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Flashback to 8 years ago. Amos and I were on a plane home from a perfect job interview. He had just become a licensed professional counselor and a boys ranch in Missouri wanted him to be their counselor. It seemed like everything was falling into place because we both always wanted to live in Missouri. He planned to take the job and we were talking about the houses we had just looked at. At one adorable house in the woods, a deer peeked out from behind a tree then magically walked right up to us. We recounted the incident and were so excited to get home and tell the kids tales of friendly deer in their new back yard.

Just as the plane was landing, I turned to Amos and told him we didn’t HAVE to move to Missouri —that there would be other jobs. He looked at me and said, “I’m so relieved you said that; I don’t think it’s the right time.” I was startled that despite everything seeming right, we both felt an alarm going off inside telling us not to do it.

Fast forward to now and its finally time to go to Missouri. Last year I fell in love with an old mansion in Missouri. I knew we couldn’t afford it but I checked it every day to see if anyone had purchased it. I loved the exterior stone and the antique interior detail and the beautiful landscape.

As the months passed, I kept an eye on it then was sad when it sold. By that time I had done tons of research on the area and had read books about the pioneers and the persecutions they faced when they were driven from their homes in the 1838. There was, in fact, an extermination order from the governor of Missouri making it legal to kill members of my religion. The order was never rescinded until 1976! The result of the governor’s actions forced thousands of pioneers to leave the state on foot in the cold of winter. Many families were murdered and their lands stolen before they could leave and many others died of exposure.

As people have discovered we are moving to Missouri —everyone seems to need an explanation as to why. Even people who currently live there want to know our reason for coming. It’s not an easy question to answer in passing. We usually tell people the most practical reason — that we are moving to be closer to Michael’s children. He is tired of constant cancelled or delayed flights and running through airports to make connections with 3 small children each dragging suitcases while Michael carries 3 car seats. Now we will be able to pick them up any morning and return home before dinner — but this isn’t the main reason for the move. The answer is simply — we felt it was time. We were prepared to give place in our minds for the possibility then we prayed and fasted about it and finally got an answer during stake conference at the end of February. My stake president feels pretty bad for approving the song, ”Israel, Isreal God is Calling.” Do not read the lyrics to that song or read D&C 45 unless you plan to come with us. For real though — We know this move isn’t for everyone. Many are building Zion exactly where they are.

We didn’t get the stone mansion but when I saw the 1920’s newly remodeled home with the big yard, lots of bedrooms and the same exterior stone as the mansion, I knew it was meant for us. Heavenly Father is so good at giving good gifts and blessing us with the little things that bring us joy.

My kids and I have lived in Arizona most of our lives so this will be a big change. We are aware of the cold and the humidity and the bugs. Everyone keeps telling us. We love the lifelong friendships we have made here and hope to keep in contact with everyone online during this new adventure. I am so happy I got one last chance to record some music with the choir I’ve been singing with for most of my life. The music will live on through the Mesa Easter Pageant for many years to come. I’ll miss my Arizona family members so much. Being close to them was most likely the reason Amos and I weren’t supposed to move there 8 years ago. A cancer battle is not something anyone should have to handle on their own. Having so much family support at that time was one of the biggest blessings of our lives. We hope the family will come visit us and see some historical sites and future places of prophetic importance. We love you and will miss you all.