Nauvoo Week 32 (18 – 24 July 2016)
Another week has come and gone, the time is passing so quickly! On Monday, we served in the afternoon and had a spiritual experience.
On Tuesday, Jeff, Amanda, Ashtyn, Whitney and Ethan arrived after driving throughout the night. It was wonderful to see them and to feel of their love. They arrived just before lunch; they then all napped while Sharon and I served in the Temple in the Baptistry. They had been in Denver, CO the past couple of days visiting Amanda’s grandma and then drove through the night, needless to say they were tired. We returned home around 8:45pm and they headed to their hotel in Keokuk, IA. Ashtyn stayed with us that night so she wouldn’t be hounded by the rude, crude men they had experienced the night before in Denver, CO.
Wednesday, we had a substitute work for us so we had the entire day off. Amanda had made Baptism for Dead reservations at 2:00pm, so we all enjoyed time in the Temple. All of the kids were impressed with the size of the font and the beauty inside the Temple. Following the baptisms, Sharon took the kids home while I gave Jeff and Amanda a short tour of the Temple visiting many of the beautiful rooms and the spiral staircase in the southwest corner. Later that night we all attended “Sunset by the Mississippi” at the Nauvoo Outdoor Stage and then went to watch the “British Pageant” on the pageant stage. It was a great day and everyone was tired as we returned home at 10:30pm.
On Thursday, Sharon and I served in the Temple, Jeff and Amanda traveled to Carthage to see the Jail and Museum and to learn more of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum. They then returned and visited the Learning/Living Center and saw how to make a rope, rugs, bread, barrels and much more. We ate lunch and then visited some more of the historic homes and shops in Nauvoo. That evening we attended the “Nauvoo Pageant” at the pageant stage. This is a wonderful, majestic presentation done nightly during the month of July that retells the story of Nauvoo up and through the exodus to the Salt Lake Valley. They actually build a Temple on stage and at the very end the “stage” Temple is lowered and the lights come on the actual Temple that sits on the bluff directly (in the distance) of the pageant stage. It is a beautiful and very touching finale to the production. As a note: there are several “professional” actors that make up the core cast and then many families from throughout the world come for 2 weeks (1 week to practice and 1 week to perform) in the pageant. It is a performance that is worthy of Broadway, excepting there is the spirit of God that is very inspiring and touches all in attendance. Following the performance Jeff and family, excepting Ethan, returned to their Hotel (Ethan stayed with us).
On Friday, we visited several more homes and shops in Nauvoo and said goodbye to Jeff, Amanda and family. They headed to Lake Zurich to visit Scott, Malia, Corban and Ruby and we felt lost again. Goodbyes are always the toughest, but we know we will see them again in just about 5 months.
Saturday, we served in the afternoon/evening and had a wonderful time in the Temple. Even though we were sad to see Jeff, Amanda and kids leave we know that we will be with them forever and we are grateful for this knowledge and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, we traveled to Mount Pleasant for Church; led the singing during Sharing Time in Primary then returned to Nauvoo. That evening we attended a play on the pageant stage called “Our Story Goes On.” This was a fantastic presentation with the core cast from the pageants playing different parts of a modern day continuation of the pageants; young parents having children, children going away to school, marrying, having their children etc. There were many beautiful songs in the presentation. However, as the play progressed the clouds and wind began to grow darker and the wind stronger. The last part that we saw (they then cancelled the remainder of the program) was Dallyn Bayles singing “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables (he has been in the traveling cast of this Broadway production)….it was magnificent, even with the howling wind. We then all hurried home and beat the sudden cloud burst.
It is wonderful to be surrounded by family; to share both trials and blessings. We know we are not perfect, but when we are together it seems that we can do anything; there is strength in knowing who you are and what you can become. We love each and every one of our children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sisters and friends. We know we are on the Lord’s errand, we are enjoying the special spirit of our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The spirit is so strong when we do what we should be doing and so many times we see and feel the Lord’s hand protecting us from our follies. We pray you too may feel of His love and protecting hands wrapped tightly around you each and every day. We love you and thank you for your patience, support and love.
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw