Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Elder Jeremy Taylor's letter, July 29, 2013

 Hello Everyone

David Taylor
7:20 PM (12 hours ago)
to AnnetteCamCaseyDelDennisElderElderGeneHalJenJenMollySampsonHansenThorpeNicholasNickStevenme
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daniel Taylor <taylord123@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Subject: Hello Everyone
To: David Taylor <tdvdbtylr@gmail.com>

Well things here in Guatemala have been really good.  I have heard about that missionary, but I really don´t know anything about it because no one has said much.  But oh well.  I guess that isn´t something I want to be thinking about right now.
I arrived here in Guatemala early in the morning on Tuesday.  It was probably the most uncomfortable 6 hours ever haha because there was no leg room on the plane so I couldn´t really sleep much.  But after I arrived, we got on a bus and drove for 4 hours until we got to Retalhuleu.  There, the 27 of us in the group met the mission president and his wife, as well as some others.  We ate some pizza at the chapel we were in, and it is different from American pizza because they don´t put tomato sauce on it.  It was good, but it was different haha and it is super cheap.  Also that very day besides all the introduction stuff and going over some important mission stuff, I got the opportunity to go out for 2 hours with one of the "Professional Missionaries" who have been here for a while and teach.  So I went around with an Elder Ciaza from Peru and it was really awesome.  The first house we actually went to had a huge flatscreen TV and a huge sound system set.  So even though Guatemala is much poorer than the U.S. ($1=7.75 Quetzals approximately), they have a lot of the stuff that we have back home.  At the second house though, there was a suspicious person hanging around the entrance of the house of the investigator and I thought that he was going to do something.  It was a little nerve wracking, especially since there were three of us new missionaries all in the same house with two regular missionaries.  But luckily this young man didn't do anything because we brought him in and tried to include him in the lesson to keep him busy.
Well so you're probably wondering who my companion is.  His name is Elder Gomez and he is from Chiapas, Mexico which is in the South I think. He is a really funny guy, but he doesn't know that much English which in a lot of cases makes it difficult for me because the other two elders in my district speak spanish really good so I don't understand the regular conversation language that they use.  My district leader, Elder Barnes, is from Texas and so at least someone else speaks some English here occasionally so that when I don't understand what they are saying, he will try and help me every once in a while.  His companion, Elder Gazo, is from Managua Nicaragua and is a real character haha.  Let me tell you him and my companion hit it off right away.  They are always joking with each other and going crazy.  But yeah that is my district.
The area I am serving in is called Catarinas and it is a pretty big area, at least to me.  We of course do not have a mission vehicle, so instead we usually walk to all our appointments.  But we also have the option of riding a tuk tuk, which is like a...I'm not sure.  Like the body of a smart car almost, except that the roof and sides is just some type of a cover and it only has three wheels.  It reminds me of a motorcycle almost that has been outfitted differently to carry several people.  But it is quick and only costs about 5Q for a ride somewhere.  They also have big cargo vans and buses, but we never take those.  Oh one thing about the driving here in Guatemala; I don't think there are really any rules to driving.  Out here in the rural areas it isn't too bad, but in the city it is nuts.  There are no traffic lights anywhere, they basically just have these speed bumps every so often, more concentrated in the cities.  So the people are always swerving in and around people, I have failed to determine if there is a speed limit, and it is just plain crazy.  Out here in Catarinas it isn't too bad so I don't worry.  But in the city, especially when I first arrived in the capital, I doubted the safety of that travel.  In fact, my first 5 minutes on the bus from the capital to Reu, we saw someone that had been hit.  Yeah it is that crazy.  I'll try and send a picture another week.
The county here is so beautiful.  It is so green and just plain awesome.  Not only that, but I am sure glad that I can basically buy anything here.  Yeah, everybody here has a cellphone, almost everyone has a TV, and many people have trucks/cars which are almost all Toyota haha.  So it isn't really that bad.  They even have nice stores like a supermarket like in America, only it is much smaller, you have to put your bags in a locker until you are done shopping, and there is a guard that walks around carrying a shotgun with his finger on the trigger the whole time.  Talk about craziness.  One lady that was baptized this Thursday owns a pharmacy with her husband which makes me really glad because she knows a lot about how to help.  I am so glad that I have some medicine on hand and don't have to buy it yet because I had a really bad headache one day and had to take pepto two days later.  But I am doing much better and I haven't had serious problems.
Well like I said in Mom's letter, the people here are the same as back home.  I believe that people all over the world are the same, even if they have different cultures or circumstances.  They all have the same type of characteristics and as I have worked with the ward mission leader, paco, and the bishop, they remind me a lot of our ward at home.  They are so kind and have really taken care of us.  We eat at ward members houses and they even do our laundry.  So they take care of a lot of that stuff.
I think I have to go now.  I'll try to say more later.  Adios!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Brian, David, and Elder Jeremy Taylor's letters, July 28,2013

What a great day!
1 message

Brian L Taylor <bjt087@gmail.com>Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM
To: Wilford Scott <scott.wilford@gmail.com>

Dear Elder and Sister Scott,


            First thing on my list of things I want to say today is to express gratitude to you for your desire to serve the Lord in spreading the "good news."  Think of what deep happiness you have brought into the lives of some prepared spirits.  I recall some of those whom I have, during my lifetime, seen receive the message of the Gospel for the first time.  Right now I recall in my memory a sweet lady who shed many tears of almost overwhelming joy as her  baptism date approached---as well as afterward.  I recall that when I attended the first public meeting that was arranged in  Plymouth, Massachusetts.  I was not called on by  our district leader to speak, but I did accompany a non-member as she sang Malotte's "The Lord's Prayer."  Anyway, dear "Grandma Bartlett" told us later that as each elder got up to the podium to speak, she saw a light surrounding them.  It almost gives me goose bumps to ponder the message of that experience.  I also reflect upon how many people the Spirit has prepared in these latter days to receive the precious message that you have to bring them.  So thanks again for your desire to serve--a desire that has brought you right where the Lord needs you.

            Before I go any further, I must mention reading the letter sent from Guatemala to let your parents know that you had arrived safely and thanking them for sending a fine missionary to help in the great work.  His letter showed that he was not used to writing in the English language, and that made it even more touching to me.  I reflect upon the fact of how many mission presidents and their wives have had to learn enough English to accomplish their duties in another part of the globe.  I wonder just how many of the Lord's missions are foreign-speaking--even right here within the United States. This line of thinking makes me recall how my nephew-in-law and his wife were sent to preside over a mission in Peru, where the Gospel is now spreading like wildfire.  There are already  10 missions in Peru and they will soon have three temples. 

            I must change the course of this letter right now.  My son-in-law Dennis Hadley just came with his wife to visit.  Dennis is branch president at the Millcreek youth correctional facility here in Ogden.  He conducts church services each Sunday for those who wish to attend.  The group is not too large, so they sit in a circle.  Today during their time together each one was invited to tell where they were from and say anything they wished about their background.  One girl who responded readily indicated that she was not LDS, but she had some contact with LDS young people.  When my son-in-law mentioned that he had served a mission for the Church in Peru, this girl spoke up and said that her family was from Peru.  When Dennis said a few words to her in Spanish, she had to admit that she really could not speak that language.  But then when the group sang one of our well-known hymns (I think it was "I Am a Child of God") , the young girl sang it all from memory.  When Dennis asked for a volunteer for the closing prayer, the same girl held up her hand.  He called on her, and again was surprised to have her give a prayer that was "LDS style."  The only unusual thing about it was that afterward she gave the sign of the cross as Catholics do.

            But another very interesting bit of news surfaced today.  I learned that the same institution has a new supervisor who is LDS  The previous supervisor set up rules that almost made it impossible for many "inmates" to attend LDS services.  The new supervisor is active LDS, so a number of rules have changed immediately.  There is a different feeling there, as you would expect.

            I, with you, rejoice over the great things that are happening in the Church throughout the world.  Isn't it interesting that each of us can contribute in some way to this wonderful growth of the Church.

            Keep giving your best.  I KNOW that it is worth the effort.

Love, Brian

Letter from Farr West
1 message

David Taylor <tdvdbtylr@gmail.com>Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM
To: Willie and Judy Scott <Scott.Wilford@gmail.com>

Sunday, July 28, 2013
Dear Elder and Sister Scott,
Our son, Danny just arrived in his mission field in Guatemala last Tuesday morning.  We got an email from his mission president, President Ruiz, last Thursday.  He told us that our son arrived safely and is doing well.  President Ruiz and his wife are from Panama.  They are the first couple from Panama called to preside over a mission.  Danny got to meet them while he was still at the MTC in Provo in June.  Jeremy just got asked to be a new missionary trainer after having only been in the Philippines since last January.  The Naga Philippines Mission is supposed to get at least 22 new missionaries every month the rest of the year.  The missionaries are supposed to help find apartments to accommodate all the new missionaries which will be arriving there in the future months.  We have hardly had any rain this summer.  Yesterday morning was the first time we had any rain in a long while.  It didn't rain much though. 
How has business been there in your mission?  I'll bet you get lots of visitors every week, especially in the summer.  I hope you have many more great experiences while serving on your mission in Nauvoo.  
David Taylor

 Jeremy's Weekly Letter - July 29, 2013

David Taylor
8:45 AM (8 hours ago)
to CamCaseyDelDennisElderElderGeneHalJenJenMollyNicholasNickStevenVicme
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeremy David Taylor <jeremy.d.taylor@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 4:15 AM
Subject: Jeremy's Weekly Letter - July 29, 2013
To: Dad <tdvdbtylr@gmail.com>

Kumusta kayo!  Hindi ninyo naiintindihan ang Tagalog ko para kay Papa o para sa lahat?  Haha!  (My companion is correcting me as I speak to you).  I still haven't fully mastered the sentence structure of the language.  Gggrrr!  If I could relate to something that people say here, then I would have to say that I am having a nosebleed right now.  Haha!  Alright.  Enough of that.  I couldn't be happier to have a Filipino trainee.  He doesn't know too much English yet.  Actually, it is more that he can't speak it that well.  Elder Tulipaz does understand it well, though.  Language study now consists of fifty percent English study and fifty percent Tagalog study.  It is a wonderful opportunity for me to not only continue to polish up my Tagalog, but also to help someone with English.  It is pretty hard to teach someone your native language, but it isn't bad once you get past the initial feelings and the attempts of explaining some of the rule exceptions.

You won't believe the crazy week that I had!  Elder Tulipaz and I were on fire this week.  We got seven new investigators.  I won't be able to tell you the full story behind some of the numbers.  I think it would be sufficient to say that me and the other three Elders in our apartment had a good laugh at first about the idea that Elder  Tulipaz and I got into a great situation that most other missionaries do not even get the chance to experience.  My companion got the chance to extend a baptismal invitation to a investigator family.  I was feeling a little hesitant inside at first about taking that step.  The visual appearance didn't seem to suggest that it was the right time.  However, I kept getting the thought that it had to be at the visit that we invited them to be baptized regardless of their reaction or if some of the familly wasn't there.  To my surprise, they accepted, even though did seem a little unsure about saying yes.  The rest of the family is not a concern to me, because I feel confident that they too are ready and we will have a date set for all of the family members in our next visit with them.  I also went over the "How to Begin Teaching" fundamental of preach my gospel in the training guide.  Danny will get to do that this week.  We use the portable dvd player that exists in each apartment in the mission and watched The District 2 example.  We had some great practice teachings to get ourselves more familiar with the principles and the bullet points.  With the first visit, we really set the basis for what our families will expect from us in the future visits with them and it helps them to understand what our purpose is and what they must do in return.  Elder Tulipaz is progressing strongly in this aspect of teaching and we are really being accepted well by our wonderful Bato families.

I don't really have to much time left.  This has been another crazy P-Day.  I hope that you can at least get an idea of the wonderful experiences that I have each week in my mission.  I will talk to you next week.

Elder Taylor

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013

Willie had told me there was a surprise for me at Rendezvous tonight but he was sworn to secrecy. It was great! Jerry and Ardith Barnet were there. She and I hugged. I was so exited that I screamed when I saw her. That's not something I would normally do, not even!
Training meeting this morning at 7:30 am came mighty early after two Rendezvous shows last night. Elder and Sister Oaks talked about some financial stuff that went on in Nauvoo in the 1800's and about the Holy Ghost and His purpose in our lives. I liked the part about the Holy Ghost the best. Elder and Sister Oaks and a lot of their family were at the second show of Rendezvous last night.
I served at the Lucy Mack Smith Home with Sister Chynoweth and Sister Oaks came to see the home. I thought they left this morning right after training meeting but I guess they just had to have their bags picked up to go to the train? Elder Oaks sat outside but we went out and talked for a second and he shook our hands again. It was pretty cool. They are such nice people---of course! What a choice blessing in my life. I pray they will have a safe journey home.
Some of the young people that came told us that John Bytheway is also in Nauvoo. I don't think I would recognize him right off. I would love to meet him though. He is such a good author and speaker. Especially for the youth.
We do Sunset tonight. It's cool outside so it shouldn't be too bad. It can get miserable out on that stage if it is hot. It's hard to think about only having about two weeks left of Sunset. And then the Young Performing Missionaries will go home and the Young Sister Missionaries will be leaving and then we go home. Wow!
And yea Rita and Wes are coming next weekend!!!!! Can't wait!!!!!! Wish Shanna, Matt and Kenna were still coming the end of August, but they can't.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

Willie and I went over to the pageant last evening before it started and looked up his great nephew, Elder Cameron Parry, David's Cindy's son. We are going to meet him and his companion Monday for lunch at Keokuk where they are assigned. We haven't seen him since he was 2 years old so it was pretty cool.
Today I was serving in the Scovil Bakery. In this busy season we start the tours in back and take the guests inside when the previous tour is through. So, I'm outside and here comes three people. I knew that Elder Dallin H. Oaks is in Nauvoo but was surprised to have one of them be him. They are here having a family reunion. I love their shirts for the reunion. They have a tree on them and say "The Mighty Oaks Family". We waited for another member of their group to come and I gave the tour to Elder and Sister Oaks and two friends with them. What a humbling experience. They were so attentive and gracious that I almost stopped shaking before the tour was over (almost). I told them I was pretty nervous and asked him if I could shake his hand. They all shook hands with me. What a great thing to have happen to me. When we got set apart by our stake president for our mission, he said we would teach kings and leaders. I've given tours to a lot of leaders here, but an Apostle, one of the Quorum of the Twelve, it just seems unreal, like I may wake up at any moment from a dream. I'm grateful that I didn't freak totally out or faint or some ridiculous thing like that. They were just so real and down to earth. I pray that my mind stays good enough to remember it always. That's the first tour I've given that I was shaking for a long time. I told them I needed an extra helping of the Holy Ghost to help me through it. I'm so grateful for the power of the Holy Ghost and all the help He has given me while here.
Well, I better go pick up Willie. He's about off.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Brian Taylor's letter, July 21, 2013

More about Pioneer Days

Brian L Taylor
4:41 PM (23 hours ago)
to me
Dear Elder and Sister Scott,

            Today I am going to send you a follow-on to last week's letter, which  dwelt somewhat on the severe weather conditions in which the Willie and Martin handcart companies endured suffering almost beyond imagination.  Someday we will understand more fully why certain individuals or groups are given these trials, but then remember "whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth" as the scriptures tell us.

            I want to begin by reviewing with you some details that are seldom considered in the story of those pioneers.  Elder Franklin D. Richards, president of the British Mission, had been given the responsibility to help emigrants get to America and on to the Valley.  After he got the Willie and Martin companies on their ship to America, he sent a letter to President Young to advise him that two more companies were on their way, then he "closed up shop" and left for America two months after those handcart pioneers..  Keep in mind that a letter to Salt Lake City in those days came by "snailmail."

            Pres. Richards' traveled on a steamship, whereas the emigrants came via sailing vessel, and his ship came via New Orleans, rather than to New York City.  Even though his trip was much longer, it was faster.  He came up the Mississippi via riverboat to Florence, Nebraska, arriving August 21, making the trip in about one-third the time that was required by the "handcart" group.  He departed two weeks later in a light carriage, which could travel around 100 miles a day.  His entire journey from England took only 70 days--less than half the time of the fastest handcart group.

            The timing of his arrival could not have been more fortuitous--Oct. 4th.  The next morning was general conference, so a huge crowd of saints were assembled to hear their prophet. His message:  "Go out and rescue those handcart pioneers."  They were told to reassemble, bringing teams, wagons, teamsters, flour, clothing, bedding and medical supplies. He then cancelled the meetings and sent the saints home to begin their mission of mercy.

            As I recall seeing the "17 Miracles" video about the handcart journey, I can hardly hold back the tears.  Those handcart pioneers had exhausted their food supplies, and considering the weather, they all would have perished without help from church headquarters.  It is sad enough to realize how many lost loved ones (sometimes parents) during the arduous journey.  But even though some survivors lost toes or fingers from frostbite, their testimonies remained unshakeable the rest of their lives.

            We seldom hear that even the rescue party heading eastward was delayed by a three-day blizzard.  And then recall that they really didn’t know where they would find those starving handcart companies.

            Had some of our modern-day church members been transported back in time to the days of the handcart episode, I wonder how many of us would have responded willingly--yes, anxiously--to save our brothers and sisters.  And consider with me the fact that we DO have challenges of a different brand facing us in the Church today.  How many visiting teachers and home teachers take their assignments seriously and look forward at the beginning of each month to opportunities to help our assigned families (physically or spiritually)? How many members love their fellow brothers and sisters enough to give liberally to their support!  I remember the day that our former stake president asked the brethren to consider giving $100 fast offering each month.  With so many breadwinners being laid off their present jobs, the need today is also real.  (Only the bishop is aware of all current needs in his ward.)  While we may not be asked to place our lives on the line as did those handcart pioneers, we still face some real challenges in our day.  Would that we might all be an eager part of the "rescuing team"!

Love, Brian

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Daniel Taylor's letter July 19, 2013

Fwd: Hola Ustedes

David Taylor
9:11 PM (11 hours ago)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daniel Taylor <taylord123@myldsmail.net>
Date: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 3:34 PM
Subject: Hola Ustedes
To: David Taylor <tdvdbtylr@gmail.com>

Hola familia y ustedes,
Como estan?  Espero que ustedes esten bien.  Ok typing in Spanish is too hard because I can't make any accent marks and the other keys get thrown off.  It sounds like you are all doing good, and I hope that is the case for everybody.  Things have been going really good here in the MTC.  And of course, it is my last week here so I am really excited, amazed that the time has flown by so fast, and un poco nervioso to start my mission.  But I am eager to get there and help people because even though the MTC is great, it is still very sheltered from the world and everyone here is LDS.  So it is going to be a change for me to go somewhere where that is not the case.
I do leave this Monday for the airport.  I actually got bumped an hour so I will be leaving the MTC at 5pm on Monday, but my flight still doesn't leave until 10pm so I will see if I can call somewhere in between there.  I need to go buy a phone card still and figure out how that all works out.  But yeah I should be calling home sometime around there for a short amount of time.  My Spanish has been progressively improving which is good because I feel like I can communicate, even if in just a basic way, with the people with Guatemala because my teacher is from Guatemala and she said she speaks at the normal pace that she usually does, which isn't too hard to understand.  It is only when she is talking to her twin sister here that it gets crazy because they purposefully talk really fast so that we can't understand them.  Sometimes they don't understand each otehr haha.
Well I got Mom's letter yesterday, and I would just like to suggest right now that you don't send anymore letters to my MTC mailbox because if it doesn't get there before I leave on Monday, chances are it will just get sent back to whoever sends it, or not.  Someone told me that the MTC doesn't forward that kind of stuff to the missionaries if they've left, so yeah.  But thanks for the packages and letters.  I have written a bunch of letters during my freetime over the past three weeks and I am going to send them out today.  So sorry if some of them sound a little outdated haha, it's just that I don't get much time to do that kind of thing and so I used my spare moments to do that.  So hopefully they get out to everyone by Monday.
On Tuesday I dropped Elder Vasquez off at the travel office and he is now on his mission in California.  I got a new companion for this week, Elder Longoria, because his transfer is next week, so he stayed an extra week here to be there on time for it.  So we are companions for this week and it has been very fun and a good learning experience.  He is a pretty crazy person, but he knows when he needs to be serious and he is a very outgoing person.  Hopefully I will be able to send a picture of him soon.  I was going to get one with him today because I got my haircut, but I kind of forgot haha so maybe next week I can if the computers down in Guatemala can handle it.  Oh, he is going to the Ventura, California Spanish speaking mission.  So both of my companions so far have been going to California which is weird because everyone else in my zone seems to be going foreign, with the exception of a few people.  But I know he'll do awesome there.
The devotionals this past week have been really awesome.  On Sunday, Richard I. Heaton spoke to us and talked about how the Lord is preparing people out in the world for us to teach.  After that, we had our Sunday night film and it was beyond amazing.  It was probably the best one I have seen since I have been here and I recommend that you all see it sometime, maybe this week since I am talking about it.  It was an MTC devotional given by Elder Bednar some years ago called The Character of Christ, and the principles in this talk given by him are so true and amazing that I believe that anyone that follows the things he teaches in it are going to be changed.  I sure am going to do my best to follow the counsel given by him.  I know that if the whole world lived those principles, there would be true happiness here and no contention.  So just watch it and see what you think (or read it if you can't find a video version).  Then on Tuesday, we had a good devotional by Richard Hinckley and his wife on how being exactly obedient and other points of advice for us.
This week for class, we have been working on how to answer questions of the soul using The Book of Mormon.  Basically from now on, we aren't going to be teaching the full lesson plans that we have normally been doing.  Instead, we have been doing first visit door approaches every time and practicing trying to discern the needs of the investigators/find the questions of their souls and answer them with the scriptures.  Honestly, this has gone so much better than trying to find their doubts while teaching.  Through asking inspired questions, it opens the door to true conversion and is much more effective.  But, it is also difficult for me to do this because I am not very good at asking questions like that.  This is something that I have been working on all week, which is to listen very carefully for these questions that get the investigator to meditate and apply the things we teach.  But I am sure that with practice and a lot of prayer, I can improve in this area.
This Wednesday was my last week hosting.  It is so much fun and it's a little sad that I don't get to introduce the new missionaries to the MTC and show them around.  I am glad though that I got the opportunity to do it.  The last Elder I hosted actually was originally from Mexico before moving to Utah, so his family spoke in Spanish on the curb when I told the that I am going to Guatemala.  I thought that was pretty cool.  Yesterday I went to In-field Orientation and I learned so much more from it.  I would love to talk about it, but sadly my time is coming to an end.  So this week has been really good and full of things to do.  I will be packing tomorrow to get my stuff ready and sadly, I am the last one to leave in my district.  Everyone else leaves between2-5am while I leave at 5pm.  But that is ok.  The zone leaders are pretty cool and I will probably just spend the day with them as I get ready to leave.  I love you all and can't wait to talk to you again from Guatemala.  Adios!
Elder Danny Taylor

Monday, July 15, 2013

Brian Taylor's letter, July 14, 2013

Thots for the day

Brian L Taylor <bjt087@gmail.com>Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 8:29 PM
To: Wilford Scott <scott.wilford@gmail.com>

Dear Elder and Sister Scott,

                          Our sacrament meeting program today was one that I will long remember.   Brother and Sister Steve Brown, who have served a mission at Martin's Cove in Wyoming, gave us a spiritual treat today. Recounting their own experience of being out in Martin's Cove in freezing weather, they helped us appreciate the extreme weather conditions those handcart pioneers endured.  They also shared with us some other details they had learned through study of that great epic in history of the Church.  I shall never be the same.  I had seen the video "Seventeen Miracles," but even that could only partially enable me to appreciate what it was like to be there.  One of the great lessons taught by the survivors of that great experience is that they remained faithful throughout their lives and chastised others who criticized the church leaders for ever allowing it to happen.

                        Yesterday I received a phone call from a cousin in Oregon who grew up in a home without the influence of the Church.  Some high school friends introduced him to the true Gospel, and he soon made the decision to serve a mission.  After completing his mission to New Zealand, he came home, married in the temple and had three children before his wife "flipped," got a divorce  and ( I gather) did not give their children the training that one would expect from an LDS member.  Some of you missionaries who have been serving many months have  read in my previous letters how I had been looking into a phone book of my mother's side of the family and noticed Jim;s phone number in Portland, Oregon.  I decided to give him a call, and I'm glad I did.  While I had little previous contact with him, I did meet him when he was on his way to the mission field.  My phone call to him turned into a very close relationship.  He came to visit me two years ago, and he brought a young man who was not LDS, but came from a dysfunctional family.  The young man went to church with me during our visit, and I hear he is now being taught by the missionaries.

                        But back to Jim--when he phoned yesterday, he had a tale of woe to share with me.  He had gone to visit a family member, placed his complete family records into a duffle bag and threw it into the back of his pickup, and drove away.  Somewhere along the trip he left his pickup for awhile.  When he returned, he found someone had stolen his duffle bag with its precious contents.  Jim is not computer literate, so the records were all handwritten.  He and I have spent almost two years together trying to complete his family data.  Since he does not use a computer, I am trying to figure the best way to share my family records that I have on my computer.  To create my family record I had used the old PAF program, which the Church has now discarded in favor of more modern software.  My grandson who is serving an internship with the Church History department, indicates it is not as simple a matter as I had at first assumed.  Since he is a software specialist, I feel sure he will figure out a solution to the problem.  But this whole experience has taught me to treat my extensive family records as some of my most prized possessions (which they are).

                        In closing I would like to refer to some results of our joint Relief Society-Priesthood class today--primarily for the benefit of the younger members of our ward missionary "corps."  Men and women were asked to share their opinions about the most important ways of using the priesthood to "bless" the marriage.  For the benefit of you younger missionaries, I must say that before you ever go to the temple and make those special covenants, please STUDY D. & C. Section 121.  Then remember that to have a successful, eternal marriage, act as if everything depends on YOU, not on your companion.

                        How very fortunate you are to be WHERE you are and DOING what you have been called by the Lord to do.

                        May the Lord bless you and your efforts,  Brian

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6, 2013, Dancing the Clarinet Poka

Sister Money and I served in the John Taylor Home yesterday. The Nauvoo Brass Band in the horse drawn carriage came by and stopped and played in front. We were sitting out on benches they have placed in front by the street. Some of the Young Performing Missionaries had been performing their "venyette" across the street under the big old tree and had come over to sing for us. The band played The Clarinet Poka. That's a dance some of the missionaries do in Sunset on the Mississippi. The YPM's started dancing to it and two of the Elder's in the YPM's asked Sister Money and I to dance. At first, we both said we hadn't ever danced it. But we've watched it a million times so we decided to go for it. There we were dancing The Clarinet Polka to The Nauvoo Brass Band, in that horse drawn carriage, in the middle of Main Street in Old Nauvoo. Who would have ever thought it!!!! I thanked Elder Black as he escorted me back to the bench on the brick sidewalk in front of the John Taylor Home. The YPM's sang a couple of more songs for us and then they had to leave and some of the guests that had gathered, watching, wanted tours. So we left our short lived youth behind and went back to work, grateful for the fun little experience in Old Nauvoo. Through out the day, 30 tours were given in that beautiful old home of a prophet of God. John Taylor was the 3rd prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints. What a wonderful privilege. To tell the stories and show the homes and places of business of the great people who lived and worked here in Nauvoo in the 1840's.