Mar 26, 2013

Trent's email 3/20/13

Mom!  Dad!
Things are good here.  I can´t believe how many things can happen in one branch, there are so many priesthood leaders and we get so many references... it´s awesome!  I´m happy to be in Cotuí.  We´re thinking there are going to be some pretty good miracles going on up in here.  Like, explosions of baptisms and things like that.  This place is supposed to become a stake in 8 months, and President Douglas has put me here to be a part of it.  I like that.
Becca´s doing a Cousins page?  that´s SO COOL!  I can´t wait to see it.  Does she like Website design?  Is it difficult?
Hahaha, I like talking to you three, too.  I really have learned so much, I can´t wait to talk to you three all about everything again.  It´ll be so different, but so good.
Hahaha, tell Madi to keep that video of drugged Becca!  Wisdom teeth are SO fun, but the best part is the chipmunk effect afterwards.  
People in Cotuí look at me like I´m Brad Pitt.  They like white guys here.  It´s kind of uncomfortable sometimes...  It just happened in the internet center.  I like being able to surprise them with really good spanish =)
Ooh, I can´t wait to eat homemade peanut butter cookies again.  YEAH!  That´s gonna be nice.  Go mom, for doing your visiting teaching.  I think it´s really key to helping people stay in the Church.  SO MANY LESS ACTIVES here.  Ugh.  It´s really disheartening sometimes.
Oh, I´ve taken some hot showers.  There´s lots of sun here, and it appears that part of our water comes from the black tank on top of the house.  I REALLY LIKE IT.  I´m glad I don´t have to wait 7 months for hot water.
Elder Matos is really intelligent and humble.  I´m helping him learn lots of things that Elder Zaldivar didn´t do, so I kind of feel like I´m training.  I like it.  I feel like I´ve learned a lot over the course of this year and five months I have out here.  It´ll be a bummer to take the nametag off...
I really don´t know what I want to do.  Maybe Doctor isn´t right for me.  I know Dad always wanted me to do it because it´s lucrative, and I feel like I could excell, but maybe there are better things I could do with my talents.  I don´t know.  Pondering it. I haven´t made any decisions yet. Definitely won´t stick with just getting a degree in theater and trying to make it as an actor, but we´ll have to see where things go. I was always so confident that I knew what I was going to do, but now I see the world in a little bit of a different light.  Sorry there´s no real decision there.  We´ll talk some in May about it, sound good?
Love you family!  Thanks for your prayers and emails.  Oh, I got a package full of adorable letters from the Primary, I believe it´s in our Ward.  Porter was the name, but it just had little letters and bookmarks.  Whoever did it, THANK YOU!  I really liked some of the book marks, and the letters were a crack up.  "Dear Elder Taylor, By. Bailey."  Good times.  Anyway, you´re the best, family!
Love,
Elder Taylor

Mar 19, 2013

Trent's email 3/13/13

Hey family!
I´m doing quite well this Wednesday, I´m out in the mountains in a small town called Cotuí, where I´ve just been transferred.  It´s hot, but we found a delightful internet center with air conditioning and hi speed internet for the same price as the lousy ones in La Vega.  My companion is a Peruvian greenie, and we´re in another tiny branch.  It´s pretty similar to La Vega, but cleaner, and maybe the people aren´t as nice (I just got chewed out by a guy for a problem with buying purified water... that didn´t ever happen in La Vega).  Maybe I´m not sitting by a pool, but I´ve got a lot of work to do, and I´m all settled in my new house.  I like it.
Also, I´ve learned a lot this week.  I thought a lot about chapter 1 of preach my gospel, and it´s really interesting how the Church does a fantastic job of captivating everything essential in the first chapter.  Like, if all missionaries would come to understand what that chapter said, almost the whole rest of the book would be superfluous.  One of my favorite quotes was something like, "The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that will bring people true joy, peace, and salvation."  I thought a whole lot about what that means, and decided to ask myself a question that resembles one that I was asked at the beginning of my mission: "What makes me happy?"  If I truly try to live the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, endure to the end), the first thing that should make me happy is Jesus Christ.  Anything that has to do with him--the scriptures, Church, praying, obedience, etc.  Really, my life should center around the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  That´s what the Gospel is truly about. I´m trying to change my heart so that that´s more true.
Also, I learned the importance of being effective.  It´s great to worry about details sometimes, but other times you have to know when to go forward and get something done quickly.  Timing is very key sometimes.  I´m learning a lot out here!
Sounds like we´ll be doing a biking excursion soon here to the dam, which apparently is the only form of entertainment up here in the mountains.  Supposedly really beautiful.  Kevin´s a BEAST!  Can´t wait to go to Pizza Factory with him and Tasha again.  I really liked that quote, Mom, thanks!  The story sounds really emotional, that´s not cool.
Oh, I´ve been thinking a lot about my career.  More on that later, I haven´t decided anything, really.
I loved mormonsandgays.org, it really is clear and helpful, I hope the church leaders start using it and applying the principles therein.  It could help a lot with the problems we face as a church...
Sister Douglas is incredible. I´d love to do the Charity to India one day.  I bet she´d find a way to help us go really cheap, too, if we wanted to go.  Power couple, those two.  They´ll be great for job referrals.  They´ve already helped quite a few missionaries get into BYU.
The shirts came.  I realized that I didn´t need extra long, just classic, and these ones are too big, but I´ll just have them tailored.  I´m excited for the candy!  Thanks for everything!
Well, I love you family, you´re awesome!  Please send this to Cody again!
Love,
Elder Taylor

Mar 13, 2013

Trent's email 3/6/13

Hola, familia.
We have walked SO MUCH this week.  So many contacts, so many failed appointments, but there´s always a little bit of hope.  We just keep working hard and pressing on, and we see good things.  I´m glad Dad got the pictures.  The waterfall was incredible, I really enjoyed it.
Courtney´s good.  She´s going to Jerusalem April 31, and she´s very excited.  She´s grown up a lot. 
Aah, go to Conference!  It´s so cool.  I would DIE to go back to the conference center.  I´m glad that Brittany´s happy, I hope he deserves her, and I´m excited to meet him.  Weird, little old Brittany already married.  I guess that´s the Taylor way, huh?  Anyway, I hope Becca´s happy and pretty in her marriage, too, in ten years.  Haiti!  Haha.  I hope she enjoys some Haitian food, they eat very spicy things.  I hear they have nice beaches.  I´ll wave back to her. 
I´m sure Becca was fascinated in the mummies museum.  That´ll be fun, go to weird gross things with Becca again.  Hahaha.  I´m glad you two had fun together. 
Wow, Chase is already done.  Where did the time go?  How do I only have 7 months left?  What happened to February?  It´s all going to be over before I know it.
Oh, Sheri Budge´s dad is a mission president, I found out by reading the ensign. I wonder if he´s Meg or Saya or Kai´s president.  Tell them to say hi for me.
Don´t worry, Mom, I´m learning a ton every single day!  It´s fantastic to be in the mission and have difficult goals.  Sister Douglas invited us to read the Book of Mormon in 60 days, so I´m trying it (that´s how many days it took Joseph to translate it).  Also, I´m really understanding HOW to be a missionary, and not just give discussions about the Bible.  Things come together better every day, and it´s a blast to figure out how to do things right.
Two google searches for you all:
Rising Star Outreach -- it´s Sister Douglas´s multimillion dollar charity in India.  Yeah, she´s amazing.
mormonsandgays.org -- new website from the Church about Same Sex Attraction.  Really clearly states the Church´s stance on everything, and all members should strive to understand the Christlike approach to the issue, which is the point of the website.  I really like it.
In other news, I´ve done lots of baptismal interviews here in La Vega, and it´s a thrill every time.  I wish everyone would focus on the basic heartfelt principles of the gospel-faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end.  Sometimes we forget that faith is an everyday principle, and that repentance is essential for true peace.  That´s why we´re supposed to go to Church and take the sacrament.  It´s inspiring to sit down with people that are about to make that commitment to God and talk about the importance of those five things.  The gospel is simple, we just overcomplicate our lives.
I love you all.  Strive to be like Christ.
Love,
Elder Taylor

Mar 5, 2013

Trent's email 2/27/13

Happy Independence Day Everyone!
Well, here at least.  It´s cool!  Parades and stuff.  We spent the day at the same waterfall to which we went a couple months ago, and I took a TON of pictures.  I wanted to send them, but I left the stuff at home.
Ugh.  I don´t know what to do about this hotmail-gmail connection thing.  I´ll send them to Courtney, maybe she can upload them, and then we can all get along.  She´s got gmail, and myldsmail is just a gmail branch.
I´m sorry the cat´s a bother.  I thought you had her spayed?  Well, anyway, I like the mission life.  No animals, less stress.  Well, our neighbor has an annoying chihuahua that I had to shut out with a torn up cardboard box.  There´s poop all over our balcony.  Always.
Phillippeans!  HOLY MOLY!  Congrats, Ashley Rowe!  That´s so cool =)  She´ll be learning a whole different culture and stuff.  I hope she has a blast getting ready to go.  Wow.  More missionaries every day.  And look at me, almost finishing.  I realized how old I am on the mission today when I was in the bus coming back from the trip.  Only two of the 13 missionaries are older than me.
It´s excellent to go running!  I love my companion.  Usually.  Good hard worker, and he likes running even though he hardly ever goes.  I totally ate it this week, too, Mom, dont sweat it. And all I did was step on a stone and rolled my ankle.  That darn dog.  I hope you´re alright.  It was fun when I tumbled, I spun and stuff.  It would be fun to hang out together.
Aww, I´m sorry Mom.  Elder Grover and I have decided that we´re going to call our parents all the time when we get home and we´re studying in college.  This mission thing really helps you appreciate family.  Sometimes on the mission you feel pretty lonely too, because you´re living in a house with a complete stranger who doesn´t really have anything to say to you, so I understand how you feel, Mom.  Just pray alot =)
Anyway, we´re teaching lots and having success!  We have appointments right now (ending pday early to take advantage of the holiday) so have a great week!  Love you all!
Yours,
Elder Taylor