Monday, December 23, 2013

Congratulations Elder Seguine-Ben's cousin reports to MTC

My cousin Elder Seguine is leaving on his mission to Kiribati. He`s an awesome guy, and will work so hard and be so successful. I wish him the best on his awesome adventure.

I thought in honor of Elder Dallin Seguine and Elder Ben Taylor, I would include some pictures from their early years together as cousins. They are only about 6 months apart in age and spent lots of time together until the Seguines moved to the east coast. It is only fitting that they should be serving missions at the same time.

Ben pushing Dallin
Dallin helping Ben celebrate his birthday
The Taylor cousin's--Dallin is on the left in the green shirt and Ben is on the right in the blue shirt. I am not sure what Justin (red tank top) and Taylor (Dallin's sister in the purple pants) are doing, but they sure make me laugh.

Dallin (in back) and from L-R: Justin, Reid Taylor (oldest Taylor cousin, who served a mission to Denver North Mission) and Ben in the summer of 2012

Ben, Justin, Dallin & Reid at the beach this summer

Ben leaving on 11/7/13 for his mission

Dallin leaving on 12/18/13 for his mission

Ben's First P-Day in Uruguay!

Here is the latest letter from Ben. He also sent several pictures I will put at the end of the letter. Hope all of you have a Merry Christmas!

So, today is my first P-Day. It is so exciting to be here! 

Well, so we live in a house in the ward boundaries of the Libia ward, in the Maroñas Stake. We have a fairly good size ward, about 130 people attend. 

My companion Elder Gardner (St. George UT) is a very hard worker. When he first got here the ward had about 90 people in attendance and since then has increased dramatically. 

Ben and his companion Elder Gardner
We try to work smart--we visit members to get references, set up appointments and FHE`s with less actives and get them to come to church, and try to contact our investigators close to baptism at least once every two days. 

The missionary lunch coordinator is very helpful (we have lunches here, not dinners as the main meal). We have had a great lunch every day with leftovers enough for a small dinner. 

We are in a house with the missionaries from the town over and live about a block from the stake center. I am loving the mission! We have one of the largest areas in the mission, because it was merged at one point from two areas, so we do a lot of walking.

There are so many dogs here.  Seriously, they are everywhere. Maybe that means he won't be missing Spike quite as much since he will get to have lots of interaction with other dogs. I know that Spike does miss Ben.

Well it's Christmas down here, even without the snow. We sent a picture to Ben this last week that had a picture of William with the giant snowman named Big Will he made (with the help of Dad) when Indiana got blessed with lots of snow. No chance of snow where he is now, but that seems to be fine.

William with Big Will
I want everyone to know how thankful I am for my Savior and the life that He lived. The sacrifice He made, so I can be saved from my faults. 

Don`t forget the true purpose of Christmas, to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I wish everyone back home Happy Holidays! Love you all!

Feliz Navidad!

Élder Taylor

Cant wait to Skype with you guys!  We will get to Skype with Ben on Christmas Day. I think we have all of the accounts set up and things will hopefully go smoothly. Even if we don't get a clear picture, it will just be nice to hear his voice and be able to ask him questions and just have fun talking to him.

This was taken the day before Ben left the CCM in Argentina

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Watch Out Uruguay--Here Come's Elder Taylor

EXCITING NEWS!!! Ben is now in Uruguay and here is his first letter to us. Now he can get to the business of spreading the joy of the gospel to all those in Uruguay!

Hola Familia,

I just made it to Uruguay yesterday. Yesterday was nice, we arived in Uruguay at about 10 am local time. We went to the mission home and had some orientation. 

I met my companion. His name is Elder Gardner; He is an inch or two taller than me, skinny, white, blue eyes, blonde hair. He has been out for 14 months. I cannot believe that Ben got put with someone taller than him--they will probably stand out in a crowd.

I only have a few minutes. In order to skype with me on Christmas, I need you to send me an account with password for me to log onto here, and you need to tell me the account I should contact you at. Make sure you test it at home so you know it works. We will skype at around 1PM local (Uruguay) time. Make sure the account works and you send me the right password. Ben is putting a lot of faith in us. You know what we will be working on this weekend--anyone want to test Skype with us?? I am excited that we will get to see him as well as talk to him. I hope the connection is good.

Uruguay is beautiful. The people so far have been nice. Our house (not apartment) is nice, especially for Uruguay. I will email about this next Monday and that will be my P-day from now on. Now we will be on the same PDay schedule as other missionaries. That will be nice.

So here they call all Greenies, "Oros". It means Gold or Golden in Spanish. So I am Elder Gardner's Oro. 

Well, gotta go. 


Elder Taylor

P.S. don`t forget to send me the Skype info before I email on Monday. I think this reminder is payback for the 10 times I have reminded him to let me know about his travel plans and Christmas call or he is worried about our memory in our 'old age' now that we have a son old enough to serve a mission :)

p.s. I love you guys!!!!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Going to Uruguay!

We just got this email from Ben today. He was able to let us know about his travel plans. Looks like he will be in Uruguay on December 17th.

Hey Family,
So we just got the travel info. I leave the CCM at 4 in the morning to catch my flight at 6:50

I´m so excited to get to Uruguay.They say the flight is only half an hour. 

Chances are after my interveiw with Pres. Newsome I´ll probably get my first companion!!!

¡Nos Vemos!

Elder Taylor

Thursday, December 12, 2013

MTC Update-Week 5 Letter

Can you believe that it has been 5 weeks? Here is Ben's weekly email to the family. I can hardly wait to read his email on Thursday mornings and love hearing from him. His time at the CCM is winding down and it sounds like he is ready to get to work in Uruguay. Enjoy!

¡Hola Familia!

It's so great to hear from you guys. So, this week was rather pretty fun. 

I'll start with proselyting. My companion Elder Johnson and I received a new area for proselyting this week. The houses aren't nearly as huge in this area. I was actually sort of grateful. We had the opportunity to talk to far more at their doors instead of through an intercom. 

One strange thing about proselyting this week is my companion and I tried to go in with an attitude of talking to as many people as possible. When you think of the importance of what you're saying, you can't wait to share it with everyone. We didn't have as many lessons or place as many materials, but I would like to think we planted a lot of seeds and I personally ended the day with a far better feeling of I really gave it my all.

After proselyting I couldn't help but think about getting to my first area, with my first companion, my first investigators.... I love the people in my small 12sq block area, but it´s a little difficult to feel like I am contributing much to the work there, since I just hand over my referrals to the missionaries that actually are assigned to serve there. 

I can't wait to get in my area and just share the message that me and my companion have; to be the one responsible for keeping up with our investigators, teaching prepared lessons, and seeing the full process of someone completely changing their life. The fact that the Lord lets me be a part of this grand work is something that I´m thankful for everyday. 

I'm thankful for my time in the Argentina CCM, but 6 weeks is a long time to go to the same class and sit for 12 hours everyday, ¡¡¡¡I just can't wait to be in Uruguay!!!!

When I'm on the computer every night (for the Technology Assisted Language Learning, or TALL; It´s essentially like a churchy Rosetta Stone), I put in the weather for Plainfield IN on the desktop widget and see snow, sleet, ice, rain, cold... I´m not gonna lie, I miss it. I have a hard time with this sentence--any of us in the states who have had the pleasure of experiencing this early 'Arctic Draft' that has been causing all sorts of troubles and frigid weather, would have to wonder how you would actually miss it. I guess this is his way of letting us know he misses us :)

It's just always the same here. It rains like once a week then the rest of the week is 75-83 all day. Again, I am so jealous. I wouldn't mind this kind of weather on a regular basis. So... the odds of a white Christmas, nada. I am excited for Christmas down here because the people spend a lot of money on fireworks, and hopeful we´ll get invited to a Uruguayan BBQ that day.

I still don´t know travel plans yet, but I´ll let you know if they let me email home again before I leave. Poor Ben, we have been asking about when he will arrive in Uruguay (probably a lot), so he was nicely trying to let us know that he doesn't know anything yet. I will have to stop reminding him to give us his travel plans. It sounds like he won't forget to mention it in his next letter home. 

I don´t have any new pictures since we can only take them every other Sunday, so here´s some old ones I don´t think I shared.

The Argentina CCM, or to us, the Argentina MTC, where Ben has spent the last 5 weeks

p.s. I love you, Everything is fantastic. 

¡Nos Vemos, Les Amo!

Elder Taylor

Thursday, December 5, 2013

MTC Update- Week 4 Letter

Here is the letter from Ben this week.

Great to hear from all of you guys!

The CCM is still chugging along. One thing I´ve been worried about this last week has been topping my last email. So, we ended up getting some kind of pasta dish on thanksgiving; "Not my usual, But nice." We had asked Ben if they would feed him anything like he might have on Thanksgiving—I guess not.

Funny story, I saw Sister Megan Passey on this devotional with Elder L. Tom Perry we watched from the Provo MTC. The camera zoomed in on her for about 3 seconds while the congregation was singing. I got an email from Megan Passey last week and she told me this Don't believe him if he says that he saw me singing on a taped Provo MTC devotional. You know me, I don't sing :) Much less look happy all the time :)  I bet it was neat seeing someone you know show up on the screen when you weren’t expecting it.

Congratulations to Dallin, one step closer to leaving for Kiribati. Dallin is Ben’s cousin and received his mission call to the Marshall Islands. He went home from BYU over the Thanksgiving break and did his endowments at the Manhattan temple in preparation for serving his mission. He reports to the Provo MTC on Dec 18th.

So, not much happens at the CCM on the weekly basis. We had another group of Latinos leave this Tuesday. This next group coming in will actually be going to the same mission as me. It´s getting more and more real. I have a picture of my district with my Teacher Hno. Cristeche. He is going to miss the last two weeks of our stay at the CCM because he´s getting married. He was a great teacher and I've learned so much. The picture of his district will be below this letter.

It´s so weird that were starting to finish up at the CCM and in less than two weeks I´ll be in Uruguay, missing my family at Christmas time. We have sent Ben a couple of care packages—we will be missing him at Christmas time as well.

We are going out proselyting again this weekend in a new area, wish me luck!

I love you guys so much. It was absolutely fantastic seeing pictures of you. I love the one of Will. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We took some pictures on Thanksgiving. One of the pictures was a plate of our Thanksgiving meal with desserts that we made in honor of Ben (Justin ended up eating it the next day—what a great sacrifice on his part). The other picture we sent was of William eating the drumstick like a barbarian.
Ben's Thanksgiving plates

William eating his drumstick YUM!!

Oh almost forgot; my district organized a Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving, and we won against the other American Districts. I even played for a play (I think that´s what it's called). The fact that Ben even attempted to play football makes me smile. He was not the athletic type and got his coordination from me. His junior year of high school, Ben had to take gym class since they had stopped offering it in the summer and it was a required course. He was the only upperclassman in with Freshmen and of course he stands out because of how tall he is. When teams were getting picked for basketball, they grabbed him up first, not realizing that Ben does not do sports. As the year went on, poor Ben ended up being one of the last ones picked on a team because of his lack of skill in the various games.  I am happy that he played with his district and even enjoyed it. The Latino districts eventually kicked us off the field so they could play soccer.

Love you all so much, I wish you all the best. I´ll try to have some better stories for the next email, haha.

Nos Vemos, Les Extraño, Les Amo...

This came as a separate email—it was a PS
Also, I love all of you soooooo much.

I happened to  be awake when Ben started sending his string of emails and pictures, so I quickly sent him an email that  just said “Hi Ben—I love you!” I got this back in response:
Love you too so much! I´ve got to get off in 4 min.
Let everyone know that they mean the world to me.
Don’t forget Shai is getting baptized in a few days. Shai is one of Ben’s friends from school and she had been investigating the church on her own for a while before sharing the wonderful news with Ben and Jordan right before Ben left on his mission. I am so happy to hear that she is getting baptized. I imagine that this news has made Ben very happy.  Give her and Jordan a huge hug for me. If there are other friends at the baptism or at church ask Jordan if you should hug them for me. If she answers yes, give them a large hug and say it´s from Elder Taylor. I guess you guys are being warned that I will be handing out hugs from Ben when I see you.

Me with my District at the CCM

Me with Presidente and Hna. Openshaw, my CCM Mission President and his wife. They are great people. Presidente is a scriptorian and can tell you any citation with just reading the first 5 words of any verse. Hna. Openshaw is a sweet lady and bears one of the strongest testimonies on Joseph Smith I´ve ever heard. So glad to have them.

Ben in front of his new favorite temple in Argentina