Apr 30, 2013

Trent's email 4/24/13

Thanks for the email!  I like knowing what´s going on with you guys.  You´re so diligent!  I really appreciate it.
Also, thank you for the extra money, and the package.  And all the packages.  I love getting packages =)  
Teaching in my new area... it´s teaching.  Sometimes, it´s incredible, uplifting, and extremely spiritual; sometimes, I feel like I´d have more success and less of a headache by knocking down a cement wall with my own skull.  It´s all dependent on the person I´m teaching.  We recently dropped quite a few investigators and are still looking for more. I love teaching families, because the Gospel really was made for families, and when a family joins the church together, they´re much more likely to keep each other active.  Last night, I was on an exchange with our ward mission leader, and we helped the investigator (whose wife is a member) understand the importance of baptism through Christ´s example, and he said he wants to do it.  I don´t know if he will, because he was hesitant, but he seemed to understand.  He´s been coming to the last 30 minutes of Church, hopefully that will change this next week.
Rachel Pulsipher!  It´s been awhile since I´ve heard about that family.  I´m glad that things are going well for her!  Wow, getting married.  So many people are going to be married when I get back.  So many.  I´m glad some are going on missions, like Meg.  Makes the world feel a little less... fast.
Meg JUST LEFT?  Aww, I´m not gonna see her for a long time.  BUt, I´m so happy for her!  Good.  Thanks for the update.  Cody should be home... next month, I believe.  Beginning of June, something like that.
I MISS ZION!  Can we go back soon?  I want to go back so badly, maybe even camp there... see all the stars.  Wow, that would be fantastic.  I´m glad you enjoyed it.  I want to go hiking lots.
I´ve gotten a lot of answers to prayers, too, since I came out here.  It started when I started praying well... sometimes I just prayed just to pray, but when I really started talking to Heavenly Father is when I started getting answers.  I love prayer, I love the feeling of sending thoughts to our omnipotent creator and feeling guidance about what I need to do.  It´s spectacular!  I´m with you, I need to ask for more answers to more questions.
Anyway, today we´re doing a branch meeting and we´re going to try to motivate the branch to share the gospel with their friends, specifically by carrying the Book of Mormon with them in their hand wherever they go.  It should create great curiosity and discussion opportunities, and give members a chance to tell their friends about what´s important to them.  I hope it works, wish us luck!
Also, more teaching =) Today, I´m expecting two uplifting lessons and one headache (one of our investigators is very ditsy, but in love with me...)
I love you all!  Take care!

Apr 23, 2013

Trent's email 4/17/13

Hey Mom,
It´s been a good day.  Just got back from Santiago, a 2.5 hour trip.  Totally worth it.  We bought lots of fun stuff like ties and syrup and frostys.  Oh, how I love frostys.  It´s cool to get out of the routine for awhile.  I also got to talk to some really good missionary friends.  Also, I saw Elder Stratford, and we chatted a little.  Uplifting Christian talks with Elder Stratford are great things.  He´s not the biggest fan of the mission, but he definitely understands Christianity.  Raised in Springville and very intelligent.
Everyone´s having dreams out here!  Our branch and elder's quorum presidents started dreaming of a full chapel, and they´ve been working their tails off to make it happen!  It´s great to see a surge of enthusiasm.  I hope we can effectively spread it to the members.  It´s a challenge we´ve been talking about with President Douglas.
Oh, before I forget, I have a couple members BEGGING me for American stuff.  1) Beef Jerky. 2) Gummi worms. Please send some more in the next package.  Please!  And if you want to send extra for me, both of those things sound incredibly delicious =) 
Wow, I feel like I´m just starting to learn, and that I could be out here another two years and never learn everything, but it´s a big sacrifice, and I´m glad I get to go home and be with everyone again.  I could totally adopt missionary work as a full time job if they´d let me.  It´s sooo fulfilling, but I so hate being away from everyone and everything and living this... strange "obedience" paradigm.  It´ll be a hard transition to live the gospel again in an environment that´s not so protected.  But, it´ll be worth it.
Thanks for telling me about your testimony.  It´ll be cool to talk to members about that.  I feel like my testimony will never stop growing.  The more I think about the world and God and the Church, the more questions I have, but up til this point there´s always been a satisfying answer, and I´ve learned that I don´t have to dig too deep to know the truth, it´s not all intellectual.  But, I think I´ll never stop learning. I truly hope to know enough one day to be able to be "perfect," just like Christ.  I think that comes from knowledge and practice and repentance, not just magical death and glorification, constant effort.  I love the Book of Mormon for the help it gives me.  Apparently Elder Bednar read the Book of Mormon like 62 times, each time studying a different theme.  I´ll probably have to spend lots of my time studying the scriptures like that.
Well, I love you, Mom!  you´re the best.


Apr 9, 2013

Trent's email 4/3/13

Mom, Dad, Cody,
Hey everyone.  I´m doing well.  We went to the campsite in Bonao where we played sports and cooked and enjoyed the mountains and fresh air.  I like the small town, but I don´t think I´d want to live here for a long time... I think I´d get bored!  I´d have to have lots of parties with lots of crazy things to do, or something.  Make my own fun.  I could make it work.  I definitely prefer the tranquility.  It´s nice to be able to sleep at night and only hear chickens crowing.  Well, that´s not true about my current house, but we´re going to move soon (there´s a really obnoxious bar in front).  I like the peace.
We can travel to some small villages along the freeway, but we haven´t.  There are lots of people to contact around here.  In my district, though, I travel to another small city. I was there for a companionship exchange the other day, it was very cool.  Very small.  The missionaries needed a little enthusiasm for knocking doors, cuz it´s hard in such a small town.  Lots of people think they´re from the CIA, so they hide a lot.
Vegas sounds like fun.  I don´t remember Fremont Street, have I been there?
I hope Dad finds a good job that he likes.
Wow, I got the Easter Package.  DELICIOUS!  Thank you so much.  THose reese´s... Wow. I can´t believe America is so delicious sometimes.  And I´m crazy about cadbury eggs.  Thank you so much.  You´re the best!  I already finished the bag of cadburys that Courtney sent me last week, so it was much needed =)
I´m really happy that Becca´s going to mutual.  It´ll help her learn, little by little.  WE´re hoping that lots of people come to our activity tonight, it´s supposed to be a movie night.  We´re also praying that our Branch President actually planned the activity this week, because they didn´t last week.  They´re very stressed sometimes.
I´m sorry your job is boring.  You could do a random survey with all the students, ask them questions as they walk by, do Psychology experiments on 8th graders.  That would be fun =)
I was reading Our Legacy this week, and it´s INCREDIBLE to think about the sacrifice of those old pioneers.  I hope to have that much faith one day.  WOW.  Brigham Young was poorer than poor.  I just can´t believe how they lived.  So much hope, such a dream.  And Joseph Smith, despite all the persecution inside and outside the church, people calling him crazy, tarring and feathering him... I can´t imagine how he kept a grip on it all.  Sometimes I get really frustrated with mission work if I lose a good investigator, but they lived through EVERYTHING.
We had a really cool experience with a doctor, Pabell.  He said he felt something really impressive as he read the Book of Mormon and is really interested in visiting Church.  Unfortunately, he´s going to America for a month. It´s great, though, to see that people find the truth when they truly search for it.  I KNOW that Book comes from God because of the way I feel when I read it, the things it has taught me, and the way it helps me know how to truly follow Jesus Christ.  I hope you all are reading it to strengthen your testimonies, so that one day we can see His face again.
What´s going on in Korea?  I´ve heard "war," "Red alert," and "nuclear missles."  Please keep me updated!
Anyway, I love you all.  Have a fantastic week.
Elder Taylor

Apr 2, 2013

Trent's email 3/27/13

Hey Ma!
Pday´s good.  Very quiet.  We have to travel lots, which means we have little money, and there´s hardly anything to do anyway, so we played Monopoly today.  It was chill.  Also, cleaning the house and stuff.  How often is Dad in Vegas these days?  I bet the cat and the dog are very good company.
It´s a nice town.  It´s not super duper small.  Plenty of video game centers and sports lottery businesses.  There are so many people here who don´t know about the Church!  We´re talking to lots and lots and lots of people.  I like it.  It´s kind of like opening a new area or something.  There are two other missionaries on the other side of the town in a different branch.  The new house is the downside, but we´re going to move soon.  We´ve been keeping it as clean as possible, but the neighborhood is not very good.  Here there are lots of "Tinacos," the tanks on the roofs.  We have one.  I like it.  Sometimes the water is hot. Even with hot weather, the hot water is good.
Wow, that´s so weird to hear about so many active members that it´s hard to give them all a calling.  I wish we could take, like, 5 great families and bring them out here to help us with the gospel!  That´s why missions are so good, I guess.  Families are so hard to find, and responsible adults are few and far between.  We could use some leadership.
I LOVE teaching.  Courtney is also teaching Relief Society, it appears.  I hope I get to teach in the Church when I get home, even if it´s to Primary kids.
Not a single team from Utah made it to March Madness??  Wow.  Weird.  I hope it goes better for us next year.
Starting something new is always super difficult.  Is she done taking piano lessons?  That´s cool that she picked cello.  I could never get past the rosin... it was like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.
I´ve been thinking a whole lot about loving God.  I realized that it´s hard to love Him more than anything else because we don´t KNOW Him.  It´s hard to get to know Him because we can´t see Him or hug Him or any of the things that we normally do with the people that we love.  But, when we take the time to read the scriptures, really try to figure out what He wants us to do with our time, and pray energetically, truly trying to communicate ourselves with Him, we can feel His presence and receive answers, and sometimes even get glimpses of light.  Maybe one day here on earth we´ll be so close to Him that we´ll be able to speak to Him face to face, just like many prophets and such (Look in the Topical Guide under "Second Comforter")  So, I´m trying to love Him more than anything else.  Spend my time doing His will.  Following the promptings of the Spirit.  So far, I´m learning a lot.  I love it.  Also, it helps me stop thinking about October 11.
Also, I love how simple the Gospel can be.  Sometimes, we fill the Church with too many words, too many complicated activities, too many planning meetings where nothing gets planned.  I want to be a part of the Church that changes lives, not the Church that sits and chats about nothing.  I like being isolated out here, I´m learning lots about how the Church should function.
Anyway, I love you all.  I´m excited for conference, I´m excited for learning, I´m excited for our appointments tonight, and I´m excited to see you all again.  Take care, write much, and have a great week.
Elder Taylor