Sunday, April 24, 2011

Um...yes...time to update my blog

It has recently been brought to my attention that I have "stunk it up" when it comes to updating my blog. I posted Part 1 of our summer vacation last year with a promise to include Part 2 shortly, and have failed to do so. However, if you think about it in terms of eternity, this is "shortly" and I am keeping my promise, so...I think I'll go with that!

Anyway, as promised, I am completing Part 2 of our vacation from the summer and our road trip through New York.
After leaving Ottawa, we traveled down to upstate New York to go on a brief Church History tour. I was so pumped to go (to New York, that is) that I had Clinton stop at the first sign that said "New York" on it so I could get a picture next to it. I have always dreamed of going to NY and I was finally there!!!

Our first stop was at the Hill Cumorah. We arrived two days before the big pageant, so we got to see the stage set up. It was enormous!
We decided to trek up the hill. Now, I've been on hikes up some pretty steep hills, but this was crazy, ridiculous! It was so steep, I actually walked on my hands and feet (like Mogely in Jungle Book) in order to get up the hill. I could not imagine how the Prophet Joseph climbed up or down that hill with the plates in his hands! But, we eventually made it to the top!Here is a view from the monument at the top of the hill, looking down on the stage.

Here we are. It was blazing hot that day, but the spirit and the view were well worth the sweat!

Here I am at the monument. A little history on the monument can be found here...
We both really enjoyed the feelings of the Hill Cumorah. There was definitely a feeling of peace and confirmation that an angel of God really did appear to a boy and lead him to this hill to find and translate the gold plates. We really loved it here!

Our next stop was at the Smith Family Farm. It felt so surreal to be where the restoration of the Gospel all began.
This is a picture of the Joseph Smith, Sr. homestead. It was very tiny (about 12'x20').
Here is the view from the backdoor of the home. This is the Sacred Grove.
Here we are in Joseph's room where the Angel Moroni appeared to him and told him about the Gold Plates. Of all the spots inside this tiny home, we both felt (even though this was a replica home) that an angel of the Lord really had appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr. and that he really had been called to translate the Book of Mormon.

This is the view outside the front door. On the hill, in the distance, is the Palmyra Temple.

This is Alvin Smith's home. It was just down the lane from the Smith homestead. Unlike the Smith home, this one is 80% original!! I loved it just for that!
Here is the hearth inside. These bricks are the original bricks under which were hidden the plates during a home invasion. They were protected as no one thought to look under the fireplace. I got to see these in person!!
This is one of the bedrooms where Alvin's daughters slept. We were told that during an invasion in the middle of the night, every square inch of the home was quietly searched in an attempt to locate the plates. However, before bed, Alvin had felt inspired to hid them under his daughter's bed. The invaders, not wanting to wake the sleeping children, never disturbed their bed. Amazing!!
We thought this was quite picture-worthy. This was one of the first forms of indoor plumbing. There was a pump used, but we just thought this was rather cool!
Here I am at the entrance to the Sacred Grove. a normal person.

And here's Clinton...I think he's trying to look suave, but instead, he just looks like is SO moved by the mere presence of the sign that he just has to touch it! Ha!
This is my attempt at being a photographer.
Here is the view coming out of the Sacred Grove. I just pictured Joseph coming out of there after seeing God and Jesus Christ and how long this brief walk back to his home must have felt.
Here's my little happy camper outside the Book of Mormon publishing house. I asked him to smile and this was the look he gave me. He's always trying to make me laugh!
Finally, these are the teeny, tiny letters that they had to set (backwards, I might add) for each word, sentence, paragraph and page of the Book of Mormon. I couldn't believe all of the time and effort that must have taken! I was so overcome in fact, that shortly after leaving this room, and while the sister missionary was bearing her testimony of the work, I totally passed out! LOL Ok, to be honest, it wasn't because of the overwhelming spirit (don't get me wrong, it was definitely there), but it was so hot that day, and we had been traveling and not consuming much food or water, that I totally went down on the floor. And yes, it was embarrassing, but now I've got a story to tell of my own!

We had a great time on our road trip last summer and are already planning our next trip to someplace warm in June. We are also planning on going to Nauvoo during the pageant in July and I can't WAIT for that trip!!!