Travels of a different kind, Salt Lake City

Just an update: here’s something I started writing last Saturday that I’ve been a little…hesitant to post. Not because I’m not sure it’ll be received well — I’m actually kind of sure that there might be a lot of controversy to me publishing this on da travhel blahhg — but I’m hesitant because there’s a large chunk of me that craves…perfection. Let me explain, I’m about to write about something entirely personal and infinitely important to me and I want to get it right. You feel me? But, I guess for now, I’m letting go of the perfection and I am embracing the sincere and the raw…Like a medium rare steak. Siizzzz

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There are a hundred things that I could write about today.

For example, I could write about the protests in Turkey and my last memory of Taksim Square only seven weeks ago (needless to say I am still kind of in shock about what’s happened this weekend — not so much a surprise kind of shock, but a, I-just-left-there-and-I-have-no-idea-what-to-think-and-I hope-my-friends-are-okay-is-this-really-happening-whatACTUALLYISGOINGON-shock).

A peaceful protest during the last few weeks of my stay in Besiktas

A peaceful protest during the last few weeks of my stay in Besiktas not 7 weeks ago

But today, while I have just one more day to live in peace and safety, I want to tell you about something different. I promise that I will get back to the protests and pictures and airports and all that important stuff later. But right now, in the midst of a lot of confusion and violence, I want to write about my travels of a different kind.

Today I woke up really early (Groggy from embarrassingly falling asleep during a movie with friends before the ripe hour of 10PM and then staying up after the movie was done to do dishes, laundry, weeding, deep cleaning of house mortar). But today was special: I drove a friend to the airport. Hear me out: I LOVE driving people to the airport. Now I know, I know, saying “I LOVE driving people to the airport” is right along side of “I love lending my truck to every person person who ever moves ever” or “I love removing shrapnel from my chest cavity” — but I actually do. I love the long drives, I love the company, I love the fact that I get to see someone off on their own grand adventures. So today I woke up really early and drove my friend to the Salt Lake Airport.

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But see, as I got up really early this morning and turned out of the terminal drive really early I started driving down the road and what should I see but a sign for the Downtown Salt Lake City.

Blooop.

Left blinker, turn lane, over shoulder, right exit, and a few moments later I was in the heart of Salt Lake City at 6 in the morning.

Now I’ve now told this story a couple of times, and so I can’t remember which happened first, but then I was struck with the date (June 1st 2013). I realized that I was in Salt Lake City on a very special day: I was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on this day four years ago. Wild.

I found parking insanely easy (my navigation skills left something to be desired, however) and I walked into this beautiful place and it…peace. It peace. Verb.

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Today I decided to go to the Salt Lake Temple by myself and ponder on all of my life so far. And uh, like everyone, I haven’t had an easy life. I’ve been struck by how lonely things can be. How small one can feel. But. I have to say, I have loved the deep waters. Everything. Everything that has been hard to bear, difficult to face, down right stinky — everything has given me hope, and knowledge, and love because of something that I plunged into four years ago. In the last four years, even though there’s been a lot of trial and hard times, there’s been this happiness that I never knew could exist before.

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There’s a favorite scripture of mine. It is from the Doctrine and Covenants section 127, and it goes: 

“And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.”

Yesterday I logged on to find out some pretty scary news about Turkey. I feared for my friends and hoped that they were safe. It worried me. Yesterday I received some devastating news about a friend. It crushed me. And yesterday kind of compounded with my not so great week in general. A trip to Salt Lake was just what I needed.
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It was beautiful. Well cared for. The spirit surrounding the place was just peaceful. It reminded me of some things. I was reminded that life goes on and gets hard all the time. But even more, I was reminded again that life is good and rich. Life is a miracle. Heavenly Father wants to bless His children because He loves us. And as I’ve journeyed and worked these past four years life has become full.

Having the temple grounds all to yourself at 6:30 in the morning is really nice. 

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It’s been hard, and yet each time it gets hard — and in times of great joy — I do and continue to look to the Lord. I carry and pray to my Father in Heaven for this continued desire and conviction of the living reality of the Almighty. I am accountable to him for what I do and I must look to him in every extremity and thank him for every blessing. The Lord has guided my life extraordinarily and He is who I choose, and chose four years ago, to follow. I have so much to learn and that’s kind of exciting right?

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A morning to myself reminded me to not lose hope. And on wise words of my friends, to not lose faith in myself.

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Four years ago I ran on faith in something and I’ve continued to learn and nurture that faith. I’ve gained a knowledge. It’s been beautiful. It’s a joy.

These are all my words at the moment. I have quite a bunch, but for now I feel sufficient in saying that this is happiness. It’s not always a picnic, but that’s life right? I worry sometimes about making the right decisions but I can testify today, four years ago I made the right one. This church is true and good and of the Lord. It…peace. And tomorrow. And life. And life, it’s a journey. Happy travels to you.

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One thought on “Travels of a different kind, Salt Lake City

  1. Luv ya Cookie, and thank-you Kristi for sharing on your facebook page. Truly a wonderful life this gospel brings us.

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