Sunday, March 14, 2021 was the pinnacle of our preparation thus far. We felt the love and support of many as we spoke in the Levan 2nd Ward. We felt Heaven’s presence through the Spirit. Singing a duet with Andrea has been on my bucket list for a few years. We both survived it and I’m quite confident I won’t need to do it again.
The feeling of being set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hard to communicate in words. Our Utah children and grandchildren were there for that sacred experience. Most of our other children joined via technological. We gathered for a brief moment in Levan from England, Kentucky, Arizona, Idaho and Washington. Two of our girls shared their copious notes. Our blessings were different but completely complimentary. Each felt like an addendum to our patriarchal blessings. Our memory of the unity we felt with friends and family, the counsel received and Spirit of that occasion will be a foundation of strength to us.
After two long days on the road, we are in Missouri and our adventure is about to begin. We report tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. at Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Our journey seemed long at times, but as we thought of our pioneer ancestors crossing the plains in covered wagons and handcarts, we felt very blessed. Our trip shadowed life in many ways. There were ups and downs, fair and foul weather, sections of free sailing and some with delays. We saw barren areas and lush fertile ones along with a thrilling variety of geological history. As the mountains of home vanished in our rear view mirror, a beautiful new country of big skies appeared. The immensity and diversity of this BIG world left us grateful and in awe. We saw deserts, towering pines, endless prairie dotted with farms, oil pumps, and hundreds of giant windmills that produce power.
We experienced one miracle where we were divinely protected from a collision that seemed inevitable in the high Rocky Mountains in a snow storm near Loveland Pass. Somehow a work truck, pickup and Highlander pulling a U-haul trailer passed three a breast on a two lane, snow packed freeway without exchanging any paint.
I loved going through the 1.7 mile Eisenhower-Johnson tunnel built in the 1970’s that literally goes under the Great Continental Divide. We stopped in Abilene, Kansas to see the childhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Greyhound Hall of Fame. We are now within a half hour of our new home at Adam-ondi-Ahman. Our hearts are already there. The Spirit of that place suggests a need to refocus and prepare.