Sunday, October 11, 2009

Well this has been about the most exciting week in Nauvoo. Conference was wonderful and we loved watching it and hearing the talks. But what was soooo exciting is, well you'll just never guess. Friday, President Monson came to Nauvoo. Would you believe it. He came to the temple and spoke to all the temple missionaries. It was just such a neat experience. He said he decided he wanted to go so left his counselors in charge. He said, "I can do that". Dad was at the recommend desk and was not able to attend. However Pres. Monson stopped by the recommend desk and shook his hand and encaged him in conversation. How cool is that. We met in the Assembly Room. Dad said he didn't ask to see his recommend. He came with his Daughter, Sister Dibb and Granddaughter. He just spoke to us very informally but did tell us to take each day and enjoy it and make use of it or you will wind up with a lot of empty yesterday's. He did tell us our children will be blessed because we are serving a mission.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The corn is as high.......

Dad and I were out walking and I said that corn is as high as an elephant's eye and it looks like it's climbing clear up to the sky (Oklahoma). It really is high as you can see. The crop is having problems this year thou because it has been so cool. We're hoping for a warmer September so the corn will be good. This is field corn and it could be bad if it doesn't ripen like it should. If you can't feed the animals we can't eat them.

We are winding down. Can you believe we'll be home in just over 7 weeks. The time is sure going fast.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nauvoo Car Show

Today was Nauvoo's annual Classic car show at the Grape Festival. The festival began Friday at 5. Since we work at the temple in the morning we went over to see what goodies they might have. We had heard about the onion haystack's so we checked them out. We debated whether to eat there or come home and have leftovers. We ran into some other missionaries and decided to stay and try out the fare. Well I had barbeque beef brisket. It was really good. Dad had a brat which wasn't so good. I bought a haystack and that was really good. It is very thinly sliced onion deep fried and stacked up and served with ketchup. But better than that we went over after to our Friday evening destination and had Annie's lemon custard. She only has lemon on Friday. The other couple we were with had never been there. Oh Annie's custard is sooo good. Two other couples joined us.

Sunday was the car show. They had over 450 classic cars. They have a lot of classic car shows in the midwest.
This was unbelievable. These cars and motorcycles are parked in back of our apartment in our parking lot. They had to drive down our drive way to get there. We were eating dinner along with 10 other missionaries. We were having our Parley Street break the fast dinner. We couldn't believe all at once a truck, 9 motorcycles and a car came down our drive was and parked. At least they parked in a neat row. Two more cars parked in our drive way.

This is in front of our house. All the streets were full of cars. They take their car shows seriously. Of course the car show was just across the street. We did drop by as we were going for our walk and took a few pictures. It was over by then but a lot of cars had not left yet.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fireflies flying

We are enjoying the fire flies. What fun it is to walk along the streets in the evening and after dark and see these little lightening bugs. We see little lights all over. What fun. If you get really close and we do the light it green and you can see their little bodies light. We enjoy them for about two months and then they are gone. Would love to have a picture but don't know how that could happen.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Julie and Terrell with temple in the background
Swiss Belle's from Midway Utah
Gaylene and Mom at Frederick G Williams Memorial
Tracy and John, Jesse, Holly Shannon and Mark

This has been a very full week. Pageant started this week and we are really busy in the temple as they are at the sights. We have more people in Nauvoo this year. I suspect that could be because gas is not so expensive $4.00 last year as compared to $2.35 this year. We love it. And the people who come love it. Pres. Hinckley said everyone should experience Nauvoo sometime in there life and I fully agree with thim.

We have enjoyed family this year. Tracy and John and family came June 17 for a few days. While the older kids did Baptisms for the dead Mark and I went around to some of the sights. We had a great time together. He told me he wanted to live here. He really liked it. We had a good time while they were here. The BYU Ballroom dancers were here and they were great. We also went to Sunset by the Mississippi which is always fun. Also went to High Hopes and Riverboats, a musical put on by the Young Performing Missionaries. They also went to Rendezvous In Old Nauvoo and they did the Wilderness Trek.

The following week Gaylene came to see us. We really enjoyed her. She came so we could have our P-day together. We went to Hannibal (found a great quilt store there) then to Quincy to see Frederick G Williams memorial marker and had dinner. We also saw Sunset (never tire of seeing Sunset). The Swiss Bell's from Midway, Utah were in town when Gaylene was here so we got to see them too.We enjoyed having Gaylene in the temple with us. Then the following week Julie and Terrell came. We met them in the temple on Saturday and then went to Sunset. That actually is a fun thing to do on the 4th of July. It is very patriotic. We could have gone to see fireworks but Julie chose Sunset. Sunday night we went to the Sociable and watched the pageant core cast present "Our Story Goes On". They left Monday morning, much too short. Thank you all for coming. I think all will agree it is really beautiful here.

We have had a great week. Monday a couple here that owns the Adventure Zone and also some vacation Villas invited the Temple Missionaries for a barbeque and to see "Emma, My Story". They are great people, furnished the meal for all the missionaries, about 140 of us all together. Pageant opened Tuesday night. It was pouring rain. They delayed it for awhile then decided to go ahead. I couldn't believe they went ahead and did it. This is done outside. They wouldn't let them go up in the light tours so they didn't have spotlights but people stayed and got soaking wet but the show went on. We went to it Friday night. It was so good. It is so inspirational. I am so grateful for those early saints and the great sacrifices they made. What an inspiration they are to me. Like I said the temple has been very busy which has been great. Our greatest joy on this mission is serving in the Temple.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Just a big bunch of turtles ( I counted from 57 - 61)
A spring day in Nauvoo
A Great Blue Heron about to take off. He looks drunk to me

This has been a fun week. We're getting a lot of rain and it has caused some flooding here. That isn't what was fun just thought you would like to know. Cultural Hall and Brigham's home got flooded. I guess over 3 inches following 3 inches just a couple of days prior can do that. We had a lake by the side of our house but it is gone now at least for the time being.
Sunset was the BYU Ballroom dancers. They were incredible. What beauty and the costumes outstanding. What a blessing it is to live here where we can enjoy such marvelous entertainment and it doesn't cost anything. We will see them at least once more while they are here.

Saturday at the temple was a great day. Dad and I are initiatory coordinators on
Saturday afternoon. Well Saturday Gracia Jones came in. She is the first descendent of Joseph and Emma Smith to join the church. She lives in St. George. She was doing smith family names. Now is that exciting or what. I told her I was a great, great, great granddaughter of Frederick G Williams and she said oh he's one of my hero's. They named a son after him. Oh it's so fun to rub shoulders with these special people.

We 're doing well and loving it. Everyday I get to see the temple. Five days a week I get to work in the temple. Everyday I look out over the mighty Mississippi, I can even see it from my apartment. Everyday i get to walk the streets where Joseph and Emma walked and all those early saints that sacrifices so much. The spirit here is great. What a blessing this mission is in our lives. We are loving it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A National Cemetery in Ft. Madison
Gary in front of the round barn
Leah in the Iron and Lace shop
This is the guy with his arrowhead collection but his wood is beautiful

We had our first P-Day activity with the new missionaries. Our P-day is Wednesday and we have 10 couples. Six couples were able to join us and we had a good time. I planned this activity and now they want to know what I am going to do next. Ha! someone else can plan the next one. I am going to have a planning party and give them ideas. They think I'm the Cruise director. NOT. Anyway we went to Bentonsport, saw a demo on pottery making and blacksmithing at the Iron and Lace shop. She had just made an oven with pottery and we got to taste some of her bread she had made in it. Delicious I must say, enough so I bought an oven. Now I'm starting to worry how we're going to get everything home. Then we went to see the Indian Museum where I had arranged for the owner to be open so we could see all his indian artifacts (mostly arrowheads) and the beautiful wood inlay he makes to display it on. The wood is what I enjoy seeing and he is a very interesting guy. He rides his bike 20 miles every Sunday to go to his church then comes back and opens his museum. He raises his own fruits and veggies and fishes. Then we went to Bonaparte to Bonaparte's Retreat for lunch. They named the place after the song "Bonaparte's Retreat" that is a very old song. One of our new missionaries has the sheet music for it at home. She was very excited. They had the sheet music in a frame there. Then we went on a tour of the Wickfield Round Barn. It was built in 1918 and is 4 stories. What a place that would have been raising all our kids. It had 8 bedroom in it. It only had one shower and one toilet so that could have been a problem, but a great place to have parties and dances on the top floor. We finished up our day in Cantril where we went to the Dutchman Store. It is run by the Mennonite's and has everything from shoes, clothes, fabric, clocks, tools, plants, food (much of which is in bulk). It is a fun place to shop and you can pick up things you never find anyplace else. All in all we had a very good day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Here we are in Kirtland. This is the saw mill.
This is us with our good friends the Littles in front of the Kirtland Temple
The tree outside our kitchen window was just beautiful before we left, and was in full bloom. The petals had started to fall but were all gone when we got home. We had a big storm on our way home and if anything was left on the tree the storm wiped it out. It would have been nice if the new people could have seen it but oh well. If they are asked to extend they can see it next year.

We went to see Rich and Mindy and the kids before we went to Kirtland. I forgot to take any pictures. It was really good to see them and enjoy being with family. On Monday we went to Costco to spend our reward. Unfortunately we spent so much we didn't get much back but if we hadn't of had it it would have cost us a lot. We stocked up on meds and juice and a few snacks. It's good we had a good return. Rich and Mindy are doing well. It was so fun to spend the time with the grandkids. They are so cute. We'll see them again next week when they come down for Mindy's sister's wedding. I'll take pictures then.

We just welcomed in 40 new missionary couple's. We fed them Sat. night and yesterday I had the new people in our building over for dinner. I guess it's party time. We will begin training tomorrow and during this week, then the temple opens. We saw the first school bus today. That means we will be seeing them about everyday now until school is out. The tour buses have also started so we are off. The young performing missionaries will be here Fri. Can't believe how fast time goes.

Dad didn't mention going to Richards so I thought I better add a blog of my own so don't miss reading Dad's blog.
Gary and Leah at Whitney store
Example of how the pulpits were made for the Kirtland temple
Kirtland Temple


A Life Changing Experience – Nauvoo

During the temple break we drove to Kirtland.  We went on a tour of the temple which was really inspiring to walk through it and realize that Joseph and the other faithful saints had labored so diligently to build it and how the Lord accepted it.  And to ponder the marvelous things which transpired in there and feel a part of that bit of history was most humbling.  Then we toured the restored buildings (the Whitney store, the ashery and sawmill, the Johnson hotel, the Johnson farm in Hiram, etc.) and the missionaries told the histories associated with each.  It was a wonderful trip.  So what does that have to do with the title above?  It’s all part of this wonderful experience we are having here in Nauvoo.  There is such a peace and love that fills the air as you walk where sacred things have transpired.  We feel that each day as we work in the temple and walk the streets here in Nauvoo.  One of the missionaries commented to me one day that his 4000 sq ft home he left doesn’t have any meaning anymore.  He has never been happier than he is now.  We all have the same accomodations and furnishings (including the dishes).  Those things that were so important at home are not anymore.  The only thing that indicates worldly status here are the cars we brought with us and no one pays any attention to them (unless the break down).  Everyone you see waves, or stops to talk, or gives you a warm embrace.  We often comment that we are in a little mini Zion where the outside world is blocked out.  Our biggest concern is how we are going to maintain this spirit when we return home.  If anyone needs anything there are more that enough people who provide the needed help.  We had a lesson Sunday on tithing and its relationship to the law of consecration.  We saw the huge farm of John Johnson, which he deeded to the church for the poor saints who were pouring into the Kirtland area.  Could I do that?  But the Lord commanded them to care for the poor and the needy and that command is still with us today.  Here in Nauvoo we feel that spirit.  But living in the world as we do it is hard to not be caught up in worldly things.  I have compiled a list of scriptures that relate to our responsibility to care for the poor and the needy.  These are just a few: 2 Nep 9:30; Mosiah 4:26, 18:28; Alma 5:55, 34:28; Hel 4:11-12; Morm 8:37-39; D&C 13:15; 26:20; 27:30; 28:13; 34:28; 52:40; 56:16; 83:6; 104:10-18; 105:3-5.  Why did the early attempts at living the law of consecration fail? See D&C 105:3-5.  We must never lose sight of the fact that we are but stewards over the earthly blessings received.  “For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.  I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.  And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, and all things are mine.”  D&C 104:13-15.  I long for the day when we will learn to love and care for one another as the Savior loves and cares for us.  As the prophet Joseph said, “Shall we not go on in so great a cause”.


Monday, April 6, 2009

So I blew it on the last post. I better let you know about the birds. I'm sure you're just dying to know. The one is a red wing black bird. They have just come and we have a lot of them. I have learned their song so I know when they are around. There is a place down by the river where there is a lot of them. The next picture is of some pelicans. The eagles are about gone and now we have pelicans. They are so much fun to watch. They soar in groups in the sky and almost stand still. It is like they are doing a ballet. It is different than anything I have seen birds do before. In California we sometimes see pelicans but not in large groups like they are here. We also have blue Herons. We went to Carthage today and I saw three of them along the river.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Relief Society Commemoration 
On March 17 The site sister missionaries held the Relief Society Commemorations at the red brick store here in Nauvoo. They put on a wonderful program and I came away with a spiritual high. To think we were actually in the spot where the Relief Society was originally organized. The program was very moving. They gave each of us a crocheted book mark with crocheted hearts in it (the theme was Hearts Knit Together) and also a booklet they had put together of different sisters stories of how relief society had been a part of their lives.

The following week Nauvoo had it's annual Women's Retreat. It is put on by some sisters that live here. It is two days and women come from all over. Because of working in the temple we were only able to attend the morning sessions. It was really good. The talks were so good. The first morning we had breakfast and then a musical number and then a talk. It was really good. The next day we were able to hear two talks and then go to the Relief Society reinactment at the red brick store. The talks were really good, very inspirational. One was given by the great great granddaughter of Joseph and Emma Smith. There was one given in the afternoon I really wanted to hear. It was a lady from Africa that lives in Salt Lake and I guess really has a story. I ordered her talk on CD. The reinactment was really good. We thought it might be like the commemoration but it was very different. There was only 8 of us that went to the retreat. 

We had our Spring Fling Talent Show in March and I sang with 12 other sister temple missionaries. We sang "It's a Good Day". It was lot's of fun practicing for it. The talent show is always a big hit and can really have some fun performances. It is for our whole mission, site and temple plus the citizens of Nauvoo turn out and anyone else who is in town.

Last week they had the annual Prairie Grass burn. They have an area here they have a Prairie Grass demonstration. Prairie Grass covered a fifth of the continental United States including most of Iowa and Illinois and was a major contributor to the rich fertile soil that is in abundance here. They have a fire here to give us a little taste of what a prairie fire would be like. The prairie fires would keep the forest from invading the grass and also exotic species. There are areas between here and Carthage that the top soil is 30 feet deep. 

Last night several of us sisters went to Keokuk to see "My Fair Lady" while the brothers were in Priesthood. I wash dad could have come, he really would have enjoyed it but it was the only time we could go. Two of our workers in the temple (not missionaries) were in it. I was quite impressed with their theatre. It is quite old and elegant. It is small but they had a balcony and box seats. The production company did a good job. We enjoyed it. We did have a tailgate party before we left over at the Land and Records parking lot. We do like to have fun. All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. We don't any of us want to be dull.


Monday, March 9, 2009

The amazing Mississippi
I have been fascinated by the Mississippi River and the Upper Mississippi Valley. I walk along the river almost every time I go walking and it is always changing. When we drive to Keokuk we drive along the river. We have been loving the Eagles. We see them here down by the river and sometimes I see one flying from my kitchen window. We see them when we drive to Keokuk and there are so many of them near the dam in Keokuk. They like fishing there. We sometimes will drive down to the river park and watch them. It's been fun watching the geese. Hundreds of geese huddled on the ice sleeping, swaqucking , walking around, flying. No wonder they use down to keep us warm because it is really cold. They actually get frozen in the ice. We also see lots of ducks.

Watching the ice has been so interesting. The river has been completely frozen at times and at other times is partly frozen. It's so interesting to see the piles of ice and different thicknesses. Places look like waves of ice.  The river is thawed now and I'm thinking the deep freeze is over and it won't freeze again. I'm excited for when the turtles come. It's so fun to watch for turtles on our way to Keokuk. They climb on the logs and driftwood in the river. You might see 5, 6, 8,  9, 14, 15, or more on one log. I have a picture of 22 on one log. We stopped to take a picture and they all jumped off. 

The birds are fun to watch. Friday when I walked down to the river I saw a red winged black bird. We have cardinals here, Blue Jays, Red Headed woodpeckers plus other woodpeckers, robins have now arrived, also we have had a small bird that has been here all winter. There are hundreds of them and they fly in mass from one tree top to the other. They can be very noisey. Yesterday I was out walking and it was so neat to listen to all the birds. Today I saw a bright yellow bird when we coming home from Ft Madison. 

Other animals here besides all the squirrels are deer, muscrats, racoons, rabbits, otters, beavers, frogs and turtles. 

The winter has been very cold but also very interesting. The ice storms are something else but the one we had that left everything coated in 1/4" to 3/8" of ice was beautiful. The trees just glistened. The snow is different here than in Utah and California. It will start settling on the walks, roads and cars as soon as it starts to fall. The thunder and lightening are something else. The thunder is rolling thunder and can go on and on. Of course it is rare to have thunder and lightening in the winter except when we have an ice storm but they are starting now. Saturday night was a light show almost all night. We leave our curtains open so we can see it. And talk about rain. It really rained. Up north they are experiencing some flooding. We are getting into our rainy season. It rains more here in the spring and summer with July and August being our wettest months usually. It's all part of the experience and we are enjoying it.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

50th Cruise

To celebrate our 50th anniversary the kids decided we should do something extra special. We decided a cruise would be just the thing. No meals to prepare, no beds to make, no cleaning, being waited on and best of all no decisions. Everyone was looking forward to laying in the sun and having a splendid time. We did have a splendid time but the sun was being very elusive. In fact we didn't see much of it. In Key West we did have sun, but we didn't see much more of it until we were almost home. On our last day at see we finally got some sun although it was cold. In spite of the weather we had a great time. How could you not when you have the best people in the world with you. We had all nine kids and spouses and 2 year old Jane. What's not to love.  We enjoyed being together.  Now since I don't know what I'm doing I'll try to get this together.
The bottom picture is in Key West. The next three are in Belize. That's Mindy feeding Papaya to a spider monkey. Then we are climbing the Lamania Ruins. Richard is laying on the Kings bed, and that tree is full os Egrets.  We went on a boat to the ruins, that's where we were able to feed the monkeys, see the Egrets and also the Crocodile and many other birds and animals.

Then we went to Guatemala. We all loved Guatemala. What a beautiful country. So lush and green. We went on a boat, then on a hike to some beautiful waterfalls. Then we went to a tortilla making demo and we all made tortilla's. We ate them with lime juice and salt. Yum, yum.  We went to a Mayan village where they have a school to teach the Mayan children how to make it in the tourist trade. That is their biggest industry. We also had fun shopping and when we left they gave us a great send off.

Our last port was cancelled due to rough seas and wind. Of course that gave us one more day at sea and a rough day it was. A few of us felt a little wheezie and some felt a lot wheezie, but we all survived and had fun playing together. Gary did have a little mishap while playing in the pool with his daughters. Unfortunately there was a broken tile on the bottom of the pool which he managed to land on taken a large divot out of the ball of his foot. He ended up in a wheel chair the last two days. He is still recuping, but we did win a cruise ship cookbook due to his speed, accuracy and my finesse. 

Thanks to all our kids for the wonderful time. It was great being with you all. We now are back to freezing temperatures and today a beautiful winter wonderland covered in snow and no wind here in Nauvoo.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Here are some awesome pictures of winter here in Nauvoo.  We went out for a walk today and by the time I got home my cheeks and nose were frozen.  It is cold here but it does make for some really great pictures.  We will thaw out in another week.