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

taylor.dearden@myldsmail.net


Monday, July 14, 2014

Week.....I don't know what week it is?

This week has been crazy! I don't even know where it went. Time flys out here, I didn't even realize until yesterday that it had been 1 month sense I left home!

I have had lots of great opportunities to teach and bless others. 
We have 3 investigators that are rapidly progressing, Shane, Angie (Angie is Shane's girlfriend), and Jasmine. 

Shane is amazing, we met him 2 weeks ago and he is flying through the Book of Mormon, he has so many questions and they are all being answered as he reads. He made a deal with us, if we went to hear his preacher man, then he would go to church with us. We agreed. So last Monday I went to this prayer meeting thing where a preacher man prayed for three hours for all the people that were there. He prayed for each individual by name, it was really interesting. He then basically gave priesthood blessings without any authority, which was actually really funny. We wouldn't let him "bless" us because we felt like that would be a mockery to God if we participated in something like that. They also did something super similar to what happens in the temple, so that was interesting.

All the people that were there had good intentions to know God better, but they were just being misled by this false prophet preacher guy. The preacher has lots of good stuff to say, he just has no authority to do what he claims to be able to do. But anyways, after we went there with Shane the next day we had a lesson with Shane and he was even more receptive than before! We taught him the restoration again and we felt the spirit, we all felt chills run down our back at the same time, and we were all like "Did you feel that?!" It was so cool. He knows the church is true, he has a whole heart desire to do what is right. He is sick right now though, so we won't teach him again until later this week.

Jasmine, she is a single black lady we met last week who approached us wanting to know how to be baptized....we were like "WHAT? you want to be Baptized!?" So we started teaching her and she said she has been wanting get baptized in the right way, she doesn't know what church does it the right way....so she was just golden and we taught her the restoration and she came to church yesterday! She has a friend who is a member, sister Starks, sister Starks used to be a preacher woman, but she quit her profession of being a minister to join the church so she is a powerful tool to help Jasmine. 

We met so many other great people that we are teaching, I don't have much time so I won't talk about them....just know that we are busy teaching and the Lord won't let us rest!

I loved the packages and letters that came this week! Thanks Grandma Dearden for the package full of the goodies! All my companions have been fighting for the chocolate! And Thanks Grandma Dixie for the letter with the Subway Card! My companion and I are so excited to use it! It's nice to have that card so we can eat when we're to busy to go home and cook food! And thanks Mom for the package with my rock, and the music! 

I want all of you to know, that Jesus Christ is VERY REAL. He is an actual person, I've learned that in such a unique way by being here on a mission. It's a heavy duty to represent Him!   Personal revelation is real! "Ask and ye shall receive, Knock and it shall be opened unto you!" That is very real too! 

I met with President Turner for an introductory interview, I'm so excited to work with him the next two years! He is going to be amazing!

I love all ya'll back home, I appreciate your prayers, I can feel them!  Know I am serving because I love the Lord! Don't do anything in life that will cause you to love the Lord less. ( If you love me, Keep my commandments)

I met a Cherokee Indian two days ago (there are some Cherokee Indians that still live in the area, mostly in trailer homes), he told me this. "Our body is the vessel of our spirit, don't focus on the vessel, it will just die eventually, but the spirit, that is eternal, and that's what we should be focused on." I've learned more than ever being out here with the people, that I need to let my heart listen to the heart of our investigators. They may smoke, they might scream at us, they might slam doors in our faces, but that's just the vessel, that's the natural man. We're here to overcome the vessel, to focus on the spirit, so when I talk to people, I ignore the vessel and listen with my heart what they are really saying. The spirit of God is what overcomes the vessel. So when I'm with people, I make sure I'm living in a way that the spirit is with me, so that after they've talked with me they will hopefully ponder this phrase in Luke 24:

  32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Anyways, I just want you to all know that the Lord is taking care of me. He's refining me with his fire, it hurts sometimes, but in the end it's worth it. 

WTH moment of the week:

While we watched the preacherman prophet guy, he "casted out devils" This crazy woman started screaming "AMEN! PRAISE JESUS! OH YES!".....Talk about awkward.....and that was only a tiny part of the whole deal haha.


Till next week,

Elder Dearden

 Utah Street....lol kinda funny...I told the people that lived on that street, that I traveled 2000 miles from Utah, so I could knock on Utah street and share a message with them...they laughed. It was funny.

 A Ghetto Rig again, they are all over. Poor people drive them, they live in crap trailers, but drive these crazy cars.



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