Wow...I can't believe I head out to Italy this monday :) I couldn't be more excited/nervous/happy, we head out at 3:35 am monday morning and get to Italy at 7 am Italian time,,,hahah in other words I won't be getting very much sleep for those couple of days, mostly because I am so excited :)
This week was by far one of the best weeks. I feel I say that every week but things just keep getting better and better. It was wonderful!! Being a missionary is such a privilege, such an honor and I am so grateful to be a part of the Lord's work right now. It is amazing :)
To start out, Thursday morning was our first day of skype with an Italian! Wow....it was absolutely incredible! Oh my, this member was such an amazing woman. Her name was Rometta and she was from Florence.She served her mission in Milano, her 3 sons served their missions in Roma, and her daughter served her mission in Chile. I learned more from her than she did from us by far. She struggled because all of her children lived in other cities and Italy and she adores them/misses them so much. Her parents had just recently passed away as well. We taught her a 30 minute lesson on how we receive revelation from the Spirit and more specifically through the Book of Mormon. She shared some very sweet experiences she had with the Spirit on her mission that I will never forget. Hahah she laughed when I made mistakes in Italian and would smile and repeat the correct word...she was so cute :) At the end of the lesson, we asked her to pray (she was at work at the time) anyways she said the most beautiful prayer in Italian I had ever heard. During the prayer, she just started bawling, she could barely speak. I felt the Spirit so strongly and couldn't help from crying as well. After the prayer, she explained how grateful she was for us and the message we shared. She told us how badly she wished she was in our position as missionaries. Such a special moment, by far mine and Sorella Holiday's best lesson and it got me so excited to meet those Italians :)
Sunday night was also very special...for the devotional that night, Lloyd Newell from "Music and the Spoken Word" came and did "missionaries and the spoken word" with us. The choir sang about 5 songs and he shared a spiritual thought with each one, it was so powerful. I guess they had been preparing for this for about a year now. My favorite song we sang was "How firm a foundation" it was so beautiful! hahah I felt like such a baby, I can never go to choir without getting choked up. We sang the 7th verse which I don't remember ever singing....but it was an experience I will never forget. Lloyd Newell then played the Mormon Tabernacle music video "Praise to the Man" and I saw Audrey and Kathryn for a split second, ahhh it made me so happy :)
I will now share one of my favorite experiences that I personally have had in the mtc. One morning for Personal Scripture Study I decided to open up the bible and read about the time when Paul himself was teaching in Italy...I opened directly to Romans 1...on verse 15 and 16 I had put one of those transparent stickers of 2 sister missionaries when I was little, probably 8 or 9 years old. I read vs. 15, and it said "So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also." vs. 16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth." I don't think I have ever felt to much comfort in my life about my mission. It was such an amazing and spiritual moment for me, if I had only known when I was 8 or 9 that one day I really would be teaching the Gospel when I was 19 years old in Rome :) I know that God is mindful of me, and mindful of everyone, that He really does know me and knows what I am capable of doing. I have learned to try not to doubt myself and my abilities since I have been out here, because then I would be doubting the power and the gifts and the abilities God has so generously blessed me with! He knew long ago that I would one day share my testimony of Christ with the people of Rome, and I am forever grateful for this incredible opportunity :) Monday could not come fast enough!
Last night was also another tender mercy of the week! For last night's devotional, Elder Cardon came and spoke to us. He used to be the mission president in the Italy Rome Mission. Everything he talked about last night was such a blessing to us 4 missionaries going to Rome, out of the thousands of people that were in the room last night. We felt so lucky to hear from him and his testimony.
Thank you to everyone who has been such a huge help and support to me out here on the mish :) I have never been more grateful in my entire life for this opportunity! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Ti voglio bene :) Dio ci ama!!!
Ciao family and friends!!! 1 month down....oh my goodness I can't believe it has all ready been a month! I head out to Italy in a week and a half and I couldn't be more nervous/excited/happy. Mom, just so you know we are actually leaving on Monday Sep 28th now! Haha just me, my companion and Anziano Friedman and Rosenberg are flying out and the rest of the 27 missionaries are flying out on Tuesday :) Not sure why, but please pray for us that we will know what's going on when we get to the Rome airport hahaha.
MARY AND DANIEL!!!! ahh congratulations your letter left me with a smile all night long Dan the Man :)) I can't wait to meet this little baby girl!!!! I hope everything continues to go well with my cute pregnant sister in laws...I pray for yall every single night!
Well another amazing week as usual here in the mtc :) One of the highlights of my week was Saturday...That night was the first home game at BYU! And a lot of us in our district were a bit distracted throughout the day, thinking of the game and other distractions (family, friends, etc) anyways Fratello Wortham took us outside to go on a walk, about 30 minutes after the game started. A lot of our district started talking about the game, because we could hear it so well. The stadium was SO loud. I'm not going to lie, I thought of my friends and others who were probably cheering at the game and it made my heart hurt just a bit :) As we continued on our walk, we passed a group of Elders who were "studying" right by the fence. One of them said hey the score is 7-0 Byu! Fratello Wortham instantly turned around...he gathered all of us missionaries and said to take a moment to be silent and listen to all the noises around us. We did for about 5 min, and the Spirit was strong. After a long moment of silence he asked, "what temp does water boil at?" 212. "what would happen if you touched water that was 210?" "Yes, you would burn yourself. However, would the water be boiling? No. I testify this is the same with missionaries. A missionary can't give the Lord 95%, and have the other 5% focused on other things, like football. That isn't fair to the Lord. He gave us 100%. When He was in the garden of Gethsemane, or dying on the cross, all He thought of was us. It isn't fair for us to be giving him less than our all. He's only asked you to give 18 months/2 years of your life...when He gave you everything. To be worried about the score is stupid. All those things will be there when you get home. You should be worried for people's salvation." He then asked us to go off by ourselves and say a prayer asking the Lord for the strength to leave behind all distractions and give Him our all. This was such a huge blessing for our district. We were all able to recommit ourselves and all ready we have noticed so many miracles :)
Yesterday was bellisimo!! We studied, studied, studied, and then had choir. Me and sorella Holiday were split up because there wasn't 2 seats next to each other, and guess who I ended up sitting by? 2 sisters going to Fiji and Tonga :) ahhh it made me so happy! I couldn't help but tell them how incredible the people are there and how much I love them. It was such a tender mercy, I felt that God was reminding me how much I loved those Fijians and Tongans and reminding me that I need to have that same love for the people of Italy. haha one of the sisters was ADORABLE, she was from micronesia. When I told her I was from Draper UT, she asked me if I knew everyone in my town...I laughed and she said she knows every single person on her island :) The devotional last night was incredible, Primary General President Sister Wixom and her husband came and spoke to us. It was wonderful :)
Well time makes absolutely no sense here in the mtc! I can't believe I am headed out to Italy in just a short week in a half...we start packing next p day :) hahaha that will be interesting...oh my goodness, last night was probably the funniest part of the whole entire mtc. We walked into our hall last night and girls were running around everywhere and screaming...because of BATS. haha there were 3 bats flying down our hall!!! Don't ask me how they got inside, they were SO big....it was hilarious. Sister Weidmann from Switzerland thought they were so cute and wanted to catch one...it was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen. I guess in July they had to evacuate the whole building of missionaries because there were so many bats...and girls were waking up with bats on top of them! I thought those were supposed to be in Italy not in the mtc... hahah
Well I think I say this probably every week but I have never been so happy in my entire life :) I know this is because I have also never been so close to Christ in my entire life. This gospel is so true! It has brought me so much light and joy in my life :) We may not realize as we help others come unto Christ we are coming unto Him as well.
Sorella Taylor :)
ps Tomorrow we get to skype real investigators from Italy! I am so excited :)
Hello Family and friends!!! Ahh I can't believe that I am halfway done with the mtc, haha to be honest that really scares me to say that. I am trying to soak in every moment and learn so much yet time is literally flying by. Couldn't be happier with this last week, it was so wonderful :))
We taught 3 members of the church this week, 2 students at BYU who just got home from their missions and Brother Haynes, who served his mission in Rome about 40 years ago. This was by far my favorite part of the mtc so far...it was so amazing listening to them bear their testimonies in italian, it got me so pumped to meet the members in Italy :)) I loved these lessons so much because we walked into the room knowing literally nothing about these people, and walked out minutes later just feeling so close to Christ. The Spirit in that room was able to help these people with their spiritual needs and we just shared our testimony with them...it was powerful and so crazy to finally be teaching real people.
Last night the devotional was absolutely incredible....as usual. The 1st counselor of the presiding general bishopric, Bishop Causse (i think) and his wife came and spoke to us. They are from france, I don't even know where to begin but they were amazing! One of the coolest couples I have ever met, they were just so real and completely spoke from their hearts. They didn't just get up there and recite their talks but instead completely poured out their hearts and testimonies of Christ to us..and talked to us like we've been best buds for life. It was so awesome. Bishop Causse then played the prettiest version I have ever heard of "come come ye saints" on the piano. So amazing! Another tender mercy from last night, when sorella Holiday and I sat down for choir, out of the thousands of missionaries we could have been sitting by we happened to sit by the one sister missionary in the mtc from Italy. AHHH!! She was so cute, she was from Calabria, I think that's off the Amalfi coast but she lives in our mission...it was so cool.l We got to practice our Italian with her, hahaha her accent was molto thick and I pretended to know what was going on...anyways it was so amazing meeting her :)
Another highlight from this week was mine and sorella Holiday's lesson with Blessing yesterday....wow. We decided instead of preparing a 15 minute lesson on a bunch of doctrine that doesn't necessarily apply to her needs, we were just going to talk to her, really strive to get to know her better and share maybe a 3 minute thought on something that the Spirit would hopefully prompt us to say. I was a bit nervous knowing Blessing might throw some curveball at us and we wouldn't know how to respond, but we said some pretty heartfelt prayers before we went in to the lesson and just felt so good about it. By far the best lesson me and Sorella Holiday have had...I felt like I wasn't even in the lesson, like me and my companion showed up to teach Blessing but that was it, the Spirit did the rest. We had a full 15 minute conversation with her on stuff that I didn't even know I could say in Italian, and she completely opened up to us about her life in Nigeria...and we ended just bearing our testimonies on Christ, and committed her to baptism. I will never forget that lesson.
haha our district goes and plays sand volleyball almost every morning, it is sooooo fun. All that playing in Arizona really paid off fam :)) This week we got super close as a district, everyone is sick (haha when one person gets sick, everyone gets sick) but there's been a lot of things going on back home in these missionaries lives that is so challenging...I have no reason to ever complain, I have had a pretty easy life compared to these missionaries. I can't even imagine how we could get any closer, I don't even want to think about saying goodbye to them in 3 weeks! One thing I have learned while being here is to be so mindful of others. Everyone is always going through something hard in their lives, whether it be the death of a parent, abuse at home, parents disowning their child because they're on a mission..list goes on and on. But what is incredible is the blessings these missionaries are seeing back at home. Elder Hogan from Laguna Beach, his dad hasn't been active in the church for 18 years. The Sunday after Hogan left to the mtc, his dad went to church for the first time in 18 years, and has continued going since. We have been hearing things like that happening constantly this last week.
Elder Pyper (plays football for BYU) was slightly mad (haha) he missed the BYU game last week so he decided to take the gummy bears his mom sent him, haha and see how many he could stick in his mouth at one time...he got to 100 gummy bears, it was disgusting and eventually started choking......it was no bene
I am so grateful to be on this mission :) It is such a privilege learning Italian, it's a powerful reminder that the Gospel really is being taken to all over the world. I am so happy, I grow closer and closer to my companion, my district, my teachers and my zone every day!!! haha Fratello Wortham is the greatest teacher ever, no one has ever made me laugh so hard or feel the spirit so strong in the same day. Well that sums it up for this week! I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you ALL! If I could I would personally write each one of you every week, but time just doesn't allow it. Shoutout to cute Whit Springer getting called to Paris France!! That is so perfect for you! so exciting. And happy birthday to my girl Chloe Ferre, hope you're soaking up that warm az sun:) Testimonio che il vangelo e la chiesa di Gesu Cristo e vero. Io so che Gesu Cristo e il figlio di dio e ci ama molto. Io so che la sua famiglia essere eterno mediante il vangelo. Ti voglio bene molto!!!
-ps mom, We leave the 29th to chicago around 7 am so I will probably call between 5-7 am that day :)) haha and guess what we found out? Me and Sorella Holiday return from our missions on Valentines day 2017. Not that I'm looking forward to that day necessarily, but that day will be quite lovelyyyy :) Love yall
Family and Friends :))) Another week down, I can't believe that it has all ready been 2 weeks! It seriously blows my mind how fast time goes here....people say it all the time but they days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days #mindblown
Well this was an incredible week, things just keep getting harder and harder, and better and better :) I am probably the happiest I have ever been in my life. I have grown and learned so much these past couple weeks and I am so grateful! Hahah I have also learned more Italian in the last 2 weeks than I "learned" Spanish in 2 years of school...ayy.
Some highlights of the week-we went to the temple, I finished the Book of Mormon (and that day all the sacrament meeting talks were on the Book of Mormon whoaaa) and Elder Oaks came to the devotional last night!! Ahhhh it was amazing, incredible, wonderful, all of the above and I will get more into that later :))
This week we are teaching 2 investigators, Blessing from Nigeria (who lives in Italy) and Fillipo from Italy. It's been such an awesome experience. We asked Blessing to read the book of mormon but turns out she doesn't know how to read, so we are teaching her hymns :)) It is the best thing ever, nothing brings the spirit like music does!!
Okay mom, I wrote you a letter because I don't have a ton of time to email today but those cinnamon rolls were HEAVENLY!!! Haha but for real, my district was almost in tears when that package came....they just kept saying "we love mama taylor," and anziano friedman was so happy he took a pic of him eating the cinnamon rolls and asked for your email so heads up. But thank you so much mom you are an angel :)) Also the sans gluten cookies, hahahah you and dad are the best, those were made with LOVE I could taste it:) You guys are the cutest parents ever, thanks for the selife it's sitting on my desk in my apartment.
Well I guess I'll just get into last night since this whole last week was a blur and I forgot to bring my journal with me to the computer lab, hahah but anyways last night was incredible. We knew we had devotional but we had no idea who was coming...so we go to choir and are practicing "lead kindly light" the prettiest song and then the conductor said something like "sing like you were singing in front of an apostle tonight" and everyone kind of lost it...oh man I have never heard a bunch of 18-20 year olds sing more powerful in my entire life...everyone was getting so excited, we had no idea who it would be. Haha my companion was hilarious, she was so excited she could barely contain herself...for those of you who know me you know I am a fairly sweaty person, and my hands like turned into an ocean. I was just so excited to see who was coming :)) anyways, in walks Elder Oaks. It was the coolest thing ever. The whole room went silent and we all stood up and sang Called to Serve with him. It was very powerful...we then sang "lead Kindly light" and I could barely breathe the spirit was so strong, haha also I was singing soprano (because I love sorella Holiday and she won't sing alto) and my voice doesn't have that kind of range so I was just kind of faking it till I made it...and yes I made it, on the SCREEN!! ahahah well this devotional was broadcasted to every mtc, even the dominican republic so hermana jenson you better be paying attention :)) anyways Sister Oaks first spoke and she was great. Then Elder Oaks followed her and it was such a powerful talk...it's amazing to me how intelligent he is and all the things he has in accomplished in his life yet his talk was so simple, so bold, so direct, and so powerful. He spoke about some very basic truths, and the plan of salvation. It's these kind of basic things that I needed to hear, because I am teaching them to my investigators every day. I knew that was what the Savior wanted us to hear last night. It was amazing.
I am so grateful to be a part of this work...we just got back from doing a session at the temple and I'll just say it's something else being a missionary in the temple. I had the opportunity to sit in the celestial room just with my companion for a while, and right in front of us was a picture of Christ with His arms outstretched towards us. I love that place!! Elsa, we put up the picture of the Rome temple you painted in our room and my companion prays for the temple every single night. You are the best thanks again :))
Shoutout to my Addy BUG!!! Have the best birthday ever :)) I love you to the moon and back, and so wish I could give you a squeezer but I'm totally going to sing happy birthday to you on saturday and celebrate....xoxoxo
Thank you again for all the love and support :)) I have never been happier than I am right now serving a mission. This past week was so humbling, one night Fratello Wortham did a silent lesson. We watched the mormon message refiner's fire (if you haven't seen it, watch it) and then took some time to think about our own refiners fires. He told us that if we thought the mtc was hard or we missed our families, to get over it. That we need to turn our lives over to the Lord and let Him mold us into the type of servant He wants us to be. There might just be one person in Italy who's heart I will touch, it might even be my own, or one of my companions. But I do know that I am supposed to go there, not for all the reasons I know yet:) Life is amazingggg!!!! I love you all, have an amazing week. Arrividerci!
Crystal's current area is Passo Corese, Italy.
Her address is:
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 187
02032 Passo Corese RI