October 18, 2015
What a great week! It began last Saturday night when we went over to Westfall for the evening session of our Stake Conference. It was a great session and a young mother told of her path to conversion. She had such a strong testimony and it was great! We had an area authority and one of the 70, Elder Randall Bennett and his wife spoke. They were here to reorganize our stake and so the present Presidency spoke also. Elder Bennett’s wife did a great job and told of her older brother that was diagnosed with a disease that was worse than MS. He stayed in a home for the early part of his life so he could have constant care. He came home in his teens and was sent there to die. His Patriarchal Blessing told him that he would have a family and so he made it a practice to always work so hard that he would be able to do anything that he wanted and able to do physically. He served an at-home mission and converted a young lady that he later married and had 2 children. (which was a medical miracle) He died around 38, but was always happy and wanting to beat the odds. She said that he has been such an example to her in her life and when things get hard—she thinks of him and works harder.
Brad, Sara, and the kids came into Rochester about 11:05 on Saturday night and it was great to see them! We talked, snacked, and caught up when we got home. It’s hard for everyone that visits because of the time change. On Sunday we had a nice breakfast and went over to the Sacred Grove.
While we were there we ran into Elder Bennett and his wife and asked them about the new Stake President. It wasn’t anyone we knew, but it was fun to see them there. I am really sad that I didn’t think to get a picture with them while we there—I will remember next time. We went to the Temple grounds and then to the Hill Cumorah. It was a little windy (blew my hair completely back), but a nice afternoon.
We came home and made tacos and had fun playing games. We watched a couple of church videos also.
We went into the office for our meeting on Monday and then our family met us at the office and we drove to Buffalo and Niagara Falls. We had a great time on the Maid of the Mist and the kids loved it.
The ride home got a little long and we stopped off at the Lamb Dairy and watched the cow merry-go-round. The kids really liked that. We went into Batavia and showed them where we had lived and then got some Buffalo Wings to take home. We were DONE riding by the time we made it back.
Tuesday we went to the office and they came in about 11:00 and we went over to Palmyra and went to the Grandin Printing Shop where the Book of Mormon was first printed. I always love that tour and it amazes me how much work it was to make it happen. We enjoyed the tour and the went to Nima’s for a calzone. Jex was excited to have one because Conner had really talked them up to him. Some times when things are talked up too highly they are a disappointment to the person trying them. I still think that they liked them.
We went into the office for a while and then left before noon. It got cooler and rainier each day while they were here, but it seemed to work out just right to see what we wanted to. We stopped in Waterloo and went to Sauders, the Mennonite Store, and Brad pulled a fast one on me. Story: Dennis had been saying that he wanted to try a grape (concord) pie because one of the Elders had said that they were popular in New York. Well, we looked at them a couple of times, but I hate to pay $10 or more for a pie--and thought about all the years that my mother had made grape juice and how the inside of the grape didn’t appeal to me very much. So, we hadn’t bought one. Well, Brad came up to me in the store and said, “a man I was talking to said that if I ever got to a place that had grape pie, I should get one and try it.” So, I said, “you are in luck, they sell them here at this store,” and we started over to the counter where they had them. Then it dawned on me WHO the MAN was and I laughed and I bought Dennis the pie he wanted. We went over to the Whitmer Farm in Fayette on Wednesday and took the tour there. Afterward we went to the Seneca Camp and had a great time exploring and riding the golf carts.
|Exploring at the camp|
Brad wanted to go to Kirtland and see what it looked now after being home from his mission 18 years ago. We got permission from the President and we drove to Kirtland and saw the Temple that is owned by the Church of Christ (they used to be called the RLDS). It was nice to see and they have a visitors center there that charges for the tours so that they can keep it up. It was in good repair and I could almost see it as it was when so many miraculous events took place there. The tour was interesting and the history was very near to what we teach, but after Nauvoo their history changed.
We went over to the Visitor Center for our church and the N.K. Whitney store. I love this tour as it talks about the ‘school of the prophets’ held upstairs in the store and that Jesus and God had both been there. It such a great feeling to know that such sacred events didn’t stop with the Old Testament prophets and that the heavens have been opened again.
We stayed overnight at Embassy Suites on the outskirts of Cleveland and then on Friday we went over to Nelson Ledges where Brad had climbed as a missionary on P-day and had fallen into a crevice when the dirt gave away after a jump. He was hospitalized for 2-3 days with that injury. He didn’t recognize the place too clearly, but he thinks that he found the place that he fell. It was a place I wouldn’t want to fall and I know he has been blessed many times in his life with safety. It was so beautiful and green there. There must be more rain there because everything had nice coats of moss on it.
We went to the Johnson Farm afterward and I really enjoyed the tour there. The Johnson's had a nice home and had worked hard to get their home and farm. One of their grown children had joined the church and they weren’t very happy about that. They asked their minister to look into the church and tell them what he found out. He didn’t find out much, but brought a Book of Mormon to their home and the 2 couples studied it for a weekend. They couldn’t quit reading and when they stopped they went to Kirtland (about 20 miles) looking for Joseph Smith and were baptized the next day after meeting him. They were so kind that they offered their home to the Smiths and the church headquarters was in their home for about a year. The Prophet was tarred and feathered while living there and they lost one of the Murdoch twins there also. The home was really spacious and nice and way ahead of it’s time for the ‘wild west’.
The trip home seemed really long and we didn’t get back until after 9:00. Poor little Tate was ready to be out of the car and run.
Saturday we had a good breakfast and got ready to take them to the airport for a 2:30 flight. On the way we stopped off at the Erie Canal and the kids wanted to feed the ducks. They had a great time feeding the ducks and pigeons (don’t faint Grandma Merrill). The birds tickled the kids so much and we had wet wipes for afterward. It was fun to hear them laugh and giggle so much. I don’t know if I can make it 9 more months without my kids!
|Eat your heart out Jill! Brad has birds eating out of his hands!|
It was hard to see them leave! We had a great time with them! Jex and Mya said that it seemed like every day was Sunday in New York. I asked them if that was bad and they said that they really liked it.
We went into the office Monday-Thursday for a few hours each day to keep up, and while there I kept having a thought about complainers (I know, weird—but) and how we all have choices to make and we can either be happy or complain and make ourselves and others miserable. I have run into some of the nicest people here and then I have dealt with a few that only want to complain. I want to work harder at being the happy person and not the complainer. (people don’t really like dealing with complainers) I thought about something my mother has told all of us kids at one time or another, “you’d complain if you were hung with a new rope.” Not complaining--Something to me to work on!
|Ride Hard and Always Have Fun!|