July 28, 2019 - We celebrated a couple of widely different events this week - both of them on the same day. Our Pioneer Day was celebrated on in Potsdam. We had 20 people from our Branch go. (Which is a big number - we have about 25 to 35 people to church on Sundays.) We had a good time. I brought water balloons and had to "cool off" a few people with a few direct hits! Of course, they were all stalking me to get revenge. Our Branch President snuck up and dumped a whole bag of melted ice on me and soaked me and a couple of people that were sitting by - the District President and the Ogdensburg Branch President.  (It was still ice cold.) Everyone stood up and cheered!!

Before we went to the Pioneer Day Celebration, we spent about an hour at the Civil War Reenactment out on Barnhart Island on the St Lawrence River.

Hanging out with a couple of Yankees at the Civil War Reenactment!
While there were not any Civil War battles fought in or near Massena, Civil War Reenactments are very popular and people travel all around the East participating.
We learned a lot about battlefield surgery at the hospital tent.
The cannons belonged to the Confederate Rebels and we were told that would tip the battle in their favor. (Although they also told us that they took turns on who won the battle! It wasn't an actual battle, they just tried to give us an idea of what the battles were like.)
This girl that is standing introduced herself to us, she is a member of our church from Ontario. We also met a young man from the Gloversville Branch.
They had campfires going. (Certainly not because we were cold!)
Rifles at the ready in the Rebel Camp.
Loading black powder into "blanks" for the reenactment.
Elder Gallagher (from Springville, Utah) and Elder Li (from Taiwan) helped us clean out a vacant missionary apartment in Amsterdam. We cleaned three apartments: Amsterdam, Troy and Utica. It was a long trip - we traveled just over 1,000 miles.
We passed by the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on our way to clean apartments.
We drove through Saratoga Springs on the way back home - they have a horse race track and it was CRAZY - there were people and cars everywhere. It truly looked like a circus.
There was an Iron Man race going on in Lake Placid - and if you needed some extra power from on High, you could go to the Iron Prayer Service.
Lake Placid is a beautiful spot where the 1980 Winter Olympics were hold.
We spent two nights with our Grandkids while we were cleaning apartments. Of course, they were hanging out at the Pond again - hot days = lots of swimming for them. Annie, Lucy, Jack & Will.
The Bridge in the Massena Center - this is where Massena got its start. The bridge is now closed and not used. Sisters Oleson and Wiese & Karen.
Taking a walk on the Nature Center Trails in Massena.
Sisters Oleson & Wiese on Nature Center Hike
Karen struts her stuff with Sister Wiese. Corn hole at its best!
Sister Wiese shows us how it's done.
Sister Oleson is a pro.
A nice touch aided by the perfect face!
Sister Oleson shows us how to play KanJam
Sister Wiese is ready to help her partner.
Karen is in perfect position to put the frisbee in the Kan!
Massena Branch out in force at the Pioneer Day Celebration in Potsdam: Sister Webber, Karen & her daughter Katie, Marilyn and Michael
MaryBeth trying to keep all of us on our best behavior! Good luck with that.
Sister Hann is always fun to be around.
Karen and Katie hanging out the Pioneer Day Celebration
Everette and his snow cone machine - Olaf. Thanks for helping us keep cool.

We are so blessed to live in a free country. I am grateful for those who have fought for our freedom. And I am thankful for our Pioneer fore-fathers who sacrificed to build Zion.