Nauvoo Week 46 (24 – 30 October 2016)
Another fantastic week in Nauvoo! It began with a round of golf of Monday morning. Tom then met with Elder Todd Jones (NM) to complete our Mormon.org pass-along cards. We are excited to have these as we can now give something from us to meet that we meet. That afternoon we traveled to Quincy with Elder & Sister Curtis (UT) for dinner at the Pier Restaurant.The food was okay, but a bit pricey. It was a beautiful setting with the restaurant sitting out over the Mississippi River and the monument where the saints crossed from Missouri just alongside.
On Tuesday, we attended a lecture by Susan Easton Back Durrant. Her topic was “History of the LDS Temples.” It was a very interesting subject starting with the Kirtland Ohio Temple, then to the Independence Missouri Temple Lot and the 24 Temples or Palaces that will be built there, to Far West, Missouri where cornerstones were placed but abandoned then to Nauvoo, Illinois where this beautiful Temple was originally built and dedicated on April 30, 1846 by Orson Hyde, and then to St George, Utah. Following this lecture we served in the Temple as Baptistry Coordinators.
Wednesday, we served during the afternoon/evening shift and had a wonderful experience, as usual, and felt the spirit very strongly.
Thursday, we served in the morning and then attended another lecture by Sister Durrant. Her topic this afternoon was “The Last 20 Days of Joseph’s and Hyrum’s Life.” It was a great discussion and we learned much about the sacrifices, the trials, the conspirators, the Governor and his deception, the proposed departure of Joseph/Hyrum to the Rocky Mountains, their return to Nauvoo and trip to Carthage to face identical charges for the third time (triple jeopardy)…story to be continued next Thursday. Later that night we attended another lecture by Sister Durrant on the “Camps of Israel.” This dealt with the exodus of the saints from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters and their trials and tribulations. When Brigham told them to “Flee Babylon” and head west he envisioned leaving Nauvoo in February 1846 and making it all the way to the Rocky Mountains that same fall. When the saints actually departed Nauvoo they were ill prepared for their journey (lack of wagons, oxen, food, clothing, etc.). These 29 camps were spread all across Iowa (Highway 2) and were building blocks that allowed the saints to successfully make the journey to the Salt Lake Valley. There were saints that were spread among these camps from 1846-1852 (6 years). They progressed from camp to camp as they were prepared to go making provisions all along the way eventually becoming prepared as they reached Winter Quarters. Many of the more famous camps were: Sugar Creek, Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah, Council Bluffs and Winter Quarters. There were many miracles that happened all along this trail which allowed the saints to become more prepared for the journey. One note: if you look at the back side of QUARTER COIN of Iowa you will notice what looks like people and wheat stocks (this is representing the Mormons that crossed their state)-during this time the Iowa Territory qualified to become a state because of the population increase.
Friday, we were assigned as mentors for new people in the Temple so we trained them during our morning shift. As we returned home around 9:30pm that night we noticed a message on our phone from the Saturday afternoon coordinators (Brother & Sister Hart from Camp Pointe, IL) stating that Brother Victor Hart had been involved in an auto accident (he was returning home from a business trip from St. Louis, he was driving the Interstate at about 70 mph when he hit a stopped car in the middle of the Interstate without any lights). He was shaken, bruised and sore, but was not hospitalized. They told us we would be coordinating the Temple work on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday, we went to the Temple earlier than normal to make preparations for the shift. There are about 30 Brethren and 30 Sisters on that shift to assign all of the duties and responsibilities to and to make sure things run smoothly. There were still a few surprises; some people not showing up and others showing up that we had not expected which was a blessing. Today was also the annual “Bootiful” Nauvoo celebration. All during the day there are about 500-600 carved pumpkins along Mulholland Street with a parade at 2:30pm where they throw out candy to all of the kids (the missionaries and some citizens donate Halloween candy and put them in bags then throw them from vehicles to all of kids standing nearby). The site missionaries told me they had tied some 1,100 bags of candy from our donations. Later, there was music (bands) and food for all. Of course, we were in the Temple so we were not able to see any of the celebration, however, we let most of the workers go so they could participate. We finished the last two sessions with five Temple Missionary couples in the Temple doing all of the work. Some felt this would not be enough but made it work without a hitch.
On Sunday, we traveled to Mt. Pleasant to attend church and had a wonderful experience. Following the meetings we went with the Sister Missionaries (Sisters Beach & Rushton) to visit some less active members. We then returned to Nauvoo to welcome Frank & Annette Mills (served on Ebeye with us in the Marshall Islands).We had a great time with them reminiscing about the mission, the missionaries and good times. It was really good to see them, she is recovering from breast cancer and looks wonderful. We will have more to tell next week as they stayed here until Thursday morning.
We are grateful for the experiences that we have had here in Nauvoo. We know we are not here by chance but for a specific purpose; there are things that we need or needed to learn and to strengthen our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel. We pray we have done our part; we have learned much and have had special experiences that we could have not had in any other place. We love each of you and thank you for your support and love. We pray the Lord’s choicest blessings to be with you all now and forever.
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw