Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oct. 1st 2015

The time has come. I could not be more excited to finally get out of here and serve the people of Croatia. In saying that however i'm also really thankful for all the MTC has taught me and the spiritual growth that came because of my stay here.

Lets see. Tuesdays devotional was amazing. Elder Costa, the president of the quorum of the 70 addressed us and I wouldn't be surprised if he got called as a new apostle. His message about missionary work was so powerful and personal and just made me even more excited to serve. One thing he spoke of was from when he was a mission president in brazil. There was a elder in the mission that was having a lot of success and was very obedient. One day elder costa gets a letter from a man out in a small village in the middle of no where saying that he has somehow learned of the church and desires to be baptized. After much prayer and receiving permission he calls this missionary into his office on the last week of his mission, and calls him to go out and baptize this one man. The missionary was dissapointed because it was his goal to baptize as many as he could and for his last week he had a group of 20 people he was going to baptize. Nevertheless he obeyed and took the 3 day trip into the jungle with his companion and made it to the village. After 2 weeks (one week longer than he was supposed to be there) the mission president hears nothing from the companionship and begins to get worried. That same day he finally gets a call from the missionary apologizing for staying longer than he was supposed to and with no communication. The mission president asks why one week longer and what happened to the one man they were supposed to baptize. He responds saying, The man has spread the gospel to the whole village. We have just baptized the entire village of 140 people and it took 2 weeks because some had to get their marriages finalized. Today this village has grown to a stake of 3 wards with 100% activity. I love this story because it just goes to show that if the Lord asks you to sacrifice, He has much more in store for you.

Wednesday was pretty rough. We got caught off guard and had to skype earlier than we had thought previously. So me and my comp just threw a lesson together in like 5 minutes, prayed for the gift of tongues and just went for it. We skyped an actual investigator in germany but is originally form zagreb. We begin talking to him and started the lesson and about half way through he stops me mid sentence and says, "You talk to much, your friend (my companion) needs to talk more." Okay, so I backed off and let my comp take the lead a little more. Just as a quick side note, I usually talk the most. In lessons; talking between me and my comp is usually 80/20 because, for some reason in lessons, he just goes blank. We have tried to work it out but for some reason he just has no idea what to say in lessons. So this lesson was no different, I was talking the most and he just kinda sat there. Until i backed off and let him talk a little more. Well, he asked a couple of questions which didn't get much of a response and then we sat there for a couple seconds and before i could break the silence the man we we skyping looks at me and says, "You are very good at speaking and teaching in Croatian." and of course I was pumped.. until he looked to my companion and says, "you are not." Straight up. my comp got really sad after that and we just kinda wrapped it up and said goodbye and for the rest of the day he was pretty down on himself and we all tried to help him out but man, that was rough.

But onto happier stuff and to wrap this email up, flight plans. We wake up and leave from the MTC at around 4 AM. Our flight leaves from SLC to Chicago at 8:30, land in Chicago at 12:15 Chicago time. Then leave from Chicago at 3:30 PM and land in Frankfurt at 7 AM Germany time. Then from Germany to Zagreb. We should arrive at Zagreb close to noon. Then the fun begins.

Talk to you again from Croatia. Love you all!
Elder Taylor

Elder Taylors Name Tag and the book of Mormans in his languages



Yesterday I became an English speaker. not literally, that would suck after being in here 7 weeks, but in terms of time. I have become an English speaker because all the new engos that came in on Wednesday this week will be leaving with us on the 5th. So there's that.

Anyways this week i have no idea what to even talk about. This week has gone by so fast I was surprised to wake up and find today was P-day. It was actually quite the boring week.

Elder Matthews had surgery last Friday on his knee to remove the piece of chipped bone from his leg. And instead of staying an extra 3 weeks he will, at the worst, only have to stay 1 extra week. Most likely, however, he will still leave with us and stay in zagrab the first transfer. This whole situation with him was honestly a miracle because his first visit to the doctor they were almost positive he was going home.

We get our flight plans tomorrow! I'm super pumped about it. Even though i basically already know how im getting there just holding the itinerary will be so nice.

Skype this week was super awesome as well! We talked to 2 guys named Alan and martin. They're members in Zagreb and they are the funniest guys i have ever talked to. Brat Alan translates Disney books into croatian and was showing us all the books he translates. And brat matin really likes speaking english so he would try to speak in english with us and brat Alan would hit him and start yelling that he's not allowed to speak english. They both really liked to talk which is apparently true about everyone over there so i'm pumped haha. They were great guys and since last week i have made a lot of progress with the language so communicating this time was a lot easier. I was actually jealous of elder Geertsen and Jex though because they got to talk to an actually investigator and apparently it was a way cool experience. I haven't even been there and i love the people already. I'm so excited to finally get out there and get to work.

I think that's all i have for this week. Sorry it was just a really boring week this week. Volim Vas!
-Старешина Тејлор


Elder Taylor working Hard


Добар дан!

Where do i even begin this week. Lets see, I'm no longer zone leader anymore! I'm really glad I got the experience and opportunity to serve in that capacity but man it feels good to 'relax' now. Elder Deleeuw and Matthews from our district got called this Sunday and I think they'll do a really good job. if Elder Matthews doesn't go home that is. For the past couple of weeks his knees been hurting him and he finally went to the doctor last Friday and it turns out his kneecap got moved out of place and he chipped of a piece of his Femur and now he goes into surgery tomorrow and they'll see if he can recover here or if they have to send him home. we've been praying and fasting for him and even though his position is pretty bad he's only gotten the best news possible for right now so he's trying to keep his head up.

The bulgarians left on Monday night at like 3;30 so we were up saying our goodbyes and helping them get everything squared away. It was sad to see them go but we were excited for them at the same time. The Macedonians in our group were supposed to leave with the bulgarians but cant get their visas because apparently Macedonia shut its boarders down and isnt letting anyone in because of the Syrian refugees. Interesting how the Lord works though who knows maybe they, or we, will convert some Syrians and they'll take the church back over there. That would be pretty cool. Apparently the refugees are pretty much going everywhere but theres been a little unrest I've heard in our area because of it so if you guys could just maybe keep track of the news over there that would be sweet.

Now skype. Yesterday we skyped a man named Tomislav Ivan Flis. he lives in Zagreb and is 34 years old. Has a wife and 4 year old son and one of the strongest testimonies I've ever heard. turns out he is the branch president of the Zagrab branch so it made sense haha. But boy was it a slap to the face actually trying to communicate with him. At one point he stops and says, "So is it the words you dont understand or how fast I'm talking and in broken croatian said its just the speed. To which he responds, "Oh well im actually talking really slow compared to what you will hear here. But dont worry you guys are the best i've skyped i have no doubts you'll be fine after a week here." So that was.. yeah good i guess haha. He was a way cool guy.

The language. Apparently we're the fastest progressing group our teachers have ever had and they've been teaching for almost 3 years so thats really comforting to hear. Still super hard though because its nothing like english in the way you have to think. First, go ahead and take out articles, croatian and serbian dont need them. Add clitics. I still dont really know what those things are but they are the only thing in the sentence that have an order. They are always the second word you put in the sentence. After that its a free for all. Put words wherever you want. The way croatians tell what tense it is by the way the verb is conjugated. So thats past present and future and 1st 2nd 3rd person singular and plural. all with different endings. But thats not bad spanish is the same way. Whats hard is casing. This is what makes you think super differently. Theres 5 cases, or endngs, put on the end of adjectives and nouns that make the context of the sentence. Thats why you can pretty much put words wherever you want. with each case theres the masculine, feminine, nueter and feminine 4th gender. All of them make the adj or noun end completely different in every single case. For example, Mormonova Knjiga(book of mormon) nominative case is feminine singular. but if its plural nominative its mormonove knjige. then if its being acted upon by a verb it would be in the accusative case and would change to mormonovu knjigu. then plural accusative mormonove knjige. then if its indirectly referring to the book of mormon in the genitive case is mormonovoj knjizi. then plural genative is mormonovih knjiga. theres still 2 more but you get the idea. I didnt realize how hard it was until i talked to some japanese elders about croatian and japanese and realized how much easier japanese is. none-the-less this language is still awesome. And if you look at the language in a negative light it will be harder to learn and more of an obstacle than a tool in doing the Lords work. I just cant wait to be immersed in it.

I think thats all for this week! Čao!
-Starješina Tejlor