1st Quarter Mark
So this week I hit my 6th month mark. Which seems crazy to me, and probably anyone else who isn´t my mom. These months have FLOWN by! I wouldn´t know where to begin describing how I have changed and what I have learned. I have met so many people and been so many different places. But here is a fly by summary.
MTC - December 21st I entered the MTC. I was confident that I knew everything I needed to know to teach the gospel and get along with companions. I think I lost all of that in the 1st week. I learned a lot from my 1st companion, Elder Watson, who was quiet and easy to get along with. But, because I was eager to get into the field, I tested out of my class and got put on the fast track. I became companions with Elder Washburn, a small and stout guy who sometimes scared me. The next two weeks flew by and I found out that, due to visa problems, I was going to spend some time in . . .
OGDEN UT - I met my 1st trainer, Elder Laurente, with the enthusiasm that is common in all greenies. But the area was slow. Downtown Ogden was pretty scary to me. I honestly don´t remember a lot because I was only there a week before I went to . . .
SYRACUSE UT - Elder Polendo was a quiet trainer. I couldn´t have learned a lot more from him, but it took awhile for me to realize that his silence didn´t come from not knowing the answers. We worked hard, but the area was 90% member, and the other 10% knew all that they wanted to. I learned a lot about following the spirit, working with members, and not being worried to invite everyone to learn more. I was in Syracuse for 2 months exactly. I would have been happy to spend half of my mission in the stake there, we were treated very well, but I was super excited when my visa finally came through and I flew to . . .
SANTA ANA, Argentina - Here in my first area I have learned a lot of things. Not only Spanish, but how to work with the agency of others. I am learning how to persevere and continue in obedience, and how to have fun on the side. I was surprised at how similar Argentina is to the USA in a lot of ways. I guess it is like my grandpa told me, people are people wherever you go. The thing that has really changed is my relation to them. I had my 1st baptism last week and am excited to keep on working here in the area for a few more months.
I would say the biggest thing that I have learned these six months is what my role as a missionary is. I came out with the mindset that I want to make people happy. I think that is a great mindset to have, but I didn´t fully understand what that meant. In Syracuse I was scared to contact some people because they had been contacted so much that they didn´t want to talk to us. I figured they would be happier not hearing more. As I study more and more, I feel like my purpose is to call people to change their lives to bring themselves closer to Christ. This comes through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. The only way many people will change is if we invite them to do it. Not everyone will accept this message, but those that do will find greater happiness than they have ever felt.
I have never felt so tired, so hard worked, so inadequate, so entirely used up before in my life. But neither have I ever felt so happy. God bless you.--
*Elder Taylor Ball*
1 - Me outside of the offices
2- My district
3 - A dog wearing people clothes. TONS of dogs wear clothes here.