Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"We couldn't afford Disney Land, so we went to Smith and Edward's!"

Well, last weekend was Family Fun in the Fall weekend at the Johnson house, except we didn't do all that much. We were going to go to a movie on Thursday night, but instead we just stayed home, at pasta, and watched ... what did we watch? I can't remember. That's real sad.

Anyway, Friday was a lounge around day--I stayed in my pajamas and read all day, which I have not done in forever. So, even though I know my coworkers will probably be mad at me when they read this, I'm still glad I did it. :D

Saturday was the real fun day, unfortunately John Perry had to work :( We drove up to Morgan, and I'd say we got lost up there, but really it's Morgan. How lost can you get there? We had no idea how to get to the place we were looking for (and we never did find it), but we always knew where we were.

We discovered that Morgan has lots of weird signs. I've heard that cop-tipping is almost as fun as cow-tipping, and who knew that you could play giant-frisbee while parked in a handicapped spot?

After wandering all over the Morgan area, we hit Trapper's Loop, came down Ogden Canyon, then drove out towards Pleasant View. We found a roadside fruit/veggie stand, picked out pumpkins, tasted fresh apples, and bought fresh apples and other fruits. They were delicious.

Lots of pumpkins! (Sorry for the really crappy camera phone pics. They really don't do justice to the fantastic colors of the pumpkins, and they don't capture how beautiful a day it really was.

Our final stop for the day was Smith and Edward's. That place is truly one of the most unique places on earth (and I haven't decided yet if it's a good thing or a bad thing). We spent most our time in the army surplus section goofing off, as these pictures prove.

Well, until next year, that's it for Family Fun in the Fall!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kansas City Gets a Temple!!

So I know most the excitement about the new temples announced today is centering around Rome, Italy, but I just have to say how excited I am that there will finally be a temple in Kansas City.

I was 12 when my family and I lived in Warrensburg, Missouri (which is about an hour and a half from Kansas City), and I had the opportunity to go to the temple for the first time. The summer before this, our ward had organized a temple trip for the adults to the Dallas, Texas, temple and we traveled with my parents so they could go and do several sessions. I remember one of my friends and her family also went to the temple to be sealed together, so it was quite the experience for everyone. But when I was 12, and had just started in Young Womens, the youth had the chance to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead in the Chicago temple.

This temple trip, as I understand it, was the first youth temple trip for our ward in about five years, meaning there were priests and laurels who had either never been, or had only been to the temple once before. As youth we had to earn and save as much money as we could to pay for our way to the temple--which for me was quite the experience and a story for another day. Our ward leaders asked all the ward members to give the youth any little odd jobs--yardwork, babysitting, etc.--so that we could earn our way, and after months of preparing, we were finally ready to go.

We left in the late afternoon and drove all night until we hit St. Louis. We got up early the next morning and drove all day until we hit Chicago. (The Chicago and Dallas temples are both about the same distance from Warrensburg, just in opposite directions, by the way.) Once in Chicago, we checked into our hotel, changed into Sunday clothes, and then drove over to the temple where we spent most of the rest of the night doing baptisms and then having a small testimony meeting in the temple. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

But the problem was, the temple was so far away, these kinds of experiences for the youth (and indeed for all the members) were few and far between. Then, shortly after we left Missouri, I heard that a temple was going to be built in St.Louis. I was so excited for that temple because I knew how many lives it would bless--how much easier it would be for the members in the area to go often to the temple--and many times I've said that the St. Louis temple is my favorite.

Until today that is. Now this new Kansas City temple just might be my new favorite. I broke into tears when I heard President Monson announce that there would be a temple in the greater Kansas City area because I know how much the people in that area have wanted and needed a temple. I know that the Church has been growing and growing in this area, but now ... now I can't imagine the changes and blessings that will come to the members in this area! And it all just makes me so very excited!

Plus, this means the Saints will have a temple in Jackson Co., Missouri again. Think on that people. Think on that.