Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's Been a While . . .

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while since we last updated the blog - since April actually.  Sorry about that.  A lot has gone on since then:  wonderful new companions, surving tornados, baptisms, new areas, great success, great loss,  and stronger testimony. 

We look forward to catching everyone up over the next little bit. 

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Helping With Zone Coferences . . . Cars

Waiting to help with more car inspections at a Zone Conference

After cars - able to sit in on the messages

Chatting with other missionaries at Zone Conference

Playing some parking lot football

More conversation with missionaries

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing A Little Soccer

Got to play some "football"

Posing?  Not sure.

Beautiful Cross Structure Along Highway

Conference, Spiders, and Teaching With The Mission President

Hello my loving family!

Boy... what a week. It truly has been a bitter sweet one. With grandpa passing away and not being able to be there for the funeral has been kind of hard for me. More so than I thought it would. But, I know that he is at peace now and that our family can now be at peace and we can start the healing process. I'm so grateful for our Savior's Atonement. It truly is a blessing and my testimony about the atonement has grown tremendously. I love my savior and I love his gospel. It truly is an honor to be out here in Alabama serving my brothers and sisters who are in dying need of the Gospel. There truly is nothing better than this gospel. I love it so much. Yesterday we found out that a missionary here lost his mom. She passed away I believe on Saturday. We don't know how. But if you could keep him in your prayers that would be great.

Conference was sooo amazing. For some reason out of all the conferences in the past before I came here I didn't really pay that much attention to. But this conference I was all ears. So many amazing talks! There are so many that talked about things that I need to work on. It's amazing to see how some of those talks that are given feel like they are meant for you. Some of my favorites were Elder Oaks on the Saturday afternoon session. He talked about Desire. It was amazing! I love Elder Christopherson's talk about chastening. I mean I could go on. I had a blast learning from all of these apostles and our beloved prophet. Such a blessing and honor to have a living prophet on the earth today :) Oh boy what an amazing gospel! I love it sooo very much. What were some of yalls favorites? I can’t wait to hear about them!

So yesterday we head over to the church to open it up for the afternoon session. We get out of the car and we walk over to the door. I pull out the keys to unlock the church. All of sudden, I feel this itch on the back of my head. So I scratched it off. As I look down to put the key in the door . . . there was a freaking spider on my shirt! I nearly craped my pants! Oh boy, it was freaky! The sad part is that it was a small tiny spider and I nearly screamed like a little girl. Oh boy, it defiantly woke me up that's for sure. So there is the funny moment for the week. Ha-ha.

Mason and his companion, Elder Rappleye
This is a note from President about the picture above: Jeni and I drove north to Gardendale. I met with the temple president on mission business and then with our missionaries, Elders Taylor and Rappleye. We then went with them to visit with a young couple who they had been teaching. We had a very long discussion about the Bible and various issues. He and his wife are very kind and generous hosts and we enjoyed getting to know them and their daughter.

This is what Mason had to say about the same event: Something amazing happened this week. We haven't really been teaching a lot of people. But we have been going over every Friday night to teach a former investigator from a year ago. A ton of deep questions that we couldn't answer. So we talked to president Holzapfel about it. And we ended up asking him if he would like to come out and teach him with us. And he agreed! So on Friday night he picked us up and we went over to this guy’s house. Oh boy... It was a crazy lesson! Soooo amazing! I didn’t talk, Elder Rappleye didn't talk, Sister Holzapfel didn’t talk. It was all President. What a treat! He answered every question this guy had! It was sooo awesome! President is sooo amazing. It was amazing being able to go out and teach with president Holzapfel. He is brilliant.

Mason and his companion Elder Rappley
in front of the Brimingham Temple

Note from the Mission President about the above picture:Late in the afternoon we met up with our missionaries in Gardendale, Alabama (Elders Taylor and Rappleye). We are continuing our efforts to work more effectively in this area. We are thinking of ways to help the people in Gardendale to increase their faith in Jesus Christ. We also have made plans to provide copies of a twenty-six minute DVD, "The Lamb of God," during the Easter season to some of the people we meet.

Mason and Elder Rappleye in front of their home.

Mason, Elder Rappleye, and the Gardendale Ward Mission Leader

Helping with more car inspections

Friday, March 25, 2011

". . . it builds on my testimony!"

Hello my loving family!

 . . . It’s been a good week!  Hard, but good :).  Me and Elder Rappleye have been working way hard! And on top of everything it’s been hot here!  Hot and humid ha-ha.  So that always adds to the intensity of missionary work.

I love it when people try to anti us, or try to convince us that we are wrong. It’s hard, and can get frustrating sometimes, but at the end of the day, I love the hard work, I love the people.

But like I said, it’s been a good week. We haven’t really taught a lot of lessons, but we have been working hard. Tracting around here doesn’t do anything at all. Everyone we come in contact with either doesn’t like us, or they are happy with the religion they got, and they don’t want to change. So throughout the day we try and find people to teach.  What is way cool is that a couple of people in the ward have found a couple of referrals for us :) 

Then a single adult in the ward called us the other day and said that she has a friend that she works with that wants to hear the lessons :) So we will be teaching her within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully all goes well there. But the Lord’s hand is definitely here and leading and guiding the work.

Me and Elder Rappleye are having a blast! We are working hard, and doing the best that we can.  I love it here, and I love this Gospel :) It’s amazing! It honestly brings true happiness.

Ha-ha we love staying with Sister Harnden!  She is a crack up.  She is 85 years old and she acts like she is a teenager. She is always out and about with her friends or always talking on the phone. She is always talking to us. It’s funny.  We will be studying and she will come over and start talking to us about something or she will bring us over a plate of fruit or glasses of water. She is a sweetheart. We are having a blast with her. She loves music and loves watching TV. She keeps us updated on things that are going on. She told us all about Japan! That’s crazy!! I hope everyone is doing ok there. And we heard about Libya that too is crazy! Is it an all out war? Or is it just bombing? The world is a sad and scary place sometimes. It just makes me happy that we have the Gospel.

Well family I gotta jet! I love and miss yall like crazy! I hope all yall are doin well! Have a great week and be very safe! Thanks for all that yall do! yall mean the world to me and so much more!  I love yall so much! Be safe, have fun, and stay close to Christ! I love all yall so much! Till next week my loving family :) 

Love your son/brother

E. Mason Taylor :) 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pictures from Gardendale, Alabama

Mason and Other Missionaries - Gardendale, AL

Mason and Elder Rappleye helping with the inspection of mission cars - Gardendale, AL

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gardendale, Alabama and a phone call !

Today at around 11:30, I was sitting at my desk making phone calls, when my cell phone rang.  I didn't even catch the 205 area code as Alabama.

(PH) "Brother Taylor.  This is President Holzaphel."

(Me) "President! How are you?"

(PH) "Good.  I am sitting here with a great missionary."  

(Me) "Thank you President."

(PH) "He comes from good genes."

(Me) "Hopefully, better than mine.  Mostly from his mother."

(PH) "Well, I am sure from both.  We wanted to let you know that he and his companion have been transfered to Gardendale, Alabama.  The Birmingham Temple is here.  We just wanted to let you know to send any packages to the mission office for now till you get his new address."

(Me) "Ok.  Thank you for the heads up."

(PH) "He wants me to tell you that he loves you."

(Me) "Ah . . . thank you President."  I say as I am trying to choke back the tears.

(PH) "Here, why don't you talk to him."  

(Elder Taylor) "Hey dad . . . "

A very brief, but very special call.  He is doing well.  Sounded so good.  Sounded happy.  Said he was working hard.  It was awesome!  I am so unbelievably grateful for my son. 

His mom felt a little gypped, but was grateful for the news as well.  

Missionaries at the Birmingham, Alabama Temple.  Mason is 5th from the right in the front. 
Close up of Mason at the Birmingham, Alabama Temple

Friday, February 25, 2011

6 Months!

Strange things happen . . . 

"The other day we went over to a house to teach.  Our contact wasn't there. But, there were a ton of other people there having a party. And they all are like "come up to the porch!" we want to listen to what you have to say! haha So we go up there and start teaching.  All these guys were gangsters. I dont mean that in a rude way. But they really were. They were way legit people and very kind and respectable. But like I said there was a party going on inside... And I'm not kidding right in the middle of the lesson some drunk kid comes running out completely naked!!  It was nuts! haha all the people of the porch started freaking out haha it was funny. Deffinetly a moment I will never forget. But like I said it was a pretty cool lesson. The people that were there listening were way cool people :)