Can I really see all the LDS sites in Palmyra in one day?

Can you really see all the Palmyra has to offer in one day?  That is the question I had for my family of 4 which includes two children ages 10 and 6.

You most definitely can!  We new we would be flying into Toronto to visit family in Southern Ontario I made arrangements to drop down into New York and see the LDS sites in Palmyra before flying home out of Buffalo.  The problem was we were only going to have a half day on Sunday and a half day on Monday to see the sites.  My family would be doing some long driving on both of those days so I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best that my kids would enjoy the experience.

We stayed one night at the Palmyra Inn & Suites.  The location of this property is great.  It is within walking distance of the Palmyra temple, Smith Farm and Sacred Grove.  We still drove the mile because we were short on time and it was raining on and off.  It was a very nice hotel. We paid $129 for the night and that included 2 King beds, fridge, microwave, sink and kitchen counter area.  It was a great room.  Very comfortable and clean.  The hotel has no pool but they do offer a hot tub, gym and a free breakfast in the morning. The front desk staff was very helpful. We arrived about 2pm on a Sunday and we were hungry.  We had been driving for about 3 hours so all we wanted to do was drop off our luggage, shower and find some food.  They were very helpful about recommending some restaurants on a map that were very close.

After our bellies were satisfied we decided to see the Hill Cumorah while the rain had stopped since that is an outsHill Cumorahide activity.  It is beautiful.  The walk up is paved but definitely has some steep areas.  When we got to the top we noticed a higher parking lot that you could have used to save you on some of your walking.  Looking out over the valley from the top of the hill was so pretty.  Hill Cumorah

The front of the hill is green grass but the back is a dirt trail mixed with a lovely forest that leads down to the visitor center.  I was trying to imagine what this place looked like when Joseph arrived and then years and years before when Moroni buried the plates.  To sit on the top of that hill and think about what transpired was so moving.  To be the last man in some horrible war.  He completed the job.  He did was he was supposed to do and because of that we have The Book of Mormon today.

The visitor center has a Christus similar to the the one in the Salt Lake visitor center but smaller.  The background is what is the main difference and it is beautiful.  In Salt Lake the background is the heavens and the stars.  Palmyra Visitor Center

At Hill Cumorah the background is a beautiful green grove of trees.



Missionaries are there to greet you and can tailor your experience to your needs and the time you have to spend.  We decided to look at some of the exhibits and watch a movie.  One of the exhibits is a large round table with a copy of every single language that The Book Of Mormon has been translated in.  The myth that gets the kids excited is to close your eyes and walk around the table and pick up a book.  The book you pick up will be the language you speak on your mission.  Kind of fun for our kids but we all know that is not how your mission call is determined.


After the visitor center we headed into town.  It really is a small town and E.B. Grandin Buildingif you blink too long you will miss it.  When you get to the 4 churches, which is a church of a different religion on each corner, turn right.  Shortly on your left hand side will be the E.B. Grandin Building.  They have free tours led my missionaries.  I was worried that my kids would not be interested but I was wrong.  They were interested in learning about how the printing of The Book of Mormon took place.  In one part of the building where there used to be a store, the sister missionary pointed out the the floors are original.  I was so happy.  I have been places where Joseph Smith walked and my heart felt so full.  E. B. Grandin Building

After the tour we headed back towards the inn so we could visit the Smith Sacred Grove Palmyrafarm and the Sacred Grove.  Before coming on the trip I had this grand plan of finishing The Book of Mormon with my family in the grove.  How cool would that be!!!  We were so close to being done.  Luckily my husband pointed out that we should just enjoy the moment and pay attention to how we were feeling.  That reading to the kids might bore them and we would rather have them present in the moment.  It worked out great.  The grove

is green and full of trees like you would expect.  There are sweet little benches around where you can sit and take a moment to think, ponder and pray.  It has just stopped raining before we arrived at the grove and so the sun was shining down through the trees and the midst creating this wonderful ray of light.  I am so grateful that I was able to be there with my sweet little family.  My only advice might be to pack some bug spray because the mosquitoSacred Grove Palmyras were out and to don’t worry about planning the perfect trip or experience or moment.  The Spirit will teach you all you need to know if you are open to it.

Leaving the grove you enter onto the Smith Farm.  These are original building and again there are missionaries that can take you on a tour.  I have grown up hearing the stories and experiences of what happened within these walls.  Divine experiences along with horrible men seeking to destroy the work that was taking place.  Knowing that God will see to it that His work will come forth and there is no stopping it.  Just an amazing place.  Our last stop at the house was the log home.  We were not with a group at this point but a cute sister missionary let us in the home as said that we had to come in.  I get mixed up on my facts so I was just assuming this was another log house.  But it isn’t.  She said you must go up to the loft for that is where Log Home Palmyra

the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith while his brothers slept next to him.  My heart jumped and my son’s face lit up.  We headed up the stairs and as I was almost to the top that is when it hit me.

I had my Palmyra moment in a place that I didn’t expect.  I knew at that moment that all of this was true.  That the Angel Moroni really did appear to Joseph Smith.  That Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of God and that he did translate The Book of Mormon from plates of gold.  That the voice of God has not been stopped but that God speaks to a prophet just like He did in ancient times.  That Joseph Smith restored Christ’s church to the earth.  It was such a sweet feeling and I know that my family felt the same.

Leaving the Smith farm we stopped to see the outside of the Palmyra temple.  We did not go inside to do any work as we had no one to care for our children and it was a Sunday so consider that when you plan your trip.  The temple is a smaller one but beautiful as you would expect.  I wanted to take of picture of the kids in front of the temple sign so the kids and I headed down the driveway and my husband drove the car.  The three of us

sang “I love to see the temple.”  There was the finest mist coming down and I felt happy.  I was so happy to be having these sweet moments with my children.  When we got to the bottom and turned around we became so excited.  The most beautiful double rainbow was over the top of us and the temple.  I promise I didn’t doctor the photos.  It was just that brilliant.

Palmyra Temple


The next morning we slept in and had our free breakfast in the lobby.  They had a great selection.  We loaded up the car and decided to go back to the visitor center.  The day before they told us that if we were not going to be able to do the 45 minute drive to the Whitmer Farm to come back and they would show us the movies that they show down at the farm.  We watched two wonderful movies about 25 minutes a piece.  They talked about the experiences that caused Joseph Smith to seek refuge with Oliver at the Whitmer home so that they could complete the translation of The Book of Mormon without the angry mobs.  The other movie discussed the the restoration of the Priesthood. Both were fantastic movies and once again they held my children’s attention.


That concluded our family experience in Palmyra.  I really think that this is something that you could do in a day or a day and a half if you want to do a session at the temple and make a trip out to the Whitmer farm.  I also believe that it is good for families of all ages.  There were so many families out and about with children older and younger than my own.  It is a sacred place and sometimes it is worth the hassle of wrangling kids so that you and your children can experience something so amazing.  Because we were there the end of June, the Hill Cumorah pageant had not started.  That takes place in July.  So with that in mind you will need an extra day and you will need to make lodging accommodations quick because that place is busy!


Missionary Makeup

Makeup is an often overlooked aspect when planning and shopping for Missionary makeup HAC pacyour missionary clothing and supplies. Today I am talking makeup and why that is important.  Missionaries shop for the right clothing but they also need to be concerned with their personal grooming tools that they will need to take.  The following comes right from “Makeup should be natural and conservative in style and color… You should strive to look your best, especially at zone conferences, in Sunday meetings, at visitors’ centers and historic sites, at baptisms, and when working with local leaders.” Here’s a great quote from Elder Holland,

“We have always been invited to present our best selves. … We should be recognizable in appearance as well as in behavior that we truly are disciples of Christ.”

-Jeffrey R. Holland

When considering what grooming supplies to take let me share some problems that I ran into on my mission that you might also face.

Tight living quarters.  You may or may not have a proper bathroom let alone a counter top to place all of your beauty essentials/needs.  You may find yourself standing or kneeling or in tight spaces with poor lighting and a tiny mirror.

Time.  Unless you want to wake up super early to get your beauty on, you need to simplify your routine.  You have a time to be up in the morning and a time to be out the door and a lot of stuff that needs to happen in the middle.  Breakfast, exercise, personal and companion study and language study, if that applies to you as well as showering and getting ready for the day.  You will learn to be quick and efficient and if not, then you will be sleep deprived from waking up early.

I am going to teach you how to modernize your makeup using Maskcara IIID foundation.How to HAC using maskcara makeup

You may or not have heard of this but it will save you.  Hands down if this product would have been available when I was a missionary I would have used it.

This makeup is a cream based product.  It is different from liquids and powder makeup in that it forms a second skin.  It moves with your face.  It is light weight, gives plenty of coverage and can have multiple uses.  Missionaries already have a glow but this makeup really enhances your features and creates this amazing light and radiance to your face.  Your face is not meant to be one dimensional.  That is what often happens when you apply one color of liquid foundation or powder to your face.  It flattens you out and does not highlight your features.  Our faces are three dimensional.  Light and shadows on our face are normal.

Look at the picture of the HAC pac at the beginning of this post. It has a light color that I use to highlight certain spots of my face.  Next there is a contour that I use to contour certain areas of my face.  Then there is a blush for some color and an illuminator to give on some radiance on certain parts of my face.  You have a brush to apply it with and a sponge to blend it all together.  That my friends is all you need for your face and you can do it all in 3-5 minutes.  Add some mascara and you are good to go.  Also, because the product is cream based you can use it on your lips and eyes although there are eye shadows available.

This will save you!  It will give you the natural look that is recommended Kate before and after makeupfor missionaries.  It will save you time in the mornings.  It will save you space in your apartment and your luggage.  Because everything is so compact, you can take it with you to meetings that you may be traveling to attend and still be able to freshen up after your long commute that some of you will have.

The other great thing is all of the colors come in a magnetic tin so that fit nice and tight in the compact.  When you are running low on a color then contact your family back home.  They can login under your name and have the new color shipped to you.  So easy!

Here is one thing that I will offer to you future missionaries because I love missionaries!  If you are local to me (Northern Utah) then I am happy to meet with you and do a free color match to find out what colors look good Makeup Before and Afterson you.  If you are not local to me then send me some photos and I can distance match you or I can try to find another individual to color match you and then I can process your order with that information.  If you purchase a HAC pac I will gift you a second blush or highlight of your choice.

Take it from me.  This product is so great and I only wish it would have Maskcara makeup is so many thingsbeen available when I was a missionary.  I had some really small bathrooms and large distances to cover when traveling to meetings. I had all four seasons of weather and some areas were dry while the coast was humid.  The ease of the product and how compact it is would have been a game changer for me as a missionary to keep me looking my best.

If you would like to check out my website please go to

I am going to link some videos down below of the creator of Maskcara, Cara showing how easy the product is.