Tuesday, April 26, 2016

50 STATES--Accomplished!! (and a mission tour besides...)

Completed my 50 by 50 goal this week when I accompanied Hailey to visit her mission areas. We flew into Memphis, TN on Tuesday, April 19. 

Took the bridge across the Mississippi River to visit Arkansas which gave me just two last states to visit.

Alabama really was beautiful and very green...

And I have to admit I was partial to Tennessee because of its beauty AND people...

Mission Area #1 = Murfreesboro. Had to stop in Lewisburg which was on our way so Hailey could visit the sister she trained and her last companion--Sister Cook. Hailey couldn't get ahold of her on her cell so she texted Sis. Cook's mom for the address just in case they were at their apartment in the middle of the day and we were blessed because they'd had a late District meeting that morning and were home eating their lunch at 2:30 pm! Sister Cook was thrilled to see Sister Tebbs!!

Hit up the Slick Pig for a quick BBQ snack in Murfreesboro before a delicious dinner at Hailey's favorite Thai restaurant with a cute couple who were in her YSA ward and have since married.

Mission Area #2 = Bellevue (West Nashville). Went on a hike with a fun member who helped the missionaries a lot and then lunch with another cute member and her daughters at the Loveless Cafe. Had my first taste of Chess Pie and LOVED it!

Surprised an investigator of Hailey's named Michelle and she cried and cried when she saw Sister Tebbs had come back to visit.

Checked out downtown Nashville on Broadway and had the best time at The Listening Room with 4 amazing singer/songwriters who have songs on the radio and ate a delicious dinner as we listened to them perform.

Finished seeing a few more things in Nashville on our way to Clarksville. The Parthenon was lovely, Vanderbilt University campus was beautiful and we enjoyed lunch, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Jeni's Splendid ice cream on 12th Street.

SO happy to reach my goal and accomplish visiting all 50 states before I got older than 50!

 Mission Area #3 = Clarksville. We took Ann (one of Hailey's baptisms) to dinner and met up with a Southern BYU-lovin' family that loved Hailey--especially their older son Bryce :) We also went over to the church so 7 other families and groups could chat with Hailey since Clarksville covers a lot of area and it made it easier for all of us.

Saturday we were able to spend the whole day with the Cluff family. They were so kind to let us stay at their home. We'd leave each morning early and get home late in the evening so we were happy to hang out with them uninterrupted for the day. 

We started our morning at the Franklin Farmer's Market and experienced delicious food trucks and Five Daughters Bakery. Watched Elijah play soccer and saw the temple. Drove all around beautiful Franklin, ate lunch at Burger-Fi and ended up at the Franklin Festival in historic downtown and ran into Heather, another friend from the Murfreesboro YSA ward that Hailey taught and baptized!

Last stop that evening was a quick visit with President and Sister Anderson.

Mission Area #4 = Sparta. We drove to Sparta Saturday night since it's almost a 2-hour drive from Franklin and we wanted to attend 9 am church on Sunday. Brother and Sister Crosby were gracious to host us in their home, fed us a delicious breakfast and lucky to hear Sister Crosby teach Relief Society on Sunday. 

Hailey was thrilled the Sparta branch had moved into their new building the week prior. She had a part to play and with 20 more members, the Sparta branch will become a ward.

Recent convert Benny was SO happy to see Hailey!!!

Hailey was able to see everyone she wanted at church and hug and visit with them. The Jim Grissom family had us over for a delicious lunch and two kinds of pie--chocolate cream and Boston cream.

Jimmy Grissom (Jim Grissom's brother-in-law) and his daughter Laura and her family fed us Key Lime Pie for an afternoon snack...

Had dinner at Sister Hickey's house... chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh beans and tomatoes, cornbread and MORE PIE!
Such an amazing and memorable trip--I may even love the South as much as Hailey!!

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