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



Transfers are tomorrow and I'll be staying in Scotch Plains. Sister Maclay will be transferred and I'll get a new companion tomorrow. It's gonna be a change but I'm ready for it. Sister Maclay and I thought I was going to be the one transferred but nope it was her. Crazy how Heavenly Father works sometimes. We did have some pretty cool miracles this past week.
We've been really working trying to find new people to teach and also continuing to work with the ones we have. We found some new investigators. Well, we did have two but one had to be dropped. He wasn't all the way there but we contacted him and he lets us come back the next day. We taught him the restoration and committed him to come to church. He said he needed to come back as we were extending the invitation the dad came out and interrupted the lesson. It was really awkward because the guy was saying he needed to go back to church. We called him on Saturday to check up on how his prayers were going and Sister Maclay got a mouth-full about saying we should really consider our approach to random people on the streets. It was interesting. Needless to say we won't be going back over to his house anytime soon.
Also, we have been getting media referrals like crazy lately. We got one from a girl and so we went and checked up on her. Totally legit. We started talking to her and she told us that some of the Elders went into her work (Modell's) and started talking to her boss and he didn't really want anything to do with what they were saying but as they were leaving she stopped them and they gave her a card. She referred herself on and said she's been looking for a new church to go to. She said her church is preachin too much law stuff. She said she went on and read about the restoration and Joseph Smith and believes it's true. She even downloaded the app on her phone and started reading before we even got over there. It was gnarly! We taught one of the best restoration lessons together and committed her to baptism on November 10th. She said "well, I've already been baptized" and the spirit took over and we address the priesthood authority. She understood and said well I guess my baptism in my other church was probably "just a good bath in the church". It was really cool to have the spirit work and explain the priesthood authority to her. She was going to come to church but unfortunately she couldn't. But we'll get her there again. 
We also got a media referral, he was a member, he recently retired and is yearning to have the gospel back in his life. We went up and checked on him and he opened up the door and there laid like 20 Book of Mormon's. He said whenever someone comes over he hands it out to them. Missionary! Boom. It was great. He said he missed the church and that he's planning on coming back into full activity. He was at church yesterday and loved it! I love that!
The last referral was one that we already recieved. The address from the first one was incorrect and when we recieved the second one it was the right address. It's just so cool to see how many people want the gospel in their lives and when we weren't able to get over there (because it was the wrong address), they referred themselves again! It's so cool to see that :)
Other than that we had a great week. I can't really remember all that we did because I left my planner back home. We taught the gospel :)
Mark is still looking for the right baptismal date. He's praying about it and I'm hoping that we can really help him this upcoming transfer to get him baptized! Continue to pray for him. He's amazing. We have a team-up coming out with us tomorrow that we're hoping he can connect with and pick a date!
Oh and we went and saw Mary-Ann, the little 8 year old that got baptized two weeks ago. Some stuff went down with her parents (they're separated) and the mother didn't want her to be baptized. She didn't voice that til after the fact it was already done. We went and taught them a lesson and both Mary Ann and her father Brother Ellis are happy with the choice she made. It's just sad to see that she didn't voice anything til after. It was a good lesson with her on the Holy Ghost. 
Man, I love teaching the gospel. I'm ready and excited for this new change. Both Sister Maclay and I needed something to change and I'm glad Heavenly Father answered our prayers. This field here in Scotch Plains is "white and ready to harvest" and I'm so glad I still have the opportunity to work here. It's crazy how fast time is going. Before we know it it'll be Thanksgiving, them Christmas, New Years and then booom! We won't say what happens next!
Thanks for all the support from all of you! I love you all so much! Continue to be those examples in your everyday life! 
Until next week

Sister Taylor

Conference week

Boy wasn't conference incredible!? The spirit I felt during the sessions of conference was incredible and brought me to tears at some of the talks the prophet and apostles gave. It's just such a confirmation to me to know that this is the Lord's work and that God truly loves each one of us individually. That was something I got from conference, one of the many things...that God is so mindful of us and his love is eternal. Whenever we make a mistake, it's okay because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We can become whole again through the atonement and boy am I ever so grateful for that. We were able to watch the sessions at the church and had Mark there as well as one of our other investigators for a little bit of it. I thought it went by way to fast this year and can't wait for next general conference to be able to be uplifted yet again. Man, I'm so grateful for this gospel in my life! And it just makes me want to share it more with others. :) I'm so excited to be out here at this time in my life, because I've truly come to know who I am and know what I need to do to serve my Savior and Heavenly Father.

So this week we had some pretty great lessons. Sister Maclay has been leading a lot more which has been great for me to finally be able to take the back seat and let her lead. She's been driving in the daytime and yes, I still get carsick when others drive. Jody and Kimber, it's serious, I wasn't faking that 10 years ago or so when I felt carsick in the back of the car going down to St. George or whatever :) Anyway it's been nice. We had a funny experience on Monday night going to a members house we were checking up on. I felt kinda awkward going but we went anyway. The door was open and you could see into the house. We knocked on the house and then lady got up and said "is that the mormons?" The man said yes....she said "I'll get it." He wanted to but she answered the door, all rude like and said "can I help you?" We said we were the missionaries and she said "my mother taught me to always call ahead before you just stop by!" We were kinda shocked. We asked if she was Terry and the man behind her said "I am." We awkwardly waited a few minutes before he came out with his briefcase and apologized. He's from Idaho and moved out here. He met the lady online and they're engaged. At that time she was blaring music really loud. He's a sweet guy and you can tell he misses the gospel. Before leaving he said "I apologize about her....I'm trying to work on it" That was our fun experience of the week.

Now onto Mark. We keep having GREAT lessons with him. He's ready to be baptized just needs the confirmation it's the right thing. (He's already gotten it though...) We were planning for him and I thought we should get some ensign articles to help him. We found ones on personal revelation and gave it to him. I asked what he thought about them and he said he really liked them and that he might read more articles. I said be my guest. It's incredible. He said that the articles make him want to be baptized on the 13th he just has to figure a few more things out with his family. Mac and I are praying so hard he gets baptized this week. It'll be great! He also went to the Priesthood session of conference as well as Sunday Morning. He was dozing off on Sunday but I told him that was a-okay. We've all done that. But he really enjoyed it! Pray hard for him this weeek! :)

We also found a couple of new investigators this week. Some interesting ones but ones that are interested none-the-less :)

Thursday night was really cool. We were at a members house and taught the lesson and we all do "nose-goes" to say the closing prayer and their daughter was the last one. The mother said, can you teach her how to pray? We said of course...the spirit took over and I shared a personal experience about prayer and how important it is. I told her I didn't pray really intently when I was growing up and I didn't want her to have that same regret. So, I committed her to pray on her knees outloud at least once a day. The room was silent as I testified about prayer and boy it was incredible. I know PRAYER IS REAL! I know God is listening to us and knows us personally. He cares about our desires and when we pray to him he will answer us, in his own time. I love being able to pray to him everynight and strengthen my relationship with him.

We got a ticket on Friday night...because we were like a foot in the way of a driveway :( That's a bummer. Also got dirt thrown on the back of our can guess what they were trying to tell us.. :)

We were able to have a great time at general conference and recieve revelation! I LOVED IT! Saturday night we were able to meet Grandma Joyce's grandson for the first time. It's a long story but she wished before she died that she could meet her grandson and she met him this weekend. We talked about what we did as missionaries and then sang I am A Child of God at the end. We got a text the next morning saying "thank you for singing that song to me, it made me cry inside" tender moments! Unfortunately he lives in Pennsylvania so we're going to have missionaries go over there and teach him. He's going to be baptized.

This work is real! If you didn't get the memo. WE ARE ALL MISSIONARIES! We are all a part of the work of Salvation. Get on it if you haven't been doing your part. God needs all of his children. I love you all so much! I'm so happy I'm a part of this church. The testimonies that were shared this weekend were such a stregnth to me! I love you! Talk to you next week! :)



Sister Taylor