May 26, 2019 - We made it!!! We had to write a letter to the Area Presidency to get permission to leave our Mission boundaries to take our Branch Members to the Palmyra Temple. But we got it done and had a very sacred experience.

Hill Cumorah Visitors Center - Front Row: Everette, Sharon & Karen - Back Row: Mark, Karen, Michael & Tom
Palmyra Temple - Karen, Everette, Tom, Michael, Sharon & Karen. What a great day, Karen is celebrating because not only did we work hard to make the trip happen, she really got involved in helping everyone bring family names. It was a very exciting day.
Palmyra Temple: Karen & Mark
Palmyra Temple parking lot. We found a car with a Cumorah personalized license plate. It turns out that it belonged to a couple serving as Senior Missionaries in the Temple. The husband had served about 50 years ago as a young man in the Cumorah Mission that took in a great deal of the East Coast as well as New York.
Palmyra Temple: Karen C, Everette, Karen & Sharon - the Sacred Grove is behind us in the distance.
Mark & Karen at Palmyra Temple with Sacred Grove behind us in the distance.
Mark & Karen - backside of the Palmyra Temple. Notice the stained glass windows.
Palmyra Temple - Everette was baptized just a few weeks ago. This is his first trip to the Temple.
Palmyra Temple - Sharon is an old timer - she was baptized in 2015. She's been to the Temple several times.
Palmyra Temple - Karen was baptized in January 2019 and this is her 2nd time to the Temple.
Front of Palmyra Temple = Karen C, Karen, Everette & Sharron
Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center: Michael, Everette, Karen C, Karen, Sharon and Tom in the back.
Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center: Tom was baptized in September 2018 - this is his second visit to the Temple.
Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center: Michael was baptized in 2016 and has been to the Temple several times.
Hill Cumorah - Statue of Moroni: Karen, Michael, Everett, Tom, Sharon and Karen C. If you look at the plaque in the background, it depicts Moroni giving the gold plates to Joseph Smith. For you avid followers of my blog - Arvard Fairbanks was the artist that sculpted this bronze plaque. There are four total plaques - one on each side: Joseph Smith receiving the plates, the Three Witnesses, The Eight Witnesses and Moroni's Exhortation: Moroni 10:4 (As a side note the angel Moroni is 10 feet, 4 inches high!!!!
Angel Moroni at the Hill Cumorah: Everette, Michael, Tom, Karen & Sharon
Palmyra Temple: Karen said, "Straighten your tie!" You can clearly see the obedient ones! Mark, Everett, Tom, Michael, Sharon & Karen
Of course, I had to include the picture showing the straight ties!!! Mark, Everett, Tom, Michael, Sharon & Karen
Sacred Grove: Tom & Everette

Karen encouraged Everette to set up a meeting with his 94 year old aunt Erma. She was sharp as a tack and still living at home. We had a delightful time with her talking about a lot of things that Everette hadn't heard.

Everette and his 94 year old Great Aunt Erma.
Erma's husband Harold was shot down in WWII
Carlena, Elise, Leigha (Elise got to take part because she had come with her mom, Sister Elliot.) The Young Women got to "style" their own magazine model. They were very careful to make their outfit modest. Then they walked their "models" down the catwalk to the cheers of the adoring crowds - Sister Carrie, Sister Elliot and Karen.
Potsdam District Council Meeting (Just after it ended...) - Elder Boyer showing us how to do the Moon Walk. Stay tuned we're hoping for video in the future.
Exchanges: Sister Black and Sister Chanipo. Sister Chanipo is from Liberia, Africa. Her dad was one of the first missionaries to serve from their country.

We asked Sister Chanipo to bear her testimony in pidgin English. A pidgin, or pidgin language, is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common: typically, its vocabulary and grammar are limited and often drawn from several languages. Bottom line: I understand most of what she says, but miss some of the words. One thing that I know - Sister Chanipo is an awesome missionary!

Of course, if you are going to go on Exchanges with Sister Chanipo, you have to get her to teach you how to braid your hair. This is Sister Black with some awesome corn rows!
And this is Sister Black after she took out her corn rows!
On preparation day we went and checked out the beavers dam - it's looking good.

We were so excited because we thought we got to see one of the beavers. We showed the video to Joel and Thomas at the Nature Center and they grinned and told us very nicely that we had a video of a muskrat swimming in the beaver pond. Oh well, it was still fun. But now we'll have to go back and see if we can find a real beaver.

We had the best week of our mission. Going to the Palmyra Temple with our sweet members of the Massena Branch was such a beautiful, humbling experience. Feeling the spirit of the Temple AND the spirit of the restoration at the same time was powerful. Karen and I both truly felt the spirit of Elijah in the Temple as we performed sacred ordinances for our kindred dead. Not just generally, but specifically at the same time and for the same person. It was such a tender moment that drew us close to the Lord.

Hope you have a good week - we'll see you next week!!! Spoiler alert - we are having our Mission Tour with Elder Bennett - our Area President on Tuesday!!