These past 3 weeks have been filled with memories and fun- from driving all the way out to Utah, down to Navoou, Illinois and back to having family reunions on both sides! These weeks have just been packed with adventures! Anna and Emily got the very lucky privilage to fly out to Utah themselves , and a week before everyone else too! They stayed with different cousins and family for a week before the rest of the family drove out to meet them. Isaac participated in TREK, a reenactment of pioneer life as they crossed the plains, three days before leaving to Utah. That made driving the same trail they took (I-80) seem like a piece of cake. We stopped at the Winter Quarters visitor center, the place the pioneers stopped for the winter after it took them 4 1/2 months to travel from Nauvoo, Illinois to Omaha, Nebraska because of mud. We felt such DEEP APPRECIATION for the trials and hardships they faced and for the deep commitment to truth that urged them forward. When we arrived in Utah 3 days after beginning our journey, we were thrilled to BE WITH FAMILY!!! Carla and Jef were GENEROUS hosts for the week, offering swim parties and food to all! Clayton and Emily's wedding was SO WONDERFUL!!! What great joy for all of us! We celebrated our pioneer heritage with the parades and fireworks! Then came the Hoffman Family Reunion! We went to Jordanelle and rented a boat, kneeboard, tube,waterskis, and 2 Jet Skis. We had a blast! On Sunday we went to G&G Hoffman's ward where so many friends are - it was really great! The Hoffman family week was wrapped up with a family fireside. Every Hoffman sibling stood and shared their feelings concerning family, church, and other treasures. Thanks for all!!! Early Monday morning we left for the 20- hour drive down to Nauvoo, Illinois for the Cooper Family Reunion. What a TREASURE to be together in such a life changing place. Our days were packed full, from going to historic brickhouses to playing Pioneer games and dressing up like the pioneers. We saw lots of plays and got to see the wonderful Nauvoo Pageant! The most moving places were Carthage and the Smith cemetary where Joseph, Emma, Hyrum, and Mother and Father Smith are buried. We felt we could not be on more holy ground besides the Savior's birth and death place. Going to Nauvoo for a few days definitely made our testimonies of the gospel strengthen and grow as we learned so much more about the trials our ancestor pioneers faced, all they were willing to give up, for this precious gospel as they kept moving on toward Zion. We came home changed, better! And to continue all the fun, we swapped Mikela and Kate for Marisa, who is our sweet 11-year-old cousin, this week - Emily and Anna are really enjoying that! Don't worry we'd NEVER give them up for long - we'll be switching back Friday, when we go to the Maxwells to play. Happy tidings and we love you all!!
-The Hoffman Family-