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


Monday, October 27, 2014

One Of The Best!

Ward Halloween Party

This past week was probably one of the best ever!

Elder Lumpkin and I are getting along so great now! We trust each other and understand each other! I have seen him grow so much and I have seen how he has helped me grown even more!

Life is so good right now!
We had so many great things happen.

I'm not getting transferred! YAY! I'm so excited to be staying here in Greenwood! I couldn't have hoped for better news!

First off, we met with a Less Active John Mitchel, he hasn't been to church sense 1995! Before I was even BORN! CRAZY! He was so thrilled when we knocked on his door, he hasn't had contact with the church sense he was baptized 19 years ago! Anyways, we started talking with him and he was just so happy! (BTW John so you can get a visual is an older black guy in his late 60's, lives in a mysterious trailer home in the back of a jungle...)
He was so kind to us and so thrilled to have us teach him!
He came to church on sunday! I was so happy for him, for him to take the sacrament again after 19 years! What a story! Anyways he was great at church! And Guess what?! He brought a friend! (Suzie Rice)! She is a non member who after being at church yesterday loved it and wants to take the discussions with us and get baptized! I feel like I'm in a dream, things are just rolling out crazy! I felt so honored to help John get back to Church after all those years. He loved Church and is coming back next week! We are going to have him teach with us as we help his friend investigate the church!
On Saturday the Sisters in our ward had a baptism, I played a special musical number with the sisters at the baptism. "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" Sis Young sang and Sis Lower was on the violin. 

He is doing great, he went camping last weekend, so he was unable to go to church, but he is still planning on next sunday. We are going to teach him with Bro Manley on wednesday, which will be really good!

She came down with a terrible flu! She is not doing good at all! She is stuck in bed! Please pray for her! We talk with her on the phone everyday. We are going over today hopefully to give her a blessing. She is so sweet and has done so much for us we are doing our best to help her get through this sickness.

There are lots of other great people who we are working with! I wish I had time to tell all the miracles!  The Lord's hand is there, you just have to know it!

I'm going to start getting pictures of my favorite people here in Greenwood, I'll post some of them next week! That way ya'll can put a visual to the people I get to work with!

I hope ya'lls week was as good as my week was!

Love ya!
Elder Dearden

Happy Halloween!   This is my District.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hey People

Hey People
This past week was awesome! We taught some great lessons and had some great success! 
We went to Greenville last p-day and had a blast! We went to this waterfall in the middle of the big city. I'll attach some pictures of our adventure in the city.

Bryan: He is doing amazing!!!! We had some great lessons with him and he came to church on sunday! He loved it and wants to come back next week! He is so cool! I really believe that he is someone special! Especially because he gave me a rock! He ain't any normal guy that's for sure! I can see him in my mind as a great preisthood holder someday! He basically already lives the gospel, he has a strong masonic background and really likes that our church heavily reflects the same concepts. I can't wait to have him at church again! 

Kathy: She is as great as ever! We hang with her a lot, she called my mom last week apparently to have a fun conversation! She is so sweet and she is doing a lot with her family history! She has gone back 3 generations and realized she has some Cherokee background! That was a cool discovery!

I'm starting to think I'll be here in greenwood for a while longer...Elder Davis (my trainer who is home now) He says that he heard that they are pushing for 9 month areas to become the norm...so we'll see. 

I love ya'll and I hope your weeks go good! I would write more but I'm a little busy, got lots of emails to reply to.

Elder Dearden

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Message

reposted from October 13th. (I accidentally deleted it..)

Hey Family and Friends

Life is great out here, Elder Lumpkin and I are having a blast, today we are going up to Greenville to hang with the Zone Ledars for p-day, that should be fun!

Our investigators are doing great:

Kathy: She is still actively involved with Family History, she loves meeting with us and takes us out to eat every week. She is great. She is progressing, but it will be on her own time, which might be a long time....but that's alright, she loves the church and the people and in time she'll receive her testimony!

Brian: He is doing great too, he went to Texas last week to expedite some prisoners, so we didn't get to meet with him much. But He actually gave me some more rocks as gifts, I told him I felt like he was giving me to many gifts, but in a text he responded, 
"Let me throw this one at ya, You said in your travels people have given you tokens like those stone's or some other things you may have received. Those of Gifts. And like those things the messages you guys share can be considered as such. And this is what I mean by that.
Hence the word gift. The message you share is that, a gift, a small token which will eventually lead you to the truth. Take care and have a good night". 
(FYI: he is a freemason, hence the terminology he uses :D)
Obviously Brian understands the meaning behind our message, I think in time he will be able to be baptized, but it may take some time, but I think the spirit has worked with him, especially with the way he sees our "message" as a gift, which to me shows that he understands what we are trying to do.
We have many other great investigators, but I don't have much time to talk about them, maybe next week i'll talk more about them.

Elder Lumpkin is doing great, his message and story of overcoming cancer is so inspiring to our investigators, the spirit rocks their hearts when he tells it! I feel so honored and privileged to serve with him! He is a special soul!
Sorry, no pics this week. I'll send some next week!

I hope ya'll have a great week!

Elder Dearden

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Special Gift!

Hi family and friends.

I Want to thank everyone for sending me so many gifts, cards, and letters! I loved it!
I had some really great experiences last week!
I'll talk about the best one first.

Brian- So we met Brian just over a month ago, he is a cop who serves warrants. We have been visiting him weekly, and he tells us his cool cop stories, like how he almost got blown up and stuff like that. He's really cool.

Well we sat down with him last week to teach him again (we had taught some of the restoration). We showed him the Mormon messages video about fatherhood. It was perfect because his 17 year old son sat in on the lesson with us and watched the video. His sons name is Trevor, we gave him a Book of Mormon and he loved it, had so many questions and was excited to learn more about it. I don't go into to much detail, sufficient to say it was a great lesson. ( Brian saw my square mission stone I haul around and asked me why I carry it, I told him It reminds me of Christ).
Anyways as we were about to pull away in the car Brian comes running out of his home and stops us. He approaches me and says, "I want to give you this rock, I found it 23 years ago by lake Michigan, I don't know why I've been hauling it around for 23 years, but I feel like you should have it". I was so touched by him giving me his stone! I mean, I really loved teaching Brian, but I didn't know that he liked us that much too! Now, I Didn't realize how amazing the stone was until we got home and Elder Reed pointed something out to me, it's in the shape of South Carolina! I'll attach a picture.

Anyways, that was one of the highlights of the week!!!! Great time! 

The second story:

So we had conference! I loved all of it!!! It was just great!! (I probably over exaggerate how great it was just because I'm out on a mission and I see the world from a skewed perspective now, where everything is righteous and spiritual haha.)
We'll I kept trying to get Kathy to come to conference with us, and she just was so busy and couldn't make it, but then we were finally able to get her to come to the 2nd sunday session! It couldn't have been a better session for Kathy! With the emphasis on Family History (which is why Kathy started investigating in the first place) and then Elder Bednar's talk directed to those not of our faith! She was emotional during Elder Bednars talk, I know she received a witness that he was an apostle and prophet of the Lord. Kathy had such a great time, loved the Mormon Tabernacle choir and it was just great for her! She is working with our ward Family History Specialists right now and that is perfect for her!

At "Five Guys"  after Zone Conference
We had interviews with President Turner last week too! I loved being with President Turner, the Spirit just burns true that he is a man of God. I am so honored to be serving under his direction here in the Carolinas! 

Life is so good right now, the Lord has lifted burdens and has helped me to overcome my fears and stresses! His Atonement is so endless and powerful, never underestimate the power of a sincere prayer! 
I couldn't be happier right now! 

I hope ya'll have a great week!

Elder Dearden