Saturday, March 27, 2021

NC-TN-AK-OK-TX-NM

(This post covers Saturday, March 27-Sunday March 28th)
 On Saturday morning bright and early we embarked on another
 cross-country trip bound for the West!
We didn't make it to the stop sign out our culdesac and the 
car made a funny loud noise.
I've been worried about our Navigator lately.  
The AC works ONLY when it's cold outside and the heater
 ONLY works when it's hot outside.  
The running board on the left side doesn't go up and the running board 
on the right side won't go down.
The sunroof broke and somehow it doesn't leak
 (maybe because we pay our tithing).
And, the left window motor broke and doesn't go down using the button,
 but will go down with bumps, so it's taped up with clear tape.
And the left taillight is held together with tape, too.
Somewhere in the middle of the Oklahoma plains, we hit 200,000 miles!!!!!
It was a momentous occasion and I silently thanked God for this
sweet car that has taken us across the country 4 times!

We spent our first night in Arkansas in a dumpy hotel.
Gigs slept on the 2-inch window cushion.  Jane and Ollie took a bed
while Christian, Lottie, and I snuggled in in the other queen bed.
Since it was Sunday, I woke up early before everyone else
 and snuck to the lobby to attend my Zoom ward council.
Christian and I HATE traveling on Sunday and try to avoid it at all costs, 
but this trip was hard to avoid, so we planned ahead so we
could keep the Sabbath as holy as possible.

We went to Whole Foods in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday night and
bought pre-made salads, hummus, bread, cheese, a cooler, 
and dry ice to get us through Sunday. 
 I hope God knows our desire to keep His day as holy as possible. 
 I hope He blesses us for our efforts- though not perfect.
Christian took us to a home of a woman, 
Jaynea who he baptized in Kentucky 23 years ago.
She's since moved to Searcy, Arkansas with her son Patrick
 (who he baptized, too), and Patrick's wife, Brenda.  
We pulled up to a tiny apartment where Patrick was smoking in his church clothes.
We visited for about 30 minutes ministering and sharing our
love for Jesus and the missionaries who found Jaynea.
Christian gave them blessings and through God's power,
he blessed them with strength, love, and courage to take on challenges
and concerns.  I was overwhelmed with love for Chrisitan and his ability
with words.  He is so loving and eloquent.
I also felt overwhelmed with love for a Heavenly Father who freely gives
 His love to His children to bless others.
After we said our goodbyes, we left the house, pulled over to the side of the road
before getting back onto the 40, and changed out of our church clothes.
I thought a lot about Claire, who is serving a mission and having
very similar experiences.  I am so thankful she is doing what she is doing.
She is wonderful and amazing, and I am so proud. I was so glad all the Nies
were there to see the family Christian baptized!
 I was glad they got to see the obedience, love, and dedication 
that a 19-year-old boy had toward a family so long ago.
We stopped for lunch at a rest stop in Oklahoma and ate bread and cheese.
We ran around, stretched our legs, and some of us used the restroom,
That is something I will NOT do.  
I made Christian pull over to the side of the road
every time I needed to tinkle. 
I'm a pioneer at heart.
We pulled into a gas station in Texas to eat our salads and get one more 
tank of gas before Albuquerque.  Amy Bingham texted me to tell me
that John's cousin was a stake president in Park City, Utah, and had
BRANDON FLOWERS as their speaker.  Jane was able to zoom in and watch
the fireside while we drove at dusk through Oklahoma into Texas.
  She was so excited, I thought she was going to die!
We had such an uplifting Sabbath, regardless of our having to travel 
pretty much all day.
Brandon's fireside was actually pretty cool, and I was very impressed by his solid
testimony since he's a famous rock star.
It was so refreshing to watch!
We got into Albuquerque around 10:30 and collapsed in our hotel.
 It felt a little bittersweet being back so close to the ranch.
We miss New Mexico!  It will always be home, I think.
 

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