Tag Archives: Utah

Molly’s Missionary Message #5

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I made it!

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 I can’t believe I have been on my mission for a month…It has been truly extraordinary!

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This week has been filled with great joy, learning, and laughter. This week I had my first baptism. It was a young man who was a miracle referral. It was a beautiful event that left me teary eyed.

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There was great love and support for him which was such a blessing.

We also had our first service opportunity (other than volunteering at the Bishop’s Storehouse.)

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We got to weed the bishop’s yard with his family. It was such a treat because with the pandemic, missionaries are in quarantine and have few opportunities to get out of the house. It is the greatest feeling to serve and bless the lives around you! After we were done weeding, the Bishop ordered pizza for us to pick up and take home.

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This act of kindness overwhelmed me with gratitude. Honestly, the smallest acts of kindness can mean the world to another!

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Sister Briones got a new companion this week, which was bittersweet.

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Luckily, we still get to see her a lot since Sister Seal and I have a car and drive Sister Briones and her companion where they need to go. We honestly get to see each other quite a bit. Her new companion is Sister Ayers. Sister Ayers served in Japan for 8 months before the virus got really bad and she was reassigned to the States.

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(Mosiah 2:17) “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

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It has been so humbling to see this scripture come to life. As I have served those around me, I have been blessed with great love towards them. I am filled with the Holy Ghost, which gives me joy! It has been such a blessing to have the opportunity to serve so many people even with, and despite, the virus. Moments of serving others and being served is a continual reminder that God is good, always good. He is aware of us and is always watching out for us! We are His children. He is our father.

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And He loves us more than we can even comprehend!

Sending big hugs your way,

Sister McCleery

 

Molly’s Missionary Message #4

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Hello!

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This week honestly has been quite bittersweet.

There have been some great “ups” like:

Sewing up the hole in my pants all by myself! (proud moment… haha),

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Magic syrup…a seasoning we love to cook with daily. (No one knows what is in it, but it tastes like happiness!)

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Visiting the temple grounds often during the week. (This is probably the greatest blessing!) Back at home the closest temple is a few hours away, so the blessing of having three temples in our mission area is the greatest joy!

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Enjoying the beauty of Utah. The other day there was a stunning sunset. My two companions and I went outside and bonded over a photography shoot.

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We have also enjoyed going on hikes. The mountains are breathtaking! They are one of the things that I adore about Utah, besides the great people and this mission.

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There were also some low moments: My trio companion Sister Briones is getting a new companion in the next few days. It is sad that she will be moving out. I adore her. At least we will get to keep giving her rides when we need to say hello!

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Another hard moment came this week when I received the sad news about my great grandmother’s passing… She was that amazing, firecracker, life-of-the-party person that I adore and will greatly miss!

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This week had its ups and downs, but in the end the good will always outweigh the bad. God is good and I know that He knows us personally and individually!

Alma 18:32 says,”Yea, and He looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart for by His hand were they all created from the beginning.”

I know God loves us. We are His children. He is aware of our ups and downs and is always with us… always! I love you all and so does our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ!

Here is a poem that I wrote and felt prompted to share:

“Miracles are God’s manifestation of His love in viewable form,
If we aren’t still and quiet, they can blend into the daily norm.
God places people in our path of life for a purpose and a reason,
Be humble and learn all you can, for that due personal season.

During this time on my mission, I have seen so many miracles each day,
I am so grateful and humbled… what more is there to truly say?
Everyday a challenge of some sort may push or stretch you,
But remember God loves you personally, and He sees the big picture too!

Today brought forth a miracle that fills me with the Spirit,
Our message is about Jesus Christ and we invite all to come and hear it.
We speak out of love for Jesus Christ and a true, deep passion,
Everyday we seek to walk in the shoes of Christ, which to the world is so out of fashion.

My invitation to you is to put action to your faith in some way or form this week,
For as we search and ask with a sincere desire, God will provide what we honestly seek.
Modern day revelation is true for this time and day,
I have received loving answers from the humble prayers I say.”

Sending big hugs your way!

– Sister McCleery

 

Molly’s Missionary Message #3

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Hello friends and family!

I’ve always loved the declaration: “God is good, always good!” It is a truth I hold dear to my heart and one that I often recite. I find comfort in this reminder and bear testimony of the truthfulness of this statement. This week consisted of some amazing miracles and moments that added to my testimony of God’s goodness.

Here are some of the highlights from my week:

– We got a miracle referral for a little boy who desires to be baptized. He is the sweetest thing and I am humbled by all he teaches me during every lesson we have with him.

– We had another miracle call from a young man who has desired to be baptized for a while!

– Seeing the temple and the mountains off into the distance every day is amazing! I am in awe and feel so humbled to see God’s love illustrated through the beauty of the world around us.

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– Every lesson we teach (which is often at least once a day) is humbling to me.  I love teaching about Jesus Christ, and I love feeling God’s hand in the work!

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– I am grateful for every day…every day that God teaches me something new. Every day that I am stretched in a new way. Every day I get to be a missionary. A mission is hard but the greatest feeling! I rejoice in the great goodness of God!!

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Update on me and the mission:

Today is P-day, which is preparation day, and this is how I have spent it…

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My two companions and I went Target shopping. I spent the entire time trying to convince myself not to buy what I don’t need, and I was actually successful, surprisingly… I love shopping!

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We ate tasty food out as a treat,

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We volunteered at the bishop’s store house,

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Called and talked to family,

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Love from home!

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And did some self-care.

P-day is a good recovery day after a busy week, because it is focused on caring for yourself.

Everyone needs to have a personal lift-me-up day to go strong the rest of the week.

I also did my laundry today. I was so excited to have clean clothes (which my landlord even folded for me.) It is truly the simple joys in life that bring the greatest happiness!

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God is Good, always good!

Love you lots!

-Sister McCleery

 

Molly’s Missionary Message #2

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I have been here almost a week and I can’t believe how much I have learned and gained in these past few days.  

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More than anything I am so humbled. Daily, I feel my faith grow and deepen.  This has come from personal scripture study, spiritual teaching experiences, and experiencing a more sincere relationship with God grow as I turn to Him throughout the day. 

If anyone was curious what my days are like as I serve in the Salt Lake City South mission during quarantine, here you go: 

At 6:30 I wake up! 

6:30-9:00 am is spent exercising, eating breakfast and planning out our day.  

9:00-10:00 am is when I have my own personal scripture study. This is my favorite time of day.  There is something so special about taking personal time to talk to and get to know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. Every morning we receive a list of spiritual reading tasks to focus on which provides wonderful opportunities for learning!  

Throughout the day there are blocks of time that are set aside for specific tasks.  12:00 pm is lunch, 5:00-6:00 is dinner time, and 7:30- 9:00 is companion study. Companion study with my two awesome companions provides a fun opportunity to do role play practice, share what we learned, and review rules and goals.  

My day ends with bed at 10:30 pm. 

The open blocks of time between those regularly occurring activities are filled with teaching opportunities, reaching out to others via technology, and meeting with other missionaries. It is a full schedule but I enjoy it!  

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One thing that I have learned this week is the realization that I need to rely upon Jesus Christ every moment of my day. I think I used to be more passive about this heavenly hotline, but on a mission, it is a life line!  

As I study His words, I see His words come to life. I feel His deep love and grace flow into every moment of my day. 

I need Him every day.  

He is my Savior and Redeemer.  

He is my life jacket and friend. 

 He is my brother and healer. 

 He is the master potter that lovingly molds me to become my best self.  

He is the living waters that keep me strong to endure spiritual trials.  

Christ is my joy and my peace.  

I bear testimony that He lives!  

He loves us and is always reaching out to us saying, “Come follow me.”  

I rejoice in the great blessing of having Christ in my life because I wouldn’t be who I am without Him.  

Deepest of love, 

Sister McCleery 

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Molly’s Missionary Message #1

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Hello friends and family!

I have been out in Draper, Utah officially for four days, but I feel like I have been out here for weeks!
Tuesday was a big day, starting with good-byes to my family in the morning. That was hard.
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Flying required two separate layovers to get to Utah. Once I arrived I was given a lot of new information. I met my mission president, President Meredith and his sweet wife. They are so very kind and have welcomed me with so much love.
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In fact, everyone welcomed me with open arms, which was such a blessing because it all started off very intimidating. In the afternoon of my first day I also met my two companions, Sister Seal and Sister Briones, party of three!
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They are so adorable and have such sweet spirits.
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Over all, Tuesday was full of lots of changes. Wednesday and Thursday offered a more of a normal schedule, as us sisters filled the day with teaching opportunities, meeting our district,
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Preparation day shopping,
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And a drive to the mountains. (They were stunning!)
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It has all been a lot to process but oh how great God’s love and mercy is! This goes up there as one of the greatest lessons God has been teaching me. John 14:27 is a powerful scripture to me right now because I have had many moments when fear or doubt have slipped in, leaving me feeling inadequate, but God is real! He has given me so many tender mercies. He doesn’t just help keep me afloat. He helps me to soar!
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 God is so good, always good! He hears our prayers and answers them. Perhaps not in the way we expect but peace in Christ can always be found!
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I am so deeply humbled by God’s grace and the love that I feel every day as I turn to Him to lift me up. I am also very grateful for this sacred opportunity to serve the Lord and be a blessing unto others.
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God knows and loves us individually and personally. He is good, always good and I believe this with a heart that overflows with gratitude.
Deepest love,
Sister McCleery

After a bit of a Detour…

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Detours are a natural part of life.

They serve an important purpose.

Sometimes those detours follow a roadblock, as God redirects us down a different path.

Sometimes detours come in the form of delays, as God buys time to prepare us for our next purpose.

Sometimes detours are there to lead us to people we need to meet or to places we need to visit.

Regardless of the “why” behind divine detours, there is always a purpose behind the pause.

That doesn’t mean a change in plans is easy. It certainly hasn’t been easy for Molly, but like every divine detour there are blessings that come from His change to our plans, and Molly’s situation is no different.

Last December Molly sent in her paperwork to become a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She waited with bated breath for news to come of where she would be assigned to labor for the Lord for the next 18 months. A process that typically would have taken a couple weeks dragged into a month and a half as she waited for her call to come. Road Blocks (or God Blocks) popped up as paperwork was misplaced and delays occurred. She had the opportunity to practice patience as she waited.

Finally, she received an email indicating that her news had arrived. Many loving friends and family weighed in on where they thought Molly would serve the Lord.

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She could have gone anywhere in the world.

She was called to Utah.

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At the time we had no idea what a blessing a domestic assignment in the states would be, and what divine purpose was in that six week delay.

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We had no idea a pandemic was on the doorstep.

She was given her date to arrive at the Missionary Training Center in Utah and airline tickets were purchased for Toby and I to fly her out. We were scheduled to fly out on March 28th.

On March 13th Grace, Molly and I drove out to Wooster, Ohio to have a girls weekend with my parents. That was the first day that the reality of the looming storm really hit. We enjoyed a day of shopping and lunch on Main St., but there was a tension in the air and you could feel the tides of life shifting. That was the last visit we had with family. After that weekend churches closed, schools shut down, and non-life-sustaining businesses were closed.

Then we received news that Molly would not be going to Provo, Utah for her missionary training. Instead, she and thousands of other new missionaries, would experience the MTC at home through the computer. For three weeks her days were spent attending classes, study sessions and devotionals in her bedroom,

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As the rest of the family (who were all at home as part of Pennsylvania’s Stay-at-Home order) tried to carve out some normalcy in other parts of the house.

I know it wasn’t the MTC experience Molly had dreamt of. Once again it was another detour off the path she had planned, but she handled it with grace and good spirits and was able to enjoy the unique blessing of being able to share her MTC experience with her family, firsthand.

When she reached the end of her training, she was detoured once again. Rather than arriving in Salt Lake City on April 21st to check into her mission, she was told to remain at home until travel was deemed safe. As the pandemic spread around the world, missionaries across the globe were being brought home before boarders closed. Like Molly, thousands of LDS missionaries were enduring their own personal detours as their mission plans changed. International missionaries were brought home to quarantine and then wait for a reassignment in the United States.

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Once again I saw God’s hand in those troublesome delays that were such a challenge for Molly at the start of her mission process, as they placed her where she needed to be prior to the events of the world unfolding.

Following her MTC online, she removed her nametag and waited once again, uncertain of how things would unfold. After another month of waiting news finally came. It has been deemed safe for Molly to travel and the Salt Lake City South mission is ready to receive her, so after five months of detours she is finally headed to her destination…

And she is thrilled.

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We have 12 days until she flies out on June 2nd and we are making the most of our remaining two weeks with her. Donning masks we headed to Walmart to purchase the final items on her packing list and we made a list of family fun we wanted to fit in with Molly before she leaves.

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We are still pretty shut down in out area of the country but a few things have opened up (like drive-in movies, parks, etc.) so we plan to make some memories before Molly flies the nest.

As happy as we are for Molly and the lucky people of Utah who will get our ray of sunshine for the next 16 months, (she will still return home at the same time despite the delay in her departure, thus her mission from 18 months to 16 months,) we are sad for our family. Molly will be missed SO VERY MUCH. It is going to be especially hard on my boys who struggle with being triggered by the loss of people they love. The good news, however, is that we will get to Skype with Molly once a week and exchange mail and emails which will hopefully make Molly’s time away easier on the boys.

To help cement the idea that she will return, I ordered a missionary countdown chart on Etsy. Tyler already helped me mark off the time that has passed during Molly’s mission days spent at home. It will be his job to add a dot each day so we can see the time pass in a tangible way.

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Here at Patchwork Farm we will be posting a weekly mission update with letters and photos Molly sends so that all of you can share in her experience.

This was the post she shared two days ago letting family and friends know her exciting news:

“I have an exciting update! I was called out into the field to finish up my mission. I will be in Salt Lake City South mission the first week of June! 

I am very humbled by God’s plan and will. When I first imagined my mission experience (and this year in general), it is a lot different than the present. It makes me reflect on how God works. 

It is like this: we are going about our lives, planning this certain route, thinking that it is the quickest way to our desired destination. We plan and prepare and find all the rest stops along the way. We pack fun road trip snacks and are all ready for the ride, then one day…  

God gives us a detour. 

This detour might not seem as fast. It may be a bit foggy at times, or maybe perhaps we feel we know best all together in our journey. 

I think I have learned this valuable life lesson by experiencing it: 

 I was feeling stubborn about the new direction God took me this year. In my mind I planned my missionary experience and new year step by step. (In a way I had my road trip snacks and details all set and ready to go,) but Heavenly Father knows better than me.  He sees the bigger picture. He knows the roads of life like the back of His hand and will be able to guide us in the best way. God’s way isn’t always easy though. We will experience bumps, hills, and waits just like any journey, but His way will bring the greatest blessings in the end. His path is where the greatest views will be witnessed, the most experience and learning gained, and will produce the most joyful adventure in the end. 

I am deeply humbled that God has given me recent experiences that I might not have picked for myself, but now I see the blessings flowing forth. I am thankful to be called out into the mission field and for the blessing of being able to have these past two months of waiting to progress and learn at home. I am thankful for the experiences that God gives me to humble me and teach me that His direction and detours are beautiful moments of progression in the journey. I am humbled that He hears my prayers and forgives me of my weaknesses. 

I would like to end my thoughts with a scripture verse I found that helps describe God’s great love and grace in our journeys of life, 

“Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.”- Helaman 3:35 

As my mom has always taught me… God is good, always good!”

Detours are a part of life.

We can choose to mourn the change to our plans or we can delight in the journey. Molly has chosen the latter, and we are so proud of her choice.

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Molly’s Mission News

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Last fall Molly called us and confirmed news that we anticipated would be coming shortly…

Our sweet girl had prayerfully decided to answer God’s call and devote 18 months of her life to His service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Her papers were submitted the week before Christmas and her call came February 5th.

On Tuesday morning she received the text that her mission call was ready to be accessed via the missionary portal, and there she would find the letter from the First Presidency of the church informing her of where she would be sent to serve and when she would leave.

Due to situations beyond our control, she opted to wait until Wednesday evening to open her mission call. This allowed everyone to be available and allowed us the time to prepare everyone for the emotions they might feel upon facing Molly’s departure for 18 months.

The 24 hour delay also allowed us to amp up the hype and allow others to join in on the anticipation of wondering where in the world Miss Molly would go. By making it a competition we were able to lessen the struggle for our sons that were already mourning the “loss” of another sister (this one to a mission rather than marriage) and make it a game of guessing where the Lord would be sending Molly.

We posted two maps on the wall…

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A world map and a United States map,

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And let everyone lock in their guesses.

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“Where in the World would Molly be going?!”

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The promise of a prize for the correct guess spurred on friendly competition, helping to make the evening celebratory rather than sad for the boys.

Others locked in their votes as well, as friends and family across the country posted their guesses on social media. We added each guess to our map, and the guesses kept rolling in until the big reveal at 7:00.

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We arrived home from equine therapy minutes before we were to go live on Facebook. Grace and Zach were already there, ready to support Molly and celebrate her exciting news.

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At 7:00 she opened the missionary portal and began reading…

We waited with bated breath as Molly revealed where she would be serving as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Drumroll, please…

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Salt Lake City, Utah in the Salt Lake City South mission!!

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And she reports to the Missionary Training Center on April 1st.

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Which means I have exactly 47 days with my sweet Molly before she spreads her wings once again and soars. She will be an amazing missionary! Her capacity for love and selfless service will serve those in the Salt Lake City South mission well.

Change is hard, especially for my sons who associate change with trauma and loss. We are working hard to emotionally prepare everyone for the adjustment of Molly’s absence, while also preparing Molly for the experience of a lifetime. These are the moments we prepare our children for. We invest everything in the hopes they will grow into good and Godly people who love others and faithfully follow God’s leading in their lives, even when that leading takes them down unknown paths. I pray my children will all grow into people that humbly and courageously say, “Send me, Lord. I will go and do what You command,” wherever that may be.

Miss Molly, you fill our hearts with joy. I know you will be an amazing missionary and that your life story and the struggles you have had to navigate will be a source of strength for many. The light you exude will draw others to Christ. Thank you for your example and your faithfulness.

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We love you!

Counting Our Blessings

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This Thanksgiving was untraditional in a lot of ways. As a family we are navigating some uniquely stressful and triggering challenges that we are unable to share with others for the time being. This Thanksgiving was reflective of that. We were not in a position that traveling to visit family was an option. The fact that Molly was unable to come home for the holiday, Grace was now a married woman, and Ozzie was only being given a 24 hour home pass meant that Thanksgiving would be different this year.

Rather than mourn the loss of what couldn’t be, or focus on the struggles of this season, we chose to embrace the weekend in an untraditional way, with new traditions this year.

Our holiday weekend began when we picked up Ozzie on Wednesday night. Because he would only be home for one night, we decided to make the most of his time at home and fit in as much fun as possible. We began with a trip to the movies.

Ozzie’s “gotcha day” falls on November 22nd. This is the anniversary of his adoption day, and like the other two boys, we celebrate “gotcha days” by allowing the adoptee to pick an activity that allows us to celebrate this special day in our family’s story. Ozzie was not at home this year on his “gotcha day” so we delayed his celebration a week and celebrated Wednesday night with a trip to the movies.

We went to see Ford vs Ferrari. 

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This movie has been on Ozzie’s wish list ever since seeing the ads for it. Anyone who knows Oz knows that he is obsessed with all things car and NASCAR related, so this movie was right up his alley! Needless to say, he was thrilled when he found out the plans for the evening. I knew Ozzie would love the movie but was surprised how much the rest of us enjoyed it. It was an amazing movie!

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Ozzie declared it the best movie he had ever seen.

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The following morning we woke up and began Thanksgiving preparations. Zach picked up Braden and Tyler for some Turkey Bowl football fun with the guys from church. Toby headed out for a morning of metal detecting at our local park, and Ozzie and Rusty stayed behind with me to help bake while we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This year we weren’t eating Thanksgiving dinner with family or at home. Instead we were joining forces with Gracie’s in-laws and others for a Thanksgiving celebration at church. This ended up being a great blessing. The complete diversion from our traditional celebration made the situation bearable and even blessed. The food was wonderful (There was so much of it!) and the company even better! We were so busy feasting, fellowshipping and playing board games that I never captured a photo of the festivities…

A sure sign everyone was enjoying themselves.

At the end of the meal Toby and I made the five-hour, round trip trek to return Ozzie to his RTF and ourselves back home to bed.

Molly was also experiencing a different sort of Thanksgiving. Since a plane trip home for a long weekend wasn’t realistic, she was invited to spend Thanksgiving with a roommate’s family. Katrina is one of Molly’s eight roommates and her “bestie” out in Idaho. She invited Molly to join her family in Utah for Thanksgiving and Molly gratefully accepted. We were glad that Molly had someplace to spend the holiday and we were so thankful to Katrina’s family for being Molly’s holiday parents in our absence.

Molly had a wonderful Thanksgiving and sent us photos of her adventures in Utah, including:

A Thanksgiving 5K run,

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Baking pies with Katrina,

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A snowy trip to the temple,

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A BYU basketball game,

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And lots of fun, family/friend time!

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It was tough having Molly away for Thanksgiving but good preparation for the next adventure that is in store for Miss Molly. She has prayerfully decided to take a sabbatical from school and serve a mission for the Lord that will take her far from home for 18 months. She sent us this screen shot of her completed application and now we wait and see where the Lord will send our sweet girl.

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Oh, there is so much happening in and to our family and I find myself reeling a bit from the whiplash of so many changes occurring at once. I have to remind myself to keep on breathing and trusting God’s hand and plan in our life story.

We may not know how this chapter will end but we know how our story will end…

He had already penned the final paragraph,

and with God as the divine author, it promises to be a perfect ending.

 

 

 

Road Trip Video #4

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3 1/2 months have now passed since we returned from our trip of a lifetime. With life consuming us, these days of exploration and ease seem like a lifetime ago. It was an amazing adventure, one we will look back on with fondness for decades to come.

Grace collected photos and little videos from every leg of our journey with the goal of documenting our adventure in a series of 5 (10-20 minute) videos. It has been a couple months since her last video. With all that has been going on she hasn’t had a spare moment to finish her last two videos of the trip, but last week, with the conclusion of the second quarter of school, she had a few days off and finished video #4. This video highlights our week and a half of vacation following Disneyland but before we reached Missouri. (Our adventures in Missouri will play out in Gracie’s final video.)

Some of the stops included in this vacation highlight reel include:

The Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Petroglyph National Park, Four Corners, Mesa Verde, Roswell NM, and Carlsbad Caverns.

I think Gracie did an excellent job of capturing the adventure, the beauty, and the incredible memories we made as we rolled cross country in our converted school bus.

Enjoy #4!

Four Corners

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Toby ended a busy day by walking ALL THE WAY from Arizona to Colorado…Show Off!

 

Each of the kids began this seven week road trip with a plan as to what type of souvenirs they would be collecting. They each had a plan to collect something from the stops along the way with the money they had saved.

Grace decided to buy patches from each national park to sew onto her favorite backpack, making it a special reminder of all the places she has been.

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Rusty decided to collect key chains that he could attach to his backpack.

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Molly opted to collect postcards from each place we visited. She chose postcards because they were inexpensive but also a great visual reminder of all she has done.

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Toby and I were collecting magnets from each stop to add to our magnet collection, as well as starting a sweet bumper sticker collection on the back of the Gnome mobile to highlight where it has been.

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And we’ve been covering the ceiling of our bus with flyers and ticket stubs.

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Ozzie decided to collect maps from every state we traveled through and every park we visited. This turned out to be the cheapest souvenir of all since free state maps are available at rest stops and National Parks give out park maps to guests.

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His choice to collect maps wasn’t surprising. Ozzie LOVES geography. He loves reading maps and can spend hours playing around on Google Maps. An Atlas is his idea of good bedtime reading.

Being such a fan of geography and maps, you can only imagine the excitement he was feeling as we drove to Four Corners monument…the only place in the United States where you can stand in four states all at once.

I remember thinking Four Corners was such a cool place as a kid, and have a picture much like this one that we recreated, with a hand in two states and feet in two states.

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The drive to Four Corners took us down poorly maintained back roads for a 40 minute drive off the highway.

Owned by the Navajo Nation this is a privately owned monument located on Navajo land in the middle of nowhere.

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The cost to enter is $5.00/person, which is a bit steep when you consider all that is there is a granite disk marking the boundary where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona meet,

but in the end we felt the fee was worth the experience.

Here is a little info about this unique place:

“The Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. It is the only point in the United States shared by four states, leading to this area’s being called the Four Corners region. The monument also marks the boundary between two semi-autonomous Native American governments, the Navajo Nation, which maintains the monument as a tourist attraction, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation.

The origins of the state boundaries marked by the monument occurred just prior to, and during, the American Civil War, when the United States Congress acted to form governments in the area to combat the spread of slavery to the region. When the early territories were formed, their boundaries were designated along meridian and parallel lines. Beginning in the 1860s, these lines were surveyed and marked. These early surveys included some errors, but even so, the markers placed became the legal boundaries, superseding the written descriptions of geographical meridians and parallels. This includes the Four Corners Monument, which has been legally established as the corner of the four states.

The monument where “visitors can simultaneously straddle the territory of four states” is maintained as a tourist attraction by the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department. Unlike many other attractions based on what are primarily political boundaries, such as the Berlin Wall, Four Corners Monument is an example of a political boundary that is a tourist destination in its own right. The monument consists of a granite disk embedded with a smaller bronze disk around the point, surrounded by smaller, appropriately located state seals and flags representing both the states and tribal nations of the area. Circling the point, starting from north, the disk reads with two words in each state “Here meet in freedom under God four states”. Around the monument, local Navajo and Ute artisans sell souvenirs and food. An admission fee is required to view and photograph the monument. The monument is a popular tourist attraction despite its remote and isolated location. As early as 1908, people traveled long distances to take pictures of family and friends at the monument in Twister-like poses, sitting on the disk, in a circle of friends or family around the disk, or for couples to kiss directly over the disk.” -Wikipedia

We arrived and were pleased to discover we were one of a few tourists there. This meant more of an opportunity to take multiple pictures, an opportunity that wouldn’t have been available had there been a line waiting. During busier times they ask that you limit the number of photos you take to three.

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Ozzie was beside himself, gleefully calling out, “I’ll see you in a little bit, Mom. I’m headed to New Mexico!”

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Tyler loved jumping the border lines with Ozzie, shouting, “Now I’m in Utah. Now I’m in Arizona. Now I’m in Colorado!”

We waited for our turn to take pictures.

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The actual monument was quite pretty, surrounded by the flags of each state and local tribal nations, with a granite disk reading, “Here meet in freedom under God four states.”

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We started by getting a group picture with the kids all picking the state they wanted to stand in. Grace opted to stand in the center where the four states meet.

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It was crazy to say,

“At this moment all my kids are scattered across four states!” 🙂

Then some of the kids requested pictures alone on the monument.

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We ended our visit with a stroll around the booths that encircle the monument where Native Americans were selling their wares.

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We all enjoyed watching one artisan demonstrate how he chips away stone using deer antlers to create arrowheads.

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The girls loved all the turquoise jewelry and each bought a pair of earrings.

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There isn’t a lot to see or do at this stop. It is a 15 minute- 60 minute stop, but it is very cool.

It is one of those “Bucket List” stops. For where else can you go and say to your children,

“Kids, its time to go! Tyler, get out of Utah. Molly, it’s time to leave Arizona. Rusty, you need to head out of Colorado. Meet me in New Mexico at the bus. It’s time to leave.”

Very Cool!

Next Stop: Mesa Verde