Elder Taylor Dearden
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Drive, Suite B
Irmo, SC 29063


Monday, June 30, 2014

Family and Friends,
Holy cow, it feels so good to finally be here in South Carolina. I love it here, but wow it is humid, but I don't mind it, I actually like the way it feels here, it feels just like it did in Mexico. Everywhere you go there are huge trees and its super think with forest and greenery everywhere!

I had a great time flying out on the plane, I love traveling, being in the Georgia airport was fun, as it reminded me of the Adventure Dad and I went on last summer.
President Holm was amazing, I spent some good time with him the first 2 days, he is no longer our mission president now though, President Turner is in Charge now. I'll be meeting president Turner on Thursday. I'm so excited to meet him, there is a neat power around mission presidents.

On tuesday all the trainers came to meet us, none of us knew which trainer we'd get, but we went on splits with a few of them, Crazy coincidence:
I was assigned to go on splits with Elder Cook, who is Actually Grandpa Glenn's Brother's Grandson, so basically we both have the same Great-Grandma: Grandma Dobbs. So that was cool to get to know each other and to enjoy each other's company. I failed to get a picture of us, but he has one on his camera, so hopefully he'll send it to me and I can forward you that picture. But he is my height, I think my shortness may come from the Shaw line, so I think I made a connection there haha. It was so cool though to see God's hand in our life when we realized that we are second cousins. 

However, I wasn't assigned to be his Trainee, my new companion is Elder Davis, he is my trainer, we get along great and I'm excited to learn from him and progress. I'll attach a picture of us. He's also short, so that way I don't look like a tiny person knocking on doors, having someone the same height helps me look normal height haha. BTW: President Holm during our Transfer meeting (There were 150 or so missionaries there) He had me go up on the stand and stand next to him, and he said this, "I really like Elder Dearden, you know why? Because he makes me feel tall!!" Yes, President Holm is taller than me!....
It's good to be out of the MTC, I like being in the real world now.

My new area is Greenwood, it's in the Greenville zone. It's about the same size as Layton, but it does have some rough ghetto places. They have walmart, so that's good! I've already had at least 50 doors slammed in my face, it really makes me angry, because they don't know what they just slammed the door on, I know it makes our Savior sad when people do that. 90% of the people we talk to are Baptist. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE believes in Jesus Christ here, and they love to talk about him, so it makes religion an easy subject to bring up.

The area we're in is Brand new, they created this area and sent me and my companion here to start it up, he has never been in the area so this is new for both of us. The ward is super small, only about 70 active members, probably only 8 active families to work with. So most of our efforts won't involve members, mostly because there isn't much of them, they should probably be a branch, not a ward, but they do have 300 inactive members! So we'll have to focus on reactivation here.
We met a guy named Albert Smith on the street, he'd never heard of our church, but he had seen General Conference before, which was funny because he said he liked it, but he didn't know where it came from. We taught him about the restoration and he got super excited, so we're going to meet with him again this week. He did however suggest that Joseph's experience in the Sacred Grove with God the Father and Jesus Christ was an Alien encounter...I think he was trying to be funny, but it was interesting haha. 
We met other interesting people, but I don't have time to write about them. :D

MOMs Questions:

What is the place like that you live in?
-It's super green, lots of homes that look like we're in Henefer, just add jungle to henefer, that's what it looks like.

Are you eating good food?
-starting out no, but now that I'm going shopping today, i'm going to buy some good food.

Where do you do your laundry?
-Our apartment is super nice we have washer and drier.

How are you allergies?
- NO allergies here! The humidity get's rid of them! It's great!

Are you sleeping?
Yes, I sleep perfectly, the beds here are great, no snoring hippos.

Are you driving to riding your bike?
WE have a car!! WE have a HUGE area, so we drive everywhere, but we use our bikes sometimes, the bike you guys bought me is super nice! I love it!

Can you drink Dr. Pepper?
YES! they say, just be wise in what you eat and drink, don't overdo anything! So yes! I love it, they have a gas station here that does 25 cent refils if you have their mug! so i'm going to get me one!

 These are the two missionaries that we share the appartment with, Elder Barrows, and Elder Aldous, Aldous was in the MTC with me, he's also being trained.

My companion, Elder Davis

Tell G-ma Dixie that there are two McDonalds and a Subway close by.  ha ha 

It's been great to read your letters you've all sent, getting mail and emails is the best!

I'll write back next week! I have p-days on monday!
Elder Dearden

Elder Cook and Elder Dearden (2nd Cousins) 

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