Sunday, December 30, 2012
Mammmaa jamma! It was been such a great postive amazing week. Too say the least. I love getting your emails eevery week. Elder Smith told me we were related. Which is so gnar! He said, so in some way I'm related to the diabetes guy!??? I said really really distant, but yes some way. He is a great missionary! Oh boy, where to begin!? How about with Grant!? I'm so estatic he took steps! It's so cool! And the pictures Kimber sent of her and Sam are gorgeous! I'm so happy for you two!
As for my week, lets start off with about a week ago I failed to mention this but I did pass 'Lewis Park', you know the one by my house? I thought it was so funny and I actually laughed out loud when we passed it. Great times here.
Monday started off great. We thought we only had a half p-day because of the temple trip but come to find out no one really took that to heart. We sorta did. We went and met a former investigator and then went home and wrote letters. That night we had a dinner with a member family and it was so good! I love the members of this ward! They seriously are the greatest and I can't wait for you to meet them! We went and helped Cynthia continue to move and pack up her boxes. She's great! More about her later.
Tuesday we had our district meeting, I love the district I'm in. Like you've said Elder Smith is in my district but also the other Elder Smith, the one related to Sadie Love. It's so cool to make those connections from home. Tuesday we can say was a very good day. We met with a less active and we're going to help him get back to church. He's really great. We had another dinner with members Tuesday and I actually got flipped off there. :/ haha by a 3 year old. Story was: she had band-aid on her middle finger and was showing me her owie...and flipped me off. It was really funny because she didn't know what was going on but all the adults did. I love it. (She also commented on how much she loved my shoes, thanks Kimber! :) ) They are a younger couple that are so sweet! There are a lot of young couples with young kids and it stinks so bad because we can't hold the babies! And then I look at the pictures of Grant and Tacy and it kills me even more! Erg! But it's cool. No worries.
Wednesday was one of the best days of my life. NEW YORK CITY....hello! It was so amazing. I will never live there but it is so cool to visit. We woke up and drove to Union city to catch a bus to new york. We traveled under the Lincoln tunnel (underwater) and got to New York City. I got kinda crazy....We're not supposed to look like tourists. But it's so hard to resist. It was just like the movies! We walked right through times square and I have many pictures to send. One of the coolest things though was the billboards of the mormon.org pages. They were everywhere. I'll show you some pictures. There was a video I took of a slide show of mormon.org and it's nice to see the Church getting our name out there. It was incredible. As we kept walking... BOOM! hello Manhattan Temple. Right here. As soon as we walked in...peace and quiet. We were a little early but we went up and change and did initiatories. It's nice to be in the temple and remember the covenants you made. We had to wait a little for the session to start and so we went into the chapel to wait and none other than........Elder Stirling Ward was sitting right in the chapel! It blew my mind completely! It was insane! And I loved it so much to see someone from home. We went through the session (absolutely incredible might I add) and went into the Celestial room. As I was finishing up my prayer Elder Ward was sitting right next to me. So of course we caught up. He's actually going to be home on Wednesday and I can't believe two years went by that quick. I told him about Jody and Melissa and it blew his mind. I told him to say hello to you! It was so cool to see him. So we continued on our day and walked back through times square. The pictures will say it all. I loved it! We got back and went and helped Cynthia pack up her stuff some more.
Thursday we'll call it a less-active day. Every appointment we had was a less-active. It was good to get to know those members and try to help them get back to church. I pray to hard for everyone everyday to rekindle their flame. But patience is a virtue. Oh and ps....Sister Taylor has officially had some shrimp. Yes taht is truth. We were at a less-actives house for dinner and she's asian so we had a lot of food and she kept insisting on us having the shrimp, so I took some. And ate it. It didn't taste fishy but I'd rather not have that haha. But yes I have had it now!
Friday was another incredible day. The things I'm learning are so amazing and I can't wait to continue to grow in faith in Jesus Christ. We had lunch with a Sister senior couple and I ate a little to much. :/ It was not working well with my stomach. But its all good now. We went and visited one of our investigators and she's great. It's going to take a little more time with her but I feel like we're really helping her. This night we went with one of our members to carol to one of her friends that was 80 years old. Her name was Anne and she was so sweet. We also caroled to her neighbor, Alma and the spirit hit her. You could tell. I love when I can see the spirit begin to work in people. It's amazing.
Saturday was a long but incredible day. I made cookies in the morning because we had our Christmas party that night. I made pumpkin spice cookies from the bag. But they turned out delicious. All day we helped Cynthia move. We loaded up the U-Halh (sp?) and cleaned up her apartment and moved her to her new home. It is a nice home and we're so excited for her. She's really progressing and we're hoping to help her progress even more. Like I said we had the Christmas Party for the ward and went to that. It was great to see faces and meet more people. And Cynthia came! With her daughter Caitlyn. It was awesome having her there. As well as Anne. Sister Morales brought her and it was good to see her again. I'll send pictures of them. The food was great and the nativity was so cute. All the little kids did a great job.
Sunday was great. Cynthia was going to come but because she stayed up so late trying to unpack she didn't make it and it sounded like she got a little sick which isn't good. Sacrament was just what she needed to. It was on tithing. And yes we taught the young women about pretty much missionary work. It was fun getting to know them better. I love that ward so much! After church we went home and studied for a little and then went to a members house for dinner. We quickly went and said I to Cynthia and then went to Cary's and she had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon that we did great answering. She's progressing too. We have some amazing people that we've found and hopefully we can commit them to baptism soon.
Missions are great. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be one out here in New Jersey. I love my Savior especially at this Christmas Season. I'm glad you got to go see Sister Dicou. She's amazing and I glad you met her. I'm glad Jody and Erics talks went great. The spirit can do some incredible things. I'm excited for this upcoming week and looking forward to finding people who are prepared for this gospel. It is amazing! I love you all so much and I'll be sending pictures right now. You are all the Best! Remember Christ is Christmas! :)
Sister Christine Taylor
--The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.--
Monday, December 10, 2012
Well well, what another amazing week out here in New Jersey. Can I just say I love love love New Jersey. I love the people the weather the scenery, just everything! I really have learned so much and I cannot wait to learn more. I'm so grateful for the Savior and for all he has done for me. This week like I said has been fantastic. After emailng last monday we got to head to Hoboken to Carlos' Bakery from Cake Boss on TLC. Word! It was sweet, when we got there, there was no line and we got right into the Bakery. I got a lobster tail that was BOMB! I loved it. And I got pictures so don't worry. I'll send those. It defintiely was an eventful week. After we headed over to the Liberty State Park to look at New York. I'M GOING THERE NEXT WEEK! FOR THE TEMPLE AND I COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITED! But really I'm super stoked. After the day we had a dinner appointment with some members of the ward. And we totally have a connection to home. Brother Smith is from Kaysville Utah and his brother is my age and definitely married Jennifer Parker. I didn't make that connection until the next day but confirmed that in church yesterday. What a small world! That was really exciting to make connections like that to home. The night ended a little early because Sister Morrison was still a little sick. But she's all better now. Tuesday was a great day with a lot of teaching. We get to do mormon.org for two hours every week and since we hadn't done any since the storm we did two hours. It was good to finally see more of what really happened from Sandy. I'm just proud to say "I survived Hurricane Sandy!" So that was fun. We went and taught a few people and then went to get gas and taught our gas guy. Those guys are awesome because you can teach them while they're filling up your gas. He was a really sweet man.
Wednesday we had zone meeting. I love zone meetings. You can always recieve revelation because we do a lot of role plays. They're very awkward but always great! Our zone leaders talked to us and our focus, again for this month, is on the Book of Mormon. I started reading the Book of Mormon over and am focusing on faith. I don't know if I told you that but I'm really excited to strengthen my faith while reading the Book of Mormon. It truly is the most correct and amazing book we have today. The principles and all the stories were written for our day and I'm so happy to have it in my life. I love being able to share with our investigators the message it contains and I have been able to see it start to change a few of our investigators lives. We went to lunch (5 Guys! Yummy) after and really enjoyed it. We had another dinner appointment with the English Elders and us with a family of the ward. We went out for Pizza and boy is the pizza good here! I don't know if I can ever go back. Haha jk, but really. The night kinda ended dull. Thursday we had some weekly planning which is long but always so useful. I'm really grateful for the time we get to plan and study and teach. I love it. We went and saw a less active family Thursday and they are so great. She has four little kids and wants to come to church but her kids are crazy. She said she was going to come this next week. Which is fabulous! After that we went to the Family History Center and did some family history. I'm grateful for the knowledge I have now of where I really came from, because honestly I didn't know that before :) Striaght up outta England! (I hope that's right) But that was fun and very useful.
The weekend got crazy! But it was incredible. Friday we went to the Gurney's (Members, I love them so much) for lunch. We had some bomb soup. And talked about the gospel of course. She's the young womens president and we're teaching the young women next week so we got the lesson for that. Then we went to one of our investigators, Cat, she's insane but has a lot of potential. She kept us for two hours because she just keeps talking and talking. After we went to the Berhmann's and said hi and had the new sisters meet them. They're great as well! And then we went to another investigators, Cynthia, and she is amazing! She is going to get baptized. She has a little girl and so I kinda had to babysit while S. Morrison and Galuvao taught her. They talked to her about the atonement and I heard it was an amazing lesson. She's progressing and we're so excited for her. She's moving this Saturday so we've been helping her with that which has been so great.
Saturday we thought was going to be a normal day but we ended up doing some service for a lady that had some trees fall in her yard. Huge ones too. So we went and helped for about four hours. I love service. Any kind of service. You all know that. I can't wait to get home and serve serve serve. We went back over to Cynthia's because she was donating some furniture to the mission because of the influx of missionaries coming in. She's a sweet lady. After that we went back and did studies and then went over to another member families home, Dunnings and had dessert with them. They are such incredible funny people! We had such a great time over there. We ate dessert and then Brother Dunning showed us a braille machine and wrote our names in braille and then we just conversed. And they want us to come back over! I love all the members of this ward! They are so great.
Sunday rolled around and it was just what I needed. Church! Being able to feel of the spirit in the chapel is so amazing to me and I love it. The sacrament was so great The talks were wonderful. They were on testimony and how we need to desire to have one. That's my challenge to you this week, write down your testimony. I realized it really doesn't have to be extravengant, but from the heart and really the things you know. I'm so excited to be able to strengthen my testimony everyday. We should all be striving to bear it everyday. It kinda got crazy last night and we went on a little exchange and went to Bonny's. I love Bonny! She's so faithful and great. She's a recent convert.
I got home last night and my companions and I had a little argument but it was excactly what I needed. I cling onto people so quick and so hard and when they leave or we have to make changes it's the hardest thing for me. But change is good and sometimes it really needs to happen. I'm really grateful for my companions and the difference they are.
As for mom's letter. Tell Jessica Cordero congrats. She's going to be such an amazing missionary. One thing I've learned is to be myself. People will appreciate it. Congrats dad on getting your elk. It's bout time! But really though nice work. If you make some jerkey maybe you'll have to send it out! I hope you start feeling better mom. You are in my prayers. It's sad to hear Brother King pass on but he's in a better place.
This week coming up is going to be amazing! I know it. I'm excited to progress this work in this area. I will let you know about Christmas as soon as I can. We actually still have to find a place to go. But I will let you know. I know this church is true. I know God lives and loves us so much. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and we really need to remember him this Christmas season. Mosiah 18:27-29. Read it. It's good and the message we're sharing to the members this Christmas Season. I love you all and am so so grateful for your prayers. I feel them. I pray for you all as well. I hope you have the best week ever! I can't wait to hear from you soon! Miss you guys!
This week has actually turned out to be such a good week! I'm so so so grateful for your prayers and concern and definitely the card. I got it on Saturday and it was the best thing! So thank you! Your words of encouragement really helped me. Like I said the week of transfers was tough but after a talk with President Jeppson, and a blessing from him, everything has been good. Our companionship is working great and everything is fine and dandy!
Before I begin on the weeks events to answer your quick questions mom, after we are done demolishing the house we spray the walls with bleach and it doesn't completely fix the problem but it defintiely helps it. And thinking more and more about it, I'm sure I have seen Sister Galavau on the Square but I wasn't like, "OH, I've seen you before"...ya know!? Thank you for the GPS, I recieved it on Wednesday and am so grateful for all of you again for getting that for me. The story of how you got it is incredible, the Lord knew your desires and he put it there for a special reason. Haha so thank you for that! The Christmas fireside we did get to sing at, we all sang as missionaries. No solo for me :)
Now for the good experiences and fun of the week.
Monday after emailing I finally got to write some of my friends and siblings that wrote me. I haven't gotten them sent off yet because I haven't gotten stamps but they will be sent off today. I can't believe it really has been a week. The weeks are getting so fast and before I know it, in just a few weeks I'll be out for THREE months! Crazy crazy crazy. And the transfers haven't been normal either! We had dinner with a member family on Monday and then went to visit one of our progressing investigators. She's looking to move pretty soon so we taught her and then told her we'd come back and help her begin packing. She's incredible and promising. We're teaching her hopefully more this week and help her progress to baptism. Tuesday was fun! We got to go to the mission home and have a "Jingle with the Jeppsons" It was all the sisters there and we ate breakfast and hung out with the Mission President and his wife. They are incredible people! I love them so much. They sang and we even played the bells like we do every Christmas Eve with Grandma Stevens and the cousins. I kinda laughed inside when she brought them out. (Before I forget, I recieved a letter from Elder Stevens and he was telling me how everything was going and at the end he told me he'd been doing service and work for the F.F.D.A, it made me laugh so hard after I read that!!) The Jingle was great and very fun. After that's when I had a talk with President Jeppson and he gave me a blessing. He's an inspired man and helped me so much. The blessing and your prayers are exactly what I needed. I'm doing so good now! We went out the rest of Tuesday and tried to teach some people. We went to Cary Tuesday night and taught her the Plan of Salvation, it was a lot to take in but I feel like she has a desire to learn. She's awesome. Wednesday rolled around and Sister Morrison started getting really sick, so Sister Galavau and I did our studies and S. Morrison stayed in bed. We had district meeting so we drove to that and S. Morrison wasn't feeling good so S. Galavau went on an exchange and I took S. Morrison home and we stayed there the rest of the night. It was so amazing though because I got to read and read and read more in the Book of Mormon and get farther in it. I finished Alma and was so happy! We actually went and picked up a Sister from Sparta on Tuesday so we could still go out and one sister could stay with s. Morrison. So after weekly planning we went up and picked S. Healy up. Let me just say, New Jersey is so beautiful. I can't wait til I can bring you guys back here and show you how pretty it really is. I love it HERE! S. Healy and I went out and went and taught four lessons to some Recent Converts and then had dinner at a members home. We had pizza, that's another thing...the pizza here is so good! I can't wait for you to try it! YUMMY!!!! Friday S. Galavau and I got to go out (I was lucky and got to go out because I was the only other Sister that can drive the car so I didn't have to stay in except Wednesday.) We went and visited another investigator and talked for TWO HOURS!!! Way way to long but it was a good discussion and I think we're going somewhere with her. We also went and found a Less-Active which was great! This past weekend the church put on a community Creche (Nativity) at the church which was beautiful so Friday night we went and sang Christmas Carol's outside the church for peeople coming in.. It was a lot of fun and cold.
Now Saturday was another SERVICE DAY! We drove down to Eatontown for service and got right to work. We went and helped a man right by the Jersey Shore. It house was torn up! (Well, we helped with it of course) Knocked out everything. We went to lunch and a St. Mary's Episcopal church which was really nice and fed us and such. We sang Called To Serve after lunch and they were all so appreciative. I'm so so happy for the opportunities I have to serve down here. It has been absolutely incredible! S. Morrison left early because she's still been sick. We got back from lunch and quickly went and saw the ocean! It was cold but beautiful (pictures to come). We got back to work and had to leave a little bit early because we were caroling at the Creche again. We got back and s. Morrison wasn't feeling well so I stayed with her and read more in the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon so much! Sunday rolled around and S. Morrison, still sick, so we stayed inside a lot of the day, didn't get to church....but it was incredible. I read the Book of Mormon from 7-2 and FINISHED IT! I think I told you what I was doing and it was incredible to see how many people are really in the book of Mormon. Ether was tedious. But at the end of my reading, I took Moroni's promise and prayed about it. It was a calm peaceful feeling i got. Not big, but I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I'm so grateful for Joseph Smith and all of the prophets that contributed. I love it!!!! We made a cake for Cynthia because it was her birthday yesterday and went and helped her pack and celebrate her birthday. We also taught her about the Book of Mormon. It was a good day. It ended with the Christmas broadcast at the chruch. I love hearing the words of the Prophet.
Next week, we get to go to the temple and we're either going to Carlos' Bakery (from the show Cake Boss) today or next week. I'm more excited to go to the temple though. After not being able to go every week like I did before I came on my mission, it's killing me to go back and feel the peace there. I'm very excited!
Sister Dicou said her home coming is on the 16th of December and I'm trying to get her church address but Kimber if you add her as a friend on facebook, I'm sure she'll post the address. She's incredible and I'd love it if you could go to it and meet her mom. You'll love her.
Thank you again for all your prayers and the card. I'm so grateful for every single one of you! You are so amazing! I know this chruch is true. I know God lives. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Book of Mormon is true. It's the word of God.
Lets try and remember Christ this Christmas. Because that's what its all about. It's not about the presents and all the hustle and bustle that goes around but, Christ's birth. I'm so grateful for the growth I've realized and seen in myself so far on my mission. It's changed me forever and I'm so excited to be able to come back and share everything I learned with my family and friends. Thank you for your support!
Things I've learned in New Jersey:
1. You are not allowed to pump your own gas, GAS GUYS do it for you!
2. Cheese pizza is not called "cheese pizza", its a "cheese pie"
3. I know why it is called the Garden State, there's more trees here than I've ever seen.
4. The Jersey Shore, isn't like what it is on the TV show, it's an actual shore! Haha
5. I've learned to be confident and bold in expressing my feelings. Don't be scared
6. God's hand is in everything and is looking out for his children.
7. Mission's are the best thing ever!!!! :)
Love you all and miss you. Pretty soon you'll be able to hear my voice (and maybe) see me. Five days and I'll be out here two months. Sixteen days and I'll be out on my mission three months. Time flies when you're having fun. Pictures very soon!
Sister Christine Taylor
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Sister Dicou left on Tuesday and it hasn't been the same without her here. She is an incredible Sister and one I will miss so dearly. She taught me so much and was such a huge example to me of the kind of missionary I want to be.
You should try and go to her homecoming. I will get the details and maybe you can go up there. Maybe.
Thanksgiving was so great! We met up with quite a few missionaries and had a turkey bowl. I played with the Elders and it was a lot of fun. The Elders in this mission are the best! I did score a touchdown which was pretty cool. It was pretty funny on Thanksgiving as soon as I got there they were like, "Sister Taylor, go white....no Sister Taylor, go black" I don't want to boast but it was pretty cool. The Elders respect me and that's nice to have. I don't want to sound too prideful either but they recognize. :) After that we had three appointments. Luckily we only ate at two so I didn't get way to stuffed. But the food was delicious and I was happy the members invited us over for dinner. It was good to get to know them better.
I probably should back-track a little. My new companion is Sister Morrison from San Diego but it doesn't stop there. I'm in a trio. The other sister is from the temple square mission and her name is Sister Galavau and she's from Anaheim. They're great. We did service on Friday down in South Jersey but it wasn't like the other service, we were more inland and chopped trees and cleaned up the leaves and stuff. I was happy to do it but not what I would of wanted to do. I wanted to wreck a house. But any service is good service. Saturday we did a little service for an older lady and chopped up her tree and cleaned the debris. They are all so grateful for us and I know we're planting little mustard seeds of faith in them. Years down the road, two missionaries will knock on their door and they'll be more receptive because we saved their lives and cleaned up their house. We finally got to go to church again this week! It was the first time in four weeks we actually got to go to our own ward. And some of the members thought I was new because I hadn't been in a long time. But that's okay.
I got to talk to Sister (Liz) Dicou last night on the phone because we can call them and ask them about the area if we have any questions so I got to call her and talk to her. Right as I got on the phone and started talking I started crying because I miss her. Sister Taylor doesn't do well with quick change. It really has been a tough week for me. Last night after I got off the phone with her I got down on my knees and bawled and prayed to Heavenly Father for help. Please pray for me. I need it. I need to focus on the work.
We had a Mission Fireside yesterday for members and investigators and it was so good. We had a little program and had parts and sang songs. The spirit that was felt there was incredible and so amazing.This month our focus is on the Book of Mormon. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown so much this month. Our mission president wanted us to pick a principle to focus on while we read. My focus isn't really a certain principle but every time there is a new name said, I write it down where I found it and who that person is. It has strengthened my testimony so much because I know who these people are now. And when I do start to read it over again, when I focus on a principle I know who it is. I want to challenge you guys, to read the Book of Mormon with a purpose. It will strengthen your testimony so much of it and I know it will make all of us happier. My testimony has grown so much since being out here and I can't wait to strengthen it even more. Christ lives. He loves us and so does our Father in Heaven. They want the best for us and knows us. We might know what we want but that might not be in God's plan for us. Read your patriarchal blessing this week, I read mine on Friday and cried. That will help you see what God sees in you. He loves us so much. I'm so excited for this Christmas season and can't wait to continue to teach our investigators. It's been tough with all the service we've been doing but we have such great investigators and some of them will get baptized. I can't wait to teach them happiness. The church is true!
I love the story about the lady in Target. That's hilarious. When there was the gas crisis out here we saw a car butt in front and BOY, he was getting honked at for probably five minutes. THAT'S BOLD! Just kinda reminded me about that. I love hearing about all your stories. If you came out here Dad you'd be able to shoot like 200 deer. There is road kill all over the place. Thanks for all your support again! I love you guys all so much and miss you! I'll send some pictures of the great service we rendered. Love you!!
Sister Christine Taylor