Following our trip to Nauvoo and having my parents with us at ND the kids and I were going to drive with them from South Bend to Shipewana, IN (Amish Country), Fort Wayne, IN, Kirtland, OH and then onto Canada to visit with my Grandma Roberts. It was going to be a long drive but broken up by alot of little stops and site seeing. So Tuesday morning, March 18th we headed off to Shipshewana, IN to take a peek at an Amish town. We drove through town, visited a few gift stores, stopped for a bathroom break and took a few pictures. What an amazing place and people. It's not ever day that you pull up to the grocery store and find wagon parking.
Then we headed to Fort Wayne, IN where 40 years ago my Dad served his mission. He wanted to visit with some longtime friends that he had converted to the Gospel and also to take a drive by the old Mission Home. Back in 1968 it was the Great Lakes Mission and the mission headquarters were located in Fort Wayne, IN. It was also special to us because not only was my Dad missionary there but my Grandpa and Grandma Roberts were the Mission President of this mission. It was so neat to see the old mission home and to hear some great stories of the good ole mission days. We met up with my parents friends, the Newhards, and had dinner and a great visit with them.
The following morning we headed off to Kirtland, OH with the Newhards, to visit the Church's historical site there. However, by this time my Dad was starting to feel really sick and not doing so well. We arrived in Kirtland, OH by late afternoon and by the time we had it was snowing! We saw an awesome film on the saints in the visitor center and took a quick tour. My favorite part was being able to sit in the upper rooms of the Newel K. Whitney store. We were able to sit in the School of the Prophets room, where Joseph Smith and the brethren met to discuss the Gospel and where the Savior and our Father in Heaven appeared. We also sat in the revelation room where portions of the D & C were revealed and translation of the New Testament took place. What an awesome place! Aside from battling McCall it was a nice experience and I felt the spirit. Once again I was eternally grateful for the Gospel and the saints at that time and their sacrifice and obedience in my behalf. On our way out we drove by the Kirtland Temple, which is now owned by the Community of Christ Church.
That evening we had dinner and another great visit with the Newhards. Following a rough night it became clear that our trip would need to be cut short and that we really needed to get Dad home and soon. So Thursday morning we made the necessary arrangements and headed out to Detroit, the only place we could get my parents a flight home to UT. Before we left we had a very touching and neat experience. Bro Newhard asked if my Dad would like a Priesthood blessing to help him feel better. As this was taking place I realized that because of my Dad's mission and conversion of the Newhards, this was all possible. It was a special moment for all of us. I became acutely aware of just how important missions truly are because you never know, 40 years down the road, what impact it might have not only in the lives of others but especially your own.
Our trip came to a close as we dropped off my parents in Detroit and by Thursday night we were home and ready to just veg. I'm so grateful for my parents and their effort to come and visit with us. We had a great time and although Dad didn't feel his best, we sooo appreciated them coming. We Love you both and thank you so much for a great time!