Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week Nine

Work: On Monday I had to call companies to get help with using their products. I was transferred a zillion times, because they couldn't get me to the right person on the first try. Then more testing this week.

Went to Ronnie's for a birthday party. Chase was there and he is quite the entertainer once he starts on his stories. One time he took eight melatonin to help him sleep. Apparently one wasn't strong enough for him? He slept for a day and a half straight. There was a piano there so I played some Phantom of the Opera songs. I haven't played for awhile so I was really excited and spent a good 30 minutes to myself.

Thursday was our Relief Society's dessert and swim party. Beth and I made a strawberry kiwi tart. There was also a contest for the best dessert and sadly ours didn't even come close. Ours was pretty average, crescent roll dough with yogurt, strawberries and kiwi topping it. There were some delicious tasting things that also looked impressive. Maybe if I had my usual stash of baking supplies I could have done something amazing but we didn't really try too hard.

One of my coworkers keeps giving me things to entertain me. A month ago he gave me a book by Stephen King called The StandIt is the original, uncut edition which is a whopping 1141 pages. This version has 500 more pages than the first edition of the book. I wish he had given me that version, this one is a monster! He gave it to me right after I finished The Count of Monte Cristo which is also a long book so I didn't want another long book in a row. Although it is interesting, it is not something I would pick for myself. His writing is very violent and gruesome which I don't appreciate but I'm stuck reading it out of politeness. This week the same coworker gave me all three seasons of Arrested Development. I don't know when I will have time to watch it, I'm too busy doing fun things and getting ready for my mission. It looks hilarious though so at least he gave me something I might like. 
On Friday, Beth and I drove up to Palmyra, New York. I've been before, when I was fifteen, but since it's been a long time I was looking forward to it. We got there about an hour before the pageant. All of the cast walks around to greet people, and to tell people what the pageant is about if they don't know. While we were waiting, one of the actors playing Joseph Smith came by our area so Beth and I got a picture with him! Not too long later, the pageant started. It goes through various stories in the Book of Mormon including Nephi, wicked King Noah and Abinidi, Alma the High Priest, Samuel the Lamanite, the coming of Christ to the Americas, Mormon, Moroni and eventually Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. It took forever to get out of the parking lot and to get to our hotel. Since it was opening night it was packed and it was standstill traffic trying to leave.

In the bedroom where Joseph saw the angel Moroni.
L-R Amanda, Amy, me and Beth
The next morning we got up and went to some historical sites in Palmyra. First we went to Joseph Smith's home (a replica). It is two floors and very tiny. They had two or three children sleeping on each bed which were about the size of full sized beds. We thought about Joseph seeing the angel Moroni with his brothers in the same room. The spirit must have made sure they were completely out of it. Behind the house, his mother Lucy Mack Smith planted a beautiful garden every year, full of delicious fruits and vegetables. They made the garden look like it would have with her gardening skills. I just wanted to pick some of the broccoli and zucchini and eat it then and there. 

After that, we went to the house Alvin built for his fiancee before he died. It is 85% original which is amazing, and it looked very nice. We got to see a few spots where the plates were hidden in the house. One was under some bricks at the fireplace, another was in a wooden box, and a third was in the bed in between two sleeping girls.
After the tours, we went into the Sacred Grove. This was where Joseph Smith had a vision where he saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. They told him that none of the churches on the earth were true. After this vision, he was prepared in order to translate the Book of Mormon, an ancient record of peoples in the Americas. While I was there I felt a connection to Joseph Smith. In a few months I will be a missionary and I will teach the Restoration of the gospel. I will help people discover the truth which they have been looking for, much like Joseph Smith. I am so excited for this opportunity, and I look forward to teaching this story.

 After the grove, we went to the Palmyra temple. It is a very small temple, I was told you can practically see all the way across the building from anywhere inside. We just sat on the grounds and talked, and had some interesting moments. Beth invited everyone to sit on her lap (not all at once) which was really funny. We were comparing how bony everyone's butts were (no mine was not the boniest). Amanda only briefly sat on her lap and Beth said she couldn't judge by that brief encounter. She didn't fully sit on her lap, it was more of a crouch or what Beth called a "butt touch".

After the temple we headed to Nima's pizzaria. Beth said we had to go because it is the best pizza she's ever had. I'm not sure if it was the best pizza ever (I'll have to try a lot more to make a good judgment call ;) ), but it sure was delicious. Also socially awkward moment: Beth and I ate fries left on the table by the people who sat at the table before us. I felt super weird about it, but they were on their own plate and the customers hadn't eaten any of them and we were starving (it was 2:30 at this point). I guess I've done worse things.

Then I headed to the Grandin Building with Jonathon. The building is where the first few thousand copies of the Book of Mormon were printed. We walked through the process of printing and we got to see one of the original copies. The printing took many months to complete. Each page took a long time, each letter was a separate stamp and they had to compile all the stamps together to make words, sentences and paragraphs. This was done for the entire book. Then they had to turn the printed pages into a book by pressing the pages together, binding them, cutting off extra paper, putting a cover on it and engraving the title on the front. It took a lot of work but was well worth it. After that, we headed home. It was quite a long drive, and I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

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