Areas of Service

Areas of Service
Areas where Elder Hagen has served:

Friday, December 2, 2016

Week 7: Well Fed

Hi mom and everyone back home! It's p-day! So, i am emailing home to ya.

To start off, I got your package, thank you for the pillow and all the
snacks, but i'm not going to lie to ya, there is a member of my ward
who makes sure we are well stocked, so I appreciated all the Ramen,
but we already had a box of 48 of them.

I also got a thanksgiving package from Grandma Hagen, tell her thank
you for that, the minions where cool and the Christmas ornament is
awesome, I just don't have a tree to put it on.

On to my week!

So, Monday, was the last day elder Scott was in the Brandermill ward
and area, as such, He wanted to visit members and non-members to get 
pictures with em', say goodbye, get their emails and facebooks, etc, etc. 
so essentially, we went about the day doing such.

Tuesday was transfers. We woke up, went to go see a less active
member, Elder Scott's last goodbye, then we got a ride to transfers.
We walked in 5 minutes before it started, sang "called to serve" with
the other 60 something missionaries in the room, and got our new
companions. Funny thing is though, when Elder Scott and I sat down, we
sat down next to this other companionship, and lo and behold, i had
somehow sat down next to my new companion, Elder Eliason. Elder
Eliason, is not from Utah, which is a huge shocker. He is from
Arizona, so we where essentially in the same boat coming out here,
from hot and dry, to cold and trees. He graduated with the class of
2016, he came out 2 months before me. But honestly, that's where
similarities end. We walked to our regular Tuesday appointments once
we got back, and the day ended there.

Wednesday we went to go pick up a bike from a members home, so that we
could bike once again to all of our appointments, FUN. We biked over
to the church so elder Eliason could sink his IPad so he too, could
share in being able to decide where to go in Brandermill. We went to
go visit some less actives around the church afterwards, one of them
was insane, I helped her get plates from a box with broken dishes, and
we went home. We visited with an investigator we had been working with
afterwards, and had homemade sushi at a members home.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, turkey day, the day of thanks, that day, we
did nothing on terms of missionary work, it being too difficult to deal
with on said day.

So essentially, Thursday, we spent the morning in studies, and around
3 in the afternoon, we went to our Thanksgiving appointment. The
family we went to, the Thomas's where a new couple in the ward, the
only family they had over where their two younger kids, 4 and 7, and
Brother Thomas's father. They had purchased a 20 lbs turkey, expecting
us elders to eat, and eat, and eat, and boy where we stuffed after our
second plate. We spent around 3 hours at their home, before we where
picked up by a member to play card/board games at the church building
with a couple other families. Our day ended there, a whole lot of left
overs and a whole lot of homesickness.

Friday we went out with a member in the morning to go visit a less
active, and to go see potentials. The afternoon however, was spent in
a "service project" per say. Essentially, there is a quadriplegic man
in our ward, whom doesn't have much entertainment in his life, so, we
with a member, went over to his home, and played machi koro, a card
game which requires little to no movement. So we arrived, played a
round, I won, and actually taught a lesson to a non-member, Don's (the
quadriplegic) nurse, Oleg. We played 2 more rounds of the game, and
got home around 8.

Saturday was spent doing nothing of importance, little work got done,
no one answered the door.

Sunday, we woke up, got ready for church, went to our 2 hour meeting
(essentially classes wont start until the beginning of January.), and
went out with a member of our ward to go check up on some less
actives, and try and see some potentials. We actually got 2 return

And that was my week. I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and black
Friday, I love and miss you all.

I don't have any pictures this week, I should have taken some, but Ii
didn't, sorry, although, I would like to point out the phones we are
using... Remember these things? The one I had as a kid was red.

Midlothian/Chesterfield Zone Conference, find Elder Hagen

Midlothian/Chesterfield Zone Conference lunch

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 6: "Off Putting Week" and Transfers

Hello hello and how do you do,

So, I got, and am using a keyboard now, it's awesome. If there are any
typos, I'm still adjusting to the keyboard, so, you've been warned.

And concerning Austin, I was not expecting Idaho, tell him good luck for me!

ANYWAY, this week has been one of those "off putting weeks", as in, so
much has happened, but only on a select few days.

So Monday, was our second zone p-day for the transfer, and we got to
clean a house. The mission home to be exact. You see, the zone leaders
decide what we are going to do for zone p-days and other events with
"zone" in the title, so, instead of going to the zoo, or hiking on a
path right through a forest of trees that are in the process of
changing colors... we got to clean, for about 3 hours. Don't get me
wrong, we got free pizza, and it was a great experience, but there are
only two chances to go out of our area to see sights per transfer.

Tuesday was one of those "nothing really" days. We helped clean a
member's house as a service project, he being unable to clean it
himself, and the rest of Tuesday was spent doing little to none, as we
had no real appointments, and no one was available.

Wednesday was a little fuller, we had the day scheduled from
appointment to appointment, but each where about an hour apart, which
meant we had roughly 40 minutes to sit around or seek potentials.

Thursday, oh man, Thursday was a doozie. Basically, we had the entire
morning planned out, we would bike to a less actives, and then bike to
a potential appointment, and then bike to ANOTHER potential
appointment, and then tract a bit, BUT, a stick was thrown into our
plans when, on our way to the less actives, a piece of scrap metal,
about yeah long ———————— , punctured my back tire. Fortunately, A
recent convert saw Elder Scott trying to patch it, and was able to
give us a ride, in his little Honda Civic sized car, bikes and all, to
our appointment, she wasn't home. Elder Scott was able to put a
temporary patch on the tire, we biked home, and the day just kinda
ended there.

Friday was a slow day as well, we woke up kinda late, biked to the
less actives we where not able to see the day prior, biked home for
lunch, and I was out. I slept for about 3 and a half hours, and woke
up just in time for our dinner appointment, to find out they canceled
on us.

Now, Saturday, was interesting, 'cause, it was the Saturday before
transfers. I am not getting transferred... ELDER SCOTT... is getting
transferred.... and as such, I am staying in Brandermill, becoming the
senior companion for the area.... and I have NO idea... what I am
doing.... but hey, I might get a car, so we will see what happens. But
as far as the day goes, it was another slow one, we went on a blitz
(mini exchange) with the zone leaders, and went tracting, in an area
that we would not otherwise be able to get too without a car for about
two hours, we went to Wendy's following.

But, that is about it for my week, again, it's been a slow up and down
process, but I'm still hanging in there for the most part.

Love all y'all back home, I miss you all so much.

Love ya Mom.

-Elder Tayler Hagen

The Door to no where on the side of our home.

Genealogy: me, my trainer, and his trainer

Most mornings here in Virginia

 Me , Elder Scott, and Estes Family. Deadpool is to Brother Estes (our ward mission leader) like the Flash is to me. (Tayler loves all things Flash, the comic book hero)

Week 5: Big Time Bike Crash

Hey Mom and others! It's so great to hear from you!

Anywhosers, my week has been, long, to say the least. 

So, starting with Monday, I crashed on my bike, big time.... So, the day itself was fine, a normal p-day, woke up, went out to Taco Bell for lunch, emailed, shopped, etc etc... It wasn't until the end of p-day at 6, where things became difficult. Since, it's humid here, wind of any kind, goes straight through our clothing, so biking at night, which is now earlier in the day, becomes a problem. So, Monday night, we where biking home from the church after a long day of biking about, when we got to a downhill slope that had no shoulder for bikes, none whatsoever. As a result, a car got a little to close, I swerved into the gravel, it was too cold to hold on effectively, my front tire got caught on a rock, I went over the handle bars, and I slid a good 3 feet. 

But I'm fine! I got scrapped up a bit, nothing's torn or broken, my bike chain came off, but I was completely fine aside from a little bit of blood.

Tuesday, we had our first zone conference, it lasted from 10 in the morning, to about 4 at night. To give a brief explanation of what was taught; mission work with members, steps to help a progressing investigator to baptism, and keeping your car clean and ready. Fun fact, the church has to deal with over 400k in damage done to cars because of improper backing out alone, statistically, that would add about 23 new cars to all missions world wide. Afterwards, we visited a less active who doesn't attend because he takes care of his mother, and had dinner at another less actives, who, I kid you not, is probably my favorite person to visit. He is an ex-combat engineer for the military, he showed us a potato gun he built that he almost shot down a helicopter with a plastic bag with.

Wednesday was Wednesday, a lot of visiting with less actives, a lot of potentialing, and a lot of biking. We did get to meet the new bishop of he Bramdermill ward officially, nice guy.

Thursday we didn't do much but walk about. Friday was about the same.

Saturday, we raked leaves, for about 3 hours. The rest of the day was spent potentialing, with no one really interested.

Sunday, was a great way to end a week. First of all! It was fast Sunday, because we had stake conference last week, so, I woke up, didn't eat breakfast, got ready, and was picked up by pj, the most recent baptism in the stake, at 8:40. He drove us to the old Clover Hill ward to attend their sacrament, because he, pj, was being confirmed, and asked if elder Scott and I would join in the circle. We sat around afterwards until around 1, when our sacrament started. Testimony meeting lasted an hour and a half, the rest of the time we had a meet and great potluck, and boy howdy, was the meal just absolutely fantastic, everything from Hawaiian pulled pork (baked till it just fell apart in pineapple), to chili with chicken in it, to some phenomenal mac and cheese. The day ended with a visit to a member of our ward whom is one of the oldest living quadriplegics, he was injured in a rugby accident, and had been that way for about 20 years. It really made me grateful for my health.

Anyway, that's been my day, I don't have many pictures to share with all of y'all, I'll try to do better next week.

Love you!

-Elder Tayler Hagen

This is what Virginia looks like in the fall, colors, colors everywhere.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Week 4: "Hallowclean" and Spiders


In regards to me telling you I crashed last week, it was nothing
dramatic. Basically, there was an uneven piece of sidewalk and a
particularly low hanging branch that seemed to know exactly where to
hit me. Essentially, it hit my helmet, knocked me off balance, my
front wheel hit the chunk of protruding cement, and I fell over onto a
patch of grass. No harm, no staining on my clothing, nothing.

This week, was a interesting one in the sense that, I,  me, the Hagen
kid, am serving in a new ward. And because of such, being in a new
ward, and technology being wonky, everyone (investigators, less
actives, etc, etc,) In our app on our iPads called the area book,
disappeared,  because we where no longer missionaries of the Clover
Hill ward, and had been "transferred" into the Brandermill ward, in
which at the time of writing this email, had no data connected to it.
And so, we had nothing really to do but look around and try to find
something for the first couple days.

Monday, was p-day, and Halloween. And since it was p-day and
Halloween, the first half of the day was a spent as a normal p-day.
But the normal afternoon "end of p-day", was an mandatory In doors by
5pm, in which everyone was told to clean their apartments in the
allotted 4 hours... apartments being the key word, cause, I live in a
house.... it's a little bigger... but I digress. We spent a majority
of our time cleaning out the studio apartment below our home in which
missionaries used to stay in until they got permission to move to the
upstairs. But let me tell you, that apartment, was trashed, it reeked
of mold, garbage and moldy clothing where thrown a muck, and the worst
part, in my opinion, was the thousands of spiders we ended up having
to kill.

So In short we did nothing but clean our home, get groceries, and
email. The day was dubbed "Hallowclean" by the mission office.

Tuesday, we went to our regularly scheduled appointments with those we
where teaching that where still within our ward boundaries, and the
rest of the day we spent finishing cleaning, because again, I live in
a house, not an apartment, and there only is two of us. I do want to
pause and mention I found a talk by Thomas s Monson that I had been
looking for, it is entitled "finding our way home".

Wednesday, I woke up in the morning at 7 by mistake, showered, cut my
lip shaving, studied, and left our home around 11. We helped a recent
convert and a member repair a sliding door, ate lunch, and headed
towards the Brandermill neighborhood to see if we could go talk to a
recent investigator that Elder Scott knew of. She wasn't home. So we
went to the church. Around 6 we went on an blitz, which, is when we
exchange just for a couple hours, we went with the Manchester elders
to meet new members that we had acquired during the boundary change,

Thursday was nothing special, just an average day of biking and more biking.

Friday, was a special day. Friday, was a day in the mission we call,
"return and report". Essentially, all new missionaries and their
trainers, head to Richmond to discuss our first 4 weeks, and to hear
some talks and instructions. Afterwards, we are dismissed with a
temporary companion to head into downtown Richmond to go street
contacting. My temporary companion was one of the two APs (assistants
to the president). After street contacting for about an hour and a
half, we got a ride home, and went to a zone meeting which used up the
rest of our day.

Saturday, was a special day, it was the day we got ready for service,
in our Sunday whites. So Saturday morning, we helped a lady move, and
the elders and my companion thought it would only take 30 or so
minutes, so we shouldn't worry ourselves in changing into our service
clothes. nay nay, we where there for 2 hours moving stuff through hair
and dust and all matter of white shirt staining stuff. We finished,
the lady (a non member) thanked us, tearing up a bit, and we left.
That afternoon, elder Scott and I had nothing planned, so we decided
to go and tract Brandermill, again. And on our way over, we got a call
from a member of our ward, a less active, asking if we could help him
move garbage into the back of his truck. And without changing, we
reared our bikes towards his home. After we finished, the less active
being a combat engineer, where able to shoot off a round out out of a
potato gun. He told us a story of how he almost accidentally shot down
a helicopter with the same gun we fired, and a plastic bag wrapped in
duct tape.

Sunday, It was stake conference, the Brandermill ward was sustained,
and some really good talks that I wish I where taking notes on, where
given. Sunday night, we had our first baptism.

So, a little explanation about this baptism. This investigator, had
been an investigator for what I had been told had been about 3 years,
being an older gentleman, he was a bit stubborn when it came to the
concept of being baptized. He, wasn't our investigator directly... he
was within our area, but didn't want to talk to the elders, he only
allowed visits from the sisters, whom where in the same ward at the
time, and only recently, he has opened up to the elders. Now, elder
Scott told me that PJ, the name of the investigator, had no intention
of being baptized before the previous transfer. Anyway, One Sunday, he
was feeling extremely sick, and he had an impression that he should
ask for a blessing. And so he was given one by a couple members in our
ward. The next day he woke up, the illness was gone, and he had been
touched by the spirit.

Me and elder Scott got to preside as the witnesses.

And, now it is Monday the 7th, p-day once again, the end, of another
week, love all ya! Have a good week!

-Elder Hagen

Spider filled studio apartment... Before

Studio apartment...After

Elder Hagen can cook... Mac N Cheese

Baptism Program

Friday, November 4, 2016

Week 3: "Transferred"

Elder Mario
Happy Halloween!

So, my week has been a real blur, nothing really stood out. Basically
to sum it up, it's been biking up and down, to and fro, there and
back, visiting members and less actives with a couple potential
investigators in between. But hey, I'm keeping trying to keep
optimistic, so, it's been good.

Yesterday, Sunday, was actually pretty interesting, I got transferred.

So Sunday, we had a special meeting with our ward and two other wards,
and president Smith and his wife showed up. Essentially what happened
was our stake presidency, had called this meeting to create another
ward out of the already existing wards, each with an attendance of
about 300. So, my previous ward, Clover Hill, and the two other wards
above and below us, had boundary changes, and as a result, our
residence, just so happened to be in the middle of the new ward, the
Brandermill ward.

And so, here I am now, opening a new ward as the first junior
missionary in the Brandmill ward, we lost a good chunk of members, but
we gained a good amount as well. The best part being our new bishop,
bishop Gregory, grew up in San Dimas.

(This next bit is his response to something I wrote him about a Relief Society lesson I'm teaching on President Uchtdorf's talk: “O How Great the Plan of Our God”. In it President Uchtdorf encouraged us to remember the great knowledge we have, and not taking it for granted. One of my favorite lines from this talk was “We tread a path covered with diamonds, but we can scarcely distinguish them from ordinary pebbles.”)

About your relief society lesson, I would agree in the fact that it
gets misused, often times the stuff we learn, or the information we
read, gets pushed aside, mistranslated, or just simply forgotten,
usually making all that this life is for, experiences, learning,
bringing ourselves closer to Christ, pointless. Essentially, we are
wasting those diamonds, throwing them back among the pebbles thinking
they are useless.

But, that's about it for my email, the pictures are of the new area,
and the other of me and elder Scott, plus two other elders from our
zone, wearing mustaches.

I love you and everyone else so much, I miss ya, it gets hard
sometimes, but knowing everyone is rooting for me helps me so very,
very much.

Love ya, stay safe! I've already crashed my bike once! No one was hurt!

-Elder Tayler Hagen

old ward boundaries above, new below (with the new ward's area, Brandermill)

The Mustache Gang (love reminders that these are still young kids)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 2: One for Mom and One for Dad (and finally pictures)



So, to answer your questions... I did get the box, thank you so much
for it! The snacks where a bit overkill, but, I digress. The sleep
water, it helped me fall asleep and I don't wake up as much, but I
think it has some side effects, as in I need to use the restroom more,
and It feels like I am dizzy all the time. And yes, I am feeling
better, it was apparently just a REALLY bad cold, and allergies.

Elder Scott has been out about 8 months now, he heads home the March 
before I leave. And yes, that address I sent you, the 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 
home, is shared between me and elder Scott.
The neighborhood is quite, very, quite, and on a hill, so, every night
after we are done biking, I have to pedal myself back up, that hill.

So, this week, just kinda flew by. In all honesty, it's been a blur
aside from the usual biking and tracting and some of the bigger
events, For example, Tuesday, it rained, so, me and elder Scott, where
riding around in the humidity all day. And on Saturday, we had a
"service project" in which we supervised a hike with a member of our
ward and his Weblo troop.

And that's my week. Nothing to spiffy, nothing too exciting, thank you
so much for the packages, love ya, I'll write to you next week! bye!

Elder Tayler Hagen


Hey hi!

So, sorry for not sending you an email last week, I got caught up in
reading all the mail that was sent to me, that by the end of the
period in which I could send mail, I didn't get the chance to write to
you. I'll try better about getting you an update.

I am doing a lot better, thank you and mom for the packages, me and
elder Scott have been snacking away at all the different junk foods,
and the medicine, it was a tad excessive, but I am now prepared for
the next time I get sick.

Thank you for the pictures every week as well, my email does this
strange thing where it hides emails that are over two weeks old, so,
getting new pictures from you and the family every week is a real
treat, I especially like the one you sent of you and mom with Spencer
and his friends on the Matterhorn,

So, I know you get and read moms email, so, I won't rehash anything I
said to her, but I want to answer and reply to your questions and your
week cause, you asked them, and told me about your week.

So, for starters, I wasn't disappointed when I said my work was a lot
of reactivation, I know my calling, and inviting all to come unto
Christ is what I am here for, whether they have heard his name or not,
so if I sounded bummed, I wasn't, it's just hard to convey emotion
through text.

So, my iPad, I actually got it the day I arrived. Our plane landed, we
picked up our luggage, and we where shipped off to the  local stake
center for iPad orientation. I can get and read emails all week long
as long as I have wifi, so feel free to write anything during the

Smokers, I have seen 0, and it has kinda bummed me out. From what I've
been told, unless it's an indoor smoker, it can get too humid here for
a smoker to stay smoking. I wish I can be there for some pulled pork,
we can get it at our local Bojangles restaurant, but it ain't the

My ward is having a "fall festival", basically the same thing your
doing, but, with a focus on all of fall instead of a focus on
Halloween, and chili, we are having a chili cook off.

And, that is basically it! I try to write to everyone that emails me
when I have time, so I'm really sorry I wasn't able to get to you last
week, anyway,

Love ya! I hope you, Spencer, Mom, and Jacob, continue doing well, I
pray for you every night and can't wait for Christmas when I get to
Skype all of you!

Continue doing well! Help Spencer learn and manifest his priesthood
calling, tell everyone back home I miss them! Thank you for
everything! Love ya dad!

-elder Tayler Hagen

And look, pictures!

We went to Waffle House before our "service project".


Our house

My District

Week 1: Answering Questions and Learning the Ropes

To answer all the questions,

I can only write on p-days yes, and it is always on a Monday. And, I am not 100% sure about visiting the temple, Elder Scott says near the end of ones mission we spend a day there, but I dunno for sure.

Spencer: asked me what my favorite restaurant or store is, and to give him the honest answer, out here is almost exactly like home, but with trees, a lot of em, and no Del Taco or In N Out or Grand Burger.... So basically, what I liked at home, they still have out here, there really isn't anything special.

Dad: I am in the city of Midlothian, and my address is 
11506 Clintwood Terrace. Midlothian, VA 23112.  And yes, It is a house that me Elder Scott share, a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home.

My companion, Elder Scott, is from Ogden Utah, and I am not in a car, I have to ride the bike you 
sent me (Elder Scott is a cyclist, he assembled it) up hills all day long, and it gets exhausting. 

The members are feeding us quite well, almost 7 meals a week, and no, it's mainly been spaghetti or a slab of meat with potatoes. 

The mission president and his wife are extremely nice, they do not have younger kids, so no, all their kids are all grown up and have moved out.

There really isn't any work to do here besides reactivation and member check ups, the people of Virginia are extremely stubborn when it comes to religion, and usually are not open to conversion or even hearing our message.

I can't answer questions 7 and 8, the 3 wards surrounding me are about to be reorganized, so, as of right now, the area is small because I am on a bike, but the Clover Hill ward, is pretty decent sized for around these parts.

Alright, onto my week. So, Monday, I spent all day on an air plane, we woke up at 3 in the morning to board a charter bus that took us to Salt Lake, I called home, boarded my flight, and flew off to Atlanta for a brief layover before flying to Richmond. We landed and where greeted by our mission president, his wife, and all the office workers for the mission. We gathered our luggage and where taken to the mission home where we spent the night. The following morning, we where told we could sleep in until 7:30, which, was a blessing, and we got dressed, went to the stake center, and met our companions and trainers. It took about 30 minutes for us to get to our home for the next six weeks, where, I unpacked, Elder Scott already having been living there for the past 3 months, showed me around. Wednesday through Friday was all about the same, biking/walking around (I was using a members bike), visiting members and less actives, and just simply getting to know the area. Saturday, I had to take off as a sick day, the coughing and congestion had gotten awful. Sunday, I was feeling a bit better, so, we went to our meetings and church, where me and another sister missionary from California where introduced. After church, a member drove us around to again meet some less actives and members. And that is basically my week! Greeting and meeting people. Nothing too fancy, nothing to spiritual, just getting to know the layout of the land.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a good time back at home. Love ya! I'll see if I can send pictures later today or next week! 

-Elder Hagen 

(There were no pictures)

Mission Pres Email

Dear Brother and Sister Hagen,

We are so grateful that our new missionaries arrived safely in Richmond.  They were a bit weary due to early morning travel, but we fed them dinner, held a brief orientation, and got them some rest.  I met individually with each of our new missionaries and am so impressed by their dedication and desire to follow Jesus Christ.  Tuesday morning, we assigned them their first area and missionary companion.
Elder Hagen will be serving with Elder Scott in the Clover Hill A Area.
Mail will be sent directly to them at the following address: 11506 Clintwood Terrace Midlothian, VA 23112.

Thank you so much for your love and support of these great missionaries.  It is truly our privilege to serve alongside them.  

May God's choicest blessings be with you.

Best regards,

Corey B. Smith

President, Virginia Richmond Mission

Friday, October 7, 2016

MTC 3 - MTC Finale

"Hehe... so... something I forgot to tell ya, in the MTC, I can read emails all week long, there are computer labs everywhere, and, they are all open for use as long as we don't send emails.

Monday I am waking up at around 3:50, my flight leaves around 7-8ish, There are "vans" that take us there, and I will be landing around 12:30 eastern time.

Conference was great! kinda! I slept through 30% of it by mistake. But, I did get a favorite talk out of it. So, the way conference works at the mtc, is we all gather in the Gym 30 minutes before it starts, all 2000 something of us, and we sit, quietly, staring at two projection screens that have been set up for devotionals and such. 

So my favorite talk, It was during priesthood session, President Holland's talk about home teaching, which might not seem pertinent to my current situation, but, home teaching is basically missionary work, it's goal is to invite and check up on the members of the church, while my goal is to do the same thing, but with the people of Virginia. If you'd like a talk from the four main sessions, Bednar's talk about Alma the younger finding his Amulek, which I believe was Sunday Morning, and how we need others to be able to make it through this life.

Onto my week! So, class! and more class! and even more class! Basically, my entire week comprised of me sitting in a classroom learning the teaching lessons of preach my gospel. It's not all too boring, I have felt myself become a better missionary out of it, being more confident in my teaching abilities. Also, chicken. Every meal is either chicken or a chicken based product.

Sunday after conference we had a devotional, which, was actually entertaining in reference to other devotionals, because, the mtc presidency felt we had enough just straight up lessons for the weekend. So, they invited Vocal Point, an acapella group, to come give their story, all of them being returned missionaries. They sang a couple church hymns following every talk or so.  

I got everyone's packages on Tuesday, Grant's, aunt Jen's, Grandma's, and I kid you not, it was an answer to my prayers. I was feeling homesick Tuesday morning, and everything seemed to be moving rather slow, and I just, wasn't feeling anything. So come lunch time, my district leader hands me a ton of letters and package slips. It brightened my day, my homesickness diminished greatly (I still miss all of you), and, iI just felt better all throughout. 

SOOOOO... I figured out how to send pictures, turns out, the computers here do not have SD card support, so I had to buy a converter from the bookstore, So, PICTURES YAY!!!!

Me with all my mail, my bed in the back ( the mess around it isn't mine, it belongs to Elder Simmons who Bunks above me.)

Me and my companion, Elder Cox

And all the elders from my district, from left to right; 
Elder Olson, Elder Bendel, Elder Simmons, Elder Goff, Me, Elder Cox

All of them excluding me, either played football, or wrestled during high school. so, they are all hard headed at times, but they are still awesome.

So, that's it for the week. I might be able to call all of you at the airport, Depending on what time we get there and what phones are open. I'll try to call some time around 6:30 AM Pacific Time, if I can, again, it all depends on availability.

So, love you! Thanks for the letters! I might email again later today if i have time, BYEEEEE!!!"

ps "Yes, I am feeling a lot better, my voice is back. It's real nice to hear that I will have a bedroom when I get home, mine here is a bit of a pig sty thanks to the rest of my residence.

and ya, thank you SO much for your emails, they literally make the days just fly by, LOVE YOU again, bye!"

Friday, September 30, 2016

MTC 1 & 2 - The Quick and the Mute

This post actually has 2 weeks of emails. The first one, MTC 1, was so short and quick I wasn't going to add it, but decided it was a good preface to the 2nd email, MTC 2. Unfortunately he has not sent any pictures, so I thought I'd just add some pics and info about the MTC after the emails for the heck of it. 

Just in case anyone reading this doesn't know some of the "Mormon" vernacular, MTC stands for Mission Training Center, and there are several all over the world. Tayler's older brother, Grant went to the MTC in Mexico City, Mexico. Tayler is currently at the one in Provo Utah. P-Day means "Preparation Day". A day set apart each week for shopping, emailing, doing laundry, and any other "house keeping" type of work. The rest of the week is dedicated to serving the people and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just another little side note, I love how he bolds "BRUSH MY TEETH" in MTC 2. This is one of the things I constantly nag him about, because frankly he is horrible at it. He made sure to point out it was being done... such a good boy!!


"Hey mom! MTC has been alright so far, met my mtc companion Elder Cox, he's awesome. So... thus far I've had a series of misfortune, from me getting little sleep Wednesday night, to me losing my id card and having to find it, to me getting a cold the following day, woopie! But, other than that, I'm busy, and enjoying the classes. Love you! My P Day is on Thursday! Bye!!!
-Love, your son, elder Tayler Hagen"


"Alright, I got some splainin to do.  Last Thursday wasn't a P-Day, it was an introduction day, which means that they gave EVERYONE new last Wednesday a chance to write, regardless of when their p-day is. Essentially, we only got 3 minutes to read and write all our emails.

So, onto my experience thus far.

The MTC isn't some Wonderland like most missionaries say it is; its long, classes last hours on end, and, I don't get to sleep in until 12 😥BUT IT's alright. I've have seen and felt so much since I've been here to convert anyone. It's such a spiritual experience, I kid you not, I am seeing miracles around me every day here. Like, most recently, I lost my little white handbook, prayed, and knew exactly where it was.

My schedule starts at 6:30, when I wake up, BRUSH MY TEETH, shower, and get changed into white shirt and tie. After that, we head to class for ten minutes for a devotional on most days, others, like p-day, we spend that time starting laundry or extra study. Breakfast is usually after that (every meal is usually eggs and potatoes, its great for the first couple days, but it starts to leave an eggy taste in your mouth after that). After that, we have class, usually with our teacher, Sister Hanshaw, who apparently knows the Murphy's, Holmes, and the Merkley's, from back home. Exercise period follows, which is a blessing. Lunch, more class, Dinner, and bed.

My companion Elder Cox is awesome. I kid you not, he is almost identical to Dr Brennan from Bones, but not as socially lost.  He knows the scriptures front to back, knows every lesson plan, and can solve a Rubik's cube in under a minute! He is going to the same mission as me, as well as the majority of the rest of my residence; Elder Olson, who lives only about 2 hours north of our house, Elder Simmons, who is going to Houston Texas, right next to Grant's mission, Elder Bendel, and Elder Goff. They are all football players and wrestlers, Elder Olson, Elder Goff, Elder Simmons, Elder Cox (Elder Cox does Track), Elder Bendel. they are loud and noisy at night, but honestly, I wouldn't want to change residences, they are all spiritually strong in their own way. 

The food is alright on some days, greasy on another, salty another, decent on others, essentially, I can't give you a definitive answer, cause, there ain't one, it's different every day, it just depends on whats for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but I assure you, it's a buffet.

Alright, so, the part I've been dreading bringing up, I've been mute for the past 4 days, and will be for the next 3-6. Remember how I told you I was sick? Well, It gets better, because my allergies, (and yes, I have been taking the pill), my nose was all stuffed up, and all that icky gross mucus, dripped down the back of my throat, for hours on end, pulling and straining my vocal chords. This started the Thursday after the 21st, which is the day after I got here. I didn't go and see a doctor until Monday. I did then because when I woke up I almost puked because of how much pain I was in. But I'm feeling a lot better now! I got medication from the BYU pharmacy, and its been healing.

I got Dad's box, I'm going to write to him as well, but PLEASE tell him thank you thank you thank you from your loving son, that box, has made my MTC experience go from an 8 to an 9. 

So, I'm going to end here, my laundry is about done and I need to change it, and people are waiting to use this computer. LOVE YOU, MISS YOU, don't forget Tay Tay. Know that I am going to be homesick for my entire mission, but I am doing miracles where I am right now, so please, email me, write me a letter, send a box, a postcard, anything! 

-Love Tayler, or, Elder Hagen

ps. I can't send pictures yet, cause, I have not had the opportunity to take any. I've literally been in class from dawn to dusk and my residence never seems to be in the same place at the same time. SO, I'll work on getting you some."

Here is an Arial of the Provo MTC. It is a gated campus. Only missionaries currently studying there, teachers, and leaders are allowed in. Missionaries rarely leave, except for certain times, like playing sports on P-Days on the big green field north of campus. We were told there are about 2,000 missionaries currently in this MTC, and there are more than 50 languages being learned. They are currently expanding this MTC. The next set of pics shows some concept drawings and a link that talks all about the expansion. It's pretty exciting!

To read about the expansion:

The iconic missionary name badge; goes on as they enter the MTC, and doesn't come off for the next 24 months (for men, 18 months for women)

The various MTCs around the world. One of Tayler's best friends was just in the Preston England MTC.