Thanks for all the LOVE AND PRESENTS AND THINGS! I love guys and miss you a ton, I wish I could spend this day with you for sure. I appreciate all the gifts you picked out and I love every single one of them! You did great with the watch mom, it's perfect :) I'm impressed, that's two birthday watches in a row that you've hit right on the head, you've got good taste! I don't feel so lonely when I've got your gifts and cards all around me, I feel right at home. Special thanks to Hannah for the imaginary birthday scenario also, that REALLY made me feel right at home haha :)
Want you all you know that you're my favorite team. We're all in this together, and I wouldn't want to be in it with anyone else! Family is ordained of God, and this one's been given some serious blessings. Can't wait to see you again!
I also want you to know my testimony of who I am, to commemorate my entry into this mortal world and my second estate. I know that I am of the race of God Himself. I know that He is my Father! That makes me His son. I knew Him and loved Him and wanted to be like Him before I came here. I was willing to make hard decisions and sacrifices and do whatever was required for me to love Him, serve Him, and be like Him. I adored Him. I admired Him. I rejoiced at the presentation of His Plan, and fought for it when others sought to destroy it. I trusted my Elder Brother Jesus Christ with every depth of my soul. I knew He could save me when I got lost. I knew I would get lost. I knew He could do it. I hoped He could do it. I wanted to be like Him too, the noblest and greatest of all of Father's children. I wanted to be as loving as He was. As strong as He was. And so I came here :) I set out on the most difficult journey any of us would ever make: the journey through mortality. I came to the world on May 2nd, almost two thousand years after my Brother and King, Jesus Christ. I was watching Him intently from the other side while he was performing our Father's work. I was cheering for Him when he was tempted, I was praying for Him when He was weak, I was weeping with Him as He suffered... for me. I rejoiced when it was over. I gloried in the triumph over death! I was eager to follow in His path, to try and be like Him, to help Him in His great work. I anticipated May 2nd, 1994, for a very long time. But it finally came! I came through a mighty line of priesthood holders and saints. I came with a foundation centered on The Christ I had always known and loved and fought for. I came blessed with gifts and abilities and strengths for the purpose of continuing the good fight, for waging for the souls of men. I came with many, many weaknesses. Weaknesses given to me to humble me, to cause me to remember Him, to cause me to continue to trust in Him, just as I had in the beginning. I am God's son! I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I will place my trust in Him forever. His grace is sufficient for me.
Twenty two years in the world and I'm still trying to do the things He asks. His mercy allows me to try every day, over and over, and grow line upon line, precept upon precept. Here's to many more years to come! Much more service to render. Many more battles to fight. I couldn't ask for a better team than the Hakes.
All my love :)
Elder Taylor Hakes