I recently went home to Pennsylvania with my wife and her parents. While there we also turned it into a big trip. We started out flying into Washington DC. We took a bus tour and visited a lot of the sites to see in our nations capital. I highly recommend if you get the chance, go and check it out. From there we went to the Washington DC LDS temple. While we did not get to go inside the temple for a session(time was not permitting) we did get to walk the ground and visit the visitor's center. One could definitely feel the spirit while walking the temple grounds.
After Washington DC we made our way up to my home town. It was truly wonderful to visit my family and see my parents and nephews and niece. While there my in-laws met my family because my family was not able to make it up to Alaska for my wedding. We made a wonderful dinner, went out to dinner and even made a trip to the zoo. We also just spent some time hanging out and relaxing and my in-laws got to know my parents better. A joyous time was had by all. I had a wonderful vacation and I am so glad that my in-laws were able to come with us and share in this great experience.
After we left we made our way to historic Kirtland, OH. We toured the Kirtland Temple and then met a wonderful set of senior missionaries who gave us a tour of some church sites in Kirtland, OH. Bro. and Sister Steele were wonderful giudes and I could feel their testimony radiate from them. Seeing where the church expanded in the 1830's and the first temple in this dispensation was a wonderful event.
From Kirtland we went to Niagara Falls. This beautiful place was awesome to see and I will never forget it. After leaving there we made our way to Palmyra, NY. I fell in love with this town from the moment I saw it. I even would like to move there some day. In Palmyra I saw the early beginnings of the church and the sacrifices that went into bringing the gospel to what it is today. I visited the Joseph Smith log cabin home, The Palmyra temple, the Peter Whitmer home where the church was formed, EB Grandin publishing offices where the Book of Mormon was first published. Most importantly, I visited the Sacred Grove. I truly felt the spirit while I was walking there and I know that in this grove a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and his son after a prayer. My testimony of this is now stronger.
From there we went to historic Gettysburg, PA. We visited the hallowed Civil War battle fields. I have nothing but respect for these soldiers who risked their lives defending something that they believed in. To walk on a Civil War battle field is truly an awe inspiring event.