Sunday, December 22, 2013

Crazy Cold Week

The Holidays are crazy on the mission! We've been traveling to and from to many different places, going to the temple, having snow days, and district meetings and still being a missionary! Woof! But I'm still alive and well, and cold but that's okay. I'm wearing a new scarf I found in my suitcase today...figures it's new! ;)
Anyway like I mentioned, it was a crazy and FAST weeek. They keep going faster :/ We had a shortened P-day because we went to the temple last week so we got to work soon after we finished everything that was essentail. I had one of the funniest member family dinners on Monday. One for the record books. I'll tell it to you later :)
Tuesday we had orders to stay inside because of the snow storm until further notice. It was a pretty bad snow storm so Sister Gaihe and I did a couple of crafts. The real CCC was done on Saturday.. We were finally able to go out and tried a Less Active. She came to the door and said, I just had eye surgery I can't be in the sun...She didn't even answer our question. That was awkward. Then we went to Sister Schmidt's house and got her baptismal program all figured out for her baptism on the 31st of this month! We're so excited for her! We headed to bed a little early because we had to be up early to go to the temple.
Wednesday we had to be up to the Elders apartment at 6:30 in the morning to travel up to Newark and get on the trains to NYC. Driving with Elders is different and weird so it was mostly quiet. We got to the Newark Chapel and met the others of our zone and went to the train. I love my new zone! They're great. We got to the temple and the peace that is there is refreshing. That's a good word to describe the temple trip this time...refreshing. As we went and got ready for the endowment session it was the most peaceful feeling of the spirit I've felt since I've been endowed. It was just so calm. We didn't get to see the new video, there was a Korean speaking member, but I was a lot more okay with it than some of the others because i'll be going again in a couple of months...for the last time :( Here in NY I mean. The peace I felt in the Celestial room was just what I needed to calm all of the feelings I've been experiencing with how fast time is flying. Our trip back was long. But fun. All 8 of us sisters had an opportunity to talk to a lady, who actually lives in Bordentown, our Elders area down here. I think she got a little intimidated and quickly got off. She was sweet though. I rested my eyes the whole way back to our area, while Sister Gaihe talked a little bit to the Elders. Bless her heart :) I love her!
Thursday Sister Gaihe was sick. We had district meeting so after that and lunch we headed back home to let her rest. It was crazy to see the difference in how she acted when she wasn't sick and when she was. It was a big difference, she's better now and I'm glad I got my companion back. It was good for her to rest up and get better.
Friday we went and picked up our long term passes for the base. Can I just say SO COOL! We went to the office to get them and had a cool experience. This lady helped us everytime we were in there previous. It took some time to get the base pass and she asked "so are you Christians?" I replied, "yes we are!" and we proceeded to tell her about the church. She said she was interested in reading about different religions and about different things and I asked her if she heard about the Book of Mormon. She hadn't, so I asked, 'do you want to read it?' She quickly said no, and then the spirit quickly prompted her to say 'yeah, do you have one?' I pulled it out. We discussed our beliefs and she said we believe about the same thing. I marked for her to read Helaman, and Samuel the Lamanite prophesying about Christ coming and told her about Christ coming. We gave her our number and told her to text us when she read it. She hasn't yet, but we planted that seed. I'm eager to see what happens later on in her life and if she absorbs the Book of Mormon. I love being a missionary! It was so cool! We went and tried a couple of people, with a ward missionary and no luck. We did go to our set appointment with a less active we started working with and talked about prayer. It was a really powerful lesson and what she needed. I feel like she just needs to remember how she felt when she was doing these things and that'll give her the motivation to come back. She offered the closing prayer and I felt the spirit so strongly. We ended up at the Schmidt's home for dinner with the Elders. It was really good.
Saturday was a snow day, all day! I taught Sister Gaihe all of my cool tricks, knitting, making boxes, bracelets and we just had a good bonding day together. I love her so much! I'm so grateful she's my companion at the end of my mission. She's teaching me a lot :)
We still didn't get the okay to drive so we got a ride to church. It was a very nice Sunday. The spirit I feel at church is incredible. I'm so grateful for the sacrament and the priviledge I get every week to renew my covenants and try better the next week! We stayed for choir after and Sister Schmidt had her baptismal interview and of course passed! She's all ready to go for her baptism! We had breakfast for dinner with members and then visited another member. I love this ward!
On Monday we had to travel up to Morristown to go practice our songs for our fireside this upcoming Sunday. We had to leave early to drop something off at the mission office. So when you're down south and you have to run a few places up north you had to leave a little earlier than usual. So hence, why we're doing emails today. The choir practice was good. Seeing all the missionaries was better. It's so good seeing your old companions and other missionaries! I love it!
 That went a little longer than expected and we stopped for lunch and then headed back down...didn't get home until 7 and immediately went to our dinner appointment but a recent convert that just moved in. She's my age and so COOL! We had a great time eating dinner and getting to know everyone. She had a roommate who was so fun! She's awesome! Tuesday were district meetings and we had to drop the car off to get it tuned up. So again, we had to leave early to get everything done and had a dinner appointment last night and so yeah, no time again to do them. The dinner was great as well as district meetings.
I love being a missionary. I love this gospel. I love this Christmas season for the time we have to reflect on our Savior and what he's done for us. It's truly remarkable to think about. I love you all. I recieve some MAJOR love from some ward members back home. I got some mail and it brought me to tears. I didn't read them all from the primary. That's happening on Christmas! Thanks for all your support! Talk to you next week!
Sister Christine Taylor

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Well it has definitely been one of the craziest weeks on my mission so far. From saying goodbye to loved ones in Scotch Plains, to being doubled in, YET AGAIN, to a brand new area opened up to sisters, from a Thanksgiving dinner (THANKFULLY) and being so sore from the Turkey Bowl, breaking the knob for the hot water for the shower it has definitely been crazy. But I love this area so much. As you can see in the subject I'm now in Wrightstown New Jersey...back down South for me. But this time I'm ready to be down here. It's pretty cool because Dicou served down here and has been helping me with the area and what not so it's been fantastic.
Last monday was tough to say good-bye to some of the loved ones in Scotch Plains. I truly loved that area and the people there. Tuesday was transfer conference. It became really REAL to me that I'm actually going to be leaving. It was a tough transfer conference to say the least. As President began announcing the transfers I felt very strongly I was going to be coming down here and I was right. He started announcing the NEW ZONE 11 and said Wrightstown and I stood up as he was saying it. My new companion is Sister Gaihe from Cebu in the Philippines. She's so sweet and so nice. I'm excited to work with her down here. Quick funny story, as we were driving back home from Thanksgiving dinner she said "what is that smell?" If you know the south or any rural area it smells like 'crap', the nicest way to put it so I said "that's poop." We busted up laughing! She isn't used to this and as we drive she said "it's so pretty". I love it. She's actually my 'granddaughter' in mission terms. Sister Ward trained her up in New City and now I'm her companion. There's another Sister Taylor as well that just came out that's comps with a Philippina, kinda ironic!
So after transfers were all announced we heard departing testimonies from the missionaries going home. It hit home like I mentioned. I was able to keep it in for a long time. Mo went home and shared a great testimony, the whole day she kept telling me not to cry. I did good. Until the end..where we sang 'God Be With You Til We Meet Again'. President has been having the departing missionaries stand up at the front and we sing to them. He came and sat by me and said 'how are you doing?' I said I was fine and that I'm keeping it in. He said he was watching me and then the song came and the tears flowed. Yay. We luckily fit all our stuff in the car and headed down for the next two hours SOUTH. We made it to our apartment and moved everything in for the next hour. We didn't get situated until 10 pm. Boy were my arms sore! I'm going to love it down here, I know it.
Wednesday we had district meeting in Toms River. It felt good to go back. Sister Maclay is down in Barnegat so I saw her again. That was nice. District meeting was great. I'm just happy to be here. I've had some weird deja-vu's about the area so I know I'm supposed to be here. Traveling in the south takes forever, that's what we pretty much did the rest of the day.
Thursday was THANKSGIVING. We went up to Princeton to play in the Turkey Bowl. It was really fun. There were so many more sisters there than last year! It's exciting. It was cold but warmed up as we played of course. After that we came home got ready and went to our first members home for dinner, the Sufias. Already love them. It was Sister Gaihe's first Thanksgiving. Pretty cool. We came back home. We've been so exhausted ever since we got here, still trying to catch up.
Friday we met with our ward mission leader, Brother Melin at his house and then had leftovers for lunch with his family. They are a cute great little family. We went and met some of the less actives after that. We also met with our investigators and taught a quick lesson. Then more traveling.
So the area that we cover is part of the military base, Fort Dix so we had to go get passes for the base. We did that on Saturday. We went onto the base and met another member family and had dinner with them. It's so cool to be on the base. Reminds me of Hill Air Force base. I'm just so happy to be here.

Sunday was great! The ward is so awesome and our dinner calendar was FILLED up.  We met many of the members. They are so awesome. We met our other investigator Sandy who's going to be baptized on Dec 31st! We're excited for that. After we went and met with Sandy and her husband, who's a member and they gave us a nice tour of their house. We also had dinner with another member family, The Morrow's. We had cafe rio salad dressing and it made me really happy! It was like home :)
I love this area. I'm grateful to be here. I know the church is true. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. He translated the Book of Mormon for us. It gives us power. I'm so happy to be a missionary at this time when the Lord is Hastening His Work! Thanks for all your support! I love you all so much! Have a great week! I can't believe its DECEMBER! AHHH

Sister Taylor

Monday, November 25, 2013

The seed planter

Well first things first. Today is the last day for me in this area, SP2N....I'm really going to miss it....I've been avoiding getting emotional and have been hiding my tears with other things..It's going to be hard to leave. Luckily I had a sense that I was leaving and got a confirmation on Thursday, because SCOT got a call to train. It was at 8:23 in the morning and I couldn't focus the rest of the day...oops! I was able to say good-bye to a lot of the members yesterday at church. Again, hiding the fact that I'm leaving. I'll send some pictures of some of the ward members I got pictures with. This ward is the BEST!

The week was great. We met with Mark a couple times during the week. On Tuesday we met with him in the freezing cold. We asked how he felt after his baptism and everything and he said "strong and clean" He said that he wrote down those feelings after his baptism. He's going to be such a great member of the church. We also saw him on Thursday where we met him for lunch at our new favorite place 'And Grain'. He really enjoyed it. We talked about the priesthood and temples and he's going to get the priesthood pretty quick. :) That makes me happy. We also talked about him going to BYU....we'll see what happens with that. That would be so great for him!

I don't really even remember what went on this week because it's been a whirlwind of emotions in my mind. I'm excited to be going to another place to help more of God's children. I know that many of you have mention that I've been a seed planter but that's completely confirmed...I haven't served in an area longer than 3 transfers. I quickly do the work and get out so others can cultivate the seeds.. And SCOT is going to have an awesome opportunity to do that as she trains. This area is starting to be on fire and I'm excited for her to continue it. :)


Friday was great. Since SCOT had to go to the trainers meeting I had to go with some other sisters and had the privilege of going back to my first area Morristown...they split the area so I was in Madison and Chatham again but I was so happy to be back. We talked about the people they've been working with and ward members and it made me so happy to be there. We went to go try Carrie, one of the investigators that I found down there but unfortunately she wasn't home :( then we went and saw Brother Robinson again, he was the one in the hospital with MS and I don't know if he quite remembered me but it was so great to go back and see him. He touched my heart many times going there. We went and tried a member but she wasn't home so we went to a deli, Mo and I tried one of my last weeks there that was so great! Again, it was delicious. I went back and picked up SCOT and headed back to our area. We went and taught a pretty bold lesson to one of our investigators. She's ready to be baptized she just has to wait for a few things. But since I knew it was my last time teaching her, I was pretty bold. Told her that if she didn't come to church we couldn't meet with her again. She came to church :)


Saturday morning we went and raked Sister Ashton's yard. I love raking... I think I mentioned that last week but I really love it. We raked just about her whole yard. She said it was the cleanest she'd ever seen her yard. I was so happy to do that for her. She took us out to lunch at a buffet. She's touched my life. I love her so much and care about her so much. Sister Dicou said something to me before she left and I wrote in one of my planners. I was looking back on them this past week and in the inside cover of the planner it said "love them 'til it hurts." That's exactly how I feel with the people here. Especially Sister Ashton. It's going to be hard for me to leave here. She wrote me another note expressing her gratitude and love for me. After that we went and visited another member and then went and had dinner with another member. He took us out to eat to an Italian place. I got a calzone and boy can anybody say CHEESE! That thing was loaded with cheese. I couldn't even finish it there was so much cheese. Cheese, cheese, cheese, geez!


Sunday was a crazy last Sunday for me. I asked Sister Ashton to come to church with me for my last Sunday and she said she would. Cool thing was, her son, Jacob, was already planning on coming without her. But they came and I was able to sit my Sashton. I said the opening prayer for the last time there. Mark was confirmed a member and it was awesome. SCOT leaned over to him after and asked how he felt and he said "really good." That brought a big smile to my face. As we began the sacrament hymn, a couple people noticed one of the older guys in the ward up on the stand. He had passed out and was becoming pale really quick. Soon, everyone there saw him. Bishop went out to call 911 and the organist stopped the music. His wife was sitting next to him and punch him in the chest to wake him up, but no response. Jacob, Sister Ashton's son, was a first responder and ran up there. Many other people went up onto the stand. He woke up and he walked out into the foyer. An ambulance came and picked him up. It was really scary to see that and the tone of the sacrament changed after that. He's doing fine now which is good. :) Sister Denninghoff spoke on our physical and spiritual heritage and it was amazing. I love her so much! Sunday school was good we talked about baptisms for the dead and Jacob was in there. Sheena, one of our investigators made baked ziti for the class and it was BOMB! Relief Society was great too. I LOVE CHURCH. We had a few last lessons for me here in SP2N. I'm really going to miss it. But I've done some great work here. Onto the next one! I love you all and thanks so much for your support! Have a Happy Thanksgiving....hope I can find a place quick to go :) haha Don't worry mom, I'll be fine :)



Sister Christine Taylor....the 'seed-planter'

November 18, 2013 Best Week Ever...again!

Holy Moly! So much love and joy coming from this Sister here! Seriously though one of the best weeks I've had in my mission so far! Reasons:
1. I'm feeling the spirit so much in my daily life, that's leading me to touching the hearts of the people we're teaching.
2. We surprisingly set an investigator of ours for baptism.
3. WE HAD A BAPTISM of Mark Smith. More deets to follow shortly
4. We had 8 less actives attend church yesterday, and 4 investigators.
5. I made a rap for Sister Cottrell....that's my third one out here.
6. Don't know if I told you but I learned how to knit and have been knitting SCOT a scarf.
7. Receive one of the nicest letters I've ever gotten from one of the less actives. More deets for that one too. :)
Any the WEEK WAS GREAT! I don't even know where to begin. I really love New Jersey. I really love Scotch Plains 2 North area. It is def one of my favorites. The people here have seriously touched my heart. I have come here and received so many blessings. I'll go through the week because it progressively got better. We ended up playing Frisbee for a little on Monday and then went to a member families house for dinner and FHE. We played the Jeopardy and the three little boys loved it! I did too. It was a lot of fun to see how much they knew. We had some bomb burgers.
Tuesday was district meeting and one of the best. I just love the spirit. I'm so overwhelmed with how much I've felt the spirit this transfer. Being able to discern people's needs and teach them what they need to be taught has been so cool. We went and taught our investigators Jesse and Flor. Mother and son and goll I love Flor. We were talking about the Plan of Salvation and one of the best I've ever taught and the spirit was just flowing through both SCOT and I. We got to the kingdoms of Glory and started explaining from the bottom to the top. We got to the Celestial Kingdom and Flor was about to jump out of her seat, saying she wanted to go to that Kingdom! We referenced it to the sun and she was going off. She's from Costa Rica so she has a nice accent. I love her. After that I was prompted to ask her what she needed to do to go there. She said "be a good person, follow God's commandments" Mosiah 18:8-10 popped into my head so we opened up to it. She read it in Spanish while I read it in English. The last verse says "if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized" I asked her again what she needed to do and she said "I need to be baptized." Right then, SCOT asked her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. She accepted it and said she needs to learn more about the church! But she accepted it! It was the coolest thing. Flor is another one prepared by Our Heavenly Father. After that we went and visited Mark, another car lesson with the Fullmers. We went over the interview questions and he passed with flying colors! We talked about Enduring to the End and he is SO READY!
Wednesday was a great day. We've gotten quite a few Christmas CD's and put them all on one CD, we're waiting for after Thanksgiving but are so EXCITED for the Christmas music. We taught Brother Grosch and went and helped Sister Ashton clean her house for inspections! And they passed. She's been doing such a great job cleanin up and throwing away a lot of things. :) We keep taking things from her house to de-clutter it and it's going really well. She's thanked us so much for what we're doing. I'm proud of her for throwing away so much. We went and visited with Petra and then a member, Brother Nesmith. We read Alma 17 with him and I believe I received so much more revelation than anyone that was there. It was really cool. Again, the spirit working in me. Our last lesson was with our investigators, the three young women. They are READY to be baptized they have to get permission from their father but they are ready. We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and then did the teabag object lesson. They loved it so much and wanted to do it again, so we told them they had to teach us and we weren't going to say a word. So we gave our tags to them and they did just a GREAT job teaching us the gospel of Jesus Christ. I loved it so much! More prepared people!
Thursday we had the BEST lunch EVER. We've passed this restaurant for a long time and I've wanted to try it. It was called And Grain and boy I'd give it two thumbs up....I actually did give two thumbs up to the owner. We split a chicken pesto sandwich a basket of breads with different spreads to put on the bread and whoever comes back to NEW J with me we're going to go there! We got a text from Sister Ashton asking us to come over and I'm so glad we did. She was feeling down and we lifted her right up. I can't begin to express the love I have for that lady. She is one of the reasons I have come to New Jersey. To meet her and both of us be strengthened by each other. She wrote me a very sweet letter confirming we've met for a reason. It touched my heart and I love her so much! I'm really going to miss her when I leave :(
Friday was another great day of teaching. SCOT helped Brother Grosch with his family history again and he said he felt the spirit so strongly as they were doing that. That made me happy. We also taught another investigator, Brother Grosch came with us and did such an amazing job testifying again. We set her on date for baptism for December 29th. A lot of prayer and faith to help her be ready for that day. We door-bell ditched cookies at Bishops house. Unfortunately the door-bell was broken but they received them anyway and ate them all up! That was fun.
Saturday we went and helped Sister Ashton clean up their yard from Halloween and SCOT helped her clean her car out. I raked a lot of leaves. I just have to say....when I was younger I really didn't like raking but I can now say, I love raking....Bill (Sister Ashton's husband) said it builds character and you better believe it does haha. So great. He also got us caramel apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate pie ones. So yummy. I've missed those. SCOT and I ate one yesterday and we were both dying because it tasted so good! We taught another member on Saturday and had to change completely our lesson because we didn't do family she was talking I was prompted to ask her if she's received her patriarchal blessing and she hadn't so we talked about them and committed her to prepare for hers. It was totally prompted by the spirit again! I loved it! That night was the chili cook-off. Sister Ashton, Bill and her son came! So happy. I ate too much chili...I think it made me sick...but it was good. Fun SUNDAY!
Such a wonderful day FULL of the spirit. Mark's baptism, a lot of less actives at church and awhhh just so many good emotions were flowin yesterday. Mark was baptized and will receive the Holy Ghost next  week. He was so ready, Saturday night I texted him and asked "you excited", he replied "no, calm and ready" Touched my heart. The baptism came and the spirit was very strong. He asked Elder Ragma, one of the Philippino missionaries to baptize him. As they went into the water, strong emotions came, not to tears but close, Elder Ragma lowered him in the water and he came up. As he came up he opened his eyes, looked to the crowd, gave a BIG huge smile and waved at everyone. Mark is one of the most reMARKable guys I have met. He was so ready this time to be baptized! We had time to bear testimonies and I have to get up and express my gratitude. The words were just flowing from my mouth. I got down and didn't remember what I said because the spirit was testifying. I'm so grateful for this gospel and how Mark now has the opportunity for eternal life :)
My heart is so full of love and joy for the week I have had. It truly has been one of the best. I love this gospel with all of my heart! I love my Savior Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith restored this church for us today! The Book of Mormon is TRUE! Thank you for all your prayers for Mark and all of your support. Transfers are next week. I don't know whats going to happen but I'll let you know next week! I love you all!!
Sister Christine Taylor 

November 12 2013

This week has been incredible! I've been able to see so many miracles. First off, MARKS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY!  He's so ready and excited as well as am I. One of the less actives I've been working with just about since I've gotten here is so amazing. We've been going over and helping her clean up her house and get rid of a lot of things. That's been nice and we've created such a great friendship. She's older but she said she thinks of Sister Cottrell and I as peers and not her daughters. That was really cool. I feel like she wants to come back to church but is nervous to get back. Transfers are coming up and I'm not sure if I'm leaving or not but on Saturday we went and helped her for quite some time and at the end she said "if you tell your mission president not to transfer you, I'll be at church on Sunday" I told her I would. So hopefully she'll come to church on Sunday and be able to feel the spirit there and want to come back. I know she's felt the spirit quite a bit when we go over there. One of the first times, Sister Maclay and I went over there we read Mosiah 24:11-14 or so and she had tears welling up inside her eyes. I know she feels the spirit when we go over and I hope she'll come to church because she wants to, not just because I won't be getting transferred..We'll see and I'll let you know next week if she comes or not :)

Wednesdays are always bomb days for us. We have a lot of set appointments on Wednesdays. And boy it was good. We didn't have to cook lunch or dinner. Members fed us. We started with helping a member, well Sister Cottrell, helping a member with family history, she was able to find a couple of other names for him which was great. Then over to Mary Ann's for a quick lesson with her. We taught her the gospel with the teabag. She loved it. That's like the 3rd time doing it with her but she was the one that taught the object lesson so that was great! Then to Brother Grosch, he was a less active member who referred himself on and boom we were right on it and have been teaching him. He's on FIRE with the gospel right now and is loving it. Yesterday we walked out of the church and there he was driving in his car. He came up to us and said "man, I need to find a job, this retirement is killing me. I have nothing to do." It was pretty funny. He's a great guy and loves the gospel. He feeds us pizza each time we go over there. I'm surely getting my fair share of pizza, which is great because the pizza back on the west coast doesn't do justice for the pizza out here :)  We had a couple of other lessons. One with three young women investigators, they want to be baptized so bad but their father won't let them. We taught them the holy ghost and did the water and pepper analogy and boy did they love it! I hope and pray their father will give them permission. They are yearning for the gospel fully in their lives. We ended at Chili's with a member for dinner. She's from Utah and met her husband and moved out here. She's a sweetheart. I love her a lot. Her husband isn't a member but we're always trying to work with the part-member families.

Thursday it was a rainy, rainy day. We had Mark and walked in the rain over there. It was a pretty far walk and we got quite wet. But it was fun. We had a YSA come out with us, she recently returned from her mission in Idaho, she was waiting for her visa for Brazil and had to come back and fix her papers. She did such a great job. If there's anything I learned out here, it's how to be a great member missionary. I can't wait to get home to be able to help the missionaries. Because now I know how it feels to be the missionary and needing the members help so much. Truly grateful to learn that here.

Friday we had interviews with President and Sister Jeppson. Boy do I love interviews! They seriously are the best to be able to get reassurance from them about what I'm doing. President and I had a great talk, he asked me how I'd feel staying in an area for 5 transfers (that's most likely what'll happen if I don't get transferred this upcoming transfer). I told him I haven't been burnt out here yet but I'd love to go to a new area. We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks. I truly do love Scotch Plains 2 North. I would have to say it's probs my favorite area. Maybe because I see it now that the Lord is truly hastening his work so much. There have been so many people coming out of the wood-works wanting to learn more and coming back into the fold. And I've had the amazing privilege of being here for it. I just can't believe how fast time is really flying! Sister Cottrell again helped a member, Brother Grosch, with family history and got so much information. He just about jumped out of his seat because he was so happy. He's so ready to get back to the temple and do the work for his dead ancestors. It's really awesome to see that. He came with us to an appointment and he testified so strongly, I know our investigator was hit with the spirit. I asked her if we could set a goal for her to get baptized, she sat there silently for 2 minutes trying to figure out what to say. She finally said, let me talk to my member friend. So hopefully this week, we can set her with a date to be baptized. We went to a baby shower on Friday night and that was really fun to see all the sisters in our ward a little more relaxed. I had some good laughs.

Saturday was another great day of set appointments where none fell through! We helped our less active like I mentioned before and I got a guitar from them. We'll see if I can learn a song or something :)  We taught some powerful lessons and I have loved being able to feel the spirit in the lessons we're teaching. I'm truly grateful for the spirit in my life.

Sunday, again, such a strong spirit. Sacrament is beginning to mean more and more to me. Grandma Joyce bore her testimony on the power of prayer. I was so grateful to be able to witness her coming in contact with her grandson after 17 years because Sister Maclay and I were there teaching her one time and we prayed in faith. That story is one I'll share for the rest of my life. We've already got set plans for Thanksgiving to as well mom, so no need to worry. Our bishops wife invited us over (she said if I get transferred Sister Cottrell can't come over, but she was joking, that woman loves me) Also, Grandma Joyce wants us over, as well as Sheena, one of our investigators, and Sister Ashton too, our less active that we do service for. We'll see if my stomach can hold all that...if I don't get transferred that is..

We went and saw Petra again and talked with her and told her that this gospel is where she can find happiness. I hope she's willing to learn more and try it out. She said she wanted Hana to come to church, she can't right now with her newborn baby but hopefully she'll be open to it soon :) I love Petra. Another story I'll tell for a long time. We went and found a WAY less active from a referral some Sisters in Elizabeth gave us. She's crazy, more to come about her. We have to meet with her again.

Yesterday was great. We went to dinner with a member family and played LDS Jeopardy, Sister Cottrell and I made the board and questions and it was a hit. Their kids are so smart and very intelligent with the gospel. We left and the mom texted us and said, Daniel just contentedly sighed, and said "when I grow up, I want to be a missionary." Thank you for coming over tonight :) That melted my heart, when we were over there we were doing what our 'rose' and 'thorn' of the day were and he said "my rose is when the sisters came over" Again, my heart melted. Such a cute family!

And today, We had a couple of really powerful lessons. District meeting was great but the lessons we had after were even better. We taught our investigators, Jesse and Flor, mother and son, the plan of salvation. It was powerful. We explained the 3 kingdoms of glory and asked Flor which one she wanted to go to, she replied "The Celestial one" I asked "what do you have to do to get there?" She said serve people and keep the commandments. I was prompted to read Mosiah 18: 8-10 and we opened it up and read it and after she said, "I have to be baptized" Sister Cottrell invited her to be baptized and she said she wants to learn more, but she's going to get baptized! She's another prepared daughter of our Heavenly Father. It was incredible. We went to see Mark and had another car meeting with Elder and Sister Fullmer and went through the Baptismal Interview Questions with him and he's going to pass with flying colors! He's so ready to be baptized. I love it!

I love being a missionary. It has changed my life and in turn I want to help others change theirs, for the better. I've become a little bit more of who Heavenly Father wants me to be. I'm confident in who I am. I'm a daughter of God and he loves me so much. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I was reading in 3 Nephi this week and loved this scripture, 3 Nephi 15:9. I'm grateful for this opportunity. I love you all! I hope you have a great week! It was VERY CHILLY today! Stay warm :)



Sister Christine Taylor

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Love the Gospel

I love the gospel! I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This week has been different but really good. It was slower than usual due to conferences a sick day, an exchange, and stake conference but it was great. After emails on P-day we went and played soccer...I haven't really played in quite some time..I played and continued to kick the ball and really stretched my thigh hurt for a couple of days but we're back to normal now.

I wasn't feeling really well on Tuesday so we had a sick day. After district meeting I told Sister Cottrell I had to go home and I slept for most of the day. I love Wednesday's here in Scotch Plains. They're productive and we have a lot of set appointments. We had 8 set appts and only one of them got canceled but it worked out fine. We taught a lot of people, less actives, investigators, members and even did service. It was a great day! I love being able to work with Sister Cottrell, we're a lot alike but also very different. But we both know our calling and are trying so hard to do the Lord's work here. We've been talking about the people we've been working with and just about all of them are ready to be baptized. It's so exciting! Wednesday we saw Mark, usually we meet him outside but the weather has been getting colder so Elder and Sister Fullmer offered their car for our meeting. I'll say that was a first on my mission. A lesson in a car. But it was awesome. Mark's grandpa just recently passed away and so it was cool to be able to relate to him about my experience with Grandpa Stevens. Mark is so awesome. On Friday we met with him right before our exchange and I asked him if he desired to be baptized, and the way he said "yes" sealed it for me. He's going to be baptized on November 17th and he's ready! :) We also met with one of our other investigators, Travis, and he accepted to be baptized in December, we're extending a date to him this week. :) Things are happening!

We had zone conference on Thursday in Morristown, it was crazy to be back there. I was there in Morristown a YEAR ago. Seems like a very long, but short time. We were able to hear from President and Sister Jeppson. Goll, I love them so much; . They bring such a strong spirit into the room and are just fantastic. They said we'll probs be getting ipads in April or so next year...too bad fo' me! The work of Salvation is hastening and I hope all of you are doing your job as members to help hasten the work. Heavenly Father needs all of us doing His work "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal of man" (Moses 1:39) We did role plays and learned so much there.

Now this story is quite cool, this next one, I whole-heartedly believe I receive revelation through the foods I want to try out here haha. After zone conference we got back and I wanted to try a place called Urban Burger. So we bundled up and decided to drive there. If we would have walked this story wouldn't of happened. So we go in and order our burgers, BTW they were really delicious. I ordered the cow roaming in an onion patch burger. YUMMY. So, we got it to go, but had to wait for them to make it so we sat down at a table and were just talking amongst ourselves. This older lady that was sitting a table with her family kept looking and glancing at me over and over again. So in my mind I had already planned to give her a pass-along card but I was going to do it as I was walking out. In walks her son, probably about in his 20's....she leans over to me...really close and says "do you think my son is cute?" Uhhhhhhhhh...I had no clue what to say. So I replied "I'm not looking for that right now..." Really, that's what came out. It was pretty funny. I told her, I'm on a mission for my church and then she asked what church and the conversation developed from there. She began to tell us when her daughter (who's now in her 40's) was around 5, the missionaries used to come over and discuss with her. 40 years ago this lady had met with the missionaries and there we were again! We got into conversation with the whole family and talked about BYU and the church. It was really cool to do that. I gave her a card and she was so happy! I put our name and number on it for her. As we left I told her if she ever needed anything give us a call, and she said in a very sincere voice "I'm going to do that!". We went back home and ate our burgers with JOY! It was so cool to experience that. Sister Cottrell and I both have the faith she will call us. If not we'll start knocking all the doors in Cranford until we find her again :)

We had another revelation through food the next night. Man I'm on a role! This one was at a frozen yogurt place. People know I love my FroYo. It was interesting because on Monday we had written down a name of a lady to go check up on and then the next thing we were going to get some FroYo. Due to my leg we didn't get there. But it happened to be on Friday night when we got in to the FroYo place in walks the lady that we had put down on Monday and then FroYo...We met Deb Wright at FroYo on Friday night. Sister Maclay and I had contacted her at her house a few months ago and she said she wanted to learn more, but we hadn't been able to get back over there. It was so neat and I talked to her again and she said it's been crazy at the house but just stop by and see if we're there. Boom! It's going to happen we're going to teach her and her family. Hope that story made sense..

Stake conference was incredible. To the amazing adult session in the newly dedicated Newark Chapel, to the song How Great Thou Art played by three woman, a violin, cello and piano, to the amazing talks about hastening the work of Salvation and sharing the gospel, to the Sunday session where Sister Jeppson sang a couple of diddy's and then President Jeppson beat-boxed a line or two to the incredible spirit felt. I love this weekend. I also went on an exchange to East Brunswick and did some work in Edison. That was fun.

This work is real. God lives and loves us so much. I have been so blessed to be out here in New Jersey. God knows what he's doing. His plan is a happy plan. I'm excited for this week. We have to be in early on the 30th and 31st due to the "Night of Mischief". Gang initiations. Don't worry. I'm staying AWAY FROM THAT stuff! :) I love all of you and have a Happy Halloween. Talk to you next week.



Sister Taylor

Lovin' Scotch Plains

Lets just say, God is good! I love my new companion and things are happening here in Scotch Plains. So much to say. It was such a great week of work. We'll begin on Tuesday with transfer conference. Mac and I headed a little early and had some lunch with a few of the other girls that were getting transferred. Transfer conference was great! There were just two missionaries leaving and Elder Smith, the one that I was told to look for when I came out, left. I told him to go say hello to all of you. Anyway, President began announcing the transfers and started up at the top and got down to zone 6, my zone and announced my new companion, Sister Cottrell from Henderson, Nevada and I already love her so much! She's so ready to work and that's just what I need. And she's OOBER smart. She went to the University of Utah for bio-medical engineering.  Really excited to work with her this transfer. We've gotten along really fast and man I just love her! After transfer conference, we went to see Mark. Scot (Sister Cottrell) connected with him so fast. We talked about testimony and what it is and how we can strengthen it. I asked him if he's been praying on his knees and if he's had a calendar open to see which date pops out to him and he said no. So we specifically committed him to do that and he said he would. That made me happy. And I'm happy to say that night he text us "just prayed on my knees with the calendar out and the 17th stands out" So now we're hoping and praying so hard that he will be baptized on November 17th. He came to church but only for the first hour so we're going to see what's up with that. We went to Chili's with a member and her non-member husband and he asked us questions the whole time. He's not interested right now but I think we gave him a good vibe about the Latter-Day Saints and the missionaries.

Wednesday was an amazing day! We met with our less active (who's going to be active VERY FAST) he told us his story and how the church is what he was missing in his life. He kept telling us, I need to keep my temple recommend back and all the other things. He's so ready to dive back into the gospel it's incredible to see. I love that! He fed us pizza, always love the pizza here. I won't be able to eat it out there.. Then we went and checked up on the media referral we got (the one that sent it to us again because of the wrong address) and boom, his mother and him are our new investigators! Funny story: so this kid was referred by his girlfriend and she had the wrong address so we got the right one. We knocked on the door and waited some time before he answered. It was slightly awkward but we got in. His mother was sitting in another room so we kinda just started talking to him. She came into the room to tell us she was going to take a shower...she walked out of the room and a few seconds later she came back in and asked "do you mind if I sit in and listen to what you're teaching my son?" Of course we replied absolutely you can! (Pretty sure the spirit hit her and told her to come back in) So we got the story from him....his girlfriend, who he met online, is a member and a Sister MISSIONARY! Holla. You can tell he really loves her so he's open to hearing what she believes in. We are going to try and get her information so we can coordinate with her to continue to encourage him. Small world but it was quite cool. And his mother is so interested too. We gave her a Book of Mormon in Spanish and we're meeting with them tomorrow! Exciting! We went to another part member/less active ladies house and picked up her 3 nieces as well as new investigators. So 5 new inv in two lessons! WOO HOO! Miracles.

Thursday was weekly planning...that takes some time..I finally did a little walking again on a walking day. We went to a couple people but ended up at the senior missionaries, the Fullmers home for our cream and popcorn. But it was healthly so it was okay. We went over so Sister Cottrell could meet them. I love em!

Friday was another great day. We had district meeting and the trunk or treat with the ward. We went and helped a less active with service. I've become quite close with her. I love her so much! The people here I've grown to love so much and will be sad to leave Scotch Plains. But living it up here! The trunk o treat was pretty cute. Definitely some sweet outfits from the little kids. And some of our ward members invited their non-member friends which made me so happy!

Saturday another great day of lessons. I just want to say the gospel is true. The spirit leads and guides us and God loves us so much! Words can't express the gratitude I have for my Savior and how much I've learned about him by being out here! We went over to Grandma Joyce's and had a great lesson with her and her daughter, Donna (who just got out of the mental hospital) and her grandson, Travis. All of them were at church yesterday and I had a pretty big smile on my face!

Sunday was one of the best ones I've had on my mission. The spirit was powerful in the sacrament meeting, the talks were great and we had a lot of people there! One of the speakers talked about testimony and was so bold and loving and powerful. We had 3 investigators and 5 less actives at church! Big smile on this girls face! We got to go to the youths sunday school and watched the restoration and testified about Joseph Smith and the restoration. The teacher, after the class said "the spirit is so much stronger with you missionaries in the room." We kinda laughed and she said "no, serious, whenever my family and I watched this at home it hasn't been as powerful as it has been with you in the room." That made me happy. We, as missionaries, have power. We are representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ and bring his power. Never thought of that before much but it's true and it makes me so happy :) We had a linger longer and those are always yummy. We went and taught three lessons after church and had a GREAT lesson with one of our investigators. It's a part member, where the dad isn't a member. Cutest little family. We taught about the plan of salvation. At the end of the lesson Sister Cottrell looked at him and said "Fritz, what would you do to have eternal life with your family?" "I'd do anything" was his reply. We testified so strongly that this is the true church and where he can be sealed in the temple to his family. We asked him to pray this week to know the truth and hopefully he can get an answer.

Like I said, things are happening here. New companion and new investigators and an increased faith. I'm so excited for this transfer with Sister Cottrell. Awhh words can't express how happy I am. I love you all! Hope you all have a great week!




Sister Christine Taylor