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

taylor.dearden@myldsmail.net


Monday, February 29, 2016

3 Months ago......

There has been a lot on my mind lately. I don't have to much to put on the blog this week. So I figured I would share with you a part of my journal from about 3 months ago. 

Three months ago...

When I entered the mission field I was fooling myself because I was full of confidence and attitude. I thought I had all the knowledge and information I needed. I thought that I knew what kind of emotional price there was to search out those who need help. I thought I had the full capacity of diligence to endure anything a mission brings. I thought that countless doors slamming in my face wouldn't cause me stress. I thought I knew how to relate and get along with anyone. I thought that following the spirit was easy. I thought that a mission was going to be this fantasy adventure where everything just always goes right and you're always happy.
However... the Lord certainly corrected my thinking. 

This mission experience has cracked my shell of pride and revealed to me how inadequate and weak I am. Never before at any time in my life, outside my mission have my weaknesses manifested themselves in full bloom. I see more than ever how much I lack. I have many moments daily where I feel frustrated that I don't have the skill, intelligence, or understanding necessary to accomplish exactly what Preach my Gospel and the Prophets have directed. I see that the bar is set high as I reach up in attempt to touch it.

But this is a lesson and experience that the lord provides to his Priesthood Holders. Moroni laments to the Lord as he is writing the Book of Mormon, "And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness..."(Ether 12:23).
I certainly have experienced this, being mocked, insulted, or cursed by people we come in contact with. More doors have been slammed in my face the past 2 months than all the rest of my mission combined. This has been a reoccurring theme almost daily over the past month. This area seems to be full of people who are either Very Nice, or Very Mean, there isn't really much middle ground.

But the Lord responds to us saying, 
"Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me--the fountain of all righteousness.
And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;"
 
I too have been comforted having read these words from Jesus Christ. I know that although I am weak and inadequate, the Lord takes what I can do and blesses me for it. I feel a warm cloak of joy rest on my heart when I recognize that perfection is not for this life. That is the bar Heavenly Father has set, and we all fall short. 
Through the Grace and Power of the Atonement we can all overcome our weaknesses.

I am so grateful for all the many tender mercies that Heavenly Father has given to me. 

I hope ya'll have a great week,

Elder Dearden :D

Monday, February 22, 2016

Happy With Life

Brother Deloach 
Hello people!

So last week started off really cold, and we got our car back finally.

But this weekend it got really warm again, one day it hit 70....so it has been super nice! It's raining right now, but I like the rain, it's refreshing.

Elder Jeffs and I are working hard and really enjoying each other! 

Last week we were meeting with Bro Deloach, and he bought an accordion from a pawn shop, it was pretty nice, I was fiddling with it trying to learn how to play it, I thought it was fun.

I'm still playing the organ in Church, I have lots of people tell me how much they enjoy it, It's fun to play music when you know people are appreciative of it. I know all my companions except Elder Parker were piano and organ exhausted after being with me because I have to play them each pday :D.

Can I just say that this Congaree ward is amazing! They Get the
picture, I love the bishop, we're good buddies now and the whole ward
loves him.

It's amazing to see the impact his leadership has on the people.

I'm happy with life, things are going well here!

Elder Dearden

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fast Week

Hey

This last week just went faster than any week I have seen yet. 

So, some Sister Missionaries in Columbia are having car problems, so we had to give them our car until it gets fixed....so we have been traveling by bike and by foot. It has been fun, but cold. The weather has been a bit chilly lately.

Last week during Book of Mormon class with Brian, we had a fantastic discussion about how the lord gives us trials to test our faith. 
We talked about how opposition is a sign from God that we are doing the right thing, and if we persevere we will receive the "witness" after the trial of our faith.


Elder Jeffs birthday was last week, and that was fun! He's 21 now. 

We had interviews with President Turner last friday and that is always fun. I always look forward to talking with him. We discussed the importance of setting realistic goals and how that applies to missionary life and when we get home. 

Have a good week

Elder Dearden

Monday, February 8, 2016

Changes..... and Moving Forward

Congaree River, where I am standing was
 30 feet underwater during the floods.
People...

So Elder Jeffs from Show Low Arizona is my new companion! We
were in the MTC together and so we were both excited to be with someone we already knew! I'm hoping that we finish up the last 3 transfers together!

I saw Elder Parker at transfer meeting and It made my day! It's always fun to see his smile and to say hi!

Me and Elder Pace

I'm going to miss Elder Pace, he was so good to me and was patient with my personality hah! Here is a picture of us by the Congaree River.

We have been meeting with lots of less active members this week (like
Elder Nielson of the Seventy suggested). It has been going really well, good times.

I'm way excited to be working with Elder Jeffs, we are getting along
great, and it wasn't awkward the first few days because we already
knew each other. We were both shocked that President put us together,
it's going to be blast! He's got a really funny personality.

Elder Jeffs and Me
I don't have anything super awesome to say today, I'm doing well and
things are moving forward. I know the final 4 months will slide away
super fast, I'm trying my best to make the most of it.

Elder Dearden

Monday, February 1, 2016

February!? 2016?

FEBRUARY!? 2016?

Elder Nielson of the Seventy was with us last week. I got to hear from
him for 3 days! On Friday we had an all day visit with him and his
wife! What a privilege! He certainly has a gift to speak! He talked
about the enabling power of the atonement and the prophecy that is
being fulfilled as we "hasten the work". He shared some remarkable
insights.

We also got to hear him speak at the adult session of stake conference
Saturday and the general session on Sunday!

There are a few things that I'd like to relay that he said.

He shared how in a report, some Chinese officials have noticed that 5
words are disappearing from the Chinese vocabulary. Words like,
"Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, Brother, Sister". He said that is because of the
policy they made in the 50's prohibiting having more than one child.
The Chinese Government is making changes to remove that law because
they have noticed that it has negatively impacted their nation. Elder
Nielson was sharing how the Family Proclamation to the world directs
parents to "multiply and replenish the earth", the Law is still in
force. Millions in China now do not know what it is like to have an
"Uncle, Aunt, Brother, Sister, or Cousin". I personally am grateful
that I had Parents and Grandparents who honored that law, so that I
could have "Uncles, Aunts, Brothers, and Cousins". He shared with us
many other phrases from the Proclamation that were prophetic, I wish I
could have all of you sit down in front of him and listen to what he
said, it was remarkable.

He also gave us many great insights on how to be better missionaries.

The greatest of all though was the witness from the Spirit that Elder
Nielson is called of God and has Authority to declare his witness to
the world. I love meeting Seventys because they bare a presence of
power that confirms to me that we have a living prophet who has all
the keys.

So, we found out today that Elder Pace is going to be transferred! I'm
always anxious for the future, but we will see what happens! I'm glad
Elder Pace lives in Utah, it's not to hard to say goodbye to people
when you know they will be living only 20 minutes away when we all get
home!

I hope ya'll have a great week!

Elder Dearden