August 02, 2008

Day 6 Sacred Spots in NYC

East Coast Trip: Day 6

We started our adventure in this big, crazy, noisy city with a really neat spiritual experience. We went to the temple and did baptisms. There was the temple, surrounded by skyscrapers, and all the hustle and bustle of NY; all the people, all the noise and cars and smells and we stepped from the dirty, grimy sidewalks outside onto the clean, shiny, white tiles inside and into peace, quiet and calm. It was a powerful lesson of how we should leave the crazy and busy things of the world and come unto our Savior who offers peace and rest.

Once inside we were reminded of another sweet eternal truth. We were joined by a small youth group from New York city(all blacks or Mexican-most didn't speak English), a man from Puerto Rico who did not speak English and another family all the way from Dubai! And we were from Mesa, Arizona. It was a sweet reminder that the gospel is for everyone. It doesn't matter where someone is from, what language they speak, or what they look like. We are all children of God and the gospel is for all of His children. It was quite touching for all as Doug performed the baptisms and confirmations in Spanish(thankfully he has learned from his missionary sons). The sweet Brother from Puerto Rico kept saying in his broken English and thick accent "You familia is beautiful. You children look like angels.You so blessed to have familia in temple. I pray everyday I can bring me familia to temple." My eyes filled with tears. I patted his shoulder and said "I will pray for you too." I know we are truly blessed and I felt especially blessed that day to be with Doug & Jaren & Michelle in the Manhattan temple~ to leave that worldly city behind and stand in a holy place with them.

Ground Zero

We went from spiritual to sobering!

The last time we were here, with our other children, the World Trade Center stood majestically in the NYC skyline. This time, there was a huge, deep hole in the ground with tractors, and cranes and construction crews. It is a grim and painful reminder of that horrific day September 11, 2001.

We found the World Trade Center Tribute 9.11 Visitor's Center. It was filled with memorabilia, artifacts, scrapes, all sorts of things that were recovered, and thousands of pictures, notes and memorials for loved ones. It was heart wrenching to view photos and video and listen to actual radio and/or cell phone conversations between pilots, passengers, firemen and/or rescue crew members. It brought back all the heartache and fear of that fateful day. We had 2 personal tour guides: a man & woman from New York who were in the city that day. They were passionate as they told their stories. Everyone in the group was often emotional as we listened to them.
From there we walked... and walked... and walked... to
China Town...

This was probably the only place Jaren & Michelle really didn't like. It was even more crowded than a normal NY street ~filled with more people and cigarettes and shops of raw fish, crab and all sorts of strange looking and bad smelling foods!

Come on Michelle ~ you like Sushi, grab one of those live squid and pop it in your mouth for a yummy snack! :)

Then to Little Italy. Ahhhh... much better! Here the air was filled with the delicious aroma of pasta, marina sauce, fresh basil and oregano and the sweet smells of Italian desserts! Mmmmm... we liked Little Italy.

We stopped for some yummy cheese cake and Canolis.

Tonight we went to the Broadway Show "The Little Mermaid" It was fabulous! Disney always does a spectacular job.

After the show we enjoyed one of the most exquisite meals we have ever had! We went to Barbettas. It is the oldest restaurant in New York-established in 1906-passed down from generation to generation with delicious Italian family recipes. MMMmmmm....

End of Day 6.

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