5 Days and 2500 Miles

Well, we’re finally here it only took five days and 2500 miles through seven states and two Covid tests, but we’re finally here. Once we got here, we had to isolate for a few days before we were eligible to take our second Covid test to allow the state in New York to tell us that we were “negative – but very positive people” as Sister Isom says. I’m sure you’ve been following the pictures and posts on Amy’s Facebook page, so you’ve probably gotten most of the information about our journey, but we did see a couple of very interesting sites along the way.

Once we got here the weather was pretty mild FOR HERE, it was only getting down into the low 30s, but that changed pretty quick. This morning we woke up to a beautiful white front yard with 6 inches of snow and 17 degrees. Of course, this was better than two days ago when it was 19 degrees and a wind chill factor had it down to 7 degrees with swirling snow. Jared once told us when he was on his mission in York, that they called it a lazy wind, because it was too lazy to go around you so it just went right through you. I think we can both attest to the fact that that is so true. And in spite of the green kitchen sink, and the need to put on couch covers, I think Sister Isom has made a pretty good little place for us to live here and helped us to be able to focus on the things we need to do.

So we’ve spent the few weeks before we traveled, and the past few days while we were isolated in our apartment, studying the material that we were to share with the visitors to the sites, and in the last 2 days we’ve done some “testing tours”. Thanks to Bruce and Alison, Melanie and David, and Gary and Susan Barker for being our test subjects. We decided to start with friendly faces just in case, but things went along pretty well, so we felt comfortable enough that we could start giving live tours to larger groups. Which brings us too today!

We had our first live tour and even though it showed we only had three groups that were scheduled, each group had over 25 people in it. We figured there was about 85 individuals on the tour. Things started off a little bit rough, as people were trying to sign in, and Interestingly enough they really didn’t understand what the mute button was for. So about halfway through our tour we finally wound up having to mute all so that the background noise would subside.

In spite of all the challenges it’s been a wonderful experience to be here so far. We’ve had opportunity to walk through the Sacred Grove with the snow on the ground and sunlight peering through the branches of the trees. The other day we saw deer traveling through the Sacred Grove, it was peaceful and they were still and we were able to watch them as they made their way through. There’s been something special about seeing this place with the snow on the ground all white pristine and clean. And what makes it even more special is the ability to testify of the miraculous visitation of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph. I’m not sure that I’ve ever borne that testimony before where the spirit was stronger and testified to me of the truthfulness than it has while we have been here.

This evening as we were finishing our tour we ran into a young lady who was in the Grove. She told us that she was there saying goodbye. She and her husband and family were being transferred to Utah. we had a wonderful conversation and shared with her a few thoughts. W invited her to look for her own sacred spaces in her new location.  At the end she thanked us so much, as it was exactly what she felt she needed to hear as she begins to make her way into a new journey that was scary for her but she knew would be exciting and beneficial. And I think that that sums up how we feel about this time. We are away from family and friends and that’s always hard, but we’ve been warmly welcomed here buy a new group of friends to a place that we quickly grown to love.

Well, this is probably a very long email and I don’t want to make it any longer so we’ll just say take care for now and will share more with you next week.