Monday, February 16, 2015


                                      February 16, 2015

          Upon arriving home from the MTC on Thursday, January 29, 2015, I looked in the dining room and decided we needed to cut back on what we were taking to Chicago. 

          We had boxes and boxes, bags everywhere, suitcases (large and small) and clothes flying everywhere and thought "no way" this was going to fit in my Highlander.  After doing errands on Friday morning,  we  came home and Kanda was there with lunch from Cafe Rio.  What a relief !! 

          I settled down a bit and we ate.  Thereafter she volunteered her services and helped bring all our "stuff" out into the garage.  There we were:  Kanda, myself, Carolyn, Kyle, John and Olivia.  (Andrew wasn't there, he was on a Scout overnighter) transporting stuff to the garage.  I methodically and carefully began to load everything.  To my surprise, everything fit into the car with some room left over.  So we decided to bring our Kitchen Aid and some other kitchen utensils to help adapt to living in a 1 bedroom apartment again. 

          It's been over 45 years since we lived in a 1 bedroom apartment. 

          Well, the next morning the alarm rang, it was time to get up, pull ourselves together and prepare to leave for our mission.  It was kinda hard to leave everyone behind and just drive off, but we had said our goodbye's the night before and the night before that and the weekend before that and the weekend before that, (the weekend we left for the MTC)  and now we were ready for our new adventure.

          We took some "selfies" before leaving our home and the 60 degree weather.  We also blessed our home before leaving and knew everything will be kept safe.

          We stopped at Kanda's home and she had prepared a "care bag" for us to take.  It was lots of fun to eat from this bag.  She took some pictures and then we were off.  Our plan was to drive to Douglas, Wyoming and stay there for 2 nights and then on Monday begin our trek to Chicago.

          We stopped through the day and walked around and drank water.  We received a paper from the MTC regarding taking time to walk and drink water to make the trip more enjoyable and help with medical problems.  Carolyn drove from Rawlins to Martins Cove.  I drove the rest.  The weather was pretty good, maybe a little windy in some places, but no snow on the road, etc.

          In the evening we arrived at the Nelson Home with Mary, Jude, Jady and Jareth greeting us with smiling faces.  Fred came home later.  We had an enjoyable evening and all day Sunday with church and etc.  It was a lot of fun being at their home.  (461 miles today)  Mary also gave us a "care package" to take on the trip.  We really loved the "care packages".

          We were looking ahead at the weather (17 inches of new snow in Chicago) and there was a terrible storm in Nebraska and Illinois and Iowa, so we decided to stay another night and leave on Tuesday morning.  Tuesday we left around 9:30 am.  It was really windy all the way to Cheyenne, but no snow on the road.  We stopped for gas.  The night before I booked a hotel in Kearney, Nebraska at the Hampton Inn.  I don't know why I did this, but I did.  (447 miles today)

          Well we drove all the way to Kearney, Nebraska on dry roads with a little wind on the way.  We enjoyed the scenery and we talked and Carolyn read Ensign articles out loud and we also studied in Preach My Gospel book.  It turned out to be a nice ride.

          We tried to transfer our hotel to another town, but was unable to, so we got to the room at the Hampton Inn and rested for the evening.  I forgot to mention, the sun was shining all day long.  We could have driven for another 2 hours or so.

          The hotel was very nice so we bedded down for the evening.  We didn't even go out to eat as we had lots of stuff from Kanda's care package.

          WELL, we looked out the window the next morning and it was snowing sideways.  WOW, didn't expect that.  We decided to stay at the hotel until about noon and check the weather then.  At noon we decided to try to leave, so we packed our cases and left.  It was really windy that day and the snow was blowing across the road and driving was very slow.  Right then and there I decided we would just drive to Grand Island, Nebraska and stay the night.  This drive took over 2 hours and my hands and fingers were "tight knuckles" upon arriving.  (42.5 miles today)  They had received more snow than the last town.  Grand Island is about 7 miles off the freeway, but we went ahead into town.  The next town after Grand Island was about 100 miles away and I didn't want to drive that !

          Well, it was really tricky to travel into town, the roads were snow covered and slick.  At one intersection I tried to stop but the car kept sliding right through the intersection.  Everyone had stopped.  I think they saw the "Utah" license plate and decided to give me the right of way.

          Well, we found the Hampton Inn, checked in and decided to stay there for the evening.  We strategized for the next morning and what to do.  I checked the weather and it wasn't going to snow.

          The alarm went off early, we ate breakfast and by daylight we were back on the road again.  This was a very good day of driving.  We drove 8 hours and arrived at Moline, Illinois for the night at another Hampton Inn.  In fact we were next to the Regional Airport.  We went across the Mississippi River and Carolyn took pictures of the beautiful bridge.  We had a very good evening that night knowing we were getting close to our destination.  (451 miles today)

          The next morning, after a leisure breakfast, we packed the car and headed towards Glenview, Illinois.  We set the GPS for the Chicago Temple.  We wanted to make the Temple our first stop.  We were warned ahead that Illinois has toll roads and it seems every few miles we had to pull to the right of the road and pay a fare.  We even stopped at the Toll Road Oasis.  Very interesting; fast foods, gas, restrooms, etc. was at this Oasis stop.  There was probably 200 people at this Oasis, just passing through.

          Back on the road again, we were directed to the Chicago Temple.  It was very beautiful.  We stopped and took some pictures, but didn't stay too long, for it was cold.  (170 miles today)

         Back on the road again, we headed for the Mission Office which was about 10 minutes from the Temple.  We stopped at the Office, took a picture of us finally getting there and went inside and greeting everyone, and the rest is history.  Total miles driven:  1,571.5 miles.  Whew !!

          We are so grateful to be serving our Heavenly Father in this part of His vineyard.  The people are really friendly here and we really enjoy living in Chicago.  We are also grateful we were kept safe during our cross country driving.

                                Elder Christensen


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