Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25, 2015

As you may have noticed, if you've been following our blog, we're not ones to let a chance for a party go by. So, of course, we had to have our own Old Nauvoo Valentine's eats and dancin'. The eating took place in the Family Living Center, and the dance was held in the upstairs room of the Cultural Hall. This is the same place where the Prophet Joseph Smith and the other Saints held their dances and other cultural events. In fact, the floor we were dancing on was the original floor of the Old Cultural Hall. Although it was cool to be dancing on that old floor, I must admit that it wasn't the smoothest dance floor that I've danced a jig on!

Whenever we have to say goodbye to any of our teamsters, we have a little going-away party for them. Three of our group left at the first of this month. so we just had to send them away properly.

Elder Broadhead, the fellow playing the guitar, is our Teamster Site Leader. In his pre-mission life, he was a teacher, an elementary school principal, a professional teamster, and an entertainer. He really knows how to get people to perform--even when they don't think they can.

He tutored and helped our Wagon Narrators put together a great number for the crowd.

And he even got the Teamsters' wives to lend their melodious voices to the mix.

Lest you think all we do around here is party, you should know that even though the crowds are light in the wintertime, the missionaries are using their time profitably while waiting for guests to come. We have made and donated many, many humanitarian gifts to a number of charities, homeless shelters, and hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. 

Just this winter we have donated 126 adult cover-ups, 120 pillowcases, 30 pajama bottoms, 124 baby layettes, 218 hygiene kits, 370 hats and scarves, 114 quilts and blankets, 18 school bags, 61 comfort bears, and 114 pairs of mittens.  Our missionaries have been amazing!

Probably the biggest highlight of this month was Mike, Jenny, Monica, and Jayce's visit. It was great to have family here to share in the spirit of Old Nauvoo. Jan and I really enjoyed showing them some of the sights around the area, as we had time.

I think one of the favorite places to visit is the Carthage Jail, where Joseph and Hyrum were martyred. 

The Martyrdom Room. The window behind Mike and Jenny and their kids is the window through which Joseph fell to his death.


The door behind us still has the hole caused by the bullet that killed Hyrum.

While they were here, Jan and I took them for a little drive out into the Amish community. We stopped at an Amish furniture store where this little farm was across the yard. It's fun to see the little buggies going down the road from time to time.

A fairly well-known place to eat out there in eastern Iowa is a place called the Bonapart Retreat Restaurant. The building that houses the  Retreat was an old grist mill. The building is situated right on the edge of the Des Moines River, which used to power the water wheel. The Saints actually passed through this area on their trek west.

Looking at it from the Retreat from the outside, you're not sure want to go in. But inside it's amazing to see all the old-time furnishings and objects around the dining room.

How about this old-time telephone?!

One of the attractions that draws people out there is Marie, the 92-year-old waitress. She's a real doll, who knows how to work the crowd!

While Jenny and her gang were here, they attended some of our site tours. Here Jan is giving a tour in the Brigham Young home.

They also learned how to make a shoe back in the 1840s in the Riser Boot Shop.

On March 17th, the women of our mission celebrated the organization of the Relief Society by Joseph Smith. As the Mission Relief Society President, Jan was in charge of putting this re-enactment celebration together. It took place in the Prophet's Red Brick Store, where the organization event actually happened. Various missionaries were dressed up to represent the early saints who were involved in the organization of the Society.

Joseph and Emma

Emma Smith, president, and her two counselors

Eliza R. Snow, secretary, and Emma Smith

Martin Harris, Joseph Smith, and Willard Richards

Willard Richards, scribe who took minutes of the meeting

The weather's starting to warm up a little, so more and more people are venturing out to visit our sites. Next month will be crazy busy with lots of school tours. Jan is the point-person in setting these up, so she's very busy at her Tickets and Tours (now "Guest Services") site. I will be spending more time with the horses and less in the regular sites. We're just happy to be a part of all that's going on here. We hope all is well with you and your families. We'd love to hear from you whenever you get a minute.

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