Sunday, April 28, 2013

Well, This Is It.


 Au Revior! 

I can't believe this day is finally here, it has been a very long time coming. I'll be set apart at 8pm tonight, so I'm making my last ditch effort to catch up on all my social media.

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to make it to my farewell last week, it means so much to me. Thank you to the people who reached out to me and said goodbye when they couldn't make it. You are the best. 

11 weeks in the MTC.  I am so excited. Feel free to write me, send me packages, think about me, you know, the usual. ;) My addresses are under the "Contact" tab on the top of the page.  I'd suggest using Dear Elder instead of emailing me though, I only have a half hour to read and write emails, that would make it easy on me. If you haven't heard of Dear Elder here is the link. You basically email me, but the MTC will print it out and get it to me the day you send it. Super easy! You just type in my MTC address (found in contacts tab). 

My weekly letters will be posted here on this lovely blog. If you'd like updates on when my letters are posted I would suggest either 

A) Following my blog via email. There's a little bar on the left side of the page, all you do is enter your email address and you will get my weekly emails in your inbox. 

B) "Liking" the XXo, Mo Facebook Page. You will get an update in your newsfeed when an email is posted. This is easiest if you're a facebook-a-holic. Just click the lovely link I provided and like away. It's that easy. 

C) Following via Blog Lovin'. If you love reading lots of blogs this is the one for you! But if you're just a fan of me the top two options would be easiest. 

I don't have any addresses!! If you'd like me to write you (really, I WANT TO WRITE YOU but I can't.. because I don't have your address) send me a Dear Elder or a letter this week and I will get back to you just as soon as I have my P-day. 

I'll be flying to Tahiti sometime in the middle of July, that will be posted when I know, so only send things to the Provo MTC until the middle of July. 

See you in 18 months!

XXo, 
Sister Taylor

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fin

I love me some Brock hugs. 
And the final section... 

In the home is where children are first going to learn they are children of God, where they will come to know and love our Heavenly Father and Savior, where they will grow the desire to serve a mission, where they will learn to never settle for anything but a temple marriage. We can help grow the desires to enter the temple by hanging photographs of temples in our homes, visiting temple grounds, teaching about the temple in family home evenings, and making constant, revered comments about the holy house. But this is still not enough. 

We must be examples. Just as Faith without works is dead, speaking highly of the temple is not as effective as actually attending. Consistent temple attendance will have a dramatic impact in your children’s spiritual lives, as well as in our own lives. Attending the temple blesses us in many aspects of our children’s lives. For example, one sister noticed that when she was able to attend the temple regularly, her life seemed more ordered and she was better able to solve her problems. But she was especially pleased when her teenage son remarked, “I think my week goes better when you and Dad go to the temple.” 

But, not only will temple attendance strengthen your children’s lives, but it will strengthen your own marriage. Contemplation in the temple is on way Elder Russel M. Nelson suggests we strengthen our marriages. He states, “If couples contemplate often—with each other in the temple—sacred covenants will be better remembered and kept. Frequent participation in temple service and regular family scripture study nourish a marriage and strengthen faith within a family. Contemplation allows one to anticipate and to resonate (or be in tune) with each other and with the Lord. Contemplation will nurture both a marriage and God’s kingdom.” By setting aside time to attend the temple with your spouse, not only are you drawing closer to God, but you are preparing your family for the Celestial kingdom. 

Elder Franklin D. Richards taught, “A temple is a retreat from the vicissitudes of life, a place of prayer and meditation providing an opportunity to receive inner peace, inspiration, guidance, and, frequently, solutions to the problems that vex our daily lives.” I have felt the inner peace personally in the temple. It is truly a house of rest and peace. Every time I attend I never want to leave and always wonder if I could just unroll a white sleeping bag in the corner and live there. *that’s a joke* The peace affects everyone in the building, and you can tell. Smiling faces greet you around every corner, and everyone, anyone is willing and ready to help you with any questions, concerns, problems, you could face in the temple. Ultimately our temple attendance makes us a more agreeable person, making the lives of everyone around us better. 

And when this light rubs off on your children at the age of 12, and are willing, excited, and able to participate in baptisms for the dead, make sure they do so. The positive experiences they have doing these will create an unquenchable desire to return time and time again. Go with them. Your child doesn’t have to just go with the ward to have this experience; they can, and should, go with you. Entering the temple with your child allows the private time to teach about the sacredness of the ordinances they are participating in. We have been taught, “If young people come to the temple for the wrong reasons, like peer pressure, they usually don’t have a desire to come back. If they go with the right spirit, they’ll be hungering and thirsting and wanting to find out all they can about what’s taught in the temple.” That’s what we should be aspiring for- for our children to hunger and thirst to learn in the temple. To grow spiritually. To prepare for life eternal. 

I suppose having 5 months to wait for my mission was a good thing. I’ve been able to attend temple sessions nearly every week since I received my endowment. Going to the temple will never get boring, or mundane though, I can promise you that. I come home from sessions in a better mood. I love reading my scriptures and praying more than I ever have. And the experiences I’ve had in the temple have helped me understand that every single person you meet is a son or daughter of God. There’s nothing better than sitting in the celestial room contemplating about the premortal world- maybe the people in this room were my best friends before we came to Earth. That little thought has pushed me to be more loving and open to other, and removed any fear I had of talking to them. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a returned sister missionary and a returned elder, where we sat and talked about missions and the historic age change. I have met, and come to love many of the temple workers. One sister in particular made an impact on me as we sat and discussed ordinances, scriptures, and missions for an hour. As I left we both shed a few tears. I am extremely thankful I was able to meet her. 

Temples are a blessing. They can change your life if you are willing to consistently attend and continue to prepare yourself each time you return. Prepare to feel God’s love for you, to have your questions answered, to have special blessing you need in your life given to you. Take your testimony and continue to grow, prepare yourself, and your children to attend the temple, to make sacred covenants, and to grow to love our Savior with each passing day.

XXo,
Mo

Monday, April 22, 2013

Part Two

This is the most beautiful photo bomb ever. 

With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions” 

WE must be prepared to make these covenants. It is important to understand how important these covenants are, we are to understand them as well as the fathers of these ammonite families who covenanted with the Lord to give up their weapons of war for weapons of peace. This idea is emphasized in Alma 53. When the Laminates began war, the Ammonites, “saw the danger, and the many afflictions and tribulations which the Nephites bore for them, they were moved with compassion and were desirous to take up arms in the defence of their country.” 

But behold, as they were about to take their weapons of war, they were overpowered by the persuasions of Helaman and his brethren, for they were about to break the oath which they had made. 

And Helaman feared lest by so doing they should lose their souls; therefore all those who had entered into this covenant were compelled to behold their brethren wade through their afflictions, in their dangerous circumstances at this time. 

Just as the Lord covenanted with the Ammonites, He covenants with us, and it important to understand how sacred the promises we make are. 

The most important thing we can do, while deciding if we are ready to enter into these covenants is to ask our Father if we are prepared to enter his house. 

When we do enter his house prepared we are blessed. In the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer, the Prophet Joseph Smith blessed all who enter “that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them; “And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand, to fulfill that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of the prophets, concerning the last days. 

As we take the final step towards exhalation by being sealed to our spouse for eternity that does not mean we still don’t prepare ourselves to enter the temple. Our journey is not done! President Howard W. Hunter taught us we are to be a temple worthy people. We are nothing without the temple and the covenants we make inside it, so why should we even go a day without a temple recommend? We must be prepared to enter the temple every single day of our lives after we first enter. This is where preparedness is key in our adult life. Do we know when our recommend expires? Do we have an interview appointment before it expires? Will you go a day without the greatest blessing on the Earth? 

Part of our spiritual progression includes the raising and teaching of our children. 

In doctrine and covenants 68 we read, “ And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when e years old, and receive the laying on of the hands. And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.”

more continuation shall occur here...

XXo,
Mo

Sunday, April 21, 2013

HelloGoodbye


Today was the day! I gave my farewell talk. Ah.

Thank you so so so much to everyone who came and supported me. It meant so much to me, you are amazing. Thank you.

For the few who weren't able to make it i'm going to post my talk. It's pretty long, so I'm going to break it up into 3 parts. Keep coming back each day to finish it. ;)


Brothers and sisters, I now turn to another matter—namely, missionary service… As President Monson announced that young men may now serve at the age of 18, my mind was running so quickly I was barely able to comprehend what he said next. As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.

So brothers and sisters, here I am! It’s been a long time coming, when I received my mission call back in December I thought the latest I’d be sent into the field would be March, boy was I wrong. I have been called to the Tahiti, Papeete mission, and I’ll be headed to the Provo MTC along with 5 sisters and 2 brothers on May 1st

While the age change allowed me the wonderful blessing of serving my mission, it also gave me an opportunity I didn’t expect to have for quite a few years. In February I was able to receive my endowments in the Logan Temple, I think that day was more exciting than opening my actual call.

Temples are literally houses of God. They are sacred places of peace, and in them we are able to make covenants required for our salvation, not only for ourselves, but in behalf of family members who have passed without such opportunity. These covenants are the center of the gospel. Because of their importance it’s crucial to prepare yourself to enter the temple, not only for your first time, but for every time you may go after because preparing to go to the temple is a process, not a one-time event.

We start personally preparing in our youth, most directly to enter the temple in order to participate in baptisms for the dead. A former temple president taught, “There’s no such thing as a crash course for going to the temple. A person needs to have a testimony. If he or she has a testimony of God’s eternal plan he won’t be satisfied with anything but having the temple be a part of his or her life.”

The key to preparing for the temple is to gain a testimony. Once you have a testimony established, even if it’s small, you can begin to nurture it and feel confident in participating in temple ordinances. Testimonies, as Elder Hales taught, “…come when there is willingness to serve where we are called. They come when a decision is made to strive to be obedient. Testimonies come during efforts to help, lift, and strengthen others. They come from prayer and from studying the scriptures and applying them in our lives. Whatever our circumstances, there seem to be moments in each of our lives when we can be given the knowledge that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. There is no greater search in life that we can embark upon than the quest to gain a testimony of the truth.”

It’s important to remember Alma’s words when he teaches, “behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than a desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

A testimony is the seed of any spiritual progression. It is the key to eternal life, being able to live with our families in the Celestial kingdom, to becoming more like Christ our Savior, and ultimately having a fulfilling and happy life on Earth. Once our testimony has grown enough to allow us into the holy temples, we are ready to take our spiritual preparation to the next step. Many young men and women start preparing to serve missions or preparing for marriage. Our focus on temple preparation changes to preparing to receive our personal endowments. Elder James E Talmage, in The House of the Lord, tells us the covenants we make in the temple include the “promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King—the Lord Jesus Christ.

to be continued....

XXo,
Mo

Friday, April 19, 2013

On Judging Others


We judge people by how they look. No matter how hard we try not to "judge a book by it's cover" we all know we're going to pick up a book with an interesting cover. We're going to look at an old man wearing a large trench coat, growing the world's most straggly beard, pushing a shopping cart down the street and assume he's homeless. Maybe we'll automatically label the fashion-forward man as gay. Perhaps the Muslim man walking down the street will have people glare him down, and mutter "terrorist" under their breath. 

Maybe the man wearing the trench coat is just a good samaritan who is returning a shopping cart he found on the next block.

The fashion-forward man is going home to his wife, both of whom enjoy nice clothing. 

Our fellow "terrorist" is a citizen of this country. He lives here, he works here, he pays his taxes, his children go to school with our children, and he is able to exercise his freedom of religion just like every other citizen, because he is an american. 

Sometimes we take judging too far. We do it, it's human nature, and sometimes it's a good thing. You should probably avoid man driving the big black van offering you candy to help him find is lost dog, and you avoid him because you judged him. 

The problem with judgment comes when we always view people in the worst light. 

When I wrote for my school paper, I did an article on random students and the contents of their car. You can definitely learn a lot about a person from their car. So and so  likes this band, this person has their smelly sports equipment, oh that girl has a trunk full of books on the Constitution and international governments (hmmm I wonder who that was), and so on. 

In the spirit of that I give you..... *drum roll please*

THE CONTENTS OF MY PURSE


This is Morgan in a baby-nut shell.  

Obviously I like mint. The color and the plant/flavor.
I carry keys with a keychain, that has a key on it. 
I like mace. Mace is good. 
My money doesn't go in my wallet. That's a sure sign of laziness.
I always have a pen and a sharpie on me.
Wallets are required, they have drivers licenses and such. 
Sometimes my lips get chapped from Logan's lovely dry climate. 
The mascara magically got in there... I don't usually carry it around. 
Telephones stay in the back left pocket of my jeans, unless I'm wearing a skirt or lovely mint pants that don't have real back pockets. 
M&M's for that minty-chocolate pick-me-up. 
BOWS! They are a must! Sometimes your hair just has to be worn in a ponytail, and lovely bows hide the elastic. 
Earrings, just in case. 

That's me. Judge me as you will. 

This week I'm going to challenge you!  

A) Judge less harshly
B) Make a new friend 
C) Clean out your purse!

XXo, 
Mo

p.s. 
what odd things are living inside your satchel? i want to know!





Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Here's to Another Great Year!

(I'm the one in black.)

I just realized I've had this lovely blog for a whole year this month! Goodness this year has really flown by.  It's so crazy to believe that this time last year I was struggling to decide which college to go to (yeah, I chose the wrong one).  

It's crazy to take a step back and see how all my crazy choices ultimately influence me to serve a mission. Every little thing took me to this point in my life. It is incredible. 

Yeah, I went to a college I didn't really enjoy. I made new friends, who helped realize what was most important in my life. I lived on my own, I cooked my own food, I decided to become a vegan (yeah, that didn't last long), and in October I decided to serve a mission. 

Now, I have another year to look forward to. I'll be making new friends who help me realize how important life is, I'll live on my own (with a companion of course), I'll cook my own food and learn to love new foods, I won't become a vegan, and I'll make the first year of my mission the best year of my life. I can not wait! 

I have 14 days left. FOURTEEN! I'll be set apart next Sunday, so I have 11 days to catch up with you! ELEVEN! 

My farewell is this Sunday, see you there! Here's to another great year.

XXo, 
Mo

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Postpartum Depression

Okay, okay, okay. I'm back.  

I'm suffering from postpartum Hawaii depression. It's a real disease, I pinky promise, with sugar and cherries and sprinkles on top. 




I'm basically addicted to guava nectar. Like. I have 10 cans of this stuff in my trunk.... *shuuuuuush*

I don't share.

Having a bad day? Well I have the cure for you! Just look at this little number:


If you're totally lost at why this picture is basically better than the "David Goes to the Dentist" video read this or watch this!

Of, if you're even more confused by those links click on the "I Believe" tab at the top of your screen.

I have also been working on designing some lovely blog for new friends! I'll throw their links up as soon as I've perfected them. 

OH!
And if you haven't read The Misplaced MiIssionary blog yet, GET OVER THERE ALREADY! I don't know what you're waiting for, but it's incredible. I might be a tab biased, but whatevs. 

Don't forget to like my Facebook page! It'll be the best way to keep up with these lovely little posts that you most certainly want more of. 

I'm headed on my mission in two weeks. Yeah, I said two weeks. I'll have letters and pictures posted here, along with my addresses, so be sure to write me!

Until then,

XXo,
Mo
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