To Utah we go.

Our journey to Utah started early Thursday morning. We hit the road from our house at 5:45 AM to make it to a 10:30 flight. We thought this would give us plenty of time, but we didn’t take into account that there would be a horrible wreck just five minutes from the airport which would shut down the entire freeway– our exit in sight, but out of reach. After about 50 minutes of waiting I realized we hadn’t said a prayer. I said a silent one, praying for those involved in the wreck as well as a plea to make our flight on time, but the spirit urged me to have my kids involved in the prayer, so I asked Maverick so say a prayer for us. His prayer was short, but sincere and sweet. He asked that we’d make our flight on time to see Grandma and Papa. Not two minutes after he prayed, the traffic started moving. Maverick looked up and said, “Thank you God!” Then turned to me and said, “You’re welcome for the prayer, mom.” I was a basket of tears as we finished the last short stint of the long journey. We got to our parking lot that we had made reservations at and their lot was full. BUT, because we had reservations, they accommodated us in the valet parking with no additional cost. This probably saved us fifteen minutes of trying to find a parking spot, waiting for a shuttle, and getting back to the main road. We unloaded, walked five feet to the shuttle that was waiting, and headed to the airport. Checking in took forever, so we were relieved, once again, when we walked to security and they shuffled us into the “needs assistance” line, which was way shorter than the others. We made it through security with only a minor hiccup of Andy needing to get his hands wiped and scanned and then ran to our gate. We had just enough time to take the kids pee (they hadn’t been for at least 4 hours). After we boarded, they closed the gate about five minutes later. I was so grateful I had listened to the prompting of bringing the stroller, despite Harvey usually feeling too “big” for it. But then on the way home our flight was delayed so many times, we didn’t make it to GA until about 1 AM and it made me grateful once again that we had it as he dozed peacefully while Andy and I herded the rest of the kids, grabbed the luggage and the car and drove the two hours back to Augusta. So aside from the crazy flight experience, the trip itself was wonderful. We picked this specific time to come because I had a niece that was getting baptized, another blessed, and a new nephew was due while we were there. I always miss out on these special events because I live so far away, so I was very grateful and felt an immense amount of the spirit as I attended these events. Ruby asked me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost. I got her a CTR bracelet and used it as symbolism for the way the Holy Ghost works. Below is my talk, skip it if you don’t want redundancy about our travels, because I definitely utilized my experience with the Holy Ghost from our flight to Utah:

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have give you some pretty amazing gifts and will continue to do so. The most important one being the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Some gifts from God you will be given no matter what your choices, but today you will be receiving a wonderful gift that is the other half of the covenant you make at baptism. We promise to try to remember Jesus Christ, carry His name, strive to keep his commandments and in return we are given the Holy Ghost to be a constant companion. I am so excited for you to receive this gift Ruby. Your grandma and I have these gifts to give you to remind you of some of the names of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost has many names because He has many purposes. He is a comforter, a protector, a warning voice, a teacher, a cleanser, but the most important thing he does is testify that Jesus is the Christ.
You can wear this bracelet with you wherever you go. It can be a reminder that the Holy Ghost is always with you.
Today you are beginning on a life long journey of learning how to listen and follow the Holy Ghost. Galatians 5 has a good guide to help you distinguish the Holy Ghost’s influence from that of the world or the adversary.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
This heart is a reminder that when you feel love, joy, peace, happiness, that this is the direction of the spirit.
It is important to know that the Lord talks to you differently than others. In 2 Nephi 31 the Nephi explains how the Lord talks to us. He says, “3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.” So he will try to talk to you in a way you understand. For me I have to study things out and think and pray on them for a while. But for Andy the hears a still small voice tell him what he needs to do.

Sometimes we have experiences where the Lord talks to us, but we don’t listen and then later find out that we should have heeded that voice. These experiences sometimes make me feel bad, but I think that they are very important, because one of the greatest things you will learn how to do now is listening and following the spirit and when I have experiences like that, it reminds me of how the spirit speaks to me. This week, as I was preparing to come to Utah I had a lot of thoughts come to mind. I thought to pack sandwiches for the plane, but we thought we’d have plenty of time to buy some lunch before we took off, another was to bring the stroller, and the other distinct thought I remember was as I was falling asleep the night before our flight that maybe we should leave earlier. Unfortunately the only thought I followed through on was the stroller. As we drove the two hour route to the airport we were nearing our exit when a really bad wreck happened in front of us and blocked the entire five lane freeway, including the exit. We sat on that road, not moving an inch for about 45 minutes before I remembered to pray. We were all anxious and our eyes were watching every move of the emergency vehicles and the thought came to me to pray. I prayed in my mind, but then another thought came to ask Maverick to pray. I asked him to pray and he prayed to make our flight on time so we could see Grandma and Papa. Not two minutes after his prayer the traffic started moving. The Lord offered us some tender mercies like complimentary valet parking, and because I had followed the spirit on bringing the stroller, we were put through a smaller, shorter line for “assistance” in security. We made it to our gate with enough time to pee, but not enough time to get food or refill our water. I had fortunately packed snacks, but we were pretty hungry when we got to Utah. But I was grateful for this experience. It reminded me of how the spirit speaks to me. When Maverick prayed I felt the comforting influence of the Holy Ghost and knew we would make it. When I received those thoughts the night before, I experienced the warning influence of the Holy Ghost.
We can have the spirit with us as we keep the commandments and daily repent. You will make mistakes, but taking the sacrament will be like getting baptized all over again, and that promise that the Holy Ghost will be your companion will be renewed.
The CTR here is like the Holy Ghost’s role as a guide, it is a reminder to choose the right. Grandma is giving you this blanket as a reminder of the comforting influence of the Holy Ghost like I felt when Maverick said that prayer on our way to the airport. The blanket is also white, a reminder that as we strive to keep the Holy Ghost in our life, it has a cleansing affect on our spirit, helping us to become more like our Savior each day as we learn of him and apply his Atonement to our lives.

Sunday, we got to attend Foster’s baby blessing. She is such a beautiful, easy going baby. I really enjoyed snuggling her.

Monday, the kids, Andy, and I drove down to Santaquin to visit Grandpa Verl. It was sad to see him laying in a bed like he was, knowing it is day in and day out. I hope that he can find some relief soon, but I sure do love that man.

Tuesday I did water aerobics with Mom and then in the afternoon we headed to Flaming Gorge where my parents’ cabin is.

We finished our trip with a day full of family. We went to the dinosaur Park in Ogden and celebrated Max’s birthday with pizza the night before we left. Then I got to enjoy Cub the morning before we left.

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