I've kind of delayed writing this for a while, because it's personal and very important to me, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to share, and if there was anything I shouldn't or didn't want to.
However, for the few people who read my blog, I think, I would feel comfortable telling you about these experiences in person, so why not in my blog?
A couple of weeks ago, our family went down to my favorite place on Earth - Lake Powell. We've been going twice or three times a year since I was a little kid, and I look forward to every single opportunity we have to go. This year was no different. I was able to go the whole week, and I couldn't wait for morning ski rides, sun-tanning, hikes, swimming, having fun with my awesome cousins and sisters and parents (I could've just said family), and perfecting the back-flip on my air chair. We got there on Monday afternoon, so my first opportunity to ski on nice water was Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, for some strange reason, my Dad decided not to wake me up for the nice water, and just went (even though I've woken him up many times to go skiing)! I was a little upset.
So later on that day, when the water was choppy because of boat traffic, I decided to break out my air chair, and see if I couldn't land the flip and hold on. So I rode for a while, just enjoying the flying feeling of gliding above the waves. Then, I jumped a couple of times, and tried the back-flip, but didn't really jump, so I just fell headfirst into the water, which I've done a lot (see video).
So the next attempt, I jumped, flipped, and in mid-air I thought "Yes! This is it! I'm going to make it!". Something weird happened, and even though I had made it around, I crashed when I hit the water. Usually, this is no big deal. This time though, it was.
To me, it felt like my hand had gone into the rope handle, and that the handle had hit my forearm extremely hard and pulled me forward in the water a little bit. It hurt like the Dickens, and when I came up, I saw that my glove was gone. After telling the people in the boat to pick up the glove, I noticed that I couldn't move my fingers, they were just stuck in a half-clenched position (as if I were still holding the rope in my hand), and there was a half-golf-ball-size local area of swelling right where it felt like the handle had hit me. I thought (verbatim) "Crap, I just broke my arm". So my dad helped me into the ski boat, and we went back to the houseboat to look at it. It still hurt a ton, and I was thinking I had ruined my family's (as well as my own) favorite summer vacation - which, to me, was more painful than the injury - seriously. I didn't cry about my arm, I only cried when I was by myself changing, because I was sad to have to leave without getting to ski.
Anyway, I had the thought "I should have my dad give me a blessing", and Christine, one of my 3 amazing sisters, even suggested it to my dad. Well, we decided to drive out to the channel to see where we could go to get my arm x-rayed, or at least to talk to someone about my arm. When we got out there, my dad gave me a blessing, and then we called. As I talked to Brian, the guy at the Bullfrog clinic, my arm hurt less and less, even though I didn't notice that until afterward. The swelling had gone down almost completely, and I could move my fingers almost as much as before. There was still some pain when I flexed my hand or wrist, but it wasn't nearly as bad as before.
The next day, Christine and I decided to go on a little hike across the canyon from our houseboat:
So we took the kayaks over there, and parked them at the bottom (1). We left our life jackets there, and started climbing up the rocky slope. Every step we took sent small rocks down, so we tried to make sure not to send rocks down on top of each other. We got to a point where there were huge boulders (2), and we had to rock climb around them to get up higher. I went one way, and Christine decided to go another way, about 10 ft away from me, (to the right in the photo). We were just talking, and both of us were thinking how cool we were as siblings to go hiking up this hill with our chacos on and everything, when I suddenly hear Christine yelling. I turn around to see her falling backwards off of the rocks above a 10-foot drop, and about 60 feet total below her to the water. I watched in horror as she fell and rolled and fell again down the hill. All I could do was yell her name trying to show my immense concern and worry and love for her, because I thought she was going to die. When she finally stopped falling (about 10 feet above the water) (3), she sat there, turned and looked up at me holding her head. I was worried she had split her head open, and was going to go unconscious soon. I heard her yell across the water to the houseboat "Dad! Get in the ski boat and hurry over here!" That comforted me a little in knowing she could think and yell. I slowly started moving to the side and then down as they came over in the boat and took her back to the houseboat. As I walked down carefully, I noticed that one of the kayaks was upside-down in the water about 10 feet from the shore (4). At the bottom, my dad and I talked a little about what had happened. He said that he could only see me up at the boulders and the rocks falling down from me. The huge boulder Christine had been on was falling straight toward the kayaks, and he thought Christine was in or near the kayaks! One miracle is that the boulder didn't follow the same path as Christine, who went left (black line) and the rocks went right (green line). Apparently that boulder had hit the one kayak and flipped it over into the water, smashing the one end. When we got back to the houseboat, I went to change into dry clothes, and again, being alone, cried because of the emotions I had felt as I watched what I thought were my sister's last moments. Then, my dad and I gave her a blessing as my mom, aunt and sister Chelsey took care of Christine's cuts. She was in shock and was shaking. Miraculously, she didn't break any bones, didn't split her head open or anything. She had some pretty big scrapes, but no deep cuts, and a twisted ankle to top it off.
I was amazed at how quickly she and I healed. I was able to ski Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Christine, I think, could have as well, but to be safe decided not to, in case of infection from the water getting in her cuts.
(The girl in the picture is my cousin Ashlyn, who got up on skis for the first time this trip!)
I know those are long stories, but I wanted to preserve as much as I could what happened, and add to them my testimony of the Priesthood. I know that it's a real power, which has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith by Angels, and that God and Jesus Christ personally appeared to Joseph Smith to restore this power and the true Church of Jesus Christ. How grateful I am for a worthy father who is willing and able to give me and my sisters those blessings when they are needed, and for the blessings that come through that Priesthood and the love of God.