Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Weekend Trip to Tucson

For those who don't know, Kenz and I first met in Sunny and Beautiful Tucson, Arizona.  It just so happened that we were both serving as missionaries and overlapped  for 4 months.  I was assigned to work with the mission president at that time teaching those who attended The University of Arizona and help with some administrative tasks on the side.  We had a file in the office where our mission president would leave the profiles of new missionaries coming in.  Tyler (Moss)and I would always look through the new missionaries who would be coming to serve with us and see if we happened to know any of them and to familiarize ourselves with their faces and names as we would be training them the following week.  We tried to get an initial feel or understanding of what area might be the best for them and who they would serve best with.  Well in Feb 09, we're going through the batch of new missionaries, and I came to one, MicKenzie Bessire from Rupert Idaho that just looked familiar to me. I couldn't figure out where I had met her.  I didn't remember her from college, any trips out west or anything, but I felt like I recognized her from somewhere.  Either way, I put it out of my mind and we carried on.  A week later Kenz and I met as we waited for the new missionaries at the airport at the bottom of this escalator.  That was the first time I met Kenz.

Well time went on and we didn't really associate much, but we knew of each other.  The day I was leaving the mission home in June 2009, my mission president and his wife, who I grew very close to over the second year I was in Tucson, pulled me aside and very gentley said that they think I should write Kenz a letter once I got home.  I didn't think I would at the time she told me, but fairly soon after leaving Tucson, I decided too.  Very long story short, and if you want the whole detailed story feel free to ask sometime, but Kenz and I wrote old fashioned letters back and forth every week for the next 14 months while she was still in Tucson.  We dated between Utah and Idaho when she got home and finished her degree at BYU-I while I was at UVU and we got married 6 years ago this July.
Well a few years back the Church announced that a temple was going to be built in Tucson, AZ.  We were both absolutely excited about the announcement and planned that when the open house would take place, we would try and make it down.  Thankfully President Higham and Walker had similar thoughts and planned a mission reunion for all missionaries.  Joann and Kelly were kind enough to watch the girls and Kenz and I flew down to Tucson from Boise on Friday and flew back first thing Sunday.  This trip was absolutely rewarding and so fun.

Many know, I'm a pretty sensitive guy and a total cheeseball.  I couldn't stop thinking on the flight down how cool it was going to be that we got to come back to Tucson, but also go down the same escalator together where we first met, not having a clue what would happen over the next 2 years after meeting in that airport.  I was just thrilled and Kenz laughed and smiled as we landed in Tucson and planted our feet on the first place we met.  I just couldn't stop smiling.  We drove up to the temple pretty quickly and got ready for a photoshoot Kenz had planned with a photographer she knew from the mission days.  We got up there at sunset and had several pictures taken around the temple.  The location is perfect, just planted on the foothills, built with a style that matches a southwest kind of theme.

We got to spend a good amount of time with people we served with including the Walkers and Tyler Moss who I served with for 9 months of the mission.  We got to sleep in which is very rare since our little girls are a natural alarm clock.  We got to see my sister and her husband Bryce who used to live in Tucson, but now live up in Glendale while they were meeting up with some other friends at a splash pad for the kids to play.  We had Sonoran Hot Dogs at BK tacos with Tyler Moss and went to see the Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson that we never happened to see while we were living there.  We had fun reminicing of all the memories we created together.
We had a mild hotel mix up while we were there.  We got checked in to this Best Western, but when we walked in the room, it was literally 95 degrees in side.  There were bugs all over the bathroom and we decided we were not going to waste our time.  We thankfully got switched over to a Marriott which had better A/C.

We went to the mission reunion and reconnected with old friends and faces we knew.  They organized a special tour of the temple for us all that evening where we all went through and saw the inside of the temple.  It was just beautiful and rewarding to see.  I'm pretty sure that if this temple had been built 6 years ago, Kenz and I probably would have gotten married here.  It was such a fun time spending time with people we love and miss who we would regularly see in Utah, but it was so special to be together in Tucson.

Not everyone gets to go back to the mission they served together with their spouse, and not everyone gets to go serve in the same place, but for us it is the same and we wouldn't have it any other way.  So rewarding to be there together and experience this hand in hand.  We've learned that things are always best when we get to do them together and I wouldn't have it any other way.  We can't wait to take our girls here someday, to show them the streets we walked, the special memories we created and share with them the things we learned about seeing people as people and value in every soul, not passing harsh judgements as we all come from the same Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can understand.  That day will come and I'm sure that the years will seem like days at that time, but for now it was just so nice and rewarding for Kenz and I to have two days together to reflect and soak in things that are so important to us.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Back to Blogging Our Move to Twin Falls

I’ve decided in a way that there is so much that goes through my head that never makes it to a sheet of paper to be remembered.  So much happens in my head, my mind doesn’t ever stop turning.  I’ve learned just at this moment that that is where Sierra gets if from… Me…  Anyways, my mind goes at a very rapid pace and there is so much I think about, contemplate, ponder and wonder that what ends up happening is that I continue to cycle through all these thoughts/topics and I end up contemplating each topic/idea so far and then my mind goes on to the next thing.  I compare it to when you are downloading multiple things at once on a computer or phone or whatever, and you seen the download percentage, on file at 4%, then other at 16%, then 3 others at 45%, 88%, and 32%.  Anyways, lots of thoughts in my mind tend to be this way.  So many things are buffering but I sometimes feel like it’s really hard to complete the thought or get an answer to what I’m searching for.  I decided that we are experiencing so many fun things in our lives right now at the stage of life we are in and unless we write it down or record it somewhere, it will never be remembered but a faint thought or turn into a lost treasured moment that gets lost forever.  Kenz and I have been so busy with life, just like every other young family our age, and who has time to record the memory in anyway but whip out our cell phone and snap a picture or video of the happenings.  So that’s how our family’s memories have been recorded in the past 5.5+ years of marriage, pictures, videos, all stored on iPhoto and we pray that our computer never crashes and we lose our little family’s memories.  So, Kenz and I have decided we are going to record our thoughts, life events, special insights on a little blog.  This isn’t a cry for attention or anything else, but more the purpose is for us to record the little thoughts, memories for ourselves, and if people want to read along and stay in touch with our family, great, we love that.  We recently left lots of our friends and family in Utah and moving to Twin Falls.  Hopefully this is a way that we can keep in touch with lots of those of you we miss and wonder how you are.  So what I’m going to do to start this whole blog is to kind of back track to almost a year ago because we had so real eye opening experiences that are worth recording.

Back in May of last year, we were able to complete a large milestone in our family’s life.  Dad was finally done with school forever!  What a ride, a stress relief, such a happy time.  The graduation, festivities in and of itself could be its own blog post, but to say the least, it was such a purely happy time in our lives.  For years, each and everyone of us sacrificed in our own way so that we could support our family together, and this avenue was for me to obtain my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  Sierra was born the first semester I was at The U, Noelle born right before finals of my last academic semester.  Most of my whole family was able to attend the graduation and festivities, and I can’t explain how great it felt to accomplish that aspect of life. 

Through the spring a year ago we searched and searched and searched for answers from above to know where we should work, raise our little family etc.  This is a decision each and everyone of us face and it literally took over our lives during arguably the most stressful time in our lives.  I knew that I wanted to work in a home health setting, but at the time I was trying to contemplate the dollar figure, with autonomous work environment, with work schedule, the people I get to work with, cost of living, how I was going to repay all these student loans I needed to get the degree I received etc.  In Dec 2015, I remember looking at a job posting for a company called Encompass Home Health and they were looking for a PT in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Kenz grew up in Rupert and we had been to Twin several times.  Anyways, for whatever reason, I felt really prompted that I needed to apply for this job.  I would graduate for another 6 months, but for whatever reason, I felt a strong urge that I should apply.  So I did…  The day after I submitted the application, I got a call from the Branch Director called and was very interested.  We chatted over the next few weeks and sure enough an offer came.  So here we are and I have this really good job offer to move to of all places Twin Falls, Idaho.  Anyways, Kenz and I at the time weren’t ready to just jump into the saddle and go.  We felt that we needed to keep our options open.  We weren’t sure we wanted to live in a smaller town, away from all the conveniences and friends we had made in Utah.  Like a good Branch Director, she followed up with me, and I had nothing to report that we just weren’t sure we were ready to move yet.  I look back and I probably would’ve hated that I offered a job to this guy who couldn’t make up his mind.  Anyways, I started meeting with more people in Utah who I thought could be potential employers.  We ended up getting an offer with a company that I interned with the summer prior to work as a home health therapist in SLC.  The perk was this company was a non profit company and if I worked for them for 10 years, all my student loans would be forgiven.  Sounded like a great deal to me.  We’d make enough to get by and more, raise our kids in a place that we were comfortable with, be close to some family, have all the conveniences life offered.  We went to the temple, prayed, fasted, did everything we could to decide between the two good options.  We didn’t get a direct answer at all.  There was no clear answer we could get about what direction we should go.  As the dad and husband, I felt at a loss as here I am supposed to be leading my family and I’ve got no direction at all.  Zilch.  Both options were good and so we just went with where I was most comfortable which was with the company I interned with.  We planned on staying in Utah and see how things went.

Well after graduation, the board exam, and licensing came through, I started working.  Long story short, the job was not everything I had hoped for.  I had a hard time making the money we needed to save for a home and accomplish the financial goals and stability we desired.  I held in and just had faith that Heavenly Father would provide. I worked hard, I did all I could to do what I knew, but life was hard.  One morning at the end of June I went on a run in the AM just as the sun was coming up.  I was just running circles around this park near our home and got this absolutely sick feeling that I had made the wrong choice.  I remember to this day sitting on our little patio on the 3rd floor condo we were renting at 6:30 AM thinking, why in the world am I getting this feeling now?  I’m already all in where I’m at and I can’t just switch now, That Twin Falls job is probably not even available anymore.  I remember sweaty and all, walking in and waking Kenz up and telling her, I don’t know if I made the right choice.  She couldn’t believe the thought either after all the tormenting stress we had been through just coming to the decision that we were going to take the Utah job.  I remember being so confused and frustrated that I was feeling the way I was.  I somehow brushed it out of my mind and carried on doing with what I committed to, and with the decision we made.  Out of curiosity, I looked and the Twin Falls job was still available.  But, I checked again out of curiosity about a week later and it had been taken down.  So I just brushed the curiosity out of my mind and again went all in with where I was at.  But that didn’t last long, I kept having promptings in that direction, so I finally reached out to the Branch Director in Twin Falls, and asked if she had anything available.  To our excitement, we found a place I could fill and we committed to move at the end of the month.  We packed up, mostly Kenz while I worked with the patients I had, we loaded up the biggest UHaul we could get, (and it still didn’t fit everything we had.  We had to leave a bunch of stuff in my brother Shane’s garage who conveniently lived one building over.  I drove this Fat Uhaul with the 96 Honda on a tow hitch fully loaded with a bunch of judd we couldn’t fit in the truck and made the journey north to more rural, farmland filled Twin Falls.

Looking back, it was a miracle we were able to find a place to rent in Idaho as the rental market was virtually non-existent compared to KSL classifieds in Utah.  We were able to move into a nice comfortable home around the corner from a friend I went to PT school with. 

Looking back, for whatever reason Heavenly Father saw fit, He decided to teach us through experience.  We literally came to a fork in the road.  A very bumpy road at the time, may I add.   We took the road we felt good about and we ran into a dead end.  I can’t tell you how much stress, emotional fatigue and anguish I went through, Kenz went through and I’m sure Sierra and Noelle had to go through as I figuratively stopped the car at the dead end wondering what the judd I was doing at a dead end when I did everything that I was prompted to do.  We back tracked, took the other fork in the road, but instead of taking the alternative fork with a grudge or wonder if we were going the right way, we took the alternative fork knowing with complete confidence that we were going the direction we were supposed to at that time in our life.  We were able to move forward with faith.  I had a little bit of a confused state with Heavenly Father wondering why he didn’t just tell us the “right” way to go in the first place.  We would’ve had confidence taking that path if He just told us in the first place right?  Why did we have to take the dead end route and be worse off financially because of it?  I came to realize that we wouldn’t have learned some important key lessons that we hold so dear to our hearts now if we didn’t go through what we went through.  I’ve never really questioned anything God has prompted me to do, I just follow the prompting no matter what.  So we have felt like Heavenly Father really directed us to be where we are at for whatever reason that is, we are confident in that and have faith in that. 

So here we are living in the land of canyons, big waterfalls, Chobani, Cliff Bar, potatoes, beets and corn, happy to make friends and raise our little family and continue to follow our dreams and make them happen.  We have contemplated over the past 3 months if we like where we’re at.  Do we want to transfer to Boise or Utah to have more convenience that we enjoyed in Utah?  We’ve come to the decision and answer that we are where we are supposed to be for now.  We recognize how much Heavenly Father has blessed us and we are very thankful for the blessings we've received and the constant artillery of trials that we are presented with the help us grow.  We are now contemplating what we will do home wise.  Buy, build, continue renting....  Lot's of big decisions ahead that frankly, I have a hard time with.  I'm good at making little decisions, or at least I think so, but when it comes to buying things that are over 500 bucks, I'm as indecisive as they come.  So keep us in your prayers if you would.  We will try and be more regular with this blog.  I'm sure sometimes I will write something and other times Kenz will write something.  She'll probably write about our trip to Waco/Dallas next.  It was cool.  Best wishes. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

...I Will Give You Rest...

Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor and Are Heavy Laden..

..and I Will Give You Rest....
Mathew 11:28

As I walked the streets and deserted roads of Tucson I imagined a temple on the hill. A temple,
a holy place for all to come and rest from life's burdens and biggest challenges. 

For everyone who has ever served a mission, and those who soon will, your mission will be one that is most memorable.

 You will find humor in your service!

You learn to love the matter how hot or dry it might be!
 And LOVE all who you are privileged to teach!

 You learn to serve where the Lord needs you at any given moment and that blessings come 
as you follow the Lord's will.
"My brothers and sisters, temples are more than stone and mortar.
 They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. 
They are sanctified by sacrifice and service."-President Thomas S. Monson

(Gila Valley Temple-Served here for 3 weeks)
 You learn how important temple work and covenants are to not only converts 
but to every soul who has ever lived!

You learn to bond with those you serve with.

You find God's power of creation to be more beautiful than you may have
ever noticed. 
(Love ya Em!)
 You learn that missions are unpredictable...especially when you find odd things out 
in the middle of the desert on your way home from meetings.

Enjoy humor even you serve!
And when the time comes to say smile for the camera striving to hide
the tears that come knowing the Lord needs you home. 

Bittersweet moments fill your want to turn and go back to the Lord's work
but you know that your family has been waiting...what seems a short time to you!

Then a new chapter begins..but with a navigation system more complete!

You find yourself in clothing that seems foreign and you curl your hair again...

You find the boy who you know the Lord approves of and who loves you
for who you are inside and out.
(And this happens in the Lord's timing!)

You fall deeper in love...
But you never forget those you taught and the spirit you felt as you 
do the Lord's work...and you may even get to go back and visit!

When President Monson announced that a temple will be built in Tucson, AZ....
my husband and I about drove off the road while driving on the interstate. 
My husband served in Tucson as well.  It has touched our hearts. We are excited to 
travel to Tuscon when we can walk through the temple that I dreamed would be built
one day.  The journey continues...

Service truly is the greatest feeling known to God's children. If you are thinking of serving a mission, especially now that the age limits are different, please visit the LDS church website ( 
and you will find information on the call the Lord has in store for you! 
Call your bishop or stake president and share your desire of why you want to serve a mission!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Highlights from

 Our summer started with Trevor winning the "Overall Man Winner" award at the Springville Nestle 5k in June.  I was so proud of my sweetheart! He didn't even have to try which made me kind of ill when he came back for me and I was only 2/3 of the way done! ha!
Our First Race Together! 
We want to do many more whenever we make the time and get the opportunity!
 On the fourth of July we went to Rupert where we did another 5K-5.5K. 
Rupert takes things a little serious and they make you run past the 5K mark. 
It was so fun to run with my sister Ashley and my sister in law Hanni.  Hanni did really great coming from her 1/2 marathon in Alaska. She was so great. Ashley and I stuck together and finished with a great time for not having trained a whole lot.

In mid July, my friend Clara and her husband Grant came through Utah and stayed with us for a couple of days. In an attempt to keep them entertained we ended up at the Kennecott Copper mine just west of where we live in South Jordan. It was actually really neat to see how big the trucks where in the open mining pit. If you look close you will see a normal size truck behind the mining truck that looks like a pea in comparison! This open mine is actually visible from space as well as the Great Wall of China.
 Clara and Grant and their daughter Lydia by a old tire from one of the mining trucks. Each tire costs $25,000.00 dollars and is good for about a year. There are six tires on one truck! Little boys would love this place. Lydia even liked it and she's just under two years old!

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and live piano music at 
The Roof in the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg 
downtown SLC! 

 The view from our seat in the restaurant.
The next day we went to Lagoon. It was fun! We just love doing just about anything together!

Trevor's parents came to visit in mid-August. It was so much fun to have them nearby. 
They had not seen the movie, "Up"-Disney, so we watched it with them and then the next day
we took them to the Up house near our home here in UT. Trevor and I had previously scoped 
out where it was for FHE. We fell in love with it. Disney actually had to approve the plans
and then these homeowners had to mail the house plans to the Disney Corporation in order for 
the house to be built! There is only one "Up" house legally built in the world!

Bob and Kristen, Trevor's mother and step-father! We just love them so much!
 Trevor and I in front of the "Up" house.


I returned from an LDS mission in Tucson, AZ two years ago in August. 
I still miss my mission everyday and often find that many things remind 
me of serving in the mission field. Did you know that Temple Square has cacti? Little Ceasars has 
a pepperoni pizza with roasted green chili's on it? And sometimes when Trevor and I go running in the evening at the lake nearby, I get a small glimpse of the Tucson sunsets.  It doesn't compare but I like to pretend! Trevor got me a Arizona flag as a surprise for my two year anniversary!
  I've always wanted one!
 We enjoyed some baseball games this summer! 
We have loved the warm summer nights and summer activities. We loved the fireworks that came with several of these activities.

 President Monson's 80th Birthday Celebration

It was so nice to go to the conference center one Friday evening and reflect on President Monson's life. What a dedicated man. So prepared to do what he has been called to do.  I reflected on the blessings of marrying my sweet husband who has lived under this same honor. So lucky to be married to the best person out their for me!

The end of July was filled with long days at my school getting ready for my second graders. 
I changed my classroom theme to an owl theme so I basically had to start over with my
most everything in my classroom. But it needed a face lift!

I am our school "webmaster" so I upkeep and help design the school website.
I'm still in that process daily but it's getting better and better.  I had a previous online job which prepared me to do this job now and I can clearly see how things come together not by coincidence but for many reasons of which we don't really comprehend at the beginning of a new experience.

The vinyl tree I placed on the wall is our "race reading" tree. Students owls move up the tree branches when students read certain hour goals in reading. 

This was a picture of the tree before school started. Now the owls are up on the tree as students have been excited to read! I wanted the tree to go along with my teacher blog theme. See our 2nd grade blog!

Trevor and I worked so hard to level new books for my classroom. Trevor did all the leveling of the books and I worked on the other decor in my classroom!  Other teachers often comment of how 
great of a husband he must be to be willing to serve my students and I. He's amazing!
 We started the "Leader in Me"leadership program at our school this year by Stephen Covey. 
In our faculty training one day we learned that Stephen Covey had passed away due to 
complications from an earlier bike accident. It was a time to reflect on this individual who inspired others until he was nearly 80. One of the training video segments we watched was his video about what others would say about you if they were attending your 80th birthday. Watch the one minute segment here!  For a man who deserved to reach his 80th birthday, I would say his family
would have had numerous great things to say about his inspiration, faith and the way he lived.

The 7 Habits tree poster to inspire students to stay on their Green cards everyday! 
Green =Great Behavior!


Trevor and I enjoyed Labor Day hiking in our neck of the woods. We visited Doughnut Falls up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was a three mile hike round trip which wasn't too bad!
Fall Leaves.....Yikes!
The waterfall goes through a "doughnut" hole in the rock and comes out the bottom several feet below. Pretty neat! We didn't hike all the way to the top because there were literally about 150 people trying to inch their way past each other and we decided to go back later this fall when not as many people are in for the hike!
I love small bridges like this when hiking over stream and small rivers!
Trevor and I and my cheesy face as we ended our hike! It was a nice cool day!
Here's to many more adventure's throughout the next year! Who knows what time will bring? Whatever it does bring, we will be having more adventures as we strive to serve, work and live Christlike lives. Happy days are ahead!
The end of my really long blog! Hopefully I can update it more often from now on! I kinda forgot about our blog this summer!  :)