Friday, August 12, 2016

Ward in Philly

Dear Elder Ahn,

Greetings from Philadelphia! It has been a loooong day.  We left Salt Lake Airport 11:59 on Sat 7.30.16, arrived in Philly at 0600 Philly time. Sat at the airport a little while, got a cab and came to our hotel, could not check in until 3pm so just changed to Sunday clothes in a restroom checked in our luggage only, ate breakfast, wandered in the lobby dozed a little, then got a cab searching for a LDS church. The first address did not take us to church but the second place did. Went in right as the congregation was singing the Sacrament hymn, the service started at 0930 not at 10:00. We called multiple times to ask for the start time but to no avail. The meeting was unique, lots of people of African ancestry with a Anglican race. We were the only Asian. As meeting ended we walked over to the back of the chapel to locate Sunday school and low and hehold we ran intex-Governoror of Utah Mike Levitt, who served as the Secretary of EPA(Environment Protection Agency) under Bush era shaked his hands and told him we were from Utah and asked is remembered Cherie Lyon, who served as a Head of Republican Women during his governorship, he said of course he remembers Cherie and appreciated her work. Philadelphia temple open house is from the 10th of August and he is here to help out with it. 

After 3 hours of church, we took the cab and went to the temple site, the rain came so took cover at the entrance of  temple parking garage, could not find any other place to take cover, there were many huge old buildings but none offered a place for a cover. When the rain weaned a little, we saw the temple from outside the perimeter of the temple, took few pictures then started walking towards Logan Square, then towards our hotel, which took a lot longer than the actual distance. We got lost but thanks to Iantai's phone with GPS, we were able to locate our hotel, Hyatt at Bellevue. We checked in changed into comfy cloths and crashed for several hours. Woke up, walked to Philadelphia Convention Center where AACC conference (Scientific method and Clinical Lab Expo) will be held starting tomorrow 8.1 to 8.4.2016. Then walked more to look at what is around where, went to a Persian restaurant, ate  delicious dinner, then walked around some more and came back to the hotel.

During the 36rd hour of church instructors gave a lesson on the Philadelphia Temple, covered history of Pensylvania,  started out by sharing the story about William Penn the founder of Pennsylvania, who was a Quaker, who demanded freedom of religion  and about Joseph Smith and new church historical restoration sites in Harmony, Susquehanna county, Pensylvania. Susquehanna river is where Joseph and Oliver Cowdry's baptism took place and place of Aaronic priesthood restoration, correct me if I'm wrong. I felt like we were right in the middle of where the story began! Amazing! and yea the lesson in Sunday school was on covenant, whchich is our topic in Highland as well. The gospel is real and as we were driving around looking for our church and the temple, they stuck out, I could not help to think what  a  "peculiar" this church actually is!!! God has plan for everyone and He is the Father of all of us, red and yellow, black and white!!!

Take care children we send our love and prayer to all of you!

I'm glad to hear you're safe and over there on the East Coast!
I had no idea that you were planning to go there. Are you just vacationing over there? Who is with you?
Either way, I'm glad you've been able to tour some of the Church Historical Sites. I'm reading "Our Heritage" about Joseph Smith and how the Church grew from just a few members, to all the members of the church we have today all around the world. This church and all the works of salvation will only continue forward during this Last Dispensation. I find great joy and peace in that promise and knowledge.

Love you! Take care always!

-Elder Ahn

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