Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week 12

Family!!! I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for the opportunity we had to talk! I miss you tons, but I was so happy to hear your voices. :) So I am here in Norway and it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!! I am in Oslo and I just met my companion- she is great! I will be working with the LDS College center thingy which I am super excited about. We jumped right into speaking Norwegian and it's fantastic! I'm super tired and I feel like I'm going to pass out, but I am so happy! My mission Pres and his wife are AMAZING. They bought us lunch when we got here and we got to know eachother. Then the other 2 shipped off to Stavanger and Christenstand (SP?) and I rode with Pres. and Sis. Johansen and we talked. My apartment is super tiny and everything in from IKEA. :) Well, I gotta go contact! P-day is monday so we will talk again soon! Love you all!!!

-Sister Taylor

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 11

Hi Family!!!
I miss you so much! Being at temple square just reminds me of family and home and Argh.. it's rough! But AMAZING!!! I've met some of the most amazing people here- missionaries and guests alike! People from all over the world come to this place and we have the pleasure of taking them around. :)
So First off, I have 2 companions. No Norwegians... But it is ok with me. I LOVE these girls! One is from Mexico, Sis. Martinez, and the other is from Samoa, Sister Tupoula. They have taken me right in and we have a great time together! They are teaching me all the ropes about how to take people on tours and mix principles of the gospel into it. You would NEVER believe what they do here though... They have the opportunity to teach people that they meet over the phone and through email. They are teaching people from 76 countries and in about 40 different languages. They do this about 2 hours per day. It is incredible!!! I don't have a username and password yet, but I get to watch them talk to people all over the world! They let me call a few people on Monday and Tuesday- I was calling New Zealand! :) A sister from Sweden told me that she has some Norwegian refferals to call and she said she would give them to me. :)
Speaking of Norwegian... I don't have a lot of practice time, but I pray in Norsk and I study the Scriptures in Norsk. But today I heard a group of people talking in a different language, and I knew it was Norsk so i went up and talked to them for a minute!!! It was so awesome! I didn't do very well, but I loved it!! It made me want to go to Norway so bad! Ha ha ha! Seriously though, I am SOOOO happy here! It is an amazing place and I learn knew things everyday. The Spirit is so strong- I took it for granted before, but it is an amazing place! If you come up, go see God's plan for the family in the North Visitor's Center by the Christus- It's absolutely amazing! It's my favorite place here. In 2 days we went through it with tours 8 times one in Spanish. Tell the Sister's you know me- They ALL know who I am. Ha ha! I'm the talk of the town! :)
What else... Oh yeah! So today for Pday, our mission president and his wife took 8 or so sisters to some batting cages in town and then to artic circle for dinner and ice cream! It was so fun! They are incredible people and I appreciate him so much. He is always checking up on me to make sure all is well. :)
I love being a whole-life Mormon with Pioneer ancestry here because it's so rare! I have had so many people look at me in awe when I tell them about John Moyle and Zera Pulsipher. There was this one member who was visiting with her kids and when I told her that he was my great great great... grandpa, she flipped! ( In a good way! ha ha!) She whipped out her phone and video-ed me telling about him so she could show her primary in texas- I guess they had just told that story in sharing time a few weeks ago. I am so grateful for our pioneer heritage, especially after being here and witnessing first hand their sacrifices. I feel my testimony strengthen when I talk about their astounding faith! :)
So I have met people from Australia, Israel, Mexico, Canada... basically everywhere! Ha ha! It's so amazing! Nowhere else in the world would I ever meet this many different people! So I am on the ground every single day and it is such a blessing! I am soooo tired, but I and sooooooooooo happy! :)
My address here is:
50NW Temple Street
UT 84150-1006
I love you all so much and I miss you always! I hope everything is going well at home! Tell me everything!
Jeg elsker dere veldig mye!
Sister Taylor

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week 10

Hello, hello!
Guess what... I am still at the MTC! ...but not for long. We get our temporary assignments today, so I'll be calling you!!! :)
So I have officially been here for 10 weeks... BLAH! I'm getting sick of it, but it has been an amazing blessing! There have been so many things that I have learned, that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to if I wouldn've left when I was supposed to.
 -The new norsk missionaries have brought us much purpose here. They are all amazing and I love them to death! They have it a lot harder than we did becaust they have had Norsk spoken to them from day one and they taught their first lesson in Norsk their 3rd day here! It's crazy because normally we have 2 teachers, but they have switched it up for them. They only think they have one- Bro. Jaffa. Bro. Burns, our other teacher is actually playing a native Norwegian who is visiting and is interested in the church, so that is who they are teaching. After each companionship teaches him 5 times he will reveal himself as their teacher! It's really awesome, but hard because we have to keep the secret. :) They are picking it up so fast- it's incredible! It's great because they rely a lot on us 3 oldies for help with the language- I'm realizing I know a lot more than I thought I did! :) We have had the opportunity to review all that we learned as they learn principles of the language for their fisrt time. It's great! 
 -On Saturday, we had 2 older gentlemen come visit our class room saying that they had received an email from the MTC asking them to come help out with the Norwegians. They let us 3 oldies talk to them for a while, then they acted as investigators and we taught them as a tripanionship in Norsk. It was so fun! I had the opportunity to teach the part about the first vision. I cannot even begin to tell you how much my testimony of Joseph Smith has grown. When reciting the first vision, english or norsk, the Spirit immediately floods the room and there is no denying the truthfulness of it. My heart is burning just thinking about it! :)
 -Because a lot of what is being done in class is just review, we oldies separate a lot for personal study. For the last 3 days, I have been watching the Finding Faith in Christ movie on It is an incredible movie! While I have been watching, I will pause at each story that it depicts and I found it in every gospel in the New Testament. So I have read the 4 gospels probably 3 times now! :) This has been an amazing experience because I have been able to study His life more fully and build a stornger faith in Him. Last night, we had a devotional and the speaker descibed His atonement in such detail... words can't begin to describe. In the past 3 days, I have come to know my Savior so much more and I am SO grateful for all that He has done for us! My heart hurts as I think about the pain he must have felt- and He did it all alone! The speaker said- "We can't begin comprehend the magnitude of His sacrifice, but we must try to comprehend." He has felt EVERYTHING we have felt. That is how we can know that we are never alone, because He has felt every individual pain for every individual person that has ever walked this planet or any other planet in this universe. I love Him so much! It is because of this that I can trust that no matter what happens, it will be ok- He walks with us always.
Well.... That's about it for now. I'll keep you posted on Reassignments! :)
Love you all!
-Sister Jessica Taylor

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Week 9

How is everything? I miss you all so much and I'm so sad that I didn't get to talk to you on the 4th of July. :( I hope you had a fun one! Sounds like Lake Las Vegas would've been fun! I'd kill for a pampered chef sandwich right now.... Ha ha! The food here is getting so old and there are SO MANY missionaries here that I just end up eating cereal. Good thing they have cinnamon toast crunch and skim milk! :)
So I'm pretty much ready to lose my mind right now. I'm dying to get out in the field!!! I don't feel completely ready, but I don't feel like I'm progressing much anymore- I need to be talking to the Natives! :) There are many positives to still being here though. On the 4th, none of our teachers could come in- they all thought we would be gone, so they made plans. So Sis. B., E. Godfrey, and I got to hang out with a lone swedish elder who got delayed a week and his teacher. Thank heavens we understand Swedish! :) So we learned about listening to the Spirit and it was such an amazing lesson! Then we practiced teaching 3-5 minute lessons. It was super fun! :) Yesterday our teacher came in and he went over anything we wanted to go over. Then we practiced contacting as a trio with our teachers as the investigator for a long time. we did it 3 different times and we learned something new each time. I'm loving this one on one attention! I am feeling more prepared now than i did before!
Today we got to go clean the Provo temple! It was so fun! We got to didmantle the chandeliers in the brides room- we removed all of the crystals so they can recycle them and get new ones. I loved it! :)
So on July 2, we had our 4th of July celebration at the MTC. we all got together and sang fun songs like yankee doodle dandy. Then we had a speaker. They had bagpipers play for us, then we were given ice cream bars and we were allowed to go out and watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire! It was super fun!!!
Sunday was a sad day because it was our last full day as an entire district. We had an our set aside for a meeting, but our district leader (E. Hollingshead) decided that they should give everyone priesthood blessings. Elder Anderson gave me a blessing. It was so good! He told me that there is a higher purpose for my delay and that when I get to Norway I will have success almost instantly. He said many other things, but those things stuck out the most! Cool, Huh? :)
Monday was very sad... our first day as loners. We couldn't hug our leaving district- that was awful! Ha ha! I love those Elders! We have become like family these past 9 weeks... Oh well! We'll see them in Norway! :)
So I was called as coordinating sister again because we get new nowegian missionaries today! I hope I can help make them feel comfortable like the last sisters did for me. If that's all my delay was for, it's worth it to me! :)
Anyways, I love you all so much! I will be able to call you when the visa comes (whenever that is...) Talk to you soon!!! :)
Ha det bra! Jeg elsker dere! :)
-Sister Taylor

Friday, July 1, 2011

Week 8

Hi Family!!
How is everything going???? I admire all of you so much for your strength and your faith! :)
Can you believe it- this will most likely be the last email I will send from the MTC!!! Holy cow! We actually received our travel plans on Thursday (but they don't mean anything if our visas don't come- pray for us!!! :) ) Anyways, the plan is to leave the MTC at 8am on the 4th, fly out of SLC at 11 to Chicago with a 2 hour layover until our flight to LONDON :) at, with an hour layover until our flight to Norway. So open times for calls would be between 8 and 11 (probably wont happen then because they discourage calling in SLC), or in Chicago between 3:20 and 5:10 pm. That is utah time... I don't remember Vegas time... ha ha!
Thank you so much for the card with pics and gum!!! I loved it! :) I love you all so much and I can't wait to talk to you!!!! Oh my goodness, I am so excited! :)
So this last week has been AMAZING!!! It was training for the new mission presidents and all of the general authorities were here. The Spirit was so strong especially on Thursday because the Prophet was here! On Friday, we actually saw Jefferey R. Holland in the hallway and he said Hi to us- It was amazing!!! He glowed with the Spirit! We were freaking out- talk about Mormon celebrities! :) Anyways, we got to leave class early that day because our district wanted to sing in the choir for the special devotional that was planned for that night. We sang 2 new primary songs, and they were beautiful! At the devotional, there were 7 of the 12 apostles there, including Holland, anderson, scott, nelson, oaks, ballard, and bednar. Elder Bednar spoke to us and it was so amazing! He gave all of us an apostalic blessing- he invoked on us all of the necessary blessings that would help us be the best missionaries we could be. The spirit was so strong! We also saw Julie B Beck- she waved at us when we were sitting in the choir. Later we saw Dallin H Oaks and his wife at dinner. They truly are apostles of Christ and Men of God!! :)
So yesterday, Sis. B. and I got to leave the compound... Like really leave! Sis. B. lost her retainer, so we had to go to an Ortho office so she could get a new one. We rode in a car and spent our first hour in public with our badges on! It was super fun, and suprisingly spiritual. I felt like I needed to be better because of the name on my tag. It was really cool! :)
Wanna hear a funny story? Well after the devotional on Friday, all the missionaries had a chance to relax and watch the MTC special from conference. Well suddenly I had this note sat on my lap and I was very confused. I opened it up and it was a note from some random elder asking me for my address! Creepy! So I folded it back up and passed it back down the row. Mean, I know. But the boy needs to focus, right? So aftr a few minutes, it came back with an Email address on it! Anyways, I found which elder it was and have been trying to keep on the DL, but he is everywhere! Ha ha! Well that's my story... It's not that funny, sorry. It'd be better if I could show you the note and tell you in person. We all got a kick out of it here. :)
I love you all so much and I cant wait to talk to you!!!
-Sister Taylor