My Dear, Sweet Grandchildren,
I have wanted to share a story on our family blog that involves your brave and patient parents, but it has been difficult for me to share. Until I imagined sharing this story with you. So please keep reading and hopefully YOU will gain something from our recent experience that will bring you peace and truth to your present day.
It all started with a prompting your grandpa and I both received, separately, earlier this year (2020) telling us it was time to leave the place we were living. We had lived in Costa Rica for 5 years; all but El Gringo. He was in Argentina at that time.
Your grandpa and I prayed and fasted earnestly to know where our family needed to move to next. Over some weeks, the feelings we had led us to choose Virginia, USA. Now we needed to work on a plan for when, where, how, and what should happen in order to get us there.
Quickly, some of those answers began to come, as the whole world was thrown into a pandemic with the Coronavirus by March 2020.
This pandemic caused grandpa to lose his job. The government of Costa Rica also closed their borders and put their people on strict restrictions. This made living in their country lonely, frustrating, and expensive.
So we decided the time had come to finally leave Costa Rica. By this time, El Gringo was in Utah, having had to leave Argentina and wait to be reassignment to a new mission, also due to the pandemic. While he waited for 10 weeks to know if/where he would be reassigned, the rest of us packed up our belongings to prepare them to be shipped to Virginia.
As we packed, we talked about what we should do for at least a month while our things were being shipped? The feeling came to travel the USA with your parents, in a large vehicle that our family could drive, eat, sleep, and live daily life in. This vehicle is called an RV.
Your great uncle C lent grandpa his RV. This was very generous of him. So we made arrangements to finally get out of Costa Rica. Money was getting tight, but we had what we needed to travel quickly. By this time, El Gringo was sent to Idaho to finish serving his mission in the Washington Spokane Mission.
Our journey to the USA was long and tiring, but we kept our spirits up by trusting in the promptings and desires we were receiving daily, that what we were doing was right. Once in Utah, we were lovingly welcomed by many family and friends.
This was a great blessing to our family, for many in the world felt that being with loved ones was unwise during the pandemic. But our family felt that we needed to be with them, for our mental and emotional health, as well as for theirs!
But one day along our journey, your grandpa and I were tested greatly. We had been visiting our church’s historical sites in Missouri, when it began to rain. As we came to a great field, the RV began to sink in the muddy grass. We drove quickly to leave this place (Haun’s Mill) and turned where our internet guided map was telling us to go.
Unfortunately, the map took us down a terribly muddy road. Within a few minutes, our large, 39 foot RV was deeply stuck in the mud. We were in the middle of the country. No houses or people were near by. We were literally in the middle of nowhere.
Grandpa was very brave! He quickly called a local Bishop of our church, to see if he had any advice or help he could offer. This Bishop sent a kind grandpa, just like your own. This nice man left the comforts of his home (at least 15 bumpy, dusty minutes away) and he came to see what he could do.
He talked with grandpa and offered his help, but his truck just wasn’t strong enough to help pull our RV out of the mud. So grandpa was brave and he called for help.
A fancy machine had to come to help pull our vehicle through the mud. It was called a Bobcat and it had a specially crafted winch attached to the front of it.
A winch is a mechanical device that is used to pull in (wind up) or let out (wind out) or otherwise adjust the tension of a rope or wire rope (also called “cable” or “wire cable”). In its simplest form, it consists of a spool (or drum) attached to a hand crank.
It took 4 hours for us to get the RV out of the muddy road we were on. During this entire time, your parents were so patient and so brave, just like grandpa. I was brave too.
(Patiently waiting) But children, I must share with you all that there were moments that came from this experience that were difficult for us. This was not an easy experience for us to go through. Nor was it without great sacrifice.
There were possible dangers that the RV could slip into a muddy ditch, while being towed slowly down the road, or damage done to the RV from us trying to get it out of the mud ourselves. There was the expensive use of the specially made machine, we needed to help us solve our problem. And then there was the worst part of it all. . . the doubt!
Lots of doubt flooded our hearts and minds. Questions that caused our family to stop and wonder . . .
“Why had we not been warned to not take this road?”
“Why were we spending money we were trying to save during grandpa’s loss of work?”
“Why was this trial making our already difficult situation even harder for us to bear?”
Children, when these thoughts come. . . PRAY!
Experiences like these allow us to use our agency. They allow us time to think, ponder, and pray. But most importantly, they help us to not treat Heavenly Father, our Savior, and the Holy Ghost like magic beings who grant our every wish and desire when we think of Them.
No, They are wiser than that! They know that we need these opportunities to suffer, so we can have reasons to keep praying, keep needing, and keep seeking Their love and support. For children, we did get out of the ooey, gooey, sticky mud that night.
But it did cause us some stress for the next few days. So much stress, that I got quite upset!!!
But I want you to know children, that getting upset isn’t a sin. It’s all about how you choose to handle the upset that you feel.
Instead of “giving up” or doubting in the plan we felt prompted to obey, I told God how I truly, honestly felt. . . that despite me feelingly set up for financial, emotional failure, I was going to follow Them . . .
even though I don’t know how all this will work out in the end. I choose Them!
And you know what . . . I have been blessed with the peace, hope, and additional faith I have been needing because I chose to let Them help me in Their way.
Children. I know that God lives. And God is three separate personages. Heavenly Father is the Father of our Spirits. It is His plan that made it possible for us to come to earth and have the opportunity to be like Him, “knowing good from evil.”
His Son is Jesus Christ, a separate God and the One who chose to do all He had power to do, to break the bands of death and make it possible for us to be able to return to Heavenly Father’s presence.
And then the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God. Each God is of one purpose, one glory, one plan, but each is also separate and unique. The Holy Ghost is able to be with all men, each individually. And He is uniquely able to communicate with us all, when we allow Him to.
My dear, sweet grandchildren, always seek God’s help, in all things! Especially when life gets you “stuck in the mud.” Turn to them, not away from them.
I don’t know yet why we weren’t prevented from getting stuck in the mud. I may never know. But what I do know is that I was back on the road, the very next day, and we have been helped through each issue we have had. We have also been blessed to have a lovely trip together as a family. 💕
Life is messy, like muddy roads, but focus on enjoying the journey! For it is beautiful to behold!!!
I love you, Grandma