Areas of Service

Areas of Service
Areas where Elder Hagen has served:

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)