Saturday, October 3, 2015

Why I Listen to Conference

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
E mea melo au na te Ekalesia a Iesu Mesia i te Feia Mo'a i te Mau Mahana Hopea Nei. 
Je suis membre de l'Eglise de Jesus-Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours. 

I will willingly spend eight hours this weekend listening to talks. Really though, eight hours. Imagine taking an eight hour ethics, philosophy, and history class.  EXCEPT you enjoy it. You take notes. You reread your notes. At the end of the eight hour lecture you go back and listen to all of the lesson multiple times. 

That is general conference. 

Think TED Talks, but with every talk having an emphasis on how to make your life better, happier, and full of more sunshine and rainbows than you can handle. 

You should watch some here. I highly suggest this if you are missing some hope or courage in your life, the things these men have told us are merely to help us be the best possible people we can be.

Don't forget about tomorrow also!

XXo, 
Mo

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mo's Ultimate Family-Friendly Halloween Movie LIst

October is my favorite month of the year. The leaves are yellow and orange, the air is finally cool enough for scarves and sweaters, and my favorite holiday is on the 31st. Halloween!  It's never too soon to start ringing in the Halloween cheer! Get into the spirit with Mo's Ultimate Halloween Movie list-the family friendly version. 
10. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
     Who doesn't love Charlie Brown? This is the most tame Halloween movie for our littlest viewers.
9. Halloweentown
    Disney Channel does Halloween right. This is the greatest made-for-TV movie ever created. 
8. Casper
    The FRIENDLY ghost. Who doesn't like ghosts that can help them? 
7. The Little Vampire
    Kids. Vampires. Enough said. 
6. Ghostbusters
    Who you gonna call? In the MTC we have vacuums the missionaries have to wear. We call them the Ghostbusters. Halloween is everyday!
5. Adam's Family
    Slightly very odd. Especially compared to the previous movies. 
4. Beetlejuice 
    Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlej----- Don't finish that, you'll probably regret it. 
3. Corpse Bride
    Tim Burton is my favorite movie genius of all time. Corpse Bride has one of the happiest ending of any of his movies. I feel odd putting happy and Time Burton in the same paragraph. 
2. Hocus Pocus
    Binx is waiting for you to watch this movie. Just don't light any candles. 
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas 
    This is my favorite movie of all time. It's also a half-Christmas movie so I'm justified in watching it non-stop October 1st until January 1st. (Let's be honest, I probably watch this weekly. It's that good)

There are only 29 days until Halloween. If we watch one movie a day we can see all of them twice, and the best, The Nightmare Before Christmas, three times. 

Happy Haunting!

XXo, 
Mo

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to be Happy

Hi. 
It's been a few months since I've actually posted non-school happiness.  I want to chat about happiness today.  Let's be honest, I of all people have every "right" to be miserable and sad. I was hit by a car, I lost my memory, I fail every test I take, I can't remember people's names (that makes finding friends difficult), and  I feel like an overall failure 6 out of the 7 days. 
I am miserable and sad. The end. 
FALSE. 
I can honestly say I have never been happier in my whole entire life (No. Do not bring up I don't remember a lot of my life. I promise I have never been this happy.)
Victor Franki, author of the oh, so famous Man's Search for Meaning, reminded us, "Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself. He may turn personal tragedy into triumph."
Look at how far I've come. Basically, I am super woman. I got an A in my writing class this summer, I'm not failing every single quiz in my art history class, only about 25% of them, I can remember my friend's names, I have friends, I love my jobs, and I have found a way to learn the information I need for my classes.  It has been a pretty fantastic semester. 
The world lost a great man in July, but President Boyd K. Packer reminded us, "It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal. Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life." 
Nothing in our life is without purpose. I am able to choose how to handle every situation and what I want to make with my own life. David O. McKay has given me some pretty spiffy guidelines to keep my happiness in check everyday. I am not wasting a single day being upset, sad, lonely, or mopey. President McKay has 10 Rules for Happiness
1. Develop yourself by self discipline.  Yeah.... it's time to be a big girl, eat my veggies, and clean my room.
2. Joy comes through creation -- sorrow through destruction. Every living thing can grow; use the world wisely to realize soul growth.  If I want to be happy, I need to create something. Hence this blog post and my glorious paintings filling my tiny room. Today I was able to sit down and chat with a DC and Marvel comic illustrator Steve Rude  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Rude . He still works at perfecting his art, trying to grow and perfect his trade.
3.  Do things that are hard to do.  School. School is so utterly hard for me I want to cry thinking about it. I do hard things. Nothing is going to stop me.
4. Entertain up building thoughts. What you think about when you do not have to think shows what you really are. Seriously though. In French we says Le Vouloir C'est Le Pouvoir - The want/desire is the power. We can do anything we want to do. Nothing can stop us, no disability can stop us, fear cannot stop us, we are able to everything we will ever want to do as long as we work for it.
5. Do your best this hour, and you will do better the next. No words needed.


6. Be true to those who trust you. Do not lose anyone's trust. I've found more and more people are throwing away friendships. There is nothing more valuable than a good friend.



7. Pray for wisdom, courage, and a kind heart. Just pray. Pray always. Keep yourself close to God and He will keep himself even closer to you.



8. Give heed to God’s messages through inspiration. If self-indulgence, jealousy, avarice, or worry have deadened your response, pray to the Lord to wipe out these impediments. Act on the inspiration you receive! The best way to recieve more inspiration is to act on the bits of inspiration you are currently recieving. When we do this we are more susceptible to understanding and receiving promptings/inspiration.



9. True friends enrich life. If you would have a friend, be one. We reap what we sow. If I'm being the ultimate friend, when I need someone to bring me a can of soup, cookies, and a good movie a magical person will appear on my door step.



10. Faith is the foundation of all things—including happiness. 


I love y'all! Have a fantastic night. Join me in my "Happiness Challenge." I'm going to focus on one of the ten steps for happiness every week. This week I really need to work on #4. 

XXo, 
Mo

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hi-Jacking Morgan's blog....just an update

About one year ago Morgan returned to Tahiti to finish her mission.  Tahiti round 2 and truly a completly different mission in the same place.  She went about her missionary work in a different way and made a huge impact on a lot on people's lives.  She continues to do that here.  This weekend I was able to hear Morgan speak to a group of youth in Provo.  She was great!! The kids were listening and asked very good questions.  One of the questions someone asked was "do you remember things you learn at school?"  It surprised me to hear that because that is what is challenging her right now and her answer was " I remember.....absolutely nothing.  I fail every test"  Which is true.  But she gets 100% on all assignments when she can find the information in a book or use her notes.  She continues to work hard and find a way to work through the struggles.  Yesterday she had a doctor appointment with her rehab doctor.  He walked in and you could see he was amazed with Morgan.  The way the doctors look at her when they speak with her makes me smile.  You can see they are truly happy and surprised with Morgan's recovery.  I love that!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

What High School Taught Me

My little brother is no longer a high school student.  That sentence scares me.  The absolute certainty of this phrase frightens me even more. He has his diploma, there is no taking it away from him now.

I've been "stuck" with him for the last eighteen years of my life and I don't know what I'm going to do when me becomes my equal instead of my kid brother who is a foot taller than I am.  We have been partners in crime since before the beginning of time.  When he was four-years-old we took a spin on a toy roller coaster he had been given for his birthday.  One Christmas morning, while we were in elementary school, we watched The Lion King 2 over and over until it was, and still is, fully engraved into my brain.  We watched it so much I STILL have the entire movie memorized and can serenade you with each and every one of the songs.  Chan and I debated together his freshman, my senior, year. I've taught him my secrets, he has been my best friend.

Now he's leaving.

In September he will be serving a full-time mission, just as I did, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Novosibirsk, Russia.  My brother is going to speak Russian.

First things, first.  HE GRADUATED THURSDAY!  As I was seated in Utah State University's basketball stadium my aunt leans over to me.  "Hey, did you know you were quoted in this year's yearbook?"  What?  I was quoted in the yearbook?  What did I say?  I hope it was appropriate. . .

My senior year, 2012, I was asked what advice I had for the underclassmen.  In 2015, my advice was once again given again to the new generation of Bobcats.  My advice is,

"You'll go through high school just waiting to finally get out, only to wake up one morning and dread graduation.  Once graduation comes you won't be going to school with the same people you shared your chocolate milk with in Kindergarten.  Don't forget about those few people who made you the person you are.  Make the last year count and have no regrets."

I was speaking eighty-nine percent from personal experience. My best friend in kindergarten was living in a completely different school system when I was able to throw my cap and walk away, diploma in hand.  **UPDATE: I was at my kindergarten best friend's wedding**  In those twelve years apart I learned some pretty important things.

Don't let your emotions surmount what the intellectual side of your brain is telling you to do.  It is so easy to get caught up in what we want to do right then in the moment, we ignore what we know we shouldn't be doing.  It's a dieter's hardest temptation.  The emotion is yelling and screaming, "eat the extra cupcake! There's one left and if no one eats it, it is going to get thrown away.  Do not waste food, there are children in this world starving and you are throwing away good food."  That is waht your emotion is saying to you.  Your intellect is whispering and reminding you that eating that cupcake is not actually going to help a starving child.  It's just going to make you feel worse about yourself in the long run.  Resist the urge to let your emotions overcome your intellect.

Date the ones that are nice to the waitress.  I am a waitress.  Every single person in this society should have to serve food at one point or another to understand how to treat us.  I am guilty of not being a very good guest to waitresses in high school.  I had a habit of giving them a big fat ZERO dollar tip.  This, I am not proud of at all. I went on dates where my date gave an extremely lousy tip.  Why? As my high school mind would think, because waitresses are below us and will make a lot of money anyways.  Date people that treat every single person they meet like they are their equals.  Let's face it, we are all humans, we are all trying to get through this life.  Nobody is "better" or "worse," we are the same.  If you date someone who treats everyone as well as he or she possibly can, you found a good one.   

You are never as interesting as you think you are.
 Enough said.  I'll get off my soapbox now. 

XXo,
Mo

Thursday, April 2, 2015

To Be Mo Part 1

(Pre-accident. April 2012)

I know I am going to have to talk about this sometime or another.  These are my real, only slightly censored, thoughts.  There is no point in sugar-coating things, it's time to be real.  This past year has been a huge struggle. This is part one of a three part series of my personal account of my accident. Here we go. 

I have struggled with how to talk about my lovely accident and the effect it has on me.  Even that last sentence makes light of the terrible thing that happened to me, "lovely accident."  I down-play all of the details, and the fact I was hit by a car. I want to live as if I have never been hit by a car, as if a man had never decided to drink, get in his utility van, unknowingly hit a 19-year-old girl and drive off leaving her there to die.  I want to live like that day never happened. 

I tried to do just that. 

Tried.  That's the keyword here.  I can pretend all I want, but I cannot live a lie.  I cannot sit there and say this food is delicious anymore when I cannot taste or smell it.  This is where a slight personality problem comes in, I like to make people happy and one of the best ways to make someone happy is to compliment their cooking.  I could be fed dead rat and would tell them it tasted delicious because I wouldn't be able to tell a difference between that and prime rib.  I cannot smile and and talk about "the good 'ol times" I had with my friends in high school anymore.  Those memories are long gone. 

But I do. 

I have found that I sometimes pretend to remember something in order to avoid an awkward "I was hit by a car" conversation.  I conjure fake memories in order to avoid it.  Example:  Me out loud: "Yes! I remember that one time when we all went to so-and-so's house and ate five gallons of ice cream."  In my head:  Who in the world is so-and-so?  Why did we eat five gallons of ice cream with this person?  Where does this person live?

But now I am done pretending.

 February's issue of the National Geographic is pure gold. There's a very large article entitled "Healing Our Soldiers."  I looked at the cover, opened it up to see what it was all about, and it's about traumatic brain injuries. I love a quote from Army Staff Sergeant Perry Hopman, who sustained a traumatic brain injury.  He said, "I know my name, but I don't know the man who use to back up that name."  

(At the hospital with my sisters. January 2014)

I am Morgan.  But what does that mean? 

This has been the most difficult part of my injuries.  I sometimes wish I would have lost an arm or a leg.  That's an injury that people can see and recognize.  With my injuries, people cannot immediately recognize I have a traumatic brain injury.  They are offended when I do not remember their name or other facts our incredible brain remembers. . The facts we do not realize we remember so easily. I am sorry, I know you have told me the name of your sister's brother-in-law's cousin's hairdresser's dog five hundred times, but it is not going to stay in this brain of mine. Okay, that was an extreme example. Here's a better example:  One night I was with the sisters in my house, I was the only one who could drive, we were leaving the hospital.  Our Mission Mother/Mission Nurse told me to drive to the pharmacy.  I drive home and completely forget that I was supposed to stop at the pharmacy after I unlocked the door.  Twenty minutes later I get a phone call, "Did you get lost?"  "Lost? No."  "Where are you?"  "At our apartment?"  "Oh, the pharmacy closes in ten minutes."  I had completely forgotten in the 5 minutes it takes me to drive home and drop the sisters off at the house.

I got in the car, made it to the pharmacy, and sat there and cried because I was so embarrassed and ashamed. 

  For one to understand what I go through on a daily basis, they would have to experience the exact same situation.  They can read my blog posts, they can read the chapters of my book, but they will never fully understand or realize how devastating this accident is to me.  If I were injured like that, if I lost a leg, I would still know who I was. I would know what it means to be Morgan.  Today is the day I put this lovely accident behind me.  I am just another average 21-year-old girl.  As much as that kills me to say "average" I will because I am alive and am grateful for that. 

When I opened my mission call in 2012 and was scared to death to speak Tahitian, I read a quote by Richard G Scott, personalized it, now it is my constant reminder of WHY I am who I am now: 

Heavenly Father did not put me here on Earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously.

I am reinventing myself. 
I am Mo.


(Soeur Taylor, we are taking a picture!  Um.. Okay!  That's how life is, you just have to go with it. December 2014.)

XXo, 
Mo


Sunday, March 29, 2015

When Bad Days Happen

“The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.”
 
I was reading a talk from Joseph B. Wirthlin this week, getting ready for another Fireside and this stood out. Notice the word WISDOM.  The Lord is wise, therefore he does not shield us from sorrow.  Every single one of us will have those, “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days”.  Some of us will fail an important test. One of you may lose your job. We may get in a car accident.  We will lose loved ones, that is inevitable.  Over the past year I lost some very good friends to illness or tragic accidents. We will, every single person who has ever lived, lives, or will live, have days where nothing goes according to plan.
 
           I am blessed to be able to know that our life here on Earth is just a tiny stepping stone to a much better place, a place with a fantastic view.  This knowledge is the strength I need to get past the bad days and welcome in the “tomorrows” with a smile and open arms.  In order to progress, we must learn and grow and work.  That is what God wants for us, that is why He does not keep us from feeling the negative emotions, preventing bad things from happening, or simply giving us all of our wants we ask for.  God is working, He is working so we may understand what He wants for us.  When God appeared to Moses, He told Moses, “Behold this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”  This scriptures is one of my favorites because it helps us understand why we are here, who God is, and what He wants from us.  What does that mean?
        “Behold this is my WORK and my GLORY..”  My friends Merriam-Webster defines work as, “an activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something.”  God is working.  He is exerting his strength and faculties to achieve a goal.  This work is also His glory, Merriam defines glory as, “a height of prosperity or achievement”.  When we read the beginning of this scripture, using the definitions, we can see that for God, He is “exerting strength” so he may arrive at a “height of prosperity (and) achievement.”  
        
         What does that all mean? Well, those terrible, horrible days are here to help us become better, wonderful people.  It’s up to us to decide how we handle the trials that are thrown at us and to use these to become better than we were yesterday.  Use everyday to become better than we were the day before.
 
God is working so we may life forever with Him after our life here on Earth.  He is working so we can be with our families after we die.  He is working because He loves every single one of us.  He gave me my trials because He wants me to be a better person.  He gave me my trials because He loves me.
 
XXo,
Mo


 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

My Mission in Review



Have you wondered what eighteen months living in Tahiti would look like?  This is what it looked like through my perspective.  

XXo, 
Mo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Homecoming Video


My cute sister Kenzie made this video of my homecoming... I guess a month later I'll watch it again.  Tomorrow or Saturday I'll throw up a video of my mission in review. 

XXo, 
Mo

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Just Call Me Lucy or Allie

After going on a Valentine's Day chick-flick binge, I'm noticing a trend.
Do all chick-flicks require a main character to lose their memory? Come on!  At least all the movies I was force-fed this week did.

>>

50 First Dates

People relate this movie to my life all the time.  Last week at work a co-worker pulled a Ten-Second Tom reference that I did appreciate.  He has good tastes in movies. Thankfully my memory lasts longer than ten seconds!  That would make life quite difficult
Take this story that came from the New Yorker: "In March of 1985, Clive Wearing, an eminent English musician and musicologist in his mid-forties, was struck by a brain infection – a herpes encephalitis – affecting especially the parts of his brain concerned with memory. He was left with a memory span of only seconds – the most devastating case of amnesia ever recorded."  
50 First Dates is adorable though!  . . . in a very sad, slightly creepy way. . .  Adam Sandler tries to make Drew Barrymore fall in love with him every single day because she can't remember.  Is this love or is this just plain creepy?

> >

The Notebook. 

Ranked the Best Chick Flick of All Time by multiple sources.

This entire movie is based of an adorable Old Couple's "story time."  This story is a Romeo and Juliet type plot:  Boy and Girl meet.  Boy and Girl are from different worlds.  Boy and Girl fall in love.  Father bans Boy and Girl from being together.  Boy and Girl are heart broken,  

*SPOILER, I'm giving away the end of this movie... If you haven't seen it I suggest turning off the 
laptop/phone/tablet and watching it before continuing.  This has one of the best movie endings of all time.*

The Old Couple is Boy and Girl!!  Girl lost her memory and Boy is trying to help her get it back.  What?!  Plot twist! 

The next time you're living in a nursing home and a man is reading to you, think twice.  Then again,  you wouldn't even remember reading this. . . 

> >

Now, I haven't seen this one, but it sounds like a pretty spot-on movie.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  The couple decides to erase their memory of each other, but throwing your memories in the black beauty trash can is not what it's all cracked up to be.  Also, it's rated R.  I just avoid all movies with that rating.  No thanks! There's no need to watch it, I got the whole plot line in IMBD's summary of it. 

> > 
Is my life a chick-flick? Hmmmm.... This is an interesting theory...
I'll stick with my action-packed suspense movies.  Why can't I be a character in one of those?  Throw the flowers out the window and give me some action!
 I'd rather be a fighter than a lover. 

XXo, 
Mo

Friday, February 13, 2015

"Look Not Behind Thee"

Looking back is an interesting thing. 

We’re going to crack open our Bibles here.  Go find it.  Wipe off the dust.  Can’t find it?  Goodness, download this app for apple or for android and then you will never lose it again, and you’ll be free of allergies because the chances of your phone getting as dusty as that book over there are pretty slim.  open, or click, to Genesis 19.

AH, the story of Lot.  What’s going down here?  Lot is living in Sodom, it’s a pretty wicked place.  (No, not wicked in the “that’s so awesome” sense of the word.  Wicked as in evil.)  Wicked to the point The Lord says, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”  If he could find fifty people the city would be spared, but fifty righteous people were not to be found. He says, forty-five.  No.  Forty.  No.  Twenty-five.  No.  Twenty.  No.  There were not even twenty people in the whole city who were righteous in the Lord’s eyes.  Because of the wickedness of the citizens Lot receives this advice:

“Escape for they life… look not behind thee…”



Okay, the Lord is telling them to get out of the city or they’re going to be a part of a nice barbeque.   Lot and his family do not want to be rotisserie-d so they start leaving.  The Lord specifically says not to look back (key phrase here people, do not look back), but Lot’s wife must have been feeling hungry, and she looked back. 

Um.  Why didn't she listen to Him and keep her head straight towards her end goal: safety?  Why didn't she keep walking forward?

 She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.  She looked back.  She wanted to go back.  She wished her family had not of left all of her gold, jewels, and precious things.  Moving onward to a land she does not know, to a place where she is’t comfortable is scary.  Lot’s wife was scared.  What would happen to her when she didn't have all her girlfriends around to sip herbal tea, discuss the latest Kardashian scandal, and cry over chick flicks with?  How would she make do without her favorite little restaurant?  She did not want to move away from these things, even though the Lord told her it was time.



That is the key to this infamous Bible story.  Like all Biblical stories there is a lesson to be learned and we need to implement it into our lives.  We cannot look back at the past and long for it.  I do that.  I will stand on top of a mountain and yell it to the world I am Lot’s wife occasionally.  It is simple for me to look back and WISH I hadn't of done this, WISH I could remember this, and a million other WISHES.

I wish I hadn't have left my house December 13, 2013.  I wish I would have stayed at the chapel that night.  It stretched as far as the point of wishing I had never served a mission. All of these thoughts came in the darkest moments of the recovery of my accident.



How did these thoughts change the situation I was in? They don't.  Wishing I hadn't of been a victim of a hit-and-run did not change the fact that it had already happened. No amount of wishing would bring my memory back.  No amount of wishing will make anyone feel better, in fact, it makes one feel worse.

Wishing is another form of regret.  When we wish we would have, could have, or we should have, we are Lot’s wife.  We are longingly looking back to a time we cannot change.  The only thing we can change is the present.  By our actions here in the present, we are then able to control our future.  We are able to have a future free of the could/would/should haves.  I am moving on with my life.  I still have a life, I am still alive, and God is letting me do whatever I want to do with my life.  I am free.  Here, I am not known as the “Miraculous of Tahiti” and surrounded by people asking for my autograph.  Here I can move on.


I am at a point in my post-accident life where I can sit back and: “Remember Lot’s wife.”   She longingly looked back to her old life and did not look forward to the better life God had prepared for her. Looking back and wishing for the past to change is easy.  Looking forward and seeing a better future God has prepared because of the past is hard.  This is hands down one of the hardest things someone can do.  It takes a lot of faith.  That is what Lot’s wife lacked, faith.  She could not see God; she could not see where He was going to take her and her faith vanished. She looked back.  I am done looking back.  That was yesterday.

Today I choose to have faith.

XXo,

Mo

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Last P-Day

It has finally come...

I refuse to cry anymore today, so this will be very short. 

I love my mission.  I am going to miss the people here so much. (this is when the tears start) All will be well.  That's what I keep telling myself.  All will be well. 

I love you!

Oh, my homecoming is on Jan 18th at 11am.  Come see me!

Love, 
Mo

p.s.  I TAUGHT 10 LESSONS ON SATURDAY!!!  That's a record.  Be proud of us. :) :)

--
Tahiti Papeete Mission
Soeur Taylor, Morgan
 
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti
98713
French Polynesia.
 
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