Sunday, February 21, 2016

Nauvoo Week 10 (15-21 February 2016)

Nauvoo Week 10 (15-21 February 2016)

Another week has past and February is close to being done!  On Monday we had a home evening we had a Valentine party.  We played some games, and had lots of yummy treats.  All of the brother Temple Missionaries sang, “Let me call you Sweetheart” to the wives, it was great! We all had given a picture of us on the day we got married.  Then we all tried to guess who was who!  Surprisingly, they had a hard time guessing who we were.  If they had known Tom had worn a pink tux, they would have known right off, because no one else had one on! 

Tuesday we worked the evening shift and we were trained again in the Baptistry.  This coming Tuesday we will be the coordinators there.  I understand that once the summer hits we will be extremely busy.  That will be fun. 

Thursday we had some training on mentoring new workers.  In April, we will receive about thirty new couples who will work in the temple and we will need to orient them before the busy summer. 

Friday we went to Burlington to watch a movie and to eat with Elder & Sister Anderson.  They are a great couple and they will be leaving for home the middle of March.  I asked if they were excited to go home and she said no we want to stay longer.  It is an amazing mission.  Friday as we left them temple after the morning shift, the security guys were opening the back door for us.  It was so windy that it took two of them to close it back up.  I went out with another sister and we both just clung to each other because we felt like we could get blown away.  We just laughed like two young school girls it was pretty funny, but we made it safely to our cars!

Saturday was a great day in the temple.  The branch that we attend had scheduled a branch temple day, and the coordinator allowed Tom and I to officiate the session.  One of the Spanish Sisters in the ward had asked Tom to perform some Sealings of her family members in Spanish.  She and her husband were proxies for her parents.  Then she and a deceased brother were sealed to their parents.  Their son and his wife were the parents for that one and her husband was proxy for her deceased brother.  The last one was a sealing of an aunt to her parents.  The spirit was very strong and emotional.  We were in a sealing room of the top floor.  The bell rang right after the ordinances were completed which seemed to ratify what had taken place.  We were so grateful to be a part of it, it was special.  We love serving in this temple, it has so much significance to the saints back in the days of the pioneers.  There is a wonderful feeling there.  I have had the opportunity to be assigned in the Celestial Room when I am the only one there for almost a half an hour.  We feel so privileged to be here.

Today, we went to the Mt. Pleasant Branch.  They have now asked Tom to assist with the Young Men’s class two weeks a month to help out there.  We will be doing our primary music assignment next week.  Last Sunday it was such bad weather that we didn’t go.  This week we had a day in the fifties and yesterday it was sixty three degrees.  People were out with tank tops, shorts, and flip flops it was like summer to them! 

We love you all so much and thank you for your love and support.  We pray every day that you will have divine guidance in your homes.  The Lord loves you for your faithfulness and for striving to do what is right.  You are all our jewels, more precious than anything else.  I love my blanket; because of it I have received many hugs from all of you!  Happy Birthday to Kristy tomorrow.  We hope you have an amazing day. 

We love you all,
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw    

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nauvoo Week 9 (1-7 February 2016)

Nauvoo Week 9 (February 8–14, 2016)

Well, another week has come and gone here in Nauvoo.  Things were a little slower this week having had the Exodus reenactment all last weekend. We started off this week by traveling to Keokuk, Iowa where we had the oil changed in the car. We ate lunch then returned home in time to go to a Temple missionary Family Home Evening in the Nauvoo Visitor’s Center. The speaker was Bryon Andreasen from the church museum staff. He spoke and showed pictures of the new Museum in Salt Lake and the exhibit called “The Heavens are open.”  It was a wonderful presentation showing pictures of all the exhibit areas that seem to be really responsive to interaction with the public and answering a lot of questions about the organization of the church in these latter days.

On Tuesday, February 9, it was Sharon’s birthday so we headed to Keokuk again to eat.
We invited Elder and Sr. Moon from Layton Utah to come with is. They are the couple that came with as at the same time to the mission. We ate at Angelini’s, an Italian restaurant, and had a great time and found out a little bit more about the Moon’s and their family and them about our family. We returned home and went to the Temple for 5:00 pm shift and worked until a little after nine.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much just regular, fantastic days at the Temple and daily activities that we that we normally do. On Friday, February 12, following our morning shift at the Temple we invited Elder and Sister Davenport from Washington to go with us to Burlington Iowa. In Burlington we drove around the town and became a little more familiar with it and then ate at a Mexican restaurant. The food was good and we found out more about the Davenport’s and their family-he plays a lot of golf-that figures, he is a doctor. Elder and Sister Davenport recently completed a mission in California, he was the area medical advisor for the area in California.

On Saturday, we had been asked to go to the Temple early so we are arrived at 6 AM, attended prayer meeting, and I went and worked in the baptistery for a couple of hours. The day was fairly busy; many patrons came and we enjoyed having full sessions throughout the Temple for a few hours. We had invited Elder and Sister Ludwig (he is also a Sealer and Patriarch) from Washington to come to dinner later that day and at 6:00pm they came over and we had a great roast beef and mashed potato dinner.
Following dinner, they are fairly good in family history work, they brought up their computer and showed us a little bit more of things that we could do as far as family history work. We hope to earnestly begin our work on family history.

Today is Valentine’s Day, we set the alarm for 6:30 am and awoke finding that it had snowed during the night. While Sharon was getting ready I went outside and shoveled the walks and a path to the car and cleaned the car off. We started to head to Mount Pleasant, Iowa which is about an hour away we went had gone about 15 minutes and were approaching Fort Madison when the storm became pretty severe and it was hard to see more than about 50 to 60 feet ahead of us. So we pulled over after slipping and sliding our way down the road and called the branch president. He stated that they were going to hold church but that it was cold and snowing just a little. I told him that we were having trouble on the roads and that we were going to turn around and go back home. He thought that was a great idea and that all would be well even though the forecast was for it to snow throughout the day. So we turned around and came home get our studies and watched a few programs on BYU TV. We were going to spend most of the day in Mount Pleasant today; church is from 9:00 am to noon and following that a woman was going to be married at 4:00 pm so that they could get baptized in the next couple of weeks. Due to the fact that we could not travel to Mt. Pleasant we planned on going to church here in Nauvoo at noon but at about 10:30 this morning we received a call from one of the missionary couples that attend this ward and told as that they had received a call that church was being canceled today because of the snow. It did snow hard for several hours; I went back out and shoveled another 4 inches this afternoon.

While we were thinking what we could do today, Sharon called Elder and Sister MacDonald from Salt Lake City, Utah and invited them to come over and eat some soup that Sharon had made during the week.  Elder McDonald was a police officer in the Salt Lake City Police Department. A few weeks ago I had asked him if he knew Capt. Don Pearson and he said “Yes, both of them, big Don and little Don.” I mentioned to him that little Don was my father-in-law and he commented what a nice gentleman he was. So, we will exchange some stories and learn more about each other.

We hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. We want you to know how much we love and appreciate you. Thank you for your love, support, and kindness.  We love you with all of our hearts. Love, Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nauvoo Week 8 (1-7 February 2016)

Nauvoo Week 8 (1-7 February 2016)

It was so great to spend some time with Scott, Malia, and Corban.  We arrived on Saturday evening, so we just chatted that night.  The next day we went to church with them.  It seems like a great ward and they have really made them feel welcome.  Some have invited them over for dinners and have called to see if they need anything.  Corban went to nursery which was super.
  They took us for a ride to the Chicago Temple.  It reminded me of the San Diego and Washington D.C. Temples because of the spires.  Scott is really busy trying to get things ready for the first optical store to open.  It is only minutes from their home.  He had training all day Monday so we spent the day with Malia and Corban.  We went to lunch at a fun place called Portillo’s (famous for Hotdogs) and then on a ride through Northwestern University and to Lake Michigan. 
It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a great time.  Corban loves cars in particular the cars from the show cars.  We helped line them up and raced them many times especially Papa.  He plays with them all day basically!  He told us all their names and who were racers and who were not.  He is the cutest most determined little guy.  Unfortunately when you visit you always have to leave, and that was hard.  We are grateful that they live so close and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.  We left Tuesday morning and arrived back at Nauvoo in the afternoon.

On Thursday we had a fireside given by Craig Dunn, about the Battle of Nauvoo.  As we know the first Saints left on February 4, 1846.  The U.S. government was trying to stop the exodus for fear they would be caught in the middle of the Mexican-American War and secondly, the British had just landed in the Oregon Territory and they were fearful with so many of the saints being British that they would join forces with them in claiming the territory for the Crown, but of course the mobs wanted them out and were forcing their will.  Following the exodus, Col Kane, U.S. Government agent, struck a deal to form a Mormon Battalion of 500 men which helped finance the trek west.  Six hundred and four saints remained in Nauvoo after exodus. The mob wanted them out by April 1846.  Captain Harden was sent by Governor Ford to hold peace. The mob members, most that had killed Joseph and Hyrum, were a big part of this group of “protectors.”  There was a state military that was sent to keep peace; however, most of them were drafted for the Mexican War.  Emma and Mary Fielding were still in Nauvoo and Mary tried to talk Emma into going west with her but she would not go.  So Mary Fielding left.  At this point there were only one hundred fifty Mormons left.  There were six hundred mob members.  They tried to burn the Mansion house down, but didn’t succeed.  Emma was relocated out of Nauvoo at that point and rented the Mansion out.  The mob bedded down at the nearby cemetery, east of the city limits.  They shot cannonballs made out of steel and the Mormons shot small steel balls.  The battle lasted fourteen hours over three days where three Mormons were killed and one on the side of the mob.  The mob desecrated homes, and ransacked the Temple.  They drug mothers and children out of their homes by gunpoint into the streets.  On September 16th both sides signed a treaty because the Mormons were out of bullets and weapons.  Cannon balls were being fired at the Mormons as the last group crossed the Mississippi.  They were starving and the Lord sent Quails for them to eat.  Emma returned in the spring to Nauvoo as she had received word that the man she had rented the mansion home to was taking everything out of the home and leaving.  Orson Hyde who had been on a Mission came to Nauvoo and dedicated the Temple in May of 1847. 

Starting on Friday February 5th they had presentations available in the Joseph Smith Historic Site Visitor Center, which is the Community of Christ center.  This was all in conjunction with the Exodus  Commemoration.  We missed the first hour of classes as we were working in the Temple.  We split up for some of them.  Tom attended the “Dead Men’s Tales: A look at Cemetery symbols and their Meaning”.  I attended “Women and the Mississippi River.”  There were 2,000 miles of Mississippi river and the main mode of transportation.  Steamship travel was the preferred mode of travel-they lasted about three years.  These boats were not inspected or insured and many times they caught on fire with the boilers blowing quite often and killed many passengers.  It may have been the preferred way to travel especially by women but it was a dangerous!  Four thousand deaths occurred on boats during the three years.  Trees could be found floating down the river and back then there were some Islands here and there.  A lady, Mary Logan, grew up in Nauvoo and she told how things were when she was growing up.  Both on Friday and Saturday there were six different simultaneous presentations available.  Some were better than others.

Friday evening we had a buffet in the Nauvoo Motel.  President Nelson, who is in the Temple Presidency, gave the keynote address about the German influence in Nauvoo. 
Many businesses in Nauvoo were originated by Germans.  The German influence was don’t change the outside look that was the integrity of a building.  You could change the interiors, but not the outside.  Quincy was made up mostly of Germans who were kind, preserved peace, and had a desire to assist forlorn people.  We all know how kind Quincy was to the Mormons.  George Hart (Hart home south of Temple)-he always lived on or near the Temple site.  He would always care for the Mormon missionaries who would come to Nauvoo in preparation for their missions.  As a side note, Germans were the first to make the artificial Christmas tree.

In January, in preparation for the exodus reenactment, we looked up ancestors names who we knew had been in Nauvoo.  Then we turned them into the Land and Records Office of Nauvoo.  They would then send us any additional “Nauvoo specific” information they had about them and others who might also have lived here. 
We were then able to walk for at least three of our ancestors during the reenactment exodus.  They made us tags that we put on our coats and scarf.  I walked for Mary Smallman, James McDonald-McDaniel, and Christina Stoker.  Tom walked for Henry Eccles, Elizabeth Spurr, and their daughter Sariah Eccles.
Saturday all of those who participated in the reenactment of the exodus gathered at the Family Living Center.  We had a continental breakfast and some readings to set the stage for the conditions as the Saints left.  It was nothing like the weather they had on the original exodus.  We had sunshine and temperatures in the forties. The men representing the Nauvoo Legion started out first, and then the flag bearers.  There were some wagons and horses, and onewagon with oxen.  There were also some handcarts as well.  We walked down Parley Street the same street the Pioneers walked down, to the Mississippi River.  When they left the Mississippi was frozen solid which enabled a faster exodus.  This day there was some ice but the whole river was not frozen, because so far it has been a milder winter.  As we reached the end of the street they had everyone come together; raise the American Flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “Come Come Ye Saints.”  It was very touching to be in that spot and to imagine the Saints 170 years ago.  They have a little Pioneer Memorial Pavilion listing names of those Pioneers who didn’t make it to the Salt Lake Valley.  People come from all different places to participate in these events.  Some come year after year.

That evening we had Bryon Andreason speak to us about Lincoln and Mormon Country and the influences and possible crossing of paths during Lincoln’s court service and campaigning. 

Sunday morning we went to church at the Mt. Pleasant Branch.  They had an investigator there who wants to be baptized the end of this month.  Her husband and two small children were with her.  The Sister Missionaries say he is not interested in the church; however, he had come that day so they could talk to the Bishop about getting married next Sunday.  The Bishop’s wife asked us and the other senior couple (Elder & Sister Winn, Nephi, UT) if we would help in Primary with the music.  This will be new and different for us but I’m sure we will enjoy it.  We will switch with the other couple every other week.

In the afternoon we had “Break the Fast” lunch at our home.  They rotate who is in charge every month and we had three other couples come to our house.  We had the Droste’s (full-time District Missionaries), the Chapman’s, and the Hendricks’.  We got to know them all better and had a great time.

That evening we had a program where certain people had been asked to share a story about an ancestor.  A lady had put together a collage of pictures on the screen as each person talked about them.  There were nineteen presenters, and I was asked to be one of them.  I talked about Mary Smallman a great great, Grandmother.  If you want to read about her you can go to the family tree and click on her.  She comes from the McDaniel side.  I was the fourteenth presenter, so I had plenty of time to be nervous!  It was a neat opportunity.

On Monday we had a Family Home Evening in the auditorium of the Nauvoo Historic Visitor’s Center.  Bryon Andreason talked about the new Museum in Salt Lake.  We did not go to see it before we left.  It sounds amazing.  They have amazing artifacts and presentations that make you feel as if you were in the time frame they are talking about.  Everyone should go and see it, with your families. 

Yesterday was my Birthday and it was a good one.  Thank you so much to our family who sent me a blanket with a lot of pictures on it of all of you. 
Saying that when I need a hug I could wrap up in this blanket and get one from all of them.  I love it!  Thank you so much.  Also, thank you to friends and family for the phone calls and the cards you sent.  We had a wonderful and super busy week.  How much we love and admire the pioneers who paved the way for us so that we could enjoy these latter days.  This is truly hallowed ground that we have the opportunity to live on, and to serve in this historic Temple.  We thank our Father in Heaven for this experience, and for all of your support. 
We love you all. Mom & Dad/ Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

Monday, February 8, 2016

Nauvoo Week 7 (25-31 January 2016)

Week 7 (25-31 January 2016)

This was an exciting week with a lot of things going on.  We served at the Temple each day and had some wonderful and spiritual experiences.  We had a Family Home Evening with all the Temple Missionaries which coincided with Robert Burn’s birthday (famous Scottish Poet).  We enjoyed Elder McDonald playing the bagpipes (kilt and all), poems and sayings/poems/songs of Robert, decorations, Scottish foods and singing.  We were unaware that Robert wrote the song “Aude Lang Syne” which we all held hands and sang all of the verses to conclude the evening.  More on the food: we ate some interesting soup, shortbread cookies, “Hamas” which included ground up tongue, liver and other things of an animal…it’s usually cooked in the stomach of a lamb/sheep-but you cannot buy this in the USA (thank goodness) so it was cooked in a bag.  All in all is was a great evening and fun was had by all.

On Tuesday, we visited several other restored homes/stores in Nauvoo: The Merriweather Dry Goods Store & Post Office.  Evidently, if you had room for a postal type box you were a postmaster,
sanctioned by the US Government.  It was interesting to learn that they didn’t have envelopes, so they would write on one side of the paper-IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, VERTICALLY & HORIZONTALLY…it was insane to try and read the letter.  They would then fold the paper and address the opposite side and seal it with candle wax and a stamp.  They paid postage on the number of pages; thus the writing both vertically & horizontally on the same side of the paper.  Next, we visited the Print Shop, talk about a tedious task of setting type (backwards & upside down) and reviewing what was written-let alone being able to make out what letter you had when you were
putting them back in the compartments after the printing.  We learned about UPPER CASE and lower case (that is where the big or small letters were stored in compartments (upper meant standing up against the wall, lower meant laying on the counter).  We can’t imagine putting the letters back in the proper compartment because we couldn’t read the small print…there was a particular difficulty with the Ps and Qs-exactly the same shape only opposites.

We then continued on to the Browning Home & Gunsmith Shop.  Brother Browning had met the Prophet Joseph in another city, was impressed and followed him to Nauvoo where he set up shop and built the first repeating rifle/handgun. 

The process for making a gun was really impressive; from the barrel and its’ rifling’s He developed the first 30 caliber machine gun which was used up through the Vietnam War. He was always faithful to the Church and helped the saints go west.  He later set up shop in the Salt Lake Valley and his guns are world renown.  
We then proceeded to the Stoddard Tin Shop where we watched the missionary make a tin bucket and other items.  It was interesting to see the lantern cases that were made.  They would make a family “pattern” in the design of the lantern, which way everybody would know who was coming during the night…the punched holes, etc. in the tin to make the
pattern/design.  The tin was punched from the inside (before it was rolled into a lantern) so that the wind did not blow out the candle (very ingenious).  The Tin Shop sold stoves for heat at cost, but made their money on the flu pipe.

We then visited the Riser Boot & Shoe Shop.  It was interesting to see how they would determine the size of the needed shoe and the process they went through to make the shoe.  It would take a good shoemaker about 8 hours to make one pair of shoes that sold for around $1.50 per pair; a pair of boots would take a couple of days to make and would cost around $5.50 per pair.  We then proceeded to the Webb Brother’s Blacksmith Shop where we learned about three different, but interconnected processes.   

The Wheelwright (made the wagon wheels), the Wainwrights (made the wagon box and under carriage) and the Ferrier (making the remainder of the wagon, horseshoes, etc. Here we saw the missionary make a small horseshoe and, of course, we picked our Prairie Diamond ring (horseshoe souvenir ring).  It was really interesting to see all the things that were made in the Blacksmith Shop.   
On last stop and we were through for the day:  the Seventies Hall (basically a 1830s Missionary Training Center).  As the Church began to send out missionaries they would have them come to the Hall and receive instructions concerning the area they were called to serve;traditions, cultures, language and study a kind of standardized missionary lessons as well as increase in knowledge.  They would practice teaching/preaching from the pulpit; in general, learning how to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Saturday, we worked the morning shift and then took off for Lake Zurich, IL where Scott, Malia and Corban live.  It is about 277 miles from Nauvoo and took about 4.5 hours to travel the distance.  We spent Saturday night through Tuesday morning with them and returned home for our evening shift in the Temple Tuesday night (Sharon will describe more of the trip in our next blog update).

We are truly blessed to have been called to serve in Nauvoo.  The spirit is so strong and you can feel the spirit of those that lived here.  As we learn more about the trials, tribulations, successes, inventions and miracles that happened here to the Church and saints we stand in awe and thank our ancestors and early saints for their sacrifices in following and serving their God.  We love the gospel with all of our hearts, we know that God lives, Jesus is the Christ and our Savior and Redeemer, Thomas S. Monson is a living Prophet of God, the Book of Mormon is true and was written for our time, this Church is the kingdom of God here on the earth-this we testify with all of our hearts.  We pray that you will all be desirous to gain this same testimony.
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw