Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another Exciting Adventure

We had been looking forward to a long weekend in Jacksonville highlighted by a trip into the Okefenokee Swamp with the other senior missionaries.  One of our children had purchased tickets for a few sightseeing activities in Jacksonville so the plan was to use them while there. We enjoyed the sight seeing activities but plans changed before Saturday's swamp trip.

Our first activity was to spend a little time on Jacksonville Beach.

We also visited Jacksonville's Museum of Science and History.

The third stop was at a preserve for "cats" that were no longer wanted by their owners.  Catty Shack was an excellent way to spend an evening.There were many big cats of all kinds and it was awesome to see them up close and friendly.

As we were travelling to Jacksonville, President Craig called us indicating that Internet Archive would provide us with additional training if we were willing to travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We gave up the swamp trip and headed back to Gainesville Saturday morning.  By Saturday afternoon we were on our way to Fort Wayne, a trip of a little over 1,000 miles each way.

The Allen County Library in Fort Wayne has a significant commitment to genealogy work.  As part of that commitment, they house a substantial Internet Archive division, as well as a group of missionaries for Family Search.  We enjoyed five great days of training with the full-time IA staff, as well as an opportunity to meet the Family Search missionaries serving at the library.  A highlight was a tour of the library's Lincoln Collection housing a variety of items from President Lincoln's family as well as that era of history.

We also learned that Fort Wayne is in the Ohio Cincinnati mission where our former stake president, John Porter serves as the mission president.  We were able to make phone contact with him.  We enjoyed sharing each others missionary experiences.

When we travel, we take every opportunity to visit sites that are interesting to us.  After a quick stop for lunch with my mother in Ohio (you travel through Ohio to get to Indiana when coming from Gainesville), we made a couple of stops on our return trip home.

Fort Boonesborough State Park - Settled by Daniel Boone - Kentucky's 2nd Settlement - 1775
The State of Kentucky has made a very nice replica of Boonesborough that includes state employees teaching many of the skills that were practiced at that time.

Sister Wolff learning how to make fire with flint and steel.

Elder Wolff practiced throwing a hatchet into a log.  Sister Wolff caught the hatchet in mid-air for this picture.

Daniel Boone is part of Sister Wolff's family tree through "Susan Boone".  We were excited to see this monument including all members of the Boone family who lived in Boonesborough.

We made another stop at the national park recognizing the Battle of Chickamauga, which was a major battle in the Union efforts to gain control of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The last stop was at the national park in Andersonville where approximately 13,000 Union soldiers died in a Confederate prison camp over a period of 14 months toward the end of the Civil War.

We truly appreciate the training we received from the IA staff as well as the support we had from President Craig and the folks at Family Search.  We returned to Gainesville with increased skills necessary to further the work we're called to do.