LAST EMAIL! HOME SWEET HOME!

Alright everyone… Can you believe it?! This is my very last email from me as a missionary! SO FAST! But at the same time, it feels like I’ve been in the Philippines for forever. I really have totally forgotten what real life is like. I have no idea what I’m gonna do as a non-missionary in America. It’ll be fun to figure things out but just expect me to do some weird Filipino things… Love it!

 

So since I emailed last Wednesday instead of Monday, I actually don’t have too much that happened. Thursday was my last district meeting, Friday was my last weekly planning, Saturday was exchanges and was my last day of work! Sunday I spoke in sacrament meeting which I feel like went pretty good. Then in the afternoon, they held a branch family home evening/farewell for me and Sister Viau (she’s getting transferred). Haha everyone LOVES the missionaries here. Especially when you’re an American sister….. The young women in all of my areas just go crazy when I’m about to leave. Sister Andres said they act like I’m a boy band like One Direction or something haha. So I guess I’ll have to get to used not being starred at every where I go and not feeling like a superstar when I leave an area. I can get used to that haha. So anyways the farewell thing yesterday was so fun. We just started with a Hymn and prayer and then anyone who wanted to say something to me or Sister Viau got up and spoke and kind of bore testimony and then we ended with our testimonies. They had pancit afterwards and they we just took pictures and I said goodbye to everyone! Got tons of SRs! (small remembrance) So I’ll have lots to show you guys when I get home.

 

I went around and said goodbye to the Arabe family, Parma family and Ballester family after that and of course I said lots of good byes to the Agomaa family (Brother Allan, Claire and Lance… Didn’t see Joshua or Aldrin).

 

Soooo… This morning I finished packing up all my things (was able to give away LOTS of stuff which was super fun. I’m coming home with hardly ANY clothes. YES.) Then Sister Andres and I took a bus to Naga, dropped off my stuff at the mission office and we just ate lunch with lots of missionaries (Sister Praskash came and met up with us so I got to see her one last time! The Assistant’s said I can’t go to Sister Richmond and Sister Ril’s zone though to say goodbye to them… NO!!! So sad. Miss those sisters!). And now we’re emailing and I just really don’t know what to think! It really hasn’t hit me that I’m ACTUALLY going home. I feel sad to leave but excited too but goodness I just really can’t figure out what I’m feeling cuz I just feel like I’m just getting transferred or something. It’s SO WEIRD.

 

But I am just SOOOOO thankful and glad that I was able to serve a mission. Seriously the best decision of my life so far. This has changed me and it will forever change my life. I have made so many wonderful friends and I have grown to just love the people here so much. I LOVE the Philippines too. Seriously such an awesome place. I love my wonderful mission president and his wife, President and Sister Reeder. They have taught me so much. President can teach with such power and he has taught me things that I will forever remember. He has prepared to live the gospel the rest of my life. Sister Reeder loves EVERYONE. I don’t know how she can love so much. Every single missionary just feels so much love from Sister Reeder and she never judges anyone. I love rice! What? Yeah I actually don’t mind eating rice everyday for every meal… Okay maybe I mind a little bit but I can do it! Do miss mama’s cooking though:) I love Tagalog and I can understand and speak a little Bicol! Such neat languages… I’ll definitely try to teach a little to you guys! I love jeepney’s and tricey’s… Always feels like an adventure. In fact last week when we had to buy our filtered drinking water, we had to take a tricey on this tiny path that wasn’t really a road at all…. off roading on the mish in a tricey! Who needs amusement parks. I love Bicol. Yes I’m sure the whole Philippines is great but I especially love BICOL. I love all my companions! Sister Farnes (MTC comp!), Sister Simbol (special shout out to nanay! She when through a lot to train me), Sister Gerrard (2 Americans that can’t speak Tagalog… we did it!), Sister Prakash (panganay! Ate), Sister Richmond (April 2015.San Diego.Sweet reunion.), Sister Ril (bibisita kami ni Sister Richmond sa’yo!), Sister Saua (bunso! pangatlo) and Sister Andres (last and final! put up with my souvenir shopping and trunkiness.. sana hindi ako naging sobrang trunky!) I love missionary work! Haha I remember my first day in the field, I dreaded the thought of doing that everyday for my whole mission… good thing I got over it! I love it now! So sad that I will never get to go out and teach, wearing a tag in the Philippines again. But! My work is not done. Excited to be a better member missionary!

 

Alright this is getting too long and I don’t want the missionaries reading this to get too trunky… Haha but yeah there’s just lots that I LOVE about my mission. But here in the mission I have really come to love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I understand the importance of becoming like Him, following Him and helping those around us come closer to Him. Hopefully all of you will continue to draw nearer to Him everyday. I know that this is His true church here on the earth and that it was restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us!

 

I love you all! I’m so grateful for the great support I’ve had my entire mission. I have the best family and I get to see them this week!!!! Just so everyone knows, my mom has emailed me back and forth (usually late into the night with the time change) almost EVERY single Monday of my mission. How awesome is she! I also have had a great flow of emails from family and friends so thanks for not forgetting about me! See ya soon AMERICA. Can’t wait to see you Dad, Mom, Sidney & Cody, Mikelle, Jacob and Claire!

 

Sister Taylor

 

(She wasn’t able to upload any pictures. I got a text from the mission president’s wife this evening that she had been put on the plane from Naga to Manila. She will spend the night in Manial and then fly out heading to Tokyo, then Denver with a seven hour layover~no fun~and then headed to Montrose Thursday night. Yay!!!)

 

I’m Alive! Survived the Typhoon!

(Sorry that I am late posting this. I was out of town when she was finally able to email on Wednesday, our Tuesday night, because of the typhoon. We were very grateful to hear from her since she didn’t get to email on her regular p-day.)

 

So not sure what kind of stuff was on the news there but we got hit by Bagyo Glenda! Definitely not even anything compared to Yolanda but it was a little freaky. So last Monday right before email, we got a text saying there was a typhoon and that we wouldn’t be able to work Tuesday. So Tuesday it was rainy and windy but it wasn’t too bad. Oh but they turned off the power like they always do when there’s a storm. Well about 6 pm it started getting more windy and it was dark by then so we closed all the windows and doors and just watched church videos. Around 10 pm it started getting CRAZY and water started coming in through the windows.. then through the door.. then it started raining in our house! The other sisters room started flooding more than our room so they moved into our room and we tried to pack things up so they wouldn’t get wet… Of course lots of prayers were said and I think that’s why I didn’t really feel scared. I was like totally calm the whole time and we were laughing half the time with all the craziness happening. It was kind of a long night as I tried to sleep on plastic chairs and then moved to the bottom bunk with Sister Viau and Sister Aglamma but we survived and actually had a better night than most.

 

Wednesday morning… disaster! And Pamplona actually wasn’t hit the worst. So Wednesday we went to the church and cleaned a bit, then the rest of the day we just walked around to all of the members and investigators in our area. We were definitely all protected! Clarise lost her house :/ and a few others that we know but that was the worst. Other missionaries said that almost all the houses were damaged or gone. There were just so many trees and power lines that have fallen! Amazing though how positive everyone is! Everyone just says, “ayos lang!” Which is just like we’re great!

 

So yes we still don’t have power and there won’t be power for at least a couple months. We have to get water from the water pump and we have to now buy filtered water to drink. We have a curfew at 5:30 since there isn’t power so our work has definitely been affected. But yeah that’s been my life for the past week and a few days! Guess I had to just get a little more adventure in before I head home!

 

So we still have been trying to have a some what normal missionary life.. We’ve had two exchanges, we had interviews with President last Thursday, and we just have most studies at night by candle light. Things are still great though and it’ll be fun to tell you stories in just a few days!

 

Spiritual note: I finished The Book of Mormon again! I planned to finish right at the end. So great. I love The Book of Mormon so much and I love reading it everyday!

 

Alright, gotta go but I’ll email one last time on Monday! Love you all!

 

Sister Taylor

 

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It’s raining inside of our apartment! Thanks to the typhoon!

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Water on the floor of our apartment. And we are on the second floor too!

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Just a little visual of some of the destruction.

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(Jaycee wasn’t able to do captions because there were other missionaries waiting to email home after the typhoon, but this looks like the ceiling in the hallway at church.)

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Lots of bottled water!

 

Another Week!

Sorry for the terribly boring title and yes this week actually wasn’t too exciting so get ready for a short one!

 

We had two exchanges this week… The exchanges have changed though so that the sisters now come to our area and work so we have 2 companionships working in our area for exchanges now. Fun and sweet! Super good news for our area cuz I’m sure it’ll really start progressing and we’ll be able to find even more people to teach. I worked with Sister Rosenburg which was a blast! Love her. Sorry forgot to take a picture.

 

Saturday Pasacao had their open house! Their new church opened so we came with lots of members and enjoyed being there. Sister Aiza (a new investigator) came and also Brother Ramon and Brother Allan. President and Sister Reeder also came so I loved seeing them!

 

I played ping pong! I haven’t played since before my mission! Kay I’m not that great but it was super fun cuz I played President Cedron and we were pretty evenly matched. Too bad we can’t keep score! But it totally reminded me of competing against you Dad! I’ve definitely learned to be more humble on my mission but I still have my competitive streak haha. Bring it Dad!

 

Miracle investigators! Sarah Jane we taught for the second time this week and she accepted a baptismal date and she seems pretty solid! Then Sister Andres and Sister Campbell taught Sister Frecie this week for the second time and she came to church!!! Like so cute. She had this cute pink dress and cute pump shoes and she came with her baby and everything! Mariel Ballester also came! So her Mom was out of town but the whole family is planning on coming next Sunday… Ahh that would be a miracle!!! Mariel seemed to like it though. Brother Ramon and Sister Vanessa are still going to church and progressing, just waiting for the day they’ll be able to be married to be able to be baptized!

 

That’s it! I love you everyone! Sorry for the some what boring week. I am STILL learning and growing in so many ways. I don’t want to come home! Well I do because I have the best family and the best Mama’s cooking to come home to but ahhh!!!! I’m gonna miss it so much here. Especially the people. Looking forward for the day I’ll be able to come back. Have a great week!

 

Sister Taylor

 

P.S. There’s a typhoon coming here tomorrow! So we’re taking cover.. signal 1 only but please pray for our safety! We’re preparing today.

 

(These pictures are ones from last week that she got upload this week. No new pictures from this week’s adventures…sorry. ~Jaycee’s mom)

 

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Recognize this airport from last year? Wow so hard to believe.

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Everyone working wanted to poss for the picture. The manager even hopped in.

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Wow such amazing food from Wendy’s! 

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Free Krispy Kreme doughnuts. it is amazing what you can get with a smile!

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Filling whatever we could find with water to fill the font for Lance’s baptism.

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Lance at his baptism! Yay!!!

 

Manila Trip-Good Food-MLC-Humility Check-Baptism!

YES! I went to Manila. No…. we weren’t able to go to the Mall of Asia but it was still a blast! Such a culture shock… I’ve been in Pamplona wayyy too long. Everything seemed so nice! So we flew there, were driven straight to the hotel and then actually told that we couldn’t leave haha so us sisters just sat in our carpeted, airconned hotel room and talked! It was me, Sister Horst, Sister Barlow and Sister Webster. It was SO neat to just sit around and share mission stories and see how much we’ve all learned and grown! But really our hotel room… Okay well first of all we ran into an American at the hotel (actually a less active returned missionary…. so sad!) but it was so funny cuz he said that the hotel was kind of sketchy cuz he saw a cockroach. I felt like I was seriously in a 5 star hotel. I took a heated shower!!! I haven’t had one since April 24, 2013 when I got to the Philippines haha. So anyways even though we weren’t able to go places, it still kind of felt like a mission vacation. But it was good to feel inspired by the other sisters to do even better and push it to the end!

I had my first and last MLC meeting! (Missionary Leadership Council) Such a blast and I learned lots! Love being around President and Sister Reeder. It was neat to get a better feel of how the work is going in the whole Naga mission. Pamplona Zone is always the highest baptizing zone in the mission and has been for a while… it is constantly growing! The goal is for Pamplona District to become a Stake October 2015. Next year! Pamplona Branch just really needs priesthood holders before it can become a ward but that’s what we’ve all been focusing on! Did you see our picture last week of the Gospel Principles class? All men!

Good food: the food this week has been out the park!!! AHHH yummy food. Kay don’t laugh though if this just seems normal to all you Americans. Remember I’ve been in Pamplona for the past 5 months. So Monday Sister Andres and I bought a salad and pizza! SALAD with honey mustard dressing. We also shared a waffle with nutella, peanut butter and bananas.. Heaven! At the hotel Sister Webster and I bought these drinks that were SO good. Even good in America and I think my favorite. Mine was cookies and cream and caramel and it had these little jelly ball things. KFC Alfredo for dinner… Okay but still pretty good! French toast for free in the morning at the hotel. WENDY’S for lunch at the airport! Wow I’ve never seen so many American’s so happy just for a Wendy’s but wow it was a miracle. I got a chicken sandwich which had real provolone cheese! And fries, fry sauce, orange soda and a Kit Kat frosty. Took a picture for proof! Best meal in so long haha. Then the elders bought Krispy Kream but the sisters didn’t really want to buy so I was just looking at the doughnuts and decided not to get any. Well as we walked away, a worker came and gave me 6 glazed doughnuts for free!!! Hhaha got made fun of after that but don’t worry, I shared and heck I got free doughnuts!! Then at MLC we got chips and salsa and cheese dip! Also ice cream and brownies… AND Sister Andres got packages this week and her mom sent her brownies and Krispy Kream! Haha so I’ve had two more Krispy Kream doughnuts….. Yes I just wrote the longest paragraph all about food. Sorry but I’m my mom’s daughter 😉 LOVE food. I still work out though so don’t worry.

Humility check. I am NOT perfect. I just really realized this week that no matter what, I always need God’s help because without Him I am weak. I have learned and grown so much on my mission. Hard to explain everything because there is just too much! But I realized that even though I’ve grown lots, I still have so much growing to do. Good thing I have the rest of my life! But I will always love Ether’s words in Ether 12:27 because that is good news for those who have weaknesses… hmmm all of us haha. If we humble ourselves, rely on the Lord and exercise faith, He will make us strong. So I’ve been working to definitely be more humble and rely on Him always.

Baptism! Lance was baptized! What a miracle. So we got there an hour before it started and there was still NO water! I guess something was broken or something so the water coming in was painfully slow or nothing. Igib na lang! So all the people there pitched in and carried buckets or I guess church trash cans full of water into the church to fill the font haha. Crazy! We only got it about 6 inches full but it was an hour and a half later that the start so we decided to go for it since Lance is 8 years old and pretty little.

Another Miracle: The Ballester family came to the baptism. WHAT!! Total surprise. Vivian, Eric and all their 4 kids that are still at home came. They came like 2 hours early too! Haha so they ended up being at the church for 5 hours!!! But they got to know the members, they couldn’t believe how pretty the church building was and I know they were able to feel the spirit. They even pitched in with filling the font! It was such a great time. They didn’t come to church this week because Sister Vivian said she needed to tell her Sunday customers that she isn’t going to sell on Sunday anymore but I think they’re planning on coming to church this next Sunday! It’s amazing because we’ve been so close to dropping them before because there progression has been slow but they have been progressing lately! I LOVE the Ballester family. Some of the nicest people I know.

Back to the baptism. It was great once it finally started! Allan spoke on faith and repentance, I spoke on baptism and the Holy Ghost (requested speakers of Lance haha). The youth sang, “When I am baptized” and then Allan baptized his youngest child, Lance:) Lance literally had to lay all the way down because the water was so low but we was immersed in the water! Allan also bore his testimony for Lance since Lance is so shy and then yesterday Allan bore his testimony again! So yeah Allan is just rocking it lately. Love the Agomaa family!

Teaching: not too much! We were gone so much this week we weren’t able to teach too much but! Sister Vanessa still came to church and May, Ramon and Claire came!

Wow so sorry everyone this is so long! But you don’t have too many more emails to read from me so just endure and read about my exciting week! So happy of course and loving missionary life. We have a hard working week to look forward too! I love this Gospel and will live it for the rest of my life!

Sister Taylor

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See all of the men in Gospel Principles class!

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Best drink ever! Gotta love a week of yummy food!

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Very shallow water in the baptismal font!

First try :)

This is from a while ago, but here is the family picture from the Colorado reception that Mikelle photoshopped Sister Taylor into. 🙂

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Lance is in the blue. (Sister Taylor was having a hard time uploading pictures so we haven’t gotten any from the baptism yet.

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Just having some coconut!

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Just some more homemade teaching tools.

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Picture with Sister Nielson!

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Before the Mission Tour.