Power Week! Power Miracles

Yay!!! Seriously a power week. We taught 28 LESSONS! I know that probably doesn’t mean much to you guys back at home but that is a ton for us and for this area! We seriously just changed how we set daily goals a little bit, focused on teaching shorter but powerful lessons, prayed to reach our goals and BAM! The most lessons ever taught in this area was with Sister Richmond a few weeks ago and I think it was 21. And guess what! The Standards of Excellence in our mission is 25 lessons so we beat it! And we reached a lot of other numbers of Standards of Excellence this week too. So exciting! So of course it’s not all about numbers so just know behind those numbers were a lot of miracles. Heavenly Father really blessed us this week because we were so focused on working hard and doing our best teaching. But our planning, studying, finding and everything just seemed to be so much better this week.

One of the biggest miracles was that we were hardly tired! Thursday, we walked to our farthest area up the volcano (like a 40 minute walk), back and still got so many lessons and we didn’t feel tired that night! We were so shocked but I know it was just a blessing we were able to receive for trying to work so hard. I love working hard! 

Other miracles this week was just having so many opportunities to teach. People that we’ve tried to visit so many times in the past, were home and ready to listen this week! Plus the Spirit was so much stronger in our lessons. Sister Richmond and I so many times have walked away from appointments saying that that was another miracle.

Another miracle this week was getting my PACKAGE! Mom you’re the best! Sister Richmond and I enjoyed the pizza so much and we both think you’re so creative to figure out a way to send pizza all the way across the world. And thanks everyone in the family for the wonderful letters and pictures. Best family ever!

So Sister Jeanavie should be getting baptized this next Saturday! Yay! Yes, my first baptism in Tigaon after about 5 1/2 months. There are quite a few more baptismal qualifications here in the Philippines to help make sure they stay active to it’s kind of difficult to get an investigator to that point but Jeanavie is totally ready and she loves this Gospel and the Book of Mormon. I hope many more baptisms follow once I leave:)

Everyone listen up! Read the Book of Mormon EVERYDAY! I love that book of scripture sooooo much. I love reading the scriptures but I just can’t even describe how much I love it. When I started reading it again this last time, I decided to write something I learn from every chapter and so I do that everyday. It is amazing how much I’ve been able to learn so far. It is just packed full of things for my life, for the lives of our investigators and for your lives! So read it everyday:)

Alright well this was really such a great week but I can’t think of anymore stories to include so that’s all for this week! Everyone be happy this week and always try to smile. Love you all! Know Him. Remember Him. Serve Him.

Sister Taylor

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Armor of God FHE! (Jaycee drew the picture and then everyone had one to color.)

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New dresses…lots better than the “grandma” ones from a few weeks ago.

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Tigaon! Jaycee loves this little town!

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We sent a priority mail package on December 31st and she just got it on Friday! Glad it at least showed up! But in it, I sent her all of the makings for pizza. Pepperoni doesn’t have to be kept in the fridge, and the other things were canned. And for the cheese…string cheese because it is sealed! She was very excited about having cheese! Something they have missed!

Mice and Rats…What’s New?

Yep… Dealing with mice again! So still not NEAR as bad as Naga, but we’ve got some! Monday night, Sister Richmond and I were walking home after teaching two lessons and she stepped on a rat! We were just walking when all of a sudden Sister Richmond screams and started kicking off her shoes while running away haha. Sorry Sister Richmond but it was SO funny. I guess it got stuck in her shoe and she felt it and everything. Everything happens to her it seems like though… A lizard fell a couple weeks ago and almost landed on her, she accidentally touched poison ivy stuff and ripped her pants last week and yeah… always happens to her haha. She’s doing so great with adjusting to everything though. She’s the BEST! Oh so then that night, we had just turned off the lights and we were laying there trying to go to sleep, when we totally heard a ‘squeak, squeak!’ So all of us said after another, “What was that?” What was that?” What was that?!?” We all knew it was a mouse that sounded like it was under Sister Richmond’s bed. So she screamed and jumped to Sister Prakash’s bed and hid under her blanket. I wanted to see but when my feet touched the floor I kind of freaked out and ended up running into the bed trying to get on Sister Richmond’s bed… anyways hard to explain but it was all super funny. I ended up setting two traps in the other room after it ran out of our bedroom and only after like 10 minutes of laying there trying to go to sleep again, we heard a snap and caught our first mouse! We’ve now caught two more. Still haven’t beaten the Naga record of 8 mice and 2 rats so it’s not too much of a problem. Tuesday we had exchanges so I worked in Goa (taught EIGHT lessons! No big deal.) Wednesday we had Zone Conference and I learned a TON! Wow I have so much I need to work on as a missionary. I felt pretty overwhelmed after it because I just felt like I’m not even close to where I want to be, but I’m working towards my goal and as I get closer to the missionary that I want to be, my personal expectations move up higher and higher so I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach them. But that’s fine because that means I’m always growing and learning. The main thing that stood out to me though is the importance of trying to teach fathers. We need good dads in the Philippines! Hard to do but I feel like the way I find and teach is going to be a lot more different. Work this week was beautiful!!!! Ahh! Soo happy! The BEST! Because it isn’t hot! I am soooo enjoying the weather right now. I have even felt cold a few times! (Not sure if it’s even gotten below 70 but it’s felt cold to me!) But I would so take this weather than the blazing hot and humid. I feel like I’m such a happier missionary. Maybe it’ll stay like this for the rest of my mission! Well things are great with the work! Our really super progressing investigator right now is Jenavie and she should be baptized on February 1 or somewhere around then. Love her so much! Mary Jane will be baptized but we’re not sure when right now so please pray for her! Then hopefully more will follow them, we have more scheduled but… transfers are February 12 and since I’m finishing up training and have been here for almost 6 months, it’s almost for sure I’ll get transferred. NOO!!! So hard to work an area for so long but that’s alright. I’m gonna work super hard and enjoy these last few weeks of this transfer. Love Tigaon so much though. Oh we did two service projects this week! One this morning actually where we just planted a few seeds of some vegetable that we don’t have in America (lots of those). And then on Thursday, Sister Richmond and I organized the cleaning out the gutters at the market! FUN! Kay no it actually was fun even though it was so gross. Luckily the elders were great and took the hit for the sisters by actually getting inside and cleaning it out, but GROSS! So many people stood around though just watching and staring us clean. There was an Area broadcast on Saturday night all about the Philippines 2014 goals. Lots obviously focused about missionary work which is great! The title is, “The Work of Salvation.” There weren’t too many members from our ward there but hopefully when we get our posters for it and have some meetings about it, all of the members will really feel the importance of this work right now. Not just missionary work, but also strengthening families, strengthening the youth, strengthening less actives and really focusing on the temple. Lots of work needs to be done! Well I really LOVE being a missionary. I’m so luckily I get to serve at such an exciting time where we can all really see that the Lord is hastening His work. Everyone try to talk to ONE person this week about the Gospel that needs to hear your testimony. Then tell me about it! Sharing the gospel should be so easy because we all know it is such a blessing and it makes us so happy! I know that Christ is our Savior and that He and our Heavenly Father love each and everyone of us. Work hard this week! Love you all! Sister Taylor Image Two more broken umbrellas! Can’t seem to find one that won’t break! Image Third umbrella since my nice one broke. (Mom and Dad sent her a new one but it takes forever to get packages to her.) Image

Service Project! Cleaned out those gutter things at the palengke (market place). Boy did it smell bad!

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The group!

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This is the nanay that said last week, “My body ust can’t handle this cold!” Haha I love it!

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New Ward Mission Leader, in the green, 21 years old. Hopefully he will go on his mission soon. These are all of his classmates.

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Just another dead mouse…and yes that is blood next to it. Gross!

 

Phillipines Hits All Time Lows! (As in temperature, not spirits)

Alright I don’t know if this is fact because obviously we don’t watch the news or anything BUT it has been cold! Haha pshh no it really hasn’t cuz I know real cold but everyone here in the Philippines has been so cold. Sister Richmond and I have thought it is the funniest thing ever! We’ve heard so many people say “malamig!” (cold) this past week. So sorry if this makes you guys miss warm weather but it has been perfect here. So nice! Never thought I’d actually like the weather here. Saturday it hardly felt humid and we guessed it was probably around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But while we’ve been enjoying it, Filipinos have been bundling up and drinking Milo! Check out some of the pictures Sister Richmond took of all of our less actives and investigators bundled up for the cold!

Well this week was great! Not too many exciting things happened except for the perfect weather but all and all it was pretty great. We had the opportunity to do two service projects. Tuesday morning we swept! Doesn’t sound like too much a service project, but here you sweep the earth to get all the trash and leaves. Not sure why Filipinos don’t follow the don’t litter rule, but trash is everywhere so we had plenty to do. We cleaned up trash by a river where they wash clothes and bathe, and then swept behind a less actives house. Then Friday morning we helped Jenavie do laundry. Alright so yes I wash all my clothes by hand, but I have decided I’m not even going to ever complain about that again because I have to wash just MY clothes! Have you ever washed 2 weeks worth of clothes by hand for a family of 6?? Psh I don’t know how she would have done it without us. All three of us washed clothes for two hours! We really had to go and do weekly planning so we didn’t stay for the last rinse or help her hang the clothes to dry, but wow it was a job. We did think it was funny though that Jenavie wanted the clothes rinsed so much. Apparently the belief here is the more you rinse, the cleaner they get. So we thought they were clean for sure after the second rinse. Well she insisted on a third which we did but the fourth we were laughing haha. Jenavie is so sweet and works so hard to get her clothes for her family very clean!

Well Jenavie is really doing great in progressing in the Gospel. If we ask her about her Book of Mormon reading, she talks for like 15 minutes about all the things that she’s learned and how much she likes it. We’ve decided that we can’t always ask about her Book of Mormon reading cuz we don’t have time to hear her talk about it for that long haha. But I’m not complainin about that!

Jenavie, Mary Jane and Rizza all came to church yesterday! Super exciting because all three of them are progressing and now have really strong desires to be baptized. Keep praying for them because they are amazing and I love them so much!!! 

Alright, sorry for those of you who liked my miracle last week about the lady chasing us down to talk to us. Well she must have been almost too good because our next visit, she told us that she felt lots more confused and that she had decided that Buddhist was the best religion for her. Haha darn it. She tried to give us back the Book of Mormon but we finally convinced her to at least keep that and read it if she could. It happens! Just gotta keep finding and teaching!

Sister Taylor

Well I think that’s about it for this week! Hope you guys don’t freeze back home:) Work hard, share the Gospel, read your scriptures and pray EVERY DAY, say thank you, smile and be happy because we are so blessed! Love you all!

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Here she is getting a pedicure on p-day.

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It is so cold for the Filipino people (70 degrees) that they are all bundled up. If only they could experience real cold like the United States has had this year…then they would REALLY freeze! But, when you are used to high humidiy and high temperatures, I can see why they aren’t used to it. Sure feels nice to Jaycee though!

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Here is Sister Taylor’s new picture for the mission directory.

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Ok, just kidding. That first one was a goofy one she did as a joke. Here is her real mission directory picture.

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Her “Totes Titanium” umbrella broke! It lasted for quite a few months especially for having used it almost every day, and for making it through Typhoon Haiyan (named Yolanda in the Philippines). The rain and winds the day after the typhoon hit were severe!

Just a Week Full of Miracles. The Norm!

It’s amazing how many miracles happen in the field as a missionary. Just amazingly obviously miracle things happen and it’s just totally normal for us missionaries! But I do try to be extremely thankful in my prayers when they do happen and I continue to constantly pray for them! So this week we had three fairly big miracles.

Miracle 1: Sister Richmond and I were just walking, walking, walking down the street (probably only my family will get that one 😉 ). Well then we heard this lady yelling in English if we were missionaries and we turned around and saw this lady seriously running towards us down the street. Side note: just a few minutes before we had just walked right by her house and I saw her outside smoking. I had the slightest smallest feeling to stop but I ignored it and kept walking. I’m not a perfect missionary so I definitely need to be better about listening to even the smallest impressions and promptings that I get. Well anyways she talked to us in English and asked if we were missionaries and if we had a Facebook or something so she could contact us. She then told us (slightly out of breath from running and just seemed super anxious because I think she thought we weren’t going to stop and talk to her… umm of course we’ll talk to you!) that she had been looking for a church where she felt like she belonged and she just hadn’t found it yet. She said that she had been raised Catholic but never really liked it so she had gone to Iglesia ni Cristo, Born Again and I think a couple other churches that just didn’t really have what she was looking for. We got super excited of course so we walked back to her house where we could get her information and give her our contact information since I think she thought we were going to never come back or something haha. Well she ended up asking some very great questions about the Bible and things so we gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read before we came back the next day. She said she would start reading that very night! So the next day we taught her at a members house just right across the street. Well before we could really say anything, she started asking us all these questions related to religion and things. (For those of you familiar with Preach My Gospel, she asked about half of the questions of the soul listed in Chapter 5 haha.) She just had too many questions though and we had too many answers so we just decided to start teaching the first part about lesson one; God loves us and the Gospel Blesses Families. She loved that and even just the knowledge that God has a body of flesh and bones and that Him and Jesus Christ are separate beings, shocked her but she loved being able to finally learn about the true nature of God and Jesus Christ. Well she read the introduction, all the testimonies in the Book of Mormon and just some other random parts because she just wanted to get a feel for what was in it. So anyways! Sister Marion is pretty much amazing and hopefully she will quickly come to see that this is what she’s been searching for. Oh but she can’t come to church because she only has classes on Saturday and Sunday so please everyone pray for her to be able to come!

Miracle 2: Rizza is married to a less active married and she lives with his family who are all members. We’ve been teaching her for… probably around two months and she has made little progression. Well we have always tried really hard to focus on the Book of Mormon. She used to be Iglesia ni Cristo, didn’t really know which church was true and hasn’t really had too much real intent to find out for herself. Soooo…. it’s been probably over a week since we last taught her. But when we taught her this week, she had totally changed! As in totally wants to learn more and actually believes that the Book of Mormon is true. Ahhh!!! So we have another wedding to plan unfortunately but she wants to be baptized now and it’s her own decision!

Miracle 3: Not sure if you remember Mary Jane, but she was our golden investigator who randomly left back in November to go see her mom in a town close to Naga, and then she went to Manila to spend Christmas with her husband. (Manila steals all of our investigators because there are job opportunities there. In Tigaon you could either drive a padyak probably making about 200 pesos a day which is like $4… nothing! Or maybe try to sell food at centro or idk.. just hardly anything. So people go work in Manila or a lot of times even go work in a different country to survive. And survive here means literally getting food and water, a kind of house and maybe electricity. Be thankful Americans!) Well anyways we have texted back and forth a little bit but we really had no idea when she was or if she was coming back to Tigaon. Well she came back this week! And actually she got home right when we were teaching her little 11 year-old sister-in-law, Aileen, who also will hopefully be baptized. Mary Jane still wants to be baptized which is great! But her mother isn’t super for it so she could use to prayers for that. She will be so great and her husband is already a member so they could go to the temple and be sealed to cute little 1 year-old AJ!

Well anyways, sorry if that’s too many details but I just thought all three of those stories were pretty neat. But we do need more miracles to happen for people to actually start getting baptized so keep praying for all of them! Jenavie is doing great and her husband told us this week she could get baptized. Unfortunately he still wants nothing to do with us but at least she can get baptized.

Oh so we actually got fed on New Years! The Bishop and his wife had all 6 Tigaon 1st ward missionaries over so that was fun. Sister Richmond and I didn’t stay up to midnight though…. lame huh! Ha well we didn’t really see the point as missionaries except for just getting more tired than we already were and maybe giving each other a high five. I did get woken up though by all of the million fireworks! Noise is the biggest objective at midnight on New Years in the Philippines. But it was still good. Happy 2014 everyone! I’ll see ya this YEAR!

Alright… I feel like I still had things I wanted to write about but I think that’s probably good for this week. Everyone remember how much Heavenly Father loves you and I think all of us can start out this year trying to be a little more Christlike and grateful for all the things that we have. I know that this Church is true and I sure love it!

Sister Taylor

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Jenavie & her family! Just love her!

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New Years Eve feast! This bishop’s wife did all of this. Wasn’t that so nice of her to do so much!