Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015

Hello Family!
Sounds like an exciting week....hey I heard the Oscars were last night, did you watch them? Ok I will tell you about my week now.
I got to go on the Palmyra Temple Trip on Tuesday! If felt kind of weird to finally be there but it was so great! The temperature was a little chilly but the sun was out and it was really a nice day. We met early in the morning at the Liverpool building and us 5 sisters drove with Sister Wirthlin in the mini van and President had to drive the 8 elders in the big van. We met at the Palmyra Temple for our first stop. It was so nice to even see a temple again. It's pretty small but really pretty. Something cool was that this woman that Sister Davis taught and was able to see baptized came to the temple that day to get her endowments and she had Sister Davis be her escort. It was pretty cool to see a missionary be able to be a part of so many covenant's in their convert friend's life. Also, Diego and Erin were endowed and sealed that same week :) Only in the DC temple. So yeah, we did a session in the temple which was super nice and peaceful and then after taking some pictures by the temple we went to the Grandin Print shop, where the Book of Mormon was first printed and published. It was pretty cool to see. So much time and effort was put into printing the Book of Mormon. The process of printing each individual letter is like writing a book with stamps. So tedious! I don't think I would have the patience to do that. Luckily someone did. The senior missionary also talked about the vision Joseph Smith had for what he wanted the Book of Mormon to look like which was very detailed. I think going there would definitely give anyone a great appreciation for the Book of Mormon. Then after that we went across the street for pizza and wings. Thats like all President ever feeds us missionaries. No wonder we're all chubby! ha Jk but we do get pizza a lot...then we shopped around in the Bookstore for a bit. It was also nice to be back in a Deseret Book type place! I hope you got the postcard that I sent you. So after we got our souvenirs we went to the Hill Cummorah Visitor's center. I forgot all that was in there besides the statue of Christ similar to the one in Salt Lake Visitors center which we got a picture by. It was weird to be in the picture that is sent out every transfer to let everyone see who the departing missionaries are. It was a really nice center as well. Then it was time to participate in the mission tradition of running up the Hill Cummorah. Now I didn't know how big the hill was and I didn't think it could be too bad but oh, it was terrible. Super steep, super long, and covered in at least a foot of snow. Probably a very funny thing to witness for the people driving by. Let's just say most of us were all pretty exhausted and dizzy by the time we reached the top. At the top was the giant Angel Moroni monument or whatever which was cool but I was too tired and cold to really appreciate it. Then we drove back to the Joseph Smith farm and got a little tour of that. That house was so teeny. On of the elders from New Zealand who is at least 6 foot kept bumping his head on the beams on the ceiling haha. I couldn't imagine living with 11 people in there! What was cool though is going upstairs because that is the spot where Joseph Smith was visited by Angel Moroni! Pretty cool. While the visitor's center missionary sister was talking about the story of Joseph Smith she had one of the elders (also the one from New Zealand) recite the first vision. He did it perfect and the room very quickly filled with the spirit. When you were there you just coldn't deny the reality of everything that happened there. After the tour of the farm and houses we went down and took a stroll in the sacred grove. I don't really know what to say about it besides how peaceful it was. Even though no one knows the exact spot where Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, its very apparent that something special happened there. We need to come back in the springtime when there is no snow and leaves on the trees. Then after the grove, we went to the Peter Whitmer home and visitor's center to see where the church was first established. I loved the trip. I think the coolest thing is that I've been teaching people about Joseph Smith and the establishment of the church for 18 months and now I finally got to see where it took place. It's the most perfect ending to a mission. Oh! and then we stopped at Destiny mall to get frozen yogurt with some elders on the way back and we met a potential! He gave us a discount on our yogurt because we were Christian and then came over and talked to us. We exchanged info and I think we will start teaching him. His name is Rocky, pray for him! he has a family! Kind of funny that a frozen yogurt shop was the right place to be at that time.
Wow that whole paragraph was about one day. The rest of the week was good though. We got to see Paul and do a section out of his Book of Mormon study guide with him which he loves. He told us he's only reading the Book of Mormon right now and we are like phew because lately he's been reading some pretty weird stuff...We have been able to spend a lot of time with the members this week as well. I think I say this every week but they are all so cool! I love serving out here because Lots of the members are converts and its amazing to hear their stories. We also had dinner on Sunday with a family who's son gets home from his mission the same day I get home. They were pretty chill about him coming home but I think they were super pumped inside so I bet that is kind of what you guys are like.
Can't really believe that I'm about to start my last full week as a missionary here. This has gone by too fast yet, I feel that I've been away from home for a long time. The thing is, I have found home out here in New York and I am sad to leave it. I never thought somewhere so far away could feel like home but it does. There are things about Utah I have missed but there are so many things about New York I will miss. I love the people out here, the funny small towns, the tight-knit wards, and the work I get to participate in as a missionary. I will admit, I'm kind of scared to come home and face the reality of moving on with life. Missionary life is so fulfilling and your purpose is set in stone and you know what you are supposed to do. I'm glad I came out here though because what it has made me will really benefit me for the rest of my life. Missionary work has shown me what should be most important and what kind of life I want to lead. I will see you all soon. Thanks for the prayers and please keep them coming!
Love,
Sister Quinn Nilsson

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