Monday, April 25, 2016


Monday, April 18, 2016

The weather just got crazy around here

I don't know if y'all have heard about it but dang! Since last night
there has been a HUGE storm going on. Luckily we live on the second
floor of our apartment, and it's in Bellville which has a few more
hills than most of the Houston area, but we can't really go anywhere
today because most of the highways are at least partially flooded. One
of our members from Brookshire (closer to Houston) texted us and told
us there's a foot of water on the road over there. Another one called
us from New Ulm (lots of people have been checking on us lately) and
told us his daughter's house got flooded and she had to be rescued BY
A BOAT. The assistants to the president texted us and said make sure
all your valuables are off the floor if you live on the first floor of
an apt., don't do any unnecessary driving for the next 3 days, etc. so
yeah it's pretty insane. But as far as we know, every missionary in
the mission is fine, including us. We had a bit of a crazy drive home
last night but everything is okay.

Good and bad news: Mauro and Ana didn't get baptized on the 16th, but
fear not! They have had a hard time attending church and our mission
has certain requirements about how many times someone needs to attend
church before they can be baptized. (which is a good thing.) Their
work schedules have made things really hard these days. They are still
on track to be baptized on the 30th, though, and they still want it
super bad. The past few discussions with them have been really really

Cool things are still happening. The other day a guy named Marcus
called us and said "hey, guys, I just found God and I want to hear
about your religion!" which was sweet because that almost never
happens. So we taught him a bit, and then his friend Jay showed up at
the very end and was like "dang it, I can't believe I missed it!!"
They were super stoked to hear about Mormonism. Jay told us he's
teaching a Bible study at the Blinn college campus in Sealy and he
wants us to come and teach it one day!! Which is awesome, but kinda
scary too. We'll see what happens.. It's even luckier because we are
trying to find public places to teach family history classes and the
college campus is probably the best place to do that around here. So
now we have that super valuable connection.

I hope everything is going well for you guys! I'm not exactly sure how
to end this email, haha, so there it is.

I love you all!

Elder Taylor

Quick update, we tried to leave Bellville and found this. So we might be trapped here for several days. The Brazos river has flooded like crazy and unfortunately it intersects every road connecting Bellville to the towns south of it. (Bellville is the northernmost town in our area.) good times!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Smash that like button if you know how to week the email

Time is FLYING BY. I feel like this transfer just barely started, but
today is the first day of week 6. (Luckily we still have 2 weeks left
since it's a 7 week transfer.) I'm not really sure how I feel about it
especially because all the other missionaries in my district have been
out for a way long time. The end is in sight for all of them and they
seem pretty scared slash excited. (Except for me of course.)

Exciting news: Mauro (aka Mario for his American friends) and his wife
Ana, those investigators I talked about a couple of weeks ago, are
getting baptized this Saturday!! It's been a really amazing experience
to see them learn about the gospel. We were talking with Mauro last
night and following up with him a lot, just seeing how he feels about
everything, and man. It was awesome. He told us about how the past few
years have just been a huge transition for him (he is a former
alcoholic, he hit 1 year sober yesterday!!) and how converting to
Mormonism is just the next step in that transition. That's the thing
that makes me the most excited. Him and Ana understand all the
implications of being a Mormon and they want to do it. We will keep
working with them after the baptism, of course, but they will be such
a great addition to the branch.

Yep, pretty much all I have to say is that the Lord is blessing us
like mad crazy. I love teaching people the doctrines because it's made
me realize - the concepts of Mormonism resonate with what people
already know (naturally, it seems) about God. I used to worry back in
the MTC that I only believed the ideals of this church because they
SOUNDED so good. Who wouldn't want to believe in a God who gives
everyone an opportunity to be saved? who has a plan that balances
justice and mercy perfectly? etc., but I dunno. The feelings that you
get when you actually ask God about the Book of Mormon and things like
that, they really don't occur in any other place. I do think people
get emotions and the Spirit mixed up super often. But I can't deny it,
I wholeheartedly believe that religion - and particularly this
religion - is more than just a psychological crutch. It's so much more
than what exists in our minds.

There's the random thought for the day. I hope it all made sense.
Enjoy life, y'all.

- Elder Taylor

Monday, April 4, 2016

Another week

Stuff in the mission is going pretty good. We're staying way busy.
General conference was probably the best one I've ever seen. Dallin H.
Oaks pretty much slew about half the members of the Church. haha. And
a lot of the talks in priesthood session were probably an "answer to
prayers" for tons of missionaries out there. Everything in it was
pretty super. I felt pretty bad for Thomas S. Monson only being able
to give 2-minute or so talks. I realized, he probably could give
longer talks if he sat down to give them like a lot of the older
Apostles do. He must be making a super conscious choice to stand up in
front of the Church to give his speech. So that's pretty awesome.

No crazy speaking in tongues this week, unfortunately. We did get to
decapitate some chickens for one of the members of the Spanish branch
though. That was awesome. (Warning: use discretion when viewing the
below images of Elder Yanzon and I holding severed chicken heads.)

Other than that, things have been pretty regular. The mission never
really becomes less awesome. It just gets better the more you learn. 2
days ago was my four-month mark but the Sealy area really never gets

I think if there's one thing that I've learned on the mission, or
rather, the thing I've learned that is standing out to me right now is
that God is a real, physical being with a personality and everything.
We could see Him if He allowed it, but He doesn't to preserve our
agency. General conference really helped me see what it means to be a
real, actual child of God. He is real and He is our Father. I always
knew that, but now I KNOW it. I don't know how I came to know it but I
think I have gotten to know God a lot better on the mission. I
certainly hope I have.

I love you all.

Elder Taylor

Pictures: Chicken decapitation and fishing in New Ulm, TX today.