It's embarrassing how long it's been since we did our last blog post. Things here in Nauvoo have been "wild 'n' crazy" since the beginning of July. Each week we had two pageants in full swing plus two nights of Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo--with two shows each night--and two nights of Sunset by the Mississippi. Also, the sites opened earlier in the morning (9:00 a.m.) and stayed open until later (6:00 p.m.), which left only half an hour to go from our assigned site, eat a mouthful of whatever, change into our performance clothes, and get to the performance by 6:30! (Frankly, it makes me tired just thinking about it.) Fortunately, things have begun to slow down, now that most schools are back in session and families are winding down their vacations.
Following are a few pictures to let you know the some of the things we have been doing this summer.
On June 27th the Martrdom Commemoration was held in Carthage.
The Nauvoo Pageant and the British Pageant were preformed on alternate nights from July 7th until August 1st. Approximately 2500-3000 guests showed up each night to see one of the pageants; it gave us missionaries a chance to visit with them and answer questions they have about the Gospel and the Church. It's amazing how many non-members come and leave with a new perspective and interest in the Lord's plan for them. A great missionary tool!
Prior to each pageant performance a country fair was held on the grounds just west of the pageant stage. The fair began at 7:00 and was in session until the pageant started at 8:30. Activities going on in the fair included a host of activities from crafts and pioneer games to . . .
sack races . . .
stick pulling . . .
1840s' dancing and a host of other events.
The location of the pageant stage is such that Nauvoo Temple can be seen in the background. It is a beautiful setting.
Unfortunately, this past July was a particularly rainy month, which discouraged some people from coming to see the pageants. For example, one afternoon it rained so much that a pond formed just outside of the area where the country fair is held. But the show went on!
Now that our Sunset by the Mississippi show is over for the summer, we have a little more time to rest in the evening, but we do miss the performances of the young performing missionaries and our fellow senior missionaries and the children's parade before each show.
And surely our guests are going to miss seeing Sister Larson "kick up her heels" . . .
or listening to Elder Larson sing "Act Naturally" along with the other elders.
Because we no longer have Sunset shows twice a week, we are able to travel on our preparation day to a few places of interest in the Nauvoo area. This past week we drove up to Moline, Illinois, to tour the John Deere Harvester manufacturing plant. We were able to see, step by step, how they created monster machines like this combine. Truly amazing!
We also took the opportunity to visit a little town in Iowa called Bentonsport. The main attraction there is a pottery and iron works shop called "Iron and Lace." The motif, or design, of all the pottery is a flower that grows wild in this area called Queen Anne's Lace.
The iron works produced by the blacksmith there are world-famous, though I was a little surprised at how small his shop is.
We also took another quick trip down to Quincy, Illinois, to visit their new Historical Museum and see some of the devastation from a recent tornado that ripped through an area of the city. The strength of the wind is amazing, as can be seen by this tree that it uprooted.
While in Quincy we stopped by Washington Park to view the placard there that honors the wonderful residents of Quincy in 1839 who harbored the refugee saints when they were driven out of Missouri into Illinois.
Closer to "home" here in Nauvoo, we often see deer like this little fawn sampling the leaves of a tree in our back yard . . .
or this red Cardinal who came to pay us a visit on our back porch.
Undoubtedly, we're going to miss this place, even though we're excited to be going back to family and friends in just a couple of weeks. For sure, the words that I utter at the end of each of my editor performances in Rendezvous will ring true: ". . . forever, forever, we'll look back and remember Nauvoo."