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

Thursday, August 12, 2010


In the 1960's my family went to Disneyland in California.  One of the newest rides was "It's a Small World After All".  I fell in with the ride and in subsequent visits to Disneyland it remained one of my favorites. I know, I know, how can it compare to the Matterhorn, Indiana Jones or even Pirates of the Caribbean, but don't forget, I'm from the generation that thought the Tea Cups and the Jungle Rides were amazing!

I especially liked the song, though my husband says once he hears it it gets stuck in his head.  I guess it gets stuck in my head too, since I have named this and a previous blog post by the title of the song.  Just for fun click on the link above and you will feel like you are right there in Disneyland on the ride.  (A person can find anything on the Internet!)

Anyway, we continue to love greeting and meeting people and hearing their stories as they visit the sites here in New York where we are serving our mission.  And we continue to be amazed at the connections we have with what seem to initially be complete strangers.  So, here is our second post of "It's a Small World After All":

We ran into Shelley Brady and her family at the Smith Farm.  Shelley is the 2010 Mother of the Year for Oregon (I was the 2009 Mother of the Year) and our husbands knew each other as stake presidents of neighboring stakes.

This is Bruce and Sharon Parker from Rexburg, Idaho and they know our son-in-law's father, Sam Christiansen.

This family is from Utica, New York where the father/husband attends Cornell and they know my niece, Mindi Martin, who also attends Cornell.  They are in the same ward.

This is Amanda.  She is the niece of my high school friend, Aleda Nelson.  I haven't seen Aleda for over 41 years, since high school, but I really looked up to her.  It really is a small world!

My twin brother, Michael, lives in California, and this is his bishop, Bishop Heath and his son Mike.  They were both involved in the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

We ran into this great lady at the Hill Cumorah Visitors' Center and then again at the top of the Hill Cumorah.  She lives in Utah and is Goldie Burton's younger sister.  Goldie was Mother of the Year for Oregon in 2008 and was in a couple of parades with me.

Here is Joe and Shelley Belingheri from Henderson, Nevada.  Henderson is a neighboring town to Las Vegas, where I grew up.  The Belingheri's are good friends with my sister-in-laws' parents, the Millers.  My sister-in-law is Leslie Miller Martin, married to my younger brother Jerry.

Alan and Jennie Jones came to the Whitmer Farm while we were working there.  They now live in North Carolina, but they used to live in Portland and Alan worked with our good friend, Paul Hayball.  While working in Oregon they used to go visit Paul and Sally in Boring, Oregon, our town. And please don't ask if it's boring in Boring!

The three boys on the left are the sons of Mark Beck who now lives in Corning, New York, but grew up in Sandy, near our home in Oregon.

Our friends from Gresham came to see the sites and the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  They are Brock, Ariel, Steve, and Paula Johnson.  We were so happy to see them and to attend the pageant with them one evening!

We also saw the Houstons, that we know from the Portland temple.  They worked the same shift at the temple as we did.  They also came to see the pageant.  It is so fun to see friends from home!

While we were working at the Grandin Building where the Book of Mormon was first published, we were excited to see an old friend from Oregon, now living in Arizona, come in for a tour.  Sarah was in our stake when Steven was Stake President, attending the Young Single Adult Ward.  She is also friends with our daughter, Nola and her husband, Mike.  Sarah is now Sarah Horwinski and the Horwinskis are expecting their first child in April!

Not pictured:

Mary and David Lunsfod and Laurie and Rob Burdett and Barbara  - These people knew Heidi when she was in high school.  Heidi is married to our son Slade.

Marilyn Beck is a good friend that used to live in Oregon and now lives in Utah.  Our kids were also friends with each other.  She was in Corning visiting with her sons, Mark and Andrew and brought her sister to Palmyra to see the sites.


  1. It's so fun to see pictures of people I know who are clear on the other side of the country visiting YOU! :)

  2. Michele, I love seeing you and Steve and hearing how things are going on your mission. (What a blessing to have your "superhero" show up in the nick of time to save your grandson!! Loved it!) Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the stories you both share. I've got to say that some of my favorite stuff comes from the Mormon Cop! Take care! We think of you often.