Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Know, not Despite, but Because....

Saturday morning Lance and I got up early and went to the Temple and then we came home, ate, changed and headed up to the mountains.  We wanted to go snow shoeing.  We weren't sure how the snow would be because there has not been a lot of snow that has stuck around in the valleys.  We were pleasantly surprised! Right when we pulled into the parking lot it started to snow.  By the time we started hiking it was really coming down.  There was a ton of snow.  It was so much fun.  It was so beautiful and quiet, except for the occasional snow mobile.  We hiked for a few hours then headed back to reality.

This was our view coming back down the mountain.  Just another beautiful winter day in Utah.  I was a little freaked out tonight when I heard on the news that there was a snow shoer killed at the very spot that we were hiking on the same day that we were there.  Made me think that maybe we need to arm ourselves with a little more safety equipment.  Feeling sad for that girl and her family.

When we got home we started preparing for Holden's scout dinner.  It was a Luau theme, so we put together a volcano cake.  I am not always "that" mom, but Saturday I was at least trying.  We baked the cakes, and decorated with the frosting.  Holden, of all of the kids, gets the most excited over these kind of creative adventures.  That's probably why I try, because he makes it fun and he is appreciative.  It wasn't perfect, but we did our best and it did smoke.  We put a little tea light holder in the top of the cake and put a little dry ice and water in it and voila it smoked.  (don't be mistaken, we got the idea off of the Internet)
When we told Hilary it was a Luau theme (we explained it as "beach") she ran upstairs and came down with this get up.  Her swimsuit, including her sun hat and sunscreen!  She kills me.
You can barely see, but there is smoke coming out of the top.

Sunday morning the kids and I got up early and headed off to St. George.  Our good friends daughter is going on a mission and she was giving her talk in church today.  I was pretty nervous, because I was driving with the kids by myself because Lance had assignments that he needed to do.  The weather through that drive can be very volatile and I panic driving in bad weather through the mountains.  I watched the news for several days leading up to it, and it seemed like it was going to be fine.  On the drive down everyone except for Heidi fell asleep, so I had some good thinking time, listening to beautiful music.  A few weeks ago we were talking about women who made an impact in the scriptures in one of our church classes.  The first one that came to my mind was the woman who had the faith that if she just touched the robe of Jesus as He passed by that she could be healed.  While I was driving a favorite song of mine came on.  It is by Mercy River and it is called "The Robe".  It came up a lot during our rotation on our stereo when Tates was sick.  It refers to this woman in the scriptures and it talks about if it isn't to be that you are healed, to please "wrap me in the robe, and hold me til I go".  It just always makes me think of Tater bug.  It truly was an honor to hold her til she went.  She had the faith she needed, it just wasn't her miracle to be healed.
We arrived in St. George and went to the church.  Our sweet friend has been called to the Arkansas mission, American Sign Language.  Her dad served a sign language mission 20 years ago, and their family has been attending and serving in a deaf branch for 7 or  8 years.  A lot of families would probably just go and support their dad, but all of their kids have picked up sign and are nearly fluent.  It is the coolest thing.  She gave her entire talk in sign language.  Luckily they are kind to the hearing so they have a speaking interpreter.  I get so mesmerized watching the people sign, sometimes I forget to listen.  I tried really hard to pay attention.  She gave the greatest talk.  It was all centered around the Savior and His Atonement that is available to all.  She did fantastic.  Then three of her cousins sang a song, while her two sisters signed the words.  Her brother blessed the Sacrament in sign.   All of the songs were done in sign, and much of the congregation were signing the songs.  It was a truly moving meeting.
One of the other men that spoke talked a little bit about his conversion.  He told how his uncle and grandfather were preachers, and that when he was born deaf he broke that generational pass down of the career.  He said he didn't know why he was born deaf.  He wondered if it wasn't so he could eventually find the LDS church.  If he had not been deaf he would have certainly grown up to be a preacher where he would have never been available to meet the missionaries.  It was very sweet and sincere how he said it.  He said he had never minded being deaf, and he felt like it had ultimately changed his life.  I thought it was such an interesting perspective.
After church we went back to our friends home for a few hours to visit and eat together.   Naturally, a lot of the people were deaf.  When deaf people talk they move their arms around a lot more than the hearing, because they are using their hands.  I looked over just in time to see Holden walk right into a mans arm as he was communicating with another person.  Holden had just loaded up his plate with about five desserts.  The biggest piece of cake flew up in the air and landed right on another deaf persons lap, who was innocently sitting on the couch.  He was an older gentlemen and had other disabilities that required a walker.  Holden just stood there for a minute.  I yelled over to him to get the cake off of the poor mans lap.  He looked bewildered and embarrassed.  Poor guy.  The man sitting next to me asked if he was my son.  I laughed and said no, then I smiled and told him I was just kidding.  Holden quickly helped the man get the cake off of his leg and the man was a good sport.  I noticed that Holden had cake in his hair so I went over and helped him clean it up.  Poor guy.
We started packing up around 4:30 so we could make the 4 hour drive home and get home at a decent hour.  It is always sad to leave our friends and the beautiful weather.
Cute girls, just a year apart.  This could be Halea in a year!
As we started our journey home, everyone fell asleep again.  I had more time to think and ponder.  The other day I was talking to someone and I said something about "when my sister died".  The person whom I have known for several years, took a double take and said that she did not know that my sister died.  She gave me this sad pitiful look and said "are you kidding me!?"  It made me think about how people must perceive my life.  Some would probably say that I have a testimony "despite" the fact that I have faced some pretty hard challenges in my life.  I look at it totally different.  I know that the trials that I have had in my life have shaped me into who I am.  I know that I have a testimony, "because" of what I have seen and experienced, not despite.  Now, am I glad that my sister and my two children died?  Absolutely not.  I would give all that I have to have those three amazing people back in my life today.  The lessons and changes in my character that have come from their impact in my life, however, are priceless.  I hope that I honor them in the way that I conduct myself and live my life, until I get to wrap my arms around them again.  They have helped me to know our Savior in a personal way that I might now have ever experienced had I not had to rely completely on Him during those difficult times in my life.  Through that reliance, I have felt His love for me.  I know that He knows and understands me because I have seen how He has succored me through those trials.

Sometimes Lance and I feel like it would have been good for our kids to live outside of the state of Utah, so that they could have had more missionary experiences and maybe had to really stand up for what they believe in.  We just think that can always help to strengthen your own testimony if you sometimes have to stand on your own, and be different from those around you.  Tonight when we were driving home we started flipping through the radio stations.  At one time there were 4 different religious stations playing hymns for us to choose good music from!  They were playing a lot of the Easter songs, like "Consider the Lilies", "He is Risen", "Beautiful Savior".  Tonight I was grateful to be living in Utah.  I like and appreciate our nerdiness.

1 comment:

  1. Now I'm freaked out that you went up AF canyon on Saturday. Check this website before you ever go out snowshoeing:

    Or I have an app on my phone that is free. I didn't go out Saturday knowing the avalanche danger was super extreme and I won't be going out this week. Bummer...