Jul 17, 2013

Trent's email 7/10/13

I'm glad you got all the pictures!  I love the beach.  Love love love love love love love the beach.  I'm going back soon.  I'm working on a homemade souvenir for Becca.  I hope she likes it.  In a month I'll be receiving my final instructions for my travel plans.  I can't wait to get home.  I'll miss the mission so much, but I can't wait to be with you all again, and to live free.
Poor Becca, missing out on cool things because of laziness.  I bet the Parade was really fun, and I love breakfast!  20 sister missionaries???  Were they cute?  Hahaha.  I miss Americans....
I bet most of them are new, and I bet some of them are training missionaries even though they've only been there for three months.  We've had a lot of that.  It's difficult to be a missionary for lots of people, you really have to open up.
Hahaha, there was a parade here... THAT was lame.  Don't talk to me about lame parades.  It was for... I don't even remember what holiday.  Like, June 1 or something.  LAME.
It'll be fun to see some good movies when I get home. Like the Hobbit and Ender's game.  Woo! 
OOOOH, sounds like a great summer project.  I hope you have a blast!
My companion has decided to extend his mission (after some requests from President Douglas) but he won't be staying in Montecristi.  I don't think I'm ready to manage the area by myself, so pray for me, PLEASE!  I love you all.
We have a baptism on Saturday again, a really cool girl who's the neighbor of a member family.  Really strong.  I'm excited.  Manuela!
I'm keeping a good journal so you can all read it.
Love you all!
Elder Taylor

Jul 10, 2013

Trent's Pictures 7/4/13

Trent's email 7/4/13

Mom!  Dad!
Look, China got baptized.  Her son baptized her, he's the Branch president.  Isn't it cool?  Also, I went to the beach with my zone.  I really like the beach.  I was quite excited, and quite crazy about being on the beach.  
I'm sorry it was so hot!  Wow, I'm not suffering that badly.  I mean, I don't love the heat, but I sure don't have problems with like, dying if I'm out in the sun at 7 AM.  I love Montecristy.  There's alwasy a breeze.  Always.
Thanks for looking up continents for me.  I really was curious about that.  I'll have to show that information to Elder Matos, with whom I often debated the issure.  
I hope everything works out well with the drought.  I feel like in the US, it's not a big deal.... there's always a rich people solution.  I feel like here, it would kill lots of people.  But, at any rate, I hope it works out.  Also, I'm super happy that girl's camp went well!  And that Alysa had a good experience.  Good good good!  It's so good of you to be willing to serve... I'm sure it's really stressful for anyone to try to do it. 
Accounting doesn't sound too fun.  I don't know what I'm going to do with my life, but we'll figure it out along the way.  Which reminds me, Darlene wants me to thank you for keeping up my blog, she reads it frequently, apparently.  Great lady :)  This is a shout out.  Don't worry, Darlene, I'm not stressing out too much about my career.  Thanks for caring about me!
Oh yeah, it's Independence day!  I just gave an American a high five.  That's the extent of my celebration.  I hope you all got to eat some really tasty hot dogs or hamburgers.  Yeah.  Good old american barbecue.  How I miss it.
Woow, I can't believe Becca is driving.  I can't believe it.  Good for her, I'm glad she's doing well.  Just don't let her fall of the freeway, like I almost did.  Do you remember that, Mom?  You were so patient with me!  I don't know how you didn't just forbid me to drive for the rest of forever!  Thank you :)  
I've beeen thinking a whole lot about leadership lately.  I'm a Zone leader in Montecristi, so Elder Chalas and I are in charge of all the missionaries' needs, especailly about teaching the gospel, training them, etc.  It's fun to think of new ways to motivate people, try to get to the root of WHY they don't do what they're supposed to, or what they can do better, how to do it, and what to focus on.  I have to learn to be very effective in a short amount of time, because we give short training meetings every week, and I have to learn to talk about the most important things first, and quickly.  I'm realizing how DIFFICULT it must be to be a bishop or President of ANYTHING, because you just have to organize your time, your information flow, your EVERYTHING so well, and everyone's always trying to criticize.  I'm learning so much, it's a fantastic experience, and I'm really glad to be able to participate in it.  I think it willl help me with my career, too.
As far as finishing the mission goes, it sounds like you're free to come pick me up, you just have to let me know so I can tell them not to buy a ticket for me.  Sounds like I'm still on a leash, though, as a missionary (no swimming, no movies...) unless I can shmooze President to release me or give me permission to have fun.  Just let me know, whatever you decide.
Love you all!  Relax, be happy, and enjoy life!  It's too short to be sad.
Elder Taylor

Jul 3, 2013

Trent's email 6/26/13

Hahaha, first, Mom, BREATHE.
Now you're in girl's camp.  You'll probably read this on Saturday night, or maybe even Sunday.  Are you okay?  I like organizing things.  I hope you had a good experience.  I hope Becca learned a lot :D  Alysa's there, too?  whoa!  Wasn't expecting that!  Good for her.  Is she 14 already?
I really love the history as well.  Thomas Jefferson has always been my favorite founding Father.  Good stuff.  I'm glad to know you ate well while you were there.  Courtney's family is experiencing lots of southern food, too, I believe, being in Texas.  I know they're hanging out with some mexicans as well, so they're eating tamales and stuff.  Aaww, I miss all American food.
Speaking of which, Latins are taught that there are only 5 continents, and they teach us that there are 7.  What is a "continent" anyway?  Are Dominicans considered Americans because they're in the American continent, or are they just Caribbean?  Some "Educated" Dominicans get mad when I tell them that I'm American because they all say that they're american too, but I don't think so.  I think they're caribbinean, or however you say caribeño in English.  Which is very different from American.
On monday I saw Haiti for the first time.  There are some missionaries in Dajabón, which is on the border, and we went to the market where the Haitians sell food and shoes and stuff, and I could see out into Haiti.  Just dirt and people and tents.  I thought the DR was underdeveloped with its beaten roads and its wood houses, but I hadn't imagined Haiti.  No wonder they all try to come over here.
Speaking of the market, do you all need Church shoes or pants or tennis shoes or anything?  It's all very cheap in the market.... You have to be careful, though.  I bought a pair of dress shoes for $4.50 to later discover that they're painted black, but really brown...
What's $4.50 anyway? 
I also found a football, some socks, two short sleeve shirts, all for about $15 total.  Its a great place.  So just let me know.
We have a big training meeting of which my companion and I are in charge.  So we're planning that.  I like organizing!  I like helping people!  It's fun stuff.  I'll let you know how it goes later.
On Saturday, we have 6 people getting baptized, but 5 of them are children from the ward, and 1 of them is our investigator.  China, we call her, but her real name is Virginia.  She's great!  She's the Branch President's Mom.  Learning lots, very excited to finally be baptized.
We're working lots with less actives.  I really like it, because most of them want to be there, but have just gotten distracted for some reason.  We have an activity tonight, another tomorrow.  This branch is so fun!
Anyway, that's about all I'm doing.  I love mission work.  I could totally do it as a full time job if I were allowed to take it a little easier, like date women and have free time to go bowling with some friends and breathe every once in awhile.  And listen to music.  Meanwhile, I'll keep working :D
Mom, do you like accounting?  How well would I do in accounting?  I like organizing, I like rules, and I like math.  Could I make it into a successful, satisfactory career?
Anyway, I love you all!  Have a great week!