Gosh life is coming at us fast these days! Things keep getting in the way of life slowing down but that’s ok. I loved this quote I heard in a meeting the other day:

“Christ came not only to comfort the afflicted, but to afflict the comfortable.” What do you think about that? I don’t think He “afflicts” the comfortable, but I think he lets things happen that will make us stronger. And better.

Isn’t it interesting that when you’re thinking hard about something like that more and more things come to mind about that same topic? Is that just me? It’s interesting that is what we’re talking about in our scripture “Come Follow Me” devotionals this week (the destruction of so many people in the book of Mormon), and also interesting that that theme was so beautifully laced into the season premier of This Is Us that my girls and I snuggled on the couch to watch last night. I wish I could remember the exact wording, but something to the effect that the sorrows in life are the journey. They are what connect the pieces. We all have them. It’s what we do with them that matters.

Ok that was a giant digression, and I will have to talk more about my feelings on that another day. For now, let’s talk about our missionary girl:

She was originally supposed to board a flight to Austin, Texas (where she has been reassigned until Uruguay opens up again), and head off on her mission adventure YESTERDAY, but we got a call a couple weeks ago that her “leave date” would be pushed back for two weeks. (There are so many missionary logistics going on right now, I just keep thinking over and over again that 2020 missionaries rock, but I think the people in the missionary department who are working their tails off on the logistics of it all equally rock! What a job they have!)

So we get this girl for two more weeks. She is so anxious to get out there and get working, but true to missionary Grace form, she is looking on the bright side of it all and I love her. She is diligently studying her Spanish, her scriptures, lifting all of us around here with her missionary light, and beating her mother at tennis every single morning. Ha!

We still went ahead with her missionary farewell at church on Sunday. (We are back to church, socially distanced and masked up.) And she did such a beautiful job. I sat there listening with a giant smile on my face at that girl so eloquently speaking up there on the stand, wondering how she went from that feisty, colicy, mischievous baby/child to that beautiful young woman glowing with such light and goodness.

Oh how I adore that girl.

My parents came to join us and we were so grateful to have them! They have been in England with my sister who just had twins…(the most beautiful and wonderful thing in the whole wide world and I am dying to meet those babies some day! Follow her on Instagram if you want to see that story…she is amazing!) and have been so patient quarantining on both ends and keeping those masks on and staying healthy. And so grateful, as always, to have Josh as well.

Also family from Dave’s side of the family came all masked up to church. So grateful for the opportunity to gather and worship together on Sundays.

And my love and gratitude for these sisters grows exponentially every day.

These three and the other two who couldn’t be with us (Elle who is FaceTiming with Grace every minute they can and Abby who showers Grace with love every time she gets to talk), along with that awesome brother Maxwell and brother-in-law Carson.

Grace has an army of love surrounding her as she prepares to leave us.

I hope she’ll carry us around in her heart in Texas and hopefully Uruguay some day.

Until then, we’re snuggling her up as much as we can!

Nothing like having a missionary living in your home with you!

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  1. How surprised (and not) I am that your parents have been to England since covid. In Australia, where I live, we can’t leave our state, as many states have ‘closed their borders’. Not only that, to leave the country, you need government permission. My poor friend had her second baby in one state and her parents (the child’s grandparents) in another, applied for them to come – the application took so long that the ‘2 weeks quarantine’ period evaporated. And today, we’d expected that state to announce opening borders – and it did, just not to the state her parents are in. So she continues to hope to see her parents… sometime!

    Comparatively, Australia has a tiny case load with COVID, and it’s because of this, but so many hearts are breaking… And it’s so variable, in this big world of ours.

    1. Sarahn, I can’t really speak for Shawni’s parents or England, but compare it to the situation in Germany. Numbers have been really low during summer and bars etc. that had been closed were able to reopen (with numbers staying low). Now with autumn, numbers are rising again and starting Monday, we’ll have another shutdown. I believe that the virus will stay for a long time and that we need to go with the flow.

      Your poor friend! I’m sorry for her!

    2. It really is so variable!! And I agree with Kerstinek, so sorry for your friend! There are so many heartbreaking things going on out there! My parents had to quarantine for two weeks when they arrived in England and they just enjoyed the beauty of that place for a couple weeks. They have lived there before (we lived in England for 3.5 years in my growing up years) so they were so glad for the chance to be back in that beauty place. My sister had her babies a week or so after their quarantine ended and she was so so grateful to have them. So lucky that was the situation in England, so many different varieties of lock-downs in the world right now. I agree, we just need to go with the flow!

  2. What beautiful pics! So exciting she gets to go on her mission soon! I wondered, where did you buy your daughters’ green dresses? Thanks!

    1. Funny you would ask…Lucy walked into Grace’s room wearing that dress the morning of her farewell (a hand-me-down but no one really knows where it’s from), and Grace begged her to let her wear it because she couldn’t figure out what to wear. And Lucy was nice enough to let her use it (you never know with that girl! Ha!) And Claire’s is from H&M.

  3. I checked out your sister’s posts – your parents are amazing! I am visiting my family this weekend and have been quarantining on a smaller scale in preparation – groceries delivery ($$$), no going out, etc. What we are all sacrificing for our mental health and for those we love.

    Your daughter is glowing! Good luck to her on this new adventure.

  4. Absolutely loved being there to celebrate this glorious missionary! This is a life-changing experience that will be an anchor for all her life. Already she has learned so much about adjusting as she has been pulled in many directions. What a joy to see how much she loved her MTC experience, even though it was so vey different from the one any of our kids experienced. I love change! So this is such a delight to watch. Some things will never be the same after this pandemic. I think we have all learned so much about going forward, no matter what! Grace’s delightful outlook on life and love for this adventure makes her glow light a light bulb!

  5. I noticed since the missionary thing that Grace is dressing way differently. Less fashionable dresses, no ripped up pants or jeans… can missionary girls wear normal clothes (pants)? Also those kindergarten shoes with socks…. is that also a missionary thing to show how modest and unworldly she is all of a sudden?

    1. I cannot really answer the missionary aspect of your questions – as I am not Morman … but I just ordered a pair of those Dr. Martens shoes for my 14 year old – they are very much in fashion! Not unworldly at all! I think they are so cute, too! I had the lace-up Dr. Martens back in the 90’s and am thrilled they are back 🙂

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