So this will be a multi-Part Blogging Series on the accounts and experiences of the trip. So sit back, check back and get ready! It’s gonna be awesome. So I thought I’d start off with the first moment. So come along as I reccount an amazing journey!!!!
It was 2030hrs on Tuesday the 14th of April when we set out on a 16 hour journey westward in search of spiritual enlightenment, and strengthening bonds.
Colleen and Lauren, had just dropped David and I off and Jared was waking up from his nap. Across the country Kevin our 4th was flying from Utah to St. Louis in preparation to meet us in Iowa City our first stop before Nauvoo.
After the girls left the three of us (David, Jared and I), said a prayer and then we began our Journey west, nothing could prepare us for what was to come.
Just when it all seemed impossible the Lord showed away. Yesterday before a killer gym session My best friend and brother from another mother, and future guest writer to Spiritually Declared determined we the roadtrip to Nauvoo would be indeed possible!
What seems like a new annual tradition of Roadtrips and adventure seems to be getting a 2015 installment, and this one is sure to be full of even more adventures and experiences.
Simple lay out of the trip is like this. Leave from Crofton MD, and drive 14 hours to Nauvoo IL. We’ll be spending two days there exploring and having adventures and memories, and learning of the pioneers and their legacy. From there we will drive east, stopping in Chi-town for some legit deep dish pizza, because WHY NOT! From tehre we’ll make our way to Kirtland, and then overnight in Palmyra wakign up for church and more exploration, and of course that delcious upper NY state maple syrup! Driving back home that night, avoiding random scenic overlooks (inside joke to last years road trip), and make our way to philly before driving back home. `
I’m like super excited for this trip. It’ll be the most west I’ve ever travelled, and I’m so excited for the experience. It’s also going to be awesome to spend the time with some of my closest friends.
So check back here for updates as it gets closer, I already made an obligation to finish doctrine and Covenants before I step foot in Nauvoo! So yeah come back and live this roadtrip vicariously through me!!
Last year 4 of my friends hopped in a Kia Sedona and headed North to Palmyra! After a 6 hour drive up the East coast we arrived at our destination. The weekend was filled with exploration, and wonder. We saw awesome sacred sites, like the Sacred grove, and each of us were able to have our own personal spiritual moments. IT was a wonderful trip!….
Over the summer I had the opportunity to drive to Kirtland with some of my friends. It was a wonderful trip! A phenomenal experience once that I’ll never forget. It inspiried be to keep heading west along the Mormon Pioneer trail!
And now here we are….
Me and some friends are now planning to head out to Nauvoo, which is a 14 hour drive west of Maryland where we live. This for me will be the furthest west I’ve ever been in my life, and it will also include on the way home, stops in Chicago, A stop in Nauvoo, Another Stop in Palmyra, and finally ending with a stop in Philly before heading home! (Philly and Chicago, are for food purposes because who can deny a deep dish pizza or a philly cheese steak sub).
The trip although far is bound to be awesome, and I’m so excited. Check back here as I record updates and even more important reports from the trip itself in April!
It’s honestly hard to believe that 2015 is upon us! I feel like it was just yesterday 2013 ended, and Jason and I were at Green Turtle eating massive burgers on New Years eve. But no doubt about it, shortly 2014 will be over and we will be looking into the eyes of 2015.
To be hoenst, 2014 didn’t begin as awesome as it ended! But nonetheless it’s more or less about the lessons we learn not the trials we dwell in. So lets look back at some top moments!!!
Travel– This year I discovered a love of travelling, probably covering more mileage than I have in my entire life. It started with a trip with 4 of my friends to Palmyra! Being able to see the Sacred Grove and walk where the prophet Joseph Smith walked was just amazing. The Spirit was so powerful in those sacred locations, and it was an amazing weekend vacation I’ll nevet forget.
I also had the opportunity to travel as far west as I’ve ever gone, and that was to another historical Church site, “Kirtland OH”. I was lucky enough to go with my girlfriend and two very good friends of mine. It was such a blessing to go on this trip, and inspired me to visit every historical church site in the continental United states before 2020. With plans already in formation to Go to Nauvoo this spring, and possibly Salt Lake for General Conference, it seems like a very likely feat!
I also got to go into the heart of Nature with my brother this summer. Doing primitive camping in the mountains of Maryland!. And what would be any type of travel log then mentioning one of my favorite cities outside of Baltimore and Annapolis, my third home Philly! Definitely had my share of subs!
3 Years!- 2014 marked 3 years since my baptism. I don’t think it ever really feels like 3 years. It either feels like a million or like yesterday. Nonetheless I’m grateful for every moment since. I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had in the last three years. I’m so grateful for the friendships made and restored, the family stabilized and gained, and just an incredible part of me that was missing.
Adversity- 2014 in the early part of the year, I saw some painful and stressful trials. Things once planned did not go as planned, and moments that seemed impossible appeared. I learned a lot about myself and those I choose to associate with, and I learned through it all, family and friends and faith are key to making it through the strongest storms. I was in a bad place emotionally in the beginning of the year, but towards the middle part aroudn April Conference, a change began, and I was able to look beyond the situation and focus on what I truly wanted! I’m grateful for those trials, and I’m grateful for the life lessons learned.
Love sometimes is right in front of you- Funny enough, I was just talking to one of my oldest Friends Matt about this Saturday night, when I told him that my girlfriend and I had been “officially dating” for the last 6 months. In reply he laughed and said, “I thought you guys would’ve dated about 2 years ago…” Funny enough to the outside world, that’s probably what it looked like, and deep down it’s probably what it actually was more or less. My girlfriend Colleen and I have been great friends so long. A little over 5 years now. We’ve been through a lot together, and have been there for each other through it all. I’m so happy and blessed for the past 5 years, but definitely the 6 months we’ve been dating! I’m very hopeful for the future 🙂
Family- I don’t know where I’d be without them. Reaching a quarter century this year, made me really think about just how far I’ve come. Honestly I wouldn’t have been there without my family. So many times my parents have bailed me out of crazy situations that without them I’d be lost. I’m so grateful Heavenly Father chose my parents to raise me, and just the amazing example they’ve been in my life, showing me what true love looks like. I’m grateful for sisters, that even though we don’t see each other as much as I’d like, that we’re still there for each other and can help one another out in times of need.
Friends- I’ve learned at times that family isn’t always blood related. And that proved true this year. Some friends have become like brothers to me, ones I know I can trust for sure, and I’ve also been blessed to make some new friends. 2014 showed me just who’s true and who isn’t. I’m grateful my circle which is slightly bigger, is compiled of people I can trust and know support me.
School- Yes I’m still in school. Jeez and it feels like I’ve been here forever. But I think choosing to go to BYU Idaho (online) is probably going to be a good thign for me in 2015. ITT tech was good for a time, but its not for me, it doesn’t work for me anymore, and I can’t see myself spending anymore money there. So BYU-I it is! It’s not Provo, but heck I’ll take it lol.
My Art- To be honest not mentioning this would be a crime against myself. This year I finished the first Manuscript in my first professional book series! “Maniac” It’s now in Post-production, and I plan on releasing it via Kindle next year under my own writing group name “Max Literature Group”. It’s exciting! I’ve been writing for exactly 10 years and now have reached a point where I’m ready to make something of it. On top of that, I’ve created a new Blog (This one!) And I’m so happy I can share my testimony and thoughts to all of you, and the web. It’s very exciting!
The Road ahead….
If only I knew what 2015 would hold. I said at the end of 2013 that 2014 would be a big year, and this proved to be so true! I sit on the edge of 2014 trying to conciously think of what in the world is coming 2015, I have some goals and plans and ideas of what are to come, but honestly I’m just happy enjoying the ride for once! I’m so happy for all of you who have been there this year, and look forward to many more memories with you.
To my new friends who are readers of this blog, look forward to more to come! This ride isn’t over! It’s barely just begun!