Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24, 2015

It's truly unbelievable how fast the time flies by. I thought our last blog post was only a couple of weeks ago, but it's been a month ago! Sorry for not keeping up.

On one of our prep-days this past month, we decided to go down to Hannibal to check on Mark Twain. (You do know that he lived only an hour and a half from Nauvoo.) Besides making sure that he was still sitting in his chair, . . . 

we also went over to visit the house of Tom Sawyer's girl friend, Becky Thatcher, and check out the fence that Tom persuaded his friends pay him to whitewashed.

While we were in Hannibal, we decided to take a little trip down the Mississippi on a steamboat.

While floating leisurely along, we enjoyed the view along the banks of the River . . . 

and came across one of the famous Mississippi River barges . . .

and even passed by one of the tug boats that push various barges and other water craft up and down the river. 

(Unfortunately, we didn't see one of the gigantic barge-tows that carry huge amounts of grain, coal, or other exported products down the River to ports in the Gulf of Mexico. These barge-tows carry the equivalent of what it would take 870 semi-truck trailers to transport!)

Back here in Nauvoo, spring has been popping out all over. One of the beautiful sights right now are the peonies that are in full bloom.

During the past couple of months we have welcomed to our mission several new missionaries, including the Young Performing and Brass Band Missionaries. Yesterday I was driving the Nauvoo Brass Band wagon around Old Nauvoo, and we stopped to let the band members off the wagon at the Pioneer Pastimes site to march around with the little guests who were playing pioneer in their pioneer dress-up clothes.

This little video might give you a better idea of what went on.

We teamsters have also added to our ranks; we have been joined by 14 new teamsters, so we had an early morning breakfast in the equipment shed to welcome them. We also had a little "shindig" this evening (a potluck dinner and program) to invite them and their wives into our little "gang."

And in keeping with mission tradition, we also had a Mission Breakfast, when we welcomed 90 new senior missionaries, 20 young sister missionaries, 20 young performing stage missionaries, and 16 young performing band missionaries.

The mission is divided into three separate performing casts. Each cast performs Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo two nights a week and Sunset by the Mississippi another two nights during the week. Because we had a lot of new missionaries come into our cast, the Emma Hale cast, we held a hot dog roast down by the Mississippi on one of our two free nights. It was great to get to know our new cast members a little better.

During the month of May, we have had a gazillion school groups come and visit. (Jan is in charge of organizing these tours, and it has kept her VERY busy. She's even organizing tours in her sleep!) The other day I was assigned to drive the "school wagon," which took several loads of children around the center of Old Nauvoo so they could get an "historical" view of what Old Nauvoo was like. These tours have to be strictly historical in nature; we can't give any religious messages or even refer to the residents of Old Nauvoo as "saints." We have to call them "pioneers." I believe that the major benefit of these school tours is that the children really want to come back with their parents--then we can give them the "real" message.

It's incredible how fast the time is going by--and the busiest season is just starting tomorrow with Memorial Day. The next two months and half of August will be crazy busy. But we're looking forward to meeting and sharing the gospel with the thousands of visitors who will soon be here.