The sun is shining! and there's a flood!
I just was so so excited to update you on our family history trip yesterday!  It took us 6 hours, but we were able to get 15 recent converts to start and finish their family tree and almost 20 names printed out for them to take to the temple!  We're one step closer to making it to Manila (hopefully we make it before I go home...).  We started the second batch of recent converts yesterday in our class, so we'll be making the trip again in about a month!  

The rest of this week was just a disorganized mess of funny stories and bloopers.  And it's in my email as well this week as a disorganized mess as well.

After I showered one morning, I tipped the shower head up so that Sister Bautista couldn't reach it to tip it down to shower.  She was the next one to shower, and within about a minute I heard a series of fast, high pitched Tagalog and then my name yelled:).  She tried to get me back by doing the same thing (I still don't know how she reached the shower head) but to say the least, it didn't do much.

I was coerced into eating chicken brains fried in egg.  They wouldn't tell until after I was done chewing.

Sister Taylor & Sister Bautista Selfie
A sister missionary that's companions with my old trainee told me a story of how she got a stain on her shirt and couldn't get it out.  Sister Penaranda (my trainee) told her to just use a white-out pen over the stain and it would come right out.  She told the sister missionary that's what her trainer (me) used on her clothes.  But what Sister Penaranda thought was a white-out pen was my tide to go stick that I kept in my bag:).  But this poor sister missionary used white-out on her shirt, and when the stain still didn't come out, Sister Penaranda couldn't figure out why it wasn't working for her companion.  The conversation ended, and the shirt ruined.  All my trainee could say was "well, that's what my nanay always used, your shirt must just be different."

That's about all for the week.  It's a little short.  Just like my beloved companion:)




Sister Taylor & Sister Bautista
Isn't that title such a great sentence?  That was the first time, just yesterday, that I thought of the fact that there are some things that I'm doing for 'the last.'  But, I'm not too sad, because it means there is even more that is waiting in the subject line 'to happen.'

I came out of conference Sunday afternoon with lots of answers, plans, and new goals.  A great part about conference that no matter how world-wide every conference is, Heavenly Father still uses it to touch and help the individual.  I figured out almost exactly what I'm doing when I come home, and what I want to be doing the next couple of years.  I learned about the Atonement, and gained a new perspective on pondering (you'll laugh at that one Mom and Dad).  I also spent the whole time looking for the old elementary music teacher in the tabernacle choir, but I couldn't find her!  Did she retire??!!

It was almost 20 hours of new revelation that we listened to (how many hours does it take to listen to the Book of Mormon?), that's like an entire new book of scripture!  I got ready for all that time at the church, sitting in a plastic chair, by picking out my most comfy skirt and buying all sorts of snacks.  There were cookies, dried mangoes (of course), a chocolate bar, frozen grapes, and Filipino-style dried potatoes.  Some of the time we squeezed into the only room of the church that has air-conditioning, and a lot of time was spent standing up over and over again to try to fix the tv connection.  I loved the time Elder Holland commanded the entire conference center by the way he spoke, and the times revelation came for me came with furious writing and thinking.
those are crickets- they taste a little crunchy,
and it left a couple legs in my teeth haha

My favorite talk was by Elder Jorg Klebingat (is that the right spelling?), I love the way he combined the importance of spiritual and physical well-being.  I got the chills when he talked about trials seen as a time to prove our self, given at a time because of what we are doing right

I loved too the focus of temples and the little bit that was said again about family history work.  It's been amazing to see in all the emails I get every week, how my family is getting involved in the work of salvation.  Reading all the different things you're doing (temple work, missionary callings, family blogs, indexing, and Anna's calling) makes me so much more sure how Heavenly Father is rushing his work now to the finish line. 

I read somewhere that the Spirit of Elijah is actually a manifestation of the Holy Ghost that is given to accomplish the eternal work.  We can all feel it, even non-members, and no matter where we all are around the world, it seems to have the same effect.  To move the effects of salvation to every one of God's children, living and dead.

So while you've been busy with Elijah in the United States corner, he's been just as busy over here in my corner!  Last month, I started a family history and temple prep class in Guagua branch!  We got to the classes the first Sunday (I teach family history, my companion in temple prep), and realized no one knew anything about family history, only 2 relief society had even made it to the temple in the last decade and we had no access to computers.  But I went to work.  We've been training family history consultants, gotten half the ward members so far through the newly established family history 6-week program, and we have a branch temple trip finally planned for December.  The whole branch has felt the Spirit of Elijah as we started to look towards the temple, and our branch president has been dealing out temple recommends like money:)  We have a trip for all our recent converts this week to visit the district center (1 hour away) to start their pedigree charts on familyseach.org and our district president is also meeting with our companionship this month to be able to implement this program we've started within the whole district next year.  This small manifestation of the spirit is impacting lives here for eternity.

Funny Story: This perfectly demonstrates the cultural differences in the Philippines and America, a little of what you'll be seeing when you guys come!  There was a nanay (old grandma) that told us a story when her daughter was married a couple years ago to a foreigner.  They had a reception in the states and the mom came with.  After a wedding here, there are roasted pigs, cauldrons of rice, and all sorts of meals.  And then they spend the day eating.  The nanay said that when she attended the wedding for her daughter in the states, she didn't eat before the reception so that she could eat a lot at the reception.  She got to the reception to only "a really sweet cake that tasted like sponge and colorful juice" in her own words.  And she spent a little while trying to convince me to just get married in the Philippines because weddings in the states are "full of weird decorations and flowers you can't eat."  

Would you guys ever come over if I wanted to get married in the Philippines?


P.S. That question is a complete joke.



Did you know Tagalog is the 4th most spoken language of the church?

Did you know we ate chocolate cake for breakfast this morning because my companion hit her halfway mark this week?

Did you know?  I love being a missionary:)

Elder and Sister Winters with Sister Taylor and sister Bautista
I am 101% aware of the fact that sooner that I'd like to think, I'm getting shipped back home to America (yiiiiiiiikes).  Actually, we got flight plans at the mission home last week.  But for right now, I love my calling.  We watched a movie with a less-active last week about John Moyle, you've probably seen it before, where he works on the Salt Lake temple as a stonemason?  Anyway, we watch it with eeeeveryone, member and non-member.

And in the 50+ times I've watched it, there's one sentence that never fails to widen my smile. John Moyle has lost his leg, made himself a new one, and his wife asks him why he would ever even think about trying to walk again to Salt Lake to work on the temple.

 "It's my calling, and callings are seldom convenient."  

Sister Taylor has been called to the Philippines for almost a year and a half, and there is no way that year and a half has in any way been convenient.  I've never found it convenient to talk to strangers that don't like me, walk around when it feels like I'm actually just swimming in humidity, or have to figure out what these strange people are talking.  But in those times, I have never been more certain that this is my calling.  Heavenly Father has helped me to realize that in a couple really special ways, and sometimes my heart just wants to burst right out with the definite, infinite knowledge that I've gained.  

our investigator made us stools with our names on them!

Again, I love my calling.

We were going to Gary's house one day (investigator) and so excited because he is so so progressing.  He's made us stools to sit on (we rarely ever teach people here that have actually tables and chairs in their homes) with our names painted on them, and waits for us to come every TuesdayThursday, and Saturday.  And the Thursday afternoon that we went to him, we found him drunk.  Halfway through us trying to figure out what was going on, he started crying (just picture that in a grown man who does construction for a living) and was angry at us (in a kind of funny, drunk way) because all the sudden he felt bad for drinking.  But you know what, I loved being able to explain the influence of the Holy Ghost and need for repentance in our lives.  "Repent is perhaps that most hopeful and encouraging word in the Christian vocabulary."  It's been a long process of repentance for him, but he's done it and is finally getting baptized this week!  Can you see the greatness of my calling?

We get to watch conference this week too!  I'm so jealous that you all get to watch it early, but all the things I've heard makes me even more excited to listen.  I spent the last couple of weeks re-reading last conference, and my binder of church talks just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I wish I realized back then how great an opportunity conference is.  Next April, I want tickets to actually be in the conference center:)

Funny Story:  Okay, so back to Gary.  At the end of our (very short) lesson, we made him a little banner to tape on his table that said "gary will not drink anymore" and we asked him to borrow some tape to stick it on.  He was gone a really long time, and Sister Bautista and I just kept looking at each other with a big question mark.  He finally came back and told us it took him forever to finally "the small tape."  We looked at what he had brought out and it was correction tape!  No matter how many times we explained, he didn't get that you couldn't use it to stick the paper to the table:).  Oh, Gary when he's drunk.  But he didn't really remember it the next time we went back to him.