Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9, 2017 There and Back Again

We have been back in Accra for a week and are reflecting on the wonderful memories we have of the past month.  Four weeks ago today we landed in Paris and connected with Ben and Christy.  We  visited the new temple in Versailles and the Pitchers who are serving as missionaries there.  We satisfied our mountain cravings by spending a day in Annecy [it rivals Waterton] and finally parked in a little village, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, near Avignon and the lavender fields.  With that as a base, we day-tripped to hilltop villages in the region, the Gorge du Verdon, and the Calanques.  Spectacular!  We loved the food, the sights, the fields, practicing our French, and traveling with Ben and Christy. 

Annecy

Cruising Lake Annecy

Lavender fields

Moustier Sainte Marie (Sue's favorite)

Parc National des Calanques

We flew to Salt Lake and spent a busy couple of days  shopping before driving to St. George with Tal and his girlfriend Alexandra. En route we hiked the Queen’s Gardens and the Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon (something Sue has wanted to do for years).  The smoke from the forest fire at Brian Head was impressive.

Tal and Alexandra in Bryce Canyon

Gnarly!


All our children and grandchildren gathered to a large house in Santa Clara (a western suburb of St. George) for a week.  We focused on the 11 grandkids, who are 2 to 14 years of age.  The mornings were cool and perfect for outdoor activities like exploring and climbing  on the rocks in Snow Canyon and Pioneer Park.  By mid-day the temps were  over 100F and we spent a lot of time swimming.  The house had a pool, the neighborhood had a larger pool, and we also spent time at an indoor water park.  Pure fun but exhausting!  We were grateful that the Church allowed us to be absent from our duties at the temple for the week.
Neal giving a tutorial on desert plants


Front: Jonah, Cam, Elizabeth and Ivy
Back: Asher, Simon, Tommy, Scott, and Ethan

 Pioneer Park



Eden Reading
Eden and Elizabeth crossing the alligator

Kristi and Jonah after the waterslide

Ivy, Emily, and Elizabeth - making puppets

Ethan and Scott ready to conquer Angel's Landing

Yay for family!

We are busy, back on our schedule, and are anticipating French language stakes attending the temple every week now until Thanksgiving.  Several missionary couples leave to return home in July.  We said good-bye to the Websters at lunch today.  She has worked very diligently managing the temple office. We will miss them and the Andersons and the Peines.  All came to Africa three months before we did. We do look forward to meeting the couples who will replace them. They too will be exceptional people.

Sue taught the YSA today about learning by faith, using Elder Bednar’s CES talk from 2007 (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/seek-learning-by-faith?lang=eng).  When we act despite uncertainty, instead of being acted upon, we learn for ourselves what is true and we remember what we have learned. 


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