Well, I am officially 23…

Well, I’m officially 23 and feel incredibly old after spending a day renewing my visa with the brand new, 18 year old elders.  No one believes I’m 23 so I guess that’s a good thing.  My investigators thought I was turning 17, haha, baby face problems.

We celebrated my b-day on p-day and went to the mall so I could eat Mexican food and Krispy Kreme.  (Two very important things for me.)  It was such a fun day and I think we all needed it.  For my actual birthday, we had meetings all day but at night the sister leaders threw me a surprise party at my investigators house because the daughter has the same birthday as me so it was really fun and nice to celebrate with a family.

My companion is sick again with a virus now and it makes your whole body ache and you pretty much turn into a zombie for a week until it passes.  Everyone in the house has had it this transfer except for me.  (birthday miracle!)  But I’m afraid I’m next.  So I’ve been going on exchanges to work in my area while my comp is at home dying.  We’ve been together for a month and only worked together maybe 7 days.  It’s a good thing I was a nurses aid before the missions because it is coming in handy with my sick comps!  They are calling me “mama Taylor” because I’m always nursing them back to health.  I realized that I’ve turned into Mom because while my comp is in bed dying and the other sisters are out working, I get so bored that I start making desserts with whatever I can find in the house and cheer everyone up with “goodies.”

We had a day of really strong rain and thundering and we went to work anyways and I think that’s why my comp is sick now.  The thunder was terrifyingly loud and we saw something in our neighborhood get electrocuted so we were trying to keep it cool and run to the house.  The sky was indescribable.  It was almost black on one side and white on the other.

I have had lots of time to study and have become obsessed with the book, Jesus the Christ.  I love learning more about history and the life of Christ and it has really helped my testimony grow more solid.  A couple of things I really liked from my studies was about sin and forgiveness.  While sin inevitably leads us away from God, weakness, ironically, can lead us toward Him in all things, not only when we are suffering.  Also, how do we know we are forgiven for our sins?  I read the other day that if we feel the Holy Ghost when we pray, read, testify, or any other moment, that that is our witness that we have been forgiven or the cleansing process is taking place, because the Spirit cannot dwell in an unholy tabernacle.  (Alma 7:21)  I love the simple answers we can find in the scriptures and love being able to share the happiness of this gospel with the people here.  I didn’t realize how much I would grow to love my investigators but I think a part of my heart will forever be Dominican.  But more than anything I’ve learned that EVERYTHING in our lives happens for a reason and all the experiences and trials we have is only preparatory for something in the future.  We are not able to see the eternal picture like our Heavenly Father but we have to put our faith in His plan and His timing and know that one day our trials will be of great use to us.  I see that everyday here!  The church is true!  I love you all muchisimo!  🙂

Love,

Hermana Taylor

chelsea #66 chelsea #69

I got all of my packages early, but don’t worry…

I was at the office for our mission  conference so I got all of my packages early!  Don’t worry, I’m waiting until my actual birthday to open them…okay, who am I kidding…I was too excited!  But it’s birthday week so it’s okay.  THANK YOU!! The packages are so wonderful and I am so grateful!  So I will start with the random weird things of the week: my companion compared me to snoop dog, I accidentally ate sardines for the first time, I was one of 3 companionships who got to eat dinner with President and his wife and  it felt like I was at a backstage concert.  I got pet by a little girl again because apparently my hair has magic powers.  We had a mission conference this week and it was taught by President Corbitt.  We talked a lot about the importance of the family because we are literally here to help families and teach them how they can be together forever.  I’m so thankful my mission has this focus now because it has made a huge difference!  We learned how important it is for individuals to have a good relationship with their fathers, specifically when that relationship is not very strong, children usually have problems with the law of chastity.  I never thought of that before but I know it was inspired and that family relationships are SO IMPORTANT.

Speaking of families, we are baptizing a family in 2 Saturdays!  It is a single mother, Ibelis, and her children, Diosa, Augustine, and Jesus.  They are my favorite people ever and my family away from home.  I got to contact her and see her whole journey and now I can truly testify to the power of the gospel and the changing power it has!  She was so full of doubt at first but now she is so strong and already sharing with all her friends the things she’s learned.  I wish everyone was that excited about the gospel!  I think sometimes we forget how special it is and take it for granted but we really have something that everyone else is seeking!  I thought of this quote today, “The Lord works from the inside out.  The world works from the outside in.  The world would take people out of the slums.  Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums.  The world would mold men by changing their environment.  Christ changes men, who then change their environment.  The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”  She began changing her act, dress and everything on her own.  She began to feel uncomfortable with her old life.  That’s exactly how it was for me as well and just shows the power of the spirit.  I absolutely love getting to be apart of this journey for others!  Anyways, that is my week!  Oh yeah, President said to me after my attempt to pray in English at dinner, “Wow, Hermana Taylor, only 4 months in the field and already can’t speak English.”  haha  I love you guys!

Con Amor,

Hermana Taylorchelsea #58 chelsea #52

This week was not much of an improvement…

Well, I am sorry to say that this week is not much of an improvement from last week.  I was caring for my sick companion most of the week and taking her to doctor’s visits.  I call it ‘Mom training.’

I’ve had some pretty interesting experiences this week and you guys would be proud of my now-found navigating skills in a country where 90% of the streets don’t have signs.

We went to the temple this week and it was awesome, of course.  Here is a list of random things that happened this week:  My companion was punching me in the leg really hard so my reflexes kicked in and  I hit her in the face….and after an awkward moment, she laughed and high-fived me; I almost had to eat a chicken foot but I gave that great experience to my comp….and ok, that’s all I can think of for this week.  A lot of traveling and learning and A LOT of patience.

So far, this transfer has been building my strength spiritually and mentally.  I’ve learned that when we or others around us are murmuring (complaining), we cannot feel the spirit and are being the opposite of christlike.  I’ve also gotten to see the difference in people’s lives/attitudes when they are studying the scriptures everyday and when they are not.  If we are diligently feasting on the word, we will never fall away.

I love you guys!  🙂  That’s all I can think of.

Love,

Hna Taylor

PS-everyone is convinced I’m Mexican for the way I talk, eat, and look so…that’s that. haha

PSS—today we locked ourselves out of our house for 6 hours w/out a cellphone, BEST P-DAY EVER!!

chelsea #54 chelsea #59

What a crazy week!

What a crazy week!   On Monday, we taught one of our investigators about baptism and the Holy Ghost.  She is a mother of 3 and the sweetest woman ever.  The father of her children passed away from a car accident, in the middle of the lesson I felt the STRONGEST impression that her spouse was there with us and the spirit was so strong!  It made me realize that that is probably why she is progressing so much, because she has someone on the other side cheering her on.  The feeling was indescribable.

Then, Tuesday, we had transfers and that’s always a hectic day.  But now I have my companion, Hna Alonzo, from Honduras.  It’s kind of funny because we are both suffering from the same mystery illness so we think we are together to help comfort one another.  She’s great and we seam to be a lot alike.  We’ve been on lock down with the Hurricane and when we aren’t on lock down, we are still confined to our house.  So I don’t have much to say because I’ve only left the house maybe 4 short periods of time this week.  We’ve decided the house is cursed because every healthy sister who moves in, ends up ill.  Anyways, the hurricane was pretty crazy and scary….especially because our area is walking distance to the shore.  The entire east side was on lock down and we just watched teh entertainment from our windows, haha.  But everyone is safe.

Fun fact, this week I got pooped on by a bird so that was a first.  Right now I am learning that every trial we experience is for a reason or a lesson.  Even though I may not understand in the moment, I know I can put my trust in the Lord because He never forgets us or our afflictions.  And of course, I am learning to suffer with a smile on my face!  I hope I have more exciting news next week.  Love you all!

Con amor,

Hna Taylor

PS–I prayed in English for the first time in over 4 months today because the Latinas in the house wanted to hear and I sounded like someone learning English.  It was horible! haha

chelsea #46 chelsea #43

Transfers are bittersweet…

Transfers are tomorrow and it is bittersweet because I am losing Hna Vladez.  I knew we were too good of friends to stay together–dang it!!  But I am staying in my area and my new companion is from Honduras named Hna Alonzo.  I’ve heard she’s crazy so that’s a good start.  My health has been a roller coaster this week but nothing too serious so I’ll leave it at that.

When people read my name they always say, “Like Taylor Swift?”  haha! Good thing I love her!  Fun facts from the week: I accidentally walked into a barbed wire fence, I got told I could get along with a rock.

We had a family come to church and one of the kids ran home without anyone noticing.  We are expecting to get hit with a level 3 cyclone tomorrow so we are all a little nervous and have our 72 hour kit ready.

My favorite scripture of the week from my studies is ! Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  I LOVE this!  Every trial, temptation, or addiction, that we may have has God’s PROMISE that there is a way out and you can be freed.  He has an eternal perspective and knows us better than we know ourselves or our abilities.  Sometimes it feels like He trusts us a little too much with the trials we are given, but He knows what we need and we can handle.  I find so much comfort in these words and I know that we are never too far gone and that we can overcome anything with the Lord’s assistance.

I love and miss you guys so much!

Con mucho amor,

Hna Taylorchelsea #44