Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 3

Goodbye week three! This week has gone by pretty fast, it's also been pretty boring... So sorry if this email is extremely boring. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE. I wore both of the new shirts already. I love them. Thank you. Packages and letters are the best. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. On Tuesday Russell M. Nelson came and spoke to us. Sister Bradshaw and I are in the choir, so we were able to sing "Come Thou Fount" to an apostle. We're pretty cool. His talk was focused a lot on family history and how it applies to your mission. His wife's talk was incredible. She said, "Pray for the ancestors of your future investigators to lead you to them" and "Pray for angels. Pray for them by name, by attribute, by characteristic." I thought those were all pretty interesting. Earlier our teacher was talking to us about the Polynesian culture and missionary work. He told us when we were set apart as missionaries for the Tahiti mission we were adopted by the Polynesian ancestors and they will guide us to their family that is ready to be taught. It's been a ancestor/prayer heavy week and I love it. Last night we watched The Testaments. Remember that movie? Ah, it's so bad, but it's so good. We're watching it with a good 300 other missionaries, and when ever Jacob would kiss the girl everyone would gasp and shield their eyes. It was pretty traumatic. ;) We taught at the TRC for the first time here. That's the Teaching Resource Center. Missionaries use to go teach fake investigators back in the day, but they recently changed in the past few months. We went in and had a nice chat with some members in French and shared a baby lesson on Faith. It was fun. Just imagine home teaching in the MTC in French with Sister Missionaries. That's what we did. IT IS SO NICE. Ah. French is coming along, I'm working on verbs, all is well. Sister Van Wagenen in our room was pretty sick this weekend. She caught a 24 hour flu bug, and we're all praying it doesn't come to us next. Fingers crossed! Sister Bradshaw and I are going to be hosting this Wednesday! We're actually going to be hosting every Wednesday. I can't wait! I'm hoping to see people friends as they come in! It's been really cold lately, we have no warm clothes at all! It's almost June! Sister B and I run 2 miles every gym time. I decided I'm going to run 150 miles before we head out to Tahiti. Maybe 200. We'll see how it goes. Our fitness classes in the morning are really fun. Our instructor's name is Natasha, she teaches all the classes so we've gotten to know her pretty well. It's funny, we're the first Sisters there every single day, except once last week we got there a little late, and she was like "Oh good! I was worried you girls weren't going to make it and that was going to make me sad!" She's very, very talkative. We discovered we can write on our desks this week. That was a good discovery, I have verbs conjugated all over it, I can't even put my books on, it's lovely. :) This week I'm in charge of the group language lessons, so I have to plan activities to learn French. If you have any ideas on what I should do that would be much appreciated! Well, I'll try to be a bit more exciting this week! I love you all!! Love, Morgan

Week 4 - I know I skipped week 3 :)

One month down! Well, in 2 days I'll have been in the MTC for a month.
 
This week has gone by extremely quickly. It's strange to think that I will leaving my lovely hamster cage in less than two months. Sister Bradshaw and I lovingly refer to the MTC campus as the hamster cage, and yes, we are the hamsters. I'm getting used to the food, that basically means I eat my weight in spinach and soup, with a delicious homemade treat sent to me for dessert. Our classes are starting to feel shorter. We are getting used to the enormous study blocks and mountains of French being shoved down our throat. All is well. 
 
Now for my exciting announcements of the week:
 
I'm taking a field trip this week! Ah, I cannot wait. Sister Urling, Van Wagenen, and I are getting on a lovely aircraft and hitting the beaches of  San Fransisco. -By beaches I mean the inside of the French Embassy. We are heading out at 3 am (yes, AM) on Thursday and we're expected to be back in Salt Lake around 5pm. It's a very short field trip, but we are breaking out of the hamster cage! The French Embassy is interviewing us alphabetically, so all of our companionships are going to be split up. I absolutely cannot wait. We've decided we're going to place 3 Book of Mormon and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Elder Hansen and Elder White are our travel leaders, I couldn't have asked for better Elders to come with us.
 
Ready for the second announcement?
 
Sister Bradshaw and I have been called to be the Sister Training Leaders for our zone! We are incredibly excited. We oversee the sisters in our Zone by interviewing them, making sure they are doing okay, providing delicious treats in their time of need, ect. This Wednesday we are getting a new batch of Sisters and we are going to give them a tour of the MTC and just get to know them. I am pretty relieved to have an offical job to do, it's been a strange month with no extra responsibilites. ;)
 
In Relief Society every week a Sister who has recently converted to the church is spotlighted. This week's sister was incredible, unfortunately I didn't catch her name, but I do have her story:
 
When I was tweleve years old my parents split and we moved to Texas. My mother is a devote Southern Baptist. DEVOTE. I went to church with her and started making new friends at school. When I was 16, I asked one of my best friends if we could hang out on Sunday, you know go shopping, to the movies, get our nails done. She said, "No." But told me I could go to church with her, so I did. I loved it, everyone was happy and had something different about them. When I got home my mom asked me where I was, I told her and she was mad. Really mad. She grounded me for two weeks and told me I could never go to church again. The next Sunday my friend asked me if I wanted to go to church again, and I was like, "Yeah!" So I snuck out my window.  But I got caught. The next morning my mom told me to get out of the house. I thought she was kidding, I was like "yeah right mom" and went to school. When I came home all my things were in my yard. That's when I realized she was serious. I packed my things in my car and slept in the Walmart parking lot for two weeks. When my friend found out she called her mom and she said I needed to stay with them.  Her family adopted me, and her dad said, "You know, since we're your guardians, you can get baptized now."  I just laughed, it wasn't for me. For the next two years I continued to go to church and young womens, and when I was 18 I realized, I'm an adult. And I decided to get baptized. I took the lessons from the missionaries and in 2 weeks I was driving to my baptism.  My friend's brother was driving me to the church when I got a text from my mom. I hadn't talked to her in two years. She said, I'll take you back. I"ll be your mom, just don't get baptized. I just thought, hey! no more baptism for me! I got my mom back! But my sister's brother wouldn't turn the car around. He said, "you have worked so hard for this, you deserve this, and I am not turning around."  That's when I just started praying. Give me a sign. Right then we passed an "I'm a Mormon" billboard. I got my sign.  As I came up out of the water the first person I saw was my mother. I was scared, I thought she was a ghost. She looked at me and said, "I'm your mother. I love you. I support you."  I got my mom, and I got my church.
 
Holy cow. That was so cool for us missionaries. We know we're going to have investigators who are going to endure, they're going to give up a lot, but we have to find a way for them to feel that everything they do is absolutely worth it.
 
This week we've been teaching our investigator "Manuarii" about all the commandments. In our last lesson we taught the Word of Wisdom and in the middle of the lesson I just asked him if he'd get baptized. I felt like I was saying, Do you have a problem drinking, oh and will you get baptized? Frere Asay, our teacher, is actually Manuarii, and everytime my French sentences got longer his smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. I know he was excited I can speak french, not about being baptized, but.... June 18! Bam. That will be our "first" baptism of our mission. It may be fake, but you still feel the Spirit, you're still prompted to say things, and you can still make a difference in your "Investigator's" life. That's what we've started realizing. Even if they aren't real investigators, they are real people, and every single person struggles with something and we can still touch their own personal struggle. Teaching is fun.
 
Thank you so much for all the packages and letters. They really do get me through the weeks. Mail is the best time in the MTC, besides when you give the best lesson ever in French. That's the best feeling.
 
Well, 8 more weeks to go! Stay in touch, thank you for your prayers and thoughts!
 
Love,
Sister Morgan Taylor

Monday, May 13, 2013

Week 2

Bonjour! Welcome to week two in the MTC. Holy cow, it has flown by so quickly, it
's crazy. Time here is weird... The days are very long, but before you know it the week is over!

French is going well. We finally have our second teacher to come in at nights, so our schedule is even more packed than before. His name is Brother Asay and he is intense. Super intense, in a very good way. We are totally motivated to work harder than we've been working in the past few weeks. But after his lessons we just want to curl up on the floor and rest our poor brain. I successfully taught the first lesson in Franglay (Spanglish, but french) by myself, and had way more french than english. It was pretty cool. But... While we were "contacting" our "investigator" one day I accidentally said "Jesus Christ is the daughter of God."  Son= fils and daughter= fil. And Elder Hansen called us "The Ice Cream of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" again. It's pretty fun. :)
Brother Coulson, our first teacher, has been telling us about Tahiti. They eat dog there. A lot. It's not one of those myths. He says they usually throw it in a sack and drown it before they cook it. Delicious. Mail is also an issue.... He says we can expect to receive letters every 3 weeks and packages every 3 months. If they even get there.  While he was training he didn't get a single letter at all. At all. And his mom sent him 8 packages while he was on his mission and he only got 3 of them. Mail will be an adventure.
Speaking of mail. Thank you for the package!!! I got it on Wednesday. Thank you to Grams for my package too! I got that one Thursday. Elder Hansen cried when I pulled out the Dr. Pepper, so I traded him a can for an egg of silly putty. The popcorn has saved our life too! We have dinner at 4pm, and by 9 we're starving. So we run to the laundry room and pop it while we plan. Every building has a microwave, but the building we're in is split between Elder and Sisters, and the microwave is on the Elder's floor. Blah. Thanks for all the letters I've gotten! I'm slowly, but surly getting replies in the mail.

On Tuesday we had our first "Tuesday Devotional." They're a really big thing at the MTC. Sister Bradshaw and I got there at 5:45 to stand in line. It starts at 7, and we weren't the first in line. However, our French Zone was the first in line so we got to hang out with them. It was raining, and we were outside, and it was cold, but it was so fun. Everyone gets there early so we can fit into the bleachers/chairs and not watch it through teleconference in a different building. Sometimes they have apostles come speak, but not this week, maybe next time.
We met an Elder from Tahiti this week! His name is Elder Noho, which is incredibly ironic because our "investigator's" name was Manuarii Noho. He's super nice, he's here to learn english, so only Sister Bradshaw can have a really long conversation with him. Yesterday he walked into our class and gave us all Tahitian shell necklaces. Ah! He told us we're going to get things like this every day and we better get used to it. I love it. :)
The food here is bleh. I'm sick of it.  Hooray for popcorn and fruit leather.
On Sundays we watch "movies" after the devotional. This week Soeur B and I watched the Joseph Smith movie in French with our Zone leaders. It's crazy to sit there and be like, oh yeah, I can understand that! But I can only understand it because he keeps saying "Dieu, Jesus-Christ, Ecritures, Le Livre de Mormon" through the whole movie. (God, Jesus Christ, Scriptures, the Book of Mormon)

Wow. We had THE BEST relief society meeting ever. Do you know who Janice Kapp Perry is? I didn't. She wrote As Sister in Zion, I love to see the temple, I belong to the church of Jesus Christ, Army of Heleman, A Child's Prayer. Yes. She's a mormon celebrity. She spoke! We sang a medley of her songs with her, then at the end she had a surprise for us.  She received permission to add/change "As Sisters in Zion."  It's called "The Sisters in Zion" and we were the first people to ever sing it. It's all about sister missionaries. Sister Bradshaw and I tried so hard to write the words down, but we only got a few lines:
The sisters in zion are called to God's army
We willingly serve him
We are enlisted in Heleman's army
The angels of heaven are walking besides us
That's all we could scramble to get, but it is fantastic.  Sister B and I actually saw her this morning when we were walking out of the temple, and got to talk to her for a bit. She's a very sweet 75 year old lady.
I think that's all for now! My companion is fantastic, no complaints at all. I'm getting along with all the girls in my room now and we're just having lots of fun and learning more than I've ever learned before.
Love,
Morgan
(Soeur Taylor)
P.S. People seen this week list:
Amanda Siler
Amelia Mann
Allyson Lundberg
Hayden Mickelson
Stewart Wood
Drew Stuart
Brittnie Felix
P.S.S. Someone should compile a list of people coming into the MTC from now to July 15. Then I know who to look for. We head to Tahiti July 15th!
P.S.S.S I got my tentative release date! October 24, 2014




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week 1

Hello!

First off- Thanks mom for the blanket! It's so warm and snuggley and amazing. I actually just woke up from a nap under it. Naps are rare things... Enjoy them while you can.

The MTC is not as bad as everyone made it out to be. It's really nice to be going 24/7, I feel like I'm back in a more intense We the People group. I like it.
Our days are packed, really, really packed. Our schedules look a little like this:
Soeur Bradshaw and I wake up at 5:45 every morning and go to the sister missionary work out classes. THEY ARE THE BEST. It's so much nicer than waking up from dead slumber and heading to class. On Mondays there is step, Tuesdays don't have classes, Wednesdays is Cardio, Thursday is yoga, Friday is kickboxing and Saturday is whatever we decide to do on Friday (last week we chose pilates). Then we have breakfast at 6:30. And class at 7. The tricky part of the mornings is our class doesn't end until 6:30. That means we run and grab a sack breakfast and then shower super fast and then head to class.
We have classroom study at 7am until 10am. Our teacher is Fere Coulston, he's really chill. We use this time to cram french into our heads so we can prepare lessons for our "investigator." I have taught 2 lessons in french and we have our third tonight. Our "investigator"is named Manuarii Noho. He's actually our new teacher, he just hasn't revealed himself as a teacher yet.
After class we have personal study from 10-11. I'm studying the Book of Mormon, mainly the Character of Christ from Elder Bednar's talk.
Then we have lunch. Holy cow. I can see how people gain 30 plus pounds in the MTC is a bit ridiculous actually. Soeur Bradshaw and I usually have a salad or wrap.The food isn't very good....
Then we have gym! There's lots of places we can go for gym. The field, the big gym, small gym, or just around outside.
Then we have language study. Our class gets together and trys to figure out french together.
Then more study time.
Then time in the lab.
Then dinner at 4. 4! It's so early.
Then missionary portal-we haven't done that yet.... we'll see what it is soon.
Then more study time.
Then more class time.
Then planning.
Then we get 45 minutes to get ready for bed, write in journals, write letters, etc.
Lights out at 10:30. The days are very very long. But they're going by quickly.

My companion is amazing! Really. People have asked us if we were relate, apparently we look the same... She's from New Jersey and we were Facebook friends before we left.

The first few days were filled with classes on how to teach. We actually had an "investigator" and a giant group of new missionaries teach together. I wish I could teach in English everyday... but my English days are long over! One day, as we were skipping class to double check on immunizations, a MTC coordinator pulled us aside and asked us to teach a lesson. Apparently a sister had to go home so her companion was transfer and couldn't make it to the appointment. So we taught! It was so amazing to feel the Spirit, most of the time when we're teaching Manuarii I'm just trying to remember the French words for what I want to say. It's frustrating at times. Sister Bradshaw is fluent in French, that has been really nice, she's like my own walking dictionary. :)

Our district has 8 people in it. Elder Lovelock is from Australia, he's pretty seriously, but can also say some hilarious things. We were talking about what we could bring with us if we could have brought anything and Elder Hansen said, "A waffle iron" and Elder Lovelock got the weirdest look on his face and asked "Why would you iron waffles?" Then we had a huge discussion about waffles in the US, instead of learning French.

Elder Hansen is Travis Hansen, he was in my 4th grade class. It's actually very nice to have someone I know close by. :)

Elder Ball and Elder White are nice, I don't know them too well, yet.

Soeur Chytraus is from California.

Soeur Van Wagenen is super cute and nice.

Elder Lovelock, Sister Chytraus and I are the only people who can't really carry on a conversation in French. It's super frustrating, I feel like I need more time to study, but there's no more time in the day. Ah.

There is so much to tell you, but not enough time. There's never enough time. Devotionals here are incredible. We had Chad Lewis speak to us last night, and it was the best devotional I have ever been to. (Watch his video on Mormon Messages) 11 weeks here seems like a very, very long time, but it'll come soon enough. Tahitian scares me. It scares me a lot. I'll let you know how it goes in 5 weeks. ;)

Getting mail is absolutely the best thing ever. Ah. We get it twice a day. Once after lunch, for people who get handwritten letters (Elder Lovelock, our DL, always looks at me and is like, Not yet. I haven't gotten a single letter yet!) And after dinner we get Dear Elders. Those are great. Sometimes they mess up the formats of the letters so they can be a bit tricky to read, but oh well. :) I need addresses! I don't have any and I'd like to write some more letters, an email once a week isn't going to cut it. :) SEND ME LETTERRRRRRRS!

We're learning a lot about Tahiti. They don't have poisonous snakes, but they do have super deadly centipedes. Cool huh? Soeur Bradshaw's mom copied a letter from a sister over there who got bit by one. It was intense. We can go in the water up to our knees because to get to people's houses we have to cross rivers. It's super super hot.

Soeur Bradshaw and I have the worst case of the MTC cold ever. Ugh. I need sudefed, I feel like my head is going to explode. We just feel gross and have really bad sore throats. But hey, the stuffy-ness makes my french sound better. ;)

Until next week!!
Love,
Morgan
*cough*
Soeur Taylor




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Thursday, May 2, 2013

After five months of waiting...She has arrived!

This is Morgans Momma and I will be updating her blog for the next 18 months.  I am not a great writer like Morgan and I tend to get side tracked and ramble a bit but everything I say will be from her mothers heart.  She has officially spent her first night in the MTC.  These last few days have been great.  She was set apart as a missionary on Sunday so we were able to all take turns being her companion.  I thought it was a great idea to have her sleep on our bedroom floor like she did 15 years ago but she opted for her own room instead.  We are missing her like crazy!  The car ride home was very quiet and so is our home.  There is a void not having her here but her smile in the photos of her at the MTC say it all.  She is so happy and excited.  We can't be anything more than thrilled that she is where she has chosen to be and where she should be right now.  We will be teary..probably for 18 months.. but we are happy for her.  The DearElder.com website is awesome!  It is quick and she will get the letter the day you write it.  Her mailbox is #174.  She only has a limited time for emails so while in the MTC the Dear Elder website or normal mail is the best to write her. 
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