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

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