Friday, September 24, 2010

1st P-Day @ The Mission Home . . .

Elders Taylor & Lasike at the Mission Home
Elder Lasike and Elder Taylor came to the Mission Office this morning after playing basketball--a mission tradition on Preparation Day.

President's B-day Party
 The Mission Office missionaries held a small birthday celebration for me at the office this morning. They are kind. Elders Taylor and Lasike joined us for some treats.

Adjusting to missionary life can be a difficult.  Being away from home; strange new land; different people.  Greatest two years of life as well as the hardest. 

We are so proud of Mason.  Grateful for inspired leadership and those who have stewardship over our boy.  The gospel is truly amazing. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Elder Taylor Meets An Apostle

Alabama Birmimngham Mission & Elder David A. Bednar
 a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mason - Front Row, Far Left
 Missionary Meeting

Alabama Birmingham Mission

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Huntsville Alabama Stake Center

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Loading Up Bikes

Elders Lasike and Taylor Loading their bikes!
Getting ready to go to work.  Packing.  Loading up bikes.  Getting things ready. 

KD I went to dinner tonight and thought a lot about our son.  How grateful we are for him..

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Homewood, Alabama!

Transfer Day in Alabama

They come from all over the mission to the Hoover building for transfers. The meeting is exciting as we introduce the new missionaries to their companions. We have provided photographs of each new companionship below and tell you where they have gone today to begin their missionary labors. During this morning, beginning at 8:00 am, we take time to finish interviews that began last evening, train, practice missionary skills, and teach the gospel during this memorable day

Mason's First Companion - Elder Lasike from Tonga
 Elder Lasike and Elder Taylor going to Homewood, Alabama.

Information About Homewood, Alabama

Sister Kathleen Cope
Roger's Former Mission Mom
 From  The Missouri Independence Mission 1986 - 1988
 I thought I would share this special email with everyone.  This is from Sister Kathleen Cope from Orem, Utah.  Sister Cope now serves in the office of the Alabama Birmingham Mission.  She helps in putting together the New Missionaries training binders and the mission's monthly newsletter, The Way.

Back in 1986 she served with her husband Lloyd J. Cope - Mission President for the Independence Missouri Mission.  My mission. 

From: Kathleen Cope

Date: September 16, 2010 4:30:08 PM MDT
Subject: Your missionary - Elder Mason Taylor!

How fun and special to have your son come to this mission. He looks good and is excited and he was happy when I gave him your testimony sheet with your picture when you left our mission in Missouri. I put your sheet in the front of the binder that all of our new missionaries receive.

We had dinner at the mission home last night and your Elder Taylor bore his testimony when President Holzapfel asked for anyone to do so that felt inclined. What a fine young man! Today he was at the Hoover building for training and to meet his new companion. Elder Lasiki from Tonga is his new companion and he will be a good trainer. Elder Lasiki also plays the piano beautifully by ear. So, your missionary is off to a great start. Best Wishes and thank you for sharing Elder Taylor with us. Sister Cope

We are looking forward to the days ahead!

"Your Missionary Has Arrived!"

Elder Taylor and Others Arrive In Alabama

Got up this morning and found these wonderful pictures in our Inbox.  It is great to see our boy.  The picture at the airport is the first "Missionary" we have recieved.  Mason has not sent his MTC pictures yet. So we were thrilled to see this one. 

He looks great and seems to be happy and excited.  You can probably see by the look on his face that Elder Taylor is still our Mason and enjoys having a great time.

Food looks good. 

Elder Taylor, Elder Pili Enjoying Mission Home Diner
KD had a nice day yesterday.  First our four minute call from the Salt Lake Airport; then she got another call around 12:00 yesterday from the Cinciantiti, Ohio airport while he was on a layover.  They were able to talk just a little longer this time where he was able to share with his mom a little more details about everything.   Then to her great surprise around 9:30 our time, the phone rings.  She looks at the Caller ID and it says, AL MISSION!.  She was so excited about it.  She thought it might be Mason again.  Turned out to be his mission president, President  Richard Holzapfel.  Seems Mason could not remember our email address.  It was a really quick call - no more the 30 - 45 seconds.  Just long enough to say hi, he arrived, need your email address, enjoy our mission blog.  It was fun for KD. 

President and Sister Holzapfel
We have been so impressed with Mason's mission president.  He and his wife seem like such good people.  If you look at their mission blog, you can get a real sense of their love, support, and commitment to our missionaries.  LOVE THE BLOG! I can only imagaine the time and effort it takes to manage missionaries and the Lord's work for a mission.  We are so grateful for President and Sister Holzapfel and taking care of our boy.   

We are so grateful for this wonderful blessing of sending our boy into the world to preach the restored gospel.  We are grateful for him and his committement to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"I'm On My Way!"

Elder Taylor Calls From the Airport
 Today, we got a wonderful call from Mason.  He was only allowed four minutes, but those four minutes were very special for our family. 

He called around 6:15 or so - just before bording the flight.  Everyone jumped out of bed and gathered around mom as we talked on the speaker phone to our missionary. 

He sounded awesome.  He said he was so excited, but very nervous.  He explained it as, "At first when people would ask me if I'm excited to go, I would be like, 'Oh Yeah! Can't wait to get out there.'  Now it's more like, 'Ah . . . yeah.  I can't wait."  The reality of it all is setting in.  He says he knows it not going to be easy.  But he also said he is 100% committed to doing his very best and serving the Savior with all of his heart. 

He shared with us some details of his teaching experiences with pretend investigators.  Mason said, "At first it was way hard.  But towards the end of our three weeks, me and Elder Vakalahai knocked it out of the park.  It was so cool."

Mason mentioned that the group going to Alabama was huge.  Fifteen plus missionaries.  Most of his district from the MTC and another group. 

He dropped his camera.  Well, he didn't; another missionary did.  Says that it does not zoom now and is a little out of focus.  Good thing I purchased the another one year unconditional warranty.  I think I will go back and purchase a second year now. 

Towards the end of our call, he expressed his worry and concern for our family.  "Please keep safe,"  he said, as he started to cry a bit.  We all did.  It was truly a special moment for the Taylor Clan.  He basically shared his testimony of the work and especially his desire and willingness to do his very best for the Lord. 

We are so proud of our son and brother.  You can sense the change that is taking place in his heart.  And that despite his nervousness, he is excited.  We are praying hard for his Trainer to be a good one. 

To gain a bit of insight into the Alabama Birmingham Mission's preparations for this new group of missionaries coming in click here: Alabama Mission Blog

NOTE TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY:  sorry for the lack of updates.  We (Roger) will do better at keeping everyone updated.  Mason as sending a buch of pictures from his three weeks in the MTC.  As soon as we get them, I'll post them for everyone to see. 

Thanks for everyone love and support.  Especially your prayers in behalf of our boy.  Love ya all.