Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Until We Meet Again

Letter from President Derlin Taylor, sent at the end of his time as the mission president for the Washington Vancouver Mission.

President Taylor

26 June 2016

Our Dear Elders and Sisters,

The sudden death of Elder Lambert has stunned our mission and causes us to wonder why this would happen and how could it have happened. We know much about death, but we do not know why people die when they die. That is one of those questions the Lord requires us to take on faith.

From Alma we know that death is essential to the plan of happiness. He taught; "Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness." (Alma 42: 8) It does seem odd that death is essential to happiness when it causes so much grief and pain. Again, something we must take on faith. All I know is this, the Lord knows all these things and I trust Him.

Elder Maxwell said this: "Since this life is such a brief experience, there must be regular exit routes. Some easy, some hard, some sudden, others lingering. Therefore, we cannot presume, even by faith, to block all these exits, all the time, and for all people. Nor, if possessed of full, eternal perspective, would we desire so to do."

Given our mission to proclaim the truths of the gospel to all the people in the WVM and given that Elder Lambert was actively engaged in that same objective, it seems to me the best thing we can take from this is to again realize our purpose and understand that this work is bigger than all of us. We should recognize that we are here to help all we can to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel so they can walk through the veil as prepared as he was. And by so doing, we will prepare ourselves to also enter into the presence of God, having walked the strait and narrow path with singleness of heart, seeking righteousness and obedience to the laws and commandments of God.

Death is never easy for those left behind. It will always close a chapter of life that will change our way of living. We can choose to be bitter or we can choose to rejoice in the joy of having had the relationship for as long as we did. When we truly become disciples of Christ we will trust Him in all things, especially the difficult things. It will not be easy all of the time but we know we can do hard things. May the blessings of the Lord be upon each of us as we deal with Elder Lambert's death and may the Lord bless this mission as we move together toward bringing souls unto Christ.

Now, as this mission is handed over to President and Sister McAteer, Sister Taylor and I testify they have been called of God to be your Mission President. He will hold the keys of this mission and He will lead you according to the Spirit. This is not our mission or their mission, but always the Lord's mission.

We feel much like Ammon in Alma 26 when he says; "we have traveled from house to house...we have entered into their houses and taught them, we have taught them in their streets and upon their hills...and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered...all this that we may be the means of saving some soul...we can look and see the fruits of our labors and are they few?...Nay, they are many...have we not reason to rejoice? Yea...there never were men and women that had so great reason to rejoice as we."

From Moroni; "I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing...Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness...then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ...and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot."

Farewell, WVM. We love you and trust you to carry on the great traditions of previous generations of missionaries. Yours is a valued heritage which will be handed down to future missionaries from you until the Savior shall declare the work to be finished.

We love you and pray for you always.

President and Sister Taylor

A Tribute to Elder Lambert

This is the email the Washington Vancouver Mission received from President Derlin Taylor about the sudden and unexpected death of Elder Gordon Lambert.

Near the end of our full time mission, and just days before Elder Lambert passed from his earthly mission.

President Taylor

When you have known someone for nearly 60 years and been close friends for 50 years it becomes difficult to put into words what all of that means. There are too many stories and too many experiences to attempt to single out one or two in an effort to describe someone like Elder Lambert. I believe it may be impossible to describe Gordon Lambert to anyone who did not know him. First, they would never believe that someone like him actually existed and secondly, well, to know Gordon Lambert required one to have experienced Gordon Lambert.

The long list of virtues that was Gordon certainly began with friendship. If he was your friend you knew it and it is likely you have never had a friend like him. No task was too large for him and no service too small. He embraced people in a way so unique they were drawn to him like children to ice cream on a hot day. He simply could not
be refused.

No job was ever finished until it was checked and doubled checked. He may have been just a little OCD on some things, but he can never be accused of overlooking anything. Details were his speciality and he was a good man to have on your team.

He loved life like few people ever have. It didn't matter if he won or lost a game as long as he was in the game. He found pleasure in every thing he did. As a missionary, he embraced every day he had, fearing that someday it may have to end. Watching him one could have thought he was in Disneyland, he was so happy to be Elder Lambert.

When I was preparing Sister Lambert to meet him for their first, blind date, I described him to her as being 6 feet 4 inches tall, a star athlete at Burley High School and the boy all the girls in the school hoped to date. The reality is that he lived his life well beyond the stature of 6 feet 4 inches and the strength of his character exceeds that of the best athlete that has ever played at BHS and any girl who had any understanding of men would have been overjoyed to have been asked out by him. He was a man among men and set an example worthy of any aspiring young person to follow. As missionaries of the WVM, if you are looking for someone to emulate, look no further than Elder Lambert.

Today I lost a friend, the mission lost a mentor, his family lost their hero, his siblings lost their rock, his father lost his prote'ge' and the world is smaller because Gordon Lambert has moved to another world. While we all understand the great plan of happiness and we all trust that the Lord knows all things, this is really difficult for those of us who have been left behind. We cannot know all things but we can "be still and know that I am God."

President and Sister Taylor

Lunch with Elder Lambert.
The day we forgot the Lamberts were coming for housing inspections!

Week 73: Emotions All Over the Place

We have had a really eventful week. Very busy, and very up and down. Wednesday
 Alexis got baptized! It was wonderful. She does not
really express her emotions, but she is happy! Her school teacher gave
the talk on baptism, and gave her this jar with water that she got out
of the baptismal font as a reminder of her baptismal day. The jump
suits were either big or small, and nothing in between. Poor girl was
drowning in jump suit.

Alexis on her baptism day!

This week I caught a head cold. That has been no fun. Plus I have
experienced my first week of migraines. Over the weekend Sister
Stephens caught it.  Sunday we went to sacrament to see Alexis
confirmed, but went home after because her head was going to split in

The super cool Jeep we drive, so we don't get stuck in the boonies.
You know your mission is coming to an end when the milk expires after you are supposed to return home.

Saturday morning we got a message from the zone leaders who forwarded
out a message from the assistance to the president about Elder
Lambert. Saying that he had passed away the night before. It was
shocking to say the least. It was a very somber day. We went out to
get ice cream with the other sisters because we needed it. We shared
our favorite Elder Lambert stories. It still does not feel real. He is
everybody's pocket size grandpa to go, and now he is gone. Then later
that day we had to teach the plan of salvation. That was tough. If
anything, this has strengthened my testimony of the plan that our
loving Heavenly Father has for us. Families are forever!
"Eternal principles are not ideal words"- Sister Lambert

Ice cream and stories about Elder Lambert.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 72: Departing Missionary

This week has been an emotional roller coaster. On Monday Sister
Stephens and I got to go to the mission home for a departing dinner
with President and Sister Taylor. President grilled some hamburgers,
and hot dogs for us. There are a lot of Elders going home this
transfer! After dinner we went outside, and we lit lanterns. Mine
burnt. None of the sisters were able to figure it out.  It was super
fun. Sister Hansen, Stephens, and I got to spend the night because it
is to long of a drive back home. President told us to get our pajamas
on, and we had a couch talk with President and Sister Taylor. It was

Departing Sister Missionaries
Sister Slattery, Sister Black, Sister Nielson, Sister Stephens & Sister Hansen

We get up the next morning, and we drive to zone conference. Sister
Stephens and I cleaned the car so good because we wanted to win the
competition, and this was our last time to win. We didn't. That is
okay, that just means that we had a really clean car.
We also had departing interviews with President. Then I got to give my
departing testimony. President and Sister Taylor stood to the side of
the chapel after the closing prayer, and hugged all of us. The closing
prayer was not even done, and all the sisters were crying. It was a
very somber day.

You just never know who you will meet.

Super cool totem pole at a park.

The last town I will live in during my full time mission. 
Massive amounts of potato salad for a Stake BBQ.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week 71: Dropped like a hot potato

Well these past couple of weeks have been hard finding new
investigators. The ones we do find are flakey. This one investigator
set up a time for us to come back, and we were super excited! We come,
and she tells us that if we want to talk about Jesus all day with her
we could do that, but she did not believe in the "other stuff". She
said she did not believe in Joseph Smith. Okay, so we talk about Jesus
Christ for a bit, and back track to prophets, and how that is the
pattern Heavenly Father works since the beginning of time. We asked
her if she believed God would call a prophet for us today. She said
yes. I just wonder who she thinks Joseph Smith is... He was called as
the next prophet. We were not really able to teach the restoration of
the Church of Jesus Christ part when her church friend came. The whole
atmosphere changed. This lady just wanted to bash us. She wouldn't
even let us finish our sentences. It was really awkward, and we needed
to leave. When we get up to go her friend had this smirk on her face
because she ran the Mormon missionaries out. I just do not understand
how people can be so spiteful.

 We are also trying to outreach more to less active members. This one
lady had not been active for a very long time. We got to know her a
bit, and she agreed for us to come back. Well we go, and we see the
restoration pamphlet that we left with her clipped to the screen door
with a sticky note on it. Haha! All I could do was laugh! This has
been the second time this has happened to me on my mission.

Being a missionary means getting rejected....a lot!

We also had a service opportunity this week. A less active member in
our ward needed some help clearing some overgrown weeds. We got a few
sets of missionaries to come help. It was fun. At one point someone
found a garden snake! My companion was so brave she held it. Then she
panicked, and asked for one of the elders to take it back.
Warnings about what?  Potholes, rocks, Bigfoot crossings?
Sunday was really good. In Sacrament meeting a Sister talked about
obedience. She said that even though we are obedient to God, that does
not mean that the trials will go away. She talked about Elijah, and
how he was obedient to God, but could not see the fruit from his
labor, and laid down to die. We can see all the good the Elijah has
done, but in that moment he probably didn't. This talk was for Sister
Stephens and I. Most times we will never know the influence we have on
other people. We just got to keep going on. Then we gave a lesson in Sunday
school about the priesthood. They finally called a new teacher,
so we do not have to teach last minute any more. Then we were invited
to young women's to be part of a panel. Their lesson was on the
priesthood. We represented a home without the priesthood, another
Sister talked about dating and marriage, and another Sister talked
about raising sons so they can be righteous priesthood holders. It was
really cool.

This morning we had breakfast at President Marshall's house. It was
fun. It is also my last breakfast with any stake president as a full
time missionary. Then tonight we get to go to the mission home, and
have a departing dinner with President and Sister Taylor. We also get
to stay the night! Then tomorrow is my last zone conference. I am
actually going to have to face my emotions about going home. I never
thought I would make it to this point in my mission where I am doing
my last of everything.

The time is far spent.

Longview Zone

I hope you all have had a wonderful week.
Sister Slattery

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Week 70: It's Summer Time!

It is so hot! I feel like I am melting. The car said it was 101
degrees yesterday.

This past week the Hermanas had a service opportunity. A less active
member was moving, and had to be out of the house by the end of the
night. We go down into the basement, and the air just feels funny. It
turns out that the house had flooded awhile ago, and everything was
wet. We work for a little bit, and the Elders said that we should go
get some fresh air. Turns out the more we work the more black mold we
found. Some of the Elders went to the hospital to go get some masks,
and gloves. We went home, showered, and took a nap for lunch.

It is graduation season! Big shout out to my sister Delanie! I love
her so much, and am bummed that I can not be there for her big day.
This week we went over to Bishop Lindsey's house for dinner. It was a
graduation party for his son. It was so fun!

We went tracting Saturday, and we found this awesome tree!
We also got to pet a baby goat.
We also found tree stars!
Sister Stephens gave me a temple tattoo.

That was my week.


Tree Stars!

Massive tree

How cool is this tree?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Week 69: Happy Memorial Day

This week was so much better! I can not believe it was the last week
of the transfer. I feel like I just got here. This week feels like it
went by in a blur, and now here I am emailing again.

My mom occasionally will ask me what is the worst thing I have eaten
for a dinner appointment. I never had an answer. Everything is edible,
and I know what I am eating. Now the question of sanitation is
another... This week I finally have an answer for the worst thing I
have eaten on my mission, and possibly my whole life. Before the
sister we were going to eat at said that we would be having pork
chops. Great! I love them... Nope we didn't have that. Instead she
made this German dish. She is explaining how you put the noodles down
first, and you put the sauce over it ( at this point I am think it is
beef stroganoff, which I love, but no.) then you put the meat on top.
There were individual pieces to take. The dish was a cooked dill
pickle with mustard wrapped with a thin steak, and bacon. It was so
gross. I could not even fib, and tell her it was good. I thanked her
that she had us over, and I drank a lot of water with my dinner. The
funny part of it is that her husband does not even like it! I do not
know if they were in a tiff with each other, and she wanted to be
spiteful, so she made this dinner instead, or what. Some times you
just have to go to McDonald's after dinner appointments I guess.

We had housing inspection this Friday morning... and we forgot!  We
were sitting in the kitchen having companionship study when the
doorbell rang. We looked at each other with panic. Now I want you to
know that we are clean people, we just live in our space. And it is
kinda hard to have everything perfect when there is two of you in one
bedroom. We quick ran to our room, and I started to chuck EVERYTHING
into the closet. (Years of last minute "quick mom is home cleaning"
have prepared me for this moment.) Our bathroom had no hope of
redemption. Sister Stephens told me to go answer the door while she
stayed, and did what she could. I go to answer the door, and I stall
the senior couple as long as I could. We walk in, and my companion had
tossed her covers over her bed, but failed to do that to my bed. (side
note, I sleep on the top bunk, and I hate making the bed, so I just
don't). They were so kind when we told them that we forgot that they
were coming, and said they will not write us up if we cleaned. We told
them we would so do that!

Forgot to clean...whoops!

We also went to Columbia River for a baptism for Aamir! (that is not
how you spell her name, but this is the only spelling that I know of
this name). She is Jayden's cousin who got baptized a couple weeks
ago. I got to speak about baptism. It was so wonderful! I love that
family so much!

Another great baptism.

We also got transfer news! Sister Stephens and I are staying together,
and finishing our missions together! I am so grateful that she is
still my companion. I look forward to this last transfer with her.
Wow. My last transfer. I only have six more p days! I am so excited
that I have this time allotted to me to serve God.
Now for the best news.. Sister Mandin is going to be in my district! I
love her so much! My dream would have been to be companions with her
my last transfer, so we could say that I brought her into the field,
and she took me out of the field. However, I am so happy that I get to
serve around her.

Being silly

SIX more P Days!

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week ahead of you!
Sister Slattery