Monday, October 3, 2016

Growing at the MTC

This is the week that felt like a month ...
On Monday we met our kids and grands at the Kneaders in The Riverwoods ...
So many Perkins and some Summers too. 

Darby with her Squish. 

Group hugs!  Favorite Aunt!! 
Our girls!! 
Saying goodbyes to grands.  
Thumbs up from my boy as we head to the MTC 
In line ...
We've had our missionary tags for less than a minute!! 

We then had lunch with a meeting for all 81 senior missionaries. Dad was made a district leader!  

Then it was dinner and a video of Elder Bednar's amazingly motivating talk he gave to the missionaries on Christmas a few years ago. Wow!  
Tuesday. Meet Sister Peterson she's 4 foot 8 inches tall, but big on Spirit. 
This is our district, us and the Reed's. 
Lindseys and the Hjortens 
This is the Adams, his health has been on and off, so they sold their house to allow them to serve early, just in case. Their youngest is 18!!  They're going to NY, NY doing CES, my dream mission, so we're going to follow their adventures. 
Later Dad and Vanhin Vest caught up with two of the Finnish Vanhinmat. 
I found Ian Shumway (Matt and Ann's son) who is headed to Korea. 
Here's our iconic pic! 
Tuesday night Elder Switzer  of the Seventy spoke at our devotional. We ran into John and Trish Allen, who work Tuesdays at the MTC 
Here we are with the Vests and Elmo Keck.  He is the assistant choir director at the MTC. The choir that would sing at conference, sang at the devotional. (We got to know Brother Keck when his wife was in one of the care facilities where Dad was in the Branch presidency. You never saw a kinder husband to a woman with severe Alzheimer's  it used to bring tears to my eyes.) I fell asleep that night at 8!

Here we are in our afternoon class on Wednesday.  
Our teacher is Brother Lilywhite. He's also a direct descendant of Philo Dibble through his oldest child be his first wife. Dad comes through the youngest child of his second wife.  I fell asleep that night at 7:00!!!!  The spirit is so strong all day, every day. Dad said that once Philo saw Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon after they'd seen the vision of the three degrees of glory. He said Joseph nearly glowed but Sidney looked exhausted.  Joseph said "He's just not as used to it as I am". Well, I felt like Sidney a lot this week. So much of the spirit so much of the time IS exhausting, but I'm adapting. Other couples in our district had the same experience. 
Thursday night we went to Joe Bandido's in Springville and met the kids again. We ran into Bishop Madson there, they'd come to join the Johns' 50th anniversary party, right next to our party. 
Here are Darby and Ian 
Ashley, Zack and Dad 
Spencer, Hannah, Ben, Kim, her boyfriend Skyler and Ashley. 
Ben and Hannah. 
Skyler and Kim
Trevor, Ashley, Davin and an unhappy Zach. 
His oldest grand child. 
Us with Trevor and Nell's kids 
Cousin love!! 
Spouse love. 
Trevor, Dad, Spencer and Dave 
Nell, Scott, Bri and Penny. 
Dad, Spencer, Brittney and me 
Us with the Johns!! 
Eleanor contemplating her new birthday smart watch. 
When we got back, Dad dragged me tin visit the Finnish classroom ... He posted this pic on the Finnish Missionary Moms FB page and made some moms happy. 
Our last day of class. Sister Reed and me with Sister Peterson. 
And the whole gang!  
Here's the whole Senior class.
That night was the Finnish reunion, where we ran into Roger and Geri Essen. That was fun. Please pray for their children to be healed, so they can serve a mission in Finland. They are so needed. 
Stina and her mom were there and brought us socks they had knit for us!  What adorable girls and what warm socks. We know we'll have warm thought about them later. 
Back at the MTC for Saturday where we watched conference all day, Dad went to the Preisthoid session with the Finnish Elders, can we just say "happy dad"?  I stayed in our room and watched Women's Conference on the IPad, it was offered in a class room, but I was more comfy at 'home'.
This is the adorable Sister who was our first guide in the MTC, then greeted us all week. Her name is Sister Soaksai from Australia.  She's headed to Ogden. 
After watching conference on Sunday we walked up to the temple. 
The sky was beautiful!! 

That night we had Vocal Point from BYU,  they are the premiere acapella group there and are fabulous. They usually do pop music, but this was a spiritual meeting, and each of the nine members told a story, my favorite was when one member had been doing a study abroad in the Jerusalem center. One girl had many questions about miracles, later she developed a painful rash, she could not sleep or focus on anything for 4 days. Medical personnel were baffled. Finally she asked other students for a Preisthood blessing. This young man participated, and she was told she would be healed, as soon as the blessing was pronounced, she started sobbing. The Elders were concerned they'd some how hurt her. The next day she told them that as soon as they pronounced her healing, her pain disappeared. She had her testimony of miracles. Not sure what soul searching and prayer on her part made this possible, but it was a great experience. 

This did not happen to someone's grandpa. It happened a couple of years ago to a young man who sings pop music, to him and a handful of BYU students. 

Well you've had a taste of our week. As we write  this our eyes are wet. We feel the Savior's love and are so grateful for these experiences. 

Love you all , please keep us and the Essens in your prayers 


  1. MAN!!! Living VICARIOUSLY!! That's so awesome! Love this whole blog.

  2. I had to wait to read this letter until I had a good solid space of time to read every word carefully and look at every picture carefully! Kind of weird to see pics of the MTC mixed in with pics of a gathering with your family! That is the cool part of being a senior missionary!

    You really have had your last class? So are you headed to Boise?

    The "senior" class is amazing!

    So glad you had such a spirit filled week!

    We miss you horribly!