We also got to go to the creek near grandma and grandpa's house! Sure smells and feels like the woods and air I grew up with. The kids were filthy and happy, just as we like them! Lukas said, "this is the best perfect place ever!"
I got to visit with President and Sister Manwaring last night! They picked me up and took me to dinner and had such a wonderful time. It's funny how as a kid my parents would revere the names of stake president Chapman, or speak in awe of Patriarch Ovard, and what great men they were. And they were, no doubt. Something funny happened when I got older and served a mission. I noticed that all people are just people. Like my mission president. Boy are they all on pedestals in the beginning, almost to a disservice to them and ourselves. I don't know that anyone has a pedestal for me anymore. Not because I disrespect them,but because I see us all more as equals... because nobody is perfect, and nobody's got it all figured out. I respect people actually more when they stop demanding respect, and when they too show honesty in their life struggles and reflect with honesty about their downfalls. That's why I love the Manwarings. They're not some neatly packaged little Molly Mormon family. They are a family who loves the Lord, reads the scriptures, and prays and shares the gospel. They have kids who have fallen away and aren't perfect. And they admit it. They don't try to live an image. They are themselves. And they listen without judgement, and give validation and feedback to my concerns, my victories, and they know me in a way only a select group of people do.... It was great to talk to them, and I felt grateful that they took the time to hang out with me and catch up.