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Lily’s Blessing Day

In the LDS church babies are given a special priesthood blessing in the months after they are born. Chris gave Lily a beautiful blessing and my dad was able to be a part of the circle of priesthood brethren along with many of our good friends. I am so grateful to have the power of the priesthood in our home and family!

My mom and I stayed up late the night before to sew Lily a blessing gown (based on this tutorial) and while in the end it was hard to find Lily in all the ruffles, we think it turned out pretty cute!

After church that day I tried to get some cute mommy-daughter photos while she was still in her dress.
Some turned out precious…
Others not so much…
She cracks me up on a daily basis!

 

Little Brother: The Missionary

“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.” – The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

As soon as our early Thanksgiving ended, it was time to help my little brother, Cameron, get all of his final preparations ready for his 2-year mission to Dallas, Texas for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can't believe he's old enough to be a missionary already! Granted, he left sooner than we all had planned on due to the change in the age limit last fall, but it still makes me feel old!

Suits and dress clothes all packed and ready to go.
Classic missionary.
For those of you who aren't Mormon, many young Mormons choose to serve proselyting missions to preach the gospel for 2 years full-time. They give up their normal lives to spend all day, every day, preaching the gospel, serving others, and teaching the message of Jesus Christ. They don't choose where they will serve their mission and during those 2 years they only get to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day. All other communication to their families back home is through letters and emails. It's pretty intense, but it's a beautiful experience that touches lives forever. You can read more about LDS missions here. I think they are pretty cool!
 
 
 
Cameron gave a fantastic farewell talk in church the Sunday before and he was more than ready to get out there and preach the gospel. He'll totally be the cutest missionary ever. I mean, look at him! We are all so proud!
 
Cameron's last photo at home in Vegas for two whole years!
 
 
Most new missionaries go to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Utah for a few weeks before going to their assinged mission location to, well, be trained how to be missionaries.
 
Cam was so excited to go he barely had the patience to hug everyone goodbye!
 
But he did anyway :)

Bye Cam! You're going to be a great missionary! We sure do love you!

 

(Whether you are Mormon or not, if any of you reading this are in Texas and happen to see this guy and his companion walking around, you should definitely invite them over for a good home-cooked meal. And if he knocks on your door, take a second to think about the sacrifices these young people are making and at least listen to what he has to say for 5 minutes. As a favor to me. It'll make his day and mine. :) Go Texas!)

 

Category: Church, Family  Tags: ,  2 Comments
Temple Trip to Stockholm

This is a very Mormon post. Be ye therefore warned ;)

A little LDS fact: Mormons have 2 primary worship buildings. Church meetinghouses where we have regular Sunday services, meetings, activities, etc and temples. Temples are sacred and very special to us. So special, in fact, that Chris and I drove for days across two countries to spend a week at one this summer. We consider them to be houses of The Lord and special sacred ceremonies are performed there. If you want to learn more about why they are important to us and what we do there, you can check out this video here:

 

We spent 5 days almost entirely at the temple, staying with ward members in patron housing right next to the temple grounds. I wish I could put into words what a special, peaceful time that was. The biggest indicator to me was when we got home at the end of the week, Chris commented that my eyes looked a lot bigger and brighter than they normally do. It confused me, until I realized that I had completely lost the bags under my eyes that had been there for longer than I care to think about! It was just such a calm, relaxing, spiritually rejuvinating week. I don't know if I've ever been more aware of the sacred power of temples before that point.

It was also an amazing bonding experience with our ward! Many-a-night was spent playing music, singing, eating good food and sharing uplifting stories and testimonies long into the night. Plus, we got to see a little bit of Stockholm while we were there!

There will be a few posts to follow this one, since I can't possibly contain everything in one post! Suffice it to say, we were so blessed to have been able to share in this week together in the house of the Lord!

 

 

Category: Church, Travel  Tags: , , ,  2 Comments
National LDS Church Conference in Oslo

In April, there was a momentous gathering of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway. A call went out for as many saints who could make it to gather in Oslo for the first national gathering of church members in over 20 years. Unfortunately, Chris was still doing his 3 week stint in Germany…but I opted to go on my own and was sure glad I did!

The meetings were wonderful and it was awesome to see the church gathered together and unified. And a bit humbling to realize that the entire membership of the church Norway barely equalled the number of members at our Stake Conferences back home.  It’s growing though! Enough so that…drumroll for the best news of the weekend… they are creating a second stake here in Norway! Previously, the church here was organized with one stake in the Oslo area and then the Stavanger district and another district up north.  The Stavanger Branch has now become the Stavanger Ward part of the Drammen, Norway Stake! The members here have been waiting a loooong time for a second stake so it was wonderful news indeed. Now they are hoping we’ll be more on track for a Norway temple!

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Can you find me singing in the choir?

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Finally ran into Sister Jessica Taylor! (She’s a sweet girl from my ward back in Vegas serving her mission here in Norway) 

Since the night train arrived in Oslo at 7am and the first conference meeting wasn’t scheduled to start until 5:00 that evening, I had a lot of time to kill running around exploring Oslo.

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The Royal Palace

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The Viking Ship Museum

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 Chris in a few years.

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I’ve been wanting to see this in person since I was a wee one.

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Tribute to my all-time favorite Doctor Who episode.