Monday, February 23, 2009

There and Back Again: An Adventure by Elder Geoffrey Edward Taylor

So here we are. I really can’t believe that I am here at this point. This has to been one of the weirdest times for me. My very last p-day. I think I might just have to sit down and write a mass email every week telling people what I have been up to, while it may not be nearly as interesting, but still it will fill the hole left in my life, no more p-days. Well I guess technically everyday will be p-day now. That’s really weird.
So I’m sitting here with the same thought process that you all probably had writing your emails, "What do I say that I can’t just tell you about in two days?" Well a lot has happened this last week. Yesterday was one of the highlights. Well, as it was my last Sunday as a missionary, we were going all day, like all day. We woke up at about 6:10 a.m. and were out the door at 7:00 a.m. and didn’t come home for more than fifteen minutes the rest of the day, until 9:15 p.m. So that was a really long day. Good thing I can catch up on my rest when I get home. We had a lot of things to do. I had families to whom I wanted to say good-bye and then we had put on a youth fireside, it was a lot of fun. We did a really good job and I hope that they got the point we were trying to make to them. We really did have a fun time and it seemed as though the youth really did too.
Then the second and probably the best highlight was Katie Beck’s baptism this past Wednesday night. It was such a spiritual experience. We had a ton of people there. She did a great job. She had been nervous leading up to the whole thing about getting water in her nose. She was told that she could plug her nose no problem. Well, she did a great job and went under just fine and did really well. Everyone was pretty emotional, (as they should have been). The Spirit was so strong in that room. Afterward she found the mirror over the font and was dance and playing in it. We had pulled the plug on the font and so there was only a little water and a long way down, so I went over and closed the door so she wouldn’t get hurt. This also gave me a great time to talk to her. I asked her how she was doing and what she was feeling. Her response was short, but will be something that I will remember for a while. They were sweet little words and then at the end she gave me a hug. It was a very touching moment for me, and I don’t think I could have had any better last baptism. The family thanked us for everything and that was the night. It was so great.
Well I guess this is the time I give like some really profound thought or some super amazing thing. We all know that I am not built to make these kinds of things. I will say this: I have loved being a missionary. I can’t think of anything I would have done with my life these past two years that would put me in the position that I am in now. Both spiritually and physically, this has been the best two years for my life. I have loved these last two years. They have meant the world to me. Dad wanted me to put my thoughts "right now" into words. I have a lot in my mind. Thoughts of what to do when I get home, what movie to watch first, how much I have no desire to leave the wards that I am serving in and that they are being ripped from me. I have feelings gratitude and love for my Heavenly Father. He has given me these chances to touch people’s lives and be a part of them in some way. I have loved my mission, but even with all that, I can’t wait to hug my Dad. I think that is what I look forward to the most right now. Putting my arms around him and telling him “Hello, and I love you.” He has been the shining star to me as I have gone through all of this. I have looked at the changes he has made and I feel like I need to get more caught up with him. I love Mom and Chanel, too…but come on - throw me a bone here. Well I love you guys so much. I know I write that every week…but how about this time I just tell you in person on Wednesday. Have a great day and I will see you all Wednesday.
Love, (For The Last Time)
Elder Geoff Taylor

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So it seems to me that I have been here before, I think I have been here, writing e-mails and reading the wonderful letters that I have gotten over that last two years. It really does seem to me that this time has just flown by. I feel as though my time has been too short, that I haven’t been able to do enough. Yet as I lay reflecting on the last two years, I have been able to think of all the times and people that I have come in contact with. I say “laying down” because it seems that at night is where it hits me the most. I know that I am one day closer to the end. That is both a wonderful sight and something I want to turn and run from. Having the chance to get on with the rest of my life, it is a scary thought. This life, while we do have the difficulties that we have, is a little easier. It is simple; we just worry about teaching people, and hope that they will make choices that we know will bless them. We have no bills, other jobs and or really any other cares or worries. The life of a missionary, it is a wonderful time and simple time and I think that is what I might miss the most. The simple nature of what we do. I know that over the coming weeks and months I will probably forget how simple life can be and get caught back up in the hustle and bustle of life, but I know that if we keep things simple then we can have peace and joy in the things we have.
Well this week has been pretty good. I have spent a lot of time getting my things ready so that this week I won’t have to worry about them and can focus my last week and have a fun time in my last full week as a missionary. Though this week has been a very good one. I was so glad to get my last package, and don’t worry Mom…I filled that box and two others….oh I might need to fill one more too. Don’t you love me? Like I said we have had a lot to do. David Edwards got the Priesthood this past Sunday. That was a really cool event. Always good to see someone that you bring to the gospel continue to live it and prepare to live more of the standards that will bless him.
We had Katie Beck’s baptism interview this past week. That went very well and she is set and ready to go for tomorrow night. It should be a really good night and I am so happy that I will get to see one last baptism before I leave. Then after that happens tomorrow, I think I will feel something like a tornado. It will be the final things, my last Sunday, my last p-day, a lot of things I won’t ever do again. Like today, I went to my last ever district meeting. It that was pretty surreal knowing I won’t have to do that ever again. I did however have to sing a solo at the end of the meeting of my favorite hymn. It was pretty funny, and everyone loved it. I sang my new favorite hymn #307 verse. I did a pretty good job. It seems as though my world is slowly being ripped from my grasp, yet I will be able to start a new one that has wonderful potential, even though everything seems to be going down the tubes with the rest of the world….maybe they will let me serve another two years? Still I am happy to have been able to have this chance to serve the Lord. To teach people of his gospel and that we are in this life to prepare to meet God. I know that this gospel is true, I know that all the things that I have thought over the past while and will continue to teach this short little while are real and that they can help anyone, no matter who they are or what they have been through.
Well I love you all so much. I want thank all those who have taken the time the last two years to sit down and write me a letter or two or more. I really have appreciated it. Those who haven’t will hear about it in a little while. I am so glad that I have had this chance and to spread my love to the people here and can’t wait to see those I love back home soon. I love you all. Have a great week, and get something done!
Elder “Soon to be Just” Geoff Taylor

Image via here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

99 Red Balloons....Nope Just One White One!

Well it sounds as if you guys were busy with lots of things going on. Seems like you had a great party on Saturday, I wish I could have been there for the paper airplanes. Sounds like tons of fun. But I have to answer a quick question. Chanel asked what the funniest thing was that happened this week? Well, we had a dinner on Tuesday night, and they gave us Kool-Aid to drink, not just any Kool-Aid but the Red kind. Well we went through the evening and had a great time. We left and went to a meeting with our newly called ward mission leader; well as we sat there I realized that Elder Hanson had a red mustache. I had to laugh in my head. Then later when we got home I told him about it, he wasn’t too happy at all. Still to me it was a funny story.
So what else happened? Oh, I had my last zone conference. That was really weird I must say. It was a really stinkin' good one. We had an amazing lunch, I know that that shouldn’t be the first thing that I mention, but it was really good. They had a chocolate fondue fountain - it was amazing. The rest of the meeting was really good and uplifting. It is sort of hard at the same time, I mean I am working hard and having a good time. The things that they were teaching I will try and apply into my missionary work these last two weeks…but it is hard to change and do new things the last two weeks. Still we have to do our best and endure to the end right? President talked about lifting ourselves and doing better. He had a single white balloon. The balloon was us and the helium was the Spirit….we need to make sure that we have the Spirit or we can’t be lifted. Well, after that we went out and I got to cut the balloon lose and watch it lift to new heights. It was really cool. Then we had some cool trainings and stuff. It was really a good day. Sort of surreal though….the last one…I will not go to another…but still I am staying strong.
I got to speak slash bear my testimony in Lynbrook ward. It was my “last” testimony in that ward, and it was good. The whole Sunday was about missionary work. The wards here are really starting to get into it. Since last week’s meeting with Elder Perry it has been the hot topic around here. So we are working with the members to get everything rolling. The sad thing is I am getting this started and the work is moving here…and then I have to leave it. That’s what is making this so hard right now. We have people that we are really teaching and working with and things are going so well, I don’t want to leave. I want to see these people progress and work towards baptism. I thought transfers were hard…this is harder…because I know that I will be leaving. I have to this time. It sort of stinks. Still I have to make do and have a good time.
Well I hope that things stay well for you all back home. Mom: in relation to the elders being around the house…I believe you…and I think it would be great to still have them around. So don’t just kick them to the curb when I get home. I hope you had a great birthday Dad. Oh by the by, Chanel won the award for making me the trunkiest this week…thanks for the countdown. Well have a great week and I love you.
Elder Geoff Taylor

Monday, February 2, 2009


So I promise that I am not that trunky. Well this week has been a pretty good week. We have had a lot of things going on this week and a lot to do. I must say though that this week was so amazing for a lot of spiritual reasons and then just having fun on top of all of that. You know me…if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying….I mean if you aren’t having fun then why are you doing it? So we have just been keeping it real around here.
Well where do I start? Last Monday is a good place: we had a meeting with my most amazing investigator ever. Her name is Katie Beck and she has Down Syndrome. The best part is that she is so excited to get baptized and so scared at the same time. She didn’t want to do it until she knew she could plug her nose….now when we talked to her about it she just plugs her nose…it is so cute and funny. She is so sweet and I am so glad that I will be here for her baptism. It is going to be on the 18th of this month…so like a week before I get home. So I will be excited to have that last little blessing from the Lord.
Wednesday, that brought one of the best baptism services I have ever been to or been a part of in person. I can only think of one other that may have been better…but I wasn’t there. Anyway, David Edwards was baptized and it was such a great service, but like all greatness there are hiccups along the way. So I will start the story there. We got the church to fill the font at about 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and no one was there, which was good. We had made the phone calls needed to get the Chapel and Relief Society room for the baptism…the font is in the RS room and we wanted the Chapel for how many we thought would show up. Well as we had about 20 minutes before the service started, the Chapel was full of all these youth and a projector….I guess word didn’t get to everyone that we needed that room. So now we had to go a set up enough chairs in the RS room for everyone who was going to be there in the next few minutes….well like super men, Elder Hanson and I came through, and we had just enough room for the 70 people that came to see David get baptized. It was such a great service. The best part was that his non-member parents came to support him. I was so glad to see them there. Quick note….when a church has one of the signs that says maximum occupancy such and such number….you can’t fit that many….that room said 113….we were sweating 70…still it worked out great. A ton of youth came and it was so great. This was the first baptism for the Deer Springs ward in 18 months….that is a long time.
Then I didn’t think that that could be topped (and really it didn’t) but, on Saturday Elder L. Tom Perry of the 12 apostles and Elder Neil L. Anderson of the presidency of the 70 came and spoke to all the missionaries here in the Las Vegas valley. Before I talk about how cool it was to shake an Apostle's hand, the elders in the Las Vegas West mission, my mission, are SO much cool then those gomers on the east side of the valley. So - meeting Elder Perry was so cool, and he is really tall. He spoke to us for about 45 minutes about becoming better teachers. It was such a cool meeting. Sad thing was that it was such a short meeting. I could have listened to him all day. I must say a testimony, in person, of an Apostle is so amazing. His whole countenance changed. It was a very powerful experience. Then later that night he met with all the stake presidents, bishops, and ward mission leaders, and basically kicked their butts into gear. It was so cool to see yesterday the excitement on everyone’s face that was at that meeting. I really think that things will start getting better around here: more teaching, more baptisms, and more fun. It was an awesome weekend.

So here they are the answers to the 15 questions about Elder Hanson:
How many brothers and sisters do you have? 4 brothers.
What is your favorite thing to do? Snowboard.
What is your favorite food? Anything but pizza.
What is your favorite book? 5 fingers.
What is your favorite candy bar? Milky Way
What is your favorite cookie? Snickerdoodle
What is your favorite sport? Football.
What is your favorite Primary song? My Heavenly Father Loves Me.
What is your favorite temple? San Diego.
What place would you like to visit? Brighton, Utah
What is your favorite thing about your mom? She is a straight shooter.
What is your favorite thing about your dad? He is a really good role model.
What is your favorite thing about yourself? My ridiculously good looks.
Do you like to sing? Only in the shower.
Do you like to dance? Only with girls.

Well, there you have it. I hope that everyone has a great week and know that I love you all so much. I can’t believe that it is February 2009 already. This never seemed like it would come but you just can’t slow down time. Oh, just a quick shout out….My Cards…you boys did well, it just doesn’t go your way sometimes…you never gave up and you played hard to the end…Congrats to the Steelers, the first 6 time Super Bowl Champs. Cardinals in 2010 Baby! Well I love you all. McKay, Congrats Dude that is some of the best news I have heard all week. Don’t worry man, I’ll be bring home some ties for you to take…you’ll have the best collection in all the land. Well have a good week everybody.

Elder Taylor

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mr. "Handy" Man...

Well here we are again! Another rodeo…can you believe it? Well, this week has been a great week and we have had so many things going on and that we have had a great time doing. I must say, as I have gotten to know Elder Hanson more and more this week, we have really had a great time and we seem to get along really well. We both understand the principle "Work hard; play hard." We always make sure that when we have to get things done - we have a good time doing it and that we let people see that we are having a good time and that we are good missionaries. I guess that has really been for me something that I have really tried to do on my mission. I learned early on that I have gifts and abilities and that I needed to use them to help the work along. I have always talked with other missionaries about being themselves, because we were called, not some robot in our place, so we have to just be ourselves. So Elder Hanson gets that and so it makes for good times while we are together. So as for things about Elder Hanson, I will try and send a picture and Chanel, if you would send a questionnaire I will get the answers for you about them.
As for this week: we had a lot going on it seemed like. It seemed like each day was good but Tuesday and Friday really seemed to be the best. Tuesday we met with David to talk about the last few commandments and talk about his baptism. I taught the 10 commandments using the handy hand signals…pun intended. If you haven’t heard of them or seen them, they are by far the best way to teach the commandments. Everyone that I have done them with loves them and then can remember all 10 in order, which most can’t beforehand…again…pun intended. So we taught him and talked about his baptism. We moved it up to this Wednesday the 28th to do it as the wards mutual activity. So that will be pretty cool. He is super excited and we are for him too. He really has been like that golden contact; he soaks up everything like a sponge. So we are super happy for him. Also on Tuesday we were out tracting and we tracted into a Baptist preacher. He let us and we talked about Christ and lots of other topics. The weird thing was he let us talk. Sometimes we get into doors like that, but they try and convert us, don’t let us answer any questions or anything. So it was really nice and we got to teach him. He didn’t believe everything…but thanked us for stopping by.
Then came Friday, another lesson with David, going over the interview stuff and last minute tune-up for everything. It is always a great time to go and talk to him. Well, after that we went and had a lesson with this less-active and part-member family. Totally nice people, younger couple and they have a new baby. Well we stopped by and had a great talk with them and now we are going to teach the wife. She had a lot of great questions for us and so that was really cool. She said that she was interested in the church; it might be her member husband who has the problem. So we hope he will clean up his act and bring his wife to church. Saturday was David’s interview for baptism and it went great. So he is good to go for Wednesday. Yesterday was Sunday and you all know how that goes.

I think that one of the coolest things that happened to this week was one of our newest investigators. She is a 12 year old girl. She is the sweetest little thing, and the most surprising thing about her is her family is totally active. Her only problem is that she has down syndrome. Now normally she wouldn’t need to be baptized because of her condition, but she has asked to be baptized. She wants to be a member of Heavenly Fathers church and follow Jesus Christ. SO we are going by tonight to teach her and she will be getting baptized sometime in February, I think it might be the 25th which makes me a little sad that I might not be there. So I hope they do it before I go home. Even still just to be apart in this way is going to be so cool. Working with her and with this family will be such a great experience, something I think I will remember all of my life.

Well I hope that all of you have a great, grand and wonderful week. Keep on truckin, and things will come your way. Dad I think the personal assistant thing is a great idea, can you start looking around for me? Well I love you all so much and I hope that you have just a great week. I guess I will talk to you in February. Love you!

Elder Geoff Taylor

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Hello Folks,

Well this week has been a super busy, more so then any week since I have been here in the area. We had quite a few appointments and so that was really quite nice. It has been an adjustment to the new companion, still things are good. Elder Hanson is a cool guy. He is from Illinois, somewhere near Joliet he said…like Minooka…I think. Yeah, that sounds right. He has only been out for 5 months or so…so he is still pretty new. He is really fun though and so far we have had a pretty good time together. He is pretty easy going and laid back like myself so we seem to get along so far. I don’t really see any problems coming up…plus I won’t have to deal with them for very long if they do. He is a good guy...the funny thing is though, when I started my mission he was a junior in high school. That was really weird to me. We have, though, had a lot of work to do.

This week started really with transfers on Tuesday morning. It was a good transfer meeting. Then we went out to brunch. It was supposed to be just a few missionaries, well I yelled across the parking lot of the church at an elder where we were going, and then about 40 or so missionaries showed up at IHOP. It was so crazy; they had no idea what hit them. 40 missionaries is a lot in one place. It was fun, but just a little more than we had originally planned on. Then we had a great appointment with David Edwards, the young man I talked about last week. We set his baptism date for January 31st, so that will be a fun day, because Elder L. Tom Perry will be speaking to all the missionaries here in Las Vegas that afternoon. That will be a really cool day. A lot of missionaries will be at the meeting…all in our mission serving in Las Vegas and the other Vegas mission…So it should be pretty cool. Well anyway, the rest of the week saw a lot of normal missionary work.

We met with a lady whose husband is a member and she is slowly working her way to join the church and we are trying to help her along her way. She is a nice lady but will need a lot of extra prayers and help, so we are working overtime on it. She is a really nice lady and told us in the appointment that she knows the church is true, she is just afraid to pray about it.

So we really seem to have our work cut out for us this transfer, I know that I am up to it though. I only have but a short time left, so I want to work hard and finish in the end. It really doesn’t feel like I will be gone soon. I feel like this is now my home and that I don’t want to leave. I know everything so well and am so used to being a missionary, I’m not sure what I will do otherwise. Maybe I can live with the elders back home for a little bit? Check into it for me. Well I hope that you all have a great week and that those that are sick get feeling better…I’m starting to feel a cold coming on but I just am going to work through it. No time to slow down now, this train is in motion and isn’t stopping until it has to. Well I love you and hope that all is well.

Elder Geoff Taylor

Post Script...

GO CARDINALS......They are going all the way.....on the old rusty arm of Kurt Warner.....I just have two words for all you haters out there......LARRY FITZGERALD! Thats right....