Sunday, January 15, 2017

A historical meeting

For the last week, my family, friends and I have been speculating about upcoming ward or stake changes after being invited to a special Sacrament meeting held this morning for four wards in our Anthem Stake and two from the Green Valley Stake.  Then the rumors were flying around.  The kids were hearing things, my friends were hearing things, and we were constantly drawing lines and scrambling wards in our heads along with names of wards and possibly another stake.

This morning was a historical meeting.  I wasn't necessarily anxious about it, but I did worry about my ward and the changes that might possibly come.  This ward has become our family, so much so, that little g told me that himself this past week.  Our ward is amazing.  We have the best leaders and such stalwart members.  They have helped raise and teach my children.  I have four Eagle Scouts because of the wonderful men that donate their time and believe in the program.  I have two returned missionaries.  I have future missionaries that have strong testimonies of the gospel.  I have wonderful friends that I love and I know love me and my family.

We raced to the stake center early this morning making sure we had a good seat for the big news.  We ended up on the front row.  It was probably better that way.  I couldn't see anyone behind me or see all the people that I would no longer see every Sunday.

J. Hadley of our Stake Presidency stood and commented about this historical meeting.  He then spoke to those not of our faith that might be there visiting, about the changes that were going to take place and that "our number one reason for being there was partaking of the Sacrament, our highlight of the week".

I quickly asked myself if partaking of the Sacrament was the highlight of my week?  Of my weeks?  Just last night I bought a tea cart and two chairs to fix up for the girls afternoon tea photo shoot.  I was so excited about them and thinking of all kinds of ideas for the pictures or what might be on the cart and which dishes I would use.  I thought back to other weeks and how fun it had been to have the boys home for Christmas, or Christmas morning together.  The Spirit quickly taught me that those things are of the material nature.  But as I have come to learn more and more about the Atonement, and my love for the Savior, I should crave and look forward to the opportunity of taking the Sacrament.  It changed everything .  The other things could make me happy or fill my time, but having the privilege and opportunity to hear the Sacrament prayers and partake of it, would no longer be the same.  I would look forward and know that there would be a highlight every week.  How could that not make me happy?

President D. Gates stood up and then turned on his power point for us to look at as he showed us the new ward boundary lines.  There was to be a new stake formed, and those of us there, would form the new stake.  The Henderson Nevada Carnegie Stake.  We would be saying goodbye to our Anthem Stake of 15 years.  Although we neighbor and have such good friends in the newly named Anthem Hills Stake we leave the following wards behind.  Summit, Anthem, Seven Hills, Inspirada, Madeira, and Amador wards.  Our Desert Valley ward lost the 'Rock Pile' and South Fork on the other side of St. Rose.  It was a blow to hear, seeing how there is so much strength and leadership over there.  But I sat there knowing we would be okay.  The Spirit had testified to me that we would be when President Gates had spoken earlier about the size of wards and stakes and how it gives the members opportunities to grow.  S was a little concerned before the announcement, but I was able to put my arm around her and told her that I knew we would be okay because the Holy Ghost told me so.  She looked at me and trusted me.  It was a special moment.  Other wards had boundary changes and new Bishops put in.  Our new Carnegie Stake that will be official next Sunday when we meet as Anthem Stake one last time, now consists of:  Desert Valley, St. Rose, Carnegie, Paseo Verde, Arroyo Grande, South Point, and Shadow Canyon.

Driving home I thought about what a skeleton ward we now have.  But then I realized once again, that the Spirit had testified to me that we would be okay.  That our ward would now give others opportunities to grow as leaders, more opportunities to serve and to grow spiritually as a ward.  Our family is fine.  The Spirit has helped each of us.  I am so grateful for this historical day and the things that I was able to learn.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Story is now Complete

As I was typing the different days of my Louisville trip, I came up with some conclusions.

1.  I'm doing well.  Really well.  Just last fall I cancelled three trips due to my anxiety, so to think I went to D asking him if I could go by myself is almost miraculous.

2.  I love road trips.

3.  I giggle a lot.

4.  I also cry a lot.

5.  I pull a lot of weird faces and do funny poses in pictures.

6.  I like to do stupid fake scenario pictures.  They make me happy.

7.  I learned that I like to make lists and check things off.  It feels good.

8.  I also enjoy winging it most of the time.  :)

Maybe the biggest thing of all.... I feel like I had a trip of a lifetime.  More than I ever could have expected.  And yet, not once have I worried about what might be lurking around the corner as to what trial I'm going to have to go through next.  I'm learning to live by faith and not by fear.  It's been a long time coming.  April 7th may be one of the greatest days in my life, but it also brought a lot of worry and fear for the next twenty years.  Worrying that if I was really prepared, something would happen.  Worried that if I went through other difficult challenges, I wouldn't receive miracles or help because I had already had mine.  Worried that if things were really good, then most certainly something bad was bound to happen.  Isn't that crazy that for twenty years I could be so vocal about knowing God loves me, and that miracles happen, yet, those same twenty years I've lived in fear of being abandoned when I would have to go through something tragic again?  Had I not learned anything?  Better late than never. As I'm sitting here typing and crying again, I'm realizing that I've just put all the pieces together.  My story is now complete.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Goodbye Louisville...Day 5

Church was at 9:30 that morning and I was excited to return to my old First ward that I had been a member of for five years.  I knew better than to return with high expectations.  I knew that I probably wouldn't know more than three people if they were even there that day.  With it being Fast Sunday back home, I was looking forward to bearing my testimony as my goodbye to this special place. Driving down Eastern Parkway brought back so many great memories.  I had always loved driving down that road and loved the area and the homes.  Then I saw the church building.  I remembered standing in front of it my very first Sunday 23 years ago having my picture taken with my little red headed boy in my arms and my husband next to me.  It was a refuge that day, knowing that I would be okay so far away from home as long as I had a ward family around me.

We walked into the building and found ourselves having Sacrament Meeting in a small carpeted gym/chapel.  The rows were made up of Relief Society chairs.  Where in the world was my small chapel with wooden pughs and just one center aisle?  With all that I had learned the last few days being back in Kentucky, I was disappointed but I wasn't.  Time had moved on and things had changed.  My small little ward was really now the size of a branch.  No more than fifty people were there.  But it was beautiful in different ways.  I loved seeing African American members there.  One of which was in the bishopric, a young man was there by himself and he helped pass the Sacrament, and another mother and her three children. I loved seeing that the truth of the Gospel was growing and reaching different people.  I admired that young man that was there all by himself and wondered about his story.  I couldn't help but sit there and just love him.

It turned out not to be Fast Sunday there.  It must have been the week before General Conference.  That made it that much easier to just drive the heck out of there.  I didn't know a single person there.  The building was different.  I wouldn't be able to share my thoughts and my testimony.  I wondered why in the world we had even chosen to go to that ward.  We could have gone to any ward.  It was a long meeting with just one youth speaker and the Stake Patriarch.  I'll admit my mind wandered and I was doing more people watching than listening.  Then it was finally time for the closing song.

I recognized the intro on the organ.  Could it really be?  Was I really so deserving of another, my eighth tender mercy?  The small congregation began to sing, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives".  It had been the song that was sung and touched me the first time I returned back to church after my accident.  The building had changed.  The ward and people had changed.  But the hymns, the songs, and my testimony had remained the same.  In fact, that special hymn that I had loved so much there in Louisville, had been a favorite of mine since then.  I could sing that same hymn anywhere in the world, hear it being sung in any language, with any congregation, with my family, or just by myself, and the truth of it would never change.  I knew my Heavenly Father loved me and was aware of me and my desire to be there.  He knew of my patience of wanting to return since the day I had moved away.  While I listened to the small congregation sing, I found myself praying, expressing such gratitude for His love for me.  Church had been perfect after all.

He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.  

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
He lives!  All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"

As I got up to leave when the meeting was over, I heard my name.  I turned around and there were two old friends.  One of my young women, Elizabeth and a friend Lynne.  They had been sitting right behind me and wanted to surprise me.  I had been in contact with Elizabeth so she knew I would be there, but I hadn't heard back from her to know if she would.  What a fun reunion.  We were able to talk for several minutes before we left the chapel.  Before leaving the building, Elizabeth and I got to chat a bit more.  She got emotional and told me that I had been such an inspiration to her all these years.  She had remembered me smiling all the time despite the challenges that I had gone through while living there.  She was sad that I had gone out there so far from family, and had to have had the trial that I did.  She remembered my tights and didn't know quite what they were for, thinking they were to make my burned legs feel better.  It was so sweet to hear how she had remembered me and how I had made that kind of impression on her as a young woman.  It came to me that she was one of the biggest reasons it was so hard for me to drive away 18 years ago.  My small transient First Ward members had been my family for five years.  They were the ones that helped me and rescued my small family when we needed help the most.  They were the ones that visited me, prayed for me, brought me the Sacrament, and loved me.  How could you just walk away from that?  I felt like I had betrayed them driving away.  Like I had just used them while I was there.  After all, we were only there because of school.  And then it was time to move onto our real lives. But Louisville had become my real life and I didn't want to walk away from it and what it had become to me.  While talking to Elizabeth, it donned on me that I was with someone that knew me.  The before and after.  A true Louisvillian, not another student friend or a family member.  Heavenly Father knew that I was about to leave Louisville again, and I needed to be able to drive away feeling peace and not looking back this time.  Elizabeth wasn't sure she would be able to be there that Sunday, but insisted that she needed to be.

My sweet Elizabeth,
Seeing you and talking to you that day, was the ninth tender mercy I had received on that trip.  The Lord knew I needed you and to have some more of my feelings validated.  That I needed just one more thing to happen for me to drive away this time with closure.  So that I could have the opportunity to tell you that God is good.  That my years there were a blessing.  I have always loved saying that I lived in Louisville, Kentucky.  I loved living there.  Every single day.  I have always been grateful for the experiences that I had while living there.  Louisville was very good to me.  I grew so much while living there and even grew just returning back for those few days.  I love you.  I love your sweet mom and grandma.  Louisville and the First Ward will always be very special to me.  They were my home and family and I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for those years in my life.  Thank you for being your cute self.  It was so good to see you.  XOXO

Go to the First Ward.  CHECK
See Elizabeth.  CHECK

I got one last picture of me in front of my church building, busted out the burek for breakfast, and then we drove away.  Goodbye Louisville.  It was a trip of a lifetime.

Our flight was out of Cincinnati again, so we made our way up there with just one more thing to check off of our bucket list.  We had tried to see a cathedral in Covington, Kentucky on the first day we arrived, but it was closed.  We just crossed our little fingers that it would be open on Sunday.  It was St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.  When we arrived it was closed with not a car to be seen.  Sheri took a few pictures and was ready to head out.  I noticed a building next to the parking lot saying something like Pastor business building.  I was determined to see inside the cathedral so I went and knocked on the door.  I was buzzed in, and heard a voice coming from somewhere in the building asking if they could help me.  I helped myself in and looked into every room until I found the voice.  I told him that we were visiting from "far away" and that we had hoped we could see their beautiful cathedral.  He told me that someone would be over in a just a minute to open it.  I turned around, walked out with a smile and told Sheri that we would be seeing inside the cathedral.  haha  Sure enough, about three minutes later, someone showed up and we walked right in.

We stood there for a minute not really knowing what was proper, then I asked if we could just walk around and possibly take pictures.  We were told yes, except we couldn't take pictures in their Sacrament room and we couldn't walk up onto the alter area.  The artwork was amazing.  Huge stained glass windows all the way around, mosaic art, beautiful wood work, amazing architecture, etc.

Look at these pipes for the organ.  The choir sings up there with the organ.  You know how I know?  Well, showing interest in people earns privileges.  And possibly mentioning that I play the organ for my church probably helped a little  We got a personal tour that the other "tour people" don't get to see.  It was pretty neat.  Spiral staircase up, four levels of keys on the organ with I don't know how many stops, and the view of the cathedral looking down was amazing.  

 See St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.  CHECK

You know there's nothing quite like seeing this sign at Walgreens just before you jump on the plane to head back home.  I mean we were about to leave the land of tobacco fields, bourbon country, drive up betting and wagering at the horse track.  So why not add free HIV testing to the list?

 Sheri's husband picked us up at the airport and dropped me off at home.  D and the kids ran out to greet me and it was a great reunion and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.  I hugged Sheri and thanked her for going with me.  For being the best travel buddy I truly could have ever asked for.  No one has ever shared that many intimate details and special experiences with me before as they were happening.  She was easy going, always happy, my direction buddy, the list goes on and on.  I told her that I loved her and meant it from the bottom of my heart.  I don't know how we became such good friends other than the Lord just led her to me.  He knew that I would need her the last two years.  That I was going to have a hard time, that I needed someone positive in my life,  someone that would have time to be a friend, and the perfect travel buddy when it came time to head back to Kentucky.  I love you Sheri.  Thank you so much for being you.  Thank you for being my final and tenth tender mercy.  I know I already counted you as a tender mercy just going on the trip with me.  But I'm so grateful that I was blessed with such a good friend.  Thank you for whatever promptings you've had to help me, serve me and my family, and just being you.  You are one of a kind.

I sat with the D and the kids for a couple of hours telling them stories that night.  Thanking D for letting me go.  Telling my kids that Heavenly Father loves each of us.  That He continued to tell me that throughout my trip.  I couldn't wait to kneel by my bed that night and pour out my heart.  He had given me the perfect trip.  The trip of a lifetime.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lexington, Jasminka, Burek oh my...Day 4

After getting to bed at 3:00 in the morning the night before, we were happy to grab a granola bar from the motel office before we hit the road for Bourbon country again.  On our way out there, we saw a huge flea market on the side of the road and decided to pull over to check it out.  After all, it claimed that it was the most awesome flea market in the world.  I mean, Sheri and I have seen enough episodes of Fixer Upper with Joanna Gaines to know that some of the best finds and treasures come from flea markets.  We got laughing about how cheap I was to just pay for a carry on and how we'd most definitely need huge suitcases on our way back to carry all the neat things we'd surely find. We looked for the entrance with anticipation knowing we were back in flea market country, the land of antiques.  What in the world would be find?

 Let's just takes a certain breed to have the slightest appreciation for the most awesome flea market in the world.  We walked past every booth like you do drive bys in your car on a Saturday morning when you're yard selling and there's a single table on the drive way with dumb glasses, old yucky candles, and gross hard water stained fish bowls.  It was kind of like that.  But hey, what do I know?  I live where there's an indoor swap meet that attracts a breed of it's own.  I think we'll stick with our thrift stores.  Moral of the story.  Run.  Run fast and don't stop when someone claims to be the most awesome in the world.  

It wasn't on our bucket list, but it was very deserving to have a big fat CHECK next to it.  

We showed up to Jim Beam with just a couple minutes to spare so we drove down a little road next to it and saw...cardinals!!  Yay.  There were several right there flying in the shrub on either side of the car, so Sheri and I would pass the camera back and forth to each other trying to get pictures.  It was pretty funny.  

See a cardinal.  CHECK

We got back to the distillery ready for our tour and climbed on the bus.  We rode the bus for I think one minute where we were let off.  Okay.  We walked into the building and for the first time in my life I had to get creative with the way I breathe.  Oh my stinkiness!  The yeasty smell was so bad.  I'm proud to say that I discovered that I could breathe with my mouth.  I never knew that.  It was amazing.  We walked through a huge building for about forty five minutes seeing and learning the process of bourbon making.  We were patient though, knowing our drive through the rolling hills dotted with huge black barns would be coming up.  We loaded up onto the bus and we were off.  Really.  We were dropped off where we started and were told to enjoy the rest of our tour.  Say what?  The rest of the tour would be the taste testing which we of course no showed and we left feeling slightly frustrated that we had made such an effort to return only to breathe through our noses for forty minutes and act delighted every time we heard another little tidbit of bourbon trivia.  But hey, we can say we've been, seen, and learned all there is about Jim Beam bourbon.  I mean, it's really important to know that kind of stuff.  

We had asked people the day before where we should go eat out there.  We headed to Bardstown for a highly recommended lunch at I don't even know.  Here's a picture.  It was cute when we walked in.  But what in the world?  I got something like the best grilled cheese in the world.  Seriously?  Had I not learned my lesson already?  Cheap white bread, slice of fake cheese, slice of pepper jack and tomato.  Gag.  Then there's Sheri's bourbon burger.  Hahaha.  It was as though it had been dunked in bourbon after the grill.  It was gross.  I'm sorry.  Nothing was picture worthy except for the cute sign as we went in.

Half an hour away from Bardstown we found the Mount Zion covered bridge.  It's one of thirteen remaining covered bridges in Kentucky and is actually the longest in the state.  It wasn't a beautiful bridge by any means, but I loved the length of it, and how when driving down a country road it just seemed to appear right in front of us.  It's almost like treasure hunting.

 Find a covered bridge.  CHECK

Down that same country road was a really neat root cellar.

We then headed out for horse country around Lexington.  I don't really know Lexington other than horse farms so that's all we had on our list for the rest of the day.  We had an address for Calumet Farm and Sheri had "pinned" a castle on Pinterest the night before.  The picket fences and rolling hills were just as beautiful as I had remembered.  Farms as far as you could see.  It was beautiful.

 And then on our left out of the middle of nowhere was the castle.  We laughed and laughed how we just happened onto the castle and how it truly was a castle.

See the Lexington Castle.  CHECK

While following the GPS to Calumet Farms, I was looking to the left and it looked like there was a jockey bouncing up and down.  I told Sheri, "Hey, there's a jockey!  He's riding a horse!  I wonder if that's a race track he's on."  Um duh.  Next thing I know I see a sign that says something about Keeneland.  Then I remembered what Keeneland was and realized that we were next to the track where the Kentucky Oaks is held.  Oh my heavens.  We found the Kentucky Oaks race track.

We whipped around and drove into the parking lot and asked an usher if there was a horse race we could watch.  He said, "yes". Oh my heavens, I was so stinkin' excited.  Would we really be able to watch a horse race while in Kentucky and at the second most famous track?  We were giddy (I always am, and Sheri plays along.  lol)  While driving in the parking lot we couldn't help but laugh when we saw these signs.

We got up to the ticket counter and asked how much it cost to watch a race.  $5.

By now you should know that I'm giggling all the way into the stadium with disbelief at what a cool thing that had just happened.  Sheri on the other hand felt a little out of place.  Well, a lot out of place actually.  We've never felt like such hicks in our lives.  There we were on race day in our tourist clothes.  Everyone else had dresses, hats, fancy purses and heels, and the men.  Oh the men looked like they were straight from an Oxford Fraternity party.  It was all very English with funky colored ties, bow ties, sports jackets, printed shirts, and so much style.  Were we really in Kentucky?  Were we so out of it?  All horse races are this fancy?  Does horse racing really have this kind of dress etiquette?  It was really fun to see and I loved all the men's fun outfits they had put together but we felt kind of weird.  We found out that it was actually opening day there at the track and that certain sororities and fraternities from UK were having a party with their parents that day.  Even still.

 It was standing room only which was fine for us since it had never been on our list of things to see or do.  Then the bugle guy came out and played.  It was so neat to be right there and it really hit that we were at the horse track and we were going to see a horse race.

 Then came the horses.

And they're off!  Of course we're watching on the huge screen until they came all the way around and into our little window of the track.  People were cheering and laughing and clapping.  There Sheri and I were just two little moms from across the country happy to be there.  We didn't even know who was racing, or even watch the ending.  It was such a fun surprise to complete our Kentucky horse experience.

 Find Keeneland Race Track out of nowhere and go to a race.  CHECK

 Just down from the track was Calumet Farms with more rolling hills, white picket fences, white barns with red trim, green roofs and horses out in the fields.

 Just after seeing the farm I got a phone call from my friend Jasminka that I had been trying to contact since the day I had arrived in Kentucky.  She was now back in town and I could see her that night!  I was ecstatic.  I had just gotten to the point where I figured I wouldn't see her, that I might not ever see her.  I told her that I would be back in Louisville a couple hours later and that I would love it if we could make Burek together.  Oh my heavens.  That was the last thing that I absolutely had to have on this trip and I was going to have it.  We started to make our way back to Louisville but went through Frankfort on the way back.  The capitol building was beautiful and grand.   The streets leading up to the building were lined with neat homes of course, and well maintained yards.  It was a beautiful capitol city.

 When we got back to the motel Sheri decided that she would let me have my time with Jasminka so I went by myself.  It was the first time that I went somewhere without any directions or help and it felt so good to know where I was and where I was going.  I loved this mural on the wall of the off ramp.

 When I pulled up to Jasminka's house, she and her husband were outside ready to greet me.  Oh my heavens.  We both quickly threw our arms around each other and cried.

We hadn't seen each other or even communicated at all for 18 years since the day I had driven away.  She was in my armsagain.  She could speak English now.  She remembered me and my name and how I had been her first and best friend.  Her yard was beautiful and her home was just as lovely.  It was the sweetest reunion.  We went into her home and sat and visited for awhile.  I was so happy to see that she was okay.  I had left her behind with her not knowing English, a refugee of one year from Bosnia.  She now spoke English beautifully.  She and her husband were US citizens.  Both of her boys had graduated from college.  She had just retired and then told me something that made me burst into tears.  In just two days they would be putting their house on the market and would be returning to Bosnia.  {I'm having one of those times where I'm laying on the desk sobbing.}

I had left my address book in my motel room two days after leaving Kentucky 18 years ago.  I lost all of my contacts including Jasminka.  I couldn't remember how to spell her last name.  I had wondered for years how she was doing, if she had learned to speak English, if she had made new friends, if she had returned to Bosnia or moved somewhere else, or if she was even still living.  It wasn't until a week before I left for Kentucky that I had made contact with her.  So, to be reunited with her again, before she was to return to her beloved Bosnia, was more than I could have ever asked for.  I knew instantly that that is why I had the impression out of nowhere to return to Louisville when I did.  The Lord knew I needed to see her and know she was okay.  I was able to tell her the story of her Burek and how it had been a miracle, almost manna from Heaven for us when we moved away.  I loved that I had the opportunity to tell her that.  That I could tell her face to face without a language barrier.  Then, we went to the kitchen and made Burek again.

 It was just as I had rememberd all those years ago.  I loved watching her hand in the bowl as she mixed the dough.  I loved watching how she rolled out the dough with her dowel, and used the cloth on the table.  The dough was almost magic in the way that it just spread so easily across the table as she would pull her hand underneath from the center out.  It was an art and I was fortunate enough to witness it.  I tried to take several mental notes of all things I could improve on to make my Burek just like hers.  And then I got to eat it.  It was amazing.  Truly amazing.

 While sitting there eating my burek and another treat she had made, (because she makes everything from scratch) I so enjoyed my time with them.  She got to face time each of my kids and D.  I loved that they got to see and hear one of my dearest friends.  She invited me to come visit her in Bosnia.  I loved seeing how cute she and her husband were with each other.  It made me so happy.

We hugged and hugged and cried some more as I got up to leave.  We were so grateful that we got to see each other again.  It was difficult leaving her again, but I no longer needed to worry about her anymore.  I was happy for her and her husband.  With her boys both gone from Louisville, they could now return to their native country that they are so proud of.  They have an amazing work ethic, they still have their big home, they can afford to retire there and it is safe again.  I was so grateful for one of the biggest tender mercies I had ever received and it being the sixth tender mercy of my trip.  I couldn't wait to get back to Sheri and tell her about my experience.  I left Jasminka's with an invitation to visit and stay with her in Bosnia, a bag of the treats she had made, and several burek to take with me.  I pulled away feeling like my cup runneth over.  Til we meet again my dear sweet friends.  I love you. 

See Jasminka.  CHECK
Make Burek with Jasminka.  CHECK

I didn't get back to the motel until around 11:00.  I was so worried about Sheri because we were going to go find dinner somewhere and I had been gone longer than expected.  But she was still awake when I returned and waltzed in saying, "Dinner is served" waving the grocery bag full of burek and treats.  I told her all about the time with Jasminka, her moving back to Bosnia, making burek together and how I have so much practicing to do with my burek.  Sheri loved the burek and we're going to be making that together soon.  

It had been such a good day.  What kind of seemed like a bummer of a morning, turned into one surprise after another and ending with practically a miracle.  I was so grateful.  I had done so much on the trip.  I had seen so many things, and visited with friends, seen my old Kentucky home through different eyes, received tender mercy after tender mercy, and I was happy.  I was truly happy and at peace.  I would be leaving Louisville the next day.  I remember the last time I had a last nights sleep there, I could hardly sleep.  I didn't want to leave.  I wasn't ready to leave.  But I went to sleep quickly this time knowing I was going home where I was supposed to be.  Louisville was a special place.  It had changed me all those years ago, and it had changed me once again.  Just one more thing to do now.  Visit my old First ward.