Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Nauvoo Week 13 (7-13 March 2016)

Nauvoo Week 13 (7-13 March 2016)

This was an exciting and busy week!  On Monday, we went with Elder & Sister Moon (Layton, UT) to visit some nearby places.  We headed out to Iowa to the city of Farmington where Brigham Young and his company traveled along the northeast side of the Des Moines River, camped at Reed’s Creek, and then crossed the Des Moines River downstream at Bonaparte.  They had difficulty crossing the shallow river during high river water, which caused long delays...due to the thick and very sticky MUD.  Axles broke and wagons upset; ox teams were doubled to pull the loads.  After crossing the river some of the Pioneers traveled 12 miles to camp on the banks of a small stream called Indian Creek.  Others made it seven miles and had to stop because of the mud; conditions were very poor, mileage for the day was the best so far, nearly 16 miles.  Later parties took a more northerly route along the Dragon Trail into Keosauqua, crossing the river at Ely’s Ford and then on to Richardson’s Point Camp. 
While camped at Richardson’s Point, March 7-18, 1846, to await an improvement in weather conditions, the first and second of hundreds of deaths on Iowa Mormon Pioneer Trails occurred-James M. Tanner (15 months) and Edwin S. Little (nephew to Brigham Young).  Some 2,000 saints waited at this point.  The area is marked with a “Family owned” gravestone and is very near to a current day, hog farm (the smell was something else)!  We then traveled further on the trail through Bentonsport and Keosauqua to view the historic towns.  We entered Amish Country and stopped at a couple of their stores (furniture & saddle shop).
We saw the horse drawn buggies and met a couple of Amish in the furniture store (their furniture is very well built).  We noticed the topography of the land; a lot of little ups and downs where stormy weather could and did make it very difficult for the wagons and handcarts to travel.  We proceeded on to Cantrill and there visited the Dutchmen’s Store run by the Amish and Mennonites.  It was a really interesting store that had a little bit of everything.  They seem to have some great prices on many things-we understand many people in the surrounding areas make several trips there a month for supplies.  We ate a sub sandwich there that would put the best Subway has to offer to shame!

Later that day we went with Elder & Sister Lyman (Family History Missionaries) to the home of Brother & Sister Tukuafu on the far end of Nauvoo.  It is a unique home that is fairly rounded in shape; with a beautiful view of the Mississippi River.  There is quite a history behind the home and its’ construction.  Much of the wood was from another home (most of the outside logs are oblong in shape-12-14” in height, 6-8’ in length and 6-8” in width).  There are three beautiful arched windows facing the river, the floor is laid out much like a compass (with due north (North Star) holding a picture of the Lord and the Prophet Joseph Smith).    The loft is for the grandchildren (they had 14 of their own children); by the way, 5 of her granddaughters are starting to perform with Gladys Knight in Las Vegas…they are all very musically inclined.  The bedrooms and kitchen areas are beautiful (as a matter of fact the outside bedroom wall was moved during construction to accommodate their unique bed).  Outside is a wood shop; Sister Tukuafu makes harps (74 to date) and sells them.  She also makes and sells several other types of string instruments.  They gladly gave us a concert of hymns and other songs; she plays the various string instruments and he plays the autoharp.  They both play by ear and it is beautiful!

Tuesday, we went to Quincy, IL to get some hair coloring for Sharon, shopped at Sam’s and ate a late lunch.  We then returned and served in the afternoon/evening shift at the Temple.  We are coordinators in the Baptistry on Tuesdays and we had our first big group come in from Indiana.  It was a bit tense for a few moments, but all went well.  We then hurried over to the Nauvoo Visitor’s Center and heard the final 20minutes of Sharon Eastman Black and husband, George Durrant.  They spoke on Brigham Young’s influence on the Church.  They are here for two months and will give various lectures on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Wednesday, we worked the evening shift at the Temple and had another marvelous experience. 

Thursday is our double day at the Temple (morning and evening shifts) plus today we had a special fireside on the trains that continually run just across the river in Iowa.  They are the coal trains hauling material 24/7; they are constantly blowing their air horns to warn of their danger.  A brother who had been an Engineer for 42 years gave us the briefing.  It was very interesting to know what wakes us up at night.

Friday we worked the morning shift, then had a farewell dinner for Elder & Sister Anderson (they depart for home next week).  Elder & Sister Ludwig hosted the evening; others invited were Elder & Sister Peterson, Elder & Sister Baker, Elder & Sister Droste.  We all brought some food and had a wonderful evening with a slide show of the Andersen’s and their experiences.

Saturday, we served during the morning shift then went to Burlington, IA to eat lunch and see a movie.  We saw “Eddie the Eagle,” based on a true story of the ski jumper from Great Britain.  It showed that nobody in the country thought he was “Olympic caliber” and they tried everything in their power to stop him; even upping the required minimum distance to qualify for the Olympics.  He met and overcame every obstacle in his way; participated in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada and won the hearts of the fans and even the skeptic British Olympic Committee.

Sunday, we traveled to Mt Pleasant for Church; it was their Branch Conference (not too many were there-remember it was the day we moved to Day Light Savings Time).  Everybody was tired so after Church we returned directly home.  Later that day we had been invited to Brother & Sister Swing’s home for dinner along with Brother & Sister Spurgeon.  We had a great afternoon and evening, sharing stories of conversion, building of the Temple and so forth.  Sister Swing is a professional Genealogist and took Sharon under her arm and showed her some amazing things that could be done.  We came home with about 30 Shaw names that need to have work accomplished.  We will save some of these for when our children/grandchildren come to visit us this summer.

We testify to you that we are where we need to be at this time!  We know each of you is being blessed more by the Lord than we could do if we were home!  We are grateful to hear that Ashtyn did a great job in the school play of the “King & I.”  She will be and is a star in our eyes!  We love each of you with all of our hearts; we know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true; Heavenly Father knows and loves each of us, we have a living Prophet to guide us in these latter days.  This is the kingdom of God on the earth.  Take good care of yourselves, stop to smell the roses during your busy lives and remember who you are and what you are becoming.

Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

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