**Side note: Here is a slideshow of Elder Taylor’s first year: http://youtu.be/CXHA7dfFQzw
Subject: ONE YEAR!!
Well, I cannot believe I am here. One year I have been on my mission. Truly just in shock at how quick it has come. But what a great week! Elder Soko and I taught 36 lessons this week so the work is going super well! Truly a blessing from the Lord!
One thing, I have been having eye trouble for awhile so I went to the eye doctor and found out I have to get glasses and that stinks! I am far sighted and have to wear them all the time….sick…. hahahhahaha!
Alright, so funny story. We had 9 lessons one day planned and we got called by the branch president to come to this funeral at the church. But I was not about to cancel all those appointments so we went on splits, and I went with a man from the ward and my companion stayed with one. So I go out and teach and we come back and the service is about to end and we walk in and I sit down. And the Elders quorum president came up to me and said “can you speak?” So I was like alright. So he calls me up to be the last speaker. Most people were not members and here in Africa people in other churches do some funny things. So as I am speaking whenever I said something people would either say “Jesus” or “Hallelujah” or “Amen” It was pretty funny, I am not going to lie and I really wanted to laugh but I stayed strong and did the speech, and it went well!
We had a sweet baptism this week as well and she asked me to confirm her so I did…and this little boy got baptized on Sunday as well. When he went up, President asked who he wanted to confirm him and he whispered “Elder Taylor” hahaha so I was like alright…so I was able to do both so it was nice!
But I am just reflecting back on this past year and really my heart is full of gratitude to my Father in Heaven. Even writing this I am getting emotional. Halfway done with my mission, I have fewer days left then I have been out. I have realized how quick a mission goes and I intend to leave it all on the altar this next year that I have left. I am so grateful for the decision to come serve a mission. I couldn’t and don’t want to picture my life without coming out. It has been the hardest, most frustrating, most joyful, toughest, best thing I have ever experienced and I am so grateful for all the things I have been through. I won’t lie, I didn’t really have a strong testimony back while I was home but now I feel like I have the strongest testimony in the world. It is truly amazing what the Lord has done for me. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is the only true church upon the face of the earth. It is the exact church that Jesus Christ established when He was on the earth. I know Joseph Smith was the prophet of God who restored the church. I know the Book of Mormon is true. By the power and gift of God Joseph was able to translate it from an ancient language to English. There is a reason we have the fastest growing Christian church in the world, it is because it is true. I know God lives. There is not a doubt in my mind. He loves us, so much. He is our literal Father and we are His children. Proof of his love is him sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ to come to Earth and to suffer for all of our sins and to take upon Him all of the trials, burdens, weaknesses, everything that we experience. I have felt my Savior’s love so much on my mission and He is truly my best friend. I am so grateful for all the prayers in my behalf. They keep me going, truly. I love and appreciate you all. I will see you in a year!!!