We started out the week at the office on Monday and Tuesday. Elder Merrill got up real early on Tuesday morning and went over to Palmyra to meet at the Smith farm to take a 4+ mile hike to the Hill Cumorah. It was in commemoration of the date that Joseph went to the hill to see the plates, Sept. 22, 1823. Dennis said that it was a good walk and there were a bunch of young sister missionaries, the President and some of the senior missionaries in the group. I opted to stay home a few more minutes and meet him at work. (now I wish that I had done the walk with him—hindsight)
We met Debby and Spence Horsley for lunch at Nima's in Palmyra on Tuesday. Their mission president in Kirtland, Ohio had given them a day or two off and it was so much fun to hear about their mission. They have extended also.
Grandma Merrill, Becca Bloxham, and Marilyn Atkinson came into the Rochester airport about 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday. We were happy to greet them and we went over to Cracker Barrel for supper before coming back to our home. They had all had good, uneventful flights.
We got up on Wednesday and headed to Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The day was warm and beautiful! We had a great time on the Maid of the Mist boat ride up close and personal to the falls.
Grandma had been to New York as a teenager in 1947 and had seen the falls, but hadn’t ridden the boat. She really liked it, we all did! We went back through Oakfield and showed them the dairy with the cow merry go round.
We enjoyed that and then into Batavia and saw Devil’s Rock, and then through LeRoy to see the Jello museum. It was later in the evening and the museum was closed. We ate lunch at Five Guys in Buffalo and then had a slice of pizza (take out) in Mendon. We were tired out! We played a few games and went to bed.
On Thursday Elder Merrill and I went into the office for about 3.5 hours and while we were gone Hannah Merrill drove here from Penn State with her son, Charlie. We got home and went over to the Smith Farm, the Sacred Grove, the Palmyra Temple, the Grandin Press, the Martin Harris home and the Hill Cumorah. While we were in Palmyra we got a calzone and everyone loved it! We were happy to see the Selvages at the Smith Farm and they discussed how they were related. Grandma was so happy to see her cousin (Deleta Holland Selvage).
We were so happy to see Rick and Michele Barber at the Smith Farm also. They are friends with the Selvages.
|Grandma Merrill at the Martin Harris home|
While we were at the Martin Harris home a couple of men from a landscape company came and pulled out all of these beautiful flowers. (that was sad to me) and they began planting mums. I asked them if the mums would last all of next year and they said they would take them out in 6 weeks. Wow! what we do for a beautiful yard! I thought a few would be nice to take home and asked Charley to pull me a couple. He was more than happy to fulfill this task!
We took them to see Wegman’s store and they liked it too. We went home and Marilyn made us some yummy blue cheese bread with our chicken dinner.
Elder Merrill and I had meetings with President Francis on Friday and so we returned home about 11:00 to pick up the family and hit the road again. We went back to the office and introduced everyone to President Francis and had a good visit.
We then went to Tom Wahl’s and had burgers before embarking on our trip for the day. We went over to the Whitmer farm in Fayette and then to the Seneca Camp. We had a good time at each place and Charlie really liked the golf carts that we got to explore the camp with.
We also went to a Mennonite store called Sauders. They really had a lot of different things in the store. Hannah had to go home from the last stop and we had a hard time seeing her leave. We came back to Pittsford and went to Stein Mart where Grandma got a new outfit, complete with earrings. We got home again and I made tacos for everyone.
On Saturday we had a good breakfast of baked eggs and toast. We went to the Tomlinson cemetery and then over to the Erie Canal before noon and rode the Sam Patch canal ride. It was a nice day and it was very relaxing.
After we finished we shopped a little at Trader Joe’s and then decided to eat a late lunch at Cheesecake Factory. It was good, as always! We went over to a bakery that had been recommended to us and we got cannoli. It was real good. It was funny when we stopped in front of the bakery Grandma looked at Dennis and said, “we drove all this way for a bakery?” It was funny! (yes, we did drive all that way for a bakery) You see, everywhere you go here is a drive of 30 minutes or so. We went to the mall and looked around for a while. Dennis and Grandma went home to rest and when we called them to come get us we asked them to come in a certain door. I hadn’t done much at the mall and had never walked through the entire thing. We found a beautiful carousel and had them come in and we all took a ride on it. (If you want to see how awkward you can be, try getting on a tall horse that is rocking back and forth and you are OLD—that is ME)
We had left overs and popcorn and Pina’ colata for supper. (doesn’t that sound good?)
On Sunday we got to church a little early and visited with the members. We sat in the chapel and waited for church to begin. We have a new girl and her husband in the ward. He is doing a medical internship in Batavia. They came into the chapel about time to begin and she saw Becca and came over to her and hugged and cried. They had been best friends in Logan. Who would have guessed that they would meet each other in Batavia? Our testimony meeting was very good and Grandma Merrill bore such a good, strong testimony. I really enjoyed hearing her testimony! Tasha Laud (Becca's friend) bore her testimony and talked about the tender mercies of the Lord in bringing her good friend, Becca, to Batavia. It was a great day.
After church we drove north through Albion and then further to Lake Ontario. We were able to see it without too much wind and cold. (we have seen it in all stages of weather)
We came home and had naps and then Marilyn and I took the walk to the baptismal site of Brigham Young. We had lasagna and bread for supper and enjoyed an evening of visiting and games. We watched the ‘blood moon’ and enjoyed the evening outside.
We enjoyed having our family visit and with each visit and seeing the sacred sites through new eyes we gain stronger testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel here on the earth and of God’s love for us. It is so clear that the way to happiness is in keeping the commandments and following Christ. We are so grateful that Grandma has good health, that has helped us to be able to go on our mission; knowing that she is doing well and is healthy. We are very blessed! It was hard to see them leave on Monday morning!