Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fun in Pennsylvania

We drove to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to the Acura dealer to get a recall notice taken care of.  They gave us a loaner car so we didn’t have to sit there waiting for it to get fixed.  Wednesday we were able to go to leadership training in Pittsburgh again and were spiritually fed.  We watched a talk from Elder Holland that he had given in the MTC a week before we were there. He was speaking to missionaries, testifying in Elder-Holland fashion and it was powerful.  It set the tone for the whole day.  That night President Summerhays called and told us to meet them in Gettysburg Saturday morning and spend the day with them.  We called the Brenchleys and made arrangements to pick them up on Friday in Somerset where they are serving and drive over together.


As you can see, it was a cold, wet and windy day in Somerset.  They took us to the crash site of Flight 93 on 9-11-01.  It’s only a few miles from where they live.  It was a very sobering experience.

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They are trying to get the memorial built by the tenth year anniversary in September.  It will be a beautiful memorial when it is finished.  There is a temporary visitor’s center where we were able to see pictures and read details of what happened.  They even had the content of phone calls the passengers had made before the plane went down so they know pretty well what happened that day.

The Brenchleys took us as guests to their Rotary luncheon and then we took off for Gettysburg where we had made hotel reservations for the night.  It was fun getting to visit with them and hear in more detail how the missionary efforts are going in their part of the mission.  They will be going home (Centerville) in July. 

We met up with the Summerhay’s Saturday morning at the visitor center in Gettysburg and spent the day together learning and touring. 


We watched a film about the history of the battle and then saw this “Cyclorama”  which is a 360 degree oil painting on canvas depicting the battle.  It’s 42ft high and 300 plus feet around.  This picture is one small section of the painting.  It’s pretty spectacular.  We spent some time in the museum and then went on a bus tour of the battle sites. 

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The six of us got stopped several times by members and non-members asking us where we were from and what we were doing.  There are always opportunities for missionary work.  Sister Summerhays told us that Pennsylvania has the fewest members of the church than any other state.  Lots of missionary work to do here.

After the bus tour we walked around the cemetery where the Union casualties from the battle were buried. The Confederacy took their dead home to be buried.  There were approximately 50,000 casualties of this three–day battle, the most casualties of the Civil War.  It is said to be the turning point of the war.

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The Soldiers’ National Monument is the location of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  I remember memorizing the address but it never made such an impact on me as reading it here where the battle took place. 

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Afterwards we drove out to this covered bridge which is just out of Gettysburg.  This is where we said our goodbyes and drove back to our areas of service where we do the real work of the mission. Gettysburg is about four hours from Wheeling.  It was a fun break and good to spend time with other couples.

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