Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The First Two Days

Monday night we boarded the midnight special (aka the red-eye special) and arrived at JFK airport at 6:00 in the morning tired, but excited. We rented a car and drove to Palmyra, NY. According to our Google map it should have taken us 5 and ½ hours but a left turn that should have been a right turn made that a seven hour journey. We arrived at our hotel tired and hot—it seems New York is experiencing a heat wave and we have been inundated.

We unpacked, and took a ride to get our bearing then ate dinner at The Depot, a restaurant situated in a Railroad depot built in 1911. The walls were covered with memorabilia and being in the room made you feel like you’d been transported in time back to the days of railroad travel. The surprise was that the food was wonderful. I had eggplant over penne pasta that was fantastic and for dessert we share a piece of crème Brule cheesecake that was absolutely heavenly. I usually don’t eat sugar or dessert, but I had to try a few bites of that cheesecake and I was glad I did.

This morning we went to the Sacred Grove first things. We took the tour and then walked around the grove and finally sat in a secluded spot where we spent the next few hours. Carl took pictures and I read the Joseph Smith History from the Pearl of Great Price. To read those words in the place they happened, written in first person as if Joseph were there speaking to me cased my hair to stand on end in delight. Electricity surged through me, and I felt as much as read the words.

Finally it was time for our orientation meeting and we drove down the street to the Palmyra stake center where Pres. Jack Christenson, and President Lakin, the director of the historical sites, spoke to a chapel full of couples like us volunteering to help out during pageant. The spirit was so strong and the feelings so heavenly. Someone quoted President Hinckley who said that next to Palestine, this is the most sacred place on earth. I believe it. You don’t have to be told that. You can feel it. We sang “Praise to the Man” as the closing hymn and again the electricity surged through me. It was here that Joseph “communed with Jehovah.” I know that! And my life is blessed so very much because of that visit.

Tonight we went to the Smith farm and received more training and tomorrow morning we begin our two weeks missionary service.

(It is so late and I am so tired, I hope any of this even makes sense, but I wanted to share with you what we are experiencing. It is amazing!)

6 comments:

Barb Elder said...

Wonderful!! I am so happy for you and Carl. Enjoy and tell me all about it when you get home.

dani said...

Haven't been able to leave a comment...

dani said...

Well, it finally worked so... I loved the Sacred Grove and all of the other sites also :). Thanks for bringing back nice memories :)

Miss Amy said...

This is where I grew up :) I'm so happy you were able to experience it.... Isn't it incredible??! I'll be back there this weekend for the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I can't wait!

Kristen said...

I was able to travel there when I was pregnant with my second child. It is a sacred place and I enjoyed it so much. Have a wonderful time!

Wendi said...

My dad was the first Bishop of the Palmyra ward when we lived there back in the late 70's. It's neat to know that they now have a stake center and a temple there. And I loved your paragraphs about the Sacred Grove and the orientation meeting. Thanks for sharing. :)