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week 4

So this week we learned how to speak in a Dominican accent and OH MY GOODNESS… It’s not even spanish. We are literally relearning everything. It’s terrible. It’s so ghetto! They chop up all their words and cut out certain letters of their vocabulary haha we were all just laughing like “ok this is hopeless.” We were told that when we get home, we will be able to understand every dialect of spanish but no one (besides Dominicans) will be able to understand us because it will be so fast and ghetto! So that will be interesting.
We went to the university again and we were just walking around looking for people to talk to and out of no where this young girl called us over to talk to her and her friends and she was so interested in the gospel!! It was so cool. She wanted a book of mormon and to meet with missionaries right away. It really just confirmed to me that the Lord really does prepare people to hear and accept His word. All we have to do is find them.
This week we had a couple new districts join us and we had two Latina sisters and two Northern Americans. As the sister training leader, I got to chose where they sleep and who I wanted to room with and I made the brave choice of rooming with the Latinas. It’s hard but so worth it! I already feel like I am learning so much. I never get a break from Spanish with them haha. I even gave up my one chance to be on the bottom bunk so that was a big sacrifice for me.
I wanted to share an excerpt from D&C 122:7 that I was reading the other day, “if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” I just thought how much I could apply this to my life and in the future during my mission! Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through difficult trials because He needed us to gain some sort of experience in order to better ourselves or learn something He knows we will need. AH SO COOL! My love for the scriptures have increased 4857835 times since I’ve been here.
Anyways, I hope all is well back in the States! 😉
I miss you all very much.
Con amor,
Hna Taylor

Hola Everyone!

Chelsea Taylor

May 14 (5 days ago)

We went to the university last week to proselyte and it was terrifying! They speak so fast it’s unreal. I can’t imagine the day I can keep up with them. We talked to a group of friends for 30 minutes though and they understood us! It was awesome and they took our pamphlets and everything. It felt so good. We had a great devo the other day and it was about the importance of missionary work (naturally). It was saying how great our work will benefit our current and future families and that we are raising up an army! It’s really cool to think of it like that.
There is also a great poem we got to read from this talk by Thomas S Monson. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/04/never-alone?lang=eng you should read it! 🙂
We make pan dulce a lot here because we are always craving sweets but have nothing to eat. IT IS SO GOOD. Or I’m just really deprived and desperate. I got to teach a lesson as an “example companionship” the other day with one of the teachers, Hna. Garcia. She just got off her mission 2 months ago and is 21. We got to show the Jamaicans how to teach and plan correctly and we got to do it IN ENGLISH!!! I haven’t taught in english…. ever. I literally forgot some english gospel words as I was praying and had awkward pauses. I haven’t prayed in english for almost a month! So it was really cool to be able to speak freely and testify of the things I know are true. IT WAS SO EASY. It made me sad that I have a long ways to go until I can do that in Spanish. But I guess I needed a challenge haha. The Spirit was so strong as we taught and it was only a demonstration! I can’t wait for the field.

week 3

This week has flown by! I barely remember any of it because it feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. I have learned more in the past 2 weeks here than I have in my whole life (or so it feels like). We went to the book fair last weekend to proselyte to real people! It was super intimidating because they all talk SO FAST. You tell them “mas despacio” and they look and you funny haha. It was a confidence boost to be able to communicate with people and to finally get outside the gates of the CCM! The people here are really kind about hearing our message. Apparently the book fair here is a huge deal. It literally looked like the entire city was there. It was crazy. I got some lovely blisters that day and had difficulty walking ever since. We also got to go to the tienda and it was actually pretty nice! I was surprised to see a lot of American labels. THE PINEAPPLE HERE IS LIKE EATING LITTLE PIECES OF HEAVEN. I have it ever day and that’s probably why I get bit so much but it’s totally worth the pain.

Teaching in Spanish is getting easier and I’ve gotten to the point where I can speak more from the heart instead of off a page. I just can’t speak fast enough to keep up with them. The goal is to be fluent by my birthday though. We play a lot of volleyball and it’s hard not to get competitive. We got new people in yesterday.. about 12 Latinos and 3 Jamaicans. My district is so fun. I got really lucky (and to be honest I’m glad I’m the only girl because that means no drama) haha. I can see why the age used to be 21….. Anyways, I love it here! I wish I had time to tell you everything. But I have just come to know how to better trust the Lord’s timing and understand that His ways are higher than ours. I can’t wait to get out in the field and teach people! There is an awesome devotional by David A. Bednar back in 2011 that discusses how important it is to develop the pure love of Christ. I have come to learn how much happier we can be if we show charity for everyone.. especially those we may be struggling to get along with. You can’t be mad at someone you serve 🙂 My favorite thing I took away from it was “Let your belief of the Son of God be reflected in who we are and what we do.”

I love you all!!

Chelsea

Week 1

Week 1!

Chelsea Taylor

Apr 30 (1 day ago)

So week 1 has felt like the real life version of Groundhog Day. The same exact day over and over again. It’s kind of weird and makes me lose track of time so I guess that’s a good thing? Anyways, I love it here! It is so beautiful and tropical everywhere I look! I can’t believe I’m going to be serving this gorgeous country! There’s so much I want to say and so little time. I have a very strange predicament where I am all alone with no companion. She was supposed to get here from Africa but her visa never came through so I am “companions” with two elders during class and “companions” with a sister from a trio outside of class. It’s weird. So going into the field will be even more strange actually having a companion. Walking outside is like walking into a sauna. That’s not an exaggeration either. I have been extremely humbled this week with all the ups and downs. I have loved being surrounded by the Spirit all the time. Sunday was the most powerful sacrament meeting I have ever been in! It was like BOOM! SPIRIT! The president at the MTC or (CCM in Spanish) are so great. They are so loving and involved in our success. My disctrict consists of me and 4 elders. I’m one of the guys I guess. But it’s been great because they are so fun and funny to with so I feel grateful for them making this a joyful experience… (because the girls are a lot of drama). Speaking of girls, I got called as the Sister Training Leader so I am like the female assistant. It caught me off guard since I’m so new but I’m so humbled to have the opportunity to serve the hermanas of the CCM.
We have about 10 Northern Americans and 25 Haitians. So we have English, French, Spanish, and Creole being spoken here and it’s strange being the minority but I love them so much! They are such a loving group of people and really want to learn English. We were told that the CCM is the “celestial kingdom” compared to the field when we really start teaching so we better enjoy showers, AC, and “big” meals while we still have them. (I feel like I’m starving 24/7) Teaching our investigators is very challenging but great practice for the field. It is teaching me a lot of patience since I cannot speak or understand the language well enough to teach a lesson. It’s so intimidating but I am learning so much. I have never had such a strong desire to learn the gospel and teach others! I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I feel like I’ve gained so much knowledge and spiritual enlightenment just in this week alone so I can’t wait for the next 18 months! My favorite thing from my personal study this week was when I was reading in John 17:4. “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world.” It’s so applicable to our lives and this time period! I couldn’t help but think that truth continues to be truth, whether or not it is popular. We are never alone in this world and we should never let the discrimination from the world break our faith.
The church is so true. The Atonement is such a powerful tool in our lives and I can’t wait to spread this knowledge to others. I know I was called here for a reason and I can’t wait to find out what that is.
PS- we really do have rice and beans.. every. single. day. Luckily, I love rice and beans so I’m a happy camper 🙂
PSS- The temple is so beautiful here! We went through it today and… wow. That’s all.
I miss and love you all so much!
Con amor,
Hermana Taylor