Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 23 - April 29, 2015 – Week 7: in Nauvoo

It has been an eventful week here in Nauvoo.  On Monday I worked at the Lands and Records again.  I really enjoy working there.  We help folks find their ancestors who lived in Nauvoo from 1839 through 1845, and learn about them and where they lived.  Sometimes they are surprised to know that they did have ancestors here, and sometimes they already know but want to learn more about them, and our database has histories, maps, stories and some genealogies.  We were quite busy and I got to help people find info on their ancestors who were in Nauvoo, and burn all the information we have onto a CD for them.  One of the Temple workers came in about 4:30 seeking some information, and he mentioned that there are two graves to the North of us in the grass area and did we know about them.  We didn’t so he took us to them so we could see where they were.  They are for a mother, Maria McMenemy (sp?), who died on the same day in 1843 as her stillborn baby was born.  We went back to the office and looked her up and found her and her family, but the baby is not listed – stillborn babies usually are not. But we did find that her other two children died that same year or the following.  Times were very hard for them and they endured much.  It is special to me to remember them and see the love that their descendants have for them. 
Elder Ray finished his shift at the Brickyard at 3:00 Monday so he went to Keokuk to get gas in the car and had it washed, then picked me up at 5:00.   We decided to go out for our anniversary  because we couldn’t on Wednesday as we are in the Rendezvous play that night.  We chose the Nauvoo Hotel but they were closed for dinner, but the lady there told us about the Hawkeye Restaurant in Keokuk and we went there and had a very nice meal of filet mignon, sweet potato French fries and Ray had cheese soup and I had the salad bar. 

Right after eating Elder Ray started having pain in his chest – it was gas build up and subsided when he belched the gas up, but it always came back and was very painful.  The next day Ray saw our mission Doctor  and he wanted Ray to go to the hospital emergency and be checked out.  So we drove to the Fort Madison Community Hospital about 15 miles away, arriving there between 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. They took him in right away, hooked him up for an EKG and took a chest x-ray and determined that he was not having a heart attack.  They then took an x-ray of his lower abdomen and the results showed something similar to what Dr. Udall thought it was, and it was decided to do a cat-scan of the area.  Nothing showed up with that so they said they could not tell what was causing his problem and sent us home about 4:00 p.m., suggesting that he eat only liquids the rest of the day, and only soft foods Wednesday and see what happens.  
Elder’s Stroud and Riemann came Tuesday evening and gave him a blessing.   Ray woke up Wednesday completely well, and we can now testify that Nauvoo Miracles do happen here.  We have heard many stories of them, and now we know for ourselves the Lord truly blesses us as we serve.

And we are so glad he is better!

 I ordered a cake and we picked it up this afternoon and took it to Annie’s, the local ice cream parlor, and after the Rendezvous show, about 60 of our new friends here at Nauvoo gathered with us there to help us celebrate our 61st wedding anniversary..... was a lot of fun to share our special day with them!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 15 - April 22, 2015 – Week 6: in Nauvoo

Saturday we served together with Sister Hintze at the Family Living Center.  It was first time for Elder Doying and the second time for Sister Doying. 
Elder Doying, Sister Hintze, Sister Doying

The Young Single Missionaries who serve here in Nauvoo, do so for their first six months – April through September, then go outbound to various area’s around the United States, for six months, then back here for their remaining six months    They arrived back here around April 15th and one of them, Sister Hintze served in the Fresno, California mission, and was actually in Visalia where the Gene and Dorothy Higbee live.  They are dear friends of ours from our Ward in Fontana in the 1960’s.  it is a small world indeed. 

Sunday  night we had a District meeting with everyone in our mission at Richardson Point in Iowa.   We carpooled there with our District leaders, Elder and Sister Pearce.   It is a place where the departing Saints of February 1846 got bogged down in mud for almost two weeks in March of 1846. It took them a month to get there, it only took us about an hour. The first deaths of the trek west occurred there and the owner of the property (not a member) built a fence around the graves and built benches for people to come and see them.
One of the graves is for a James M. Tanner, a baby boy of 15 months.

The area was very heavily forested when he bought the property and much clearing had to be done.   
It rained most of the way out there and stopped for a while, but started up again as we were leaving after a nice program.   We were all in our "site" pioneer clothes and we all got wet.  And it gave us an even better understanding of what those long ago pioneers endured.  
There are tracks along the trail through farm land out there in Iowa and the farmers have plowed around them all these years to preserve them, even though they aren't Mormons.   It is very heart-warming to feel that love and reverence from them.  It was a very inspirational gathering. 

There are hundreds of tulips blooming in Nauvoo right now.  Here is just one flower bed here. 

Today as we traveled back from Keokuk, Iowa, we stopped and took pictures of a flock of Pelican’s in the shore waters of the Mississippi near Nauvoo. 

Very gracefull. 

Last Sunday Sister Doying got to teach Relief Society and Elder Doying taught Priesthood. We may not have to teach these again, as all the missionaries get a chance. No doubt other teaching assignments will follow.
We love our Savior and serving here for him.  One of our favorite scriptures is Matthew 16:13-16.    Check it out, and let me know if you agree.
Jesus is the reason we are here.  Because of Him, we are "flying". 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 8 - April 14, 2015 – Week 5: in Nauvoo

Spring is really here –
Ray had to mow our lawn, which is not something he is familiar with anymore.  He hasn’t had to do that since we moved from San Jose in 1992!  It is greening up around here. There are lots of flowering trees right now,  mostly Magnolia’s in white and purple.    

Yesterday I worked at the Heber C. Kimball home, and the day before at the Post Office.  It is wonderful to get to know the folks better who lived here and to tell their stories to the visitors.  I also worked at the John Taylor Home last week.

We had our first time at speaking parts in the Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo. We were both terrified, but all went well and we didn’t mess up, but still need more practice. 

We had a thunder storm a few nights ago, that woke us up at 3:00 in the morning, but the weather is mostly nice now and up in the 70’s during the day.  Thursday night we drove down to the banks of the Mississippi river and watched a beautiful sunset that truly refreshed my soul as I wondered at the beauty of our Mother Earth.  Wish my camera had been with us….

We haven't had time to go to the Nauvoo Temple but we see it everyday day as we drive by. 
Take care and God Bless. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

March 29 - April 7, 2015 – Week 4: in Nauvoo

As usual this last week and a half has gone quickly.  Out P-day is now on Wednesday, so I will try to update my blog on Wednesday instead of Saturday. 
On Monday March 30th Sister Barbara attended the annual Prairie Burn here in Nauvoo – Elder Ray was home in bed so he only got to see the pictures. Everyone gathers for The Burn, local folks, visitors and missionaries, to have  hot dogs and trimmings, and watch the Nauvoo Fire Department set fire to an acre plot of un-mowed prairie grass.  

It is beginning......
too hot.......
then it is over....

It is amazing how quickly it burns and one can only speculate how frightening it would be for those long ago pioneers who faced such dangers.  It took about four minutes from start to finish to burn the grasses, and believe me, it was scorching HOT when the fire got to across the street from where most of us spectators were standing.  The crowd quickly moved back. 

Elder Ray is feeling better and the illness that was going through the community has reached its peak and I don’t think any new cases are being reported.  Fortunately I missed this one. 
We continue to give tours at the sites, and are feeling more comfortable in doing them. 
The Lion Drug and Variety Store....

the drug and herb shelves.

We are less confident of our songs we sing (sometimes just pretending!) in the Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo one hour production.  I have performed three times and Ray twice.  Monday night we joined the practices for the Sunset On the Mississippi production.  Less singing more dancing.   I know you are laughing as you try to imagine us old folks doing these things.  We may not be the oldest missionaries here, but there are only a couple that are older. 

There are three casts made up of the missionaries and each do two night of Rendezvous and two nights of Sunset. Both productions are performed every night except Sunday, but in different locations. So each cast winds up doing plays four nights a week.
Six new missionary couples arrived last Friday, and are the new newbies, and we are so glad they are here.  Yesterday I worked four different sites with Sister Thomas and we had to give tours at all of them.  More missionaries are coming in this Friday and the next, and when they are all trained we will not have to work more than one site at a time. 
It is Spring break for lots of folks and there were about 60 people here yesterday from Atlanta, Georgia alone.  Summer brings about 3000 a day when the pageants are going on.   
You can go to: and find out what all is going on this summer. There are the two pageants in July plus other things, so you will have lots to see and do when you come.  

We are loving meeting people from all over the world, and telling them about Nauvoo, and the love those Saints had for the Savior and his Gospel that brought them here. 
We may trip once in a while (especially on these long full skirts!) but we are still running!