We hadn't heard from Christine since before the hurricane hit the east coast. We finally got an email yesterday mass mailed from someone letting us know all the missionaries were ok and staying inside for a couple of days. We knew all along Christine was fine but have wanted to hear from her. We still haven't heard directly from her but I had recieved a picture and note from a family out there that had Christine and her companion to dinner a week ago. I thought I would reach out to her to see what I could find out. She told me earlier today in a email, that all missionaires were safe and accounted for. This evening I got another email from her stating that the missionaires had stopped by the house to get instuction from her husband who is the emergency specialist in the ward and she snapped this picture and sent it. I so appreciate her doing this. It's so good to see Christine and see she's fine. I knew she'd be thriving in the opportunity to serve after this tradgedy. Does it look like she's enjoying herself?
The work has been so great. It's
been a wee bit frustrating but I'm getting it done. I love the gospel and am
falling more in love with it everyday (Kinda like Kimber and Sam), haha I have
to put those cheesy things in there sometimes. We had a lot of dinner
appointments with members this week which was fabulous. The Berhmann's, that
you got the pictures from were on Monday, cute family. The next day we had
dinner at the Young's. They were a young cute couple with a little 18 month old
girl. We had some great pasta and salad. They're awesome. Tuesday was district
meeting and we were talking about companion unity so we had a three legged race
against all of us in the district. Our district leader didn't think Sister
Dicou and I were going to win, but we DID! and it was awesome. We got pokemon
cards for winning. Our zone went out to Fuddruckers after and it was the first
time I've been and it was so good. The next day was our zone conference. And
that was so much fun. We had some great talks from President and Sister
Jeppson, they sang for us and it was so much fun.
is walking day. It always so nice to get out and walk once a week. Thursday are
good because we have set appointments everything Thursday. We go and teach two
recent converts and a member that is in a hospital. It's so awesome to see the
Light of Christ in their lives and the power of the Holy Ghost testifying to
them the truthfulness of the gospel. We had a relief society activity that
night about how to organize our home which was a great lesson for us. Sister
Dicou and I learned some great tips for when we return home.
was RAINY!!!! It was pouring down pretty hard. But it was great. They have a
resturant out here called Friendly's that is really good we went to. We
actually went there two days in a row. :/ But it is yummy! Friday was really
cool and I got to experience being guided by the spirit completely in a lesson.
Sister Dicou has had a name in her mind for a while and we finally had time to
get to go see him. We got to his place and caught him just as he was going out
to smoke. He had had 5 baptismal dates but hasn't kept them. We got there and
got to know him for a little and then the scripture Ether 12:27 popped into my
head. It worked perfectly to what he was telling us, right after that Sister
Dicou took over and said she kept getting this prompting to invite him to
baptism. So she did. He was a little hestitant but accepted to be baptized
again. Yesterday our plans fell through and we weren't able to see him when we
had planned but it was so cool after we left to talk about how we felt and how
the spirit really guided us through that little lesson. I'm grateful for the
opportunity I have to change people's lives and be guided by the spirit in
those ways. I know God lives and is there for us, praying for help will help
you find answers to your problems.
was awesome. We actually got to help priests and laurels who are looking to go
on their missions soon. It was kinda intimidating becuase I have just barely
got out here but it was a strengthening experience. I got to sit one on one
with a girl and help her understand the gospel a little bit more. We had a good
time and it strengthened my testimony about what I know. It's scary going out
and talking to people but with the spirit by my side I can do anything and I
just have to remember that. They had President Jeppson come and speak to them
and he is such a spiritual giant. I look up to him a lot. We went out to eat
again to a diner that has some good food. I'm excited to come back here after
my mission and show you guys all around the areas I served. I'm so excited!
was good. It was church. I've gained a stronger testimony of church attendance
and the sacrament. The talks and lessons were fabulous. After church we did our
studies and then we wanted to go see if an investigator was home that Sister
Dicou had been trying to contact. And she was. She has a cute little girl and I
connected with them so quickly. I feel like I was supposed to meet this lady
and her little girl and I can really help them so that was fantastic.
know this church is true. I'm grateful for this opportunity I have to spread
the gospel. It has already blessed my life so much. Tell Melissa to write me. She
can email me to. I'd like to hear from her and I'd like some pictures of the
babies if you could.
Time for more gym time and
basketball! Love you all and am so grateful for your prayers. May the Lord be
with you always. Mosiah 2:41
Well here goes nothing I'm sorry if I miss some information but I will try
and get everything in there. First a few items of housekeeping: I have not yet
gotten the package, they changed the mission office address so I'm guessing the
blanket got sent to the old one but I'm hoping on Wednesday at zone
conference I'll be able to get it and get the mail if anyone has sent any. Of
course there won't be pictures in this email because I haven't recieved the cord
yet but I'm hoping to get that like I said. Item 2: I'm not sure the exact brand
of Sister Robinson's backpack but it was a black one so if you wanted to get a
jansport inexpensive (like $20) iIm sure that would work. Thanks for doing that.
I really appreciate her giving hers up for me. Item 3: my companion (I'll tell
you about her later) LOVES salsa, so would there be any possible way you could
send us some because we are STARVING. But if you could we'd both really love
that... Item 4: Sister Dicou really loves salsa and would be so appreciate if
she could taste some of our very own. I hope you'll be able to send it
Item 5: My address for my apt is:
201 Lindsley Dr. Apt. 1B
Morristown, NJ 07960
Mission office address is:
5 Cold Hill Rd. South Ste. 10
Mendham, NJ 07945.
Make sure to put those on the blog so if people send me packages I'll get
them quicker. Item 6: how much did the car sell for? I can't believe it went
that fast. That's so incredible! :) Item 7: I put it down lower as well and I'm
to lazy to delete it, but Monday's are my P-days. I'm kinda sad I haven't gotten
the package yet so I can put pictures on this email but they are coming I
promise. Item 8: I forgot to mention I did buy a clothes hamper in the MTC. And
I will be buying some more winter clothes soon as it starts to get colder. Item
9: IS KIMBER ENGAGED YET??
Okay, I hope I got everything down if I remember something I will put it in
the first paragraph.
Anyways, the mission field is unlike the MTC. It is so crazy, but so much
fun. We got to the mission home and slept and the next day woke up and ate
breakfast and then had meetings, with the financial and doctor of the mission
and the transportation person. After we had a meeting with President Jeppson. He
told us his whole story and it is INCREDIBLE! He is such an amazing man. His
wife is so hilarious and I just already love them so much. They are amazing
people. Their son-in-law is actually Alex Boye which is pretty awesome. After
that all of the trainers were downstairs and came up and we had lunch. We didn't
know who we were going to be paired with but it was kind of obvious Sister Roper
and I had one of two choices. As we were eating President was praying and
deciding who to put as companions. And then the companion ceremony began. He did
the sisters first and Sister Roper was put with Hermana Coley. So there was one
more sister left. My companion is Sister Dicou and she's from Sandy Utah. She
went to Alta and is so so awesome. This is her last transfer so she's been here
a while and knows her stuff. While we were eating I had a feeling I was going to
be her companion and I was so excited. I've already learned so much from her.
And I can't wait to learn more. I am serving in the Parsippany Area. We went to
our transfer conference and there were some missionaries going home so they bore
their testimonies and they were so strong. I can't wait until I'm up there and
bearing my testimony of all the things that I know are true. My testimony has
already grown so much but I can't wait to let it grown even more. I have a lot
to still learn but it's coming. After conference we went back to the apartment
real quick and then out we went. We went to a couple of places and found a new
We woke up the next day and exercised! It felt so good to get out and
exercise. We run in a cemetery. It's nice though, I'm not to scared haha. We had
district meeting for the first time. The spirit of all the missionaries are
incredible. I know I'm going to learn to much just from them. We had dinner with
some of the members and that cooked some pretty good fried chicken. I ate
everything off the bone. (Yes, dad, I really did) We went to visit a recent
convert, Bonny, and I can already say I love that lady. She's amazing and I
can't wait to get to know her even more.
The next day was our walking day and planning session. It was a good day.
It has been pretty cold this past week but Sunday was so beautiful, same as
today. I already pulled out my coat but hopefully this week it won't be to cold.
Our walking day was incredible! We taught a couple of recent converts and talked
to a lady, our last one of the night. Her name is Debbie and I feel so strong
about her. It's so crazy to be able to talk to people and have them open up in
just a matter of minutes. I want to help everyone. I want them to know, how I
know, that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. It
stinks to see people you love make a wrong decision because I want to help them
see the truth so bad.
Saturday we got to go to Ellis Island! The opportunity I have as a
missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get to go serve
on Ellis Island is incredible. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. And we
were right across from the city! I saw the Freedom Tower and the Statue of
Liberty. It seriously was so cool! It wasn't too busy when we got there so
Sister Dicou and I went and walked around where they took all the immigrants and
then watched the film there. The history there is like none other. I'm so
grateful for that opportunity to go and serve there. For the last few hours we
went into where the people look for their ancestors manifests and ships and
helped them when they needed assistant. It is so cool to see people get so
excited to find their ancestors. I know that genealogy is true and we can help
find people's ancestors and we can do work for them. I'm excited for when I come
home to start finding people and do genealogy work! (Grandma is going to be so
happy!) :) After Ellis Island we had a dinner appointment with an old man, Skip,
and he took us to a diner. I had a chicken pesto panini and it was delicious!
The food here has been pretty good. Saturday and Sunday were a little tough for
me, I don't know why but sometimes you just need to cry. I don't know why I was
feeling like that but in my prayers I just let it out. It felt good to be able
to cry and speak with God, because he knows what I'm going through and he's
going to be able to help me through anything. I think I was just a little
frustrated because I didn't know some of the people in my ward I was serving in.
I know I'll be better because I saw their faces and met them on Sunday. Sunday's
are always so good. I've taken Sunday's more seriously I feel since I first got
my call. It's a nice relaxing time at church to be able to remember the
sacrifice Christ made for all of us and to partake of the sacrament. I'm
grateful for the sacrament and the opportunity to renew my baptismal covenants
with our Heavenly Father. After church we had a couple of appointments. We met
some pretty cool people. I feel like Sister Dicou and I have planted good seeds
in the people we've come in contact with, even if we didn't teach them anything.
I can't wait to finally start really teaching a progressing investigator and see
the change in their life. I know it's going to be amazing and strengthen my
testimony so much. So to answer your question mom, Monday's are my P-days. So
I'll be sending pictures next week.
New Jersey is so beautiful. The trees are changing colors and I just LOVE
it! It's definitely totally different from Utah but Utah has its own beauty. The
people here are awesome. The ward is so cool. It's pretty big, almost like a
Utah ward. I'm so excited to serve here and know New Jersey is where I'm
supposed to be. I don't know why yet, but I'll figure it out. I read my
patriarchal blessing a few days ago and I love it. It's so true and pertains to
my life when I was at Taft, here and for the future. I've realized I've taken a
lot of things for granted in my life as I was growing up. But that has changed.
I see people without the gospel and I just want to help them. That's why I'm
here. To help people see that without Christ and his atonement and every aspect
of this gospel we can't return to live with him again. I've learned so much from
my experience already and can't wait to learn SOO much more. I know Sister Dicou
is my companion for a reason. Her testimony and her experiences are so great.
We've gotten along so well. And I can't wait to build that friendship.
I hope I got everything in there that I wanted to say. Of course, there's
so much more than what I wrote but that's the just of things that are going on
right now in New Jersey. I know this church is true. I'm so grateful for the
gospel in my life right now. I honestly don't know where I'd be if I didn't have
the gospel in my life. And I know a lot of people say that but I really don't.
The structure and the standards that I have, bless me. They don't restrict me. I
know that Jesus Christ died for me and I can't return and live with him and
Heavenly Father one day. The things that I have already learned have been
incredible. I know the plan of salvation is real. I know the Holy Ghost can be
in our lives, if we obey the commandments and be obedient to the things we have
been taught. I know prayer truly works. I've been praying more than I have ever
prayed in my life and it's been a blessing. Sister Dicou and I were going to
visit someone and as she was saying the prayer a car was slowing passing us and
I could tell she was looking at it as she was praying. The car drove off and we
finished our prayer and got out of the car and started walking. As she we
praying I was getting a bad feeling for some reason. But as we were walking the
same car started coming towards us. I told her I felt funny as she was praying
and so we started walking back to the car. He kinda sped up a little and we
jumped in. He parked behind us and then slowly drove past us again and then
stopped in front of us. Sister Dicou said we're outta there and drove off. It
was pretty scary. I know the Lord is watching out for us. And I know the Holy
Ghost is real and we both got that feeling to get back in the car. I'm grateful
to be able to listen to the Holy Ghost and we were able to stay safe. I know
that this church is true and we have a living Prophet on the earth today to lead
and guide us. Go re-read some of those general conference talks. They will help
us in our lives today because the Lord speaks through his prophets and apostle
and he speaks through them. I loved General Conference. I loved all the talks
and gained so much about the gospel. This church is true and I love being able
to be an instrument in God's hands and help his children come back to him. I
love you all and am so very grateful for your support and love! I pray for you
guys all the time!
P.S. Happy 7 months to Grant on the 12th. And a happy 2 months to Tacy on
the 8th. I can't believe she's already two months. I'm expecting pictures of
them as well soon. :)
Mother oh mother! I did get your message and Sister and President Jeppson
are letting us right a quick letter to you guys. I also wrote a letter so you'll
probably be getting a surplus of stuff from me. I hope that's okay. Actually I
know it is. The flight was amazing! I sat in between a sweet couple and placed a
Book of Mormon. Kimber would be proud! I explained it more in my letter but they
were asking all these questions about it and so I was answering all of them. It
was amazing! They asked exacltly what the Book of Mormon is so what a
better chance than to give him the extra one I had and talk to him about it. I
also got there address so I'm going to be asking them how there reading is
going. Who knows what'll happen but I've opened them up to the true gospel of
Jesus Christ. I feel so 'right' here. As we were driving down the street I got
confirmation that this is where I'm supposed to be. There are a lot of black
people and I know that I'll be able to relate to them because of my experiences
down in Taft and such. I'm so grateful for this gospel. I'm so grateful for
Christ in my life. I need to get a picture of him so I can set him right by the
picture of the family and remember what is most important to me. I love this
gospel and can't wait to be fully emersed in it. What an amazing work this is! I
know Christ lives and Heavenly Father answers our prayers. Continue to pray to
him with a sincere heart and he will answer you. Pray for me for the ability to
listen and be guided by the promptings of the spirit. I love each and every one
of you so much, Dad Mom Brad Elly Tacy Kimber (Samuel) Jody Eric Grant Melissa
and Barry. Your support is amazing to me. I can't wait to start teaching these
people of New Jersey. This is where I'm supposed to me.
One more quick story as we got here we went to downtown Newark and went and
did street contacting with veteran missionaries. It was crazy but felt so good
to start somewhere. I froze a couple places and did know what to say but the
companion I had for that little time helped me out so much. We met a young kid
that plays basketball at a very prestigous university and I related to him. He
said "he was a baller" and I said "hey me too!" It was pretty funny. We talked
and gave him a Book of Mormon and I really hope he reads it. It was such a new
and great experience to get out there and start street contacting. I can't wait
to meet my companion tomorrow and start the work of the Lord. You guys are
awesome! Love you so much!
Sister Christine Taylor
We have not receved Sister Taylor's physical address yet but when we do, I will post it on the blog. Send all packages to the mission home address that is on one of the first blog posts. Some treats Sister Taylor likes are....beef jerky, mamba's, fruit snacks, cashews-nuts, popcorn, sour worms, suckers, gum, skittles, starbursts, crackers, mints, sour patch watermelons.
We heard from Sister Taylor before she boarded her flight to New Jersey. She called from the airport. I was expecting the call but didn't know what time she would call. The phone rang at about 8am and I was kind of trying to sleep in....so I denied the call, then I immediatley realized the caller ID said "pay phone" and tried to call back that number immediatley. While I was trying to call back, my cell phone rang, and I got to speak to Christine. She sounded so good and so excited to get to New Jersey.
In a letter she sent just before leaving the MTC, here are some of her thoughts....
The Spirit is incredible, something I've never felt, but love. Conference was amazing! The past week has been so great. My testimony has grown so much and the spirit is so strong. I can't wait to let the people of New Jersey know of the gospel and let them feel the happiness I feel. I know God lives. And loves all of us. I know Christ died fo me and for all of us and we can return and live with Him again if we repent and be obedeint. I know the prophet Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son and he did translate the Book of Mormon for us today. It is the word of God. And if we read it we can become closer to Chrsit. I have loved this experience and can't wait to teach the peeps of NJ.
I was laying in bed this morning, Monday Oct 8, 2012 and the phone rang at about 8:00am. I was still asleep so I reached over to see who it was and it was an unknown number. I wasn't really thinking about what I was waiting for all day and ended the call before answering it. I layed there for a couple of seconds and realized it had said pay phone and realized I had just denied the call I was waiting for from Christine from the airport. I freaked out and picked up the phone and tried to redial and was told that phone number was busy. I paniced but realized she was probably trying to call my cell phone and instantly heard it ringing by my bedside. I picked the phone up, and said hello and heard her voice from the other end. She sounded so good and invigorated and excited.
She flies out to Newark, NJ this morning at 9:30. It's a straight flight, 4 hours in the air. She can't wait to get there and start sharing the gospel. She had some great experiences in the MTC and met some great people she's says she'll stay close with through letters.
She says to say hello to everyone nd tell everyone she loves them.
So as you can see in the subject, I have switched to the spanish mission in
New Jersey! Ha, your girl got jokes. I'm just kidding. I'm still all english and
loving it! So I've kinda broken this email down into sections of family that has
written me so I hope I can answer all of your wonderful questions. Lets start
Dad: I did see that picture of Whitney and I before I left. I really do
love that picture! You might be surprised but I have opened and eaten almost all
of the food you guys sent me, except for the jerky. But it is opened. Aren't you
surprised!? And sorry father, but that jerky I'm keeping for myself. It's
precious stuff. I have only gotten your two dearelder letters so far and I
haven't recieved the email if you did send me one on this.
Next is Grandma: You're letter was so cute. Thank you for writing me. I do
forgive you for not being able to be at my setting apart but it would of been
cool to have you there. No worries. Those books you were telling me about would
be awesome to have, I'd love them.
Allie: I kinda love the little tradition you have started. My mother has a
list of goodies that you can send if you want. I can't think of them at the top
of my head, just ask my mom :) Good luck with the marathon as well, you're going
to do great, I know it! Say a prayer before.
Aunt Karen: I hope by now Chris has contacted you. He said his p-day was
Thursday so I'm sure you have. Thank you for the support! I love how 3 of the
cousins are all out at the same time. What a wonderful blessing it is for all of
the families. I see Elder Stevens a lot and I love it. It's always good to see
someone you know.
Jody: I know I sent you a letter back but the temple dedication was
awesome. I don't know if I've written you back and told you that but it was
amazing. The spirit in the MTC was so strong when we all stood up to sing The
Spirit of God and I actually got a little teary eyed. I'm so happy Grant loves
the church songs, because I have fallen more in love with them. They are
And lastly Mom (I'll write a section to everyone after this): Sister Green
is from the Richmond area, Colonial Heights I believe it is. She is so awesome.
I love her so much. I'm definitely getting used to Sister, but it still is
strange sometimes. But i'll get used to it. We can only go to the temple on our
P-day which is today. And I was saying that Sister Roper just did her own batch
of laundry while all of us combined ours. The rule for the emailing is I can
only email families and hand write friends but anyone can dearelder me. I see
Elder Stevens a lot and also Elder (Jared) Taylor. It's so great to see people I
know here. I love it. I loved the
temple dedication like I told Jody, it was once in a lifetime here at the MTC.
And stop crying. I'm
doing fine, I promise. I really haven't broken down and started crying yet.
(Except in my bed at night, but I just had the sniffles :) )
As for everyone: SISTER TAYLOR HAS GOTTEN HER FLIGHT PLANS!!! It's crazy to
think that I just got here a week in a half ago but I already have my flight to
leave to New Jersey. I'm so pumped but really going to miss the MTC. I have made
some pretty awesome friends. I will be leaving a week from today (October 1st,
Happy Birthday Natalie Gibbs!) on October 8th. Time flights when you're having
fun and serving the Lord. To answer everyone's question, my companion Sister
Roper is going to New Jersey with me along with 14 others. The food hasn't been
to bad, I've had the wraps quite a bit and they are delicious. As for this past
week, it has been so good. I love it here. We've had some great devotionals with
great Speakers, and mission conferences. We've had class and have such great
teachers, Brother Pack and Brother Terry. They have been great! I have met some
pretty great missionaries and will definitely miss them. Yesterday we got to go
on a temple walk and it's so nice to get out and spend a few mintues at the
temple with all the missionaries. We took some pretty great pictures. When I get
to New Jersey I will send pictures, and once I get my cord. The temple is an
incredible place. It is the House of the Lord and I know that to be true. I
can't wait to show everyone all the pictrures, because if you know me I love
taking pictures. I'm kinda crazy too when it comes to them so there's some
good ones. Waking up is okay for me, it sometimes has been a little tough but
it's going well. I kinda succombed to buying more clothes. There's a place here
that had skirts and shirts and I bought a new outfit. But it's good because it's
a little heavier grey long skirt and a cute red top.
Gym time is such a fun time as you all know I would say. And you better
believe I've been playing with the Elders. It's so much fun! The thing is, is if
a sister plays another sister has to play because we can't guard the Elders.
Mother, if you remember when I went and got my own endowment out there was a
Sister that said she came in the same day as me right!? Well, funny enough I
played against her in high school, she went to Northridge and I totally remember
playing against her but didn't recognize her in the temple. Well, we have the
same gym time and we play with the Elders. Her name is Sister Robinson. She's
sooo cool! It's kinda funny to play with the Elders because in all honestly they
really don't want to play with us. And I really don't want to boast, but I have
made some pretty lucky shots. The Elders are stunned and its so funny to see
their reaction. But that's all I'm going to say, is it's fun and I've made some
pretty cool shots. They're cool.
Just to end, I know I've told you a lot about the MTC. But now I just want
to share my testimony about the Gospel. Being here in the MTC, I've learned so
much about my Savior and about how much he loves me. And he loves all of you. I
know that to be true. We had testimony meeting yesterday and I bore my
testimony, I know that the Church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith
and I know he went into the grove of trees and saw God the Father and his Son,
Jesus Christ. I know that if we play earnestly and really want to know the truth
of something we can talk to God and he will answer your prayers. I know Jesus
Christ died for my sins and that I can repent and live with him again. I'm so
grateful for this opportunity to share my testimony with the people of New
Jersey and my Heavenly Father is preparing people for me to hear these words. I
love my family, you guys truly are amazing. I've taken a lot of things for
granted in my life. But I just wanted to thank you for all your support! I know
this Church is true and I know this is where I'm supposed to be at this point in
my life. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and if we reallly read and
want to know if it is true, we will find the answer! Next week, this girl will
be in New Jersey, serving the Lord. I can't wait and I'm so excited! I love you
guys sooooo much!