Sunday, June 14, 2015


We experienced one of the most wonderful and yet unplanned blessings of our mission this last week.

I remember as we first began planning to leave on our mission.  We felt strongly that this was the time that we should go.... and yet we began to realize all of the family things we would miss.  One of the major ones was having Megan leave on her mission without us. We still felt spiritual promptings that going on our mission NOW was something we needed to do....and so we moved ahead.   Even so, every time we would think of her going to the temple without us there was a little saddness.
She did go through the temple
for the first time with her mom and dad in St. George, but having her family come here a month later and experience going through the Palmyra Temple with her was amazing and so unexpected!  Jim and I were able to even do some 'sealings' with her for family names after the temple session.  Mike and Jenna did family baptisms.  It was just an incredible blessing.  It is wonderful to see how we can never indebt the Lord.  He always ends up blessing us more than we can imagine and more than we really deserve.... even when we can't hardly see our way through the trials of life.

Mike, Heather, Megan, Jenna & Brynlee were planning to come visit us anyway before Megan's mission.  Megan's mission call here to this mission made it quite a unique experience for her to see part of her mission area before she even gets here as a missionary.  President and Sister Johnson were very supportive of them coming and they even invited us to the mission home for a short visit with Megan and her family.

They arrived on June 2nd.   Of course, our first stop was to Mount Washington to see the beautiful view of the city.  We loved showing them other spots around the city and we were able to take time to visit both the temple and church sites in Palmyra and also go to Kirtland one day.

On our way to Palmyra we stopped at Niagra Falls and
really enjoyed walking around the area on the "American side".  We also took a boat ride on the "Maid of the Mist".  We were blessed with great weather and it was such a pleasant experience for all of us.

Mike & Bryn-Science Center climb
We stayed at a comfortable place in Palmyra called "The White House" which was within walking distance from the Sacred Grove.  Going to the temple the next day was a real highlight, but we also enjoyed all of the other history sites.  It was fun to talk to every set of sister missionaries at each site and relate the fact that Megan would be coming out to join the ranks in about 3 weeks.  Talking with each one seemed to get Megan even more excited.  They exchanged e-mails and gave her tips for what she would encounter at the MTC etc.

We spent another day or so with Pittsburgh sightseeing and then also visited Kirtland Ohio church history sites.  We had a comment made on the trip that can go into the family archives!  After we visited President and Sister Johnson we were talking in the car on the way home.   We felt such a missionary spirit while we were there and Jenna said how excited she was to become a sister missionary in the future.  Then
she said "but what I'm REALLY excited about is to be a senior couple one day"!  It just made us smile!!

We were able to celebrate Heather's birthday here.  Their anniversary was also on the 9th, but we spent the day driving and touring Kirtland for their celebration!  They left Pittsburgh on the morning of the 10th and flew to Atlanta to visit with Kent, Shelly, and cousins that Megan won't see for quite a while.  Megan and Courtney especially have a special bond so we were so glad that they had this opportunity.

We got a report that Megan and Jenna actually had a really good missionary opportunity on the way home.  They sat by a woman who was interested in talking about religion and had a religious reference book she wanted to discuss.  Megan pulled out her missionary handbook "Preach My Gospel" and Jenna contributed to the discussion.  The discussion ended up being positive on both sides as they related why Megan will be leaving to serve a mission, what people in our church believe, and what this woman believes.  Seems like she is really being prepared for the next 18 months and Jenna and Megan decided it almost seemed like they were missionary companions!

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