Monday, November 13, 2017

Hey everyone!

I’m so sorry I’ve been so bad at writing these past couple weeks. Things have just been crazy. These past two weeks have just flown by! We are working with so many families right now. It’s so nice to finally see some of the fruits of our labors haha. We have just been running from house to house teaching the members in the ward about missionary work and how to reach out to their friends. We have really been taking our member visits seriously and have been trying to make them as effective as possible. Something that we have found to work really well is the new planning guidelines from preach my gospel. They recently revised our planning guidelines for investigators in PMG for our mission and a couple other missions. We used to have to go through 12 steps to plan for all of our investigators or anyone we were teaching. The new guidelines are only 5 steps and 2 of the 5 steps are praying haha. But I want to share the 5 steps with you all because I know they work.

1: Pray (seek inspiration)

2: Review Progress

3: Set goals

4: Make plans

5: Pray (confirm your plans with the lord)

I’ll get off my soap box now but I know if you use these steps with specific people that you have in mind by praying for them by name, writing down their progress and just think about where they are right now in terms of the gospel, then obtain a vision for them or where you want this all to go, then plan how you are going to get them there. Our teaching pool has doubled because we have taught this to all the families in the ward and they know exactly what they need to do to help get their friends to where they want to be. So help out your local missionaries and give it a try.

Halloween was three weeks ago and it was so fun! We spent the whole day playing games and fun activities. We started out the night with a sweet volleyball tournament (my team won of course) then we had a huge capture the flag competition. Then to finish off the night we had a pumpkin carving contest. Yeah our district lost that one but hey we’ll do better next year.

Our main investigators right now are the Fisher Family. We have gotten so close with their whole family and we teach them about twice a week. They also feed us every Monday night. Their family is just ready for the gospel but they have never participated in any sort of religious activities in their lives. They don’t even have a clear idea who god is yet. So we have been working really hard with them and they even came to church this week!!!!!!!!

We also found a new investigator named Jada. We got a call to go give jadas husband a blessing because he had cancer and was about to pass away. Someone in the extended family must have been Mormon because when we went over their family pushed us away because they are all Catholics. A couple weeks later we felt a prompting we needed to go over again. We weren’t really sure why but we decided to follow the prompting regardless and went. Jada answered the door in tears and explained how her husband just passed away two hours ago. We had the opportunity to share some of the plan of salvation with her right on the door step and it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. She invited us back the following Tuesday where we taught the rest of the plan of salvation and we have another lesson set up with her next week.

Well that’s really all I got for the past couple weeks, I am just loving my mission and know my time is precious out here. My testimony and faith in Jesus Christ have grown so much this past year.  I know God speaks to his children today and has a perfect plan that requires change. I have seen that change in myself and seen the blessings that come from it and that’s what motivates me to help others find the same truth. The church is true, have a Great week!

Love Elder Taysom

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hey what’s up everyone, 

Hope all is good back home in the land of Utah. These last couple days have just been crazy..... we got transfer news and my new comp is going to be Elder Cook. He was my MTC comp and we are like two peas in a pod. So that is going to be super exciting. My last companion Elder Pilling is the new Assistant to the President so they took him a week before transfers to train him before the old assistant leaves. So I have been going around from companionship to companionship so I wouldn’t be alone. It was just a super busy, confusing week haha mostly because we had a bunch of important meetings and I had to go to all of them by myself because my comp was gone and no one else knew the numbers for the stake coordination meeting so that was kind of rough. Haha but it all worked out super well ..... we’ll at least I thought so.  

Oh big news... our mission has Facebook now and also smart phones. We hope it will help us reach our goal of 50 baptisms a month for the mission. So that has been really fun and effective to use this past week. The fishers landing ward is doing great! We are working with about 12 investors right now and 7 of those new investigators we found last week. The fisher family is a family of 7 that we found last week and they are so solid. They have come to mutual twice now and we hope to get there whole family to church next week so please pray for them. 

Oh and update on Seth........ YEAH HE GOT BAPTIZED! It was so awesome and I loved the whole day because right after his baptism we got to go to the temple and watch a reactivated member that we have been working with receive her endowment. But wait it gets even better... then at the temple I saw the whole bishopric from my first ward at the temple. It was so good to see them all again and hear about all the work going on in there ward. 

Well that’s all I got for this week.  I love you all and just know the church is true and god loves you!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hey everyone! 

Wow time is just flying out here in the Couve! Sorry I didn't write a main email last week I'll try and make up for both weeks in this email. Just some quick updates on our investigators, Seth is doing great we had 2 lessons with him these last two weeks and we have been planning out the details for his baptism. His family is even flying in so they can be there on the 14th for it. Also Nathan is doing great, he has been drug free for the last two weeks and our last lesson with him went great. I remember biking over to his house last Saturday and thinking to myself... " why are we going over to Nathan's again, he is so far gone, there's no way he is going to qualify for baptisms anytime soon and he doesn't even know who God is" well the lord definitely chastened me because when we started the lesson, Nathan said he wanted to share something with us. He said that he started praying the way we taught him and he bore his testimony to us of God,s love. I can't even tell you how hard the spirit slapped me in the face. He then asked us about general Conference and asked to go with us. We went to the priesthood session and he loved it. Long story short this gospel will and can change anyone in any circumstance. So yeah our main investigators are doing great. 

We had Zone Conference 2 weeks ago and it was in Portland so I got to see my trainer elder packer and some old members from my first area! It was so good to see them all and talk for a little to get updates on life. Elder Pilling and I also gave a training at Zone Conference and at first I was pretty nervous about it but it went super well and it was a good learning experience. Also my birthday was so fun...the  whole Zone surprised me at the stake center and sang to me for lunch. Then I had one of the best dinners of my mission at the Bowman's. Sister Bowman made me some homemade cheesecake that was just too good to be true! 

Then to finish off the week we had THE SUPPER BOWL OF THE MORMON CHURCH ........ GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!! It was so good, I loved all of it. It was a little weird watching TV for a couple hours but all of the talks felt like they were tailored just for me. On of my favorites of the conference would definitely be (Joseph Smith the Prophet) by Tad R Callister. He is one of my favorite speakers and he also wrote the book "The Infinite Atonement" that explains Christ ministry and just explains the gospel and points out how true it is.  

Oh fun story, on our way back from the priesthood session of General Conference elder Pilling and I got caught in a downpour on our bikes. We were biking back as quick as we could but pretty soon all the drains on the road got plugged up because of all the fallen leaves and the streets became a 3 foot swimming pool that we had to bike through for a couple miles haha. We legit were soaked from head to toe and we were freezing. Hey but our mission president said "elders the more you bike in the rain the hotter your wife will be when you get back" so I'm just stacking up the points. 

Today I got to go golfing for the first time on my mission. I still suck but it was so fun and we had a blast. We also went ice skating with the Zone and escaped with only minor bruises and scraped knees. Anyway that's all I got for this week! The church is true the book is blue and Jesus loves you!

Love elder Taysom

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hey everyone! 

Sorry I didn't email last week haha things were just super busy and we didn't have much time to email. Holy cow it's so smoky outside and it's not even 4/20 haha jk but the fire has been making everything super gloomy and humid. Other than that the last two weeks have been great! 

I went on 3 exchanges in the last two weeks with all the district leaders in the zone. The first one was with Elder Sims. He is from Hawaii and is such a stud. We had a great day in the Fishers Landing Ward and found a new investigator named Kory and hopefully we will have a great lesson with him next week. The second exchange I went on was last Tuesday with Elder Ralison. He's a new missionary that's only been out about 5 weeks and we had a great time in the Harmony Ward. We didn't find any new investigators but we talked to a bunch of crazy people and made some good memories. The last exchange for the week was with Elder Larkin. I love Elder Larkin! He's such a funny guy and we had a lot of great lessons and a lot of service that day. 

Oh we also had an awesome temple trip this week with Sister Blair! Sister Blair has been preparing to go through the temple to receive her endowment but has been to nervous to go. We just went to the visitor's center so we could answer some of her questions and help her feel of the spirit that comes with the temple grounds. We also brought the member we live with named Jens. We needed him for the ride haha but it's was a good time. He's 88 years old and wanted to get some pics at the temple with Elder Brown and I before Elder Brown goes home. 

Oh yeah by the way Elder Brown has served his full 2 years and will be returning to his home town of Salt Lake City Utah tomorrow morning around 10 haha. He has reminded me just how short missions are and how important it is to use your mission to the fullest. Also transfers are this Wednesday and my new comp will be Elder Pilling. He's from Canada and from what I hear he is a really good missionary so I'm super pumped. 

Well that's all I got for this week. I love you all and I know the church is true. If you don't believe me then go read the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, and talk to me when you're done. It will probably be in the baptismal font! 

Love, Elder Taysom

Monday, August 21, 2017

What a week haha! We started the week out with mini missions. We took a kid out for all of Tuesday and Wednesday named Jacob Fagg. He was such a funny guy. His favorite activities consist of naming dragons and playing a lot of video games that I have never heard of before. We took him around to a bunch of teaching visits and he mostly stayed quiet for the teaching part of it. Elder Brown and I wanted to let him do a little bit of the teaching so we went over the plan of salvation with him so he could teach a little bit of it to our investigator Leslie. We asked him right before the lesson which point he would like to cover in the plan of salvation so we knew to let him teach that park and he said Spirit prison haha. So we let him, and he was doing really well until he started teaching a lot of false doctrine and ended up relating Spirit Prison to the Hotel California where the spirits can never leave. So that was great haha but it all ended up ok. We talked to him later about teaching the doctrine simply and on our last day together he did a great job explaining it to a less active member. Oh and we also got him a hair cut haha He liked his long hair but we talked to him about who we represent and why it's important to live and look like what we teach. We made it a surprise for his mom..... she was MORE than gratefull. 

On Wednesday we dropped Elder Anderson off at the mission home. I grew really close to Elder Anderson. He's a great missionary and I was sad to see him leave. Then on Thursday we had a mission leadership meeting like all day. We learned a lot from President MacAteer and we got free lunch so that was a bonus. President mostly trained us on how to work with members and I think it's really going to help our mission get to 50 baptisms per month. I also got to see my trainer Elder Packer again so that was awesome! Later in the week we had exchanges with the PA's Elders Holloway and Porter. I went with elder Holloway and learned a lot from him. We didn't get much proselyting time because we had to go run all over the mission and take care of some stuff, but we just made the best of it and had fun. I also got to go back to my last area and see one of my investigators be baptized. It was Shana Heights and it was so awesome to see how much she has changed! I got to be one of the witnesses for the baptism and I could feel the spirit so strong. 

Then we got to finish off the week by watching the solar eclipse. We got together as a zone and had breakfast so we could eat some delicious pancakes while we watched the moon eat the sun. Well that's all I really got for this week! I love my mission and I wouldn't wanna be anywhere else right now. The gospel of Jesus Christ has truly changed my life and I can't even express how much joy it brings me to share it with others. 
Love you all fam stay fresh!

Love elder Taysom

Jacob Fagg, Elder Anderson's last pics with me and the zone flying him home (tradition in the mission), Mission Leadership Meeting and DLC meeting, random pics of the week, zone Breakfast for the solar eclipse 

Monday, August 14, 2017

CARTER GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!! That's so crazy haha I love you Carter and Adrian and hope you're enjoying the honeymoon😉😂 It seems like everything has changed since I've been gone. My brother is married, my little bro has a perm, and my mom and pops go on vacations like every other week haha. Times are changing and it sounds like for the better.... except Dallin's hair.

Well this week was probably one of the funniest/ busiest week I've had on my mission so far. We started out the week by doing stake reports. Stake reports are a form we have to fill out for the stake each month that shows how the missionaries are doing and a bunch of numbers that we have to talk about and make a plan to improve them. We also set up the mini mission details for the zone and that will be happening this Thursday and Friday so that should be way fun. We had a new zone competition this week too. Whoever got the most new investigators gets to have a BBQ with their district at President McAteer's house. Well our district didn't win but I definitely think it kept us motivated during the week to do better.

Oh some updates on our investigators, we had a lesson with Leslie this week and gave her a tour of the church so she would feel more comfortable on Sunday. Well the tour went well and she said we answered a bunch of her questions and was excited to come to church. She didn't end up coming to church but please keep her in your prayers. We also had a lesson with Brother Groda who is a returning less active member in the ward. He said he wants to work towards the temple and towards receiving the Melchizedek priesthood so we invited him to go to the temple with us so we could tour him around and explain what happens at the temple to get him excited for it. Well during the tour we ACCIDENTALLY😉 ran into an old friend you might recognize haha. It was Tanner Terry!!! Can you believe that he happened to be at the same temple the same day at the same exact time as I was?????? WHAT A CRAZY COINCIDENCE 😂🤥 haha It was so good to see him and catch up for 10 min before I had to go. He looks like he's doing great and it was good to see someone I knew for once. Now you see why this was probably my favorite week on the mission.

Oh we also had one of the best zone P-Days I've had in a while. We went to the beach on the Columbia river and had a BBQ and played kickball. I tried to get as much sun as possible so people can tell the difference between my skin and my shirt.

Well that was my eventful week, I love it out here and I love this gospel of change. I am definitely not the same moody teenager that I was when I started my mission and I owe that all the the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is our perfect example and I know he will make up the difference when we give our all to be better and follow his teachings. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Love Elder Taysom

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wow what a week!!! 

I've never been so busy in my life haha it's awesome! We started our week out good with interviews. I always love interviews with President. He's the bomb! He always knows how to motivate everyone to do more with love. Elder Anderson, Brown and I then had a meeting with him afterwards to go over the missionary work in the zone. President gave us some great insights on what we can change to be more effective as a zone. We came up with a fun competition to get more investigators this next week so we could reach our zone goal of 18 new investigators per week. We said whatever district gets the most new investigators by the end of the week gets an ice cream party at there next district meeting. Well apparently the zone has been craving some ice cream because we got 24 new investigators this week as a zone!!!!! So our zone crushed it this week! We have another challenge lined up for next week too so stay tuned. 

This week we also had a meeting with the stake youth committee to set up some mini missions with all the youth in the stake that are older than 16. If you don't know what a mini mission is don't worry because I didn't either until I got on my mission. It's pretty cool. So what we do is we get a priest from one of the surrounding wards to come out with us the whole day and be a missionary with us. At 9:00pm we take them home but then they're back with us again the next day until 9:00 so they get to see missionary life and know what to prepare for. That should be happening in about to weeks so that will be super fun. 

An update on some of our investigators..... Leslie our 18 year old investigator is going to get back from her ROTC camp today so we have a lesson set up for tomorrow at the church. She has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and we asked her to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. We hope she accepted our invitation and we can ask if she got an answer tomorrow for our lesson. We also found 3 new investigators this week but we will be referring 2 of them to the Spanish Elders. Which leaves us with one new person to teach and his name is Anthony. We met Anthony in a parking lot in an apartment complex. He is one scary looking dude and kind of comes off as a jerk but once we got to know him he opened up and told us about his life. He has been through some pretty hard trials in his life. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and the piece it can bring to his life. He invited us back and said he would read the introduction by the next time we came over so we are super pumped for Anthony and I will keep you updated on his progress. 

Well that's all the excitement I got for this week. I love it out here and thank my Heavenly Father for these short 2 years I have to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in everything I do. I love spreading this message of happiness and watching the effect it has on people. The simple knowledge of knowing we are saved from our fallen state by our Savior Jesus Christ gives me strength and gives me that desire to let everyone know there is a way back to our loving God. Stay fresh fam! 

Love Elder Taysom 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Howdy y'all 

What a week! So transfers were on Wednesday and man things were hectic haha President thought it would be a good idea to assign me to be a zone leader and we had to get everyone in their assigned cars and get all the luggage to the right place, get all the new missionaries in the zone keys to their apartments and make sure all the greenies got to the New Missionary Orientation meeting. 

Then we got to my new area and we went straight to planning for 5 hours trying to plan the next District Leader Council meeting, zone companion study and the zone breakfast held by the stake. We had an early meeting the next day called Mission Leadership council for another 4 hours haha. It was a little stressful but fun for the most part. I got to see my trainer Elder Packer at that MLC meeting. It was so awesome to see him again and talk catch-up! 

The rest of the week was a lot less stressful so that was good. We actually got to get out and proselyte haha, The ward members here are awesome! They are so missionary minded and most of them actually talk to their neighbors about the gospel instead of saying they will and forgetting 2 seconds later haha. My new companions are so awesome! I knew them both from Portland and we are killing it as a tripanion-ship. 

Oh something cool that happened this week, we have a 17 year old girl named Leslie who is investing the church right now and we wanted to challenge her to pray every night and day because she doesn't really have a relationship with God. Well before the lesson we texted the whole ward before we taught Leslie asking them to pray specifically for Leslie to recognize the spirit when we teach her about prayer. Well it worked.... the lesson went great and before we could challenge her to pray every morning and night, she said - I would love to focus on prayer before you elders come back next week for our lesson. Haha my jaw almost hit the ground. I know prayer works and if we humble ourselves before the Lord and ask him for help and we do our part and do everything we can, he will make up the difference every time. 

I love you all and love this great gospel! Have another great week - 

yours truly Elder Taysom

Monday, July 24, 2017

What is up everyone!

Hope y'all had a great week. This week was awesome! We had an awesome district meeting on finding people and I think it really pumped us all up to get out and do more. We talked about our mission's goal of 50 baptisms per month and we are probably going to miss our goal by like 8 baptisms this month but that is still the most this mission has ever had! When Elder Anderson of the 12 came and challenged us to get 50 he said he knew there were 50 people out there that are truly searching and are ready to enter the waters of baptism, so all we have to do is find those 50! Hopeful we can get it next month.

After that district meeting Elder Brown and I decided we needed to find someone who is ready to be baptized and we prayed that we would be lead to them. Well we then started looking through our area book and came across a couple names that stood out to us. One of those names was Shayna. Shayna had been taught by missionaries before but she was not keeping commitments. We decided we needed to visit her and set up an appointment. Well long story short she said we could come back Wednesday so we did. We had one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission on the plan of salvation and then we asked her if she would be baptized on Augustus 19th and she said YES! Now comes that sad part. We got transfer news this Saturday and I'm getting transferred. I am going to the Fishers Landing ward in the Vancouver East stake. I'm supper bummed to be leaving McLaughlin and I will miss the people here so much! I know a little bit about the Fishers Landing ward just because I've been on exchanges there with the Zone Leaders and the members seem like they're down for missionary work so I'm excited. Oh haha and my new companions will be Elder Brown and Elder Anderson. There are 3 Elder Browns in our mission and so I'm just trading one Elder Brown for another. My new Elder Brown was my first district leader in Portland and I have always looked up to him as a missionary! My other companion Elder Anderson was in my district in Portland and we are like best friends so this next transfer is going to be a lot of fun!

Well that's all I got for this week, I love you all and keep the faith!

Love Elder Taysom

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hey Fam!

Hope y'all had a great week. I'm going to start out this letter by just coming out and saying PENELOPE GOT BAPTIZED! It was so awesome! There was a bunch of friends and family there to support her and we had the opportunity to teach the restoration to a bunch of non members, it was just great! We even got a Priest in the ward to baptize her. He has been preparing for a mission so we thought it would be a good opportunity for him to baptize someone right before he leaves on his mission. Oh and Penelope's mom was in tears during the whole thing and she set up a time to go to the temple with us because that is something sister Ruff is trying to work towards. 

I love the temple so much! We were challenged by our stake president to get as many people to the temple as possible so Elder Brown and I had 4 temple trips set up this week. They were all so awesome! We got to see the new video released by the church about Oliver Cowdrey's perspective of the translation of the Book of Mormon. I would definitely recommend watching it if you haven't had the chance. 

One of our temple tours was with a 21 year old recent convert named Christine. Her family situation isn't the best and she has a lot of bad influences in her life right now. The sister missionaries at the temple taught her about baptism for the dead and she started crying. She  explained that she had a grandmother she was super close to that had passed away a couple years ago. Well long story short, she loved the temple and can't wait to go do baptisms for the dead. 

Well that's all I got for this week I love you all! The church it true and I love it!

Love Elder Taysom