Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oklahoma City mission president and wife - Nolan and Rhonda Taylor

I was curious to know more about Elliot’s mission president.  Turns out he’s a lawyer, a University of Utah law graduate and BYU undergraduate, who works in the Salt Lake City office of a large international law firm.  He and his wife have five children and live in Salt Lake City.  Here’s a picture and some biographical information.  I hope they’re taking good care of Elliot!

From the Church News, April 3, 2010:

Nolan Scott Taylor, 50, and Rhonda Henderson Taylor, five children, Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission; Woodbriar Ward, North Salt Lake Utah Stake. Brother Taylor is a former bishop, ward Young Men president, high councilor, Aaronic priesthood adviser, branch president and missionary in the Belgium Antwerp Mission. Partner (attorney), Dorsey & Whitney. Born in Detroit, Mich., to Richard Duane and Hattie Gail Glover Taylor.

Sister Taylor is a former counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency, ward Primary and Young Women president, ward Young Women adviser, ward choir director and stake music chairwoman. Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Elden Dale and Larna McDermott Henderson.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Elliot's October 25 email

Here's the latest news from Elliot.  It sounds like his living conditions may be less than ideal.  Welcome to mission life!  It reminds me of the late night cockroach massacre at a place where I lived in a suburb of Asuncion, Paraguay (don't ask).  And he didn't feel the earthquake that hit Oklahoma City the day after he arrived.  At least he remembers the impromptu family meeting under the dining room table where we rode out the significant aftershocks of the '94 Northridge quake.  Thankfully, we found a bag of Cheetos under the table, along with all the other contents of the kitchen cabinets that flew out in the initial tremblor.

Hey family!

Everything is going good out here in Oklahoma City so far. The bike is just fine even though the entire area we cover is basically too big to be biked all over. The address I gave you is the mission office address, but that's the best way to get anything out to me. I live in an apartment complex at SW59 and May, I don't know if that's exactly correct or not or if that will help you google map it or not. The complex I live in... well it's admittedly ghetto. I can tell stories already about that place. But let's just say they are trying to find a new apartment complex for us. The church is at SW 55 and Villa. The branch is small, but really good. It really just is pretty different from our home ward, but that's okay. I'm gonna give a talk in it this next week! And believe it or not, I didn't feel the earthquake. Everyone asks me about that because they hear I'm from California, but that was a baby earthquake relatively. I tell them about the '94 earthquake and how we ate Cheetos under a table.

But I'm jealous of that ride dad! When I get back we gotta go back out there or something. And congrats on the Giants making the World Series...go Dodgers! lol. Yeah I've heard BYU is getting thrown around this year and I'm glad Hart is doing pretty well.

Sounds to me like everything is normal around the house. I hope that Alyssa's ACT and concert went well, and that your calling isn't too overbearing mom. And I'm glad Keith and Kim are enjoying themselves!

Things out here are going just fine really. We have an investigator who lost his vision but he agreed to a baptismal date! It's also amazing how guided I feel sometimes to find people that really just need some help and are ready to hear about our message. We are teaching quite a few people right now, but there are a lot of times where we'll set up a time to go by and no one will be there. It's a bit frustrating but I just try to keep pushing on because I realize time is already flying by. These first two weeks here are literally a blur to me, I can't believe I'm already writing home again!

I hope all is going well, and know that I love you and that I'm happy out here :)


Elder Elliot Adair

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Elliot's October 18 email - the first from Oklahoma

Here's the first email from Elliot in Oklahoma.  And his new address is posted over on the right.

Hey Mom!

Well I'm doing just fine out here in Oklahoma. It's definitely a way different place from anything I've ever experienced, that's for sure. My companion is Elder Ortiz. He's from both Mexico and Texas, so he's a natural Spanish speaker which helps me out a lot with the language. He's really helpful and seems to be a good missionary. Right now I'm in the Southern part of Oklahoma City, which is really different from any area in Los Angeles . It's a city, but it's all so spread out. There's a lot of poverty, which is tough because I do feel a love for the people, but all I can do is try my best to help in anyway I can. We have a pretty large area to cover, but we have some members who are super helpful in driving us around because we only have bikes right now.

But I'm so glad to hear Grandpa's doing well! I definitely was praying for him and am glad you were able to visit him. We have an investigator (well he's English speaking so not ours, but we stopped by to visit. We only teach lessons in Spanish) who had a heart attack recently and got heart surgery too, so that made me think of grandpa, so that's awesome that he's doing better!

But glad to hear that things are running back at home in California ! I'm grateful that everyone is doing well and that Kim got into BYU! Know that I am doing well and that I'll send pictures home once I take some more. It's kinda difficult to take too many when you're working all the time, but I'll get on it!

Everyone out here is religious, I mean EVERYONE. There is almost literally a church on every block. The people are mostly really humble and willing to talk, which is kinda fun actually. And it's kinda difficult to understand what people are saying sometimes in Spanish, but I'm able to follow along really good, much thanks to my companion. I just have faith and hope that I can go out and help those that are in need of it!

Thanks for everything and I hope you have a great week!


Elder Elliot Adair

Monday, October 18, 2010

Where the buffalo roam

Finally, a postcard from Elliot!  It's very brief but we know he made it to Oklahoma and is doing well.  We don't know where he has been assigned or who his companion is.  We should have an email soon with more details. 

In the meantime, here is his postcard and some fun facts about buffalo.  Well, bison to be more accurate, since bison are native to North America, while buffalo are native to Africa and Asia.  If you are confused by the difference between bison and buffalo, imagine being a fan of baseball in Buffalo, New York, where the AAA affiliate for the New York Mets is the Bisons - the Buffalo Bisons.  And for you basketball fans, the NBA is not the bastion of oversized athletic men who can dunk a basketball while blindfolded.  It is instead the National Bison Association, with the tagline "a community bound by the heritage of the American bison/buffalo and the quality of its products."  It even has its own website, with an online store where you can subscribe to Bison World, a quarterly publication all about the bison industry.  You can also buy buffalo napkin rings or a buffalo weathervane, among other buffalo/bison-related products.  The website explains that the North American bison population, which was reduced from 30 million when European settlers first landed to fewer than 1,000 by the 1880s, grew to about 220,000 by 2007. 

There, that's enough useless buffalo (or bison) information for one evening.  Watch for more information from Elliot soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oklahoma, the new California - shake, rattle and roll!

We certainly expected that Elliot would carry a little bit of California with him to Oklahoma.  The sunshine, the style, the language.  What we didn't expect was that he would turn Oklahoma into the land of earthquakes!  Less than 24 hours after he arrived, an earthquake hit southeast of Norman, Oklahoma, which is just 20 miles south of Oklahoma City.  Estimates of the magnitude range from 4.3 to 5.1.  You can link to a couple of news reports below.  As a veteran of several earthquakes, including the 6.7 magnitude 1994 Northridge quake (see picture at right), Elliot must have felt very welcome in his new home with this reminder of life in California.

Oklahoma earthquake: We can't seem to shake nature's fury

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Surprise phone calls from Elliot!

Early this morning, my phone rang and showed an 801 area code.  I didn't immediately make the connection that it could be Elliot calling but it was!  His MTC branch president told the eleven missionaries heading to Oklahoma (six English, five Spanish) that they could call their parents from the SLC airport.  Elliot called his mom first (naturally) and then me.  It was such a great surprise to hear from him.  He loved the MTC but is really excited to be in Oklahoma.  He said that his Spanish is coming along really well.  His flight left this morning sometime after 9:00 a.m. so he is undoubtedly there by now.  We are really looking forward to hearing from him and finding out where he will be assigned and who his companion will be.  We'll post his mailing address as soon as we have it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Elliot's October 7 email

Here's Elliot's last email from the MTC.  He travels to Oklahoma next Tuesday. 

Hey Family!

So it's been another mega awesome week here in the MTC. I must say, singing in conference was one of the most incredible things I had ever done. It's unreal knowing you're singing in front of the Prophet and Apostles, 22,000 people in the conference center, and countless others around the world. I really just can't describe the feeling with anything other than just pure amazingness.

Also, I got my flight plans! I'm leaving the MTC at 6 in the morning Tuesday, flying out around 9, so needless to say that is super exciting. I am admittedly nervous, having really found a groove here at the MTC, but I really want to get out there and help people! So that's what I have to look forward to now.

And yes I got the package Mom! Thanks a ton for that. I'm wearing one of the new ties right now :)

Has Alyssa had her fall concert yet? She has a solo, right? I'm sure it will be/was amazing.

This past week here in the MTC we have been focusing a lot on our purpose as missionaries which is: Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, which purpose by now is easier for me to remember in Spanish than in English. But I learned that when we focus everything we do to help others with faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring, we are making our desires more in tune with Heavenly Father's. So that's what I'm working on right now before I head to the field!

I love you all and hope everything is going super!


Elder Elliot Adair

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another picture of Elliot in the MTC choir

Shannon Reininger, whose son Carlton also sang in the MTC choir in the Priesthood session of General Conference, captured a screen shot of Elliot singing in the choir.  He's on the far right side, third row up from the bottom.  Unfortunately, she couldn't find Carlton!  Thanks to her for sending this picture of Elliot.

Elliot's September 30 letter

We just received Elliot's September 30 letter.  It's hard to believe that he only has five more days in the MTC!  And then he's off to Oklahoma.  Here's his letter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Elliot in the MTC choir at General Conference!

When Elliot left for his mission in early August, we accepted the fact that we would not see him for two years.  No visits, just two phone calls a year (Christmas and Mother's Day), occasional photographs, and weekly letters and emails.  So when Elliot told us that he would be in the choir at the Priesthood session of General Conference, we hoped that we might catch a glimpse of him in the television broadcast.  And we did!  The choir sang three numbers.  I couldn't see him in the first two numbers.  There was one group shot where I thought I saw him, but spotting a clean cut young man in a white shirt, tie, and suit in a sea of similar young men is like playing Where's Waldo.  Finally, during the third and final number, there was a brief but unmistakable shot of Elliot.  In the links below, at the 1:50:58 mark, as the camera pans across a small section of the choir, Elliot appears for just about a second in the lower right hand corner before they cut to a different shot.  It was great to see him, especially in that setting.

Here's the link:  If the link doesn't work for whatever reason, go to and navigate to the audio and video streams link on the home page, under the heading for the October 2010 General Conference.  There will be a dialog box where you will select the Priesthood session.  Here's another link that should work also: