Elder and Sister Watts

Elder and Sister Watts

Hill Cumorah Visitors' Sites Mission Statement

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
3 Nephi 5:13

Monday, February 15, 2010


January 26, 2010 - Tuesday
As we drove away from Provo and the MTC on our way to Palmyra, NY, we remembered how apprehensive we were about entering the MTC– not knowing what to expect. We found that everyone was kind, helpful and dedicated! Now we were starting our trip across the United States, with great concern about the winter weather. The words of a hymn came to mind. “The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead thou me on! Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene-- one step enough for me.” We thought, "We are taking one step at a time on this mission journey and are going by faith. The first step was turning in our papers – which was a job! The next step was preparing to leave our family and home in two short weeks. We then entered the MTC. Now we are driving across the US, fearful of winter weather. Finally, we will arrive at our mission in Palmyra, NY. We go by faith!

We spent the first night in Cheyenne, WY and were blessed with good weather. We crossed the Rockies reaching altitudes of 8700 feet. The next day we drove through Nebraska and most of Iowa, spending the night in Ames, Iowa, just north of Des Moines.

January 28, 2010 – Thursday
It was -2 degrees when we left Ames, Iowa on Thursday morning at 8:00 AM. In the first 10 miles of our trip we saw many cars off the road with emergency vehicles trying to move them. It appears they ran off the road during the night. We were grateful we decided to stay in Ames instead of pressing on to Winona. We were too tired to drive further anyway.

We stayed Thursday night in Winona, MN with our daughter Meghan, her husband Ryan and their daughters. It was out of our way, but the granddaughters were tugging at our heartstrings.

When we left Winona on Friday morning our car thermometer read -6 degrees. Our poor PT had never been that cold before and the radio wouldn't work for a while.

We drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana on Friday. Somewhere around Gary, Indiana we crossed paths with a couple we met at the MTC. After leaving the MTC they flew home to Pennsylvania and packed their car and started driving west to their mission assignment in Nauvoo. We were driving east to our mission assignment in New York. We thought we might pass each other on Friday, so we talked on our cell phones and waved at each other as we passed. Friday night we stayed near Cleavland, Ohio.

January 30, 2010 – Saturday
We stopped for about an hour and a half in Kirtland. We didn’t have time to see all of the Church sites because they were waiting for us in Palmyra, but we did take a tour of the Kirtland Temple.

At 5:00 PM we arrived in Palmyra at the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center and met our directors, the Lenkers. Elder Lenker took us to our apartment, which is about 2 miles north of the visitors’ center. We passed the Palmyra Stake Center and the Palmyra Temple. We can see the temple from the front yard of our apartment and the Sacred Grove is about 100 feet out our back door. Elder Lenker and Elder Kinghorn (our upstairs neighbor) helped us unload our car. We have been living out of suitcases for almost three weeks. Too long! Then we went to the Lenker’s apartment for dinner. Their apartment is at the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center.

We are blessed with a nice apartment. (See pictures below.) Our directors, Elder and Sister Lenker have been on four other missions, this is their 5th plus multiple local service missions. They said this is the best missionary housing they have seen. The down side is we don’t have a dishwasher. The up side, we have a heated garage, in this country that is way better than a dishwasher!
After dinner we returned to our apartment, unpacked and collapsed in bed.

This is where we live. There are three senior missionary apartments in this home. Ours is in the basement to the left side of the house. We can see the Sacred Grove right out our back door.

This is a very important picture; it is our spare bedroom, where YOU can stay when you come visit us in Palmyra to see the historic sites!


  1. Thanks for sharing all of the fun pictures. I'm glad you are getting settled. Sounds like you are having a faith-building time.

    Keep the blog posts coming!

  2. I love how hymns can give us comfort during hard or scary times. What a great experience to drive all the way across the country, I'm so glad you got to stop and see Megan and her family too! I'm also glad you got there safe and sound. Your home looks comfortable and cozy, how special that the sacred grove is right outside your window. Miss You!

  3. Fun to see all of the states signs that you traveled through. I recognize the ice too! Just before you cross into Wisconsin from Minnesota. It amazes me every year! Stay warm!

  4. The spare room looks great! I hope you are getting settled in and having such a wonderful time. We'll be thinking of you tonight at book club.

  5. What a nice cozy place to live while on your mission. It looks like you have all the creature comforts you need and very functional for two people. Bruce says, "boy that spare bedroom bed looks really small", but that won't stop us from visiting. We are discussing the best time to visit. We will let you know when.