Time is flying ….

Time is flying and it is insane how 18 months can just whiz by.

This week we had another miracle baptism of  Rosana, a 13 year old girl with a strong desire to follow Christ. The day of her baptism, we turned on the water to fill the font and left to go to work. We decided to go back in a couple hours to check on it to see if it was full. When we arrived, the font had just started to overflow and we spent our entire lunch hour mopping up the flood we made in the bathrooms and I had to go into the font to turn off the water flow. It was quite an adventure and a workout.

Funny moment of the week: we were teaching a very enthusiastic 12 year old girl and she decided to give us all nicknames. They are funnier in spanish but here they are: me- white blonde, hna rice- model, hna young- precious little black girl.

Well, this is my last email home before I arrive in Arizona next week so I just want to bear my testimony. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is the Lord’s work and He has His hand in every aspect of it. I know that families can be together forever. I know that Christ suffered for each and every one of our sins so that we do not have to. I testify that His sacrifice can save us from a terrible darkness and give us hope for a brighter future. I have felt His love stronger than ever before in my 18 months here in the Dominican Republic and I know that I will never be the same after this spiritually enlightening journey. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who knows us and our trials perfectly and wants the absolute best for us. I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the earth. These things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

See you all in 7 days!

Love,

Hermana Taylor

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One last time….

Time is flying and it is insane how 18 months can just whiz by.

This week we had another miracle baptism of  Rosana, a 13 year old girl with a strong desire to follow Christ. The day of her baptism, we turned on the water to fill the font and left to go to work. We decided to go back in a couple hours to check on it to see if it was full. When we arrived, the font had just started to overflow and we spent our entire lunch hour mopping up the flood we made in the bathrooms and I had to go into the font to turn off the water flow. It was quite an adventure and a workout.

Funny moment of the week: we were teaching a very enthusiastic 12 year old girl and she decided to give us all nicknames. They are funnier in spanish but here they are: me- white blonde, hna rice- model, hna young- precious little black girl.

Well, this is my last email home before I arrive in Arizona next week so I just want to bear my testimony. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is the Lord’s work and He has His hand in every aspect of it. I know that families can be together forever. I know that Christ suffered for each and every one of our sins so that we do not have to. I testify that His sacrifice can save us from a terrible darkness and give us hope for a brighter future. I have felt His love stronger than ever before in my 18 months here in the Dominican Republic and I know that I will never be the same after this spiritually enlightening journey. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who knows us and our trials perfectly and wants the absolute best for us. I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the earth. These things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

See you all in 7 days!

Love,

Hermana Taylor

21 days!!

Truthfully, I forgot my agenda from last transfer at home so I don’t remember much about last week because my memory is horrible as a missionary, haha. I will do my best.

My companion is getting transfered to another area so President is putting me in a trio for my last 3 weeks! I am super excited because they are both American so I can practice my English prayers before I come home! haha. One is named Hna Young from Alabama and the other Hna Rice (my mission granddaughter) from California. I know them both and they are great girls so it will be a lot of fun for my birthday and last 20 days. 🙂 I never thought I would be celebrating my 24th birthday on a mission, but God always know what we need better than we do and gives it to us in His time.
Everyone loves us here and feeds us so much. Tonight we have 2 dinner citas planned… so much for coming home skinny. :/ Just no fat jokes at the airport, ok?!
I gave my last testimony in the leadership counsel this week and I sobbed like a baby… and I can count the number of times I’ve cried in the mission on one hand so it was a big deal. It started to actually hit me that this is the end. This journey has truly changed every aspect of who I am and I am forever grateful for this experience.
We are having a miracle baptism this Saturday on my birthday! It is a young boy named Roinel. He is the nephew of a member whose parents are non-members. We are so thankful for the Lord providing us with a baptism in a time when we are struggling to find people to teach.
I have discovered that the Lords no’s are preludes to an even greater yes“.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Taylor

So, I did something dramatic…

So, I did something dramatic this week. I cut and colored my hair. Spicing things up before I come home! haha 😉 Sorry for the overload of selfies this week but just trying to show you all how it turned out. My companion said I am now ready to go home and find my novio (boyfriend) haha.

My companion got sick with a stomach virus that is going around the east so we were in and out of the doctor’s office this week. Once she recovered, we filled our days with walking and trying not to pass out from the high heat levels we are experiencing lately. We’ve had to drop a lot of people we are teaching because they just want to be our friend but do not keep any compromises with us. We call them “DTR” lessons haha, or “Determine the Relationship.”
We had a really awesome experience this week when we passed by the house of an old investigator of Hna Morales. She had only listened to the missionaries 2 times beforehand and the last time was about 2 months ago. We went to see how she was doing and see if she was ready to accept the gospel. As soon as we entered her house, she started crying and said that we are her angels because God knew she needed us today. It’s really incredible the way we can help others when we listen to the Spirit. Sometimes God answers us through other people he puts in our path, and we never know when we are that person. I try my best to always follow those impressions because any good thought is of God, so act on it!
Les quiero mucho,
Hermana Taylor 🙂

This week was full of ups and downs….

This week was full of ups and downs as we were trying to prepare Jan Carlos for baptism. We experienced a lot of miracles but realized that in the end, everyone has the agency to chose for themselves between the good and the bad. Unfortunately, now is not Jan’s time.

Also, this week we experienced a cyclone and an earthquake! FUN! haha.
Fun story of the week: we have been teaching Nerson that while others are speaking in church, he needs to be reverent and quiet. He comes from a different religious background where it is common to regularly shout, “amen!” and “glory to God!” He has been doing really well at being quiet in church but yesterday in the new investigators class, everyone was saying “amen” and “glory to God” throughout the entire lesson…. even recent converts! hahahaha nooooo! We just covered our faces and died of laughter. We tried.
Something I have been trying to make apart of my daily thoughts is a quote I found from an apostle, “How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?” I have learned to pray and thank Heavenly Father for my trials instead of begging Him to lift them. I know we are given them for a reason and it is our best opportunity to show God that we have faith in Him, His power, and His timing. We wouldn’t be who we are without our hardest trials.
I love this gospel!
Love,
Hermana Taylor
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This week was the baptism of Nerson.

This week was the baptism of Nerson. He is so sweet and he is doing so well and learning so much. That same night, we have a devotional at our stake building with Sister Marriott and Sister Burton of the general relief society and young women’s. It was incredible and we learned so much about marriage and family. They were like celebrities afterwards and people were running up to get a photo with them. We sat in the front and had hopes to meet them but we patiently waited our turn. Right when we got up to them, they said no more. All us missionaries got rejected and it broke our hearts haha but it’s ok, I’m sure they were overwhelmed with all the kisses and photos.

Before the mission, I always thought humility came in the form of poverty, but here I have learned that is not the case. I have met some of the most humble, servicial people here who are middle class and give all they have to help others. The president of our relief society always makes extra food and gives it to anyone who passes by. I admire her charity so much and realize how much more reason I have to give.
We went to the Zoo today and it was awesome! I love my tourist P-days. My awkward moment of the week was when we were eating lunch together as a zone and the man serving the beans poured scalding hot beans on my hand and I had to hold my scream. I now have lovely burn marks all over my hand.
That’s all for this week! I love you all and can’t believe I will be seeing you all so soon! I don’t think I am ready for the culture shock but I sure am ready to hug you!
Love,
Hermana Taylor

I love Alma Rosa! It was a great week getting to know my new area and companion. I love them both. It’s nice being surrounding by nice things again. It’s quite a mix here though. I had the most dramatic exit last week for transfers. When I left, I had to wheel all my luggage 10 minutes down the street to the bus stop and everyone on our street was running outside to see me off and yelling, “Don’t go!” I felt so loved haha. Then some strong guys came out and took my bags and carried them for me. PHEW. That was a relief because I was dying.

I am definitely perfecting my spanish before I go home so I am very thankful to end with a Latin! We have a lot of fun together. She is my “chiquita” and I am her “grandota.” So cute haha. We’ve had some very spiritual lessons together and it’s been amazing to feel that power so strongly with people I’ve just barely met.
Nothing too crazy has happened this week besides the tropical storms. One insight I received from my studies this week is that Satan is also our brother, just as Jesus is. Therefore, Satan also knows us perfectly and knows our weaknesses. We too often forget that part and think we are invincable to Satan’s temptations but he knows us just as well as Christ knows how to supplicate our every trial and pain.
We went to Faro Colom today which is the place where (supposedly) Christopher Colombus’ body is buried. They have a feud with Spain for who really has the body. But it is an awesome exhibit. I have all my last pdays planned so I can see all the hot spots here before I go! This is adventure number one 🙂
I love you guys!
Hermana Taylor

9 weeks to go…..

My body is definitely aware that it’s almost time to rest and go home. I got bad hip problems again and had to go get another steriod injection from the doctor this week. I’m an old grandma! I was just trying to lose weight and run in the mornings but the doctor said no more running until I go home or I will leave broken haha. UGH, fine.

We’ve seen a lot of miracles lately in the mission and starting teaching a 22 year old named Edwin. He is so awesome and has changed so much in the time that I’ve known him. I’m really sad that I will be leaving before I get to see him baptized. Alas, it is transfer week. I am being transferred out of my area to Alma Rosa in the zone Ozama. This is the place I will “die” or finish my mission. It is in the city and my comp will be Hna Morales. She is from Nicaragua and we will be Hermana Leaders togther. I will miss speaking English all the time. It was fun while it lasted.
One less active member paid for me to get braids done because he wanted me to have cool braids like my companion haha…. BUT the lady gave me corn rows! It was hilarious. I looked like a big freak and after getting some sweet pics, we took them out. My head would not look good bald, let’s just say that hahhaha.
One thing I learned this week is about the importance of sincere prayer. Just as we do different routines in the gym each day in order to develop stronger muscles, we must vary our prayers each day in order to develop stronger spirits. Repeating the same exercise every day will not give us a fit body, in the same manner asking for the same things in each prayer will not give us more spiritual strength or trust in our Heavenly Father.
Love you all!
Hermana Taylor

Really, nothing crazy happened…

Really, nothing crazy happened this week but I think I am just used to so much crazy that now it is just normal..

It has been raining incredibly hard here and we end up getting stuck in people’s houses for hours until the coast is clear to leave. We lose power and lightning strikes so close you think you are going to see someone’s house get lit up in flames! Nothing compares to a tropical storm.
In the middle of a lesson this week, we were sitting outside and we had just said the prayer when an old man interrupts and starts pouring out his heart for me. He grabbed me by the shoulder and got in my face and it was so uncomfortable. He just started rambling on and I accidentally started laughing and then we all started laughing. I had to kindly ask him to leave and try to set the scene in the lesson all over again, haha.
I got told twice this week I look like I am a cartoon character. What?
Something I really came to understand this week is that we can only do our best and the rest is in the hands of the Lord. If we do our best to be more like Him everyday, He will do the rest and help us acheive our goals. It is easy to get discouraged when we don’t see instant results or blessings aren’t fulfilled before our eyes, but that is where our faith goes into exercise! I love the gospel with all my heart!
Love,
Hermana Taylor
PS this is a view of my life each day… kids love to use my hair as their doll. DSC04255

The week of meetings….

The week of meetings.

We barely had time in our area with all the meetings and exchanges we’ve had this week. I spent a solid 4 days outside my area… that is not easy when you are trying to find people to baptize this month!
We had a really funny experience this week and I PROMISE I am not always sick. In fact, I am rarely sick. But when it hits, it hits hard. I got really sick to my stomach in the middle of proselyting one night and ended up sitting on the curb to let the pain subside. An old investigator was outside and saw us and invited us in because she saw the look of death in my eyes. So we sat down and I was sweating bullets and almost in tears… and I’ve never cried from any mission illness so this is serious stuff. She gave me a mystery pill and I took it because I was desperate and told her we were going to try to walk home. I used Hna Simpson as my crutch and couldn’t even stand straight. Everyone who saw us freaked out and was trying to get a motorcycle to take us to the hospital but I told them, “no, no!” In the end, we let someone with a car drive us home and everyone was calling us wondering if I had died or something. SO DRAMATIC. But my loving companion helped me and laughed at me the entire time haha.
On a spiritual note, this week I heard this from our stake president, “The mission is not the best 18 months of your life, but for your life.” I couldn’t agree more.  I have learned more in these past 15 months than I have in all my 23 years of existence.
The mission may be an emotional rollercoaster at times but I sure wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Love you all,
Hermana TaylorDSC04153