Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zone Conference at the Smith Farm and Sacred Grove

The zone conferences this transfer had a special setting.  The missionaries came to Palmyra for tours of the Smith Farm and to have time in the Sacred Grove.  The tours were given by Elder and Sister Bradford, the directors of the 5 sites in the area.  On these tours, it was assumed that basic facts were known and additional insights were shared.

I didn't get many pictures.  There was a downpour the first day after the tour when President Evans' remarks were to be given.  Instead of meeting in the amphitheater, we met in the barn. The other two days were beautiful clear, sunny days.

At each conference, the President was in period dress to present as Joseph Smith and had memorized the Joseph Smith History section of the Pearl of Great Price.  This was followed by personal or couples time in the Grove and then a testimony meeting.   Sister Jones and I bore testimony each day as this was our last zone conference.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Batavia Memorial Day

The Batavia Branch had a picnic on Memorial Day.  Although the weather forecast was not favorable, it turned out to be an ideal day and great food. 

Finger lickin' good. 

A good turnout. 

Elder Mills served as auctioneer for a bake sale to raise funds for a youth trip to the Priesthood Restoration Site.  I had my eye on a peach crisp.  It only cost me $25.00. 

Sisters Grover and Loud and Brother Stephenson provided musical entertainment. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Retreat to Colesville

In the morning, we drove 30 miles northeast to the area of the Colesville Branch of the Church in the early day.  Here were the Joseph Knight, Sr and Josiah Stowell homes.  Both are owned and have been restored by individuals rather than the church.  They operate as a foundation and are a volunteer effort.  

The volunteer docent is a Brother Jones, descendant of Daniel W. Jones and from California on the steps of the Joseph Knight, Sr. house. 

Sister Jefferies listening in the Knight home. 

The Josiah Stowell home (mansion when built). 

In the parlor room where Joseph proposed to Emma and in front of the mantle from the Squire Tarbell home where they were married. 

After the tours, we returned to Palmyra for a temple session and then supper in the Joseph Smith, Sr Farm Visitor Center building.  We were joined by some missionary couples who did not make the trip and most of the mission presidency. 

Sisters Elders Jones, Spencer, Jefferies, Buchanans, Turturas Marsings, Loveridges, Cowans and Presidents and Sisters Christopherson and Evans,

Friday, May 26, 2017

Retreat to the Priesthood Restoration Site

The Visitor's Center at the Priesthood Restoration Site as dedicated in the fall of 2015.  The site is very inspirational and informative. 

 Statues of John the Baptist restoring the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith, Jr and Oliver Cowdery and Peter, James, and John restoring the Melchizedek Priesthood near the grove of Maple trees where it occurred. 

The  reconstructed Isaac Hale home of Emma's parents where Joseph and Emma lived for a time.  

The reconstructed home where Joseph and Emma lived in Harmony.  70% of the translation of the Book of Mormon took place in this house. 

Along the Susquehanna River.  Elders and Sisters Turtura, Spencer, Jones, lonesome Jefferies, Buchanans, and Marsings. 

A highlight of the visit was to have 14 of the Sister Missionaries at the site sing to our group.  It was heavenly. 

We had a pleasant and enjoyable meal in nearby Hallstead, PA and spent the night at the Colonial Brick Inn and Suites.

Retreat to Watkins Glen

The Senior Couples serving as Member Leader Support, Facility Management, and Office Staff have a retreat each summer and fall.  Usually it is at the Girls Camp on Senaca Lake. However, this spring, there was a conflict, so we decided to go the the Priesthood Restoration Site near Harmony, PA.  In route, we stopped for hiking at the Watkins Glen State Park.  We enjoyed the beauty of the trail through the gorge and endured it without flinching.  The spring rains provided plenty of flowage. 

We made a brief stop at Watkins Glen International Motor Speedway where about 20 cars were loudly practicing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May Transfers- Chaos as Usual

Transfers were not too challenging with 5 departing missionaries and only 3 arrivals.  However, Elder Spencer was sick going home most of Monday and all of Tuesday.  I drove the van to Buffalo and back.  Should have gotten a picture.  Then Susan and I drove Sisters to the history sites at Palmyra. 

Departing missionaries, an extremely talented group,  Elder Fielding, Sisters Ringler, Crofts, and Fuhniman, and Elder Moon.  Elder Fielding's sister got married while he was on his mission and his mother gave birth to a baby.  A lot happened on the homefront. 

The arriving missionary orientation:  Elder Kawamura from Japan, Sisters Gibbons and Guimaras from the Philippines. 

Elder Webster and his trainee, Elder Kawamura.

The chaos was in last minute housing adjustments for the site sisters and some confusion on transportation coordination, but it all worked out.  Everyone got to their new areas and had a rood over their heads by evening. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Moon Sets

Elder Moon has been one of the constancies in our mission...he was constantly around.  He was in the Pittsford District when we arrived, transferred to Batavia where we attend church, then transferred to a Rochester area near the mission office, and finished back in the Pittsford District.  We greatly appreciated his pleasant personality, wit. and spirituality. 

Sisters Jones and Spencer made lunch for the Palmyra District as a farewell for Elder Moon.  With him from the left are Elders Norr, Foltz, Marks, Falter, Hallstrom, Gold, and Judy

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Letchworth State Park- The Grand Canyon of the East

With spring firmly here, we are venturing out to see some of the beautiful sites in the area.  Letchworth State Park is renowned for its 3 large waterfalls on the Genesee River.  We went with Elder and Sister Jefferies and enjoyed perfect weather.  

This "Papa Bear" chair was near the entrance,

These pictures are the lower falls.  There were overlooks along the roadway and trails if you wanted to get closer. 

This is Glen Arbor Inn where we enjoyed a delicious meal in relatively formal surroundings.  It was originally a "Temperance Taveran."

  • There is an ever present rainbow at the Middle Falls in front of the Inn. 

The park included a museum focused on the local Native Americans and natural history which was of interest.  There was also a Native American village with a long house that we did not get to visit. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Good Weekend

We enjoyed a good weekend.

Friday evening, the Evans' youngest daughter, Elsie,  was in a middle school play, "Sleepy Hollow" that we were invited to attend.  It was amazingly good for middle school and we enjoyed it.

Saturday was a relaxing day for us.  In the evening we attended a fundraising dinner for the Young Women in the Pittsford Stake.  The meal was followed by a dice game, "Bacho," which Sister Jones is determined to teach to the grandkids when we get home, but I think it is too complicated. We'll see.

Sunday was church in Batavia in the morning with some home teaching afterward.  Then we visited with Adrian Johnson, the elderly investigtor.  We had not seen her in about a month due to Sister Jones's lingering cold and Adrian's health.  But we received good news in that her sleep pattern has normalized.  She accepted our invitation to attend church this coming Sunday

A pot luck was organized for the Senior Missionaries in Palmyra to celebrate Mothers' Day, although I don't think any of the Elders did the cooking.  There were about 50 in attendance about half of whom were recently arrived temple missionaries who will be here 6 months.  Everyone introduced themselves and told a bit of their personal story.   We learned that one Sister had lived at KI Sawyer while her father was in the Air Force.  Two of the senior Elders had served their youth missions in the Palmyra area in the 1960's.

This week, we learned about the couple that will be replacing the Spencers in August.  Their resumes are quite impressive so we are confident the mission will have a smooth transition as the Spencers and us depart.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Good Sabbath

Sunday there was a special teleconference for the North America Northeast Region.  Speakers were Elder Oaks, Elder Anthony Perkins, President Bonnie Cordon, counselor in the Primary, and Elder Gerrit Gong, one of the Presidents of the Seventy.  In the evening was a missionary fireside for the Pittsford and Fairport Wards.  President Evans was the main speaker.  It was a day for spiritual feasting.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Sister Jones's Meat Loaf back by Popular Demand

Sister Spencer and Sister Jones were asking for suggestions for the lunch at the monthly Mission Leadership Conference. There was great enthusiasm for Sister Jones's Cracker Barrel Meat Loaf. It was consumed with gusto.  Sister Spencer made chocolate cake for dessert as well as the dinner rolls.  Sister Jefferies added a healthy fruit salad.  
Their souls were equally nourished by President and Sister Evans and the Assistants to the President, Elders Larson and Peters. 

The great and noble spirits who currently give leadership to the mission. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Visiting the Sites

Elders Judy and Falter have involved us in giving discussions with Pam and we drove them to the Smith Farm, Sacred Grove, and Hill Cumorah Visitor Center.  Sister Nielsen was our guide at the Farm.  Although the weather was damp, Pam felt the spirit and is committed to baptism on June 3rd. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Love to See the Temple

One of the great blessing on our mission has been the opportunity to attend the temple nearly every week.  We go in the evening after the office closes.  For what seemed like a long time, it was dark when we arrived, then about the first of March, we arrived while light, but often overcast.  So it is a joy to enjoy the sunset and beautiful flowers as we leave the temple after a session.