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.

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…)

 

My Sister is MARRIED!!!

So yes this isn’t related to the missionary work this week but everyone has to know that Sidney and Cody are now married! So happy for them!!!! CONGRATS! I just finished looking at the pictures and the wedding looked so fun, beautiful and everyone looked so happy! Despite the rain 😉 Sidney, you looked beautiful! I love you and I am so happy for you! And wow is my Mom great or what?! Great job. So elegant and pretty. Wish I could taste some of the food but I’m satisfied with my rice for now.

So here in beautiful Pamplona… Well I survived the week! No it was a great week and miracle: didn’t think too much about all the wedding stuff! But an even bigger miracle: I got letters from Sister Estes, Sister Lang, Sister Richmond (5 page letter… haha love her) and a letter from EVERYONE in the family! Including Sidney! The elders gave them to me on Sunday so while you were probably doing all the wedding stuff I was able to hear from all of you. Thanks for the letters!

This week we had exchanges again and I was with Sister Tumagoy. Learned lots and it was a really fun day. Wow she really knows how to ask for referrals. We got so many which I think will really help in our efforts to find those people that are prepared.

Sister Saua and I were trying to contact a referral this week and ran into this 20 year-old kid. He let us in and seemed to be kind of nice so we were going to try to schedule a return appointment when his mom was home. Well all of a sudden he starts babbling off all these facts about “Mormons.” We were wondering how he knew so much (like the number of verses in the Book of Mormon… does anyone even know that??) but then he started talking about how he knew it was all false. WHAT! ANTI! So we got out of there pretty fast cuz he wouldn’t have anything we were trying to tell him. He even had this book that was all about it and ughh not the best feeling. But I tried my best to leave him my testimony that I knew without a doubt that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that he can know too if he has a true to desire, reads the Book of Mormon and prays.

Well then after that we went to the highway to get on a tricey or jeepney to get home for lunch and studies. There was a tricey driver that said he would take us so I got in the front and before Sister Saua could get in the back he started taking off!! I almost got kidnapped again! Haha no it wasn’t too bad so don’t worry I’m safe… but what is the deal with the tricey drivers driving off with just me in the tricey! So funny though cuz he didn’t go to far because there were vehicles in both lanes so when he stopped he said, “HAHAHAH JOKE LANG!” Haha Sister Saua and I laughed about that after we got home.

Sister Saua and I taught district meeting about “Using time wisely.” One of my favorites! Especially after being with Sister Richmond and learning how to be even more effective with time! It went really well and I think they learned a thing or two.

Sister Aglamma has been sick a bit so Friday night she texted us to pick up some medicine for her at a tindahan. Well we had planned to work till 8 that night (8 language study) but most tindahans are usually closed by then. So we tried to hurry and get out of our appointment and we were within walking distance from the tindahan but it was still pretty far away. So we RAN! Haha I’m sure others thought that was pretty weird to see two girls in skirts with big hiking bags running down the highway when it was pitch dark at night. Haha missions are the best.

Saturday was Sidney’s wedding day! I told Sister Saua we were gonna have to work extra hard so I wouldn’t think about it. Well we did it was a pretty good day of work. Oh! But in the morning, Sister Reeder texted me this SUPER nice thoughtful text. She said she wished she could take me to lunch or to the Manila Temple haha. She’s the best! Love her.

Sunday we only had Brother Ramon and Lance come to church. For some reason lots of our investigators this week have been facing lots of problems and haven’t really been progressing. So we’re gonna need to pray extra hard this week so we can get some progressing again towards baptism and find some new ones.

Well everyone, I have no doubt that I’m in the right place at the right time. So I’m still happy as can be and I’m just trying to do my best everyday to help others come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He loves us all and that through Him, we can not only become good people, we can become better people! Any weakness we have can be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So I’m not perfect now but I’m working towards that. Still got a long ways to go but good thing I’m only 21! Wow…. old. Ah ayos lang. Well everyone have an incredible week! Love you all!!! Everyone get excited for the next big event in the Taylor family… I’m coming home! Not trunky but I figure I’ve gotta get excited so I can enjoy seeing all of your beautiful faces to the fullest!

Sister Taylor

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A new family we are teaching!

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Sister Taylor gave this family her watch, and then bought one from them so they could remember each other.

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Matching!

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A creature that entered the apartment during the night.

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Happy birthday Clarise, 22!

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Here is a picture of Sister Taylor that she is requesting gets photoshoped into a wedding picture, ha ha!

 

Mangos in the Summer!

So hot but so sweet here in the beautiful Philippines! It is Mango season so we have gotten mangos almost everyday! I eat an average of 2 a day. So good! Sweet or sour with salt I am enjoying the mangos!

Pretty great week! Worked pretty hard, learning lots and still seeing some great missionary miracles. We had zone training! Which was fun to see lots of other missionaries and I learned lots about finding. We need to find more! There are so many people here that have been prepared so we just have to worked harder to find them!

I loved the Hymn 266, “The Time is Far Spent” this week…. Read the lyrics. I think my favorite part is, “The angels are waiting to crown you with blessings! Go forward, be faithful, the promise is sure.” Wow how great is that! Such great blessings await us so keep being righteous everyone!

So we’ve been teaching Vanessa for a while now (I posted a picture of her a while ago with her cute daughter right before Sister Ril left). She wants to be saved, she wants to do what is right but she has so much pressure from all these different religions so it’s been hard for her. Well Saturday Sister Lioc came with us to teach her and offered to take her to church on their tricey… So the Lioc family picked her up and she came to church yesterday and loved it! Wow first time I’ve ever had an investigator be picked up for church. Members help the work so much!

Random story: So yes I’m in the Philippines so we have bug experiences all the time but last night was funny because Sister Saua and I started praying to start our daily planning and a HUGE gross I still have no idea what is was bug flew in and landed on Sister Saua. Of course she screamed, stopped praying, looked around and couldn’t find it so she started praying again. Well then like 10 seconds later it flew and landed right by ME on my desk! So I screamed and jumped away, couldn’t find it, so we started praying for the third time! Haha. Oh the bugs. I’m pretty brave now but… confession I still scream 😉

Well that’s about it! WAIT!!! EVERYONE!!!!!!! Mikelle just graduated! What what! 2014 grads! And who knows what is this Saturday, May 24?!? Sidney and Cody are getting hitched!!!! Everyone tell them congrats too and those who are going, enjoy my mom’s delicious catered food, try the cake because I already know it’s going to be good and take pictures and send them to me!!! Wow so fun! Love you family!

Sister Taylor

P.S. The Church is true, the Book is blue!

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This is the “skates” so fun! (Not quite sure what that means, haha)

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Allan got baptized! Yay!!!!

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Water buffalo! They use these big guys for the rice fields.

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We got all these in one day! Lots of mangos and pili nuts!

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Ballester family! They feed us every time we go and always give us rides home on their tricey. Love this family! Sister Vivian bought me that skirt!