In the summer I wrote about our trip to Palmyra. You can read about it in the following posts:
If you’ve been to a Church historical site, you are aware that after sharing the message with you, the missionaries usually hand out a card of some kind and ask you to consider friends that you feel inspired to have the missionaries visit.
On Friday and Saturday we went back to Palmyra (the tours are usually much better when it is “off-season”) and had some great visits. I’ll write about those separately and post some pictures. The point I wanted to share was about the referrals…
On Friday at the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, the senior missionary told us that rather than ask for referrals, they were asking for our own email address. He said he would send us some links to some sites that explain a bit of the history of the area. The next morning the email came in with the links he had mentioned. He suggested that we could invite someone over for a family home evening to learn more about the sites.
Then on Saturday at the Peter Whitmer Farm, the sister missionary there started to mention the same thing. Her little spiel about it actually used the word “creepy”, as in “it was kind of creepy to have a stranger call them up” and ask them if they wanted to learn more about a place they had never visited. We let her know that we were happy to give her an email address, but that we had already given it to the other missionary. She said that if we had already done that, then that was fine.
I don’t know if this is now the norm, but it was kind of nice. I appreciated the suggested links, and we didn’t feel the pressure that often accompanied one of those referral cards.
As mentioned yesterday, this year we went to the Palmyra Pageant as a family. It had been several years since I had last been. Previously, the main parking lot was across the street, so you would have to walk right past the protestors. Some of them were quiet, but others were loud and obnoxious. Since the last time we were there the parking arrangements have changed. Now you park on the same side of the street as the Hill Cumorah, so you never have to walk directly by the protestors. I was there on Wednesday, July 17, and it was probably the hottest day of the year. It could have been because it was mid-week, or because of the heat, but there were very few protestors out that night. They were making some noise until the opening prayer, and then I never heard them again.
I live about a two-hour drive from Palmyra, so we got there at around 5 pm. The pageant doesn’t start until after 9 pm, so we had a few hours to go and view the sites. Since there are so many people who visit the area during pageant time, there are no official tours offered at the various historical sites. There are, however, lots of missionaries and volunteers around to explain some things and answer questions.
Other than the heat, it was a beautiful day. The kids particularly enjoyed walking through the Sacred Grove. There was some steam/fog among the trees, so you could see the light coming through in visible beams. it looked just like something you’d see in a movie.
The pageant itself hasn’t changed much in several years. That is both a good and bad thing. I like it because it is comfortable. You know exactly how long it will be, and it is easy to tell the kids to pay attention to a specific part that is coming up. On the other hand, since it hasn’t changed it just didn’t feel as exciting to watch it this time.
Ultimately, we had a great day. My three kids thought it was awesome, and I guess that is what matters most.
I took a bunch of pictures and will post them tomorrow…