Dan and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Utah and General Conference again a couple of weeks ago. He had a mission reunion Friday night (they have one before every April conference) and they always request him to come play and put together some musical numbers for it. He loves going and seeing all of his old mission buddies and catching up with everyone. I don't mind it as much as you might think; it's fun for me to see him having so much fun with his friends, since we don't get much of that at home.
This trip we went through Flagstaff, picked up our friend Marie who had never been to Conference or Utah for that matter, and then went on a different journey through eastern Utah. We left Tucson Thursday night when I got out of clinic and drove to Mesa to drop off our puppies with my mom for the weekend, and then drove the rest of the way to Flagstaff. We stayed at a somewhat ghetto Days Inn in Flagstaff, but it was sufficient for what we needed (just a bed to sleep in).
Friday morning we got up and had the continental breakfast at the hotel before heading on our way. (Which we ended up regretting later when all 3 of our stomachs were upset in the middle of nowhere, AZ) We drove from Flagstaff to Monticello, Utah to see the temple there. It was a beautiful temple just tucked back in a small town like any other city building. A fairly small temple, but gorgeous and enough for the town of Monticello. On our way to Monticello, we drove through Monument Valley, AZ which was gorgeous. We saw sights of AZ that we had never seen before and it was so beautiful! I was happily reminded of why I love Arizona so much. As Marie said driving through Monument Valley, "I feel like I'm in an Arizona Highways magazine", it was SO true!
We then drove on from Monticello to Lehi, Utah. We were racing the clock to get there by the time the reunion started at 7 and the fact that it was supposed to be stormy the whole way. We didn't hit much of a storm, but we did drive through some rain and then snow falls as we crossed the Wasatch Mountains. Utah is so beautiful as well with all the snow covered mountains. Through all of our travels, I have really learned to love the scenery and nature of each place we go. It makes me so grateful for the earth we have to live in.
We finally made it to Lehi, Utah where the reunion was at about 7:20 pm. (We left Flagstaff that morning at 6:15 am...talk about a long car ride) We were just in time for the reunion, and were ok because his mission president and his wife had just gotten there minutes before us from working in the Salt Lake temple until 6:30. Dan had a bunch of things planned to play at the reunion, and ended up only playing 1 if I remember correctly. He just pulled a bunch of different things out once we got there and it was his time to shine. It was interesting though seeing everyone all nice and dressed up, etc. and we had been driving for 10 hours and were no where close to "dressed up" other than our change of clothes. It was fun though and we were glad we were able to go.
We stayed with Dan's mission president at their house in Salt Lake City that night. The next morning we went to the Saturday morning session of General Conference. We were literally 10 rows from the door where the prophet walks out. Good ol' Sister Fillmore (Danny's mission pres.'s wife) and her connections; she visit teaches a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and she had tickets that she wasn't using...so we went to conference as "Guests of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir". It was amazing! We then walked around Temple Square and went to the Church History Museum to show Marie around. We were able to visit President Hinckley's grave again, which was still very spiritual of an experience just like the first time we saw it last April.
We went back to change our clothes and then to go see the 2 new temples and some of the old ones for Marie to see. We went to Jordan River, Oquirrh Mountain, Draper and Provo. We were supposed to then drive from Salt Lake to St. George that evening to stay with our sweet friends Wesley and Tiffany Webster and then not have such a long drive home on Sunday. But we came around the bend from Draper and the sky was literally BLACK. The weather forecast said it was supposed to clear up by Saturday, but obviously they were a little wrong. Dan & I both got the WORST feeling in our stomachs (just like we did almost 2 years ago, right before we hit a coyote driving home from Salt Lake in the middle of the night and lost our car for a month and a half). We were so sick and had a horrible feeling about driving that night. It was starting to get really windy, and it was starting to snow...and the sun was going down...and we were supposed to drive another 4 hours to St. George. Needless to say, we didn't end up going to St. George. We went to the Provo & Mt. Timpanogos temples and then went back to the Fillmore's to stay another night. Boy were we blessed for it! We never found out if anything would have happened, but Sunday drive was absolutely gorgeous and smooth the entire way.
Sunday we got up and started our long journey home. We left Salt Lake City around 10am. We drove straight to Manti, Utah to see the temple there (which we thought we would have to cut from our trip since we were supposed to see it Saturday on our way to St. George). We were able to listen to conference on the radio until we got to the middle of no where. We heard Elder Holland's talk on the atonement and resurrection. That was probably the most powerful talk I have ever heard. We were all just silent in the car when he closed, it was wonderful. Manti was absolutely amazing. Talk about gorgeous! We walked all around and took lots of pictures. Then it was back to the car. We drove to Flagstaff straight from Manti, only stopping for gas in Panguich, UT and a quick breather at Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. Another beautiful drive with breathtaking scenery.
We dropped Marie off in Flagstaff and left for the rest of our journey home around 7:30 pm. We picked up our puppies again in Mesa, which they were very excited to see us again after 4 days. We thought on throughout the day that we might just stay in Mesa Sunday night and drive the rest of the way to Tucson on Monday morning. But we got to Mesa, and going back to the being blessed for following the Spirit on Saturday, we weren't really that tired. Even though it was almost 10 pm and we had been in the car for 11 hours already, we decided to just do it and go the rest of the way. That way we could sleep in our own bed and take the dogs home and be somewhat ready for school and work Monday morning. So we did, and it was so humbling that we did not feel a bit of fatigue, jet lag, or anything until we hit our exit in Tucson. Talk about a blessing from Heaven.
It was overall a wonderful trip, and we learned so much from just a weekend of travel to Utah. Between President Fillmore's talk at the reunion on Friday, to General Conference Saturday morning, to the prompting Saturday night, to Elder Holland's talk Sunday morning and returning home safe and with no tragedies, it was just what we needed.