Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Monday, April 27, 2015

Richardson's Point

Mission fireside at Richardson's Point, Iowa.  When the saints left Nauvoo they were bogged down in Iowa.  They had to wait for two weeks for the mud to dry out before they could travel.  While they were there three saints died.  A baby, a 13 year old boy and a woman. The woman was returned to Nauvoo and buried there.  This farmer who's family purchased the farm ground many years ago discovered the graves and protected this spot.  He (a non member) and actually told the missionaries (In site clothes) the story.  He has opened this part of his farm so that the LDS people can have access to the graves.  We traveled in the rain (about 50 miles) to get there when we parked our cars the rain stopped.  After the closing prayer the rain started and poured all the way home.  A tender mercy of the Lord.

Week 6 in Nauvoo

    What a wonderful week.  Each day we are in the different sites, welcoming the visitors and sharing their stories.   We are still having many members, but this week we have had many who are not members.   I have been a part of many gospel discussions.   One Gentleman, who knew so much about the church and had read much of the Book of Mormon, but still can't except the gospel.   He said he has come to Nauvoo many times and doesn't understand why he keeps coming back.   Sister Apperson told him he must feel it to have some truth and he told us he will ponder and let us know.   Of course, we haven't heard anything but he seemed sincere, that he would pray and ponder.   It was thrilling to witness someone who is really trying to find the truth.   Yesterday Elder Horlacher and myself served in the Browning Gun Shop and Home together. On Sunday's companions serve together.   Yes, I even told about making a gun, (it was pretty short, ha).   I am witnessing that Heavenly Father will not leave you alone.  We had a couple come in, he a Methodist and she a member of the Community of Christ, They have the Joseph Smith Mansion, the Red Brick Store, etc.
They are here for 3 weeks to help with the repairs on the different, Community of Christ sites.   We were with them close to 40 or so minutes.   She shared a lot about what they believe and knew quit a bit about our church.  She brought up things that we had heard but our response was we didn't know.   When it was over we invited them to visit Carthage.   They said maybe next week.   I was great full to have Elder Horlacher with me on that one.   We had many School Children this last week, 180 with about 30 teachers and parents.   They were 5th grade, and very well behaved.   Many teachers and parents said they didn't even know Nauvoo  was here.   They were very impressed and said they would be back with there families.   One bus driver said he had been here years ago, and had gotten a little horse shoe.  His son had gotten one last year and when he got home he ask his father where his was.  Of course, he couldn't find it so he said they came back to Nauvoo and had a wonderful time.   Seeds are being planted every day.   With the school children we only talked about pioneers,   when they come back with their families, we can talk about the saints.
     I am being made assistant site leader for the Pendleton Log School this wed.   Seems as we get new missionaries we are consider to be the old,  I don't quit feel that way.
     I had a good experience at the brick yard with a group of 8 non members.  They wanted to learn about bricks.  I gave the presentation which I really enjoy giving because I get into it and try to inject some humor.  I felt real good about the spiritual message regarding how important it is to remove the rocks or sticks (impurities) from the Pug (mixture of clay, sand and water) because after the brick is fired there is a hidden weakness in the brick what when under pressure won't hold up.  These impurities are like sin in our lives that need to be repented of so we can be pure and strong when we are under the pressures of life.  I asked them at the end of the tour if they had any questions or comments which they did not have any.  I felt that they could feel the spirit and I know that a good seed was planted.
     Elder Horlacher has been ask to give the Military Tribute Narration, in Sunset by the Mississippi.  We have been told we need to have our vinnet ready the second week of May.   We are working hard, ha ha, we will have our next rehearsal on Wed.   We will try to have all the lines memorized by then.   The main man, Elder Camp is here getting ready for the new preforming missionaries, and has been attending  Rendezous, He is over it, and giving us direction.   There was a time I hear that he wasn't as kind, but I will take his suggestions to heart.   We didn't have any speaking parts so we felt ok about it all.
     We love you all and are so great ful for your example and support.   We ask our Heavenly Father to pour his choicest blessings on each of you each day.   We know the church is true and no matter what our experience is for the day Heavenly Father knows who we are and loves us no matter what.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Our Carthage Visitor's Center assignment

    We have been blessed to spent three shifts at the visitors center.  Carthage is such a spiritual place for Sister and Elder Horlacher.  There are times when telling the story of Joseph and Hyrum, that I can't talk...I tell the guests why...because of the significance of Joseph and Hyrum sealing their testimonies with their lives.  The groups are members and non members, big (1 to 25).  One man asked me a question outside, by the well regarding Joseph's Last words. Joseph said "My Lord My God" (which is a cry for help per the masons) when he was shot and falling from the upstairs window.  I told him to consider another point of view.  That Joseph Smith knew Jesus Christ in a personal way and He had come to greet and bring His servant home.  After I expressed this to him he broke down in tears.
     Since I've been made the brick yard site assistant I have worked more shift there. We try to make 120 brick a day.  When you come I will give you the best tour.  We have three presentation rooms where we explain and demonstrate how the saints made brick.  When you consider all of the time and effort and expense of building a brick house you get a feel of how hard it was for the saints to leave and walk away from the homes they loved to go to the Rocky Mountains.  Our mission is wonderful because we tell all of the stories about the pioneer skills and releate these activities to gospel principles.  We meet many non members who come to learn about the pioneers.  We are instructed to always invite them to learn more.
     Every day is a great day.   What a priviledge to take care of the early saints homes.   To clean and also to invite there guests to come in and learn about them.     The city of Nauvoo is putting in new sidewalks, which is making the city of Old Nauvoo even more beautiful.  The trees are getting green and the tulips and daffodills are in full bloom.    The cardinals are visiting our little bird feeder as well as the  squirrels.     We love you all and ask our Heavenly Fathers choicest blessings to be yours.

Pictures of Carthage

View of the Mississippi from our home
Joseph and Hyrum enroute to Carthage
Upper window where Joseph fell
Jailer's Living Area
Dungeon Cell
Mob rushed upstairs

Martyrdom Room
Browning Gun Shop

Carriage Ride
Women's Garden

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

In Our Forth Week

    What a wonderful experience we are having.   Our fellow missionaries, our guests, our activities, etc.  We are surely out of our comfort zone.   We have Rendezvous 2 nights, Sunset Practice 2 nights, (this program we sing and dance with the young preforming missionaries,  Elder Horlacher and myself do a lot of laughing because we are having a hard time getting it all learned.)  Sunday night there is always something.  This last Sunday the Young Singles Missionaries have returned and gave their report on their outbound missions.   They come to the Illinois Nauvoo  Mission for 6 months during the summer and leave for another Mission for 6 months and then return for the last 6 months.   What a special treat they are.   Our energy level has jumped up.   They say in 2 weeks when the preforming missionaries arrive we will have so much energy we won't even need to sleep.  ha ha
    We spent 2 more days at Carthage, which is so special.   One of my tours was 2 ladies who were not members and had stopped and were taking pictures of everything, not having any idea where they were.   They said they would do a tour with me if it wouldn't be to long.   I told them I would give them a short tour, which mine are anyway.   They were touched that Joseph and Hyrum Smith had been murdered for what they believed.  I was concerned that they may have negative things to say about the church and I was prepared on how I would handle it, but it was a beautiful experience.   We had a bus load of women from the Baptist Church come thru the sites.   They came to our Rendezvous Performance and then through the sites.    Most of them were very kind and happy.   One lady refused to smile, but they all seemed to enjoy there time with us, they thanked us and said they had had a wonderful time,   Elder Horlacher gave them the tour at the Brick Yard.   He had them all laughing and as he gave the spiritual message they all agreed.   The Baptist Church takes the women on a mystery trip each year and this time it was Old Nauvoo.   We are ready for the school children to arrive for field trips.  They say each year they are getting more and more.   They are willing to let them come but we can't use any spiritual language.   Our 1st tour is tomorrow and then on Friday a tour of 180.   It has began.
   Everyday is a new day and a new experience.    We love you all and are grateful for your love, support and prayers.   We look forward to your coming and visiting with us and Old Nauvoo.   It will be a time you will never forget.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

More fun pictures

Joseph and Hyrum
in background

Our home

Rope making

Brick yard
Greeter at Family Living

Easter Sunday in Nauvoo

It is Easter Sunday and a beautiful day here in Nauvoo.    We were able to watch both sessions of conference today.   We enjoyed walking around the temple and enjoying the view from the temple, the Mississippi River view.    The last couple of days we spent in the Family Living Center which teaches the Pioneer Skills.   Elder Horlacher and myself worked together both days,   I was teaching weaving, bread making, and candler making.   Most the people we have had at our stations have been members.   Families from all over the country, lots from Utah, Idaho, Arizona, here on Spring break.   One special experience was 4 young people came in when we first opened, 2 girls and 2 boys.    They were pretty young, around 14 thru 17.   One young lady said she comes alot to Nauvoo, and just loves it here and she had brought her adopted brothers and sister.    I had given them my presentations and we were just finishing up the candle making.  The 15 year old boy stayed behind to talk to me.  Very sweetly he told me he was being baptized the next Friday.   He was very excited and said he loved the gospel already.   He said it was hard to wait but he knew he had to obey the rules.   When he left he said be sure and enjoy everyday of your mission.    He shook my had and thanked me for a wonderful presentation.    He was so sweet.
     I was teaching rope making.  We make ropes using twine.  This is a fun activity because we get lots of people involved.  I also taught the guests about barrell making and pottery.  I didn't teach about the rug making as I look pretty silly when I am on the lume.  I had one experience with a couple of older men who were just looking around.  They didn't want to talk and acted like they were in a hurry.  They were not very comfortable for sure.  I engaged them in a conversation anyway.  One of the guys had a Viet Nam hat on so I talked about the army and our service.  We parted thanking each other for our service. 
     Rendezvous (our singing stage show) was preformed twice.  The first night we were assigned to do a little dose-e-dose with 2 other couples. The rest of the preformances is just singing the various numbers.  The second preformance was very confussing because things were so fast we weren't sure what was happening. ha  It has been a great week Sister Horlacher laughed a lot mostly as me...We find ourselves bring up the words of the songs in our conversations.  We are happy and pretty tired each night.  We love you all very much.