Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

Last week on our Prep-day, we drove to Sprinfield, Illinois, to visit the Abraham Lincolm Museum and his home. We didn't get back here to Nauvoo until about 10:00 p.m., so I didn't get time to do a blog post for the previous week. I'll include pictures from our trip in this post. I hope it's not too long to bear!

First, some shots of what we saw in Springfield. (I have to say that the Lincoln Museum is one of the finest museums I have ever visited. The displays were very well done, and their use of digital and visual media was extraordinary. If you ever get a chance to visit there, I highly recommend it.)

Lincoln in front of his boyhood cabin

Lincoln, his wife, Mary, and three sons

Mary Lincoln in her formal gown

Three of Lincoln's servants

Lincoln's family home

Guest parlor

Kitchen stove that Lincolns actually used

Lincoln's desk where he wrote some of his speeches.

Lincoln's bed

Lincoln's boys' room

Jan in Lincoln's neighborhood

Monument at Lincoln's tomb

Lincoln's tomb

Lincoln's Law Office

Back here in Old Nauvoo, things seems to go on as usual. One of our teamsters is finishing his mission, so we held a little send-off potluck dinner for him.

Jan gets a chance to serve with several different sisters in various sites here in Old Nauvoo. I think she knows just about everyone--at least the sisters--here in our mission now.

Sisters Udall and Pierce with Jan in Lucy Mack Smith's back yard

Sisters Shepherd and Curtis with Jan in the Heber C. Kimball home

She even gets to stop the Brass Band for a pose!

This week in Nauvoo, there have been a couple of performing groups from BYU. Their shows were amazing to watch. I wish we senior missionaries had half the energy they expend during one of their shows!

The Living Legends (formerly the Lamanite Generation).

BYU's Synthesis Jazz Band

BYU's Contemporary Dance Theater

A parting thought:

The Lincoln sites were truly wonderful and paid such a tribute to him and his core belief that the union needed to stay together.  We just had the feeling throughout that the Lord put him in that place at that time to keep the country together for purposes of spreading the gospel.  He was a great man who believed in God, prayed regularly, and tried to do as the Spirit directed.  We just need to do the same!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014

I'm sorry that I didn't post anything last week. That's because we were not here, but home. We went home for a week to help Jami and her family through their family "emergency." She gave birth to their little Zack Jerry Lucas on Tuesday, May 27th.

As some of you know, he had to have surgery right after he was born to add a valve and some "tube" to his little heart so that it could supply needed blood to the various parts of his body. So on Friday he had open-heart surgery, which seems to have gone very well. Our latest report from Jami is that much of the swelling has gone down and several of the monitors that were connected to him have been removed. He seems to be progressing very well. Thank you, everyone, for remembering him in your prayers. There really were some little miracles that happened for him--and for Jami!

Anyhow, here are some pictures we took while we were there with him.

As soon as little Zack arrived, he was wisked away to the NICU, even before Jami 
got a chance to hold him.   :-(

The next day, Jami was finally able to hold her new little guy.

As was Grandma . . . 

. . . and Grandpa. (You may have noticed the smile: like grandpa like grandson!)

While we were home last week, Makell, Jenny and Mike's oldest daughter was set apart for her missionary service to the Washington Vancouver Mission.

Makell and her sister, Monica, her brother, Jayce, and her parents.

Makell and a of couple drifters.

On son Jeff and his wife, Ashley, decided to build a house in Vernal this summer, so Ashley and their children are staying in our house for the summer. Well, their being there attracts a few more grandkids, so they all told me it was absolutely necessary that I put up the trampoline for the summer. And they all helped, as you can see.

Now, back to our mission! 

I thought you might enjoy seeing what we teamsters have been watching develop over the past several days. We have been following these little robins since the first day Mother Robin laid the eggs in this nest in the window of our carriage depot. The little fellers finally hatched and are evidently hungry!

On one day the week before we went back to Utah, I was assigned to work with our oxen. We have two teams of oxen, one of which is this new team of "youngsters" that we're training to put the ox wagon. The kids who come for oxen wagon rides love to pet them as part of their "experience."

In addition to taking guests on wagon and carriage tours with the horses, I occasionally get to drive the Nauvoo Brass Band wagon around Old Nauvoo. They provide a very festive atmosphere, as you might imagine.

Often along the way, we stop the wagon so the band members can get off and march around with the crowds who have gathered to here them. Someone has to "tend" the horses while we're stopped. Guess who drew the "short stick" this time!

At one stop, some of the Young Performing Missionaries, who are here just for a couple of months during the summer, invite guests and senior missionaries, who've come out of the site buildings, to dance along with them. (If you look closely, you'll notice that the lady in red dancing up a storm near the end is Jan, a.k.a. Sister Larson!)

Some of the YPMs who have come to liven things up a bit around here.

Just this last week, we began performances of our "other" show, Sunset by the Mississippi, that we participate in two nights per week during the summer (in addition to the Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo, which we also do two other nights).  At the beginning of the production, the young kids in the audience are invited come up and make themselves a hat and march with the band in a brief children's parade. It's a lot of fun for them.

Tender Mercies
I'd be remiss if I didn't take a minute to thank Heavenly Father for the "tender mercies"--some call them miracles--that He has showered down on our family this past couple of weeks. From helping little Zack turn from his former breech position just before Jami went in to deliver him cesarean to the miracles of technology that allowed Jami's doctors to know before Zack was born that he needed a heart repair and then to be able to perform that procedure. If these are the blessings that come from serving a mission, it's already been more than worth it.