Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pictures, last transfer

Lunch at our Favorite Place
SisterB - another convert to In-N-Out!

At our mission Family Home Evening

Me and SisterJ playing at Pres S's before FHE
On the 4th of July - Love Br&SisM

Me and SisterB at the Call Center

Emailing Mom on P-day - LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Independence, 2012!

     You will be very happy to hear that SisterB and I hosted a kick-butt, stars-and-stripes, grand ol' PARTAY in our patriotized apartment tonight.  It was SO much fun and I have plenty of photographic and video evidence.  I bought Stars&Stripes Funfetti to make cupcakes and we used EVERYTHING in the ID4 box.  Thank you so much for the party box!  Switching to an ID4 theme was inspired.  I think we all needed this.  We didn't think we'd get to celebrate tomorrow, so we really enjoyed the chance to party.  Of course we just found out that we're having a musical thing tomorrow night and we're going to get to.....ready? this is AWESOME for us......WATCH FIREWORKS!  Last year we played in the park, but weren't allowed to watch fireworks.  So I am super excited.
     Everyone loved the:
  • decorations
  • lemonade
  • beach ball (SisterD and I played some interesting soccer with that)
  • tub of teddy grahams
and especially......homemade frosting!

I've been thinking (or rather "am currently" thinking) about why I was so willing to get super patriotic for ID4, when most of the time I act like I'd rather be from the Mother Country.  I'm not really sure I have an answer.  Despite how much I love Britannia, I guess I am proud to be from the Promised Land.  My patriarchal blessing does mention my being blessed to have grown up in this country.  Guess it is more than the family history love coming to pass from that blessing.

Days like today are why I don't want July 18th to happen.  I'm ready for all most that being home implies.  But the "going" - that's hard.  Leaving this experience for the things that come next?  It's like high school all over again.  You're excited for what you think college will be like, but you're terrified of leaving the security, comfort, routine and friends of high school.

Anyhow.  Time to write a quick response to ElderH and head to bed.  Yes, I'm writing an elder from outbound.  It's fun.  Currently we're discussing how terrible I am at frequent correspondence, and funny tracting stories.  He's going to visit SoCal when he gets home and we [me, SisterL & ElderH] are all going to hang out.  Should be fun!

Proudly independently yours,
Sister Clayton

3 July 2012 - Pickett's Charge

In our family, it has become tradition to watch the movie 'Gettysburg' every July in preparation for the 4th.  Today is Day 3 of that battle - Pickett's Charge.

Y'know, sometimes a mission feels like poor Pickett's Charge. You've been asked to do something impossible but you go out with a fire ready to make the impossible a reality. Then you hit that fence and the impossible laughs you in the face and you're pretty sure that it's going to stay impossible today. So do you turn back?  Do you stop?  Do you keep going? That's when you decide if you're going to be a disciple of Christ. Actually, that's when you should be remembering your choice to come out on the battlefield at all and you remind yourself that you've already made that decision. So what does a true disciple do? You square your shoulders, you get up. Like Ginger would say, "pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again." You jump that fence and charge the hill. Now there's a few differences in being a missionary and fighting the Civil War. First, you already know who's going to win the war. Second, when you reach the top of that hill you're greeted by family and friends and you keep going with your life (well, that was true for them too, but they were also technically prisoners of war, right?). Third, you wouldn't keep charging past your brothers and sisters, the whole reason you're in that battle is to help them get to the same hill (man, this hill is very useful as a metaphor, but I think I'm mixing). I think most important is number one and the fact that you have the most powerful and loving being in the universe walking every step of that hill with you.

See? Bridging. The gospel can be related to everything. Why? Same reason we share it - because it's true.

(and for the record, the one ancestor who I know fought in the Civil War served in the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry under General Grant.  He was a prisoner in Andersonville and after he escaped, returned twice to bring out more prisoners.  He survived the war to return home to Illinois.  Thank you gggGrandpa Wendt.  We remember.)

Sister Clayton

Monday, June 11, 2012

Transfer Conference - 5 June 2012

We had quite the visit Monday morning.  Apparently when the Gillettes were over the Boston Mission, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s son served there and Elder Holland would visit, speak to the missionaries, etc.  So the Gillettes gave a standing invitation for Elder Holland to us when our schedules lined up. (Elder Holland is one of the 12 Apostles) He would have come sooner, but that darn schedule hasn’t allowed it.  But Monday worked.  In my mind, the reason is this:  Sister Pei (and all the class that’s leaving) was in the MTC when Elder Holland came and gave the talk that we have watched several times during my mission.  So her class got a talk from him right at the beginning and at the very end.  I love symmetry.
I did get some decent notes, quotes, spiritual impressions, so here goes.  Don’t waste the time you have, cause you never get another time like this.  It’s not going to be easy, so enjoy the laughs AND the tears and more.  Live and teach after the manner of the Spirit (Moroni 6:9).  As we try to be as Heavenly Father is, we follow His lead and we adopt His attributes and we become like Him.  I can’t say that right, but maybe that’s the point.  We see becoming like Heavenly Father as something huge, something that happens when we die. But it's gathering little bits of His likeness one attribute at a time.
And the cool thing about Elder Holland’s talk?  He got up there with nothing.  Not until he started a Q&A session did he grab his scriptures (oh yeah, I’m getting Q&A with all the best on my mission!).  He just has so much Spirit and smarts he doesn’t need anything.  And we’re an easy audience to please – any topic coming from him would make us happy.
At the end we filed out row by row because he wanted to shake all our hands.  Yep.  But don’t worry, I’m still going to wash it....I should have saved the water! (love Br Bytheway)  But when it’s over, it just feels like a dream, like it didn’t really happen.
I love how Elder Holland talks about the relationship between Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as regards the Atonement especially.  When he was speaking yesterday, despite the spiritual powerhouse that he is, I was praying really hard throughout because for some reason I wasn't feeling it. Not in the overwhelming sense you would expect. So I was praying to be in tune, to feel the Spirit, to be touched. I didn't really cry at all, but the tears came, in an overwhelming rush of feeling, when he was closing and telling us how proud he was of us. And the phrase that got my tear ducts working? "I think I can say I represent your mothers and fathers and ... the Lord, Himself, when I say we're proud of you." I darn nearly lost it. I've gotten good at controlling my crying though I guess. I just don't do it in public anymore. But when he said always gets me when people talk about my parents. Cause I know it's true. When Elder Zwick came and spoke in our Mother's Day sacrament meeting, he said much the same thing. I hadn't been emotional until he started saying things on behalf of our mothers. (Yep, the Elder Zwick that I believe spoke at your last official stake conference came with his wife to be our special speakers for Mother's Day. Woot!) It's a feeling I think I described to my Mom about President Holmes while I was outbound. When I finally understood all the times he would say, "You know Sister Holmes and I love you, right?" and repeat it until he knew I knew. All the times he said "we're proud of you; you do good work; we're so grateful you're here; we feel lucky to serve with you". It just hit me that no matter how inadequate I feel, no matter how much I think I need to improve (and feel I never can) - he loves me. It's the same for my parents and President and Heavenly Father. Doesn't matter where I'm at, you know where I've come from. And regardless of all of it you're going to love me more than I can comprehend.

Hey Dad, I know you’re speaking in Sacrament Meeting soon, so I’m looking at my notes now for quotes to give you.
"He's gonna ask for your heart; lock, stock, and barrel. And that's not always a pleasant experience." Something Elder Holland said about missions/being a disciple not being easy. A lot like parenthood, I think. It takes everything you've got whether you want it to or not. You can choose not to give it, but you'll get the best experience (on both sides) when you forget about the pain and give it all.
            Reminds me of something in one of Laura's letters that I've been reading over and over.  It was after a stake conference or something.  Someone made an analogy between Heavenly Father and a construction worker. While he's doing the building and remodeling to make your perfect mansion, it hurts! Sometimes it's little things like a leaky pipe or whatever, but other times he's taking down walls and doing the major stuff. But at the end you have an everlasting, beautiful mansion that is just for you and uniquely your own. Something else Elder Holland told us about missions being hard? "And if it's isn't hard, if you don't feel like this is hard, ask yourself if you're doing it right." It's supposed to be. Missions, parenthood, life - it's meant to be hard. Like Elder Holland emphasized - "Why should it be easy for you....when it was never, ever easy for the living Son of God?" and put the tear-jerking Elder Holland emotion into that. Yeah.
From a talk he gave in the MTC that we get to watch sometimes, "When I said leave your nets, it was forever! When I said follow me, it was forever! When I said be a missionary, it was forever! ... Peter, you can't go home. ... You (missionaries) need to stay the course, you need to see it through. You can't go back. ... Do you love [Him]? Well then feed [His] sheep. And do it forever."  Yeah, basically every missionary should be able to hear that talk.

But I gotta get going. Things are all worked out and I'm on exchange for a little while before Sister Pei and I go to the park one last time. Then she has her dinner at 5 and I get up at the opposite 5 tomorrow to take Sister de Montigny (going home) and Sister Lui (going outbound) to the airport. Depressing, but by next pday I'll be over it. And by next pday it'll be 5 weeks till I do it.
It’s really weirding me out that all this departing nonsense will be happening again TO ME in another 6 weeks.  Trunky or no, I have to say I’m excited.  Not to leave, but to do the next 6 weeks and then leave.  I’m probably going to sound trunky to other sisters, but that’s what it is.  I don’t want to go, I’m terrified of it actually.  But I’m ready.  I’m going to rock this last 6 weeks and then I’m outta here.  I’ll go just like I came – terrified, with a few restless nights and tears, but ultimately ready and trusting that it will all be ok.
It’s been a busy day.  Spent the last hour or so with friends who aren’t leaving, but who I won’t see as often now.  And now I’m ready to start fresh and plunge into a new era.  Last chapters are always the best, right?.....Well, really the climax chapter-this is the chapter that counts.  The stuff that happens my last few days, that’s the final chapter.  But for now, there’s going to be some spiritual butt-kicking.  I plan to go out like I did that year in the soccer play-off semi-finals: scoring the Golden Goal and winning the game.  THAT’S the high I want to feel in 5-6 weeks.  Time to kick it up a notch – BAM!

Sister Clayton

(PS:  New Compy is SisterB from Indiana!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

P-Day in the Park

SisterP and I had so much fun spending our P-days in the Park.

Me and SisterP at Work....more or less

Time for P-day fun at BY Park!

Movies?  What are movies?  Oh, yeah - distractions.

BY Park

BY Park

Time to head home.  P-day can be exhausting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Finish Strong!

I went to the Finish Strong meeting with compy, since I'm killing her this transfer.  (don't you just love mission-speak.  Killing your companion means she goes home at transfer time)

Finish Strong is basically a meeting with all departing sisters and their companions.  Sister Gillette says she always forgets the name and calls it Forever Strong, which is an equally appropriate name. (she blames it on her granddaughters wanting to take her to Forever 21 and mixing the two names.  yeah.  She was being cute in that meeting)  It is focused on not slacking off in your last few weeks.  Kind of like a pump rally in the middle of the 9th.  Right when you're getting a little stiff because you haven't moved since the 7th inning stretch and nobody's had the energy to do the wave since the home run in the 4th inning.  Something like that.  Don't ask why or where the baseball analogy came from.

We talked about what sins a missionary could commit in their last 3 weeks, why we won't do that, being strong even when you go home, companions not adding to the trunkiness.  At the end we watched the Mormon Message from Elder Holland's "None Were With Him".  (which made me think of my Dad's talk last Easter and how much I love Elder Holland)

I liked it when I went with Sister Ishijima near the end of my first transfer here.  It always seemed to be a little different every time President Holmes did it (I've killed several companions), he had smaller groups meet in his office, which was really neat.  But I really liked it that time with Sister I.  It was very personal and there were lots of tears.  We talked about being strong, but he ended with having each departing sister give us a piece of advice/what they learned that they would take home, and then he had their companions say something, too.  It was a really spiritual thing.

This one with President Gillette wasn't bad.  I learned alot to help me with the next 9 weeks.  I can't believe it is the middle of May.  Just 2 months.  Anyway.  Good meeting.

Love you all
Sister Clayton

Monday, April 9, 2012

General Conference April 2012, part 1

*drumroll* Conference referral total: 7,541!!!!

This mission is awesome. We almost didn't make it this time. But I'll save that for when I write the Conference Report letter.

 In the meantime, check out the TSquare Mission Blog
 There are great photos, and even one of your fav missionary and her buddy, Sister dM.

Give each other big hugs cause I want to right now and I can't.
Sister Clayton
(longer letter later - read the book!)

Friday, March 30, 2012


Christmas 2011 and New York Utica Mission 2012

Christmas from my Family!

SisterP & Ugly Tie Day

Yeah, Christmas in New York -

Me and SisterP

February 2012 - New York Utica Mission - 2nd Transfer

Me and SisterL


Me and SisterL on Sesame Street!

Spending P-Day with the Bishop's Family (LOVE YOU!)

Star Trek Uno -- MUST GET!

Dino Monopoly



Back on Temple Square - Spring 2012 

Me and SisterL

Spring has arrived on Temple Square.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm Home!

On the I-15North, just south of TSquare

Fooled you!

Back home again in SLC!  Just a quick hi to let you know I got here safe and sound.

So. The Square feels totally different. A huge majority of the sisters on the square are new. Just in their first couple transfers. Like my companion. Sister L. from Spokane, WA came in the same time I left. I'm back in extended and our assignment is West Gate. It's fun. You'll get more details after I get the hang of it, etc. Same routine. She's blonde, hard working, and unfailingly happy. Kinda what I need right now. Adjusting is harder than I thought. President Gillette is great, but I miss my Presidents. I even came to feel about as much for President Bulloch as I did for President Holmes. I just miss the Holmes' so much. I felt bad, but when Sister Gillette was welcoming us back and talking about feeling a hole in their hearts because they didn't know us yet I just couldn't help feeling the hole that should be filled with hugs and kisses from Sister Holmes. Trust me, I'm going to love them just as much, I know that. But right now it's tough. I really miss President and Mama Holmes. And it's a blessing and a curse to have a companion who barely knew them. Anyway. I'm doing okay. I'm just going to have to visit Sandy when I get to the Y.

But, in all I'm doing much the same as every time something changes with transfers. You miss the old, embrace the new, and you keep doing what you do. That's just the way of the "world" here at the Square. Change happens. And that's a big reason of why I'm here.  Change is good, but you have to choose to see it that way.

Oh.  Sister Gillette has started a Temple Square blog!  Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Trip to Palmyra - 6 March 2012

I'm in the airport and the first leg of my flight back to Temple Square.  The flight to Detroit  doesn't leave for another hour and a half.  And I'm bored.  Well, in need of distraction.  I totally forgot to tell you about the temple trip to Palmyra and that whole day last week.  So sit back - this is going to take a while.

Here is a brief overview of the day:
  • 6:00am - Leave Mission Home for Palmyra
  • 7:00am - (Approx) Pick up ElderN in Liverpool and continue to Palmyra
  • 8:30/9:00am - Arrive @ Palmyra Temple.  Meet with President Sherwood; Q&A Session
  • 9:30am - Endowment Session
  • 12:00pm - Souvenir shopping next to Grandin Print Shop
  • 12:30/1:00pm - Lunch! Classic NY pizza and wings
  • 2:00pm - Tour Grandin Building
  • 3:00pm - Alvin Smith's grave and Martin Harris Farm
  • 3:30pm - Visit Hill Cumorah
  • 5:00pm - Sacred Grove
  • 6:30/7:00pm - Dinner at McDonalds
  • 7:30pm - Leave for Utica and to drop off ElderN
  • 9:00pm - Arrive at Mission Home
So roughly that's the day.  Not counting getting to Utica the night before and sitting with President Bulloch for a bit to get a tour info packet and a preview of the day, or breakfast the next morning.  So I guess I should just start at the beginning.  The drive there was really fun.  The Elders did very well with having their fun being back together, as well as including me.  I got to go with an awesome group of guys.  And the cool thing was that I'd met most them already, if just briefly.

We're in the Detroit airport and I've learned a few things.  It's way more fun to have time to check out huge airports (and have lunch) than to have to run from one end to the other (which SisterW and I did just 12 weeks ago).  And as a random side note, I've switched back to my flag-tag nametag and it took some getting used to.  Actually, it doesn't feel too weird.  Now that I am definitely gone from the Utica Mission it is starting to sink in that I'm going back.  Anyway.  Back to your regularly scheduled letter.

I believe we were still on our way to Palmyra.  I suppose this would be a good time to tell you who all was on this trip.  Obviously the mission prez - President and Sister Bulloch and yours truly, then Elders H,S,N,P and McC.  I actually got to see ElderH this morning at the mission office.  Time for the good stuff!  The temple is AMAZING!  We took a "class" picture and more as we walked around outside.  I quite enjoyed being adopted into their class!  When we went in, before the session, we met with the Temple President, President Sherwood.  He welcomed us, etc., and then the fun part - an inside-the-temple question and answer session with a temple president, with input from a mission president.  Oh yeah.  That was cool.  Plus, Pres Sherwood thinks really highly of sisters and was very happy I was there.

(I like connector planes better, but take off gets a little easier every time you do it.  Still going to avoid doing this flying more than I have to)

There were some very sweet and special spiritual things that I was blessed to feel and learn in the Palmyra Temple that will be part of me for the rest of my life.  Including a touching comment from one of the Elders who had one of my family names.  It was just an amazing experience.  And for once I don't think being in the temple made me miss my own San Diego Temple, it was just a blessing to be in the temple again.  We really do take for granted that it's right there.  I guess that applies at home as well as at TSquare.

(The problem with flying to Utah?  Looks like there are quite a few young kids coming along on the flight.  *strained happy face*  No member conversations yet, but I just noticed a guy with a BYU shirt)

Next - Shopping!  Yay!  Yes, Mom, I bought a couple small things.  I heard you in my head saying no, but I did it anyway.  Better discount than Deseret Book and it comes from NY. :)  Lunch with President is funny because when it gets to the last of things, he'll call on the Elders to buck up and take more.  It's just a hilarious process you have to see for it to be funny.  Anyway, the Grandin Building, where the Book of Mormon was first published.  First, I didn't see a single sister missionary all day.  Everywhere we went it was just senior missionary couples.  Weird.  Also, everywhere we went the missionary couples let President Bulloch do his own tour.  Yep, pretty smart.  It's just better for us that way, with our time constraints, etc.  So we got to see the whole process of printing the Book of Mormon.  I'm not going to remember it, but I have tons of pictures - original ink-splattered wall included.

(Wow - another remarkably smooth flight.  Note to self - only fly in clear, sunny weather)

Oh, forgot!  On the way to lunch we made a super quick stop to take pictures of the 4 churches.  It looks kinda cool and the churches are quite pretty.  I'm going to miss the beautiful, old churches in upstate NY.

(and the pilot is totally a member.  I got a special hello as I got on the plane)

After the Print Shop comes one of my favorite places.  I have developed an interest in Alvin Smith, Joseph's older brother who died a few years after Joseph's First Vision, and that interest has become a love and admiration.  If anyone in that family believed in and supported Joseph most after the vision, it was Alvin.  From seeing his part in the Joseph Smith movie and what little I've learned elsewhere about him, I was actually really excited to be visiting the grave.  It was a great experience.  I took my scriptures so I could read for President out of Doctrine & Covenants.  I'm excited to meet Alvin one day.

Moving along in our day, we went over the Erie Canal to the Martin Harris Farm.  I was surprized to learn that it isn't open for tours.  Someone actually lives there.  Don't ask me who - I can't remember.  But the house is cool.  We spent quite a bit of time throughout the day talking about Martin Harris and his role; what he did, where he messed up, why he deserves more credit than he gets, his involvement w/the Book of Mormon, etc.  I didn't know (or forgot) that Martin had to sell most of his farm in order for the Book of Mormon to be printed.

(Ah, there it is.  The inevitable crying infant on an airplane.  Meh, could be worse.  And correction - it wasn't the pilot, it was a flight attendant.  Oops.  You'd think I'd know the uniforms)

Now we get some fun stuff.  The Hill Cumorah, where the gold plate containing the Book of Mormon were buried.  There's a tradition in the mission of running up the hill and making a race of it.  As the elders were deciding whether or not they'd run it, I was deciding in my head that I was NOT going to participate.  Not in a skirt and less than in shape.  But they did get me to get out of the car and it was fun to film it for them.  I stayed at the bottom and filmed the run on two cameras.  So funny.  ElderH won!  Even going up the slight switchbacks on the side - woah! is that hill steep.  It rises gradually N-S, but up the West side to the monument it is crazy steep.  Still, up at the top it's beautiful and we all took pictures in front of the monument.


 We drove back down and went into the visitor center, but went straight down to the basement for, for lack of a better word.  We talked about Moroni as Joseph's tutor, Joseph's times of messing up, repenting, messing up and so on and what that all means to a missionary and a RM (returned missionary).  Most of what was imparted - even Joseph made mistakes, he made lots of them, and we will too.  Learn from them, correct them and get ready for the next one.  I love the lessons we learn from Brother Joseph.  I can't even imagine that day - meeting dear Brother Joseph, the greatest of men and prophets.  There's another thing my mission has changed in me: I have grown to love and revere and develop an incredible desire to know more about Joseph Smith.  Who else except Christ has given so much?  From age 14, Joseph gave his whole life to his calling.  *lightbulb*  It just clicked spiritually the line about no one save Jesus only giving so much for the building of the kingdom.  (can't reach my Book of Mormon to quote it properly, but you know the one)

(Mom inserts: Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it....")

Okay.  Epiphany over.  After that we got to take quick look around the Visitor's Center.  And I had to smile.  Especially when President showed up behind me and asked, "Look familiar?" in his happy, jovial, President Bulloch way.  Oh yeah, all VCs are the same.  Except where they're not.  Cumorah has things specific to the Book of Mormon, and such.  And their Christus was.....honestly it just looked weird.  It's not the same when you have to change the size, it didn't look right.  But the Sacred Grove back drop was good.

(I am not taking children on a plane unless they can be sedated.  Not annoyed, just sayin')

Speaking of, we're getting closer.  To that part of the story, and to SLC (somewhere over Nebraska, currently.  I'm trying not to bump the guy next to me.  But I did tell him all about missions, etc. before take-off).  We went to the VC there and again were given free reign to take the tour ourselves.  Which was good, because they came to lock up not long after we left the frame home.  First was the log home recreation of where Joseph would have lived at 14.  When we went upstairs and again touched on Moroni's visit, President opened it up for the sharing of testimonies, on anything, but specifically the BoM.  No, I didn't speak up.  But what was shared was what needed to be shared.  Sister Bulloch bore her testimony and shared her love and appreciation for us and our service.  Then we went to the frame home.  Alvin was building the house and outside there's a tree that dates back to the time of his death, keeping with a tradition at the time that has to do with planting a tree when a family member dies (or first born son, didn't catch the whole story).  That's the house the family lived in when the Book of Mormon was translated, where Joseph came back to after living in Harmony, PA, where Oliver came to help in the work and so on.  85% of the house (structure, I'm assuming) is original.  If you want to stand where Joseph stood, it's there.  It felt....I dunno.  The realization of the reality of it all was amazing, but I don't know that I felt something.  If you understand what I mean....hopefully.  When you're there it's not really about getting a feeling.  At least not as a member.  It's more about seeing the reality of it.  Those places are there, it actually happened, that kind of thing.

Outside the frame home is the barn and cooper's shop.  The barn isn't original to the Smiths, but it is original to Brigham Young.  President made it sound like they really did just pick it up and plop it down.  Cool, huh.

Now we're finally there.  The Sacred Grove.  "The only time on your mission I give you permission to be alone, " says President.  From the frame home there is a path to the Grove, where Joseph saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  It was funny how we were all staggered going in and didn't really see each other inside.  It took the first path to the right.  It's so quiet.  I sound myself singing a little to myself.  I almost didn't know what to do with myself.  After a while I saw some rocks and we straight to them to sit down (completely foregoing the benches that are everywhere).  I read a little in Joseph Smith History, but it still felt like I didn't know what I should be doing.  So I kept walking and had to tell myself to quit the "missionary walk" and slow down a bit.  Then I got to the exit sign.....and walked past it.  I was not even near ready to leave.  I figured I'd just go back around or follow the path and turn around or whatever.  By now I'm have a heart to heart conversation with Heavenly Father (what else are you supposed to do in a place like that?  Go figure.)  I finally felt like I was doing what I needed to be doing.  Basically, the Grove is where you learn what prayer and revelation really mean.  And I get why President Hinckley referred to the Grove as a temple when he had a section of the trees "trimmed" so you could "stand in one temple and look out to another" (possibly through the clear stained glass window in the temple).


I learned alot.  From the Sacred Grove and the whole day.  It is real.  It is all true.  But it's like I've said a million times on the Square - just because I've seen President Monson doesn't mean I know he's a prophet, I already knew that.  Just because I've been in the Grove doesn't change anything.   I knew it was true, but being there adds a depth to the testimony I already have.  Just going there isn't going to get you a testimony.  It'll help, as long as you keep putting in the effort.

So there's the the day.  We got McDonalds before getting back on the throughway (thruway? I dunno.  I'd say freeway) , dropped off ElderN and had rootbeer floats back at the mission home.  And now we're almost out of Wyoming and into Utah.  That would mean it's probably a good time to sign off.  Who does the U mt belong to?  'Cause we just passed it.  And there's Mt Timp Temple.  Sweet.  There it is.  I'm home.

Sister Clayton

For more pictures and info, click here.
To learn more about Joseph Smith, click here.

(tell Otter I waved when we flew over Logan)