Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A Rare Family Vacation
We just returned home from a RARE family vacation. We took the kids out of school and flew back to Buffalo, NY. We rented a "LUXURY" rental car which we affectionately named 'Uncle Boyd' and drove cross country. We don't take the time to go on vacation much. Reid is busy with farming and church work. The kids have lots of extra-curricular activities they are involved in and so do I, but we went, and I am so GRATEFUL we did.
Our first stop was Niagra Falls. We saw the falls by day and by night. We then went to Palmyra and vistied the Hill Cumorah and saw the Palmyra Temple. We visited the Grandin building and the home of Martin Harris. We then went to Kirkland, Ohio and saw the Temple there and the Whitney Store and Jon Johnson home.
We walked through the Sacred Grove where Joseph Smith at the age of 14 went to pray to ask the Lord which of the many churches he should join. In response to his prayer, God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ appeared and told him the true church was not on the earth yet. Joseph had been chosen to restore it. The grove was sacred and peaceful and calming and beautiful, and the feeling I had while walking through I will not soon forget.
Next stop Nauvoo. WE loved our stay in Nauvoo. Kenzie and I felt like we were in a movie. It was small and quaint and old fashioned. We learned how to make bricks, rope, boots, bread, candles and rugs.
This is the Nauvoo Temple. The temple took the saints 6 years to build. Shortly after the saints were driven from Nauvoo the temple was desecrated by mobs and burned to the ground. The church began to rebuild the temple in 1999. Drawings from the 1846 temple allowed contractors to closely replicate the exterior as drawn in the original plans.
And this is the view of the temple from our hotel in Nauvoo. It was breathtaking. I just couldn't stop thinking about the sacrifices the saints made to build this beautiful temple, and then before it was even completed they had to leave it and move on because of the persecution. But they did so with faith, and built another beautiful temple in Salt Lake City when they arrived there.
This is Sister Colleen O'Neil. Her and her husband Mike are serving a mission in Nauvoo. The senior missionaries were so cute. They were happy to see us....(sometimes we were the only visitors that day) and very enthusiastic about their job. They always wanted to guess the kids ages, and everyone had a grandaughter they wanted to set Jordan up with... Anyone else have any suggestions for him?
Just in case your planning on moving to Nauvoo its important to know they have a dance studio....do you think this means I can write this trip off?
While at Nauvoo we had a carriage ride, a wagon ride and a ride with the oxen. All of the them were fun and informative, but I was so grateful I was only riding around for an hour or so instead of making a two thousand mile journey across the country, packing all my belongings in them.
Wherever we go Kenzie makes friends....did you get his number?
Our final church history site was Carthage Jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred. It was humbling and overwhelming and a feeling I will never forget. The spirit was strong and I have never known more strongly that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and labored all the days of his live in God's work. He was willing to die for what he knew was right and true. "I had seen a vision, I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it."
Our last stop on the trip was St. Louis, Missouri where Reid served a two year mission 30 years ago. We drove around for awhile trying to find places he had served or lived....but believe it or not, things have changed in 30 years. We think he lived in this apartment at one time...and if not, it was an apartment that looked just like this 30 years ago.
And of course because Reid loves heights....we had to all go up to the top of the arch and look over the city. The trip was an amazing experience for all of us. WE loved being together, we all saw so many new things and our testimonies were strengthened.