Miracles up the Wall! And…Nothing like a Mission Vacation!

Kay so first of all, I’m in Naga again because later today I fly to MANILA!!! So I guess for my visa they need my fingerprints again so the mission is sending me and I’m pretty sure a lot of the missionaries I’m going home with, to Manila. I know we’ll stay in a hotel and I’m hoping we’ll be able to hit up the Mall of Asia! So just a little mission vacation before I come home haha.

But anyways about the work this week…. Pure miracles. Well not perfect cuz we still got some punts and things but WOW! When you really dedicate yourself to this work, the Lord will definitely do His part and bless you. This week Sister Andres and I were able to teach 32 lessons and we reached or over-passed almost every single one of our goals. Such a great feeling! So just two miracles.. Parma family. Remember them? Well they still don’t know if this is the true church but wow they want to know! Brother Arnold read in the Book of Mormon after our first visit and Sister Maritez said a great prayer our second visit. They have great questions and we just have so much hope for this family. They have one daughter, Samantha who is 7 years old. Kay one child.. not common here! We met a family yesterday with 17 kids. SEVENTEEN!!! What’s that one TV show on TLC? Actually I’m pretty sure almost all reality TV shows are beat here. The Philippines feels like a reality television show haha. Survivor is like my life!

Anyways miracle two: we taught a brother who has been taught a lot by elders in the past. We didn’t know! But he wants to be baptized! He asked us why he wasn’t a member already haha. He and his wife need to get married which he already knew, but he has that desire to be baptized! It’ll be a little tough cuz she’s away working in a different area right now but we’ll work on the Nieva family! It taught me a great lesson though that no effort is wasted! So some of the people that I’m teaching or taught that weren’t ready now, could be ready in the future with other missionaries!

Allan spoke in church and prayed twice yesterday in church! And shhh but next week he’s getting called as the new Young Men’s President! President Cedron wants him in the Branch Presidency but he doesn’t have Melchezidek Priesthood yet and won’t for a few more months. And Lance is getting baptized this Saturday! We’re working on the rest of his kids but Claire should follow in August.

President Cedron is so silly but is doing such a great job here! Yesterday for the 5th Sunday combined meeting, he recapped Elder Bednar’s talk last conference about carrying our burdens. He had visual aids and everything on a TV screen. What the technology! Not common to do something like that here. But I think it was great for the members to realize that we need burdens to help us grow, but that we need to examine our load and see what is helping us progress towards our Heavenly Father.

Oh another miracle this morning, we rode on an Airconn bus for only 20 pesos. My hair is still down and not looking too frizzy. Thanks airconn!

I think this past week was one of the best weeks of my mission. I have had such a great mission but lately it just has felt amazing as Sister Andres and I have been just a tool in the Lord’s work. Oh we had our first exchanges this week and I was with Sister Hoeft in our area which was fun. I made little handouts for the sisters! Haha Sister Andres is so funny cuz she’s not the handout girly type but she’s supporting me! And btw Sister Andres is from Manila, graduated from BYU Hawaii, knows American things cuz she lived in Hawaii (like pepper jack cheese!) and has traveled lots, she doesn’t like talking too much about her personal life so most things I find out about her are during teaching when she talks to investigators haha. But she is great! Just so happy! I hope you all are too! I love you all lots! Keep smiling and praying! Life is great.

Sister Taylor

 

(I still can’t get her pictures to upload…sorry folks.)

 

Feelin’ the Happiness!!!

What a GREAT WEEK! Wow things are great. Missionary work is the best. Philippines is the best place on earth. I’m SO HAPPY! So just loving it here in Pamplona… Don’t remember if I said this last week but since I’m not being transferred my last transfer, I’ll have a total of 3 areas for my whole entire mission. Only three! I actually don’t mind too much though because I’ve loved all of my areas so much! It’s always so hard to leave so I’m so glad I get to end my mission here.

 

So I guess I’ll just start at the beginning of the week. Monday night the branch had a little ‘Going Away’ party for Sister Saua and Elder Finau. Tuesday Sister Saua finished packing up and we headed to NAGA!!! I got my x-ray done (required for all departing missionaries) and then we hit up the SM! We didn’t get too much done cuz we kept running into other missionaries but I was able to get some more pictures printed for the people that I’ve taught/teach and then we went to Pizza Hut with some of the other sisters. (Sister Prakash was one of them! So fun to see her.) Well our pizza kind of took a while so by the time we got it, we had to just hurry and scarf it down so we could get to the church for announcements. I literally can eat 3 slices of pizza in less than 5 minutes haha. I’ve picked up the fast eating skill on my mish.

So transfer announcements! So fun! And I can’t believe that was my very last one… So I was called pretty soon even though there were tons of missionaries. “Sister Taylor, meet your new companion, Sister Andres!” I was a little confused because she’s a Sister Training Leader so at first I was thinking that she wasn’t anymore until Elder Klassen said, “Congratulations Sister Taylor on your new assignment as a new Sister Training Leader.” What?! Haha thought that would never happen because I only have one transfer left! Well President Reeder later explained that when Elder Nielson was here, he told President Reeder he needed more STLs…. So yep! We’re the new companionship of STLs (meaning just in the new area… Sister Andres has been one for like 3 or 4 transfers now.) So even though it’s just one transfer, I’m excited to work hard, go on lots of exchanges and try to help the sisters in the Pamplona and Naga zone as best as I can!

Sister Andres. THE BEST! Love her so much already. She is a great missionary that loves to work hard, be obedient and she is great at teaching to the needs of our investigators. We’ve already seen great miracles and I just know that great things are going to happen this transfer:)

 

Ahhh so sorry everyone that reads my emails. Already getting so long and I still have a good amount to tell. Here we go. Real quick, I saw Brother Jesus from my first area when I went to Naga! He was a less active and I taught him and his non-member wife, Teresa. Well right before I left Naga, Teresa finally committed to baptism after having a lot of doubts of everything. Well last December she was baptized and when I saw Jesus, he told me that they’re planning on going to the temple this December to be sealed together! So thank goodness the members and missionaries there are pushing and helping them but that was just so neat!

 

Saturday we had a branch CSP (service project). We just kind of did gardening stuff at two less active homes. Buboy is a less active that almost served a mission and his wife has never been interested in the church so hopefully she’ll start to be interested as we try to reactive Buboy. Mystica and her father are members and they haven’t come to church in years. Yesterday after the service project, they came to church!!! Such a great feeling. I’m not sure how much we actually helped (10 missionaries came and then probably about 10 or so branch members) but I think they felt the love and support from the branch so hopefully they’ll come again next week!

 

Brother Ramon is the best!!! Ahhh he’s so awesome. He went to the service project Saturday morning and then the sisters had a baptism in the afternoon that he attended. (Oh! I got a letter and piano music from Sister Decker this week! So at the baptism, “If the Savior Stood Beside me” was the musical number. Thanks!) Anyways, Ramon’s wife is still not interested in getting married but we’re not giving up! Even if it’s still far away in the future, I still have hope that one day they’ll be married so Ramon can finally be baptized into the true Church of Jesus Christ.

We found a potential family! The wife I met on a tricey a while back and I just started talking to her. She didn’t seem too interested but she said we could come back. Well we were never able to go visit but we found out this last week that the mother of her husband just passed away. So me and Sister Andres went back and were able to teach them yesterday and things are just perfect for them to accept the gospel! I have big hopes for them! They were wondering if it was true what the pastor said about how after this life we won’t know our family and things… So we taught about eternal families and they seemed so interested that our families can actual become eternal through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They only have one daughter but they want what’s best for her and we’re going to see them again on Saturday. Pray for the Parma family!

 

Alright everyone… I think that’s about it. I am just so happy and am loving this work so much!!! I hope everyone feels as happy as I do because we are all so blessed because of this Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love you all so much and I appreciate all the prayers and emails and everything directed my way. Mark your calendars for the end of July! Don’t forget it!

 

Sister Taylor

 

(This is what she said about her new companion:

Oh right about Sister Andres!! She’s from Manila.. She’s 25, graduated from BYU Hawaii… doesn’t like talking about her personal life too much haha but she has perfect as in perfect English and she’s awesome!)

 

From Jaycee’s Mom: Jaycee wasn’t able to get pictures upload this week. Hopefully she will next week.

 

LAST TRANSFER! And Happy Father’s Day!!!

The internet has been SO fast! But my computer has crashed twice already haha… Can’t expect a perfect internet situation. But even though the internet isn’t always great, missionary work is! I’m on my LAST TRASNFER! Can’t believe. So weird. Missionaries have already started to tell me goodbye haha. Hey! I’m not gone yet! But I am SO excited for my last transfer. I can feel it. Best transfer ever. Especially because I’m NOT getting transferred! YES!! Sister Saua is!

 

So this week was great. I think it was Wednesday where every single teaching appointment seemed like a small miracle. That night, I really just felt like a lot of those miracles happened because of so many prayers coming from all of you! Keep praying for the people here! Last week we were thinking that we maybe needed to drop some of our investigators that have just been slowly slowly progressing. Well this week pretty much all of them showed some sort of interest still and we decided even if they aren’t baptized right away and even if it takes a while, it is so worth it because I love all of them and we’re teaching two families that will hopefully eventually enter into the waters of baptism! But here’s some quick updates of a couple of them.

 

Ramon LOVES the church! His faith and testimony have just grown so much. He attended Sister Lyn’s baptism on Saturday (the sister’s investigator) and afterwards he talked to his members about his situation (his wife doesn’t want to get married so he’s waiting on her to get baptized.) OH! But this week after we fasted last Sunday, we found out that his wife is a MEMBER! Miracle! Because she already understands the importance of the commandments even if she isn’t living them right now. And I really think that eventually they could make their way to the real goal of the temple. There is hope! It’s kind of difficult because his wife only comes home twice a month for just like one night and then heads back up to work where it sounds like she can’t really be visited by missionaries there (but we’re still gonna try and send them her way where she works). Saturday Ramon talked to her again and she said that she still wanted to think about it. That’s a start!

 

Vanessa! Love her. Came to church again. She stopped her coffee addiction before we even committed her to live it! We were teaching her something else a couple weeks ago and somehow the Word of Wisdom came up. So we didn’t really teach it but we told her what it was. She was shocked that coffee was bawal (forbidden) but she just stopped by herself. Then this week we planned to actually teach Word of Wisdom but she understood it so well cuz she already started living it so we ended up teaching fasting to her too which she is committed to try this next Fast Sunday! The only real big problem is her non-married husband who hates all other religions :/. Maybe we’ll fast with her too for a miracle.

 

Ballester family is the one that feeds us every time we visit and always drives us home and gives us stuff haha. They’re so nice! But they’ve been really slow in progressing in the gospel. Well this week we taught a great lesson and Brother Eric was actually trying to listen (usually he just hides behind the fan haha) and Sister Vivian told us eventually they’ll be baptized but they just have a long ways to go. Okay with me! I’ll just try my best to help they start changing their lives and preparing for that. We also taught her about baptisms for the dead because apparently her Dad believes in the church but was never baptized before he passed away! So we were told her he can still be baptized, the Spirit was so strong and I think it really helped her see the importance of the gospel and of families.

 

We did a CSP this week in our area! There’s pictures…. We thought we actually might be doing something different than just cutting grass and weeds but… that’s what we did haha. We haven’t been able to teach Francis and Angel since but hopefully they’ll be not as shy and more ready to accept the gospel.

 

Okay running outta time! Gotta go. But love you all! This Gospel is so true! Be strong everyone. Even during those down times just think about all the great things in your life. First of all, you are a child of God! Sorry, getting a little cliché, but it’s true so be happy, love life and love God. I LOVE the Filipino people. Not sure if made that clear before in previous emails but wow I have just grown to love these people so much. When I come home, I’m going to leave part of my heart here in the Philippines. I’m already making plans to come back! (Hopefully with Sister Richmond!) Already have a great week!

 

Sister Taylor

(Sorry about not having pictures. I (Jaycee’s mom) can’t get them to load for some reason.)

 

 

No Internet!

(Jaycee was having a lot of problems with the internet. She wasn’t able to reply to people. So if you got missed, she is sorry. In fact, to get this email to us, she used another missionary’s accout.)

 

Hello everyone! Weeks just fly by! Tuesday Sister Saua and Sister Aglamma were sick so Sister Viau and I went out to work. We taught 4 lessons in her area and 4 in our area so hard working day!

 

Wednesday was the mission tour! SO FUN! The Nielson’s were the guest speakers and I learned so much. He’s been in the area presidency or something like that here in the Philippines but they are about to go home this month. I wrote down some things that I really liked from what they taught us. Sister Nielson said that when we feel the Spirit it means that Heavenly Father is saying, “I love you,” and “great job.” Sometimes missionary work can be a bit tough so that was encouraging because even though I’m not perfect I can know that my Father in Heaven is proud and happy for my efforts. She also said that happiness is a CHOICE. I think I’ve heard that before but that is so true. So everyone that is feeling a little down or sad… Stop and choose to be happy right now! This life is so great even if things are always perfect because guess what hello, trials are part of life. We need them!

 

President Nielson had us read a talk by Elder Bednar before the mission tour and so most of what he talked about was based off of this talk. I forgot what it’s called but it was given at BYU and it is all about the enabling power of the Atonement. We not only need the redeeming power of the Atonement, but also the enabling power. We all need to be striving to not only “put off the natural man,” but we need to become saints (Mosiah 3:19). Through the Atonement we can literally be strengthened so that we cannot feel the burdens on our backs. One thing that President pointed out that is true for me, is the heat here in the Philippines! How many of you remember how much I talked about the heat when I first got here?! Well hello, it’s SO hot right now. I’m pretty sure it’s just the same as last summer but this summer even though I feel hot, it doesn’t really bother me. So he said most missionaries that are about to go home don’t notice the heat as much and it’s true for me! Thank goodness cuz last summer I thought the heat would kill me. Another thing President Nielson said is that if we don’t do the best one day, we just need to repent and do better the next day. He also said that the Lord really is hastening His work right now. So he asked us, “Are You?” I think all of us, even just as members need to ask ourselves that… So I’m challenging all of you to pray for a missionary opportunity. I think I’ve done this before but this time, you get till I get home so you all have 2 months! Everyone! Pray for who you think the Lord wants you to share the Gospel with and pray for what you need to say to that person… Kay go act! I can’t wait to hear all your stories when I get home. Remember that we all have free agency so don’t get discouraged if they don’t accept your invitation to go to church or listen to the missionaries, but I know you can do this!

 

Alright so other news… I think I’ve eaten almost everything and anything you can here in the Philippines except duck and goat which I ate this week. Don’t ask how it tasted cuz I just scarffed it down like I usually do with most food now haha but it wasn’t too bad.

 

I LOVED this scripture this week. Hebrews 12:1-2. We all need to patiently finish the race. And at the end of the finish line is Jesus Christ! He is the finisher of our faith. So everything that we do and believe in will all be finished or confirmed at the end. Everyone keep running  your race of life!

 

Alright well the work is good… Keep praying for me and all the people here. I love you all and I love this work!

 

Sister Taylor

 

(And because she had problems with the internet, she wasn’t ablie to upload any pictures for us this week, and she didn’t even get to see the ones that we put on OneDrive for her. So sad…)