Monday, December 14, 2009


Happy Birthday, Abi!!!!

Here I am, a day or so late again. Today I want to celebrate Abi's birth. Abi was born 22 years ago, December 11, 1987 at 2:36pm at Cottonwood Hospital. She weighed in at 8lbs 12oz was 20 1/2" long and had brown hair, not a lot but some. Abi's actual due date was Christmas Day and since I had the pleasure of having all my children C-section, I was able to move her due date as far away from Christmas as possible. They would only take her 2 weeks early, so I always know that on her birthday, there are 2 more weeks until Santa arrives.
Grandma Hickok, Abi and mom

It didn't take long for us to realize what a special little girl this gal was. Abi has been a joy since the first day we had her. She slept through the night pretty much right from the start. She has been a peacemaker in our family and an example for all of us to look up to. It is so hard for me to believe that she has grown up so quickly. I am so proud of her.

Abi is currently serving a mission in Cleveland, Ohio. She is privileged enough to have the Kirtland Temple in her mission. She loves that she gets to go to and be in places where the Lord himself has been.

She is our adventurous child. An example of this....once when she was about 11 or so, we went to Virg's here in Tooele County for dinner one night. On the table was a bottle of Tabasco sauce, she asked her dad what it was. After explaining what it is he then offered her $5.00 if she would "eat" a spoonful of it. Mustering the courage she needed, she did so. Pretty soon her eyes started to water, her mouth started to burn and she was "dying". Successfully, after a few hours, she was able to enjoy her well earned $5.00. Abi has also shown this adventurous spirit by attending school in several different environments. She started at BYU-I, transferred to BYU-H, and then went to BYU- Jerusalem all before venturing off to Ohio for her mission.

She is a wonderful daughter! A valiant and obedient servant of the Lord. She loves life and finds happiness in all that she does. Her goal is to be "wheeled" in to the chapel for her "homecoming" through the funeral doors, because she has exhausted herself in the service of others.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The blessings of service and a very good man.

No pictures with this post, just thoughts....

Last Friday, December 5th, the High Council of the Grantsville Utah Stake had a dinner and caroling activity. Jeff was assigned to bring a main dish, and after much deliberation we decided to take a Korean dish of marinated meat called: Pulgogi. It is delicious and since we haven't made any for a long time I was really looking forward to the feast. However we had a small scheduling conflict that night and so I ran to Salt Lake for Stephanie Clayton's wedding reception and then went to the activity late. I had told Jeff to save me some meat since my taste buds had been salavating all day long. He thought there would be no need, we brought enough, or so he thought. Luckily for me Bro. Casey Killian, also a RM from Korea had the same idea as me. He brought pulgogi but even better than that is he brought some cucumber kimchi to go with it. Now that was heaven! So I was able to enjoy the Korean feast made that much better by the fact that there was kimchi and seaweed to eat too. I can't even tell you how yummy it was and how many memories flooded my memory bank from days spent in the mission field. It was all so good.

We then went caroling to some of the members of the stake who are either suffering from age, health, or loneliness. May I share with you two experiences from this night of joy?!?! We had gone to a home of an older widow who lost her husband earlier this year, but unknown to us she had moved. Well when 10 cars all pull up in front of your home, one might open the door to inquire what was going on. This poor unsuspecting new resident was thrilled to have us sing to her. From what I understand, she isn't a member of the church and has no interest in any part of it, but was accepting and even eager to share the Christmas Spirit with us and all of her family. She called all of them to come out on the porch and listen to us. It was a great time and hopefully a true opportunity to become "brothers and sisters in Christ".

My second story is approached with tenderness and meekness as there are feelings very close to the surface for those directly involved. We had the privileged and opportunity to go to the home of Robin and Annette Baird. As those of you close to the Grantsville community know, Robin is battling cancer and his fight seems to be getting harder to win.

I just wanted to honor this man. Ever since I have known him, he has been involved with girl's softball. Teaching many young girls the skills necessary to play the game well and to "compete" in life. Skills that coaches so generously teach by sacrificing their time. He was always so supportive of my daughters while they were playing softball even though he never actually coached either of them. But Robin did more than just influence girl's in softball, he was an entrepreneur, he was friendly, and showed his friendship to all. An example of this....He would wave to me as he would pass by while I was out walking and he was driving by early in the mornings on his way to work. Always with a friendly wave and smile.

I am privileged to call him friend, even though I am no more than an acquaintance from the community. As he fights this final fight, I hope his family may be comforted with an understanding of God's love for each of them. I have no words of comfort to offer, just an appreciation for a life well lived, for a heart that has been deeply touched. Thank you Robin, you have made an impact on my family and a community that will not soon forget what you have done. God bless you and your family.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Well, I'm a week late on this post. Ethan turned 20 last Monday, November 16th. It is really hard to believe that he is no longer a teenager and that he is growing/grown up. Ethan was my biggest baby, weighing in at 10lbs 4oz. He was born is Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii.

These are the only pictures of him he would let me take. I can't find his baby book since we moved 2 years ago. It's still packed up somewhere in the shop. I guess I ought to finally unpack things. Anyway....enjoy.

Ethan in a very tender, caring young man. He loves his mom and puts up with her antics and sillyness. Our favorite conversation is: me, "Love you", him, "Love you more", me, "Love you most", him, "love you mostest" etc, etc,. Yes, we know those aren't real words, but we love to try to out do the other person in expressing our love for each other. Thanks E, you know I love that about you.
He loves having his back rubbed or fingers run through his hair. (He is just like a cat when you touch his head. He will move it around and almost purr while his head is rubbed.) hehe!
Ethan has a great love for family. His best friends are his cousins and sisters. He admires his "older" cousins and enjoys hanging out with them, their wives and their kids. He is a very hard worker. Cannot sit still for 15 min. He loves construction and working with his hands, but his first love is horses. He still enjoys trying to let a horse buck him off during a rodeo. Ethan has high hopes of one day being in the NFR as a Bareback contestant, but for now, he is riding in every possible rodeo he can enter and living his dream to the fullest. Ethan is faithful in his attendance at church and in his priesthood duties. He's a teenager/young adult that doesn't really enjoy sitting through church, but knows that is where he is suppose to be, so that is where he is. Ethan is a joy and a blessing to our family. He is a good son!

Friday, November 20, 2009


When our neighbors moved in a few years back, their oldest daughter was about 1 and her and Abi hit it off. Abi gave her the title of Princess Kaiya. Well Kaiya is now almost 4, and with Disney's Princess on Ice in town, it just seemed logical for us to go. Emalee, Kaiya, her little sister, Mekenna, her mom Michelle and I all went for a "ladies" night out. It was soooooo much are some pictures of our adventure

As you can see from the distant pictures, we needed a better camera or closer seats, but since we bought the tickets just a few days prior to going, seats selection was limited. We had so much fun. Mekenna was jabbering away during most of the first half. By the second half she was winding down and ready for some sleep. Kaiya loved seeing all the princesses. She kept asking where was Cinderella. I don't think that she was disappointed at the end. We took 137 pictures!! Enjoy
Let's see, we saw Snow White, Mulan, Ariel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and Belle.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I'm a day late with this BIRTHDAY post. It is hard to believe that my 1st born turned 24 years old yesterday. I am in awe of the fine young man that he is.

Here is the story of him entering the world. I found out that I was pregnant in March of 1985. I was given a due date of Oct. 25th. As the months went by, I slowly developed a very large belly. The doctors were concerned about my size and the possible size of the baby, (This is back in the day when ultrasounds weren't as common as they are now)so they thought that they better find out how big this little guy was. Well, after they did the ultrasound they moved my due date up to September 26th, a whole month. I knew that there was no way that I was that off with the date of my last period, but figuring that the doctors knew better, we went with that. I began going to my doctors appointments on a weekly basis the first of September and by the time I had gone 8 weeks, every week to see the doctor, with no progress we knew something was up. I had to go to the hospital several times to have non-stress test done to make sure that the baby wasn't in any stress. Winston stopped moving around and after we passed our original due date of October 25th, we asked the Doctor when we should start to worry. Mind you, I have not dialated or thinned at all. No progress what so ever! The doctor says that usually at about 2 weeks past the due date they begin to get concerned about the placenta functioning effectively. We told the doctor that we were at 2 weeks, he said see you in the morning. We left the doctors office, went straight to the hospital for blood draws, knowing that I was going to have to deliver c-section. All went well.

I forgot to add that just before they pulled Winston out, he pooped, swallowed it and was in Intensive Care for a day and a half. Scary but like I said all was well.

Winston Grant McNeill
9lbs 14oz
(born sometime in the morning, can't remember the exact time.)
head circumference 47" (too big to fit through the birth canal.)

My beautiful baby has grown to be a handsome man. Winston works with his dad, understands the construction business, wants to go to school to be an accountant, loves to dance, sing, & play WOW. He is working to be able to put himself through school.

Friday, November 6, 2009


While I was at the Salt Lake Temple last night, Mardee said that she had been told about my blog and went to see what I had to update about Abi. Well when she told me this story, I thought that I had better put something up about my darling missionary.
Abi feels truly blessed to be able to have the Kirtland Temple in her area. It is truly sacred ground. A fantastic missionary tool to help investigators feel the Spirit as they are taught the truths of the restoration.

Abi is currently serving in the North Olmsted Area, Cleveland Zone. She has been out 10 months, has been in 3 areas and has had only 1 companion for 2 transfers. She was a trainer after just 6 months out. She is currently living with the Stake President, President Titera and his wife. A funny thing about this.....It's a small world!!!!! Sister Titera's sister and BIL live in the 11th ward of the Grantsville Utah Stake. Abi and Sister Romney are serving in the same ward that the Mission President and Stake President attend. PRESSURE.

This is Abi with her 1st Mission President and Sister Peterson. They are from Salt Lake. Abi changed Mission President's in July. She now serves under President and Sister Sorenson.

Some of Abi's most recent thoughts....

"Our teaching pool is REALLY small, in fact we have no progressing investigators. (This letter was written just after her transfer to a new area). This area has so much potential and I'm thrilled with the trust Heavenly Father has placed in me to help build it up. I decided at the beginning of my mission that I just wanted Heavenly Father to trust me with whatever He needed done. Every area I've served in I've come in with no investigators and a lot of tracting before me.....then as I've left I've usually left behind a couple of baptisms or baptismal dates or a large teaching pool. I do not boast of myself, but I glory in Jesus. I'm grateful for these blessings. I guess it just goes back to the rule of leaving things better than you found them. These people aren't mine, they are Heavenly Father's children. I do my best to trust in Him and that He will tell me what to do with them."

Abi has had her share of mishaps and accidents. She has been in 2 car wrecks, neither were the missionaries fault. She has fallen down and scraped her leg several times. She has had birds poop on her head and been caught outside in several down pours. She is loving her missionary experiences.

Hope you have enjoyed getting caught up on what our darling daughter is up to. She loves being called as a special witness of Jesus Christ, and testifying to the world, or the Cleveland community, that Jesus is the Christ and that happiness comes through Him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Change in callings

Just a quick note to let you all know what is happening in my life. After nearly 3 years, I was recently released as the 16-17 year old Sunday School teacher. I am going to miss this calling. I want my students to know how grateful I am for their testimonies of the Savior and for the examples they set for me and others. You guys and gals are awesome!!!! It has been a pleasure to learn more about the Gospel together with all of you.

So along with the release I received a new calling. I am now going to be a Relief Society teacher. Errrrrhhh, I have NEVER taught adults. I am scared to death but excited all at the same time. Wish me luck......

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I went to the doctor yesterday, I have been coughing so much lately that the kids watched the store for me and I visited the doc's office. Well, I knew it, I have..........

Yuck, stay away, beware, and WASH YOUR HANDS. Sorry if I infected anybody!

I am trying to be careful, staying away when it is possible. I need to get better soon, I want to go to the gym.

Monday, October 12, 2009


What are the results of a decision?

Jeff and I had the opportunity this past weekend to witness first hand the fruition of a righteous decision made many, many years earlier.

My older sister had 1 granddaughter baptized and 2 granddaughters blessed this weekend by their fathers, quite possibly because of a decision she made as a young girl in California.

You see, when I was very young we lived in Walnut Creek, CA. My parents were not active in the church but we had a faithful home teacher that came and visited monthly. As my sister reached Young Women's age, this faithful Home teacher invited her to church. Going so far as to assist her in getting to the meetinghouse. Well that faithful man, where ever he may be, probably will never know the results of his faithful service, but partially, because of him a little girl in Idaho became one of the newest members of the church this weekend, and 2 beautiful babies became recipients of a fathers blessing as they start their mortal lives.

(Lani, I hope I got the story right)

We all make decisions every day. Most of the time without even a thought of what the consequences may be. Generations far beyond our view will be the recipient of some of those choices. I am grateful for the promptings of the Spirit which help me to make the best decisions in my life.

Thanks family for the awesome weekend. I loved every single minute of it. Not to have to worry about the store, Thank you kids!!!! Visiting with wonderful family members that I don't get to see very often. Thanks Lani & Dave

This is for GIO!

This is how close we were to the Prophet and ALL the General Authorities!

I know that this post is late, but I have been trying to get pictures to post from my card onto my computer and have been having all kinds of problems, but since it seems to be working I will update my boring blog.

This blog entry is for Gio; Abi's awesome friend from Ohio who was planning on coming to Utah for conference, and then was unable to make it. So Gio.......Not to make you feel bad for missing it, but to share the experience with you here are some pictures.

I don't know why I looked so scared in this

Anyway, we were blessed to have very close seats so that we were literally sitting at the feet of the Prophets. A nice story, we had 2 extra seats, because Gio couldn't make it out. Not wanting them to go to waste, we gave them to a gentleman who asking for tickets as we were walking towards the conference center. After we had taken our seats, this man came over to us, asked us if we were the ones who had given him the tickets. When we told him yes, he then told us this story. His 14 yr old son had just received his patriarchal blessing, and in it it told him that he would sit at the feet of the Prophets to be instructed in the ways of the Lord. And there he was, a prophecy fulfilled.

One of my favorite talks given was by Bishop H. Burke Peterson. He spoke about the "ity" virtues. Virtues in today's society that might be missing, virtues like, RESPONSIBILITY, HUMILITY, MORALITY, CIVILITY, HONESTY, FIDELITY, GENEROSITY, SPIRITUALITY, CREDIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, CHARITY, INTEGRITY were just some of the ITY virtues that he spoke about. He said that Integrity is the mother of all virtues. That if Integrity is lost, all the rest of the virtues are impossible to keep. I am grateful for the reminder from living latter day Prophets, who are inspired to give a sermon on things designed to help make us better individuals.

Then to sit at the feet of a Prophet of God. To hear President Monson speak about Service. "What have I done for someone else today?" That if I look outside of myself and my life, and my troubles, there will be ways to serve somebody every single day!!! What an awesome thought. I can be of service, I might just make a difference in someone else's life.

Other various thoughts from conference......

"Do I find myself int he thick or thin of things? Am I focused on what really matters?"

"There are no monthly service fees with communication to Heaven."

"Using the safety equipment provided to us is a choice. One we must choose to enjoy."

"Resist all distractions that would remove us from the iron rod"

"We obey, not by force but by desire"

I am grateful to be a member of the Living church. To have a Living Prophet of God, who teaches and guides us to be better than we were yesterday, IF we choose to follow him. I know that these things are true, Gio. I know that true happiness in found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh Mommy.......How are MY prayers answered?

I labeled this post with the question that has plagued my life. All too often I want the thunderbolt and lightning to come down from Heaven to answer my prayers and give me the needed information to fix the crisis that is currently plaguing my life. But unfortunately for me I never get the LOUD, NOISY answers. Those answers usually come with the still small voice, that I still haven't learned how to listen to. Then I have to decipher what the Lord wants me to hear and act with faith upon what I THINK I am being told.

For example, I have a particular concern that consumes my thoughts right now. It keeps me from getting a good nights sleep, as I toss and turn and wake up several times a night pondering it. I have been praying fervently for an answer, or more specifically, guidance. This has been going on for a few months now, with no real answer, other than to "trust the Lord". As long as I put the Lord first in my life, ALL things will work out. So that is what I have been trying to do. Going on with life, TRUSTING that Heavenly Father will make His will known to me at the appropriate time.

So here is the dilemma, this morning out of a deep sleep at 4:45am I wake up with the clear memory of a dream that I had just had. The dream was specifically about what has me concerned, but this answer isn't the answer that I had hoped would come. So is this my personal revelation and an answer to my prayers? or is it my own conscience and fear causing me to dream of the exact thing I don't want to happen?

Since my mom passed away 13 1/2 years ago, I can't really ask her, but I long for her words of wisdom and love. I have always trusted my mom, and I miss her unconditional love and support. I miss feeling her loving arms around me, comforting me and making "everything" alright. With those thoughts in mind, I ask again........ Mommy, how are MY prayers answered? Why am I so confused?

Thanks for letting me vent and express my greatest concerns. I love all of you who participate with me in my blog. I treasure your example, your wisdom, your love, and your testimony in our Savior. Thank you for you examples!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The people who take care of me....

So much to catch up on.....

Surgery went really well. My leg has healed quickly, I have been released by the doctor after just 3 1/2 weeks. I have been cleared to head back to the gym for physical therapy and exercise. Slow, consistent progress is the key. I have to send a huge shout out to my awesome sister. She flew down from Idaho and took care of me during and after my surgery. I have to tell you she went above and beyond. I invited her down to help me and she totally cleaned my house while I laid around in bed catching up on......Good Day Utah, The View, and the food network. Thanks Lani, so much for your sacrifice and love! Your an awesome big sister and I love you!

Jeff recently celebrated his birthday. Since he was out of town for the actual day, we celebrated by going to Saltimbanco at the E Center. It was so much fun. I am so grateful for Jeff and all that he does to support and take care of our family. He works long hours, goes wherever the work is and has practically had to give up his passion, riding his horses, in order to take care of us. I love him and appreciate all that he has done to bless our lives. Thanks honey, you're the best!!!!

P.S. I have tried several times to add the pictures to make this post more interesting. They won't download to my blog, even though the computer is telling me that they have. I hate computers, only because I don't understand them!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mom's Surgery!!

Hi all! This is Emalee posting on my mom's blog to tell you all briefly that her surgery today went great!! They only had to do a partial knee replacement. She is going to be in the hospital for at least tonight and could come home tomorrow at the earliest!! We will keep you informed on how the recovery part goes!!! I am sure that she wouldn't mind a few visitors!! ;)

Monday, June 22, 2009


I am very grateful for my dad!!!! I wish I had more pictures of the rest of the dad's that I am thankful for. For my FIL, my stepdad, and of course the Father of my children, Jeff. Happy Father's day to all of you! You rock my world!

Also, my dad recently celebrated his 77th birthday. Happy Birthday Dad, you look awesome. I love you!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Babes do grow up......TOO FAST!

Emalee McNeill

This week she gets to experience many milestones in her life and I would like to take the opportunity to honor her!

18 years ago this beautiful young lady blessed our home and our lives. She grew up way too fast....Saturday was Emalee's 18th BIRTHDAY. Wow, 18 wonderful years of watching her mature in to the fine young lady that she is today. I remember watching her play girls softball, clogging, enjoying activities with many friends, participating in FFA, Goat tying in HS rodeo and many other things.

Sunday night she attended SEMINARY GRADUATION with her fellow ward and stake members. I am so proud that she took the time during High School to dedicate a class period to Seminary.

And Tuesday is the culmination of her adolescent life, she will attended her HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION from Grantsville High School and receive her diploma.
More pictures to follow!

Can I turn back the hands of time and enjoy the little girl that grew up before my very own eyes? Can I hold her little hand for just a while longer? It is hard to believe that right before my eyes she grew up! How did it happen so fast? Treasure your time with your children....because Babes grow up too fast, then it's gone and all you have are treasured memories of days gone by. When did I become my parents?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a Venting Day

As most of you may know, I joined the gym a few months back. I have been faithful to go, missing only the days when Jeff and I were in Alaska. That means for 4 months I have gone 5 days a week! That's a lot! You would think that some progress would be made, right? So here is why I am venting......Last Thursday, the 21st, my trainer took my BMI (Body Mass Index) to see how much improvement I have made. In order to do this he has to know my weight, so I step on the scale and I have put on 8 pounds! URGH! He then has me hold this machine out in front of me, and somehow it measures my BMI, and guess what....It says that I haven't changed there either.

So what am I to do?......I have a friend who posts HIS weight loss success and failures on HIS facebook page. I have thought about doing this, but just don't think I want to divulge that much information about my self. I am afraid that it might be too much whining and groaning about my weaknesses, and not enough positive stuff about my strengths, but I could be accountable to all of you?

I have participated in Weight Watcher's over the years. The hardest thing there was writing down everything I ate. It still is the hardest part of trying to figure out why I can't seem to get in to shape. I realize that I have 2 things going against bad knee and menopause. Oooops, too much information. I really just want to be successful!

Anyway, here's wishing you a happy, healthy, active and enjoyable summer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Behold His Handiwork....

I was driving to the gym this morning and was blessed to be able to witness one of God's beautiful creations. Isn't this beautiful! I am grateful to have been out early enough to see this. I hope that you enjoy it too.

I'm not so lonely anymore. I have company coming this week and I am so excited. Go here, to see who it is coming to visit. I am way excited!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Have you ever been lonely?

I have, this week...

Jeff and Winston are working in....

Ethan is on the rodeo circuit in these states.....

And of course, Abi is in.........

Sorry about the "whinning". I just hate that my whole family is everywhere but here, at home, where they belong. (Except for Abi. She is where she belongs) How well do you think I am going to handle the empty nest? Who told these children to grow up so quickly?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Strength of a Family

In this picture:
Back row; Dewey, Jeremy, Ethan, Stephen, Andrew, Front row; Grant, Richie, Bryce

Jeff and I have lived in close proximity to his family most, if not all of our married life. There could be some negative things associated with such closeness, but when the trials of life come upon us, it is with great certainty that I am grateful for that closeness!

I grew up in a medium size family, 3 siblings, but I had a pretty large extended family. Now the sad thing is, my Aunt and Uncle lived in the very same stake as I do,(before the stake was divided, they now live in the new Stansbury South Stake) and I didn't even know it. I know that if I walked passed most of my cousins I would not even be able to recognize them. I have missed out on a lot of fun memories with extended family since both my Grandparents and my mother have passed on, and thus widening the communication gap in the generations.

So what does that have to do with living close to Jeff's family......

growing up in such close proximity my childrens best friends, in many cases, are there cousins. They know them. They know about their lives and who they are and what they like and dislike. I love this about Jeff's family. We are close and those bands of closeness were tightened this week while we all experienced the loss of the patriarch of the family.

It is hard to loose a parent. They are the one constant in our lives. They have known us since the beginning. They are our first memories, and strongest memories. They have been there through it all, all of our ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pleasures and pain. So when they are gone, it can be hard to say farewell.

Grandpa always said that he wanted to be buried in a pine box out back by the barn. They got him as close to that as they could. He was buried in a pine casket with a barn embroidered in the fabric. Rest in peace, Grandpa!Aunt Tracey made this floral arrangement to honor Grandpa. It has some of his old tools that she got from his workshop and the sign says..."the priveledge to work is a gift, power to work is a blessing, love to work is success." An appropriate sign and saying for Grandpa.

Let me just say that I am grateful to be a part of this family! Thank you for accepting me and loving me. For making me feel like a daughter and not an appendage to the family. I love you all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Passing of a Great Man

Monday, April 20th Grandpa McNeill was called home and peacefully crossed through the veil to the next life. He passed away surrounded by his loving wife and children, who had been with him continually during these last days of his life.

We have had plenty of time to prepare for his departing, recounting with one another the wonderful times shared with him. We spent many hours recounting the life that he led and the man that he was. Just a few are: He taught by example. He loved each of his children completely and without question. He was devoted to his wife of 50+ years. He loved the Savior. He did good continually, whether at home or at work. He was a hard worker and taught his posterity to do the same. He never cheated anybody out of what was rightfully theirs, he was a man of Integrity.

We love you Grandpa! Each of us, your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will have memories to buoy us up when life gets difficult. It has truly been, a life well lived!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sister McNeill update!

From the mouth of Abi.........

While President Monson was speaking on Sunday morning telling all of the stories of his ancestors coming before and such Gio started crying...I turned to her and said
"yeah, one day you'll be my story from a pulpit....and better yet, can you hear YOUR'll be there story too!" She loved conference. Of course I have a lot
of favorite parts of conference, but the best part was sitting next to Gio, watching
her take notes, seeing the tears slide down her face, and just feeling of her
spirit. I loved loved loved that! It was that moment that I will cherish forever
about this conference. And, it's that moment that makes all of missionary work
"worth it."

We had a great district meeting this week. Elder Bergeson, our DL,promised us that if we went throughout the week teaching the true doctrine of the Godhead that we would see success. We found that to be very true. I love the power of the priesthood. I love being a missionary and carrying the name of Jesus Christ and I love that I have the power to promise people blessings in His name. It's awesome. I'm excited for district meeting this week, because as Gio told you, I get to share one of the most sacred, and awesome, and wonderful experiences of my life. Being the easter season Elder Bergesen has asked me that I share my Jerusalem pics with them and how we can help our investigators enjoy the full benefits of the Atonement. I'm thrilled.

I LOVED Elder Hollands talk in conference where he said that "It trumpets from the
hill of Calvary that we NEVER have to do it alone." I heard that trumpet! I'm so
grateful for it!
I let an old man in the ward cut my hair...but I'm not sending pics until mom and
Emalee send me some of there hair!! Why did I do it? Well, I really want to grow my
hair out and have it be long and beautiful again, but the perm was growing out, and
the color was growing looked and felt nasty and the last girl here that I
had cut it for me did the worlds worst chop job. I hated it. Every morning I was SO
sad. So, we went to dinner at the Merrymans. Larry is this really old cool guy, he
was sewing up the pocket on my coat and I thought to myself "I bet 50 dollars he can
cut hair." So I asked him, showed him what that girl had done and what I wanted and
sure enough I had a hair cut! I like it. It's not anything's simple but now I can let it grow out long and pretty again! Yeah!
We need your prayers in finding more people to teach...but not just people to teach,
people that are prepared to progress. We are having real struggles getting people to
progress, especially come to church. I'm praying the Lord will let me stay here one more transfer. They are on the 15th...Gio's baptism is the 18th. However, I have been saying not my will but His be done...I will do what the Lord asks without complaining. It doesn't mean that it won't be hard, and I won't cry, but I will do it.

Thanks for all you do for me and the love and prayers you are sending my way. I feel them all the time. I love being a missionary. I'm so glad I made this decision to serve the Lord.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

North to Alaska

This week Jeff and I went to Anchorage, Alaska to look at a job that Jeff is going to do for Jacobsen Construction this summer. He has been contracted to add an addition to the LDS Church in Seward and to retrofit it to be earthquake proof. (If such a thing is possible!?!)Here is a picture of the cute little meeting house he will be working on. I thought that I would share both my thoughts and pictures of the trip.
Let's start with the negative, not to offend anybody from Alaska, but I found that in alot of places, it was just dirty. Maybe it's not like that all the time, but with Mt. Redoubt just blowing her top, there was ashe and rock everywhere. It is also "break up" season. What that means is that all the ice and snow are melting, breaking up or away from the glaciers and flowing through the inlet. The chunks of ice are brown and dirty. The roads are constantly wet and hence the cars are just dirty. No body washes their vehicles until after "break up", see example.... Now I don't mean to be picking on Alaska, because this is the biggest thing I hate with Utah winters too. I hate when the snow gets piled up on the side of the roads and it gets all dirty and yucky! It just isn't very attractive.

So now that I have told you what I didn't like about Alaska, let me fill you in on what a beautiful state Alaska is. I was awe struck by her beauty. I could easily find myself loving life there, and I HATE snow. It wasn't too cold while we were there; about 42-48 in the day. But I hear winters are brutal, so maybe not live, just visit. Anyway, we had to drive 2.5 hrs from Anchorage to Seward to the job site and the drive was so peaceful and beautiful. The ice/snow covered mountains. And talk about mountains. Straight up from sea level. They were beautiful! In Utah when you go to the mountains, you get up in them. They are all around you and you are "in" them. In Alaska, the mountains continue on and on and on forever. You can never get over them, around them, above them, it was just beautiful. Then you have to add to their beauty the beauty of the water. Cold, blue, calm and melodic. I loved to watch the sea otters play and swim so gracefully. Didn't see much of any other wildlife. We did see one moose walking down a street in downtown Anchorage, but I couldn't get my camera out fast enough. See her beauty...

And finally, our favorite part of our trip. There are saints there, those who believe just as we do. There was a Temple of God there. (We didn't get to go in, go figure, the few days we are there; it is closed for cleaning.) My thoughts often went to the pre-existence when in the grand council of Heaven we all said yes. As the world was created with us in mind. With places to go and live with such diversity and beauty. I am so grateful to a loving Father who gave us so much because he loves us so. And then for our Elder Brother who also gave so much. We live in a wonderful place. Earth, wouldn't it be wonderful if we all lived in peace and harmony as children of a kind and loving Father in Heaven. It was an amazing and quick and fun trip. Thanks, honey!