The Mormon State

Hello! We’ve been pretty busy the last week or so which meant I didn’t have any time to blog! But now we have about half an hour before we board our flight and instead of wasting time I thought I would start on my post for Utah!
Last Wednesday we drove down from Calgary to Utah with Grandpa and Aunt Lawana. It’s a solid 12+ hour flight so we stopped in Idaho Falls for the night to break it up. I was dreading the drive down but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
We got to Utah around lunch time the next day (which happened to be Bryton’s 28th birthday!). We stayed in American Fork with Bryton’s Grand Aunt and Uncle. I’d met them once before at Grandma Pilling’s funeral. Our first night there we drove out to Provo to drop some things off to Bryton’s cousin, Russell, who is studying at BYU. On our way back to American Fork we stopped at the Provo temple to get a photo. The temple was packed! We didn’t go inside but the car park was completely full and there were tons of people walking it.
It’s so cool driving down the freeway and seeing a whole lot of temples and chapels. It was almost like every 5 minutes we would see a different temple in the distance and there are so many chapels on the same road. Sooo many Mormons.
On Friday we met up with Bryton’s cousin Hyrum. He is hilarious and reminds me so much of my brother-in-law Brandon. Being with Hyrum really made me miss Brandon (he is my favourite Pilling and even Bryton knows that haha). We went out for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and then went to Deseret Books to spend a little bit of money haha. 
Friday night we celebrated Bryton’s birthday by going to The Roof Restaurant in Salt Lake. It overlooks the SLC temple and it’s such a gorgeous view. They also had the best Creme Brulee I’ve EVER tasted!!!








One of the reasons why we went to Utah was to go to conference. Because we were international visitors we could get tickets to one session on Saturday and one session on Sunday. Bryton’s Grandpa got us extra tickets to the Sunday morning session. So we did the Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon sessions.
The Saturday afternoon session was pretty cool because we got to be there to sustain the new apostles.
I took lots of notes from the conference but I think I will have to save those for a separate post so this one doesn’t get too long.
They have this place called the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Cafe or something. We walked in there and it was pretty amazing. They have all sorts of Caramel Apples covered in a bunch of different things. I just realized that I didn’t get any photos and I’m kicking myself for it. I got the caramel apple with milk and dark chocolate drizzled over and some chocolate covered strawberries. So delicious!
We sat in the courtyard while we waited for Russell. They have a small fountain show similar to the Bellagio. It was awesome!
After the Priesthood session we ran into one of Bryton’s missionary companions, Crismon Lewis.
Bryton and his cousin Russell.
On Sunday we went to the morning session of conference with Grandpa and Aunt Lawana. Grandpa’s friend in his stake in Canada got us some sweet tickets close to the front and bang in the middle.
Listening to President Monson was really special. He’s looking pretty old and unwell. It was kinda scary because during his talk he had to lean on the pulpit to hold himself up and you could tell he was struggling. President Uchtdorf sat literally on the edge of his seat ready to get up to catch him if he fell. It made me quite emotional to seat the prophet like that and to be there watching it live. We are so so blessed to have a man called of God to direct this church, even at his age and in his health condition. Nobody gets out of a calling in this church! Haha.


Pretty sure he said something funny, which explains why my face looks like that.
Russell, Aunt Lawana, Grandpa, Me, Bryton
For the Sunday afternoon session we had seats in the terrace, front row. We were lucky to get different seats in the conference center because we got different views. I don’t think you can get a bad seat there. I may or may not have fell asleep during this session. Don’t judge me. I’m pregnant and exhausted!
Aunt Lawana, Russell, Bryton, Grandpa, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Don


On Monday we met up with a good friend of ours who is serving in Utah. Elder Semu is a close family friend of Bryton’s so we arranged to have lunch with him while we were there. The morning of he texted us the address of the place he wanted to go to. Our GPS led us to this place and it looked super ghetto. Kinda like some old public toilets that had been tagged and all sorts. I wasn’t sure if it was the right place. I kept thinking it was a joke and Elder Semu was just trying to be funny. But then he pulled up and took us inside. He cracked up when I realized he was being serious. It was the most legit Mexican place I’ve ever been to. Haha. Bryton even took a photo of the bathroom that had a towel wrapped around the bottom of it and a plastic bag over the urinal. These people are crazy. When we left I threw up and I’m not even sure it was the pregnancy hahaha.





Monday night we met up with some of Bryton’s other family. I didn’t get to get any photos, mainly because I completely forgot to. Uncle Mark and Aunt Jacqui organized for a small family dinner with some of the family in Utah. I just want to say how blessed Bryton and I are to have Uncle Mark and Aunt Jacqui in our lives. They have done so much for us. We have so much love, respect, and admiration for them. I couldn’t imagine our lives without them. They are very very special to us.








On Tuesday Aunt Jacqui took us to get a scan for the baby. They have a family friend who does 3D ultrasounds and we were keen for a check up. We are so lucky. During the scan we were able to find out what we were having. Now I’ve been wanting a boy for my first child for as long as I can remember. So I got to the point where I was just convinced that we were having a boy. Having a girl was not even an option. So I was pretty confident that it was a boy. But then we had the scan and Aunt Jacqui’s friend told us we were having a baby girl. Aunt Jacqui laughed and she was happy, Bryton laughed (and cried), and my mouth dropped and I said “oh no!” Followed by a stream of tears down my face. Bryton turned to me and whispered “are those tears of joy or…?” Hahaha. And you know what? I don’t even know, but I’m pretty sure they were not tears of joy. More like shock. But that’s a whole other post!
That afternoon we did a session in the Salt Lake Temple. Of all the temples I’ve been to, I still have to say that the New Zealand temple is my favourite!! It was awesome to be in the Salt Lake Temple though. It was super confusing to get into though because they have so many doors around the outside of it but none of them is an entrance into the temple itself. But the detail of everything is amazing.
After our session we went to The Garden Restaurant in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building with some of Bryton’s closest mission friends. It was so great to get to know them. They’re an awesome group of guys. Bryton sure has some good friends in them.






After dinner, Johnny (one of Bryton’s mission friends) took some photos of us. We decided we wanted to announce our pregnancy so took some try-hard announcement photos that just turned out awful. Turns out it’s not the best idea to take photos right after you’ve eaten. Even if you are pregnant. I look so close to 40 weeks, it’s embarrassing. Which is why we opted for the funny photo of Bryton’s belly as the announcement photo haha. My skirt is not flattering at all!



I felt like pushing Bryton into the pond because he got me pregnant!



Johnny and Bryton
Utah was a great time. I’ve literally never been surrounded by so many Mormons in my life. They swarmed the streets at conference weekend. I’ve never seen so many! Again, I will write a completely separate post about my conference experience later so I don’t make this one too long.
I’d like to be back to Utah again for sure.

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