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


Monday, August 25, 2014

Awesome Week!

This past week has been awesome!!!!
I'll just tell ya'll about the people i've been working with!


She is an sweet lady we met on the side of her home while she was getting mail. She has traveled the world, she spent time in Germany, she does some kind of mental health profession. I could go on and on about the stories she has told us, but she even spent time down on the Reservations in Nevada in Tuba city! She has some cool stories of helping some Hopi people! It's strange how I run into people who I can somewhat have a conversation with! I told her about the Hopi Outreach thing, and she thought it was great, I think she wants to try to help, but we'll see. She wants to learn everything about our faith, she even asked us if we would do the baptism for the dead, for her father! It's almost like she already believes! So, if anything we'll be able to help her get her Genealogy work in the temple done! She wants real bad to sit down and do some family history stuff with the church, so we are helping her with that! She it taking us out to dinner tonight! I think she is just amazing, I really hope that we can continue to work with her because she is ready for baptism, we just need to teach and not let her tell us stories, we tend to get sucked into her stories because we love them!! Anyways, i'll report back on her next week.


She is a sweet older lady too who we met 2 weeks ago, she has been reading the Book of Mormon and loves for us to come to her home and talk about the gospel with her, She says she prays every night to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet, she wants so bad to have a witness! It's like she knows in her mind that he is a prophet, but she wants to have the Holy Ghost confirm it! I think she will convert quickly if she can get that witness, so perhaps ya'll could pray for her to get that witness! She wants so bad to have it! (BTW- she watches Sister Wives, and she knows they are crazy and not the real mormons, but we do have some conversations about it sometimes! haha reminds me of being home watching Sis Wives every sunday!!!) 

Dan Luke:

He is a super nice guy, has a great family, he is moving along slowly with interest regarding the Gospel, but he lets us go each week and teach him. I think he just has an educational interest in our message, not really a spiritual interest.

Ed Henderson:

I met him 3 weeks ago, he is amazing! He has been studying the Israelite people for years! He has done his genealogy and has traced himself to some biblical people, so he told us that he thinks he is of the tribe of Ephraim! He strongly feels he is of the house of Israel. He has been studying the Book of Mormon like crazy! He basically already knows the whole gospel. We invited him to be baptized, and he said no, because he feels that because he is of the House of Israel he doesn't need ordinances to save him, like, he is already saved by blood or something....we're going to try to help him understand that...but He is amazing, he put together a nice binder for me all about his studies about Israel, and they go right in line with the restoration of the gospel, I think he'll understand if we sit down with him for some more time....I could go on forever about Ed, he is just amazing! I was certainly meant to meet him! He knows so much, and he understands truth from lies, I just hope I can help him understand that the Church we represent is the RESTORATION OF ISRAEL! I think he'll come around :D

There are certainly other people who we are working with, but those are the highlights! 

I hope ya'll have a great week!!!!

Elder Dearden

Monday, August 18, 2014

Life is still good!

Friends and Family

This past week has been one of a transition. We have found that when we spend a lot of time in the Ghetto we get Ghetto results...people who don't want to work, they also don't want to go to Church...so we basically dropped a ton of investigators and moved out of the poor areas of the district. We are now spending lots of time in the "Nicer" parts of town.
We still have some great investigators though that we didn't drop, including Shane. But for the most part, we gave lots of them up, because they just aren't willing to do anything, they are lazy, which is sad.  But after we started searching in the rich homes, we already have tons of new investigators.

We have a great guy named Dan, he is a very humble and open person, he has lots of questions and we are meeting with him today.

Then there is Shika, she lives in a town not to far from Greenwood. She has tons of questions about the plan of salvation, all of her questions have been answered so far as she has talked with us. She has some spiritual gifts that help her discern truth.

There is also a man named Raymen (guitar player), he is a super nice guy. He has lots of opinions on religion, but fortunately all of his opinions are in line with our doctrine, which is odd because most people out here have some crazy ideas, but he is on board. He is supposed to be coming to church next week. There are others but I am so excited to work with these new people, it is so much more fun to teach people who actually keep commitments. 

So last week I went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders, I got to spend some time with Elder Cook again, I've attached a picture of him. He is so nice to me.  I also spent some time with Elder Wery. I loved the exchange with Elder Wery, I learned so much from him, he is a well balanced guy and has humility about him that is inspiring. He taught me a lot about how missionaries think, and how there are so many opinions on how to do this work. He is like me and believes that there is no ONE way to do things, we all have our own unique ways and we shouldn't try to force our habits and patterns on other people, we can share them, but don't try to change people, let them change after they see your example.

I got some amazing letters and packages from people last week!! Thanks so much! I hope to be sending some "real mail" this week. 

WTH moment of the week: This past week I ran into a guy who had been to a seminar that was done by an excommunicated general authority or someone who was "exposing the church". He was so full of crap, he thought he understood our church, when he was just fed with lies that were not even relevant. Anyways, I had this thought go through my head and I wanted to say the following to him, "I would tell you to go burn in Hell, but I don't believe in Hell, so I guess I can't say that"....he was just so stupid, and ignorant...I tried to tell him he was fed with lies...but anyways...If we believed in Hell, then I would tell him to Burn there :D....(perhaps this in inappropriate for the blog....oh well...)

Life is GOOD!

Me and Elder Wery

Me and Elder Cook

Monday, August 11, 2014

Life is Good!

This is me in Mccormick...a small town by the Savannah  river.
People back home...

Life out here is great! I love it still.
I am really short in time, so I don't have much time to tell a lot....

Last week I went to an area by the Savannah River, it's a small town called Mccormick, it's on the edge of our mission, I'll attach pictures of that, it is so beautiful out there, amazing country.

Elder Cook is now my Zone Leader!! Haha, so I'll see him again this week! He's going on exchanges with our apartment this week, so that will be fun to see him again! I'll send pictures next week of us!

Our investigators are in weird places, a lot of them went out of town, so we spent the week meeting lots of new people, but I'll write more about them next week. Linda Ann Burton is still on date to be baptized, she needs to overcome some difficulties in her life, but things are looking good, my hope is that she'll be baptized on Aug 30th. We met a new guy named Raymen. HE is awesome! He studies the bible independently. He recognizes that the bible isn't perfect, and he is looking for the stick on Joseph, so I gave him a book of mormon, he was so shocked and it made so much sense to him! He's golden, He even understands the law of consecration, God has been teaching him his whole life. Everyone of his personal beliefs is in line with our understanding in the Church. He even understands the Trinity the proper way...I mean like he is just totally on board with this whole concept of restoration and everything!!! I'll write more about him next week! BTW, I met him because he was playing the Guitar on his lawn, so I went to talk to him because he sings really well, and we had a musical conversation about theory, and that was funny, then we brought up religion and it just went perfect from there!

I feel bad writing a small letter, but next week I'll write more!
The Lord is taking care of me! He's very very Real!

I love ya'll!

Elder Dearden

Monday, August 4, 2014

August already?

 I know I say this every time...but TIME FLIES!

This past week has been a week of separating the Wheat from the Tares....so we had some hard moments dropping people who just don't want to keep commitments. But Linda Ann Burton is still on date, she is progressing slowly though, hopefully we can help her progress faster.

So last week, I saw the petroglyphs again and I’ll send some pictures. It was pretty cool, although there are bugs and lots of nasty stuff in the jungle where it is.

I found out that really no one at all knows what they are. The land owner said that he had a professor take a look at some pictures of them and the professor suggested that they were the writings of some legendary “council rock”. A place where the native Cherokee supposedly would meet for council meetings and what not.

The paintings are kinda cool, they have red and blue in them, I‘ll send some up close pictures of the remaining paint….Those of you who have talked with me about what red and blue paint means, you’ll understand why I thought it was cool.

I got to play the organ in church yesterday, so that was really fun! Also next Sunday I am playing the piano for a special musical number, the youth in the ward are singing, there is only one other person in the ward that can read and play piano. I am so grateful that the Lord allowed me to develop that talent! And I’m grateful for all those who patiently let me “pound” on the piano all day so that I could develop the talent, everyone in the ward tells me every week how grateful they are that I play. Thank you Liz!

Today for p-day we are going to feast at a Chinese buffet. We then will go home and sleep…we have not had a day to just sit and do nothing for a while, so today is a day that we eat lots of food and sit around and relax…should be relaxing.

WTH moment of the week- while we were at the writings last Monday we ended up getting lost in the jungle….so we drove around for like an hour and then the bumper in front of the car fell off….so……here we are stuck in the jungle with a car that is falling apart….so we wandered around until we found a fence and realized that we were not lost and that the land lord’s home was just right there….so that was fun, getting  “lost” but not really….In south Carolina you can get disoriented really easy, there is nothing you can use to determine North, east, west, south or anything…you just see trees….that’s it.
I hope ya’ll have a great week! The Lord is in charge! This church is true!

Elder Dearden

The paitings are big...if you look close you'll see on the left side of me there is the bull head...and on the left a pitch fork design thing...

They are kinda hard to see, but there is an animal head on the right side, and a pitch fork looking symbol on the left.