Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26, 2015

Another quick week—we were busy at work every day.  On Tuesday after work we drove over to the Hill Cumorah and traded an IPad with a Sister missionary that had problems with the one she had.  While we were in Palmyra we took the opportunity to have a calzone at Nima’s.  Here is a picture of Dennis just salivating over his piece: (this is half of a calzone)
There is a place on the way to work that has a large raspberry place and has a sign out saying that they are for sale.  We stopped there on Wednesday evening after work and no one was around.  We were surprised to see that there was a small building with a cash box and a refrigerator on the shelf.  They had a note saying that it was the honor system and to help yourself.  There was a $10 bill still sticking out of the cash hole.  I could hardly believe it that they trusted everyone to pay for what they got and not take more than their change from the cash box.  This world has more good people in it than we know!

Dennis sold 3 cars this week and the first one was to a young woman and her family is Jehovah’s Witness.  They were so happy to get the car and asked Dennis if there was a customer satisfaction survey that they could fill out because they thought that he was the best salesman ever.  We had a good laugh about that!  (he is pretty cute as a salesman!)
We went to the Temple with an older sister from Batavia.  She has been a member of the church for several years, but just got her recommend this week.  She was so excited and loved every minute in the Temple.  She is excited to get back to the Temple and do work for her deceased family.  She asked me to help her get them ready and so I will take my computer next Sunday to church and we will try to do something after the meetings.  She doesn’t have internet, so we will have to remain at the church. 
We went over to Batavia Saturday evening for the monthly pot-luck dinner.  There were quite a few at it this time.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  The men were given tickets to see the ‘Muck-Dogs’ play baseball (they are the semi-pro team in town)  so most of the party left after an hour or so.  We came on home.  We were just pulling into the garage when Dennis got a call on his cell phone.  He couldn’t understand what was going on—first it was  ‘Elder Merrill’…. and then a bunch of screaming.  He didn’t know what to think or what was happening.  It was crazy!  Here is what happened:
Sister missionaries were driving and they hit a deer—it got up and ran away and they were stopped to the side of the road.  They called Elder Merrill to report their accident.  The phone rang and they began their conversation.  (It was dark outside)  A man living near the accident quietly walked up to the side of the car and tapped on the window to see if everything was alright—that was when the screaming began.  They were unaware there was anyone outside and it scared them to death.  It took a few minutes to get them calmed down.  There are so many deer here and you have to be especially careful at night.  They like to cross the road more at night.  They don’t use the deer crossings here either.  There are signs all over warning drivers of the deer.  There was a woman that called into a radio station and complained that the signs were in the wrong locations.  They were in places that were far too dangerous for the deer to be crossing, etc.  (well the DJ was so surprised—and finally ask, “Do you think that the deer are reading those signs?")  You can hear it on YouTube—pretty funny stuff.

Things are going well here.  The days fly by and the weather is beautiful.  It is supposed to get in the 90’s this week, but that will be alright.  We have air conditioning!  Yahoo!  We miss everyone, but we know that there are extra blessings for us all when we serve the Lord.  We can never get even with Him for His goodness to us—we can only try to serve Him more!  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015
Another week has flown by.  It seems that time has sped up—can that be true?  There are as many hours in the day, but it g
oes go so quickly.  We have had a great week.  There have been so many people here in New York visiting the sites and attending the pageant.  It has been great!  The Gneitings (Gary and Prudy) from Grant arrived here to see the pageant on Thursday.  Their daughter, Erica, and her family were selected to participate in the pageant and they wanted to see them in it.  The Gneitings had driven across the country with their two 14 year old grandsons; one is Alan’s and other is Lane’s.  We decided to go over to the pageant again on Thursday night and we met them there. (it wasn't planned, but a big surprise!)  It is always so fun to see people we know.
Some of the performers
Gary Gneiting, S. Merrill, Eirca's husband, Erica, Prudy, & E. Merrill

Erica's daughter on the right
Prudy, S. Merrill, E. Merrill, and Gary Gneiting
E. Merrill with Lehi (the performer)
Lane’s son had to stay at the hotel because he was sick and throwing up.  We planned to meet up with them on Friday and show them some of the things in Mendon; but Friday evening came and they took him to the hospital in Canandaigua.  He underwent some testing and they transferred him by ambulance to Strong Memorial in Rochester because they suspected a burst appendicitis.  At Strong they determined that it was a burst appendix and they did surgery.  He was a really sick young man! 

We spent Saturday in Batavia attending the baptism for Carla Southwell.  She is such a sweet, kind woman of about early 50.  (I am guessing)  I was asked to give a talk on baptism and Elder Merrill was a witness.  She was confirmed on Sunday morning by Elder Merrill.  He gave her a really nice blessing along with the confirmation.  It has been fun to spend time with her and since we have moved from Batavia we haven’t been able to go to the lessons with the Elders, but we have kept in contact with her.  We talked after the baptism about how when she heard the lessons she said it all made perfect sense to her.  She felt that she already knew what was being taught.  I have heard several people say this same thing.  They felt that they already knew it—it was something they had heard before. 
Sister Merrill, Christian, Carla, Elder Boatman, Elder Detlor
The Gneitings were able to stay with us on Saturday night and we enjoyed visiting with them and showing them a few things.  Lane’s wife flew in from Arizona and we picked her up at 10:45 and took her to see her sick son in the hospital.  Wow, mothers sure do love their children—it was a tender scene!  (and I have seen the same tender, loving care by many other mothers—in fact, just recently by my own mother for her son, Brent.)
I have gotten older---(well, the alternative isn’t that appealing at this point).  It was a nice day.  We had a nice meal out after the baptism and I received many birthday wishes.  I can’t believe how fun Facebook is—so many great people sent birthday wishes through Facebook.  We do live in a marvelous time. Also thanks to those who sent cards, etc.  
Back to the pageant—there are many miracles that happen during the time that the performers are in New York.  They keep them busy most of the time.  They practice, have devotionals, work on their costumes and learn how to teach the gospel.  There are so many of the performers that are young children or teen agers.  Prudy said that it has been an expensive thing for Erica and her husband to come with 4 children for 3 weeks.  BUT—she said that all 4 of the kids are begging to come again.  They said that they would earn their own money for it or anything they needed to do to come back and participate another year.  That says something for the experience they have had here.  We were at lunch with another couple one day this week and the husband got talking to the owner of the place and he said that his father lives near Palmyra and that there was a group of performers that went to his home and trimmed all of his bushes and hedges and hauled everything away and didn’t ask for anything in return.  He is a non-member and loved having them there.  He says that they were wonderful kids and leaders.  He had paid over $1,000 for the same work the year before.  The man telling the story was pretty impressed and isn’t a member either. 
Erica told of one of the young men that bore his testimony during one of their meetings.  He didn't really want to perform in the pageant and had come reluctantly.  When they made casting assignments he was given the part of Alma and he told them that he wasn't worthy to take the part and didn't really want to.  The director told him that Alma had been given a change of heart (in the Book of Mormon) and that he should try to do the part.  At the end of the pageant he told everyone that he had also had that change of heart and that he was going to go home and get his papers started for a mission.  Miracles happen on a daily basis here!
There were hecklers in attendance on Thursday evening.  They were set up on the road and around the perimeter of the grounds.  They were hollering out things with their bull horns.  I listened to some of the things they said and here are a few of the things they said:
·        Jesus is the Messiah
·        Jesus is the Savior of the World
·        Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world
I had to say to myself—'we believe that also—so what is the problem?'  They had other points of doctrine that they didn’t bring up—only to those that stopped to hear them and then they tried to get them to say things that weren’t true and trip them up.  (I heard from someone that had tried to have a conversation with one of them and said the man was really cracked!)  The entire pageant is about Christ—I can’t figure out how they don’t think we believe in Christ.  Anyway, those were the things that they said,  but the way that they said those things was anything but loving or reverent.  It made me sad!

So, my testimony is that the truth has been restored, Christ lives and loves each one of us and that Heavenly Father wants us to return to Him because we love Him and He loves us!  He wants us to love Him enough to be obedient to His commandments and serve Him.  I am so grateful for the many blessings and tender mercies that I have received in my life.  I can never begin to repay Him—but I want to continue trying!
Birthdays this week were Brad Merrill, Sheldon Hart, Rhonda Merrill, & Victor Mueller—and happy anniversary to Jill & Ryan!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12, 2015

July 6-12, 2015
Annette and family went to Ohio Monday morning.  They visited Kirkland and then went on to Toledo to meet Rob’s aunts and go to Cedar Point.  (it is an amusement park with lots of roller coasters)  We worked in the office while they were gone and on Thursday after work we met up again at our home. 
It rained all day Thursday and was still raining pretty good when we decided to go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  We drove through the rain and it was raining even as we parked.  It was a little drizzly as we walked to our seats and wiped them off; but then the rain quit and we had a beautiful night*.  This was the dress rehearsal and it went very well.  We loved the pageant and how it taught about the Book of Mormon and Christ.  Conner said that his understanding of the Book of Mormon was really helped by the pageant.  Rob had buyer’s remorse after the pageant and said, “I wish I hadn’t spent the money on all those umbrellas!”

We took Friday off of work and drove over to Palmyra again for a calzone at Nima’s.  It was good again!  We were just leaving Palmyra and Dennis thought he saw Rex Brown.  We stopped and parked and went back and sure enough—they were visiting for the pageant also.  They are having a great mission also in the Utica Mission.  We went to the movie, ‘Inside Out’ with the kids and it was a cartoon that made me cry several times.  It had true teachings within it—how we need to have sadness in order to know joy.  I have thought about it several times.  It is about the attitudes we allow ourselves to have and how they can help or ruin our day.  I really liked it!  We shopped at Stein Mart (but didn’t buy anything) and then just looked around at a few other places.  We went into Trader Joe’s and there is always something there that we can use.  Annette, Summer and I went into the Eastview Mall on the way home and sent the men home with the kids.  We didn’t get very far into the Mall (actually, we only saw Macy’s)  They were having their one day clearance and most everything was on sale from 50-80%.  We had a good time there and I got a couple of tops.  (funny thing, when we packed to come here—it was super cold and winter and we were in a hurry and not many summer clothes came with us)
We got things ready for them to fly home today.  They packed, cleaned, and made sure they had everything.  They looked like the ‘grapes of wrath’ going into the airport.  I’m sure people wondered about the many carry-on bags.  But, with 7 people there is a lot of luggage.  

We had lunch at Big Pauly’s in Batavia and ate the buffalo wings that Chris had enjoyed and recommended to them.  It was sad to see them leave, but we reminded them that we would be home in 4 weeks for the special day for the family in the Temple.
Today, Sunday, we got to have a special treat and fill an assignment at the Hill Cumorah.  They had asked each branch or ward to have people help with keeping an eye on the sets at the hill.  Dennis volunteered for the 9-1 shift so the Batavia people didn’t have to drive so far that early.  It was a beautiful, peaceful morning and we enjoyed our time there.  We visited with tourists, workers, and as a special surprise-- Jesse and Debby Byram called and came to see us there.  They had just put their daughter and family on the plane in Rochester.  It was so good to see them and hear about their mission and what they have been doing. (I wish I had taken a picture)

*We found out that Jeffrey Holland was at the Hill Cumorah on Thursday and had talked with the cast of the production. (over 700 cast members)  He said a special prayer that the rain would stop for the production that night as his family was going to be in attendance.  He wasn’t able to stay as he caught a plane back to Salt Lake to go to President Packer’s funeral.  He had rented a bus and had his children and grandchildren touring the sites and some of the other states here.  He told them that he was providing this trip to his family and to keep in mind that they were spending their inheritance.  What a great thing for a family to see and do to help them with their faith and testimonies. 

Blessings:  Being able to see the hand of the Lord in our lives and the lives of those we love.  He is so good to us and we can see miracles almost daily here.  If we look close enough we can see this.  He loves us and wants us to return to Him because we love Him!
Happy Birthday this week to Ryan, Tate, and Jackie!  We love you!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 5, 2015

June 29-July 5, 2015  We have had a great week.  We worked on Monday and got things lined up to take some time off to have fun with the Jagielski family.  We picked them up at the airport in Buffalo on Tuesday, June 30 at 10:45.  They had surprised their kids and got on a plane in Salt Lake City instead of driving across the country to visit us.  They were tired when they arrived, but we visited Niagara Falls and went on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ with them.  It was great!  

After the falls we went to Lamb Dairy and they were impressed by how the cows were milked there.  There are 60 cows at a time on a large turn table (merry go round) and are milked as they turn.  It is pretty neat!  We had pizza in Batavia and we showed them around the town that we had spent time in.  By the time we got back to the Young home they were all in ‘coma’ state.  I thought they would hurry to bed, but we did a little visiting before retiring.  It is so nice to have family visit. (or friends) 

We went into the office early and they slept in.  We went to the Sacred Grove, the Temple, the Smith Farm, Grandin Press, Hill Cumorah, and Martin Harris farm.  It was a very spiritual day and the kids were so reverent and good.  We ate at Nima’s pizza and they loved it!  We had left overs for supper and we had a nice evening.

We went into the office again on Thursday and then we took them over to Letchworth Park.  We had lunch at Tom Wahl’s and Cache was the only one brave enough to try the trash plate.  He liked it and everyone had a taste.  

We enjoyed our lunch and then had a good day at the park.  We came home and had hot dogs and corn on the cob later in the evening.  It was a great day!

We got up early and went to the Palmyra Temple where Conner, Karsten, and Summer did baptisms for the dead.  I took care of the kids that couldn’t attend while they did baptisms.  They had a great time.  They went back home and slept a while.  I had a few things I had to do at the office and then we drove over to Lake Ontario.  The day was beautiful and we played on the beach.  It was a good day.  
Joslyn loves the Angel Moroni and made a sand temple for her statue

We came home and make tacos.  The kids have enjoyed hanging out and catching fireflies.  We have watched a little TV, played games, visited, and just had fun.
The 4th of July we stayed in bed a little longer, had a nice breakfast, made a lunch and drove over to Webster to deliver a gift to a guy from Grover Wray.  He is 91 and has an amazing collection of baseball equipment.  He also has a few other types of sports memorabilia, but he has so many autographed baseballs.  It was really neat to see.  After that we drove to Fayette to see where the church was reorganized.  We had a picnic there and a great tour.  

After that we went to the camp that the church owns on Seneca Lake.  We had a great time there.  
An old mill we found on the property at Camp Seneca
Rob found one of the mill stones at the old mill
It was free fishing day for the State of New York and Dennis had purchased 5 poles at a yard sale.  They tried fishing, and caught 3 catfish or something of that sort.  They were really ugly.  After that we went towards Canandaigua to find some supper.  We stopped at a Friendly’s to eat and their power went down so we had to eat at McDonalds.  We arrived in Canandaigua just before the fireworks.  Annette saw people lined up on the grass at the Wal-Mart so we did the same and the show was pretty darn good!  We got home late and everyone was bushed.  We went right to bed!

Sunday we got up early (some weren’t that happy about getting up to drive an hour to church), and made it to play the music one last time for Brother Bill.  We had fast and testimony meeting and it was really good.  We both bore our testimonies and Rob did too.  All of the meetings were good.  We had a nice pork roast for lunch and everyone took a nap.  It has been too much fun! 

Funnies:  We have so many deer here in New York.  We have been having a game with the kids about how many deer they can count on our drives.  Cache said that the deer are the color of bread crust.  (which is about right)  So, he said they are brown and red and that makes BREAD--pretty clever, huh?