Monday, January 25, 2016


Jan 25, 2016

Keanan had an exciting week that culminated with a Baptism!  From Keanan:

This week was a lot of fun!  We went to a wedding and i had my first baptism!  I got to baptize Jeffery Serato Agraan and it was really cool seeing him take all the lessons and change!  He was the one getting married too, his wife is already a member thats why he started taking the lessons.  The spirit was so thick at the baptism, i just felt calm!  not scared at all even though it was my first time!  I loved it!  I also gave my first blessing and i had the same feelings.  I really love it here!  I'm lucky i got sent somewhere with lots of nature because it is so gorgeous here, Im so lucky!

Ok spiritual thought for the week, I read two scriptures i really liked, Jacob 4:6-9 and D&C 133:53.  I really like reading (which i didn't use to...) there is a calm in the scriptures for me.  In Jacob it talks about the power of words, which to me is really true because we can feel them when someone says something mean or nice to us.  It makes sense that God's power is manifest in words, especially because the important things that happen in our church all are dependent on the words we say.  The scripture in D&C talks about how He will carry us, which i know to be true.  I pondered a lot this week about why at some of the hardest times in my life i didn't feel like he carried me and i realized that my hard times all ended when I re-centered my life on Christ.  :) 

Elder Taylor-Jenson

Rise and Rise again, until lambs become lions.

Wedding Bells
1st Baptism

The Force is strong with this one!

Monday, January 18, 2016


Jan 18, 2016

Keanan was able to spend a bit more time typing an email this week. whew p day again sweet. ok so this week we found some new investigators, which is awesome of course! We found Margarie and Gloria. They both seemed super interested but sometimes its hard to tell if people really care or if they invite you in just to be polite... but the lessons go well. We taught Margarie and her bakla (gay) roomate sat down and started listening too! wait i lied that was two weeks ago. this week we went back and taught just Margarie because she was the only one home. we brought some members too and it was nice, she is just shy. with Gloria we contacted her and found out she already has a book of mormon and is reading it! she had been contacted earlier. shes older and seemed really interested. she said she would be at church but she didnt show up, maybe thats how God feels when i mess up... haha.

I have a lot of experiences where i feel like God says "thats you!" we were at a dinner appointment and there were two little boys, the one kept getting distracted and was loud and would spill a lot, in my head i said "its ok hes just learning" and i heard in my head "you're still learning too,its ok" and i really needed that.

I found my new favorite scripture! Before my mission i didnt like reading that much but now i cant get enough.  I found Mosiah 15, the whole chapter is good but specifically up until verse 12 because it explains how the atonement works (verse 9) and talks a lot about His sacrafice. And it says that when Christ suffered, He saw "His seed" which is amazing when you think about it because we are all His seed, so as He suffered, He saw every person. Well I'm alive and well despite the pig intestine (which isnt to bad) and the liver (which is super dry) that i ate this week. I think i can say i am no longer a picky eater. because if i was i would starve. Im having a great time and thank you all for your love and support, i miss you all!
Elder Taylor-Jenson

Short Update

Jan 11, 2016 Keanan's week was harried so his email was short. He stated that the language was tough and weather was really hot. Regardless, he said he loves it there and seeing the people how God sees them. In his haste, Keanan shared 2 scripture that had special meaning to him this week:

1) Alma 7:11-13 - Christ and his physical empathy of our human ailments and experiences through the Atonement; and

2) D&C 6:34-37 - Trust in the Lord for he is our solid foundation in life. v36: Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Arrival in the Philippines Cauayan Mission!!

Dec 30, 2015

Keanan arrived in the Philippines Cauayan Mission today.  He was greeted by the Mission President Rahlf and his wife and was assigned his first Mission Companion, Elder Busilac.  Not much to say today, as there was no P-day (preparation day) due to his transfer to this area.

President Rahlf and his wife

Me and Elder Busilac

First update from the Philippines (PI) - Manila MTC

Dec 17, 2105 -
Keanan's weekly email was moving and inspiring.  We are so happy to be able to share this experience vicariously through him.

Being here is awesome.  Man there is so much to talk about, I can't fully describe everything that happened this week.  The plane ride was long and boring, we aren't allowed to watch TV or anything so that was terrible but I got some good sleep time in!  Finally getting to Manila and driving on the bus was crazy.  There is traffic all the time, the cars drive wherever they want, and its just a free for all!  After that I just spent time in the Manila MTC and after a little we got to go to the Immigration office.  So we are driving to the office and this time its day, so I can see so much better.  As we drove through the streets I saw homeless people everywhere. They build shacks against the buildings and kids play in the streets.  I've seen places like this in pictures but actually being in the middle of it is so different.  As we waiting in line to go to the immigration office, I saw three little girls who were homeless and I talked to them in Tagalog a little.  They were only 10 10 and 8 and they had on rags.  The thing I noticed first about them was that they smiled constantly. and as we drove back to the MTC I noticed that, people here smile a lot.  They are so happy despite their lack of worldly things.

Just yesterday we went on MTC exchanges with missionaries here. I thought we would be street contacting but we went to an inactive members house. I was with one elder from here and another from new Zealand. to get to this members house we took a tricycle which is just a motorcycle with a side cart attached.  As we cut through cars and drove on the wrong side of the road I began to wonder why there were no seatbelts in this thing... it was crazy. as I exited the tricycle I found myself in the poorest area I've been in my life.  there were stray dogs everywhere, houses on houses on houses, and everything looked like it was struggling to live. We weaved through an ally or two to get to the members house and as we walked I saw a man sleeping on the ground between two buildings. One of my companions pointed to him and said "That's one of our members, he lives there" and I couldn't believe what he was telling me. I was truly humbled. After walking a ways we got to the house. outside there was some sort of washing machine that had the hose hooked up to it. right behind that was the door and above the door there were a couple giant umbrellas, the kind you would bring to the beach. And as I entered I took off my shoes at the door of the house, which was smaller than the size of my living room. The woman we were visiting greeted us as her daughter darted upstairs. I tried to pick out what Tagalog I knew as she talked to my native companion. She invited us to sit on her couch/ bench which had been made by her husband I presumed. before we began, we sang a hymn, which I've never done when on splits in the states.  as we sang silent night though we were quite off key I felt the spirit so strongly.  during the song the daughter came back down and joined us.  after the song one of my companions turned to me and said "well what message do you have for us today?" I was caught off guard but I was able to pick out a scripture i had been reading this past week and it went well. I read 1 Nephi 19:9 which talks about how the whole have no need for a physician but the sick do. and how he came to call not the righteous but the sinners to repentance.  I talked about how the gospel is for everyone on the earth and how we should share it. as we concluded and left the house I felt so humbled.

I know I've only been here under a week but I love it, its so amazing how loving and receptive the people are, we set up an appointment with the Tricycle driver on the way back to the church!  I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to be here.  

I love you all so much, don't forget it!  

Elder Taylor-Jenson

Manila Temple

Dec 24, 2015 -
Keanan was able to call us on Christmas Eve (his Christmas Day)-the best Christmas gift to all of us! He was enthusiastic to start the work, and had fun things to tell us.  He lovingly and jokingly said "I am one of the tallest ones here!  Everyone else comes up to my chin!"  He is enjoying his "super sized" status.

First Update Since Leaving For The MTC - Provo, UT

Due to Keanan's quick mission call, followed by the holiday routine, which included Keanan leaving the country, we have been delinquent in posting.  But New Year, new start!  Here's a quick "catch up" and then we will post more regularly.

Nov 11, 2015 - Keanan arrived at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center (MTC)
Drop Off:
Sarah, NaVia and Loraya drove Keanan out to Utah, and enjoyed last minute family time and all those emotions that go into sending your favorite son/brother on a mission!
While he was there, we were able to communicate rather regularly with Keanan through  Keanan really liked this since he would get hard copy messages on the same, or next day from those who wrote him.  He got a little lonely, but figured out how to push through those feelings via prayer, scripture study, and the letters everyone sent him.

Keanan was able to pick up on the Tagalog language rather quickly, and even served as a language tutor for the other missionaries not as familiar with the language.  For those who do not know, Keanan took 4 years of Tagalog in High School, so he was well prepared for his mission call to the Philippines!

Here is his email from the Provo, MTC:

It's amazing to be here!  I have had a ton of fun at the MTC and its crazy that I've only been here a couple weeks!  I leave really early on the 10th for the Philippines and I am so excited!  It'll be super hot so I'm trying to enjoy the cool weather here. Also, with all the tagalog, i have been having trouble spelling english words because they are way harder... but i have started saying all my prayers in tagalog!

This week we had a blast as usual!  Elder Morris took 1500 mg of a laxative because everyone gave him a dollar so that was fun.  Sister Fivas put one of those airplane pillows in her hair and i totally got a picture of that!  We also had a ton of fun in the choir, we practice twice a week and its so much fun.

On a more serious note, I started the book of mormon over again and I was reading in 2 Nephi at the beginning when Lehi is about to die and he says "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness.  Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust." (2Nephi 1: 23)  I was really touched by that i feel like it should be in an inspirational video or something.  I also decided which scripture to put on my plaque, 1 Nephi 19:9 which reads, "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it.  Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it,because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."

If anyone wants to be on the email list that isn't just shoot me an email with their address!  Thank you all for being there for me, I miss you all a ton!  All the packages and emails and just love in general means a lot to me, so thank you.

Elder Taylor-Jenson

Dec 10, 2015 - Keanan leaves the MTC in Provo, UT, and flies to the Manila, Philippines MTC.
Keanan flew to the Manila MTC for further missionary training before assignment to his first Mission Area - Cauayan, Philippines.  He flew from Salt Lake City, UT, to Los Angeles (LAX).  While in Lax we got to speak with him on the phone.  He sounded happy, healthy and excited to start his mission.  He flew from LAX, had a short layover in Hong Kong, and onto Manila.

At this MTC, Keanan started going out on Missionary splits with missionaries who were native to the Philippines. Here is his email:

Hey I just got to the Philippines last night around 12 our time!  It is so warm and fun and fast here!  I already love it, the people are awesome!  As we drove to the MTC the cars were all ridiculously close to each other.  I love it here!  

Well I only have a couple seconds to emai so I'll keep it short.  The more I talk to people about missions the more they say that you'll look back on your missions your whole life.  That makes me a little nervous but as long as I do all I can, I know the Lord will help me.

Again thank you all for being there for me.

Mahal kita,
Elder Taylor-Jenson