Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Edmonton

All right, I live in Edmonton now! But let me tell you how I got here!
Once I decided I was going to move out here, I knew I didn't want to drive alone. I asked a few different people, but some couldn't make the trip. Enter Keaton's mom, Jackie. (to the rescue!)
On Oct. 14, Jackie flew to Moncton and my parents picked her up and brought her to PEI. She was going to be my driving companion, which was amazing! She spent the weekend with us and really enjoyed visiting the Island in the nice fall weather! 

Day One:
On Oct. 18, with the car packed with all my things, we left around 5:30 in the morning to start the journey together. Driving throught Quebec is just as crazy as everyone says it is! It was really beautiful though. We made it all the way to North Bay, ON that night and we stayed in a motel.

 


Day Two:
We got up before breakfast at 7. But the breakfast sucked - good thing we had crackers and peanut butter to snack on in the car! We crossed the border and drove through Michigan and North Dakota (we stopped in Minot and went to Target hahaha)
We drove right to Deer River, Minnesota to stay the night there! That was a nicer hotel, with better breakfast. 
(It was funny too getting to these hotels and we would both say that we were going to bed right away, then we would sit and chill and go on our phones! 
In Deer River, we went to a nearby gas station to fill up and it was probably 2 degrees out! That's just what happens when you go to Minnesota I guess!)



Day Three:
We left Deer River to cross the border again to come back through Saskatchewan. That was a long stinking drive.
Mostly the whole drive, Jackie and I listened to an audiobook series that were called The Selection, The Elite and The One. They were all right! We also had a lot of time to tell stories and things about our lives, so that was good.
Once we reached Lloydminster, we were on the home stretch. I was SO tired and just passed out before getting to Sherwood Park. Upon our arrival, Keaton, his dad Eldon, his sister Courtney and her husband Tom were all at the house to greet us. I actually hugged Eldon first since he was right beside the car first! Keaton fake pouted and then came and hugged me. The three guys then took a few minutes to bring my boxes and bags into the house. 
Keaton doesn't live at home anymore but he stayed the first few nights I was here to make sure I would settle in okay. After we brought everything in, we watched a couple episodes of The Office before going to sleep.

Friday, we both got up since Keaton was taking my car for the day to go to the temple and class at school.
His class was actually cancelled and came back and surprised me! Before dinner, Keaton and I practised traditional German dance that we were going to be teaching at a YSA Oktoberfest activity that night! We actually picked it up pretty good, and we taught the dance to Courtney, Tom and Keaton's brother Austen when they came for dinner (We had missionaries over as well!) Keaton and Austen and I drove into Edmonton for the activity and it was an all right time! Keaton and I came back to Sherwood Park after and watched Netflix before going to bed.

Saturday, Cineplex was showing free movies, so picked up tickets to see Zootopia then went and picked up two of Keaton's cousins to come see it with us. Keaton was the only one who hadn't seen it yet, so we had to be quiet and not ruin it for him!
We then ran some errands and had lunch at home. Keaton is going to be in a play next month, so I took him to his rehearsal, then ran around town some more.
I picked him up about three hours later and came back to the home, where Jackie brought pizza for dinner. After that, Eldon took us into the garage to show us a bit on how to change oil in my car, which took maybe and hour. That was still good to be there for, and we helped when we could!
Keaton and I watched some Stranger Things for a bit then went to bed
(Going to see Zootopia)

Sunday, we got up and got ready for church at home then drove to Keaton's house in Edmonton. He lives in a big house with 10 other guys. We left the car there and we were able to walk to church. It was a good time at church. We learned a lot together. And I love when that happens!
After church, we drove back to Sherwood Park to have dinner at Keaton's grandparents house. The guys then had a choir practice at another stake center, so I sat in the chapel and listened to Courtney practice playing the organ. Keaton and I went back to his house and we watched The Best Two Years, because I hadn't see it before! It was really good!!

I'm also just so happy to be closer to Keaton. Long distance was tough at some times, but our progress amazes me every day and I'm so in love with him and I'm grateful to call him mine. :)

So yeah, things have been going well so far! I'm pretty much settled in, just waiting to hear on a job! 
Shoutout: thanks to everyone who supported me and helped my family and I along with this journey. It's been such a blessing to be in a new place and be closer to Keaton. I really think it's just going to get better and better! 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Utah trip - Part Three!

Megan and I got ready and Joy drove us to the train station because we were taking s train down to Provo to hang out with Kyle some more. Neither of us had ever been on a train before and it was pretty fun!

Kyle picked us up when we got there and took showed us around quickly before going to Pizza Pie Cafe for lunch. He showed us the Provo City Center Temple, the Provo Temple and MTC. He took us to BYU so we could get stuff. I got a new sweater there! He took us back to the train station after that since he had to go back to class at school. 



Megan and I rode back to Salt Lake City and we took a cab to Utah's Hogle Zoo. It was a little chilly so not all the animals were out, but it was a still a cute spot. And Megan got to see her favourite animals: elephants! 
Another one of our favourites was the otter! If we put our hand on the glass, he would come closer to see us!


When we finished there, we called another cab to take us to the conference center again. 
We didn't even plan it, but when we saw they were doing tours, we knew we had to go in! And it was so great! So many nice pictures and little exhibits here and there. The best was going to the rooftop terrace and to see the temple better and watching the sunset. It was beautiful and glorious. 
Definitely the perfect end to conference weekend.





Megan and I went back to the mall to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. We had never been there and I thought it was quite fancy! I had shepherds pie and strawberry lemonade. I also picked out the Red Velvet cheesecake to try! We got our cheesecake slices to go and waited for Joy to pick us up. 

She took us to the pharmacy really quick so I could get allergy meds. She also drove us up to the Bountiful Temple again because Megan hadn't seen it yet. 
We went back to her house, and showed her pictures as we attempted to pack all our things again!
We relaxed some more and had our cheesecake. Then we had to get to bed since it was going on midnight and we had to be at the airport by 6 am.
We flew to Toronto first, then into Halifax. 

We spent the night at Haig's parents house in Cole Harbour. We thought about getting up and being productive, but we ended up sleeping in until around 11 am! We relaxed a bit while waiting on Alyssa to drive over with my car! When she got there, we talked to her for a bit about the trip and showed her pictures. Then we hit the road to head home and made it back safe and sound!

Man, oh man we had a good trip. Some things didn't always go the way we wanted it to, but that's all okay! We had plenty of help and support coming our way, which I am so thankful for :)
Megan and I have been so blessed to be able to take this trip. And I love her so much for coming with me! <3

Utah trip - Part Two!

Saturday
We all had to get up pretty early to go meet Kyle near Salt Lake. We drove into town and found parking pretty easy! We had to be at the conference center at least an hour before and in our seats half an hour before. We were in the nosebleeds seats. But it's also called celestial seats since we were in the balcony! Once it started, it was really cool to see how everything goes behind the camera. 


We heard some really good talks. Like really good. Good to the point where you want to change so many parts of your life! It's extremely special when it feels like the speaker is actually talking to you! And that was so great to experience. 
After the first session, we went to Kyle's car and all went to Cafe Rio. While there, we also met up with Keaton's twin brother Austen and his girlfriend Caitlin. This was our first time meeting her! And we all got a good picture together! 

We went back to temple square for the second session of conference. We didn't have tickets for that session, so we went into the tabernacle where conference used to be held. It was kind of warm in there, but it was still good to be in the building and be part of that. 
We went into the north visitors Center again for all of us to see the Jesus Christ statue. 
We also went in front of the temple and sat down and chatted for a bit. 


The boys has tickets for priesthood session in the conference center, so when they left for that, Megan and I went to City Creek mall to meet with Emily and Katherine Burchett. They are originally from Utah and their family lived in PEI for a long time until they moved back. We had Chick-Fil-A with them and talked about a lot! 
Megan and I went back into the Deseret bookstore and shopped a bit more while we waited for the boys to eat after priesthood. (They also went to Chick-Fil-A!)
(Megan, Emily, myself, and Katherine!)

We all started to head back to Bountiful after that. Megan, Jeff, and Kyle all went together to get a few things at Target for our Sunday picnic. Keaton and I went to Coldstone Creamery for an ice cream date and drove up to see the Bountiful Temple. The gates were locked so we couldn't walk around, so we parked close by and had a good talk. 
We went back to Joy's house to meet up with everyone else and chatted for a while. Then went to bed!

Sunday
We had to get up even earlier. But it was so worth it so we could go to the conference center for a program called Music and the Spoken Word, where Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings specially selected songs that correlate to a speaking section.

Once conference started that morning, we were so blessed to be able to hear from President Thomas S. Monson, our amazing and beloved prophet. Megan cried through the whole thing. Can anyone blame her?! He's a prophet of God! And spoke amazing words!

After that session, we sat outside on the square for our picnic lunch. And it was Kyle's birthday. We brought him a Cheesecake and lit some candles on it and sang happy birthday. A lot of others on the square sang along! Then it started to rain a bit. We hid under a tree for a few minutes then went into the visitors center. 

Once the rain cleared, we sat outside in the sun and talked a bit. We didn't have tickets for the Sunday afternoon session, so we sat outside and listened since they play it on loud speakers throughout the square. It was rather hard to listen to, but we did what we could. At least we had a good view of the temple!


After the session was done, Keaton and I walked around the temple a little more. There were people singing hymns on the streets which were amazing. I called it "Conference Carolling". 

Keaton then had to leave since they had a 17 hour drive back to Edmonton. 
It was hard to say goodbye, as it always is. I did my best to stay calm until we got back to Joy's house, where I was a little emotional. But I got back up and had dinner with Joy's kids and their friends. Megan and I then relaxed for a while. Joy's parents came over and we had brownies and ice cream and played Five Crowns with them.
Megan and I then went to bed because we were just SO tired!

Continue on to Part Three to read about the adventures Megan and I had in Provo and at the zoo!

Utah trip - Part One!

My first trip to Utah has so many good things about it, I wrote it in three parts. Hope you enjoy!

*First of all, I'm going to say that this has been such an amazing trip. Megan and I actually talked about how we weren't sure if we were going to be able to do it. But we did! All things were possible and it was such a blessing to attend general conference with loved ones and friends and listen to words of our prophet and his apostles and general authorities.*

On Thursday, mom and I got ready to drive to Aulac, New Brunswick, to pick Megan up there. Mom then drove us to the Halifax airport. Our flight was at 3:10 and went to Toronto. 
When we landed there, there was another plane still boarding at our gate, which worried us since we only had about an hour before our next flight. The plane was there for about 20 minutes. Megan and I had to run through the airport to try to make it past U.S. customs and to our flight to Salt Lake. We made it to the gate with about three minutes to spare! On the first flight, I started to watch Star Wars 7, then finished it on the next flight, as well as 10 Things I Hate About You. 
When we landed in Salt Lake, we got Megan's luggage and went outside to wait for our ride. We were staying with a woman named Joy and her family in Bountiful. She picked us up and took us to her home and Megan and I got settled in. I didn't sleep much though. It was probably because of nervousness and being excited and the time change! Keaton, his brother Austen, and two of their friends were driving down from Edmonton that night as well, so I was up making sure they were doing all right and seeing where they were. 

So although sleeping that night kind of sucked, Friday was just so good. I want to relive it.
Megan and I got ready at Joy's house and she drove us to downtown Salt Lake for some shopping.
Joy then drove us to Temple Square where we spent all afternoon! We started at Deseret Book and got some things. I got a new CTR ring, a journal, a CD, and a temple recommend holder. 
Our first stop at Temple Square was the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was so beautiful, with a large statue of Joseph Smith and pretty chandeliers. We went to the top floor where you can see an amazing view of the Temple. 


We walked around the temple and we were just truly amazed by it. It's so big and magical! 
We also crashed about three or four weddings by accident. But everyone looked beautiful so that was fine!


After that, we went to the North Visitors Center where they have the large statue of Jesus Christ. It was a very peaceful setting and we sat and reflected on that. Sometimes we don't realize what He did for us. 
Sitting there, I was just amazed by His love that He always provides for us. The Spirit was a great feeling.

We walked across the street after that to see the waterfall at the conference Center. It was closed so we couldn't see the whole building yet. 

We visited the Church History Museum, where there was exhibits on the life of Joseph Smith and how he restored the church. There was also a spot with all the former presidents of the church and some of their old artifacts. It was amazing to see little things that had part of their lives. 
(Stained glass picture of Joseph Smith's First Vision)

We went back to the Joseph Smith memorial building for lunch at the Nauvoo Cafe. I had Coca Cola pork on a spinach wrap and it was delicious!
We took a short walk while waiting for Keaton to show up. He parked in front of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and got out and hugged me tight. We found parking and took him on our stroll along Temple Square again. We walked to the pedestal where a lot of people take pictures! And we did of course! 




We then met up with our friend Jeffry and went to the back of the Salt Lake temple where there is an entrance for anyone who wants to do baptisms for the dead. We got in and got changed. Megan and I did confirmations before going into the font. It was so special. 
This is the second temple I've ever been in. It was so beautiful. 
There was about four girls ahead of me in the line, but I saw Keaton get up before it was my turn to go. He asked some of the workers if I could go ahead of them since he wanted to do the baptisms for me. The worker called me over to go up closer to the font. I was panicked as I looked at the girls ahead of me.But all of them smiled at me and said, "No, you go ahead!" That comforted me so much. We did let one girl go first, then it was my turn. 
Keaton was able to baptise me for four temple names. That was a very special moment I'm happy we could share. Being able to see the man I love practice his priesthood power is a wonderful sight. 

After we were done in the font, we all changed and met up again. 

After we left the temple, we made plans to head down to Draper, since the guys had a Canada Halifax Mission reunion. We met up with our friend Kyle while in Salt Lake, and he took Megan and Jeffry in his car, so Keaton and I could follow.
I didn't know too many people, but it was fun to see people that I did know who served in the Canada Halifax Mission. The guys got to talk to a lot of friends, so that was also good!
Kyle went home to Provo after it was over, so Keaton and I took Megan and Jeffry back to Bountiful after that to go back to Joy's house and we all stayed up talking for a bit!

Continue onto Part Two to read all about our lovely conference weekend!