Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy 4thof July!

Dear Family,

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July yesterday. Sister Itri and I also got to watch some fireworks Saturday night because they were right outside our window. So, I didn't feel too bad about missing Bishop Wood's arsenal this year.

The highlight of our holiday was, of course, seeing Kevin and Beth be baptized and confirmed. They are so great and we are so happy for them to finally have their sins washed away and be on the path back to Heavenly Father. Their two girls, Tara and Beth, were super cute. After the baptism, Sister Itri was showing Tara a picture of Christ being baptized and Tara grabbed her nose and said "My mom plugged her nose." She cracks me up. I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of all this and help Heavenly Father's children take these steps back to Him. The joy on people's faces as they come up, out of the water is difficult to express. Beth said afterward that she felt clean and like a burden had been lifted. That is the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that we can be cleansed, that we can change and become more like our Savior because he showed us and provided the way.

Our Relief Society lesson yesterday (in the family ward) really spoke to me. Ali (the teacher, who also served her mission here at the Trail Center) told a great story about running a marathon in Utah. She started out going downhill pretty fast and felt great and excited to get a good time. But when there were about ten miles left, it was uphill and her legs were in a lot of pain. She wanted to give up or at least stop and walk. But then, she saw her family on the side of the road, cheering her on. Her brother (also a runner) even came and ran those last miles with her. She said if it wasn't for him running by her side that she probably wouldn't have made it. But she did, and as she crossed that finish line, she felt so good. It was the greatest feeling! She compared that to our life and how, when we might want to give up, we can trust that our older brother and Savior is there to help us through. She also said that if we could get even the tiniest glimpse of how wonderful eternal life will be, we would do everything in our power to get there. Returning to our heavenly home will be the greatest feeling! It will be worth it. To me, the moral of the story was "Don't give up. I'm here. It will be worth it." So, I will keep going, trusting my Heavenly Father and my Savior and keeping that finish line at the fore front of my mind so that nothing will keep me from getting there.

Sophie, Holy Guacamole! You wrote the longest email ever about dance festival. It was great though. I'm glad it was such an uplifting and testimony building experience. I especially enjoyed hearing your "voice." You have always had a way with words and I enjoy hearing your stories. Did Clark have as much fun rock climbing as you did? I hope you and mom have a stupendous time at girls camp and I look forward to hearing all about it.

Sister Bailey Mortensen

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