Friday, August 21

Girl Trip, Part Two: Indiana

Upon arriving to Indiana we immediately drove to Grandma Betty's apartment, where she was anxiously awaiting our arrival.  I yelled GRANDMA as loud as I could, as soon as I got out of the car and I quickly saw her adorable bob of bright white hair, pop through the curtain.  I couldn't wait to get my arms around her.  Although she is Tyson's grandma, she feels like mine.  In fact I have claimed her as mine and even gave P her name.  I have missed her dearly and was so excited to spend a couple of days with her.  

She gave us a tour of her apartment.  It was darling, I wouldn't have expected any less.  We all piled in to the rental car and went to Paradise Bakery for lunch.  I have missed that place tons, since moving from Utah.  I was so happy to see one and couldn't wait to get my hands on one of their tasty sugar cookies.  There blue cheese salad and tomato soup are also a favorite.  Grandma Betty shared with us some sweet mission experiences and I couldn't help but smile just being in her presence.

After lunch we made our way to the mission home.  I have never been in a mission President's home.  It was so neat, especially because I have a brother serving a mission right now.  I  loved looking around seeing all of the organization and work that goes into having a successful mission.  I enjoyed looking at the faces of each of the missionaries serving.  I had no idea how every second is spent serving and making sure everything runs smoothly when you are a mission President.  President and Sister Cleveland work so hard and it shows in the success of their mission.

After visiting for a while we made our way to the Indiana, Indianapolis Temple open house.  The temple was beautiful.  Each room had the most intricate details and the art work was some of the most stunning paintings I have ever seen.  I am on the search for a picture of Christ that was an original painting in there.  It was one I had never seen before and really touched me.  One of my favorite rooms was the baptistry.  The wood work was stunning. 
This trip really helped strengthen my testimony and put things into perspective.  It brought out the purpose and meaning of this life and made me go home with more strive to improve myself and share the gospel with others.  
The following day we hit up good old Cheesecake Factory to eat dinner and have a pre-birthday celebration.
We were able to attend a fireside where all of the missionaries, some members and investigators attended.  It was so inspiring and spiritually uplifting.  Recent converts bore witness of the truthfulness of the gospel and the way it has impacted their lives for the better.  Each of their stories were so touching and seeing and hearing the change in their lives was moving.  I couldn't help but think of my baby brother out serving and knowing the good he was doing.  Hopefully one day I will be able to meet some of the people he has taught.

I was able to track down my little brothers friend Elder Wagstaff who was serving in the Indiana mission.  He was going home that Wednesday, so it was neat to see him before he left and send some teaser pictures to his sister.
Later that evening we drove around downtown Indianapolis and stopped for some yummy ice cream.  I had the s'mores flavor.  You know anything with chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows is a win in my eyes. 
We spent that night staying up super late chatting about life.  Probably later than I have stayed up in years, but it was so fun to just have some girl time.

The next morning we walked around the quaint little town of Carmel, ate some more food, visited the mission office and helped get ready for the missionaries that were coming in that day. It was seriously the best way to end our amazing girls trip.  I loved spending time with Grandma Betty and filling my canteen with more oil.  I will forever hold this trip dear to my heart.
Thanks again Mama and Papa Parker!!!!
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