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


Monday, January 26, 2015

Serving in Summerville!

Family and Friends, and other people.

I am in Summerville, SC now! It is beautiful here! Very Tropical!

I am Training Elder Parker! A new Missionary from Salt Lake City! I am excited to work with him. He has such a positive and uplifting attitude! He is an amazing musician. He has perfect pitch and can play anything on the piano after hearing it! I am amazed. I am excited to have p-days on the piano with him, I bet we will be able to have some good times with music!

So, guess what?! The area I am in is where Elder Lumpkin is from! I came here on Wednesday of last week and I had a dinner with Elder Lumpkin's Mom! His Family was shocked and it was really funny to meet Elder Lumpkins Family! Elder Lumpkin wasn't to happy when he learned that I was going to his homeward. I can understand that, I wouldn't be to happy if I found out one of my companions was going to eat dinner with my Family!

I was able to connect quickly to the members here after telling them that I served with Elder Lumpkin for 4 1/2 months. The Ward members here are so on top of things.

The missionary work here in Summerville is amazing! The Ward is on fire and they are bringing in referrals to us like it's candy! The Sister missionaries who's area we are taking over left us the entire Nephite Library record of missionary work in summerville, color coded. So we have plenty of records and plans to accomplish the next 12 weeks! Haha.

Summerville is also where Elder Cook served for some time, so that was a cool connection too!

I love the climate here in Summerville, it is perfect! We have a car, but I think we will do lots of biking because it is flat here and the weather is perfect. My former area in Greenwood was the half the size of the state of Delaware. But my area here is small and dense with member families. It is going to be so much fun!

Man, I miss greenwood though! Argh, I am slowing recovering from past-area-depression syndrome.
But I know the Lord will comfort me.
Not much else to tell, other than the strange coincidence with Elder Lumpkin's Family and that Elder Parker and I are on fire and we have lots to accomplish here!

Hopefully I will get more pictures next week! 

Love ya'll!!

Elder Dearden

This is Pam Shumway, President of Republican Women here in South Carolina. We reactivated her in Greenwood. She lives on the border of SC and Georgia, but her ward boundaries are in Greenwood. 
Anyways she took us to a fancy country club cafe to have lunch last Tuesday before I left. She is awesome! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Moving Forward!

 Wow, this past week was one heck of a week! So many great things came to great conclusions!

I'll start with John Mitchell. 
John has progressed so rapidly the past 3 months! He became worthy to receive the Aaronic Priesthood last Sunday and he asked me to ordain him. It was such a great fulfillment to help John to do that. He will be ready to go to the temple by the summer!

I love John! We will be staying in really close contact!

John Mitchell
This is Bro Tim Pate, our Ward mission leader! I'll be coming back to see him for sure!

This is Bro Rapley, a ward missionary, we spent a lot of great time in the summer teaching people when he was out of school.

This is Josh Woolridge, he just started his mission papers two days ago! He went out with us quite a bit to teach lots of people!

This is the Manley Family! Bro and Sis Manley remind me so much of my own parents!

We got to work at the Cemetery again last week. Sis. Foster certainly has some very inspiring ideas about missionary work! I'm grateful I have that friendship with her so that we can stay in contact and I'm going to try to implement some of her Family History Proselyting ideas!

She gave me a bunch of pictures of us at the cemetery working! I'll attach some of those.

The forest in the background, there are still dozens of graves in the forest. The Graves shown in this picture were once lost in the forest.

Many of the grave stones are underground and need to be excavated.

Elder Cook is actually in this picture! We were able to have one last exchange this week before he goes home tomorrow! Elder Cook and I went out to eat with Kathy and it was great! Elder Cook was such a great inspiration and connection to have here! I love the guy! It only makes it better that we are 2nd cousins! I know the Lord was involved there! When I first arrived here in the South, I knew I was in the right place when he said to me, "You know we are related right?" ......haha

At lunch with Elder Cook

President Turner Called me Saturday morning and asked me to be a trainer! He also told me that I will be whitewashing an area! That means the area I will work in will have a totally new set of missionaries and we will have to start from ground zero and build up from there! Certainly going to be a wild adventure! I am excited to meet the fresh missionary from the MTC tomorrow! I hope to give him a good first impression of the south like Elder Davis did! 

Btw! Kylie Boren sent me a letter that her and Kyle were Sealed! So excited for them! Congrats! 

I'm eating tonight with Kathy! She is a great person in my life! Tonight when we eat, it won't be a goodbye. But Rather just the closing of a chapter! I owe so much to Kathy and all that she has done for me.

It is impossible for me to express everything that happened last week! Way to much!
Bishop had me give a final testimony in Sacrament Sunday. I Sure hope the Greenwood ward here knows how much I loved them! They are so great!

I am excited for this new Chapter of my mission!

Elder Dearden

Monday, January 12, 2015

7 Months

Hey Family...

So i'l appologize right off...I didn't get any pictures....sorry about that.

This past week was a strange one. Time to me seems to be warping and it doesn't make sense. I've been out 7 months now? Huh, strange.

But I have had such a great time. 

Last week the Sister Missionaries had a Baptism for one of the Litchfield students, Angel. We made a really cool arrangement of Cannon and Angels we have heard on High mixed. Sis. Lower Played the Violin and I played the piano, and wrote a second piano piece that Elder Reed played on a second piano. It is probably the coolest song I've ever come up with. I will try to find a way to send you the audio of the song. I call it, Christmas Cannon. :D. But we actually played the song for the Missionary Christmas party, I just forgot to tell ya'll about it. But WE thought the Angel theme applied to Angel's name :D. Elder Gardner and Sister Johnson sang during the song.

I have been feeling lots of emotion for the passing of Jaynie. I loved her, she was my other neighborhood Mom! I will miss her so much! I know she is alright in Paradise right now. I owe so much to her! Thank Goodness for the Plan of Salvation! She was more prepared than anyone could be! 

My heart was touched to hear that Scott was able to be with Ian! Wow! Two Great people in my life! My Mom sent me this picture of Scott and Ian, two Men of God! Ian is my best buddy! I sure hope he knows how much I love him and how much I feel for Him and his family! I love all of them! 

John Mitchel, an Older Black man who we ran into one night a few months ago, a less active. He has been coming to church now for 3 months actively! He is also now living the Word of Wisdom and faithfully paying tithing. We are so proud of him! He has become my Southern Grandpa out here! He is going to be ordained a Priest next week, he has asked that I do that. I love John, we've been meeting with him weekly for 3 months, he's definately had the light of Christ Awakened in his soul! He was baptized 20 years ago and the missionares and ward members just forgot about him and he fell into inactivity for 20 years. But Elder Davis and I were the first missioanres to begin to visit him regularly and that's what brought him back. He just wanted someone who would care. 
I was pondering on the significance of Ordaining a Black Gentleman to the Priesthood in of all places, South Carolina! I am so pround and happy for John. We Hope to see him attend the temple this year.

I will try harder to get pictures for next week. Maybe i'll find a way to send ya'll the song I wrote.

I find out what happens this weekend in relation to transfers, I have no idea what to think.

Love ya'll! Have a blessed week! (they say that alot, have a blessed day :D)

Elder Dearden

Monday, January 5, 2015


2015?! Huh, oh well. I will just pretend it is still 2014 :D. I always had 2014 as a mile stone in my life because that's when I would leave the prison of the public education system. But now that it is 2015 I am weirded out, reminds me how much of my life I still have ahead of me!

But we had some cool experiences last week. We picked up a former Investigator that Elder Davis and I had met. Her name is Judy. 

We were driving down a road, and I had this weird Idea to randomly pull off into this neighborhood to the right. As we were driving around in it I had some flashbacks and remembered Elder Davis and I knocking on that street, and remembered the lady we had ran into! So we knocked on her door and she was thrilled to see us! She invited us in and we said a prayer with her family! 
She had us come back on Saturday and teach her the restoration. We are excited to see where her progression goes.

We spent New Year day with Kathy! She took us to Cracker Barrel. Good food. Kathy is just as awesome as ever :D.

Bryan is doing fantastic, came to Church Sunday, we talked about his progression towards baptism. He still wants to be baptized, he just hasn't decided how soon. He feels that he shouldn't rush into it. We hope that he makes his decision soon though :D.

Many other people we are working with though! But nothing super fantastic or "wow" enough to share. 

I spent time making some goals for 2015, it was strange to realize that the year 2015 is going to be spent 100% on a mission. For those of you who know what the number 15 means to me, that'll make great sense :D.

Elder Lumpkin and I are having fun though! We are like brothers now, things are going really good.

Sorry, no pictures this week. Sort of an uneventful week. But, next week, I will have pictures! 

Hope ya'll have a super-duper-freakin-fantastic week!

Elder Dearden

This is a picture that Kathy sent me (Stacie) I believe it was taken at the Fosters home on Christmas.