Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Only Thing Better Than a Mission is Having Family Visit You on Your Mission!
 So after working very hard all week (the training for my replacement was difficult and at times very frustrating to him as he is not really the clerk type--he is more the mechanic type) so that we could take Friday off, we headed to connect with John, Jessica, Lauren, Bridger and Abby Jones.  The first place we took them was the Wawa.  They had not eaten breakfast, so we took them to this Pennsylvania famous chain.  We do love the Wawa stores as they do not charge ATM fees, so it is very convenient for the missionaries to get cash.  Then we went straight to the Philadelphia Temple site.  As you can see from the photo, the temple exterior is going up.  They are lifting the end pieces up on the rest of the building.  Next will come the marble.  Brother Alex Carr, the Temple project director, explained some interesting things about the building of this temple and then gave them a piece of the granite that was hit when digging for the underground parking.  He then explained how important it is to build our testimony upon a strong foundation. This temple is built to last, as it is drilled in and connected to that granite.  The temple will be completed in just about 1 more year.  Next we decided to walk to the Rocky steps, as the parking is hard to find at that location.  We had no idea it was quite so far away, but it was a beautiful day for a walk!
 John had his kids watch the "Rocky" movies in preparation for coming here.  Bridger just finished Rocky I on the plane coming here.  Below is us at the Rocky steps.  This is actually the Philadelphia Museum of Art building.  It is quite impressive and old.  Lots of history in this town...
 We went on a "Duck" tour of Philadelphia and then took in the Liberty Bell.  The line was short and we were able to fit it in before the boys took off to see a Phillies vs Dodger baseball game.  The men and boy took the subway to the ballpark and the girls took the subway back to the hotel.  The kids liked riding the subway.
 Below are Jessica, Bridger and Grandpa (Elder Jones) just outside the Liberty Bell before we headed off.  Grandpa had lots of walking that day and he was sure wore out.
 We were worried about the rain while John was here.  There was a 30% chance of rain both days.  We prepared by taking umbrellas, but we never did have to open them.  It rained for a time while the boys were at the ballgame (there was a game delay) but they were under a canopy, and it rained just a few sprinkles the next day.  Below is the view out of their room at the Courtyard Marriott Center City, 12th floor.  This shot was taken just before it rained.
 This shot below was at the Ben Franklin Museum.  They are standing on the site of Ben's home.  We were interested to learn about all of the things Ben Franklin figured out and invented.  He truly was a brilliant man.
Other points of interest were Elfreth's Alley (oldest street in America that is still standing and inhabited), the US Mint where we learned how money is made, Betsy Ross' home, Christ Church Cemetery and Valley Forge.  We certainly enjoyed our family this weekend.  They came to church with us this morning and we showed them around the mission office and introduced them to a few missionaries.  We do so appreciate their visit!

This week starts with a bang!  Tomorrow Elder Jones is taking some elders and sisters to see a horse show closeby, then tomorrow night is our dinner for outgoing missionaries.  Tuesday we get new missionaries and Wednesday we transfer 120 other missionaries.  This means lots of details to manage and lots of work for both of us.  But we LOVE it!  We have truly been blessed to be missionaries in the PPM!

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