Friday, July 26, 2013

And the last Taylor Missionary is called to..........................

Last night in front of 600 boy scouts and staff members at Camp Bartlett in Montpelier, Idaho, Bethany opened her mission call.  Jerry, Emily and I had driven to the camp where she is working for a month as Director of the Rifle Range.  The call had come on Wednesday, and it lay on our dining room table even as Emily and I considered steaming it open!  In the end, integrity won out and we delivered it to her intact. As we pulled into the camp , Bethany was in the main parking lot, and she ran for us (or  perhaps the envelope) and took off running.  I will always have this wonderful memory of watching her run through the grass towards the crowd waving her call above her head where all all 600 boy scouts plus the staff members of Camp Bartlett waited for her.  She ran out to the center, and someone handed her the megaphone.  Someone motioned for Jerry and me to join her, and with trembling hands she opened the call.  Where was she to serve?  I had guessed California because it was stateside (since all her brothers and sister  had stayed in the states, I had no real feeling that Bethany would go elsewhere) it was warm and she loves California.  I was right!  She will serve in the California, San Fernando Valley Mission, leaving the ninth of October.  She will teach in the English language and perhaps pick up a  little bit of "valley girl" as some have pointed out!!
  I miss her already!  I wish she were not staying at Bartlett for three more weeks, but she needs the money and they need her help.  I am grateful to Camp Bartlett and for the leadership skills they have taught my kids.  Every one of my seven children have served there in various positions and have learned life's lessons every summer.
   Emily and I tried to figure out how to get the new California state outline on the blog, but we have not been successful.  Rachel was the artistic one who designed this blog for me before leaving and without her we are a little lost.  We may have to ask her in our weekly e-mail so we can put California in as our new missionary state.
   It's hard to believe that the boys have been out almost five months and Rachel is coming up on three months!  I know the time will pass quickly because it already has, and it won't be long until all four kids come home.  But honestly, how did we go from this:

       to this!

For all you moms who think that childhood lasts forever, and that the days of crying babies will never end......all of a sudden they are all grown up, and childhood is but a fading memory.  I have a hard time remembering who did and said what!
    I have been told by many that the year with an empty nest may be a pleasant thing!  We shall see!
I am still trying to fathom that somehow I have four kids who all decided to serve a mission at the same time.  I did not see that coming, but I am so grateful for their righteous decision to serve the Lord.
I am almost ashamed to post anything about myself because I don't feel as if I am making a lot of headway in projects or personal growth.  But this is also a blog about the "fearful mom" and that would be me.  Somehow I can see this turning out to be the kids' journeys into service and spirituality and me staying stagnant.  I had a lot of projects listed for the summer, but so far I have gone to movies and lunches with friends.  I don't have a lot of money for the projects I want to do, but I have a little money for the movies and you can go to the cheap theaters for only three dollars!  Dorma and I have found you can eat fifty cent tacos and get a free senior drink at Del Taco, so hey, we are all into that! I could, however, organize and clean but you have to be in the mood, and I am still waiting for the right kind of mood, hah!
    Congratulations, Bethany!  I could not be prouder of you, and I wish you were here to celebrate.  Maybe we could get a cheap taco and see the three dollar movie!!

                                  Sister Bethany Taylor - California, San Fernando Valley Mission

                                          Sister  Rachel Taylor - Detroit, Michigan Mission

                                          Elder Mark Taylor - Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission
                                         Elder Matthew Taylor - Ohio, Cleveland Mission

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Driving Miss Rachel

Rachel and her former Mission President and wife. 

I have not posted for awhile, and I do apologize!  I am ashamed to admit that I could not even get into my own blog because I forgot the password!!  I never write anything down, and I have different passwords for everything.  I think I can rely on my aging memory to file it all away, and alas, it has failed me miserably as of late.

   So....updates on those missionaries!   MARK--says that the Oklahoma Mission is the best mission in all of the world and he doesn't know why his mother said that a mission would be hard.....  He is helping translate in the ward primary for one of his nine year old investigators.  Does this mean he is learning to speak and understand Spanish?   He has finished the clean up from the tornadoes and is back to proselyting.  MATTHEW--says that the work is progressing, that he is getting very buff by biking hours every day.  He does not sound as enthusiastic about his mission, but this is Matthew.  We did hear all about his bike accident with a parked car.  Aside from some bruises and scratches , he is okay.   As babies, Mark would smile, and Matthew would frown.  I can tell who is who in all of their baby pictures by Matthew's furrowed brow, and Mark's delighted smile.  RACHEL-- Ahh, now here is a girl who is including all the details.  We get all her feelings, emotions and the desires of her heart--written as if she were here in person.  But, then she is a girl:D  She is now in Dearborn where they have opened up a new district.  She and her companion are traversing the streets and meeting new people every day even though they are both inexperienced missionaries.  She said they are both ditzy, but get along great.  Rachel is meeting all kinds of different people and loving the work.  Now for the part where we all gasped out loud!!  She is the designated driver!!

   For those of you who know Rachel, she did not get a driver's license until the age of 18.  She was afraid, and so were we as we witnessed her capabilities on the streets of Ogden.  We despaired that she would ever be able to drive, and finally paid a lot of money to A-1 driving school to take her driving.  We were too terrified to drive with her, and A-1 at least gets paid for being frightened.  At last she received her license after failing the test not once but twice, and she even bought a car last year.  Still, we cautioned her not to go on any "big roads" like highways?  In Dearborn she has to cross four lanes of highways and make Michigan lefts.  Apparently, these are left turns where you go through the intersection, make a u-turn and go back to the original intersection and make a right turn.  This is too complicated for Rachel, but she says she has been praying about it, and wants us to do the same. I do not know why Sister Orr does not drive, we can only surmise that she is even worse than Rachel.

    Last year, Rachel had a incident where she was pulled over by the Police.  She had been out late to her friend Kylie's apartment to make brownies and watch a movie.  It was raining hard when she left to come home, and she made a right turn instead of left and made for Layton.  She called in a panic, and we directed her to turn around.  We offered to come and get her, but she insisted she was all grown up and could surely make it home.  Somehow she got on the freeway, got off in Riverdale and crept past the Pep Boys going super slow and weaving just a bit.  Being emotional and being Rachel, she appeared to be under the "influence" when she was suddenly pulled over by the police.  She insisted that she had never drank or taken drugs, but took the breathalyzer test and tried to walk a straight line. (She has never been able to walk a straight line)  The officers then looked into the trunk of her car and back seat, finding the brownies she had made with Kylie.  "What are the ingredients in these brownies?" they asked her.....  She answered truthfully, "uh, cocoa, sugar, flour , eggs"....  Jerry and I were called, and they released Rachel into our custody.  We had to drive her car back as they would not permit her to drive.  The one officer said to Jerry "the test does not show she has been drinking, but we still suspect she is under the influence of something"!  Poor Rachel, and although she cried at the time, we have since laughed about the experience.  Rachel has shared this with all her friends, and it has become a funny "Taylor" story, so I am sharing it here.  Perhaps driving on her mission, buoyed up by the desire to do well will be another one of the many blessings Rachel will receive.  We are so proud of our missionaries and their righteous desires.  Bethany will hopefully receive her call this Wednesday, and we could not be more excited!!


Matthew and his companions just hanging.  
Mark and a new friend!

Mark contemplating his blessings while cleaning up in Moore. 

                                                  Sister Taylor and Sister Orr
                                              Preach my Gospel

                                                      Our Rachel