Monday, January 25, 2016

A new week

Jan. 18, 2016
This week was so much better than the last one. It was kind of a new start for Elder Jones and I. We did a lot of tracting and found a couple of really promising new investigators. Time is just going by so fast. I can't believe that I've been in the field for more than a month already. Anyway, we just keep working hard and the Lord is really blessing us. Perseverance is the key.

Does anyone know the rules for badminton? Elder Jones and I just hit a shuttlecock around for two hours yesterday and it was so much fun. (it was P-Day so that sort of behavior was appropriate.)
Anyway, I've had a couple of really cool experiences this week.
On Tuesday we heard about a Baptist revival happening in Sealy, so we decided to go. (I think Elder Jones was inspired to lead us that way, personally.) It started at about seven o'clock in the evening. We were two of three white people in a congregation of over 100 so that was cool. A preacher came up from Dallas and spoke to us. He was a really talented speaker and also really crazy and loud. The purpose of the meeting was to learn to be better people, but also to party because we're SAVED! Baptist meetings are really celebratory. It's pretty cool. Going to the revival really helped me gain respect for that religion specifically. Most people here in Texas, Christian or not, are really honest and good.
Also at the revival, I got to see what speaking in tongues and "shaking" (in the Spirit) is from a traditional Christian perspective. So that was really interesting. The preacher - in the midst of his other yelling - would release random bursts of glossolalia and when he shook it was like he was having muscle spasms in his arms. (Luckily, the spasms were never crazy enough to make him drop the microphone.) Those things were really strange to me as a Latter-day Saint, but I learned a lot from the meeting.
So now a ton of the black people in Sealy know who we are because the preacher talked to us (and we stood out in the white shirts and ties and, uh, skin). It really helped them see us as people, not just missionaries. And one of our investigators, Mary Davis (who believes firmly that the preacher was a prophet) who was at the revival has been way more open-minded toward us since then. She even said she would attend our church because we attended hers! So yep, I really like how the revival helped us cultivate an attitude of mutual respect.
There are a couple of really good service opportunities in our area. We did some flooring this week for Habitat for Humanity, which basically provides really cheap (yet well-built and high-quality) houses to people who can't afford them normally. And we visit a couple of nursing homes to play dominoes with some old people. It seems kinda silly, but it really surprised me how much they really appreciated it.
I'm out of time but I'm excited to hear from you all. Good luck with your weeks. I love you all.
Elder Taylor

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