Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nauvoo 36 (15 - 21 August 2016)

Nauvoo Week 36 (15 – 21 August 2016)

This was another exciting week that has flown by!  Monday evening we had a Temple Missionary Family Home Evening at the Stake Center.  The Seaman’s family presented a fun evening of entertainment. 
There are 9 children in the family and they are all really musically talented.  They performed several numbers and each of them had a special talent in singing or playing multiple instruments.  This, of course, was followed by refreshments…they say the Nauvoo mission is about a “30 pound” mission-most add about this much weight while serving here.

On Tuesday, we had the privilege of providing breakfast to the “Young Performing Missionaries,” they have been here for the past 10-12 weeks performing each and every day, usually from about 8:00am until late in the evening.  The heat/humidity has been really high and by nighttime performances they are usually wringing wet with perspiration. 
We don’t know how they have continued on each day…they are amazing with many beautiful talents.  Later that day we served in the Temple as Baptistry Coordinators.

Wednesday we have a missionary training session which was presented by Elder Fred Streuling (born in Germany during World War II.  He told of his childhood and the ugliness of war (bombs continually exploding, hiding in bunkers during air raids, riding bikes around looking/scavenging for food or other useful items, etc).  He told of his conversion to the Church and the great welfare program they provided to the war-torn towns in Germany and the surrounding areas.  He told of a 500 kilometer bike ride that he and his family took to find their father who had been sent to a small island north of Germany following his many years serving on the Russian front of the war.  It was very touching and we pray that we will never have to endure such calamity.

On Thursday, we served in the morning at the Temple, later that day we went to Burlington, IA for dinner and a movie.  Friday, we again served in the Temple during the morning hours and then Tom played golf in the afternoon.

Saturday we served in the afternoon/evening at the Temple and had rich experiences with the people that we served. 

On Sunday, we traveled to Mount Pleasant for church and the final practice for the Primary program to be held next Sunday.  Still there were a few children that were not there that have speaking/singing parts…we’ll see how it goes next week with them not having practiced at all?  We then visited an inactive sister that President Sanchez had asked us to visit; we did meet her but she did not let us in.  Later that day we had invited Elder Bob and Sister Helen Lasher (Idaho) to dinner. 
They are site missionaries and we have had a really nice friendship with them.  At first, we just ran into them where ever we went and soon, through conversation we developed a fun relationship.  They were originally called to serve in the Philippines, but were later changed to Nauvoo and have spent about 18 months here.  They are leaving to return home next Monday, we will miss them.

We are grateful for your love and support while we are here in Nauvoo.  We love this opportunity and have grown so much from the spirit and learning more about the history of the saints in this area.  We know they sacrificed much to become established here and then to leave it all through persecution and to head west, leaving the United States of America to a land where they could worship as they wished. 
We are proud to be their posterity and pray that each of you will remember the time you spent here in Nauvoo.  We love each or you and know that you are being blessed for your faithfulness to the Lord,

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

Nauvoo Week 35 (8 - 14 August 2016)

Nauvoo Week 35 (8 – 14 August 2016)

Here it is the middle of August already!  Monday was a great day as we had a home evening with all the Temple Missionaries.  Susan Easton Black Durrant and her husband George were in town, because she was asked to speak at a Smith family reunion. 
She talked about the Life of Christ through a Jews viewpoint.  From the point Isaiah announces in 750 BC that Christ shall be born, every young women hoped that she might be the Mother of Christ.  King Herod is despised by the Jews.  He orders his soldiers to go on Temple square.  They removed genealogy records from the Temple.  Zacharias is the Priest of the Quorum of Abbia, which is the 8th quorum out of 24.  Quorum of Abbia come to Temple twice annually, the first of April and the first of October, just like our general conference times.  They are responsible for sacrifices, baptisms, etc.  When Zacharias goes into the Holy of Holies he sees an Angel who was Gabriel, who tells him that his wife will have a son named John.  Mary is betrothed to Joseph a carpenter.  If a man wanted to become betrothed he would make something to show his trade.  Joseph made a canopy to show his skills as a carpenter.  Then he asked Mary to come under the canopy and asks her if she will accept a coin.  If she accepts the special coin then they would be betrothed.  Mary accepted the coin and they are betrothed for a year before the marriage which shows she is taken.  She then wears a veil over her face until they get married, also a sign that she is taken.  Priests could write a Bill of Divorcement if a man wanted to break things off, but a women could not break a betrothal. The Angel Gabriel comes to her and tells her that she will bring forth a Son who’s name will be Jesus.  Joseph ponders about divorcing Mary but decides to have her put away privately.  Of course, we know that Joseph also received a vision telling him about Jesus.  Jewish weddings were always on the third day of the week which is Tuesday.  The groom goes to each house looking for the bride.  At each home they are told no she is not here, but let us help you find her.  They go to her home last where they ask if the bride is there and the Father says yes, and he brings out the bride who is veiled.  The groom lifts the veil and says this is my bride.  The groom removes the veil and puts it over his left shoulder.  This indicates that the government has fallen on his shoulder.  He moves the veil to his right shoulder when the marriage is complete.  I had never heard some of these facts before and thought it was interesting.

Wednesday in the afternoon before our shift we had another meeting with the temple missionaries, with a man named Ugo A. Perego.  He is from Rome and has a doctorate in DNA.  He lives in Rome but was here seeing his wife’s family.  He said DNA is used for medication, forensic, cures for disease, identity, genealogical info and ancient origin.  He studies genealogical lines and has specifically been working on the line of Joseph Smith. 
It had been believed that their ancestors came from England, but this is not the case.  He said that they have found some of their lines from Northern Ireland.  Possibly through Royal Irish Kings.  He also talked about plural marriage and how many have tried to say that Joseph Smith had other children through polygamy.  They do know that he was sealed to other women, but there is no DNA proof that he had any other children accept for those he had with Emma. He has a website called Joseph Smith 

Paul and Kellie had their 13th wedding anniversary.  We hope they had a great one. 
We actually know that it was spent at Lagoon with the kids, the fun spot of Utah and the Happiest Place on Earth!? 

Sunday was Jeff and Amanda’s anniversary, their 18th! 
Wow you guys are all getting older!  We hope you had a great day.  Sunday evening we had a wonderful fireside with all of the Young Performing Missionaries.  All of you had the opportunity to see them when you were here.  They were amazing and so talented.  Some of them were in the Nauvoo band and the rest of them were in the Pageants and other activities.  Ashtyn picked out one of the guys and said she is going to marry him.  We wonder how many other young women have said the same thing!  This socialable was so spiritual.  They sang and played instruments and had some speaking parts.  There was not a dry eye there.  They came in June and have been here for two and a half months.  It was a mission call for all of them.  We will miss them so much; they have been so fun to watch and to get to know.  What a privilege it is to be here and to experience so many wonderful places and people.  We know the spirit of the Lord dwells here in great abundance, and the pioneer spirit is always present.  We love all of you and pray that you will always remember your visit here and that you will come back with your families in the future.  We love you.
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw

Monday, August 8, 2016

Nauvoo Week 34 (1 - 7 August 20160

Nauvoo Week 34 (1 – 7 August 2016)

Another week has quickly sped by and the crowds in Nauvoo have definitely thinned due to the pageants ending last week.  On Monday, Kristy, Miles, Tom and Sharon attended a Temple Session and took a little tour of the Nauvoo Temple.  They thought it was wonderfully beautiful with a very special spirit.  They then went to the homes and shop of the Community of Christ Church (Mansion House, Nauvoo House, Smith Family Homestead, the graves of Joseph, Hyrum and Emma and the Little Red Brick Store), they loved seeing these places but recognized a difference in the presentations of these homes versus what is felt in the rest of Nauvoo. 
They also went to the Print Shop, Post Office and Riser Boot & Shoe Shop.  We then went to Fort Madison to eat dinner, following dinner, they (Jensen’s) headed back to their hotel in Burlington IA.

On Tuesday, Kristy, Miles, Jenacee, Porter, Fischer and Phoebe left for Lake Zurich, IL to visit Scott, Malia, Corban and Ruby.  This is their second visit, but the first since Ruby was born and they are really excited to see little Rue!  Tonight we served in the Baptistry and it was surprisingly busy with outside patrons from many areas of the country. 

On Wednesday, we attended some Temple Missionary training at the stake center and then served in the afternoon/evening in the Temple.

Thursday, we served in the morning hours at the Temple and later that evening attended “Sunset by the Mississippi” for one of the last times.  This program ends on the 13th of August so we will probably see again a couple of more times before then.  It is a great program with some “Old Nauvoo” entertainment-each member of our family that saw this had a good time and loved the different sketches that were performed by both the senior missionaries and the performing young missionaries(Ashytn’s future husband sang in this group-he is from Australia)?

On Friday were served in the Temple during morning hours again and then had the privilege of attending a Missionary Conference with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He spoke to us and encouraged us all to be who we really are (sons and daughters of God) and full-time missionaries.  He told us that everybody in the church wanted to serve a mission in Nauvoo, but there just wasn’t a place for everyone, so be happy and glad that we are here!  He was here as part of the Smith Family Reunion that was being held in Nauvoo this year.  He explained that there were around 300-400 participants this year.  Later, we went to Angelini’s (Italian Restaurant) in Keokuk, IA with our Baptistry Team and had a wonderful evening sharing memories and special experiences that we had during the month of July when the heavy crowds were here.  Following dinner, we returned to Nauvoo to watch “Vocal Point,” an acapella men’s group from BYU sing and perform at the outdoor Nauvoo Stage.  The program was wonderful; they sang many familiar tunes with all the accompanying instruments (made by one of the performers) – you would have sworn there was an entire orchestra accompanying them.

Saturday was a special day for Madelynne Shaw; she was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her father.  We are so proud of her and her decision to be baptized a member of the only true and living church here upon the earth.  Kellie sent some pictures of the day and she was beautifully dressed and had a very special look and appearance.  We love her so much and wished we could have been there in person instead of just in spirit.  We know that she will live up to her commitments with her Heavenly Father and continue to grow into a beautiful young lady.   We later served in the Temple on the afternoon/evening shift.

Sunday was a special day.  We started by traveling to Mount Pleasant Branch in Iowa; President and Sister Hansen (Second Counselor in the Temple Presidency) asked to accompany us to Church.  It was great and we were able to spend some special time with them. 
They live in Cedar Rapids, IA but have a home assigned to them in Nauvoo.  They have previously served two missions and have now served in the Nauvoo Temple Presidency for about 2 years.  Following our trip to Mount Pleasant we attended a monthly “Break the Fast” dinner.  It was hosted by Elder & Sister Kerr (California); others attending were Elder & Sister Hendricks (Logan, UT) and Elder & Sister Moon (Ogden UT). 
It was a wonderful meal and it was fun to get to know each other better.  Later that evening we attended a Sociable at the stake center with all full-time missionaries assigned to Nauvoo (this includes the Temple, Site, Young Performing and Sister Missionaries).  The acapella group “Vocal Point” from BYU provided the program; both spoken word and music presentations.

It was a wonderful week and we realize how blessed we are to serve in beautiful Nauvoo.  The Lord is truly blessing us and all of our family.  We are grateful for your support, patience and love.  We love you with all of our hearts and want you know of our testimonies of this Church, IT IS TRUE!  God is our loving Heavenly Father, His son Jesus Christ has taken upon himself all of our sins, infirmities and all else so that we may return and live with them again.  We have a living Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, the Book of Mormon is TRUE and was written for our time.  All Priesthood keys have been restored to the earth and the Lord has declared this Church as TRUE and living. 
May the Lord be with each of you; please know of our deep and abiding love for you and who you are and what you are becoming. 

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Nauvoo Week 33 (25 - 31 July 2016)

Nauvoo Week 33 (25 – 31 July 2016)

Our week started out with a pot luck dinner for the temple missionaries.  We have four couples leaving in the next three weeks and so this dinner was for them.  They are the Simon’s, Peterson’s, Hendricks’ and the Lyman’s.  We will miss all of them. 

We had a big Baptistry night.  We have loved working with our team, which is the Gammell’s,Garff’s, and Curtis’.  They have been with us through the busy season, and now we go back to having us and Gammell’s for the rest of our mission.  The youth are so valiant; it has been fun to have stake groups from many different areas.  Many of them had found their own family names to be baptized for. 

The best part of the week came on Friday, when Kristy and Mile’s came with their kids.  We had such a good time.  We had Friday off because of our July schedule, and were able to get a substitute for Saturday.  Then the schedule changed for August back to our Monday Pday so we lucked out to have all of that time off. 

On Friday we went to do baptisms with Kristy, Miles, Jen and Porter.  It was fun to watch them be baptized and confirmed, they loved the Baptistry.  That evening we went to “Sunset on the Mississippi” which all of you enjoyed.  That evening we went to the “British Pageant.”  It had been so hot when Paul’s and Jeff’s family were here, but Kristy’s kids were cold at the Pageant.  The temperatures were nicer through their stay, but they still thought it was really hot and muggy. 

We went to a “King Follett’s” talk given by Dallyn Bayles (the man who played Joseph Smith in the Nauvoo Pageant).  It was outside in the west grove of trees, it was very good.  They were able to get to all of the popular businesses and houses as well as the “Nauvoo Pageant” on Saturday.  These were the last evenings for both the Pageant’s.  They went to “Just plain Anna and Amanda,” and “The Promise” on Saturday. 

Sunday we went to one of the Nauvoo wards for church.  We went to the Carthage Jail that day.  We also went to the “Trail of Hope” in the evening for the walk and the young performing missionaries did speaking parts and songs at some of the stops along the way.  This was the first time we had done this and we all loved it. 

On Monday, Kristy and Miles and we went to a session in the Temple.  They loved it.  In the afternoon their family went to see the Nauvoo Mansion and Smith Homestead.  Also to the graves of the Prophet, Emma, and Hyrum, and their parents.  Then to the store that Joseph had opened, where he had an office and also where the Relief Society was formed.  Then it was to the Souvenir shops to get some mementos.  They loved everything and it was so fun to spend time with them.  The kids have grown taller in just 7 months!  Tuesday morning they left to go to Scott and Malia’s house.  I wish we could have gone with them, Ruby is changing so fast! 

How grateful we are that all of you were able to come here and feel of the spirit on the grounds as well as in the Temple.  We hope that you will always have special memories of your visits here, I know we certainly will.  We love you all dearly, and are so grateful that you all have the desire to be good strong members of the church.  So grateful that your parents are raising you so well and that all of our grandchildren are making good choices and good friends.  We appreciate your love and support, it means so much.  The saints who dwelt here in Nauvoo were special and we feel of their spirits on these hallowed grounds. 

Love to you all,
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw