Friday, June 28, 2013

Kuna - Dinner With The Burnett's

A note from mom:  We're so thankful for the members and investigators taking such good care of Lindsay and her companion, Sister Nickolaisen, while they serve amongst them in Kuna, Idaho.

June 27, 2013

Dear Missionary Family,

My husband is the Ward Mission leader in the Kuna, Idaho 8th Ward.  We just had dinner and our first meeting with Sister Taylor and Sister Nickolaisen.  They are delightful and we are so blessed to have them serving here!  I asked them if I could take their picture and send it to you, it is attached.  Our son will be going on a mission to Oregon next month and we are so excited to be hearing more about being a missionary from these two Sisters.   They are wonderful examples and we hope we will be seeing them often.  Please let us know if there is anything you need or anything we can do for them.

Warm Regards,

Steve and Valerie Burnett

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Missionary Welcome Letter from President & Sister Cannon 06/24/13

Dear Missionary Parents,

How thrilled Sister Cannon and I were to greet your daughter and to welcome her as a full-time missionary in the Idaho Boise Mission. What a blessing it will be to our mission to have her serving here at the assigned field of labor.

After arriving at the mission office and conducting a brief orientation of the mission, I had the opportunity of interviewing your daughter in an effort to become better acquainted with her and to feel of her spirit. As a result of this interview, I felt impressed to assign your daughter, as a companion, to the most obedient, most skilled, and hardest working missionary in the mission. You can be assured that this companion is one of our mission’s very best.

We are confident that your daughter will have a very positive experience while serving in the Idaho Boise Mission. We know she will strengthen her skills, increase her knowledge and testimony of the gospel, and establish an increased measure of love for all of our Heavenly Father’s children she will assist in teaching.

We have attached a picture of your missionary with Sister Cannon and myself and her trainer, Sister Nickolaisen.

May the Lord’s choicest blessings be with you as you sustain your daughter and pray for her continued welfare.

Faithfully yours,

President Kent H. Cannon
Idaho Boise Mission

Week 3 - Kuna 06/24/13


The missionary broadcast was AMAZING!  Totally pumped for missionary work after that!  Sister Nickolaisen and I came up with an awesome idea that we're pretty psyched about!  We're planning a mini MTC activity for our Stake where we'll have classes, role play activities, and share testimonies about missionary work.  Our goal is to keep up the excitement that the broadcast has created and invite everyone in attendance at the workshop to bring a non-member/less active friend to an activity in the near future.  We're planning a "hoedown" with country dancing, a barbecue, and side games.  At the end of the activity we'll offer tours our the church building.  Genius right?!  It's just a chance to let everyone get together, friendship one another, and share their beliefs.  It's going to take a lot of work and planning but I haven't been this excited for something in a LONG TIME!

Yes Dad, the broadcast was very informational and greatly needed!  I wish they made it mandatory for EVERYONE to attend/watch!  I can't express how grateful I am that you have been so willing to help the missionaries there at home.  I didn't understand how crucial the wards are to missionary work until I became a missionary myself!  I was watching a segment of The District with Sister Nick during companionship study, and someone said, "Missionaries are there to assist the members."  That's so true!  The members are our most valuable tool in finding new investigators and sharing the gospel!  So please, don't ever be afraid to share the gospel with others.  As long as you're sharing it in the spirit of love, no one will ever be offended by what you are sharing with them.

I recently re-read the last few chapter in Luke, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  In chapter 24 it specifically talks about how Jesus comes to the women at the tomb and how they rush to tell the Apostles what they had seen.  In Luke 24:10-12;  "It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.  Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass."

The natural man in all of us will always bring doubt.  It is sometimes hard to have faith in some of the teachings and commandments that God gives us when we don't immediately see the fruits of those labors.  But I want to be just like Peter, who, despite all his doubts, immediately ran to the tomb.  All it takes is a small particle of faith, and I promise you, you will be so blessed, and you will see results and receive answers.

I'm so glad you guys have been getting my letters!  I really wish I could've written more, but I had ZERO time at the MTC.  Here on P-days I get 2 hours of email time instead of 30 minutes!  Hooray!  I'm so glad you are sharing my emails with everyone.  I wish everyone could be here with me experiencing it all too!  Being on a mission is another world in itself.  We still get to have fun, create friendships, and be silly, which is nice but I just love how everything is focused on inviting others to come unto Christ.  One of my favorite messages to share with those we teach is the message of hope.  One that allows us to live with our family forever in a state of never-ending happiness!  How awesome is that?!

I have met so many incredible people here.  I've probably said it before, but everyone is so loving and kind, especially the members!  I feel so welcomed, I don't ever want to leave Kuna!

We're having dinner with an investigator tonight and our discussion will be on the commandments.  This lady is so wonderful and really has a love for the gospel.  She has been doing everything right and coming to church regularly, if she wanted to, she could be baptized tonight!  But of course, nothing could be that easy!  Hopefully we can help her work through the last few things that are holding her back.  She lives with her mother and niece who is six years old.  As you can imagine, the six year old and I are the best of friends, especially since she thinks I look like an actress on her favorite Disney Channel show.

We work with a lot of less active families and over age youth.  It's been interesting to see how different missionary work is from what my expectations were.  How strange it is to hear missionaries say they've never been tracting while serving their missions, when it seems tracting is what I understood to be the epitome of missionary work!

Okay, I just need to talk about my companion, Sister Nickolaisen, she is just SO AMAZING!!  I love her!  We get along so well, she is one of my best friends!  I hope I get to be with her for a few transfers, but who knows with all the new sisters coming in.  She has only been out six weeks and is already training me.  I do feel so blessed to have a companion that is so wonderful and helps mee feel the spirit in preparing for investigators.

Mom, thank you so much for sending me packages and letters they always brighten my day!  Thank you for always being such a great example to me and being so firm in the gospel.  I use you a lot when giving examples of faith in my lessons to investigators.  I really do feel so blessed to have such an amazing family.  Thank you for all of the love and support you have given me.

I know this gospel is true.  My testimony of that grows every day.  As long as you are trying your best and moving forward with faith, the Lord will bless you.  I encourage you all to read the Book of Mormon again as a family.  I know it can be difficult with schedules, just take what time you can and seek His councils through the scriptures.  Families are such an important part of this gospel.

Love you all!

Sister Taylor

Week 2 - Kuna/June 20, 2013

Greetings Loved Ones!

I'm here in ...... drum roll please ....... KUNA IDAHO!!!!!!!! HOW INCREDIBLY, AMAZINGLY, AWESOME IS THAT???!!!  Of all the places I could've been sent, I get to be in the one place I've actually been to before!  And to make it even more awesome, Corianne's ward, my roommate from BYU,  is one of the wards we are over!  I can tell God loves me, cuz he keeps making my life awesomer, and awesomer!

Well, we made it to the airport at 5:30 am Tuesday morning, and safely arrived in Boise at 8:30 pm - that's a story I'll cover in my next email.   LONGEST DAY EVER.  But I'm here!    I'm now officially serving in the Nampa, Idaho Mission.  No more Boise for me.   I love my Mission President, he is seriously the coolest. I have the best trainer in the mission, probably the world!  Seriously, Sister Nickolaisen is the nicest, sweetest, coolest trainer ever.  Okay, I may be a little biased.

I just wanted to let you know that I arrived here safely and I'm doing fine.  You should be getting an email and pictures of me from my Mission President sometime soon, so look for those!

I love you guys A LOT.  You are always in my prayers!  I'll send you a nice big email on my P-day, which is on Monday's now.


Sister Taylor

Week 1 - MTC June 12, 2013

Hello Family!

Where to begin, where to begin?  It's just so crazy to me that I've already been here at the MTC for a week!  I'm lovin' it!

Sister C. and I met with an investigator, Nathan.  We had a short discussion and gave Nathan a Book of Mormon, then we invited him to church next Sunday and he accepted our invitation!  YAY!  It's so great to be able to share my testimony with others.  In Preach My Gospel, there's a quote by President Thomas S. Monson, "Regarding one's testimony remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses...  Teach and testify.  There is no better combination."

I want to share an excerpt from my journal entry last Sunday:

At tonight's fireside we watched the Joseph Smith movie.  It was so powerful!   I came to a realization today during the part when Joseph Smith's father dies, and the thought came to my mind, "Why was I born at this time?"  It only took a moment for me to answer my own question.  We have the knowledge that the Lord has saved His strongest spirits for the last days, and I feel so humbled and blessed to be one of those spirits.  Not only to be among the strongest but to also be a missionary, trusted by the Lord to bring His sheep the Gospel of Christ.  What a cool cool thought, huh!

I know I keep saying this but I just LOVE the MTC!!!!!!! The days go by so quickly because they're so packed with classes and meetings, but I have enjoyed each of them so, so much!!!

Oh!  Before I sign off, I fly out of SLC at 8 am Tuesday morning!  Which means I have to be up at 3:00 am to get everything ready in time.  YAY!

Well my laundry is done and I have to go.  Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Love,  Sister Taylor

Unexpected Encounter - June 11, 2013

A note from mom:  It's always fun to be reminded just how small our world really is!  We were so excited to open the following email and picture of our Sister Taylor - the first picture of Lindsay as a missionary sporting her missionary badge, and of course that endearing smile of hers.

June 11, 2013


I don't know that we have met, but I am in your ward.  My parents serve in the MTC and ran into your daughter a few minutes ago at the weekly devotional, which they just moved over to the Marriott Center.  She recognized my Mom who she had met while Mom was visiting.  They took this picture and asked me to send it to you.  They said she is doing well!


Lindsay's Response:

June 12, 2013


We were walking to the Marriott Center for a devotional when I saw her.  I was so excited, and equally as excited when she offered to take a picture and send it to you!  I know that probably made you happy.      Mervyn B. Arnold was the devotional speaker, wow, what an amazing man.  I highly recommend looking up his talks for FHE (Family Home Evening) or personal study.

Love you so much!

Sister Taylor

Time Well Spent - May 31, 2013

We spent our last evening together as a family celebrating Kyle's accomplishments as a budding pianist at his first piano recital.  Afterward, we soaked up every last minute together eating yummy sandwiches in an open air restaurant, talking and laughing, then made our way to a pastry shop to end the evening on a sweet note!

First Letter Home

June 6, 2013 - MTC day 2

Hello from the MTC!  I'm writing you a letter right now because it turns out my "P" day here in the MTC isn't until Wednesdays.  Sorry for misleading you!  Well, there is so much to write about already!!  The first day was pretty crazy.  They waste no time and start teaching you right away.  There are five Sisters in my District; Sister V., Sister L., Sister S., and Sister Cluff. who is my companion.  Sister Cluff can be very shy but she has already opened up so much and I think we make great companions.  I learn so much from her everyday!

Mom, you knew from our conversation on the phone that I was super nervous the day I entered the  MTC.  The Lord was really watching out for me and within the first 10 minutes here I saw Sis H., Sister Lagrosa, Elder C., and (I'll save the best for last), Sister Hancock!  We gave each other a big hug, she gave me her address and e-mail so we can keep in touch.  An Elder in my zone, Elder Jenkins, was in my EFY group at SVU!  Seeing all those familiar faces really calmed my nerves.

Host Sisters ready to whisk Lindsay away and into the MTC

On her way to the MTC with Grandma Robison and cousin Makenzie

A quick reunion with Glenwood roommates!  Go Cougars!

I have AWESOME teachers.  Brother Adjei, is from Jamaica and he has a very high pitched laugh, which we get to hear A LOT.  Brother Littlefield, is so much fun and soooo cute... oops, did I say that out loud?  Don't worry, I haven't had any "moments" with any more missionaries, accidental or otherwise.  My Branch President is, President Hatch, he is very nice and greatly emphasizes EXACT OBEDIENCE.  So if the mission schedule says to be up by 6:30 am, we are to be up by 6:29 am.  I think it's a great principle to follow!  The Branch President's wife is so sweet and gave us homework tonight to write a letter home.  She said that moms will be a nervous wreck until they finally get that first letter saying everything is okay.  So here's me saying everything is okay!

The MTC is HARD!   We have very long days and are expected to jump right in to being a missionary.  Any prayers would be greatly appreciated!  I hate to cut this letter short, but it's 10:27 pm and I've gotta be in bed by 10:29 pm!

I love you all soooo much and you'll her again from me soon!

Love, Sister Taylor

A note from mom:  We will refrain from publishing full names without the individuals permission to do so.

In the second paragraph Lindsay mentions Sister H., Sister L., and Elder C., who are all from Ashburn and have known one another for years.  Sister Hancock and Lindsay were roommates their freshman year at BYU.

For those of you not as familiar with the LDS (Latter-day Saint) culture and the many acronyms we frequently use:

MTC - Missionary Training Center
At the Church's Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, young men and women as well as retired men and women from around the world come together to prepare to serve the Lord.  The purpose of the MTC is to provide an atmosphere of peace, love, trust, confidence, and respect in which missionaries can prepare for missionary service.

EFY - Especially for Youth
The objective of Especially For Youth (EFY) is to provide an uplifting, edifying, an learning experience for youth where they can strengthen their commitments to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

SVU - Southern Virginia University
Southern Virginia University (SVU) provides the finest undergraduate, liberal arts education in a wholesome Latter-day Saint environment.