Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 13, 2016

This is the last entry for our mission blog.  We have had a wonderful time being missionaries, but tomorrow is our last day.  Last week we had a great time showing Jill and Ryan’s family around.  We drove over to Buffalo on July 4th and picked them up in the morning from an all-night flight.  It’s funny how LITTLE sleep you really get on an all-night flight.  They were excited to be in New York, but very tired.  We went to a park and ate a picnic lunch we had packed. They were hungry and the sandwiches hit the spot.  Then we drove to Oakfield and showed them the Lamb Dairy.  They liked that and then we drove to Lake Ontario and  home; viewing the things along the road.  We arrived around 3:00 and they took naps (except Adison, she entertained us).  We had something to eat and then drove over to Canandaigua and watched the fireworks.  We had a good time!  We were able to see and catch fireflies when we returned home.

On Tuesday we had breakfast and went to the Smith Farm, Sacred Grove, the Hill Cumorah, Nima’s pizzeria, the Martin Harris farm, and see the Temple.  They loved seeing the sites and were reverent and good doing the tours. 

On Wednesday we went into the office for about 3.5 hours and caught up on things that needed to be done and then we drove out to Lake Ontario and the kids played in the water there.  We took a lunch and had a great time.  (the sandwiches were from DiBella’s and were great)  The kids loved playing in the water and we laughed hard when they got ready to go.  The water looked a little green, but when Adie started taking off her suit—she was covered in moss.  (on the inside of the suit; go figure)  It was pretty hilarious!  We celebrated Ryan’s birthday by going out to Cheesecake Factory.  It was delicious.

Sharon Grefraith came by with her friend Evelyn and we showed her and the kids the Brigham Young baptismal spot and the Tomlinson Inn (where Phineas Young got the Book of Mormon from Samuel Smith) and then to the Tomlinson Cemetery, where Solomon Kimball (Spencer Kimball’s great grandfather) was buried and Brigham’s first wife.

Thursday we drove to Seneca Lake camp and enjoyed our time there.  We took the golf cart ride and viewed the beauties there.  We went to Fayette and were able to tour the Whitmer home and where the church was organized and the Book of Mormon translation was completed.  There were so many great things that happened there.  We then went to Sauder’s and looked around.  The Mennonite store continues to amaze me.  They have so many spices!
That night we went to the pageant.  Our neighbor, Jim, called and said the wanted to go with us and we were so happy to have him go.  Elder Merrill had told him about it about 3 weeks earlier and he hadn’t heard about it before.  It was great to have him with us.  The pageant begins about 9:15 and we enjoyed the entire performance.  We arrived home just before 12:00.

On Friday we let the kids sleep in and Jill and Elder Merrill and I went to a few garage sales.  We had a great time together.  It’s fun to find treasures and people don’t hang onto much here.  Jill was able to get her girls some really nice clothes and they were pretty happy with it.  We then took them to the Eastview Mall where they rode the carousel 3 times.  They were pretty cute!  We shopped for a while and then went home and I made pork sweet and sour.  We loved playing games together and having fun.  The kids watched some Disney movies and we had popcorn and Pina coladas.  (sounds pretty familiar for Dennis—he does this for the kids in Idaho too)
I don't remember which day it was that we went over to the Erie Canal and fed the birds, but we had a great time and Jill had her life long dream come true--to have birds land on her.  (lol!)  It was pretty funny that Brytlee caught a baby duck and then turned it loose.  Adie caught a pigeon and the mother duck came at her with a vengeance.  I guess she thought that she was the one holding the baby duck.  It was funny!

On Saturday we were able to go to the Priesthood Restoration site in Pennsylvania.  We asked our new President about leaving the mission and he gave us permission.  The site was dedicated last fall and it is very nice.  The Hale home and the home where Joseph and Emma lived were rebuilt to that time period and it was really worthwhile going there. 

The kids were a little tired from the long ride down and back, but they were good.  Elder Merrill and Ryan stopped off in Geneseo and viewed the planes that were going to be in an air show on Sunday.  (which we just happened to watch from a distance on Sunday)

Sunday morning came bright and early and we went to Batavia for church.  We were surprised by the branch after church and they had a nice, big cake for us and everyone said goodbye to us.  (we were planning to go next week, but now that may be awkward) 

After church we had a picnic and took the kids through Letchworth Park.  It was a nice day and beautiful!  The kids were happy to get home after a long day.  We relaxed and visited and played games. 

On Monday we went to office until about 2:00.  We had our one and only office meeting with President Evans.  He is going to be a great mission president.  The Harris family slept in some and then went to the Sacred Grove and the Hill Cumorah while we were at the office.  We ate at Tom Wahl’s after they came to get us and enjoyed the burgers, etc. there.  Elder Merrill bought a ‘trash plate’ but they weren’t too sure they wanted to try it.  We went to Stein Mart after and the men went another direction.  We met up at the house and then took the kids to see Mendon Park.  It still amazes me that town parks can be so big and beautiful.  We saw lots of deer in the park and the kids tried to feed them left over fries.  They looked like they were interested, but then ran away.
On Tuesday morning we had breakfast, cleaned up and drove back to Buffalo.  We went to Niagara Fall and had a great time.  We had supper at Cracker Barrel and then it was time for them to check onto their flight home.  The time went so quickly and we tried to get enough hugs, but it is impossible to get enough.  It’s good that we will be home soon.

Our plan (dare I say it out loud) is to go over to Thousand Island’s on Saturday and see Boldt Castle.  We don’t know how long that will take, so we may stay over there.  We think we may make it back to Batavia to church, but ‘see previous sentence’.  On Monday we will cram everything we brought, purchased here, or are taking home for other people into the trailer and park our car and trailer and vacate the John Young Home.  (cleaning it thoroughly)  We have tickets to fly to New York City and meet Chris, Cindy, Tessa, and Summer and see The Lion King.  We will return on Friday morning and then begin our trek home.  We will stop at Kirtland, Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, and then boogie on home. 
We are anxious to see everyone again and get back to normal.  However, we should be changed in some ways, I hope!  The gospel of Jesus Christ is what makes me happy! 

Happy Birthday to Jackie Merrill, Brad Merrill, Tate Merrill, Ryan Harris!  We love you all! 

1 comment:

  1. you did a great job covering all that we did, but it feels like there was so much more that we did. You guys are the best tour guys are the best tour guides ever. I am so thankful we went out when we did. There is no other way we could have had such an amazing experience and see and feel everything we did. I still just think it is so amazing that we were even able to stay in a historical place and not in a yucky hotel. There is so much history in just the block you live on. I am going to try and make a book so I may need your help remembering names and places but I need to do it before I forget the spirit I felt there. We are all a little sad to be home and feel like we had been waiting for christmas morning for the trip and now..... its over...... dang it. But we are so excited to have you home and can't wait to beat you at hand and foot again. ha ha. Thank you so much for everything and by everything I mean everything. You guys did so much for us and showed us the time of our lives and treated us like royalty. We love you so much and I am so thankful to have you as my parents and best friends.