Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back from Vacation!

I just got back from Europe with my wonderful family. It was such a remarkable experience to see other cultures and walk among thousands of years of history.

I have a confession to make...we did not go to church while we were there. We were there for two Sundays and opted to spend those Sundays exploring both the English and French countryside. I really did want to attend at least one LDS service while we were there, but it just did not work out that way. Thankfully, my family was able to feel the Spirit in a myriad of other ways on our vacation.

As a matter of fact, I had many spiritual experiences while I was there. I teach my own children how to recognize the Spirit, and I am always humbled when they share their experiences with me. Because I cherish this so much, I also like to share some of my spiritual experiences with them. It is wonderful to sit and learn from my children.

So today, dear readers, I want to share with you three spiritual experiences from my trip:

I sat in awe of Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey.  I could have spent days sitting among the graves of some of my literary heroes. I could almost hear the inspirational words coming from the tombs. I felt so much peace as I sat on the floor and closed my eyes. Inspired simply does not cover how moved I was. I felt a clarity of my own future goals that I have not felt before. I felt confirmation of the Spirit on so many aspects of my life. I felt encouragement from the silent residents of Poet's Corner. This is a place that to which I will return.

We went to Giverny and toured Monet's Gardens. Of course it was crowded; it is a tourist attraction after all, but that did not take away from the spirituality of the place. My family was able to find quiet places where few people decided to go. To walk among the flowers, waters, streets, and landscape that inspired Monet's talent was incredible. It is so incredible to see so many varieties of flowers, trees, and shrubs in one place. There was a harmony among the nature that words simply cannot convey.

On the streets in Paris we ran into two sets of missionaries. They were both older couples in the center of Paris. I knew before I saw their missionary badges that they were missionaries. There was an unmistakable joy in their countenances. Each couple had been out a little over a year. They shared their experiences learning the language and loving the people. It made me even more positive that I will go on a mission with my husband when we are older.

I could write for days about my experiences. I loved teaching my own children and learning along with them. It was the perfect vacation and one that I cannot wait to do again.

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