January and February were slow months here at the Priesthood Restoration Site as few people travel to the northeast in winter. But, March and April definitely saw an increase as families on spring break across the country came to see us. Our numbers were 500% higher than last year at the same time, so the word seems to be getting around about what a great place Harmony, Pennsylvania is.
We had some wonderful tours the last few weeks. One morning I looked up at the entryway and coming in the door was Julie C Beck, former General Relief Society President. She brought along her husband and 3 of her Aaronic Priesthood age grandsons. We spent a delightful morning giving them a tour and showing them around. One of the exhibits gives our guests the opportunity to heft a box that simulates the weight of the gold plates that the prophet Joseph brought here to begin the work of translation. It weighs about 50 lbs---always a surprise to everyone just how heavy they were.
Sister Beck hefting the golden plates.
Another tour we gave was to Church employees from around the world. We had guests from New Zealand, Ghana, Canada, U.S. and Russia.
Traffic was especially crazy in Philadelphia because the NFL draft was going on the same day. I had to hold Dean down to keep him from jumping out of the car and racing into the venue. 😆
We had an evening with Bob Parrot a few weeks ago. Bob is the forester that cares for the Sacred Grove up in Palmyra and also assists us with keeping up our woods here in Susquehanna where John the Baptist appeared and restored the Aaronic Priesthood in 1829. It was fascinating to a hear a history of the grove and although Bob Parrot is not a member of the Church, he has a strong testimony of what a sacred place it is. He can feel the Spirit so strongly there and he shared how the trees talk to him and how he knows that something extraordinary occurred there.
Bob Parrot---forester at the Sacred Grove with our Sister Missionaries.
This past week had a few challenges. Monday evening while we were out to dinner, a massive rainstorm hit with walls of rain that blew sideways destroying trees and pulling down power lines. We ate our dinner by cell phone light. Our area was especially hard hit. Power was out for 24 hours at our home. It was out for 48 hours at the Priesthood Restoration Site. It went out again at our home yesterday for another 16 hours. So we were without heat, lights, refrigeration, internet and hot water. It felt like we were camping. All great fun for about 2 hours, but the novelty wears off quickly and we were thrilled when power was restored. We just cross our fingers that it will stay on. It sure reminds us to be grateful for the comforts of life that we take for granted.
We are healthy and happy and love being able to serve the Lord here in Pennsylvania. Our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel grows with each passing day.