Posted by: monsonmadness | October 1, 2011

Pathetic sob story and more ramblings

For years people have asked me to write a blog to keep up to date with what’s going on, usually across the miles for many of you. I have never wanted to do it because I have a great tradition of sending out monthly newsletters and photos to my family and it works really well for me. Why mess with a good thing right? Well, when we made the decision to move to American Samoa so many of you asked me to start a blog that I realised that if there was ever a right time, this was it. I wanted to stay connected to all my family and friends. My newsletters have a lot more detail in and cover things that would probably bore most of you to death like the things my kids are doing, the funny things they say etc. With my blog, I have tried to answer questions that you have about American Samoa and talk about our life here. This sometimes takes a lot of time and gets mundane, but I realise that for our close friends and family, you just want to know what’s going on with us. The longer we’ve been here, the more I realise that I miss what’s going on with you too! Have you ever sent people letters or emails and they don’t write back? It doesn’t feel good! I’ve felt a little lonely lately, and as I reflect on that I think it’s because I feel like I write so much about what we’re doing, but I don’t really know what you’re doing, and I feel like I’m missing out. Important things have happened with some of you, and we sometimes feel forgotten here! I’ve had a couple of really long emails from some good friends who are not comfortable leaving comments for all the world to see, and I am so grateful for them to take the time and let me know what’s going on in their lives too, but I miss the rest of you! If you’re reading this, you either found it by accident in a search engine, or else you know me and want to know what we’re up to. I want to know what’s going on with you too!!!! How about a comment or an email sometime, don’t be a stalker, be a friend!

Of the 66 posts that I have made, I have received 205 comments. That’s an average of 3 comment per post. Considering I have an average of 121 people reading each post, that’s pretty sad. Come on, I miss you. My best commenters are my Utah friends. I have only had one comment from a family member, and you Brits are no good either (except Billy 😉 ) if you don’t like making comments, send me an email one of these days. I really want to hear from you. I miss you, you know.

Sob story and wallowing over.

So here’s to my top three commenters. I guess you must love me the most. (My Mum is going to cringe at this because she emails me every day and ALWAYS comments on my blog, plus she sends me packages, so if you’re one that’s done that, I know you love me too!)

1st place with 44 comments…Lori Lawrence

2nd place with 18 comments…Rose Mitchell

3rd place with 11 comments… Christie Hancock

I was thinking about what I could write to my top reader Lori, and I reflected on all of the things that we’ve done together. Lori is my New York nanny friend. We drove cross country together several times and were inseparable for 4 years. She even spent one Christmas at my house in Wales. As I watched the semi annual LDS general conference on tv this morning (at 5am!!!!) I was thrilled to hear the announcement of six new temples to be built. I started thinking about all of the temples across the world and which ones I had personally been to. When Lori and I traveled the US, we visited as many temples as we could. We started off in Washington DC and saw lots more after that. I know most of you won’t be interested in this information, but Lori will, so I’ll just write for her! Here are the facts about LDS temples:

There are 135 operating temples worldwide, 13 under construction, and 18 announced (including the 6 announced just today).

These are the 51 that I have been to:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Anchorage, Alaska

Apia, Samoa

Atlanta, Georgia

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Birmingham, Alabama

Bismarck, North Dakota

Boise, Idaho

Bountiful, Utah

Chicago, Illinois

Dallas, Texas

Denver, Colorado

Detroit, Michigan

Draper, Utah

Fresno, California

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Jordan River, Utah

Kansas City, Missouri

Laie, Hawaii

Las Vegas, Nevada

Logan, Utah

London, England

Los Angeles, California

Madrid, Spain

Manti, Utah

Mesa, Arizona

Monticello, Utah

Mount Timpanogos, Utah

Nashville, Tennessee

Nauvoo, Illinois

Oakland, California

Ogden, Utah

Oquirrh Mountain, Utah

Orlando, Florida

Portland, Oregon

Preston, England

Provo, Utah

Raleigh, North Carolina

Rexburg, Idaho

Sacramento, California

Salt Lake City, Utah

San Antonia, Texas

San Diego, California

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

St. George, Utah

St. Louis, Missouri

Toronto, Ontario

Twin Falls, Idaho

Vernal, Utah

Washington DC

That’s it.

I am grateful for good friends and people in my life who have influenced me to be a better person. To those of you who happened to find this blog or who I don’t know very well, I hope you find something here that interests you.

To you who do communicate with me, I love your emails and comments. Thank you for staying in touch, and for caring sincerely about me when I am insecure and far away. Feeling a tad homesick…



  1. Top commenter!! Do I win a prize?? 🙂
    I am so happy that you are doing this blog- I LOVE reading about all your adventures! Remember in NY when we had to know every single detail about what the other did?? I guess I still love details! I have very fond memories of our adventures together. I miss you!

  2. Hope you know we think of you often and miss you LOTS! We love the Monson family. We love hearing about your adventures and appreciate your updates. Our lives just aren’t as exciting!:) Hope you’re all doing well.

  3. Wow, you have been to a lot of temples Helen. I’m surprised you remember them all, that’s a lot to remember. I’m glad you guys are making the best of everything there and writing this blog. I love hearing about your adventures. I always feel like people’s blogs give me a better understanding of who they are. I love getting to know you better through reading it. It’s only natural to be feeling homesick, you are so far away, but it isn’t forever and you will be home before you know it. 🙂 We miss you guys at family functions though.

  4. You have been to some wonderful Temples and places! I’m so excited that the Provo Tabernacle will soon be another Temple!!! I was crossing my fingers for Modesto, but no such luck yet. When you say you have been to, does that mean, gone inside or both visited and/or gone inside?
    I’ve been to:
    Las Vegas, NV family reunion with Dad’s family
    *Washington, D.C.
    *St. George
    Provo, UT Baptisms as BYU student, then our home temple for 3 years.
    Timpanogas, UT BFF wedding
    Salt Lake, UT baptisms as a BYU student
    South Carolina sister’s sealing to husband
    Dallas, TX sister’s sealing to husband and son
    Fresno, CA Friends sealing
    Oakland, CA Sealed and my home temple for the last 10 years
    Manti, UT BFF endowment
    *Logan, UT
    *Idaho Falls, ID
    Los Angeles, CA With my sister when she lived there
    *San Diego, CA

    And have gone through all but 5* of them. That’s as exotic as I get. And they are NOT in alphabetical order. =)

    I cherish my time in the temple and all the wonderful things that take place there!!!! I cannot wait for my next trip with my Sisters in Texas in 3 weeks!!! I get to visit by myself and enjoy my sisters, I’m SO excited!

  5. Love reading your blogs! Maybe a lot of us don’t write comments because our lives are so mundane in comparison! Wish i could have done something like this when we lived in Japan 🙂

  6. Wow! I’m impressed that’s a lot of temples visited. I love hearing about your life in American Samoa. I guess I’m living vicariously in a another country through you guys. We’re still in northern California and we will probably be here for many, many years. One of these days we will travel but I just have to be patient. 🙂

  7. I feel famous!

  8. I’m second place. That’s awesome. I do really love to read your blog.

  9. Hi Helen. =) You are thought of often! We miss you here in Utah. I love reading your blog. You have a knack for writing. We chat with each other here about your latest posts. But I agree that we just can’t compare with your adventures!! I wish I could go snorkeling for a date night! I don’t wish for mice or lice or scabies or warts. I would love to go along on your hikes and ocean swims. I would love to visit your classroom, and listen to you teach. I love hearing about “dolla” kid (was it ever confirmed girl or boy?) Love seeing the videos of Somoan dances, your kids singing in Somoan, you sliding and screaming, etc.) I loved your adventure to the temple, seeing your house from the air, and hearing the comparison about Somoa. I can’t believe you’ve been lucky enought to visit so many temples!

    (I’ve been to. . . Jordan, Salt Lake, Provo, St. George, Manti, Nauvoo, D.C., Logan, Ogden, Bountiful, and have seen Winter Quarters, Vernal, Draper, Oquirrh Mtn., San Diego, Newport Beach, and Chicago)

    I think it’s great to read all the positive things that you’ve been doing. After hearing some of the downfalls, I’m more impressed about your positive attitudes. Keep smiling!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: