Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Joys of Missionary work . . . .

   The days seem to fly by and we have trouble even remembering what day it is.   We will have been out 4 months on the 9th of July.   Paul, Teresa, Abby, and their church youth were here last week for a few days.  It was fun to give them a tour in the Little School House.   We also saw the Hepworths last night at Sunset.
They are here for about 8 weeks volunteering for the Pageant.   We hope to see them around.   We are short about 18 missionaries at this time so the Temple Missionaries, around 6 or 8 couples will be helping us in the sites.   We have been having a lot of rain.  The morning looked so nice when we went to church this morning but when we came out of Sacrament it was pouring.  Very few had umbrellas so most of us got really wet, I think I will start carrying an umbrella, as we were advised to.

     We had some choice contacts with non-members this last week.  At the brick yard two couples from Chicago waited until the rest of the tour left then began asking questions regarding why the Mormons had to leave Nauvoo.  I explained the  details and they were shocked to hear of any group which would be so impatient.  We were really communicating when they just wanted to go.  I realize that some precious seeds were planted. We find more and more opportunities to share spiritual messages.  As was mentioned we were assigned to "Nauvoo on the Road" Saturday the 27th of June.  This gives the mission a chance to get some great exposure by attending the civic activities around the state.  We teach the children how to make rope which they really enjoy because we get them so involved in the process.  The sisters have lots of activities such as pioneer games for the kids as well.  We got back to Nauvoo in time to go to the Carthage presentation there and to sing in the double quartet.  While in Carthage I really felt the spirit so strong.  While the talks were given I could see the window in which Joseph Smith was shot out of.  Each and every time we go to Carthage we feel such a strong spirit as we think of events and the deep meanings which occurred there.

Bryan's Boss comes to Nauvoo

 Bryan's boss sent him this picture while they were visiting Nauvoo.
They said that dad sounded just like Bryan and they really enjoyed his presentation.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fort Madison, Iowa

Fort Madison, Iowa  June 27th
community event
Rope making, Elders Pearse & Angell

BYU Ballroom Dance Team

Another Beautiful Sunset on the Mississippi

Teresa & Abby Morgan

Horlachers, Teresa, Chamberlains

Abby and mom Teresa Morgan

"Be Still" Carthage June 27

Elder Horlacher, Carthage

The Rider Less Horses

Elder Atkins in the Seventy's Hall

One Hundred and Seventy One years Later ! ! !

   Saturday, June 27, 2015 marks the 171st Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith Jr and his brother Hyrum Smith.   Elder Horlacher had the opportunity of singing with a group of 8 in the program.   They sang "The Morning Breaks".   It was very beautiful.  I had the opportunity of handing out programs.   There were over 850 people in attendance.  The day was beautiful, a little overcast, but no rain and very little humidity.  We were there 2 hours early to get a seat.  We had a wonderful program which took place in front of the statute of Joseph and Hyrum.   The spirit was there so strong.  It was hard to hold back the tears.   The Leader of the Community of Christ, in Nauvoo, was there representing there church.

   The morning started out at 8:00 a.m. going on the road with ' Nauvoo on the Road.'   This is a program were we take a little of Nauvoo to different places to show what Nauvoo is about.   This time we had rope making, they can make ropes right there, Pioneer games, the children and adults can participate in, and then we had cutting out rolled cookies, play dough, and then they can have a real ginger bread cookie.  What a great time we had.  This was in Fort Madison at a park in the poor part of the city.   The children and parents, grandparents, had a great time.   Many of the children did not want to leave.   The City and all of the churches there participated and it was all free.  That really started the day off right.   Then we went to the Commemoration of the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, which put us in such a high.   Then we rushed back to do our show, Sunset by the Mississippi, and then were invited to go to the 70's Hall to witness a preforming missionary open his 2 year mission call.   He has helped Elder Horlacher in the Brickyard and I served with him in the Tin shop.   His parents had flown in and surprised him.   It was very touching.  He is going to Mexico City North Mission.   Then we rushed back to see the remainder of the BYU Ballroom Dancers for this was there last night.   We had let them use our name tags and needed to pick them up.  It was so fun.  At Heber C Kimballs home on Thursday one of the dancers came in and saw my name tag and said,  I'm Sister Horlacher in the dance.   It was fun.  We meet them all after the show.   Our day ended at 10:30 p.m.

   We are having 2 of our children come this next week with their families and extended family.   What a great time we will have. We love this work and thank our Heavenly Father that we are able to serve in this way.  We pray for his choice blessings to be yours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

We Love This Work . . . .

    Last week Elder Horlacher and myself went to E Moline, IL to visit the John Deere Factory.   We got lost and so we missed our tour.   We did a little shopping and meet a lady who was very interested in Family History.   She ask if we could help her find a way that she and her husband could do theirs.   We are so excited to help them.   We went back today to take them information and to find the Family History Center close to them.   Moline is about two hours away so we won't be able to be there to help but I think we have them set up with contacts.   We also had the opportunity last night after our Rendezvous Show to talk with two couples about the Saints leaving Nauvoo, and why and how we would be willing to serve a mission and pay for it ourselves.   As we have said we are growing in our understanding of why we are here, what the Saints must have felt, and listening to a living Prophet who has ask us to share the gospel with everyone so they may know and have a choice.

    This Saturday is the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.   Elder Horlacher has been ask to be a part of the program.   It is such an opportunity to be here and be a part of the Martyrdom Commemoration.   We love Carthage and the wonderful feeling we feel there.   We know that Joseph and Hyrum sealed their testimonies with there blood and that the church is true.   We love you and ask Heavenly Father to bless and keep you all safe.   We hope his choicest blessings are yours.

Pictures from Iowa-John Deere

Burlington, Iowa Bridge over Mississippi 

Miles of corn fields

John Deere Harvester
Moline, IL

Nauvoo Temple from Montrose, Iowa,
When the saints left Nauvoo they crossed the Mississippi to Montrose,
enroute to the Rocky Mountains. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Testimony of our Prophet today

    The weeks go by and we realize we are in the process of learning every day, as Elder Horlacher  has said, our understanding is growing.   This last week I have realized how important the prophets are in our individual lives, those from the Bible as well as those today.   Ezra Taft Benson has said, Learn to keep your eye on the prophet.   He is the Lords mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today.   The most important prophet, as far as we should be concerned, is the one who is living today.  He will tell us what we need to know, not always what we want to hear.   How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, is a test of our faithfulness.   I am seeing this everyday, in myself as well as the people we meet.   If we do what the prophet asks and it is wrong and we do it we will be blessed.   It is our faith that will carry us through.

    We have had a great two weeks since we have written.   We have run into Tom and Judy Simper, from Cedar City, Brian Golding and his wife, from Orderville, and Jamie Spencer and her son Mitch, from Glendale.  How fun.    We have preformed our vinnet several times now, and last Thursday we had the BYU Dancers at our show and during our vinnet they kept shouting, take him with you,  Elder Horlacher plays Jed, a non-member who has fallen in love with Anne, Sister Horlacher, who is a member and is leaving Nauvoo with the Saints, He has ask her to marry him, but she thinks because he is not a believer they wouldn't make it.   Jed wants to go west with Anne, but she is afraid to let him come.   It was a fun evening.
     We love you and pray for each of you, thanks for your love and support.

Our Understanding has Grown

     My understanding of the saints living here in Nauvoo has increased.  When we first got here with all of the materials from the sites that we needed to learn we might have lost sight of the forest because of the trees.  Now I see that we were learning the different stages.  We learned the histories about the saints who lived and worked here in Nauvoo.  Often we learned the dates they moved or joined the church and any other significant events in their lives.  While these things were and are important in their lives, the big picture was missing.  I believe that I am just starting to understand this principle.  I am getting better about identifying the trials and experiences which refined and purified the saints of old Nauvoo.  That spirit of the early saints is still here in Nauvoo, and when we look for it we can see it everywhere.  We can appreciate in a greater way the trials, the conditions, the hopes and fears and appreciate the righteous desires of their hearts.  The saints
 of old Nauvoo were true and valiant to the faith.  They carried on, even when they may have thought they couldn't and were true to the faith.  We give key messages at each of the sites.  These key messages are the teaching moments in our missionary work.  This week my key messages have a greater impact because I have requested the guests to put themselves in the shoes of the saints.  For example one of the key messages in the brick yard is to build your house on a rock, meaning the rock of Jesus Christ.  That a brick home represents building a solid home on a rock foundation.

     This is a great message and one that I use each day however I have expanded the message to relate to the  brick making process.  After explaining the process of making bricks with all of the various steps and time required and the conditions necessary to make a valuable product.  I have received great spiritual experiences when I have invited the guests to put themselves in the shoes of the saints to think of their feelings, the heart ache of leaving their beautiful homes which they had worked so hard to build, to travel to an unknown place in the Rocky Mountains.  Simply put the saints left old Nauvoo to follow a prophet of God.  When the visitors think of these things I have seen the workings of the Spirit of God touch their hearts.  My understanding of how the spirit works has greatly improved.  I may have been trying to do too much, too much talking on my part and not enough silent time which allows the spirit the time to enter the hearts and souls of the guests.  I am learning to be a better missionary just by getting the people focused on the principle or concept and then be quite and stand back and not hinder the spirit of the Lord from touching the hearts of the guests.  I have also learned that many of my character assessments and judgments are not accurate.  Some of the roughest looking folks are the most visibly touched by the Spirit.  I think often how my son Bryan talks about his experience in the oil fields of Wyoming, working with a rough character and how he was so surprised to learn from him that he was a member of the church.  This rough character told Bryan this because of the good example set by Bryan in living up to the principles of the gospel.  We should all remember that we need to be extra careful with the judgments we make of people because we can't see their hearts and potential.  I am very thankful to be a missionary.  To have such a wonderful companion who I love and cherish for all time and eternity.  I am thankful to work with so many missionaries who are true and valiant in the gospel.  I am thankful for the blessings which the Lord pours out upon you and all of my loved ones.  I thought that by going on a mission I would be able to repay the Lord for the great blessings which he has blessed me and my family with.  I was wrong because I get more and more blessings.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

On the stage again . . .

    Today was a very special day because we were assigned to the Carthage Jail and visitors center.  We are always pleased to be assigned to this site because of the spiritual feeling which we get their.  It is so special to be in the very room where Joseph and Hyrum Smith gave their life for the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We explain in detail the events which occurred at the Jail those days in June.  We completed our assignment and attended a fireside with the BYU Young Ambassadors.  They sang church songs which were very touching.  We recognize the growth which is occurring in our lives and feel very blessed to called on a mission to Nauvoo.

      The last few days have been fun.   Gayle and Ted, Del and Renee came last Monday and left Wed. morning.   It was so great to see them.  They visited us at the sites and then we had lunch.  They attended one of our shows.   We attended the temple and had dinner.   We want to thank everyone who has come to see us.   It is so wonderful and means so much.

      We had our debut in Rendezvous Thursday night, the 7:00 show went well, and then the 8:15 show we had a few problems, but over all it went well.    We will do it again Thursday.    We are doing Jed and Annie.   I think after the fear has left it will be fun.

       We are looking forward to another week.  The streets of Nauvoo are getting busier with lots of groups and buses.  Many wards bring the youth to Nauvoo to feel the spirit here.  You can't help but feel the spirit of Nauvoo as you see the Temple, and attend the many activities such as the performances, and go through the tours of the homes and business which were here in the 1840's.  We really enjoy being a part of this wonderful place.

     Fast and testimony meeting was very special today, the spirit was so strong.   One of the young Sister missionaries bore her testimony today and shared an experience she had this past week.   She said she was taking a father and a girl, 11 yrs old, through the jail at Carthage  and the father shared with her as they were walking up the path to the visitor center, the young girl stopped and turned to her father and said, "Daddy, I feel like we should take our shoes off,  I feel so special here."   He said she had tears in her eyes.   There is such a sweet spirit at Carthage.   Sad, but you know that Joseph Smith and Hyrum did seal their testimonies with their blood.   Joseph could have denied everything and the mobs would have left him and saints alone.   But you can know that he couldn't because he did see God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and he was called of God to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ and he could not deny for he knew he had seen them and he knew God knew it.


Maxwell's come to visit

Sunset on the Mississippi
Sister Horlacher with the fawn
Close friends with Mark and Cheri,
Carol & Mel, and Jim & Carrie.

Gayle, Ted, Del, and Renee Maxwell
June 2, 2015
Dinner at Hotel Nauvoo

Wagon Ride through Town

Nauvoo Brass Band

Y P M's

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Saints of Old Nauvoo Remembered

    Well...another week.  It is amazing how fast the days go bye.  We have been busier each week with more visitors and longer hours to work.  We start an hour earlier and work and hour later each day.   We are in the two plays...Rendezvous (two nights a week, with two performances each night) and Sunset two nights a week.  We still start our day at 5:30 AM and will finish sometimes at 10:30 PM.   We are sleeping through the night!!!  The brick yard which I keep track of the numbers for had 4,599 total visitors for the month of May.  Of  that number there were 1,710 non members.  The reason we had so many non members is because of  the school groups which had field trips.  We make sure that the kids have a good time however we do not talk about the church.  I have had parents tell me that they remember coming to Nauvoo when they were in school and enjoyed it then and are glad they came again with the school group.  There are many times that I feel the spirit of the Lord so strong when I give the presentation about bricks that I have witnessed  people shed tears.  I rarely know what was said that touched the people I just know that they have felt the spirit.  Our mission is to find those who are seeking the truth and to strengthen the members of the church.  Most of the time I have seen the spirit touching the hearts of the members.  We really enjoy being missionaries and being in the sites where the saints of Nauvoo worked and lived.  Their example of following a prophet, of keeping the faith and being strong and faithful in all things is remarkable.

     This week we will be doing our parts for the Rendezvous play.  We practice every day and have it down pretty good.  Our sacrament meeting at church today was like going to Stake conference.   The chapel and cultural hall was full.

     We meet so many people which we or our family have connections with.  Friends of Mark and Cheri, the Walkers, from Queen Creek, Az and the Reeds, Carol and Mel's, Jim and Carries ward, in St. George, the wives are sisters, what a small world.

     At General Conference on Sunday afternoon August 9, 1882, John Taylor said, "As a people or community, we can abide our time, but I will say to you Latter-day Saints, that there is nothing of which you have been despoiled by oppressive acts or mobocratic rule, but that you will again possess, or your children after you.   Your possessions, of which you have been fraudulently despoiled in Missouri and Illinois, you will again possess, and that without force, or fraud or violence.   The Lord has way of His own in regulating such matters."   (Journal of Discourses)   As Old Nauvoo is restored we see that  happening.   The saints gave so much, but their posterity has honored them, that their sacrafices are remembered.   How grateful we are to them.   We ask ourselves if they would feel that we have done our part in moving the Kingdom of God onward.   We realize we must keep trying to do better.
    Our prayer would be that our Father in Heaven would bless you with his choicest blessings.   We love you all.