I will explain about this photo a ways down in my ramblings...
So, I had a very contemplative weekend so far.
Thursday night was amazing at the temple. My heart was touched. I was super busy with my assignment but it was so wonderful to see so many patrons that came to do the Lord's work. I went home tired but so fulfilled.
Friday I spent some time with my little mom. Did a few errands. Went to the track.Not much else.
Saturday, we met as a family at my sister Deb's home. A lot of the family couldn't come but we had an enjoyable time. Until I got distracted and offended one of my brother-in-laws. It hurts my heart that I was that thoughtless. He is an amazing man and I feel very remorseful. I hope that he and my sister will forgive me. I could list why I got distracted but in the end, it was my mistake. I hope they know I love them. I left there feeling upset at myself. In fact, all weekend.
Then that night, my friends and I went to Emerson Drive. They are a country group now residing in Nashville. But they are all from different parts of Canada. That was special to me. Don't get me wrong- as I have said before "I love the United States and proud to be a citizen" but I also have such tender feelings for Canada. I was born and raised there. Vancouver means so much to me. It always will. And I stand proudly to be from Canada and to now live in the United States. I am so grateful for my heritage. And I love that my dad is from Finland. These guys in Emerson Drive had amazing harmonies and the fiddle player was spectacular. It said in their bio that he plays Mozart. I can believe it! I loved listening to them talk. I also have that Canadian accent. I get teased about it off and on from my friends. Which I don't mind because I know they care about me. It is my heritage. It is where I am from. The way I speak comes naturally to me and I can't change it nor would I want to just because some people (might) think it is silly how I talk. Nor will I ever apologize for it. Just like where I live now- people speak differently with some of their words and name pronunciations. We are all unique individuals. Accept us for who we are.
I wanted to add that Emerson Drive sang a song last night that really touched my heart. They lost a band member this last year. He took his own life. How extremely tragic. They wrote a song for him and sang it last night. The part that really touched me was when they talked about how much they miss him. How they wonder if he is laughing or crying. And is he thinking about them as much as they think about him. My eyes teared up thinking of my sweet brother Jason. Some days I miss him so much. I know that Heavenly Father took him when it was his time. I know that. But I also miss him so much. I can't believe it has been 15 months now since we have been able to talk to him, to hug him. That song reminded me of how I feel sometimes. Wondering how my Bumper is doing. I know he isn't crying. I know he is smiling. His huge smile that lights up a room, the sky even! And I hope he knows we are thinking of him. That we miss him so much. And I always hope he is thinking of us.
NOTE: I took the photo above the other day from outside my door. Ever since my brother passed away, the sky has huge meaning to me. I think of him when I look up in the sky. Though I believe that he is right here with us on the earth. Not above in the sky. All those that have passed on from this earth are all around us. This I know in my heart. And it gives me great comfort that they are around us.
This morning I also just came home from a missionary farewell in Highland. My friend Beth's son is leaving for the MTC on Wednesday. He is going to Jakarta, Indonesia. His talk also really touched my heart. He spoke about how he had to decide about a year ago if he wanted to go on a mission. As it is each boy's choice. He pretty much did decide that he wanted to but then his father was found to have cancer last November. Everyone had high hopes and prayers that he would somehow win the battle but in February he did pass on. It was such a sad time for all of us as friends. And our hearts will always go out to them as time passes. Nathaniel mentioned in his talk how his father didn't fear dying but did fear that he wouldn't be there to lead his children in the right way as they grow up. The right path. (Luckily they have an amazing mother who has more strength than I sometimes think she realizes. Along with other family and friends who care so much for Nathaniel and his sisters.) Nathaniel then wondered, after his dad passed away, if he needed to not choose to go on a mission. That his mission was to stay with his family and to take care of them. But when he prayed about it, he felt peace and calm in his heart. He knew that it was right for him to go on a mission. That his dad and mom wanted this for him. That our Savior wants this for him. As he finished his talk, I went up and told his mom that the way he speaks that he sounds like he is a returned missionary. He will touch the hearts of those people in Indonesia and plant many seeds. I am so thankful for missionaries. That is how my parents found the gospel. I would not trade this foundation in my life of the gospel for anything.
I am grateful.