Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 13 – May 27, 2015 – Weeks 10 & 11: in Nauvoo

May 27, 2015

Dear Family,
No excuse for no email last Wednesday – I just forgot until Saturday and decided to wait until the next Wednesday which is today and wouldn’t you know it, the internet is down again! (Thursday morning - it is up again!)  Not too much different happening anyway.  We did have a cast picnic at Inspiration Point along the Mississippi river on Thursday the 21st.  

 A large camp fire was started, and while it was getting hot and ready for cooking, the Elders whittled long branches into proper sticks to hold the hot dogs – some having up to 4 prongs.

It was fun watching some folks cooking 4 at a time over the fire!  The Sisters set the tables with the fixings, and lots of salads and desserts.  

Good food and good company. 

A tug boat plies the waters up the Mississippi pushing 15 barges. 

As we were all leaving we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.


This is a statue of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith at Inspiration Point - they are pointing west - commemorating the place where those early members of The Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints crossed the river as they were forced to leave Nauvoo in February of 1846.  Many were leaving homes they had built, but only lived in for thee or four month. Below is a replica of the wagons they took with them, loaded with as much as they could carry.  The wagon is sitting on a barge like they would have used to pull them across.
We have started with the summer hours of 9:00 to 6:00 at all the sites.  The Visitors Center is open from 9:00 to 9:00 and I think the wagon rides begin around 8:30 in the morning and go tuntil about 2:30.  The shifts for us Senior Missionaries are one of the following each day: A=9:00-3:00; B=3:00-6:00; C=split, 9:00=12:00 and 3:00-6:00.   We are short about 18 missionaries to cover the sites, so occasionally we will have to work a 9:00-6:00 shift as we  did yesterday.  A very long day – and we had to perform in the Sunset on the Mississippi outdoor show last night which is from 7:00-8:00.  We ate a quick salad between our shift and the show!
So you can tell that we are still running, but because we love our Saviorand he lifts us up, we are managing to keep up.......

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 7 – May 13, 2015 – Week 9: in Nauvoo

May 13, 2015
Sorry this is late – the internet has been down in the Mission.  It makes it difficult when we don’t get our messages about where we are supposed to be! 

There are over 200 missionaries here in Nauvoo right now.  That includes the 20 Single Sister Missionaries, 20 Young Performing Missionaries, and 15 Band Missionaries.  The rest are Senior Missionary couples and Single Senior Sister Missionaries. We really fill up the chapel each Sunday.  More will be coming in for the Pageants in July – not sure how many that will be. 
We had a Fireside/Family Home Evening both Sunday and Monday evenings at the Nauvoo Stake Center with Karl Ricks Anderson speaking to us.  He is renowned for his knowledge of the Kirtland Period in Church History.  His most recent book, “The Savior in Kirtland” documents the many accounts of the Savior’s revelations to Church leaders and early Saints and he spoke of the occasions, and was entertaining as well as knowledgeable.  His laughter reminded us of the angel Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and we enjoyed the evenings very much.  We had dinner with two missionary couples in one of their homes before the fireside on Sunday. 

Today we went to Quincy to pick up my white tap shoes that we had died black for the Sunset show.  They turned out good, and I am doing better at making them tap-in-rhythm.  Then we went to the
History Museum in Quincy,
where they have a collection of keys to the original Nauvoo Temple.  In the winter of 1838/39, when the saints were forced out of Missouri under threat of extermination, the city of Quincy, Illinois took them in and gave them shelter and food. Their hospitality and kindness saved many lives, and made it possible for the saints to establish Nauvoo about 40 miles up the river.
Some of the people of Quincy joined the church, such as Jonathan Browning that I told you about last week.  The two cities still have a great relationship. 
The Museum has a very nice exhibit of the “Mormons” and has a film about that time in our history.  They also have an excellent exhibit on President Lincoln and the Civil War.  

After our Rendezvous show this evening, one of the cast couples couldn’t start their car, so we took the Sister home while the Elder called AAA and Elder Ray went back to stay with him until they arrived. 
We took lots of photo's of the garden at the Sarah Granger Kimball home.  Here are a couple.

The Peonies are just beginning to bloom, and Elder Ray is enjoying them.

Sarah Granger Kimball's home is very nice and is as gracious as she was.  She was responsible for starting our Relief Society, when she and her seamstress decided to make shirts for the men working on the Nauvoo Temple.  They invited their women friends to help and soon decided to organize a Society and so the process began.   

One can only imaging 15 or so woman sitting around this room and sewing away. 

Have I posted a link for you to check out about Nauvoo?  Here it is: 


Thursday, May 7, 2015

April 29 – May 6, 2015 – Week 8: in Nauvoo

The events of this night took us by surprise.  We got in our car to drive to the Cultural Hall for our Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo show, and found that Ray did not have the keys to the car with him – he had left them on the dresser when he changed his pants, and I didn’t have my purse with my keys.  Of course we had pulled the  locked house door shut behind us, so we walked the couple of miles to White and Main Streets.  It took us a half hour, arriving only 15 minutes late for the warm up, and 15 minutes before show time.   One of our songs begins with, “Come Walk the Streets of Old Nauvoo, meet me at Kimball and Main.”  Well, we did that tonight, but Kimball is three blocks further down the road.  Thank goodness it wasn’t raining!  We had a doozy of a storm the other night, with continuous lightning and thunder for a couple of hours or so.  Thursday and Friday may be just the same.  One of the Elders in our cast is a Facilities Manager Missionary and he had a master key to our house so he and his wife brought us home and let us in – we are so blessed. 
On our way home we stopped at the home of one of the Elders that came out with us, and Elder Ray and another Elder gave him a blessing – his hip is giving him pain again and he does not want to leave his mission early!

We are beginning to decide which sites we most like to be at.  For me it really is hard to choose.  Learning about and telling our visitors about those long ago folks is very inspiring.  Like most pioneers, they were very creative, and willing and able to work with what they had. 

Ray has three he really likes, and I will tell you about the Browning Home and Gun Shop – he loves Jonathan Browning’s story.  Jonathan was born in Brushy Fork, Tennessee in 1805 and was an apprentice blacksmith by age 14 and making “fine looking rifles” by age 19. A few years later he opened and operated a successful gun shop in his home town of Brushy Fork.  Jonathan married Elizabeth Stalcup (that name familiar to you Don G?) and they had five children before moving to the riverboat town of Quincy, Illinois, about 40 miles downriver from Nauvoo.  There he heard about Joseph Smith and came up the river by steamboat to meet him.
 He became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and “by December of 1842 he had moved his family to beautiful Nauvoo” and established a gun shop here.  He is known to have been a friend of Abraham Lincoln and he became famous for his guns, especially for his repeating rifle that he invented and was making as early as 1831.  He joined the saints in their westward trek, and wanted to join the Mormon Battalion but was asked by Brigham Young to stay in Council Bluffs, Iowa to help the remaining trekkers with supplies, blacksmithing and guns – he remained there for five years.  He eventually moved on to Utah and his son, John Moses Browning was born there and became just as famous as his father, if not more so.  The Browning Museum in Ogden honors both father and son, with many of their guns on display. 

I really love the Brigham Young Home, and also the homes of John Taylor and Heber C. Kimball, not just for the homes, but the stories of the men and their families. 
However I do think Lands and Records has captured my heart and I hope to spend a lot of time there. I love doing research, especially about families. 

My scripture for the week will tell you why: Malachi 4:5-6. 

We don't always wear pioneer cloths!  I have short sleeves here.  
                     It is getting warmer - in the 80's today.