These has been an eventful few days since our last entry.
First, we’ve been able to continue teaching our Temple Preparation Class that will soon be drawing to a close with two members of that class. Both are eager to attend the temple and make sacred covenants there. We are also eager for them to be able to attend and hope to go with them. We also had the opportunity to attend the stake conference of the Nashua New Hampshire Stake this past weekend. Nashua is only about ten miles from Lowell. We were able attend with a member of our temple prep class and her young son. She also had the good fortune to receive her patriarchal blessing that same day and it was a choice thing to help her receive it.
Secondly, we hosted our first family history workshop and had a friend of the young sister missionaries attend. This young man was very happy to see that in FamilySearch there were records of his grandparents and great-grandparents. He later reported that he stayed up until 2 AM viewing what he could of his ancestors. The next day he was able to show them to his father, who was amazed at the records that were available. The spirit of Elijah is very strong with respect to genealogy work, and it is a great service that church performs in making these records available for free to anyone who wants to be able to see them.
Lastly, we were able to visit one of the great historical sites of the American Revolution in Concord, Massachusetts. The Minuteman Historical Park is just a short drive from us. The park is beautiful with trees and the river. Near Lexington, is the site where the British forces fired the first shots at colonial militiamen. Five miles north at the North Bridge at Concord, is where the “shot heard round the world” was fired when the colonial minutemen first fired at the British Army on April 19, 1775.Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1837 poem "Concord Hymn" says in the opening stanza:
“By the rude bridge that arched the flood/Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled/Here once the embattled farmers stood/And fired the shot heard round the world.”
At the visitor center we met member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Heber, Utah. They are friends of some of our fellow senior missionaries serving in Romania that we came to know in the missionary training center. It is a very small world in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We meet people that we connect to in someway all around the world.
The American Revolution is a watershed moment in the history of the world, and we are blessed to be serving our mission in a place of such historical significance. It is also not lost on me that Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration was born in Sharon, Vermont just 30 years after the “shot heard round the world.” His life was just as revolutionary in terms of Christian doctrine as the early patriots of the American Revolution were in terms of democracy. Those revolutionary teachings included the nature of the godhead, the principle of ongoing modern revelation, the restoration of the priesthood, the translation of “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ”, the need for temples and the restoration of temple covenants, and the doctrine of eternal families. These are just a few examples of the revolutionary teachings of Joseph Smith. There must be something in the soil and air of New England that produces such extraordinary men and women.
Here are some pictures from that day:
We ended this week with our district preparation day. We love spoiling these young missionaries! We had a BBQ in a park in Nashua. They ate and then finished the day with pickle ball. These young people have become our adopted grandchildren to some degree.