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.