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

taylor.dearden@myldsmail.net


Monday, March 30, 2015

19!?

Ok so it was really strange for me to realize that I am 19, I don't feel that way. In my mind I think I'm about 16....so it's weird.

Last week was a week of lots of success! Lots of Great things happened. 

We went to Bobby's Daughter's Soft Ball game, and that was fun! (My Mom should have a picture of that, I think Bobby sent it to my Mom).


But Bobby is awesome! She came to church yesterday again and she is excited to help out with our church's community service project on the 11th. We're also excited for her to experience General Conference for the first time!

We met this random guy on the street 2 weeks ago. He was super kind and immediately invited us to come back and in fact offered us dinner. We were a little anxious about it because of how quick he was to invite us to dinner, but it ended up being awesome! He's so cool. We ate with him last Wednesday and talked forever! I walk into his home and see lots of arrow heads and rocks....I was like....huh...I think I like this guy :D. He said, "Ya, I sort of collect rocks, I have piles of them all over the place" (large piles outside his home). He has collected some really cool things over the years! But we had an awesome dinner with him and taught the restoration and it went fantastic! We are actually eating with him again tonight, but this time with some awesome members, the Acrees. They offered to return the favor and feed him tonight. So that will be cool!

Another cool story....this past week had lots of them. Last Thursday it was the evening and we sort of didn't plan to well. So it resulted in us coming to a blank at 7:30. We started heading back to our apartment and then when we were biking into the complex, Elder Parker stopped in the middle of the road because he taught he dropped something. I was a little nervous because we were in the way of traffic, but it was getting dark. So I got my flashlight out and started looking for whatever it was he thought he dropped. And this guy comes walking by, and starts helping us. We recognized him from the Library when we email each week, he works there. We started a conversation and he was really interested in learning so we set up an appointment with him. Turns out he lives in our apartment complex too! The funniest part is that he lives right next to the sisters, their doors are next to each other. He hadn't talked to them though haha. His name is Chase and he's 20 yrs old, so close to our age.

Anyways we taught him and he was super receptive and believed what we shared, he said he's been searching for some answers to understand his relationship with God. So that was really cool. He's going to watch Conference with us this week, which will be great!
I am convinced Elder Parker didn't drop anything, must have been an unseen person stopping him so we could meet Chase. Angels can make a noise so you think you dropped something right? :D

So this weekend was my birthday, and the city threw a party for me :D haha, jk, but they did have a festival and THOUSANDS of people came! It was super fun and wildly busy! I have a picture of one of the streets!


This really random nice member from a nearby city, Mt. Pleasant, gave me $20, she didn't know it was my birthday until after she gave me the money! Fun day! Here is a picture of her:
Life is good. Birthday was awesome, and I got to eat some good food :D. (Thanks Mom for the candy buttons!!!! I ate them all :D) And thanks to everyone else who sent me stuff! LOVED IT!

I hope ya'lls week goes great! 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Another Great Week!

Hey Family and Friends! 

I know I always say life is good, but that is....good....so I'm gona say it again, LIFE IS GOOD!!!

Our investigators are on fire and Elder Parker and I are meeting lots of really cool people, our teaching pool is increasing at a fast pace!

Bobby is the Highlight we taught her yesterday with Bishop and the Relief Society President. It was super awesome! We read 3 Nephi 11 with her and had a great discussion, she had watched the testaments last week so the lesson went together perfect. Bobby is loving church and has a desire to continue to take steps closer to Heavenly Father! Maybe I can get a picture with Her and Ed this week. 

Ben is doing great too, we are almost done with the lessons with him, he wants to be baptized but says he will after the lessons are done, so hopefully soon :D.

Elder Parker and I did a lot of biking last week and it was really fun. I missed riding in the rain and dodging cars at night haha, jk, the cars aren't that bad. 
Elder Parkers bike brakes broke so we are getting them fixed, hopefully we will have his bike back this week so we can resume our biking adventures.
I am so proud of Elder Parker and how much he has grown the past 9 weeks! He has become one of my best friends! I know it will last beyond a mission!

My birthday is this Saturday...., that will be strange having a birthday on a mission? But I'm sure it will be the best one ever, as life on a mission only gets better and better :D

Last week we had an exchange, Elder Collins came to my area, he was super cool. It's always fun to meet other missionaries and make quick friendships.


Me and Elder Collins


Dang I just love this mission! I am spoiled to live in this ward, they are on fire with missionary work and I can't ask for better! Surely Elder Parker has been spoiled to start at such a great place :D!

This week should be just as awesome, we already have some cool things planned. 

Hope ya'lls week goes great!

Elder Dearden

Monday, March 16, 2015

Amazing Week!!



This past week was amazing!!! LOVED IT!

So. Elder Kopischke of the Seventy came to our mission last Wednesday and spent the whole day with us. 
Basically what he did was questions and answers all day. He turned the setting into a revelation  power house. Every missionary I talked to had some sort of powerful revelation, as did I. 
Elder Kopischke is amazing, he has an extraordinarily ability to invite the spirit.
He taught a great principle about missionary work:

Many missionaries take ownership of converts and refer to them as, "My Converts". However, Elder Kopischke said that we should not do that. He said we can neither take the PRAISE or the BLAME for the results of our missionary efforts. That is completely in the agency of others! I really loved that knowing that I shouldn't take blame for the results of my efforts, because it is the LORDS work, and we're all in this together, it is truly a ZION concept, ONE Heart and ONE Mind. 

He taught many other things that pertain to how we can do missionary work better. But I don't have enough time to talk about them.

We got to play our Organ duet, it went well. The Organ was older and didn't have as many fancy abilities as we were used to, but it still sounded pretty good. Everyone liked it and told us how cool it was. 

Elder Parker and I had one of the most productive weeks ever, we met so many people and made so many friends!

One investigator stands out above all right now, Her name is Bobby. She came to church yesterday and had an amazing revelation experience. She told us how her questions were answered one right after the other and how she felt the spirit confirm those truths. We went over to her home later that evening and continued to have an amazing time. She is amazing, and I know she has a super bright future, she is figuring it out! She is reading the Book of Mormon and is growing in so much truth!

We will be teaching Ben later tonight, and I'm sure that will go just great too!

Life is so good! I am learning so much! I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

Elder Parker is doing good too, he has expressed how real the savior is becoming in his life! Which is amazing, nothing brings me more joy than to see the Light of Christ awaken in the souls of others! 

Have a good week :D

Elder Dearden


Monday, March 9, 2015

Life is Good!



Life is Good

So, I truly wish I had a lot to say this week. But really last week was just a regular week of a missionary. 

Our investigators are doing rather well, we also picked up a few new missionaries.

This week we are having Elder Kopischke of the Seventy visit our mission. Elder Parker and I will be playing a fancy arrangement of "Come all ye sons of God" on the Organ as a duet for the meeting. We are super excited, the song sounds really cool and is really unique. The song has 3 other melodies mixed into it. "High on the Mountain Top". "Let Zion in her Beauty Rise", "Ye Elders of Israel". 

We got a total of 3 new Missionaries in our district this past week! Elder Newton (Fresh off the plane), Elder Hatch, and Elder Collins. They are all really nice people.
There is a possibility some of them might move into our apartment soon, but we don't know yet. 

I guess just a Spiritual thought to conclude:

Moroni 8:26

 26 And the remission of sins bringeth meeknessand lowlinessof heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart comeththe visitation of the Holy Ghostwhich Comforter filleth with hope and perfect lovewhich love endureth by diligence unto prayeruntil the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

I firmly believe in this scripture! Being on a mission has brought me to a Lowliness of Heart, and I certainly did experience a visitation of the Holy Ghost! The Holy Ghost is super difficult to describe, but I do know without any question that the Holy Ghost can bear a witness that will fill our whole frame!

The best part however, is that if we are diligent unto prayer (Praying ALWAYS), we qualify to have the Holy Ghost fill us with Hope and Perfect Love! 
There is a powerful kind of Love I have felt for South Carolina the past 7 weeks, and it has made life so amazing! The Perfect Love comes from Jesus Christ.

I have also Learned that LOVE WILL SOLVE EVERYTHING!


I hope ya'lls week goes great!

Elder Dearden

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fun week



This past week was pretty fun, we had some good experiences. 

Ben is progressing very well! He has decided to be baptized at the end of march! We are so excited for him. 

Our other investigators are doing alright, busy work schedules keep us from meeting with them sometimes. But we are able to stay in frequent contact. This week should be better in that we should be able to meet with most of them.

We had interviews with President Turner last week, that was fun. I find it so uplifting to counsel with someone who holds Priesthood Keys. It is interesting how the Spirit will guide those conversations. I Love President Turner and support him! He's my favorite. 

Nothing super crazy or awesome happened this past week, I did get to spend some time with Jeff again though, he took us out to eat Chinese, we talked about Mexico for a while and it was just great! I'm so glad he's here in this area, definitely no coincidence.

This week is transfers, 2 Elders from our district are leaving and 2 are coming in that are whitewashing and training (Which is what I did, starting an area fresh with 2 Elders). I'm excited to have another Trainer in the district! 
I'll put pictures of them on the blog next week!

Huh, sorry for not having a long blog letter this week, just know life is good, I'm doing great! I'm learning so much, I will never regret a mission! This is an adventure of a lifetime!

Elder Dearden