My Friends Are Walking 500 Miles For Me, and Other Blessings

There’s a beloved scripture among Mormon doctrine which states “For after much tribulation come the blessings”.  (see Doctrine & Covenants 58:2-4) This week I have personally seen evidence of the truth of that promise. Nothing “earth shattering” has happened like Daughter A waking up being completely healed, winning a million dollars – [or, a trip to Disneyland], or getting a visit from magic housecleaning elves…all things I totally would LOVE to happen…

but, some other very cool things happened and here are just a few:

1. I became a recording artist in a real live studio!

This is not me, but it was like this.
This is not me, but it felt a lot like this.

Yes. I sang into a big fancy microphone wearing big fancy headphones just like a rock star while an incredible musician/sound engineer/producer recorded me professionally. The songs are currently being ‘mixed’ and ‘mastered’ right now, and then will be “premiered” in the near future. Stay tuned! [oooh…excited? I hope so!!]

2. Someone said some very stupid, hurtful things to me.

Um, hello?! “How was this a blessing?”, you ask. Well, I didn’t get mad. I was sad, and it hurt, but I forgave them. I didn’t let it fester or ruin my life. People say stupid and hurtful things. It always shocks me though when it happens to me. But, it’s up to us to decide how to deal with it. I have a feeling that the particular hurtful things this person said are something I am likely to encounter in the future. It makes me feel a bit “pre-disastered”. If/When it happens again I’ll be more prepared. So, I’m adding it to my blessings of the week list.


3. A doctor who took the time to listen and care 

We met with yet another new specialist this week for Daughter A. We have gotten to the point of not getting our hopes up. But, this one surprised us. He sat down and listened. He took her entire medical history. He let her tell the whole long saga of her medical and life journey. He encouraging her to keep telling more details. He kept reassuring us he was willing to take the time to do this (we were the last appointment of the day which he said he scheduled on purpose) In the end the appointment lasted 3 hours – yes, you heard that right –  THREE HOURS! What doctor ever does that? No one. But, this doctor did. He didn’t have answers yet because he is now going to study everything and research and consult and then we are going to come back and see what his ideas and assessment is. It’s impossible to fully describe how blessed we feel about that.


4. Two of my friends are walking the extra mile for me…500 miles actually!

Shawna is one of my former missionary companions from way back “in the day” (yes, way way back…circa Spring 1988 – Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission). We lived and worked 24/7 together in the Green Bay Wisconsin area for about 6 weeks [it felt like 6 months], and we survived each other. I’m not joking about that last part. We had a rocky companionship to say the least [every missionary has at least one]. We kind of (as in really) hated each other for most of those 6 weeks. [She once threw a comb at me, I ducked and it embedded in the wall. / I once pulled her hair…] Our companionship felt like FOR-EV-ER. But, we learned to work very long hard days together [so we wouldn’t kill each other?] and we made some unforgettable memories together. In God’s great wisdom [and everlasting sense of humor] the two of us continued to keep in touch over all of the years, grew to deeply respect each other, rooted and cheered for each other through our marriages, babies, joys and sorrows…and became unlikely best friends.

Shawna & Abby, Mormon Pilgrims on the Camino
Shawna & Abby, Mormon Pilgrims on the Camino

Shawna and her daughter Abby are currently walking the Camino Frances route of the El Camino de Santiago trail or “Way of St. James” pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees mountains to the coast of Spain. This trail was the basis of the movie “The Way” starring real-life father-son team Emilio Esteves and Martin Sheen (a great movie btw! Highly recommend!! Life changing for many) The ‘Camino’ is an ancient and epic spiritual and physical pilgrimage comprising 800 kilometers (approx 500+ miles) undertaken since the days of Christ. Over 200,000 people per year now walk it! [It takes people on average a full month]

Map of Shawna and Abby's Pilgrimage, (what I hope to do with Mr. Mo in 2 years!)
Map of Shawna and Abby’s Pilgrimage, (what I hope to do with Mr. Mo in 2 years!)

This pilgrimage has an amazing history, actually, which I won’t fully recount now (but may devote a future blog post on). Mr. Mo and I have been dreaming about doing this pilgrimage together for quite some time. God willing, we are currently planning going in 2 years. But, since circumstances are not ideal right now, my friends Shawna and Abby are doing the pilgrimage in small part as our “proxies” and in large part because they, like so many thousands before, have been drawn to the Camino. It has a way of calling you that is hard to put into words. Every person who walks “The Way” has their own unique experience. I have been loving reading Shawna’s daily blog posts and personal messages to me. She is never dull and always entertaining! You can follow her journey at

If you feel so inclined, they would be eternally grateful for a small donation to help them along. Check out her Go Fund Me page!



Life is hard. Life is sometimes more than hard, it’s painful and confusing. But, there are blessings. There is a saying for pilgrims who walk the Way of St. James…”The Camino will provide”. People who make the pilgrimage testify over and over about the individualized blessings and miracles that happened to them along their journey. It becomes a metaphor for life. That is certainly one of the reasons why I want to walk my own Camino – to experience those miracles and blessings alongside my husband. But, none of us have to walk 800 Kilometers across two countries to experience God’s tender mercies and miracles. We just need to look for them, and to trust that “After much tribulation, come the blessings.” It’s a promise from God. And, he always keeps His promises. – MoSop



  1. Though it may be challenging at times… the Truth & Light provided to His faithful children will always direct the way toward righteousness –to ALL of God’s followers desiring such devine guidance & love!!! :oD


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