Hey everyone! Hope you all had a awesome week full of adventures and growth.
What has really been on my mind lately is my personal future, as well as the future of others, and goals in which I want to achieve. For those of you who know me pretty well or more importantly who knew my mom would know that I'm always looking ahead and planning. I have been writing things down in which pertain to my future on my personal goals and what I truly want in life; as well as ideas of things I want to be as a father and things I want to do in the home with my future family. As I have looked ahead I have learned a significant lesson... I have been more focused on the NOW to help me be the man in which I want to become then. It has helped me focus less on myself and to grow up more thinking about what is to come in the next chapter in my life.
In order to achieve the vision I have for my future life I need to set goals now, and then plan to achieve those goals and eventually reach my vision. This is what our mission president has taught us. A huge part of that is having accountability. I'm accountable to 2 people: myself and the Lord. Now, I try to have someone whom I love and can trust help me as well... to lead and guide me and to help remind me of my goals, but ultimately it is just me and the Lord. I need to be honest with myself, but more importantly the Lord. In prayer I invite you to tell the Lord the vision you have; lay out the goals you have and then the action plans you will do to achieve it. I PROMISE that the Lord does care about your spiritual, as well as temporal, goals; He wants you to succeed in all things. When you do that and ask the Lord for help through His atonement, you can then make a contract with Him; He now holds you accountable and a nightly prayer going over how you did that day with the Lord will help you not only feel Him more in your life but will give you inspiration on what and how to improve and then you will achieve what you have set out on.
My mission president said the key to success is "follow up" and "accountability." Always remind yourself of who you want to become, and who our Father in Heaven wants you to become. Stretch yourself, do something you never thought you would be capable, try and mess up then try again and always keep learning. Eternal progression will be in the celestial kingdom, right? So why not practice now and learn as much as we can about diligence in setting goals and achieving them so that we progress... it is a God-like attribute in which I believe we MUST learn here in mortality.
In closing, I know you are all thinking, "Well, it is easy Elder Taylor for you to say and type up, but its a lot harder when you actually do it." I GET IT. Here's something to think about when tempted day-by-day to turn away and give up on your goals and vision or to do things that distract you.... how will this affect my Plans, Goals and Visions in which I have set with the Lord? How will this affect my (future) or current family? Am I living worthy for the blessings spoken of in my Patriarchal blessing? Will I loose the companionship of the Holy Ghost? As I have pondered on those questions, depending on each and every situation that comes up in which I have a choice, to get closer or further from who I am to be. It always brings me back to the big picture that this life is so short; I need to soak up every bit of it I can before its over; I need to focus on really what matters most. I testify that when those days are hard and you want to just throw the towel in, don't; think for a second, ask some of those questions and see if its the right decision for you. Don't forget to pray too for extra strength. I have to always do that; I'm always failing but I always get back up again.
Tonight I commit all who read this to ponder and pray on your personal or maybe family vision, then figure out the goals you want to set and then write them down and make plans step-by-step on how you can achieve it. Don't forget to be accountable and to remind yourself daily of it; keep focused.
My love goes out to you all, I feel more love and charity for the people I serve daily... it keeps growing.
Here are some pictures of my companion and I doing service with the YSA yesterday