We spent about 2 weeks in Utah and it has been amazing! The main reason we went there is because we are members of the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and so Kieren could catch up with his mission friends that lived there. We stayed with Kieren’s friend and his wife, Austin and Mickelle, who looked after us really well! Since we had so much time in Utah we got to relax and veg out for a bit, while our friends still had to study, work and go to school. Hope we weren’t in the way too much!
So just to clarify for those who don’t know, Utah is commonly known for the Mormon church because about 70% of the people that live there are members and it was settled by the early members of the church, so a lot of history there. Temple Square was the most exciting thing for me to see (Kieren had been there before :P) But for me it was a pretty big deal to finally see it. It’s just me and Mum in my family that go to church, and the rest of the family is somewhat divided about Mormons which has been tough sometimes. So when I finally saw Temple Square, I just felt really grateful to be a member and to know all the things that I know, which was all confirmed when we did all the other things in Temple Square. Such as seeing the church history museum, the Beehive and Lion house, the conference centre and attending the Salt Lake City Temple. It just reassured me that the church was true and God was directing His people in these latter days. Then there’s the fact that the members in Utah have these great historical monuments at their fingertips which is so awesome! And I was a tad bit jealous the members are so close to so many temples and chapels and all things church related, as the membership and knowledge of the church back in Oz is a bit more scarce.
Growing up I heard all the stories about the pioneers trekking across America to find a peaceful place to live, Joseph Smith restoring the gospel, the prophets that follwed him, the translation of the Book of Mormon and so on. And hearing those truths all the way across the other side of the world in Australia, I can see how those stories can seem a bit unrealistic and “made up”, but then you go to Utah and all the history and witnesses of the amazing things that happened is right there! Sitting in museums and embedded in the settling of all the towns and cities – which are named after places/people in the scriptures like Nephi, Lehi, Bountiful, so cool! It’s been a spiritual breath of fresh air and a real testimony strengthening experience for me. And I’m so glad I’ve been able to share that with Kieren. None of this would have been possible without having him as my husband, and that he served a mission and was able to have great friends from that experience to meet up with in Utah.
As well as the religious side of things, there’s also the fact that Utah is beautiful! It was covered in a blanket of snow and we got to take in the amazing views from the mountains. We did a 3 hour snowmobiling trip and it was so much fun. I drove for about 20 minutes and Kieren had to really yell at me to get me go faster haha, but I let him do most of the driving because there were lots of hills and bumps that I didn’t feel confident taking us over. Plus the back seat was so comfy! 😛 Kieren went shooting with his friends (I happily declined to do so) and the rest of the time was spent with the rest of his mission buddies and their families. We really enjoyed ourselves!
Can’t wait for the next opportunity we get to come back to Utah!