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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Best Week of My Existence.

Well friends and family, this last week was one the most incredible weeks I have ever had in my life. Because of it, I will never be the same person again. It changed me forever in the best ways. It was a trip of sorts that you have zero words to describe it, but you want every single person to hear about it. That is the dilemma I am facing right now. How do I blog about experiences that touched me so deeply and caused my testimony to grow more than any other experience ever has? I don't know either, but here I am going to make an attempt at least!

I had the opportunity this last week to go on a Church History Trip with my honors Church History Class. We went to Palmyra, Rochester, Kirtland, Fayette, Hiram, Mentor, and Nauvoo. I was in 9 states within six days and loved every single second of it. Not only that, but I also stayed in 5 different hotels in 6 days and did not even mind carting my luggage around every single day. Yeah, that is how good my trip was.

Here are a few Things I know~
* God loves me so much more than I can ever comprehend.

* Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and brought about the Restoration of this Gospel; with help from Heavenly Messengers and appointed servants to get the work done that was entitled to him.

* God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph numerous times throughout his life. First being in the Sacred Grove in 1820. He learned that none of the churches on the Earth at that time were true and that he would be responsible for bringing to pass the restoration of the Gospel. Thank goodness. They also appeared to Joseph and others that helped to bring people unto the kingdom of God on the Morley farm in 1831, The Johnson home in Hiram, OH in 1832 (here section 76 was revealed as well as 19 other revelations), the Newel K. Whitney Store in 1833 and the Kirtland Temple in 1839. All of these places minus the Morley farm, were places that I was able to go and visit while on my trip. I was able to sit in the rooms, bear testimony, and in the case of the Johnson home read D & C section 76 verses 22-24 in the room where the Savior and God once stood...and it was, for lack of a better word, INCREDIBLE!!!!

* I love the Erie Canal song! It was our theme song for the trip. Bro and Sis B always sang it into the microphone many times a day while on the bus...and for some reason, none of us still actually know all of the words.

* We (as members of the Church) are not in the cover up business, we are in the SACRED business.

* The Sacred Grove truly is a sacred place. The peace that you instantly feel as soon as you walk in those trees is unlike any I have ever felt before. It is so instantaneous. Even if you don't want to feel the spirit you do! You have no choice!

* There were so many incredible miracles that took place within the first few decades of the restoration of the Church. Of course, they are still occurring everyday, but it was extremely evident how strongly the Lord felt abut this Gospel being restored and was willing to put his hand in a lot of situations to make it work out. Just one example of that is the printing of the Book of Mormon. It is amazing how it all came to be!

* If you've got a question about something Church related, ask it! We are a questioning church! This Church was founded on/because of a question! Make sure you ask in faith and not as a critic.

* Out of the following; Comfort Inn, Palmyra Inn, Super 8, Baymont, and The Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites, The Palmyra Inn most definitely gets 5 stars!! Hot tub, a California king size bed, a sink/kitchen, 2 other twin size beds and a body length mirror... you just can not beat that! We got a little spoiled early on, and had issues staying at every other hotel because of it! :)

* I did not go on this trip as any sort of coincidence. I went because God loves me infinitely and individually. I was there as an answer to prayer; my own prayers, my parents prayers, my ancestors prayers. They love and care about me, and wanted me to gain and have that strong firm testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith.

* If you are going to sing a song while everyone that will be singing is crying, make sure that you pick a song that does not go above a middle c. (Example: When you are all sitting in the Carthage Jail in the exact room that Hyrum and Joseph were shot, don't choose to sing 'A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief'. Everyone is crying and there will be times that everyone stops singing because no one can hit the notes.)

* I adore Visitors Center missionaries! Sister missionaries as well as the Senior couples! I saw my future while I was in Nauvoo...especially at the Nauvoo Rendezvous. Where there happened to be 20 senior couples singing and dancing about the early days of Nauvoo like it was nobody's business. It was incredible and one of the happiest days of my life! If any of you go to Nauvoo, make sure you make time to go watch the Nauvoo Rendezvous. It will change your life! :D

* Three buffets within 4 days, does not do good things for your body...Just believe me.

*The Book of Mormon is a true book!! "... the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” I know this to be a true statement and I love this Book!!!!

* The early Saints sacrificed so much. Homes, lives, children, money, businesses, spouses, so much time and the list goes on and on. If there is one thing that I learned more than anything else while on this trip, it was the law of sacrifice and consecration. Because of this, I also realized what a selfish person I am, and how I have so much more to learn and such a long way to go to become like my Savior. I need to be more willing to give. Give of myself, of my possessions, especially my time.

* Bro. B is never going to be able to keep us reverent during Church History class again; because after being with people for 24 hours a day for 7 days, you become best friends with them, it just happens.

* I have the best Aunt Lucy in the world! When I was stopped for a layover in Dallas, I called to tell her I would be there, just because I knew she would not be happy with me if she found out at a later date and I had not told her. I was not really expecting anything, and before I know it she is asking me for my flight number and when I am going to be there and everything. She meets me at the airport, brings Star and I dinner and Mango shakes and just talked to me for the quick 20 minutes we had. She drove us to our other gate and took pictures of us going through security like we were her own children going away on a new adventure! I love her, and all of my family SO much!

* I have a testimony. I love to bear it and every time I do it gets that much stronger! I want everyone to know about how great this Gospel is. From the power of prayer, to families being sealed for time and all eternity. Nothing can stop this great work from going forward. It truly is 'Good News' and I want so badly for everyone to know of it. I am eternally grateful to my Savior and his unfailing love for me no matter what. I know that this Church is true with everything in me.

I know you guys are all feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed by this post, but I told you I would not be able to say it all like I want to. I have SO many more stories and experiences about the School of Prophets, the Johnson Family, the Whitney family, the Red Brick Store, and the Community of Christ church...all that will have to be saved for another time! Those shared above are some of the most important lessons and things learned while away! I am grateful for the opportunity I had to go on this 'class on wheels' trip.

I AM 100% OBSESSED WITH CHURCH HISTORY AND THIS GOSPEL!!

Also, I am going to post a "few" photos on this post (a few being like 43...but out of the 400 I took, 43 is just a few!) and I am going to put an entire album on Facebook. As soon as that happens, I will post this link so everyone can take a gander at the rest of my incredible pictures!!

If you desire, watch the entire slideshow, it is just a little walk through of my trip!



Love you all!

3 comments:

Sondra

Kendra!!! I love your post! It's the biz! ;)
-Sondra

Maddie

Kendra thank you for posting about this, I've been waiting impatiently for it!! I love you! I'm so glad you got to experience all of that.

Samantha

Oh Kendra, you are absolutely right about everything you put. This was SUCH a great trip, and SO impossible to put into words!

~Samantha

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