Monday, April 28, 2014

Mom and Dad's email from Saturday night. Getting closer to the mission field!

We started out from Colorado on Thursday morning. As usual, we had a hard time leaving our babies.  We had worked hard to help Mallory and Brad move into their new home. It will be a wonderful place to raise their little Cohen and baby sister. We had to get on the road to head to Des Moines, Iowa, and visit with Ada Jo Pasdora, my sister.

 Cohen is newly obsessed with cars. Climbing on the hood was the only thing that would keep him happy that morning!

 Mallory and Dad's obligatory we-forgot-to-take-pictures-until-time-to-leave pictures. Love it, though!

Is Mom shrinking?? ;)

We were captivated by the scenery as we drove through Colorado. We headed toward Ft. Collins and bypassed most of Denver. The land was beautiful but lonely. There are plenty of cattle in Colorado. It made us wonder what Indians lived there. It must have been quite a place to live back when there were no fences and just open space. I found no thimble from Colorado. Someone who lives there needs to get me one for Christmas sometime.  hahaha

As we moved into Nebraska, which is a state we have not visited before. We were blessed with beautiful weather, and it was an enjoyable trip. There was very little traffic, so the drive was easy. We got on I-80 there and had to go 500+ miles to our destination. We got to see wild turkeys, some antelope, and again, lots of cattle. We enjoyed nicely kept roads, and believe me, if you are on the road long enough, you really enjoy roads that are kept up. I was able to get a thimble for Nebraska, so this makes the second one I picked up. The first was in Wyoming.

Finally, later in the afternoon, we finally began to see the signs for Des Moines, Iowa. It made us very happy to think we were actually heading in the direction we needed to go. We went through the city of Council Bluffs in Iowa. Craig asked me why we knew this city. I did not know, but it was so familiar that Craig looked it up. This was the city that the Saints used as a stopping point on their way to Salt Lake City. There is a visitor's center there. Orson Pratt, Ezra Taft Benson, and George Albert Smith helped the Saints from there to move on to Salt Lake City. Now that I write this, I ask myself how old these men could have been at the time. I'm not sure if I have this right, but maybe someone of you can help me and do some research as to how they helped the Saints. Evidently, every rest center in the state of Iowa has something about the movement of the Saints through the state.

We made it to Ada Jo's at around 7:00 p.m. She is the same Ada, but different. I look at her and see a very professional, mature lady. She still has such a funny sense of humor. She has a very responsible position in her work, but I believe this has always been the case. She lives in a beautiful part of West Des Moines. Her home is lovely, and it is obvious that she has a real talent for decorating. She has two cute dogs that are part Corgi. They aren't any taller than 20 inches and love to act ferocious. They bark like they are going to eat us up, but they really want to be petted. We went to bed a little later and enjoyed a good night's sleep. It is cool here, although Ada claims it is perfect.

This morning we got up and went out to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Seems Ada and I are still very much alike, neither like to cook. Afterwards, we came home and messed around until we needed to leave so there could be a showing of Ada's home. She is trying to sell it and downsize. She took us out to see the "Freedom Rock" painted by a young man in honor of the men and women who fight our battles for us. Jon, you probably know all about this,but we learned this man has been doing it since 2000. He is trying to do one in every county in Iowa. What a talent to share with the world. Every Memorial Day, he repaints the rock here with a new theme for honoring Veterans. It is an amazing piece of work.

This evening we met Tara (Ada's baby daughter), her husband, Brad, and their child, Mija. Mija is two years old and a beautiful young lady. She kept us moving and was having a great time. Brad is a farmer (works a thousand+ acres) and is massive. He is a gentle giant and very nice person. He was good enough to answer our questions about what he does. Something we noticed as we drove through Iowa was the way the land was terraced in the acres being farmed. Neither Craig or I had ever seen farmland developed like this. It is unique. Brad says it is done by those who use bulldozers and other heavy equipment. He is going to do his land that way (it cuts down on erosion), but this is his planting time so can't do it now.  He is planting corn and soybeans.
Tomorrow, we head out to Sam's home. She is Ada's oldest daughter. We are excited to see her.

My discovery this week in studying the Scriptures was from the class material for the 10-11 year old class in Primary. The class was about Jacob and his working for 7 years for Rachel, only to get Leah. He then asked Leah's father why he had been tricked, and it was the tradition that the oldest sister had to be married first. But Jacob could work another 7 years for Rachel. I always thought he worked those 7 years and then got to marry Rachel, but actually, he married her one week after his marriage to Leah. Then he worked the last 7 years. I think that was persistence.

It is late, and we need to get to bed. Des Moines is a beautiful city. We have only seen the good side of it, but according to Ada, there isn't much of a bad side. Because of the cold weather, the trees are just now blooming.  Very nice to be here now.

We love you all. We are praying for you and asking the Lord to bless you. Our thoughts aren't very far away from you. Take care. Would love to hear more about a blog that we can all add to for keeping up with each other.


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