22 August 2011

Hey Everyone,

On Monday for p-day we went to the driving range and hit golf balls. It was actually kind of fun, except for the blister that I got on hand! This was my first time hitting golf balls and only missed the ball a “few times”. That night we were able to go to a member’s home and have dinner with them. It was a good p-day.

On Wednesday, we had district meeting and it went well. After the meeting we went on splits with Umu. He is a returned missionary who has been home for about a year and he is a great example to me and helps us a lot. We were able to stop by several homes and both Elder Leavitt and I thought we were going to run out of gas! I just knew that it would happen when we were cruising down the freeway and that would just be great. I was way surprised and happy that we didn’t.

Wednesday night I went on exchanges with the Meyers Way missionaries. I went with Elder Miller in their area and Elder Woodruff came to our area with my companion, Elder Leavitt. The exchange went good and switched back on Thursday night.

On Friday we were able to listen to Elder L. Tom Perry and Elder Clayton of the seventy. It was a very good devotional. The Tacoma missionaries came also, so there were a lot of missionaries there. Elder Clayton, Sister Perry and Elder Perry all spoke to us. It didn’t start until 1:30 but all the missionaries came at 12:30 to sing until they came into the chapel. I just want to say that it is awesome to have over 400 missionaries in a chapel singing to an apostle. There usually isn’t another place where you can have that many young men in one place and have it be so quiet and feel the spirit.

I learned how to be a better missionary and had a lot of courage given to me. One quote that Sister Perry shared with us that I really liked was, “Don’t get upset, don’t get an attitude and be patient, then unexpected treasures will happen”. That is so true. I have seen it a lot here on my mission.

On Saturday we had our Luau. It was so much fun. We had a lesson for everyone and taught about faith in Jesus Christ, eternal families and the restoration. Then we went into the gym and ate a lot of Samoan food and there was music and dancing. They wanted my companion and I to get us and do the haka, but we were like “no way”. We got lucky and didn’t have too. There was a good turn out and everything went really well. Our Highline Samoan Ward is awesome!!

That night was transfer calls. Missionaries are always really nervous because they usually do not want to get transferred. Well, I don’t yet, and I am not getting transferred!! J Yet. I was so happy and my companion was also way happy. I am safe for another 6 weeks. J

I hope you all have a great week and your school years starts out good.

Love, Elder Taylor Francom

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Info from Suzie

I received an email from Taylor letting me know that he is not being transfered this week. Now that he is settled in and knows that he will be in Sea Tac for another 6 weeks until the next possible transfer, I am going to post his address so that his mail can do directly to him.

Elder Taylor Francom

3726 S. 180th St. Unit E-206

Sea Tac, WA 98188

He did tell me that packages sent to the mission home are not delivered to the missionary until the zone leaders have an opportunity to pick them up and deliver them. This can take a week or more, so I think was saying that he would appreciate packages that are sent directly to his apartment.

His next possible tranfer date is October 4th.

Thanks to everyone for all the support you give him. It means a lot to Taylor and to our family.

Suzie

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15 August 2011

Hey everyone,

On Tuesday we had zone conference. It was really good. Better than I expected it to be. So many things are going to be changing in our mission. We are going to start using electronics more for helping with studying, teaching, finding and just everything. Each companionship got a DVD player with 2 Preach My Gospel DVD’S. We are going to be using them for part of study time in the morning, so we can become better acquainted with Preach my Gospel. Each week we are going to set time aside to go on the computers for 45 minutes to get better acquainted with mormon.org. On October 1st there is going to be all kinds of posters and signs and the computers/internet will be flooded with mormon.org on them. (note from Suzie: The church is having a mormon.org campaign in Western Washington. From what I hear the members and the missionaries are very excited about it.) It is a new thing that the church is doing. They did it in New York and are going to do it here in the Seattle Washington Mission. I don’t know everything that is going to happen but it should be good and I am excited.

On Wednesday my companion and I went over to White Center (it is where alot of asian markets are) to get a planner from our zone leaders. There were street contacting and we saw them talking to somebody on the sidewalk. So before they saw us, we went and parked the car and watched where they were going. We followed them from across the street and went through some buildings so they would not see us. We found a wall to hide behind and waited for them to get closer. Then, I got up on the wall and jumped down right when they were passing. :) I scared them pretty good and my companion and I thought it was really funny! The zone leaders on the other hand didn’t look too happy…..HA HA HA (that just made me laugh even more). I just thougth I would share that story to let you know that I am still the same Taylor.

President L. Tom Perry is coming to our mission on August 19th. It is going to be really cool to have him talk to us all.

Last week all the Samoans we having a thing called Flag Week. It is where Samoans from Hawaii, Utah and Samoa come here to Seattle to compete in a big cricket competition. We went up there on Friday for a couple of hours and met with the Utah teams and they gave us some lunch. It was really cool to go up there. The Samoans are awesome.

Elder Francom

Elder Francom and Elder Leavitt in front of the Experience Music Project building in Seattle.

Suzie note: Can’t you just see them laughing at those poor zone leaders?!!

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Letter Answering Some of Steve’s Questions (August 2011)

Hey Dad

I hope you are doing well and that work is going good. We just baptized the Timo family. The father and mother didn’t get baptized yet, but all the the kids did. There is a boy named Antoney and the 3 other girls are his older sisters, Jade, Alice and Christina. The parents don’t have work right now and the mother is in a wheel chair becasue of some problems she has that make it so she can’t walk. They live about 15 miles from the church. They get a ride with Dad’s older brother, Brother Timoteo who is very active in the church and has a great family.

Timo Children Baptism

The church we go to is in Burien. It is about 2 1/2 miles away, but driving is slow here in Seattle because of the traffic. So it takes us about 15-20 mintues to get there. We drive a Mazda.

I don’t need fenders for my bike. When they brought it over they gave me some fenders along with a headlight and taillight. I haven’t put them on yet because the only time we have rode was at the BMX track. I am very glad we bought a nice pump and that little tool set at Timp Cyclery. I had to put my bike together myself and the tools came in very handy as you can probably imagine. I am go glad that we decided to just ship my bike. I am blessed to have the bike I do.

The apartment we live in is ok. It is definately an apartment. When I first came in and saw it I thought it was a dump, but I guess it is not so bad. My bed is alright. It is just a small thing. (note from Suzie: Ok, so maybe Taylor did get a little spoiled sleeing in a queen size bed since he was in 7th grade!) Not anything too fancy. We have a little kitchen and our own desk to study and write at. I had to do some major cleaning with the bathroom when I got here. The tub had mold everywhere. It was nasty!! But ya, I got that stuff off. The apartment does have a heater, so overall it keeps us warm and we have a place to study. It is definatly alot different than living in a nice house. We live on the 2nd out of 3 levels.

That "small thing" bed. His is the camo and black quilt.

Sea Tac Kitchen

Each week it varies on how many people we teach. We do alot of our work with the members and our ward mission leader helps us out and goes with us to teach alot. We also do contacting at the Polynesian Store, but most of our investigators come through the members. We work hard but is is kind of a different hard work than the other missionaries. With the Samoan people you have to be a bit relaxed and not try and teach them to death.

I hope that helps alittle bit on how we work and what my life is like now. Thanks for all the support you give ne and everything you do for me.

Elder Francom

Taylor at the Space Needle. Notice the blue sky!

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8 August 2011

Sorry that I haven’t written more on what I am doing everyday. Here is some more info. We wake up everyday at 6:15 and exercise for about 30 minutes. We have been running, jump roping, and doing pushups/situps. I have gotten up to 80 pushups. I am getting better at jump rope. Then it is time to prepare for the day and start PS (personal study) that is from 8 to 8:30 . Then from 8:30 to 10 we have companion study. It will change from 8-9 when I am not a greeny anymore. Because we are assigned to the Samoan ward, we have language study from 10-11. Every Wednesday we have district meeting and this Tuesday we have zone meeting. It will got from 8 to 5 or 6.

For contacting we go to the Polynesian store and the cricket field on Saturdays. We don’t do any tracting in our area. Right now we have the Timo parents and the Polosi family as investigatiors. We go with the ward mission leader alot. He helps out alot beacuse some of the Samoans can’t understand english very well. Brother Toala (ward mission leader) is really cool and very helpful. We also visit alot of the families in the ward and RCLA’s (note from Suzie-I am not sure, but am guessing this is Recent Covert Less Active) and we eat alot when we go. The Samoans love to feed us. There is a less active member, Brother Nepo who we go and visit. He is so cool. Last time we went and saw him he had hamburgers for us, and they were grilled! Not a hamburger from McDonalds. It was so good. He has a wife and two boys who are about 12 and 18 or so.

During the day we get two, 1 hour breaks for lunch and dinner, and are usually back to our apartment at 9. We plan for the next day and get to bed by 10:30.

Today for p-day we went to the mall and the Family Fun Center. We played minature golf and did the batting cages. It was way fun. We went with the Meyers Way missionaries (Elder Woodruff and Elder Miller). Last week I went on exchanges with the zone leaders because my companion is district leader. The zone leaders are in a polongie (white) ward. It was kinda different visiting members who were polongie when I have only been seeing Samoans.

The Seattle mission area has so many people and house everywhere and the traffic is crazy. Two p-days ago we went to downtown Seattle with the Meyers Way missionaries. I was amazed at seeing all the people. I really didn’t like it there. It was too crowded. Ha Ha. So different from Blanding. While we were there we walked so much that my feet were hurting the next day. We went to the Space Needle and then to Pike’s Market. (That place is crazy! So many people and different things.) Then we went to the Basefield then it was time for us to head back to the other side of Seattle to get the car.

So everyone who thinks that high school is bad with drama and all that, well, you are wrong! Ha Ha. A mission has tons more. I was so suprised. I am glad that I am not a drama type person. I have been having a great time. My companion is helping me and teaching me how to fun and work hard, so life is good.

Elder Francom

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1 August 2011

Hey everyone,

Last week was another good week. The Samoan’s have been feeding us all the time like usual. Last Saturday we went to the cricket park and some Samoans gave us a lot of food while we were there. Then we went to one of the Tongan members homes because we were car pooling with them to save miles. At that home we got fed another meal, and after that appointment it was time to go to Tina’s wedding reception and they feed us a ton there! I have never eaten so much in my life in that short of time! That morning I weighed 157 and when we got back to the apartment I was 164! I was so sick that night and the entire next day, but I didn’t throw up! :) YA, BIG accomplishment.

At the reception I meet a husband and his wife who had been in Blanding just the week before. That was pretty cool but it made me more homesick! I have also meet a girl who has some friends from Blanding. It is defiantly a small world. The weather has been really nice. Everyone says that summer has finally got here. I really miss not eating what is normal food to me. The Samoan food is good but I definitely eat a lot of things that I normally wouldn’t. I am making some very good friendships with the Samoan people especially the Toalas. I miss you all. I hope everyone is doing well and having lots of fun!

I want to tell you one of my favorite scriptures that I have found. It might be my favorite one for my entire mission. It is Alma 58: 10-11. It is such an awesome couple of verses. It helps me so much to read them.

-Elder Francom

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25 July 2011

Hey everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. I made it through the 2nd week being out in the field! Yeah! Ha-ha. It was a good, great, long, hard, fun, disappointing week. Just how it should be right? We had 5 baptisms on Saturday. The parents of the Timo family said that they weren’t ready. We are going to try really hard to get them this week. I baptized two of the kids. One was a boy named Antony and he is about 9 yrs. old. The other was a girl named Jade and she is about 11 yrs. old. It was the first time I have ever baptized someone. It was a really great experience. Then I was able to confirm Antony as a member of the church. That was also a first for me and another great experience.

My companion and I get along very well. I am thankful to have him as a trainer. So I guess I could tell you more about the food I have eaten. Oh, and to clarify on the rice–it is sticky rice, yum! We put sosi tamato (ketchup) on it and sometimes mati (mustard) also. Ya, it is kind of wired. But actually isn’t to bad. Some other food that I have eaten has been turkey tail, sausage and Oti (a really great drink, that has either pineapple or watermelon with milk, coconut and some other stuff). I love it!!! There has also been corn beef (it’s alright I guess), more noodles, orange chicken, hot dogs, and everything else that I have said. So ya I have turned into not being a picky eater at all. I eat anything now! Because like I said before (I think) if you don’t clean your plate, it is an insult and you don’t want that as a missionary.

I have had a lot of hard times and great times so far on my mission and it has been worth it! I am learning so much. I love and miss all of you and wish you the best of luck with whatever you have going on. Thanks for all the support and for the letters! It always makes me have a great day when I get letters.

Alofa, Elder Francom

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First Day in the Mission Field

Today in the mail we received these pictures and a letter that Taylor had written from the mission home when he arrived on July 12th.

Elder Francom with President & Sister Larkin

Elder Francom with his first companion, Elder Travis Leavitt from Bunkerville, NV

Dear Family,

It was way awesome talking to you this morning! The plane ride was very quick and I sat by a couple who have served two missions and was a mission president for 3 years. It was really cool. We got off the plane and the mission president and the two assistants were there to meet us. We all piled in vans and trucks and came to the mission home. (note from Suzie: there were 21 new missionaries that arrived on that flight!) It is so green here. The mission president and his wife seem like they are awesome! We are all writing letters right now at the mission home and waiting for lunch and to get short interviews with the president. We find out who are trainers are this evening. It is kinda weird to be here. It still seems like a dream. I am way excited to be here and start serving the people.

Love, Elder Francom

note from Suzie: Taylor is currently living in the city of SeaTac, which of course is right next to the airport. He and his companion are assigned to work with the Somoan people and can go any wherein the mission boundaries. Yes, they have a car but they also use bikes when they can to keep within their mileage allotment. They also spend an hour a day learning the language!

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18 July 2011

Hey everyone,

Well I am out in Seattle! The Samoan ward is awesome! On Sunday we went to church and it was kinda different, because they teach in samoan. I didn’t have a clue to what they were teaching, but that didn’t matter because if I listened to the spirit I was able to know what they were talking about and learn from it. I have already learned so much from the Samoan people. They are truly amazing. I love them. I am glad that I like rice because we eat it alot! So far what I have eating has been rice, chicken (lots) beef, lamb (that was a first but it was good), boiled bananas (kinda weird but they taste alright), lots of soup, some like donut things (they were good), Samoa cocoa (I am not a fan of it, to tell you the truth I think it tastes like you are drinking ashes with water). When we go to Samoan families, everyone feeds us and they want us to eat ALOT and if we don’t, it is an insult to them.

Guess what? We have 7 baptisms this week on saturday! It is so cool. I love to see what effects the gospel has on families. It is truly amazing. One of the baptisms is a older lady named Sisila, and the other 6 are the Timo family. It is a blessing in my life to see them grow in the gospel. I am getting more use to being out here in the field. With the Timo family the father had a problem with drinking and alcohol. When we were teaching we talked about how it is bad for us and we shouldn’t take it into our bodies, because our bodies are a temple and he was agreeing with us. He brought up the subject of using those things for medicine and how if we are not careful we will get addicted to them, and it will be a problem. That made me think of Joseph Smith and how when he was a young kid he had to have his leg cut open, and how he refused to drink alcohol. He had his dad hold him down during the entire process. Even at a very young age, Joseph was incredibly strong! He was truly the first president of our church and a very strong one.

I am thankful to be out here serving a mission. It still goes by slow sometimes but I know that by the time 2 years is up, I will look back and wonder where all the time went. We just need to pray to our Heavenly Father alot and he will help us through everything that we do. We pray so much out here in the mission. I have never prayed as much as I do now and for as long as I do. I know that prayer is a huge blessing in our lives. I hope everyone is doing well and having lots of fun. I miss everyone. I love you all and thanks for all the support you give to me.

-Elder Francom

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Taylor’s Address

I got a short email from Taylor today. He said that for now to use the mission home address to send him letters. So, here it is:

Elder Taylor Francom

Washington Seattle Mission

10675 NE 20th St.

Bellevue, WA 98004

I think he is feeling a little overwhelmed, so letters would be great!

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