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


Monday, November 24, 2014

Fantastic Week

Family and Friends!

Last week was a fantastic week!

1st Story:

Bryan, he has grown so close to us and we are best friends now! I hope I can always stay in contact with him, we get along so well! Anyways, he wanted to thank us for all that we have done so he invited us to his home to have dinner. He wanted me to try something I have never tried before....Deer Burgers....I wasn't to found of the idea at first, but he convinced me that I should at least try it. So last thursday we went to his home and we ate the deer burgers. It tasted really good as far as flavor, but the texture...I'm still thinkin on it. But It wasn't bad, I really liked it, it just was different. 
We spent a lot of time with his family, and his wife for the first time sat down with us! She opened up so much and has agreed to take the discussions now! Bryan was so excited to see his wife come around and open up! We are going to talk about Eternal Marriage and how our families can be together forever!
Bryan has been such a blessing in my life!

2nd Story:

We had stake Conference this past weekend. We went to the adult session on saturday night in Greenville, and then realized that we wouldn't make it home until midnight, so we decided to sleep over at the Zone Leaders place, that was a fun night, I love Elder Cook and Elder Lee, they are great examples to me. Elder Cook and I stayed up for a while talking about of families, particularly on the Shaw side, it was fun to learn about our extended families.
Stake Conference was great! The entire theme was centered on Hastening the work! Every talk was about that! It was neat to feel the excitement the members had to further the work here in the Greenville area! 

President Turner talked at the stake conference about how the Church is one Body, and the missionaries are a special part of that body, but every part has a role to play and must function. It was great to hear him talk.

I talked with President afterwards about doing Kathy's father's temple work. President basically gave us the option to decide if we thought it would be effective. But after Counseling with him we came to the ultimate solution that it would be better for her to be baptized first, that way she can be in the temple to witness the baptism. We also discussed how us encouraging her to join the church in order to save her family who have past on could be a catalyst for her to decide to get baptized.

I am meeting with her tonight and will be bold in a loving way to explain that she needs to take these actions herself, and that it will bring many blessings her way if she will accept the invitation to be baptized.

I hope ya'lls week is great, the weather warmed up today! It feels great here now!
Thanksgiving with Kathy should be a blast! I am so excited for that!

Elder Dearden

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fruits of our Labors

So this past week I went up to Greenville again and visited the Zone Leaders (I was was transporting some other missionaries who didn't have a car so they could do exchanges with the zone leaders.) Anyways we ate Chinese again with them.

Kathy was so great last week! We had her come over to the Church and we watched, "The testaments". She loved it! She was crying at the end like crazy and she was trying to cover it up, she says, "My allergies are not to well right now"....haha it was fun to see her feel the spirit and to have her testimony grow. She is moving along one step at a time. We have a member in our ward, Sis Foster who fellowships her so well and she has helped Kathy with her Family History. They have gotten a lot done! Kathy wants us to go to the Temple and do her Father's work. She asked me to do that for him. The only problem is we need permission from President Turner to do that. So we're working on getting that permission.

Yesterday at Church was a super successful day for us. We had 3 investigators come to church and one less active return. It was great to see the fruits of our labors. 

Bryan, he came to church and LOVED IT! He announced in Priesthood, "I am loving it here, and everyone can expect to see me here a whole lot more!" He has been making some great friends here in the ward, especially with our Elder's Quorum president, President Manley. Bryan is so awesome and I love seeing him progress! Him and I have become such great friends! Love it!

Marshall Nichols- He is a son of one of the recent converts in our ward. He is 23 years old and we have been working with him for the past 2 weeks. He wants so bad to be baptised. He is going to do everything he can to prepare. He is awesome, he just showed up at church a couple of times and we started talking to him and he says he LOVES the church and is so excited to become a member. So we are going to start working with him this week, on Tuesday we will begin the lessons.

Sis Foster brought a friend to Church! Her name is Tequila, she is so sweet. Sis Foster met her while doing a Family History Seminar- thing. She said she loved church and we are excited to begin working with her too!

We have so many other people we are working with and we love them all! I wish I could tell all ya'll about them! But I ain't got no time! 

The work is going great and I love it!

Love ya'lls

Elder Dearden

.....haha we drove to this random church so I could take a picture of me in the pastors parking stall .

Monday, November 10, 2014

5 Months!

Holy cow, does time fly. Tomorrow will be 5 months?! I don't know where time is...I'm rather confused as to how time has moved so quickly.

This past week wasn't really eventful, we had lots of great lessons and lots of great things happened, but nothing out of the ordinary (Like last week). But things have been good. We had ZTM last thursday and it went well, I loved hearing form the other missionaries in the zone and getting different insights to how to do things.

He kept his book of mormon reading assignment for the first time in the history of the world! He read Alma 32: about planting the seed. The spirit must have worked him over hard because he understood it so well that he actually taught me what he learned. It was cool to see him have that experience. He was also able to attend Church Yesterday again which was cool. He tells the members at the ward, "I'm taking baby steps, someday it will happen, but right now I'm taking one step at a time." Which is good, I know his conversion will be much deeper if he takes it one step at a time and really understands what is happening.

We ate dinner with her again. We are such great friends. She is actually is going to take us out for thanksgiving, that will be great! I'm excited for that!

We met with many other people this past week, but nothing super amazing or noteworthy. 
I'm learning a lot about myself. Especially as I work with Elder Lumpkin and help him to progress and develop.

I love ya'll, sorry for not having to much to say, but I'll attach some funny pictures of signs and stuff you see here in South Carolina.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What a Week!

This past week has been crazy! Lots of stuff happened!

1.  I met the reincarnated black Jesus?

So I've ran into this crazy lunatic several times actually, but this time I decided to get a picture of him :D. It is hilarious, he believes he is Christ reincarnated to prepare the world for the last days, he seems to always find us (This time outside of walmart) and then he thanks us for the work we do....haha....that part is awkward....I always refer to him as, "sir"....but I don't know his real name or anything. Anyways, he let us take a picture with him, he says it is worth lots of money...haha, he honestly belives he is God, but oh well, this world has crazy people for a reason right? He hauls this staff around and approaches people and says, "I am he"....awkward.

2. It SNOWED?! 

Ya, this was really weird, we woke up saturday morning and there was snow everywhere....the people here in the south were freakin out! They said it has never snowed this early in the year in over 120 years! So that was a shocker...however by noon it was all gone and it was nice and warm again.
But....ya that was strange!

Our investigators are doing rather well.

We met with Susie again this past week, she loved hearing the message of the restoration. She is so excited to learn more about this church. She came to church again yesterday! She is progressing very fast. She loves the church and she says she wants to be baptised after she receives her own witness! 

Bryan is doing pretty good, we finally were able to have a member teach with us, and they connected really well. Bryan is so cool, I love being with him. I can't wait to see where his progress goes!

Kathy was ill last week, she ended up going to the hospital, we gave her a blessing and did some more service for her throughout the week. I love her too, she has such a sweet spirit and she is a great friend!

I hope all is great back home! 
Thanks for the halloween packages people~! LOVED IT! 
 Elder Dearden