I swear, this will be the last Progress Report for a while. Mainly because I’ve run out of numbers to tack on to the end of 15.
After a mere 7-ish (that’s being generous) hours of sleep sharing a room with a woman who unknowingly liked the same guy as me and lightly snored through the night. Have I mentioned how I can’t seem to win at life? Seriously. Can’t. Win.
The plan for the day was to spend one more glorious meal at the buffet, go to a family ward’s sacrament meeting, and then go to Carthage Jail. Carthage is where Joseph Smith was martyred. To put it simply, we were going to a historical crime scene. I really should have written something with more reverence, but I couldn’t help myself. Hopefully God will forgive me because He only has himself to blame for why I am who I am. Well, that and my parentage- which on second fault is His fault too. I really need to get on a different tangent, I can sense a lightning bolt with my name on it being brandished.
It was a bitter sweet goodbye to the buffet, but I soon learned that all the food came from Hy-Vee, so that soothed me. When we got to the church, it was evident that they were not expecting two different tours visiting. There was a second tour of elderly people there too. There was also one younger guy on the tour, who frankly didn’t know the company he was going to keep. Though if you’re on a bus with 95% old people then I will consider you old as well.
When sacrament meeting was over and we were waiting for our bus to arrive, I decided to try to sneak onto the elderly bus. I really just wanted to see if they had any food, because nobody had planned for us to stop for lunch. I was desperate. Sadly, one of my bishopric members called out to me and attracted everybody’s attention when I almost made it to the elderly bus. I flat out told them I was looking for food- because they didn’t provide lunch!
We arrived to Carthage Jail, having survived off of the muffins and fruit I had foraged from the buffet earlier, and began to look around before the tour started.
At this point I was still a little down, but I couldn’t deny that it was a beautiful day out and that there was definitely a quiet spirit of reverence to this place. I began to wander around and read the markers. There was one in particular that struck me.
There was one line that struck me more than anything else: I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it.
When I read that it reminded me of the night I received a clear answer that The Book of Mormon was true, and that I needed to act on the answer given. I’m no Joseph Smith by any means, but I know what it is to be given an answer so powerful that it can carry you through almost everything.
It was then I realized I had been missing something important amidst my bad mood: I already had all the answers. A long time ago I had been given an answer not only about what was true, but about what really mattered in life. I’d been so desperate for new answers and changes, that I’d forgotten that I already had everything that mattered. I knew that Heavenly Father loved me, His truth has been restored on the Earth, and faith in God and my Savior was all I needed.
With that, I finally felt a weight lifted off. Even my friend Careena commented that I seemed lighter. And she was definitely talking about my spirit- because judging by all the foraged buffet food I had eaten I was not physically lighter.
Soon after we began our tour of Carthage jail. I know few people will actually believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, or they’ll believe that in the Book of Mormon. But, for me, I know it’s true.
When we finished at Carthage we made our way back to Nauvoo and had one of the most spiritual testimony meetings I’ve ever been to. And yes, I did get up and bear mine. It was hard to leave at the end, but them finally feeding us helped ease that pain a lot. I was so glad I went, and I hope someday I can return again.
Oh, and the ride back was just as full as shenanigans as can be imagined. Here is actually a video of my friends planning out my life for me. For all the worrying I’d been doing, who would’ve known that all I’d have to do is play a game of MASH in order to get all the answers?
Sorry, I had a video of the MASH answers that I was gonna share but apparently since I’ve been an absent blogger they’ve made it so that you have to pay to add video. I don’t think I’m committed or rich enough yet to do that. But don’t worry, you just need to know that someday I marry Chris Pine, become a professor, and have 97 feral cats with chlamydia. Looks my life will turn out exactly how I expected.