Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Special Experiences

My personal journey started when I was fifteen years old and I was faced with my greatest trial. How unprepared I was for that day that my personal life would cross over into my school life. My education became permanently changed as I made a mistake that shaped my education for the years to come. Someone did a great and terrible injustice to me and I had never felt more alone. I went to spend a week I Oakley Idaho I place that I like to call my safe haven. Because I wanted to feel again. I know what it is like to feel spiritually dead and question my faith. I couldn't comprehend how someone of my same faith could treat me so poorly. I felt completely numb. My confidence was shattered. I felt absolutely alone. I could feel the darkness of Satan surround me and I was lost. Then I heard a voice say, “I am the judge. You are my servant. Serve me.” I was judging those people so harshly, but that was not my place or my right to do. It is our Redeemer Christ who will judge the world. I knew in that moment that the gospel was true even if it was run by imperfect people. “There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, that we cannot meet with faith.” Gordon B. Hinkley I met my trial with an inkling of faith and that has turned out to be the biggest building block in my life. “If we have faith in Jesus Christ the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing.” Henry B. Erying. That trial has become my greatest blessing. Because now I have personal conviction. I know the gospel of Jesus Chirst is true. I am sure of it. And I am on the Lord's side. “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.” Orson F. Whitney deceased General Authority. Nothing is ever wasted we can take something terrible and make it good by taking to the heart and letting it change us for the better. I changed. I am a different person today then I was 5 years ago. I am a different person today then I was a year ago. And I am a different person today then I was yesterday because I am becoming better. The change can either come in big, huge life-changing trials or it comes by increments just a little at a time. I have learned that if I have changed then why do I see others as I remember instead of looking at them as who they could be? Why do I have to judge others to their old standard if I want to be seen for the good instead of the bad? Why don't I look at people they way Christ does? A way in which he sees are true potential of what we can become instead of the weak, imperfect It is because we are his children. Parents are the greatest examples of being building blocks in their kids lives. They constantly encourage us to be better, give us new opportunities to show change, and can be our greatest critics to push us to greater heights. Now take all of that and take it to an eternal perspective. That is how Christ interacts with all of his children, but he is perfect unlike our parents. We can become frustrated, discouraged, and even feel judged by our parents...but Christ is the perfect being in whom we can turn to and trust completely in to help us return to our true home, our heavenly home. Now this change doesn't happen all at once, it happens over a lifetime. Change isn't easy. But Christ said, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” It is worth it to be to change, for him, for myself, and for my family. Let's now look at this change from the outside. I want people to see for who I can be not necessarily for who I am at the moment. This teaches me that I, like myself, need to ALLOW other people to change. Allow other people to be better in your eyes. Allow yourself to focus on the good instead of conscretrate all your energy on who they once were. See people as they can become. See them as a parent see their child. See them as Christ sees them. When we all take this perspective of looking from the outside in we get out of this box that we make for ourselves that lets us see people as people instead of problems or objects. Thinking outside the box for me has never been so spiritual. And I testify changing the way you think changes who you are. Our thoughts are the core of everything we do. Our brains can never erase a bad image, movie, or painful words. It remembers them. But when we turn to Christ and ask for forgiveness he takes them away. He makes them white, pure, and ultimately forgiven. He remembers our sins no more after we repent in the right way, his way. And never should we. Christ is my elder brother and I know that he looks out for me. Another special experience I have had in my life happened at efy. I have never felt like I was good enough. Like I never measured up. Like I could never be all that God knows I can be. This is mostly because I am way too hard on myself and of the people around me. The session director looked in my teary eyes and without me saying a word he knew. He knew. He said to me, “You are enough.” None of these boys at this time in life are good enough for a daughter of god. Because he makes all his daughters special. These boys need to go the the Lord and become one with him as they serve a mission. Then these boys will become men of God that will be worthy of any of His precious daughters. No words have ever been more perfect at any other time in my life. Because right then, right at that moment god spoke to me through one of his servants. This taught me a very important lesson which will always be a special experience in my life and that is to Let God Love You. Let God Love You. Let him pore his blessings upon you and help you to become a son or daughter in whom he is very well pleased. Help Heavenly Father by letting him help you. We don't always have to be so brave and go through things alone. Because we are here to help each other turn to our Father to become his forever. This leads me to the top of Rocky Mountain on a pioneer trek when I was 14 years old. The boys had all left to war and us sisters said As Sisters In Zion as we pulled every hand cart up rocky mountain. And to my utter surprise I saw all the men lined up on both sides with their eyes in tears and hearts conflicted as they stood along the sidelines and watched as people they love suffer. I felt completely filled with love. And there was this overwhelming filling of unity as we continued on our rocky path as the boys watched on helplessly yearning to help, but knowing they could not. At that moment I knew a piece of how our Heavenly Father feels about each of us. Sometimes he as Christ did on the ship has to watch as the storm rages on and let us suffer alone to give us greater rest as he calms our seas. I hope what you take from my spiritual journey is this “It is your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself, that determines how your life story will develop.” Dieter F. Utchdorf. I know I was supposed to have all these special experiences in my life and that they were for my good. And that my trials were for me. That they have made me the person I am today and will help me be a better person tomorrow. I look forward to my next special experience as I prepare to go to God's House and take out my own endowment that will exalt me to live with my Father again someday. This will always prepare as I go with the man I love to be sealed in God's temple for time and all eternity. I want my marriage to last forever. Elder F. Burton Howard said, “If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don't expose it to the elements. You don't make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you make it so. And it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.” Time can only tell. Time told me that I know that I am enough. I know that I am more than enough for Rex and more than enough to return to my Heavenly Father. And I know that Rex is my best. And that God's holy spirit prompted me to attend college in Arizona that I would have my opportunity to meet the man worthy to take me to His temple to be sealed forever to the man that I love. I am truly blessed and better because of the special experiences in my life. I so testify.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Photo Book

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Firework Engagement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The flames of burning fire were easy to spot in pitch black skies as Rex and I drove into Red Knolls. We were getting warm by the fire when, out of nowhere, came a firework with a piercing sound of excitement. This explosion can't even begin to explain my complete amazement as spotlights revealed the man I love kneeling before me. There was Rex literally in the spotlight with both of my hands in his. As I realized that this was real and not some dream I looked ever so deeply into the eyes of my best friend. Rex told me that he loves me and I told him that I love him back. Then with the most sincere, intense, and serious gaze told me that there is no one else he would rather spend eternity with. Then Rex pulled out a ring box from his pocket revealing a ring I couldn't even see because I was crying as Rex asked me, "Taylor, will you marry me?" I exclaimed a heart-felt yes! Rex enveloped me in an enchanted moment as he slid the rose-gold engagement ring on my left hand. I felt his love so profoundly as fireworks filled the night sky! For one perfect moment it was just Rex and I against the world savoring the moment of our engagement. Then all of our dear, close friends came to join in the celebration! Obviously they were in charge of the spotlights, fireworks, photography, and video. I was shaking as I hugged all my girlfriends. Their faces exemplified my wonderful surprise. Rex was in a victory circle with all the guys smiling like fools in love. They took pictures of my ring and then of the two of us. We all hugged and I kept saying 'Oh my gosh' haha. I will be forever thankful to our amazing friends. I had no idea that today I would be getting engaged. Rex took me completely by surprise and that's what I want to always remember, that life is full of surprises and that I'll always have the man of my dreams to keep me on my feet. I love Rex with all my heart. He is my best. I love the man that he is and I will never cease to be amazed by his goodness. Our engagement is a night I will always remember and a night I will carry with me, always.

Now From Rex's Vantage Point:
The plan was perfect, nothing could go wrong. The week before I had gone to New Mexico and purchased the fireworks.  Now it was Friday night. I had done a good job buttering her up before hand and nonchalantly suggesting the idea to go to Red Knolls.  Everyone was in place and we were on our way.
My fingers were crossed that she was still clueless, and she was.  We walked up to the fire and just talked. Taylor was just enjoying the moment while I felt the eyes of anxious friends surrounding us in the cracks of the rocks.  I was getting real nervous as I made small talk trying to stall. What was taking Rylan so long?  Finally he set off the first firework and Taylor screamed.  Baylee then came around the corner as the spotlights hit us. I knew that was my cue to get down on the knee. But Taylor was just confused for a minute. Finally it hit her what was happening and she gave me her attention. I spoke from my heart and popped the question.  By this point she was crying and then everyone was setting off the rest of the fireworks just as planned.  It was awesome.  I wish that moment would have lasted forever! We took it all in! We were screaming with joy.  All the friends came around and we started celebrating.  I was so happy and Taylor was in shock.  I was relieved that it all worked as planned and Taylor was blown away that it actually happened.  My dreams came true tonight! I cant wait to spend eternity with the one I love.  She is perfect for me and she deserved nothing less than the best proposal I could muster up.  BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stop to Think

Today I had quite the experience talking with one of my professors. Mr. Morris was my favorite teacher last semester and he actually made me understand Astronomy. He is extremely passionate and I learned a lot from him. I went in to visit him inquiring about the letter of recommendation he is writing about me and the conversation came alive. We talked about like everything. He taught me about learning, feeling, and intuition. He was at the height of his career and would have been a millionaire in tens years at his first like awesome job, but he didn't feel passionate about his work. He downgraded to a University to start teaching again and he new it was a smart decision for him. Still he didn't feel self-fulfilled and ya know happy. He then downgraded even lower to a public college which just happens to be mine. EAC made him happy. He loves his job. He gave away so much worldly success such as money and traded it in for a happier life. His happiness scale has skyrocketed even though his financial situation has become much, much less. He stills has enough for everything he needs. We talked about the difference between needs and wants. A need is necessary and more important then a temporarily want that can be put off. Makes me wonder what I put off in order to fulfill a more immediate need. Life is about choices and knowing that we are a summation of all our experiences. Experience follows a choice. I learned that today. He spoke of adventure. And the many foreign countries he has been too. He has seen the world and been better for it. He talked of all the planes he went on and I told him my anxiety with planes. Bad idea. Now he wants to get his friend who flies a smaller plane to take me for a ride to make me embrace my fear. Alright if I get seriously anxious in a huge, modern plane can you imagine how terribly I would handle not just being in, but flying in a small plane that is probably thirty years old??? I'd break under that kind of stress. We laughed it off then he got serious. He looked me in the eye and said, "Taylor you are unique...there is something so different and unique about who you are that you don't even know yet. Someday you will, but for right now only other people can see it. Don't loss it. Don't get married too young. Take an adventure and discover that part of you before you take that kind of step." Okay. Let me tell you I was kind of shocked. I never told him I was dating anyone or that I was in need of advice, he just said it. And it made me stop to think. Although he made a good point about finding and discovering myself I don't think that he had any real authority to talk to me about my personal life. He proposed to his wife SIX days after he met her. Anyways I told him thanks for caring and all. But then he told me my adventure should be to travel to a foreign country or go a mission, but again he cautioned me to not get married too young. He said you need to discover yourself, that part of yourself, before stepping into marriage. It was so random, sincere, and out of the blue but, I cannot get what he said out of my head. I still want Rex. That won't change. Ever. How I see myself has changed. Not of my spiritual identity of being a daughter of God, but the type of person I am in aspiring to be like my Father in Heaven. When someone tells you that you are special most the time it just goes over our heads because our parents, primary leaders, and friends tell us that all the time. But when a person you hardly know says it, it makes you start to believe it. I have an idea of who I am, ya know, but he made me think. Like really think, Who is Taylor?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Birthday!!!

Birthday's are one of my favorites ever. I love when it's my birthday. Having a birthday makes me feel like I matter and that people care enough about me to celebrate my existence! It's great! Ever since I was a little girl I have always soaked up to the spotlight and loved to be the center of attention...just not for too long or I tend to get embarrassed. For my 19th birthday I spent it with Rex and his family. I was sooo excited to turn 19 because people would stop making fun of me for being so young and Rex for dating an 18 year old. That all change with the beautiful timing of that December day. I fell asleep the night before reading one of my favorite books and remember waking up refreshed. I was happy and felt content. I kept thinking to myself that it was my birthday and that it couldn't be because it didn't feel like it. What I meant by this was, yes, it was my birthday, but it just felt different when I wasn't with my own family. Usually I would be jumped on by all my brothers and spanked viciously. That is how I was used to waking up. It was really nice just waking up peacefully and having a little alone time to myself as I got ready for church. Rex eventually made his way to me and gave me a big birthday hug! He even surprised me with Eclipse tickets! He is so sweet. His family had planned to make this huge breakfast meal, but we all forgot it was Fast Sunday. Haha. That was totally okay with me. I actually still laugh about it at times. We had a nice time at church and had a big presentation on Family History work that was really insightful. Rex, his dad, and his little brother Kevin all wore Christmas ties to church that day without discussing it. They all thought they were pretty in-sync. It was great so we took a pic of them. We headed back to their home to make Alfredo sauce for my birthday dinner. I would try to help, but they wouldn't let me so when my dad called I picked up. He told me his wished me the best and was glad I was happy even though we were missing each other. This was my first birthday away from home and it was just a little different. Still amazing though! We loaded up the car with all the goods and drove to Rex's Aunt Debbie and Uncle Dave's home. I was blown away. All his family were so kind, sincere, and thoughtful! They all went out of their way to make this big meal for me. It was so nice and I will never forget their kindness towards me. It was a delicious Italiano meal and I enjoyed it a lot. They even had gifts for me! I wasn't expecting anything because I had already received a package in the mail from home with the book I wanted, andes mints, and a thoughtful card. That was all I needed! Haha. Rex was too amazing and I still remember the way he made me feel that day. He made me feel special, important, and beautiful! Rex got me this gorgeous turquoise bracelet that I absolutely love. Every time I wear my bracelet from Rex it makes me feel prettier. I got a cute scarf from my cousin Kelsey that I really liked too. I was so happy with how everything was going and I couldn't think of anything that could top my day so far. I was wrong. Here comes Rex walking in holding my lite up birthday cake singing Happy Birthday to me. All the family joined in, singing in this loud, off-tune opera sort of way that made me laugh! It suddenly hit me that I was supposed to make a birthday wish. I wished for the one thing I wanted more than anything. Rex placed my cake in front of me and it looked scarily similar to the one my mom makes me every year. I closed my eyes breathed in and with one big blow I blew out all my candles. As they cut the cake I discovered that it was the cake my mom always makes! I found out that Rex texted my brother to ask my mom for her recipe! I was so impressed! I had no idea that Rex went behind my back to surprise me! It was great! Rex is just sneaky I guess. We all played the card game Scum which is fitting because I love to play cards. We had to cut the party short and head back to EAC before it got too late. We loaded our baggage in his car and hugged his family goodbye. His mom Beth and his dad Scott were more than hospitable to me and I am still so thankful and appreciative of all they did for me that weekend. The drive back to college was strengthened and was really healthy for our relationship. We talked about a lot of really serious issues like EFY this summer, bank accounts, and our intentions. We also laughed and told each other stories. Rex drove me to the Snowflake temple because the fog was so thick we couldn't see it from the road. I asked Rex to sing me some Christmas songs. As Rex was singing to me I would just stare at him thinking about how lucky I am that I not only know him, but am somehow dating this wonderfully, amazing man. Rex started singing I love to see the temple as we passed the Gila Valley Temple. The second verse of the song talks about being sealed for time and all eternity. I knew as Rex sang to me that he was hoping that someday he would go inside one day with me at his side for just that reason. That is a nice thought. Reality set in as we parked across from my apartment. I thanked Rex for all the efforts he made on my behalf and how I loved all my surprises. Rex is just so thoughtful! Rex and I shared a kiss. Rex stared into my eyes for what felt like forever that was really a few seconds and with his hands on my face he told me that he loved me. Rex had actually said, "Taylor, I love you." They have never been more beautiful words said. Ever. I immediately told him that I loved him back! I was so happy! I was grinning from ear to ear. Rex told me that I couldn't stop smiling and honestly I couldn't. Rex had made my birthday wish come true without even knowing it. All I wanted for my birthday was to hear Rex say that he loved me. I have never been in love before so I didn't know what love is. I had been pondering, thinking, and deciding for myself what love was to me. By Rex proclaiming his feelings for me makes me think that he had been thinking about what love was regarding me. Exchanging the words I love you for the first time with Rex was sincere, a wish come true, and a moment I will cherish forever. Knowing that Rex really and truly loved me was the best birthday gift I could of ever received!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Holbrook Experience

Rex loves Holbrook. He has lived there since he was nine years old. After celebrating Thanksgiving with our own families we came together and drove to his hometown to stay with his family for the weekend. Rex's family is wonderful! They are so kind, generous, and welcoming. I felt at home my entire stay. The Self's have a beautiful home. It has this cracked colorful glass all along the front patio that reappears in the back yard. I love the backyard it is just really open and filled with huge trees complete with a swing! That is just the outside, inside it is warm and has hardwood floors. The comfy couches, pictures of family, and the food from the kitchen brought me a sense of comfort while I stayed there. I loved how I felt at Rex's home, it was peaceful, happy refuge. Rex would be so excited when he wanted to show and share parts of his life with me. We watched old home videos as Rex as a kid. He was so cute! I had a lot of fun doing that! We drove through town even though it was really foggy and he showed me the old pool he worked out, his mom's work, and these little tee-pee's ( I mean...big tee-pee's...haha Kevin!) We woke up early and fed the cows at his dad and uncle's ranch. That was fun to see Rex all helpful and happy. His uncle would be so funny in the car rides. Dave is a great guy. Rex's dad Scott made us some green smoothies for breakfast. After we ate we searched high and low for the Christmas tree, but couldn't find it. Rex wanted to go for a four-wheel drive! And there is a great rule in his family where only Return Missionaries can drive the nice new one! So Rex being an RM was more than excited to drive us. Rex is crazy! The turns and bumps of the mountains and hills in his backyard where like a roller coaster ride. I was just screaming and holding onto Rex for dear life. Haha. I will admit it was a blast even though I was legitimately scared a few times. We would follow the trail and entered into this boy land of awesome paintball fight location. We would climb onto the tower and just look at the beautiful orange, red earth around us. On the way back Rex let me drive! Ya-hoo! That was fun! Then we spent time getting ready then we went to the grocery store for some stuff for his mom. His parents went to a baptism while us kids ( Rex, Kevin, and I) went and prepared the horses. We were going to go horseback riding!!! I love to ride horses! That was such a neat and remembered experience. Just Rex, me, and his family with the outdoors was great! My horses name was Chief! I had a wonderful time talking with his family and we rode side by side. His family is so fun. We headed back to the barn and brushed the horses down. When we got back we all made this huge meal together. We made both chicken enchiladas and his Dad's tacos. Beth is so cute and she is such a delight to spend time with. She is always so considerate of what everyone wants. She has so many great qualities that I see in Rex. He gets a lot from his Mom. Well we ate and it was oh so good and yummy and delicious! Then we went over to his Aunt Debbie and Uncle Dave's house to watch a movie. His cousins are so adorable and they have such a fun home. Sadly the projector didn't work so we ended up reading next to each other til we were both tired and went to our separate beds. That night was the night before my birthday and I was so excited to spend that special day with Rex and his amazing family that had opened up to me completely. My birthday was perfect and such a gift of everyone being so thoughtful towards me. I felt like one very special girl thanks to Rex. I'll give you details later.What a fun weekend I spent with his family! I loved having a peek through the looking glass of how Rex grew up.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Preparing for Eternal Relationships

So Rex and I happened to be in the same institute class which just happened to be on preparing oneself for an eternal relationship. This class really was such a gift to Rex and I. I feel like it helped lead us on our journey and gave us confirmation that we were doing the right things. Our relationship is growing everyday and to have the constant reminder of the church's view as well as our teacher, Brother Norton's view was on what a college date life should be like was extremely helpful. I enjoyed learning with Rex by my side and hearing his great insight! Rex is so smart! He is just a thinker and he really ponders about life, the gospel, and really what everything means to him. He personalizes everything to where he is at in that point in his life. Luckily I happen to be in his life and growing closer to him through our experiences with this class has been a delight! Sometimes Rex would have to work and I would head over after class to teach him what I learned that day. Sometimes the lesson was really an "awkward topic" and it would be hard for me to teach Rex about it because I didn't know my standpoint on the topic well enough myself. Rex would laugh and think I was cute, but really it was hard for me. This class had a focus on communication and how it is vital to making any relationship work. Lucky for me I'm a COMM major and love talking about the different ways men and women communicate as well as the theories behind those actions. From watching talks to reading from the scriptures to watching Andy Griffith, there was never a dull moment in this class. Looking back I see how it helped me grow and how it opened my viewpoint on marriage. To me, just graduating from high school and moving to college knowing no one was a huge step for me! I was just worried about finding friends, not finding someone to date! Haha. I guess the Lord had a different plan for me then I had for myself because he brought me to Rex and well Rex changed things. Things changed when Rex and I kissed. Things changed when I began to think seriously about dating Rex. Things changed when we decided we were officially dating. Dating was fun and I loved being around this wonderful man. Through this class as our relationship became more serious it helped me get to the point where I am comfortable with whatever the future holds. This is much different then the girl who came here kind of totally against early marriage especially after seeing her good friend sealed that summer. My mind has been opened and it is such a gift to me that I was able to learn from this class to really understand what lies ahead. This class was about teaching preparation and I, for one, feel prepared.

Prophet Thomas S. Monson