Sweden Here I Come!

Sweden Here I Come!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Older Brothers

First of all, my apologies to my faithful readers.  I have sat down several times this week to update this blog and each time I did something would come up that I would have to take care of.  Then I kept forgetting to do it. So finally, here it is after midnight on Sunday and I am determined to finish it before I go to bed.  Blaine and I spent the evening doing some dental work on Blaine's brother Kirk. Poor Kirk - he was in the dental chair for over four hours.  We really were able to get a lot accomplished, but I sure felt sorry for him.  That was so long!  Blaine and I then enjoyed a late dinner (date) and I determined to come right home and write on this blog.

I titled it "Older Brothers" for a few different reasons. First of all, Blaine has two older brothers Gary and Kirk whom he absolutely loves and has looked up to his entire life.  He loves to help them in any way that he can, and it is usually in the form of dentistry.  He is so thankful for them and to them. Grandpa Glen was 47 years old when Blaine was born and Gary was 20.  As Grandpa Glen aged he wasn't able to do as much with Blaine so his two older brothers took over.  Blaine is so grateful to both of them for all that they have done for him through the years. He still looks up to them and values their friendship.  Second, Dallin is the oldest brother in our home.  His two younger brothers love him so much.  All three of them have always been very close and the best of friends.  Carter and Ty really miss their older brother.  They have always looked up to him, and Dallin has always been an outstanding older brother. He is always willing to help them in anyway.  He truly loves them and has always been concerned about their well-being.

The third and final reason I titled this "Older Brothers" is due to an experience I had while driving to Provo last Sunday.  At some point in my journey I was reflecting on my life and the many things that were taking place - selling our home, moving into the old adobe house, getting ready for an interview, and facing the possibility of moving to Provo, etc...  I felt some stress and anxiety well up inside of me so I started praying.  I thanked Heavenly Father for all of my many blessings, especially the blessing of His son, my older brother Jesus Christ.  I asked that I would be given the strength I needed to get through all of the things that lay ahead for our family.  I prayed to feel my Savior near me and that I would be sustained through the enabling power of His Atonement.  As I prayed these words an incredible feeling of peace swept over me; I truly felt my Savior's love, but I felt it in a way that I had not experienced before.  I really don't know how to describe it other than it was a very distinct feeling - a feeling that I knew Him intimately, that I knew Him and loved Him as one who knows and loves an older brother.  I sensed his love and concern for me, but I also felt that we were the best of friends and that we had shared many moments that are typical of a brother and sister.  This really touched my heart and I realized how blessed I am to have an older brother to look out for me - an older brother to stand beside me and to stand up for me, and an older brother who's example I can learn from and follow.  This felt amazing, and it instilled in me so much confidence.  It reminded me of my older brother Chad and how when we were younger I really looked up to him.  I was determined to win his approval so I did everything that he did.  I must have driven him crazy, but he was always a good sport.  He encouraged me to play little league baseball with the boys by telling me that I was better than any boy out there.  This really made me feel good.  I remember working so hard to impress him.  I had that very same feeling on Sunday as I was driving.  I, the little sister, working so hard to gain the approval of my older brother. How blessed we are to have older brothers in our lives - especially our Savior Jesus Christ.  I pray you will all feel His brotherly love for you - it is the best feeling!

Blaine's Letter to Dallin:

Hi Dilly Dal,
I wanted to get this email sent to you today.  I am here at home on Sunday while your mom and brothers are at Stake Conference.  I have been reviewing your mom's correspondence to Dr. Crane at BYU prior to her interview tomorrow morning.  I have become very impressed with him and her as a mentor/apprentice relationship.  I have been listening to the spirit as I have listened to his presentation and their correspondence regarding the interview process and the joint interest in each other as mentor/apprentice.  Very fascinating things have touched my spirit as I have listened.
Your mother is a very gifted and talented woman and her leadership skills are evident as you reflect upon her journey with us.  I ask you to pray for her success in the interview process with Dr. Crane and others of his staff at BYU tomorrow and throughout this week.  Your mom has received many priesthood blessings in her life and interesting to note is that many of them seem to point in this direction.  This would be an opportunity for her that would not only recognize her efforts over her lifetime but reward her for her faith, love and endurance she has shown us.
She truly is the one that is blessed with the ability to obtain academic excellence in educational pursuits such as this.  What truly a blessing it would be for her to receive invitation to join them in their program at BYU.  Please pray for her this day and this week for our Heavenly Father to grant her this wish she has worked so hard for.  I know that our Father in Heaven especially loves the prayers of his missionaries and certainly will hear them in behalf of their dear mothers.
Love you Dallin to the moon and back.

Dallin's Reply

Hey Dad,

I'll be sure to send extra prayers up for mom.  She is really "all world" isn't she?  What an exciting time for the family.  It'll be interesting to see what Heavenly Father has in mind for us.


My Letter to Dallin this Week:

Dear Dallin,

How's my oldest son and favorite missionary today?  I think out of all the weeks you have been gone I have missed you the most this week for some reason.  I miss your big happy smile, your positive attitude, and your wonderful spirit.  I think that as my interview has been approaching I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my life, and of course, everything centers around my three sons.  We have had some wonderful memories big "D", despite the number of times we've moved and the trials we have faced, we have been very blessed, and my biggest blessing has been my three wonderful sons and their dad!

I am emailing you from the La Quinta Inn in Orem, Utah.  I just arrived here and will be staying for three nights.  I have my interview tomorrow from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, I will be meeting with Dr. White all day Tuesday in SLC to work on the book, and on Wednesday I have a meeting with Dr. Crane, one of the professors at BYU to talk about his areas of research. I head back to St. George Wednesday afternoon to make it home in time for Carter's basketball game against Desert Hills.  It promises to be a good one.  If PVHS wins we will be tied for first place.  PV played one of the most exciting games I have ever watched on Friday night against Dixie.  We won by one point with a last second shot by Garrett Bowker.  Carter made a crucial three pointer to close out the half.  It was so much fun. The state tournament will be held in Kearns at the end of February.  We are getting excited.

I have been working this week on the final three chapters of our book this week.  I have been very blessed to feel the guidance of the Spirit in my writings and research.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that Heavenly Father is mindful of what I am doing and desires to help me.  I couldn't do it any other way.

Not much new and interesting.  I will be excited to hear how your week went.  Did you ever get to go to the doctor?  I was sorry to hear that you were not feeling well last Sunday.  Hopefully that has passed.  Remember to drink lots of water.  Take some extra vitamins A and C, and take care of yourself.  My thoughts and prayers are always with you.

Aunt Julie had her baby on Friday...  A baby boy.  His name is Levi Rex Lewis and he weighed 9 lbs and 3 oz and was 22 inches long. That is a really big baby.  She and the baby are doing well.  Grandma Susan went to Monticello to spend the week with her and help take care of her family while she is adjusting to having six children. Wow! She is amazing.

We had stake conference today.  It was really good.  I really like President Leslie's talk on living to be an asset to the Lord and His work.  When we set our mind to that incredible things will happen, but mostly, we will be happy.  Mickell Bracken's sister Brooke spoke today as well.  She spoke on family history and how she has really learned to love searching for names of her ancestors and doing their baptisms.

Say some extra prayers for your family back home.  We are facing many changes, but I feel really good about things, I know the Lord will bless us if we include Him in our daily lives.  

Take care of yourself Dallin.  I had better get to bed, I have an early morning and a long day.  I pray all is well with you.  Please remember how much I love and appreciate you.  We all do, and we all miss you very much!

Much Love,


Dallin's Letter Home this Week:

Hey Mum,

Well hey that's exciting that you are up north doing your thing.  Best of luck with your interview!  But dang it sure does sound like it'll be quite the deal, being from 9 to 5 I mean.  That's super long!  And I read those papers you sent, super interesting.  You are pretty smart mom, way to go.  Reading the research paper you did reminded me of the fact that I'll be writing all kinds of papers as well in the future for college homework.  The problem is that I am not nearly as good of a writer as you are.  And best of luck with finishing up the book also!  I saw the pictures you put up from your grand canyon trip.  Looked like a lot of fun!  And you're still looking pretty dang good mom, nice work.  I wish I could say the same thing about dad.  hahaha no he's alright.  Sounds like it was a heck of a game against Dixie.  I'm excited to hear about the dhills game next week.  And big shout out to Aunt Julie for getting the job done.  Wow that is a really big boy!  Levi is a cool name too.  Good for them that is so exciting.  I'm sure that the kids are loving it.

Anyways I'm feeling really good.  Had a pretty good week too as far as missionary stuff goes.  With the combination of my charm and Elder Olsen's good looks we were able to get into some doors and teach a lot more then usual and picked up a couple new investigators.  I'm really excited about this one particular family that we met with.  They thought our message was interesting and want us to come back.  We had a hard time setting up a specific return appointment though so hopefully we'll be able to work something out.  But it felt good to see some success this week.  Sunday was super good as well.  Elder Olsen and I both bore our testimonies.  Missionaries used to not bear their testimonies on fast sunday to give members more opportunities but President Beckstrand has encouraged us to do so and I think it's awesome.  I'm always so impressed with the quality of the meetings here in Kungsbacka every Sunday.  I'm starting to get to know the members better and better too which makes it so much more fun.  Elder Olsen is a total stud as well.  It's been cool to see him transition from being a greenie to leading the area here.  He's a super good example of a humility and just working hard through all circumstances.  What a guy.  Okay enough of that.

Going to the doctor was a total mess.  We went to where we thought we were supposed to go and then got redirected to another place and then redirected again and then finally got to the right place where they had me set up another return appointment and its not until February 19th.  I don't know why it has to be so far away but I couldn't really do anything about.  Sweden man.

In my testimony I talked about how grateful I was for my mission because it has helped me get to know who I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are.  But mostly weaknesses haha.  I recited the famous ether 12:27 and talked about the Savior's power of turning our weaknesses into strengths if we humble ourselves and come unto him through prayer and repentance.  I've seen him strengthen me in my weaknesses time and time again here in Sweden.  I still have so much to work on but I'm grateful that I am at least on the right tract.

Thanks for all the love.  I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers this week like I do every week :)  Take care


This Week's Pictures:

The chapel

Winter Wonderland

We made some really big hamburgers

Sunset in Kungsbacka

1 comment:

  1. Another great post Natalie. I'm excited too for the new things in your life.