President and Sister Taylor will return to their home next month after serving in the Arizona Phoenix Mission for the last three years. They were able to visit all of the zones in the mission for one last conference – I am sure a bittersweet experience. I am grateful for the influence the Taylors have had on Nathan. He had a lot to say about his last meeting with them – “I think one of the most memorable parts of the week was a zone conference we had on Thursday. It was pretty much a transition into the start of the Griffins Presidency. President talked a lot about “substance vs. style”. It was interesting, he said that it is pretty much guaranteed that President Griffin will do some things differently and that there are things where he can add in his own style and some things that need to be done in a certain way. He just wants to make sure that President Griffin doesn’t hear “Well President Taylor did it THIS way..” for the first 6 months of his mission. Makes a lot of sense.” (as a side note, Sister Taylor described the lesson as “The SUBSTANCE are the rules we live by and the doctrine we teach. The STYLE is the way we do it.”) Sister Taylor talked a lot about weird/strange/peculiar. She says when she talks to returned missionaries families she always asks “how long were they weird for?” She said that weird is a good thing. That when in the scriptures it talks about a ‘peculiar people’ it is in a good way, like set apart or special. And she said they heard David A. Bednar say at a mission president training meeting to “Decide now to be weird”. It makes a lot of sense, if you live the gospel, you will definitely not fit the world’s norm. I thought it was cool. Then we got to take pictures with President and Sister Taylor. And there have been 3 times on my mission when we have been given permission to hug someone of the opposite sex and this was one of them. They said she always gives returning missionaries hugs so it is appropriate for this occasion. Anyways, it was a great conference.”
I have to admit that I have wondered -and worried a little – how weird Nathan is going to be when he comes home. But with that explanation I think I want him to be weird!
One last thought from Elder Wainwright: “So a few days ago we were going to get the mail and we stopped and talked to this girl and we asked if we could come by and say a prayer with her. She said she was fine with that so we went by the next day and talked to her a little bit, said a prayer and we are going to go back and start teaching her tomorrow. I was thinking, if we as missionaries can introduce our neighbors to the gospel than anyone can. Usually the white shirt and tie sends people running. I am super excited to be able to share the gospel with my neighbors someday in a more natural setting.”