Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010 - Hill Cumorah

Brunch: Pepperoni Pizza!, eggs, pancakes, ham, potatoes, salad and ice cream.

Dinner: Lasagna, break, veggies, grapes, giant chocolate chip cookie.

Church history tour for Meleah, Janette and I. Includes Sacred Grove, Smith Farm and E.B. Grandins printing. It is amazing that a printer that had the equipment was available in the town of Palmyra in 1829 when Joseph SMith needed it. E.B. Granding took a big chance when he agreed to print the Book of Mormon. These were miracles.

We were in the replica of the Smith log home where Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith. THe Grove is such a beautiful place to walk through and consider what occurred there in 1820. Some trees are old enough to have seen it.

I am tired. 1:00am. Need to get some rest. I have pictures but am not going to post right now.

The Hunters arroved for the performance this evening. It was great to see them. We will be connecting up with them over the coming days.

Bye bye

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - Hill Cumorah

I'm tired. Good show. 5 hours sitting in a field as parking security and Janette did 3 hours security on a trail up Cumorah.

Above is a picture of the cast team tents, where we meet with our teams for various activities. The big picture is looking at the bowl surrounded by flags. The picture was taken across the street in the parking area (a field).

A quilt by Sister Gilgen in our cast team, amazing stuff.

Have a good Thursday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thursday, July 13, 2010 - Hill Cumorah

Early days are difficult. We needed to be at breakfast by 6:30am and on the bus by 7:30am. Breakfast was the same old stuff, no ice cream. We eat with other cast members and enjoying getting to know each other.

At the Hill we had a devotional and then off to a full run-through. THe weather and timing was perfect. The pageant only lasts 70minutes. We did a good job by my judgement.

After that we separated into cast teams for activities. Meleah went swimming with her team. Spencer's team went to church historic sites and was dumped on by rains and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, Janette and I attended a presentation by a very successful quilter on our team. She is an excellent artist and does quilts that look like paintings. After that we hopped on the bus to go to Chill and Grill in Palmyra, my first time in Palmyra. We had a side of onion rings and a SMALL ice cream each. Janette had her favorite vanilla soft serve. I had hard ice cream, scoop of peppermint patty and another of cookie dough. Great stuff, big helpings!

After eating we walked to Grandin's Printing Press, where the Book of Mormon was printed. We did not go in since we will do that with our cast team on Thursday. We did go into a church bookstore and found a book, postcards and a presidents picture set (for seminary). THe protesters were outside looking for opportunities to hand us literature and tell us why we were wrong.

As we were in the bookstore the cloudbursts started and continued for the next hour. We could not get back to the bus pickup point so we called and arranged a meeting spot. That did not work the greatest. The bus stopped early to pick up people since they did not make it to the meeting point. We ran back in the cloudburst and jumped on the bus. As we drove the rain came down harder and harder. The bus drive needed to leave one of the front windows open to avoid fogging up the front window. We were all getting wet with the rain spraying back over us so we moved to the back half of the bus. One sister put up her umbrella inside the bus to stop the shower saying "I hope nobody is superstitious".

We were dropped off at the visitor's center and made a mad dash for the door. Once in we went into the basement for a presentation from a member of our group about new family search. It was cool. THe man presenting is a software engineer at the church that makes work.

Next, off to dinner. Beef bites in gravy on noodles, and it was warm! Meleah ate the plain noodles! Spencer ate his, half of mine and some of Meleah's. It was good.

Thunder was with us all afternoon and through dinner. Closer to showtime (9:15pm) we had a pretty bright red sunset and the rain stayed away. The show went as planned with a smaller crowd, I believe ~2000. We are at the dorm at midnight. Tomorrow is more relaxing, we hope.

End of entry

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010 - Hill Cumorah

I don't know what happened to the pictures of Spencer and Meleah. The one to right is the only one I have of Spencer and Meleah.

We had a break today but the same breakfast fare. The soft ice cream is still a favorite at the end of brunch. I tried Eggs Benedict, not sure I would get it again.

We had the day to ourselves until 4pm. We decided to walk to Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger lakes in this region. Fortunately, the Hobart dorm director, saw us walking and gave us a ride and quick tour. We were dropped off at a Bicycle and Boat rental place in a park. THe bicycles were already rented so we went for the boats.

After returning from the boat we went to Wegmans, a very nice Albertsons -like store. We bought one cinnamon and sugar bagel, wow!, they know how to make bagels. Chewy and tasty. We also found the bulk candy area and loaded up on treats.
After Wegmans we walked back to the dorm, not too far away. 4pm came too fast. We woke up from our naps and headed to the buses.
Dinner was choco cream pie, salad, meatball sandwich and potatoes. Pretty good.
Family Home Evening talent show was next. These people are really talented. It was funny, amazing and great. So many we were an hour late leaving the Hill to come back to the dorms. It is 11:15pm and we need to get to breakfast by 6:30pm. I am done with the blog for now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday July 11, 2010 - Hill Cumorah

We slept in a little, went to brunch at 10am. They had soft ice cream. If you know Janette, you know she had soft ice cream. It was a pretty good start to the day. Then off to the Hill for meetings. Unfortunately the buses seem to hae new drivers every day, we watch them drive past the dorms so the people driving the van drove after them honking. Finally they returned and we got to the Hill in time for the meetings.

THe Palmyra temple president talked to us and shared a bunch of great stories from his missions in Africa and a story about some bikers in Utah. THe Utah biker story talked about a couple biking around America and arriving in Moab. They decided to go back to the east by going north. The ended up in a dust storm and finally landed in Salt Lake City with their bikes. They talked to the sister missionaries and immediately recognized truth. Now the biker couple are....can you guess?.......ordinance workers in the Palmyra temple. Neat story.

After the meeting was personal/family time until dinner. We visited with the Manasco family who drove us to the sacred grove. We walked around and enjoyed the quiet, peaceful feeling there. I can see why Joseph picked such an area, the forests are very nice for finding the solitude he sought. The undergrowth is not as heavy as Oregon. Spencer and I helped a brother on an electric wheelchair make it through. THe battery was dying so we pushed and helped him along the way back to the visitor facilities.

Thanksgiving dinner was next. It was good.

Fireside after dinner and back to the buses. I may not have mentioned but each time we return to the dorms we have some snacks before we go to our rooms. Tonight was PIZZA! (and leftover Thanksgiving)

We are in the dorm early, 11pm. We get to sleep in. THis was a hot day but not bad humidity.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cumorah Pageant - Night 2

Our buses missed a turn tonight on the way back to the dorm. We came through Canandaigua, a beautiful city with many victorian homes and buildings. We are in the dorm at 1am, YUK!

Today was good. We started at 7am with a trip to the laundry mat. Janette and I washed and dried the clothes only to find Meleah did not put all her clothes out in a pile. We will need to do some more soon. We walked into Wegmans, an Albertons-like store, which have a place you can order great food from chefs. Ambiance is not the best but the food is suppose to be great.

Breakfast was a brunch, composed of all the regular fare for breakfast plus chicken patties, green salad and soft ice cream.

This was the first day to sleep in since we got here. We caught the buses at 12pm and went to the Hill. We started with a devotional and had NO practices. We are in full show mode. The afternoon was passed hanging around. Janette and I listened to a brother talk about Mendon. Mendon, spelling is questionable, is a small location here where a lot of the early leaders of the church seemed to show up. Interesting research.

Dinner: Ham, scalloped potatoes, applesauce, vanilla pudding, rolls

It was great weather; mild, not hot. The anit-mormon protesters we out in force. They park on the public road that passes Cumorah so there is not much that can be done to stop them. It was especially a problem because the parking lot was moved across the street due the mud caused by the rain yesterday. People must get out of their cars and walk across the street with the protesters yelling various things at them warning them to stay away from the Mormons, Joseph Smith was not a prophet and other untruths. Once the people get across the street they enter the bowl where things calm down and a gentle spirit takes over. We had over 6000 people attend tonight by my estimation.

The problem tonight was that our opening procession of all the cast up on stage was blocked by a low curtain that was not behaving. We had to step on it to get it low enough for most of us to get over. We did not get to our stage positions in time so we just stopped where we needed to. A small problem.

Meleah, Janette and I were out talking to a non-member family at the end. The father is from Ambato, Ecuador, the mother from Romania and their daughter. A sweet family that is interested in the gospel. They apparently live next to the missionaries and are being taught. I hope to teaching leads to something. We bore testimony of the book of Mormon and talked for 20 minutes, it was great. My Spanish works but it is not smooth.

Meanwhile at the closing devotional, Spencer was treated to a talk by Donny Osmond, who was visiting. THe kids stormed him afterwards to get pictures. It was crazy. You know, I never knew Donny was so much shorter than me....