombres edifican, no caerán.
NARRADOR: Se escribe de ellos, “y sucedió que predicaron con gran poder, a tal grado que confundieron a muchos de aquellos disidentes que se habían apartado del [pueblo del Señor], de modo que se adelantaron y confesaron sus pecados, y fueron bautizados para arrepentimiento.  
LEHI: Estamos aquí en el nombre del Señor.
LAMANITA: Y ¿qué me van a decir?
NARRADOR: Y acaeció que Nefi y Lehi predicaron a los lamanitas con tan gran poder y autoridad…a tal grade que ocho mil de los lamanitas...fueron bautizados para arrepentimiento.
LAMANITA: Yo estaba en oscuridad, y tengo muchos pecados, pero ahora, sé que si sigo a las enseñanzas del Cristo, mis pecados me serán borrados.
LEHI: ¡Pero WAO, Nefi!  Qué maravillosa la obra que el Señor ha hecho por medio de nosotros.  ¡Me encanta el predicar el evangelio!
NARRADOR: Pero, el capitán malvado y su ejército era duro de corazón, y no quiso escuchar las palabras de ellos.
CAPITÁN: ¡Echa estos “Profetas” en la cárcel!
NARRADOR: Nefi y Lehi pensaban pelear, pero a ver el espada grande del capitán, se llenaron de miedo, y fueron presos con el ejército.  Allí estaban feo por la foto, ya que hacía mucha fría, y no había nada menos polvo por la cama.
LEHI: (Give him the jacket) Toma, Nefi.  Mi saco.
NEFI: (acostado) Ay, gracias.  Odio las arañas.
LEHI: (pretend to pick spiders off of him) Parece que les encantas.  ¿Ya oraste?
NEFI: Desde que llegamos, estoy orando.  Estos sí son impetuosos vientos.
LEHI: Ay sí.
CAPITÁN: Vengan, muchachos de mi ejército.  Esos “profetas” merecen la muerte, ¿no?  ¡Matémoslos!
NARRADOR: Pero mientras los malvados se acercaban para matarles, un gran fuego envolvió a Nefi y Lehi, de modo que los malos no se atrevieron a echarles mano por miedo de ser quemados.
CAPITÁN: ¿Qué pasa?  ¡Un calor FUERTE!
LEHI: Mira, Nefi—estamos arrodeados de fuego, pero nada nos quema.  ¡Nuestro Redentor nos está protegiendo!
NARRADOR: Al ver el milagro de Dios, Nefi se animó, a tal grado de que habló a los lamanitas asustados.
NEFI: No temáis, porque he aquí, es Dios quien os ha manifestado esta maravilla, con lo cual os es mostrado que no podéis echar mano de nosotros para matarnos.
NARRADOR: La tierra tembló en gran manera, los malos cayeron al piso y huyeron como ratas, y dejaron a Nefi y a Lehi, pero en su miedo, el capitán dejó algo importante.
LEHI: (pick up the keys) Vámonos de aquí
NEFI: Nos fuimos.
(Ahora, Lehi abre la puerta mientras Nefi deja un folleto para el capitán de los ejércitos, el cual él verá después.  Junta con él la llave.  Después, el capitán se queda mirando el folleto)
NARRADOR: Ellos volvieron a su tierra en seguridad, y dejaron con el capitán y su ejército un gran testimonio de la verdad.
NEFI: ¡Wooo!  ¡Lehi!  Lo hicimos!  ¿Cómo te sientes?
LEHI: (Smile) Poderoso.
NEFI: ¿Viste ese fuego? ¡Y su cara! Jajaja, que miedo!  Y WAO, tú le quitaste las llaves.  Excelente, mi hermano.
LEHI: Nefi, tu sabes que necesitamos volver.
NEFI: Claro que sí, mi hermano, pero vamos a comer un chin de yuca primero.  ¡Tengo jambre!  

Work of Helamán 5, NARRATOR Mormon Book:  It does almost two thousand years in the land that is known now as "The Americas."  The land was rich, full of Guinean, apples, and grapes (eat to staple! )—pero there lived a full town of malice, pride, and desperation, a called town the lamanitas.  The lamanitas did not love God, they rejected the prophets, and did not they want to know about no "Christ."  Inside them there was a captain super evil, and with him in army.  CAPTAIN:  We are free, we are strong.  We are happy.  And I have a too large sword.  (High five) NARRATOR:  Many prophets came to preach them, but did a lot that had forgot of the Mister.  PROPHET:  Arrepentíos!  CAPTAIN:  You silence you!  NARRATOR:  At the same time, there were two brothers, Nefi and Lehi, that had themselves placed strong through the prayer, the fast, and the study of the writings.  NEFI:  Lehi.  We need to preach of Christ to the lamanitas.  LEHI:  To the lamanitas?  I do not want to die, Nefi.  NEFI:  You be not a fool, boy.  God is going to protect us!  Prays, and we go.  NARRATOR:  And thus, you left.  They had to walk a lot, but on the road, they saw many miracles, and they changed many lives.  They preached what their father told him.  NEFI:  And now well, you recall that he is on the rock of ours Redeeming, which is Christ, the Son of God, where should establish your base, so that when the devil throw its impetuous winds, yes, its darts in the whirlwind, if when all I am hail and furious storm whip you, this have not to be able to drag you to the abyss of misery and anguish without end, on account of the rock on the Which you are built, that is a sure base, a base on which, if the men build, they will not fall.  NARRATOR:  He is written of them, "and he happened that they preached with great to be able, to such degree that confused to many of those dissidents that they had set apart themselves of the [town of the Mister], so that they advanced and they confessed their sins, and they were baptized for repentance.  LEHI:  We are here in the name of the Mister.  LAMANITA:  And ¿what do they be going to say me?  NARRATOR:  And it happened that Nefi and Lehi preached to the lamanitas with so great to be able and authority…to such grade that eight thousand of the lamanitas. ..fueron baptized for repentance.  LAMANITA:  I was in darkness, and I have many sins, but now, I know that if I continue to the teachings of the Christ, my sins will be erased me.  LEHI:  But WAO, Nefi!  How marvelous the work that the Mister has done through us.  I love the to preach the gospel!  NARRATOR:  But, the evil captain and its army was hardhearted, and did not want to listen the words of them.  CAPTAIN:  It throws these "Prophets" in the jail!  NARRATOR:  Nefi and Lehi thought to fight, but to see the large sword of the captain, they were filled of fear, and were prisoners with the army.  There they were ugly by the photo, since did a lot of cold, and had not swum less dust by the bed.  
LEHI:  (Give him the jacket) Takes, Nefi.  My bag.  NEFI:  (It gone to bed) Oh, thanks.  I hate the spiders.  LEHI:  (Pretend to pick spiders off of him) Seems that you charm them.  Already you prayed?  NEFI:  Since we arrive, I am praying.  These yes are impetuous winds.  LEHI:  Oh yes.  CAPTAIN:  Come, boys of my army.  Those "prophets" deserve the death, ¿not?  Kill them!  NARRATOR:  But while the villains approached to kill them, a great fire wrapped to Nefi and Lehi, so that the evils did not dare to throw them hand by fear of to be burned.  CAPTAIN:  What happens?  A STRONG heat!  LEHI:  Looks, Nefi—we are arrodeados of fire, but nothing burns us.  Ours Redeeming is protecting us!  NARRATOR:  Upon seeing the miracle of God, Nefi was encouraged, to such degree that spoke to the lamanitas they frightened.  NEFI:  Do not you fear, because I have here, is God who this wonder has declared you, with which is shown you that cannot make use of us to kill us.  NARRATOR:  The land trembled to a large extent, the evils fell to the flat and they fled like rats, and they left Nefi and to Lehi, but in his fear, the captain left somewhat important.  LEHI:  (Pick up the keys) come on from here NEFI:  We were ourselves.  (Now, Lehi opens the door while Nefi leaves a pamphlet for the captain of the armies, which he will see later.  Joins with him the key.  Later, the captain remains looking at the pamphlet) NARRATOR:  They returned to their land in security, and they left with the captain and their army a great testimony of the truth.  NEFI:  Wooo!  Lehi!  We did it!  How do you feel?  LEHI:  (Smile) Powerful.  NEFI:  You saw that fire?  And its face!  Jajaja, that fear!  And WAO, you removed him the keys.  Excellent, my brother.  LEHI:  Nefi, your you
know that we need to return.  NEFI:  Clearly so my brother, but we are going to eat a chin of first yucca.  I have jambre!  

Trent's email 11/28/12

Hey mom!  Hey Dad!
We were at the internet center this afternoon when, in the last 20 minutes of our internet time, we lost internet, so now we´re back to finish (we had to go to some appointments at six, so we´re doing the best we can).  It´s strange to think that Becca still goes to school every day, that her life is normal, that she doesn´t know what it´s like to talk to crazy Catholics and stuff like that...  I definitely am REMOVED from the world out here in the mission field, but I like it.  How´s that dog of ours doing?  I´m glad I won´t have to deal with Mrs. Pickles at much extent, because it definitely doesn´t sound like a pleasant experience.
Yay, Christmas packages!
The one for Thanksgiving cost me $40, by the way... it was heavy.  I think it was that canned pumpkin you sent me.  So, I appreciate the stuff, but my funds are suffering.  Help?
I´m super excited to eat those cookies =) and the pistachios were a wonderful surprise, along with the skittles and twix.  THANK YOU!
Dicken´s festival!  Wow, the traditions that I have forgotten!  Cool.  How old´s Chloe now?  How are Lance and Teresa holding up?  
You should be impressed.  That sweet potato casserole, man it was great!  And I now know (more or less) how to cook a turkey.  And how to do pumpkin pie from scratch.  Thanksgiving rocks!  Only missed out on Pecan pie. It seems too complicated, I didn't even want to attempt.
Courtney got the pictures.  Ask her to send them to you or something.
Weird, weird, weird.  Brittany getting married.  Dallen emailed me.  Didn't say much.  Cassie pregnant again?  How are they holding up?  What´s up with Jay these days?  Aah, graduating.  Seems like a far ways away.  Far, far, far ways away. Go Kelcie! Go Austin!  I can´t wait to chat with Chase about his mission!
Go Jess!  I didn´t know that people could shop all through the night, I thought the stores opened at 4 am.
Man, people are SO stubborn!  we found a catholic that tried to tell us that God will never send more than the Bible, and the Jehovah´s witnesses believe the same thing... It´s so FRUSTRATING, because the majority of them are better than many of the Latter Day Saints (and much more dedicated, I might add), but they´re closed off to the truth by a false belief in the bible.  It´s so FRUSTRATING!  As if God can´t talk more than once.  SO DUMB!
Read the Book of Mormon.  EVERYONE.  Pray to know if it´s the word of the Lord.  It might take a little time to get your answer, but if you REALLY WANT TO KNOW, to FOLLOW THE LORD, you will!  Just pay attention.
Then, help the rest of us share the message with the world, and serve in the Church, eh?  It´s totally worth the work.
Aaah, I might have to move to this country when I get older, family.  Fresh bananas, avacado, beaches, mangos, limoncillo, my skin clears up, nice people... it´s just so awesome.  I might have some serious culture shock when I get home.
Woow, Krishel can´t get married!  She´s always been on my (long) list of options! Aah, Katie Cable´s married, Tiele Quist is married... -sigh-.  Good thing I only need one, cuz it seems like MOST are getting taken from me.
Well, that´s rough.  I wouldn´t like to get my knee torn up.  Our greenie rolled his ankle playing basketball today, but he´s okay.  From Oaxaca, Dad.
Salt Lake, eh?  Go Bob!  Hmm, that´s really weird, thinking of him as a dad.  Hopefully he´s keeping his life in order.  I´ve realized a lot more out here how hard it must be to be a father in this world, especially without the help of God.  I hope he lives a tranquil life.  
Well, family, it´s late and I´m tired.  I love you all!  Have a great week!
Elder Taylor