Monday, November 15, 2010

Church History Tour

Last fall I was mad at Kendra. She got to miss school for a week, and go to Church History sites with her religion class. It's impossible to stay mad at Kendra though, so I decided to be happy for her and take the class this year. (Kirtland Temple above.)

Best decision ever. Missing a week of school was interesting, but luckily I had no problem forgetting about life back in Provo once I got on my plane to NY! (Kirtland above.)

I didn't even think about the other people going on the trip...I figured one week wouldn't make any lasting friendships right? Wrong. Our class had a BLAST with each other, and Bro. Bennett has lost all control of us back in Provo now. It's wonderful. (Sacred Grove above.)

The trip felt like a relapse into Jerusalem days. Bus rides, site stops, an expert telling you what happened at the site, too many pictures, never being alone but loving who you're with, spiritual moments at any given moment...except this time I was wrapped up in coats and blankets instead of constantly sweating. Improvement? Yes. (Smith farm above.)
I've seen the East Coast in Spring (unemployment tainted my view, but it was pleasant), Summer (total fun, in fact, I thin I'll do it again!), and Winter (at least I love coats and gloves?), but NEVER in the fall. That doesn't even make sense. So I was stoked for our October trip, and the leaves did not disappoint! (Smith farm above.)

Look at these fun people :) Bro. B on the right is a Church History expert, and a Phase 10 extraordinaire. We spent our days learning from him and our nights pressuring him into card games and story telling in his hotel room. His wife loved it, and we loved her stories. He loved us, until he lost at card games. Then he just wanted us to go to bed :) (Joseph's bedroom above, where Moroni appeared.)

Another bonus of the trip? FOUR new states on my slowly (but steadily) growing list. I'm trying to decide which state to leave for last, because that has to be a cool trip. What if I somehow left Kansas for the big 5-0? Probably an anti-climactic ending of the goal. (Newel K. Whitney store above, Kirtland.)

So checked off the list was Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio. And....Iowa. I'll explain that later. (Grandin print shot above.)

I've been to Palmyra two times before this, but this time I finally got to do baptisms in the temple. It was beautiful, and the temple president took time to speak to our group that morning.

During the drive to Nauvoo we couldn't pass up stopping in Hannibal, Missouri -- home of Mark Twain! I love how he thinks. The museum we went to was plastered with his hilarious quotes.
"But we were good boys...we didn't break the sabbath often enough to signify -- once a week, perhaps." - Twain
"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." - Twain
Can't you totally see little Tom & Huck growing up here?

The missionaries in Nauvoo were the best. They taught us all sorts of skills that I'm sort of glad I don't have to use...but it was fun to watch! (Barrell-making above. I'm being serious.)

The print Nauvoo dream job?

Brother Bennett would voluntarily begin signing the books he'd written in all the gift shops we went in. We loved it. He thought it was weird, how much we loved it.

The Mississippi River! It was so windy. So cold. Then I'd feel guilty for thinking about how cold I felt when I imagined crossing the frozen river and leaving my life behind to move (again) out West. The more I learn about the history of the Church the more grateful I am to the Saints who constantly sacrificed.

The freezing carriage ride around Nauvoo was SO much fun. The horses hated each other, though, so I was sort of distracted by their contention all through the tour. One was a biter. It was frightening. But the city really was beautiful, I'm so glad we went in the Fall.

And on our drive back to the St. Louis airport, I noticed I was closer to a little piece of Iowa than I'd ever been before (or will ever be again?). Couldn't pass up the chance to check it off! So with a little convincing of the bus driver and Bro. B, they stopped to let me touch it :) So that's number 27, people! I figure if I keep up this 1.2 states-a-year average, I'll be doing alright. Gotta get down South...


  1. I am jealous of your travels, and of your gorgeousness! Sounds like an amazing tour!

  2. haha i love it! So glad you convinced them to stop!


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