Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Hint of Fall is in the Air . . . . .

   A hint of fall is in the air.   We haven't had much rain for the past few weeks.   The beautiful green is now turning brown.   The corn fields are drying up, the lawns are turning brown, the leaves on the trees are beginning to turn, much of the under growth in the groves has already turned red.   You can see that fall here with the leaves turning will be beautiful. . .  Our guests have slowed down to a very few.  In the little school today we only had 8 guests in the 9 hours we were there.  Two just stopped by to put their heads in and were gone, they weren't interested in anything we had to say.  They ask questions  but couldn't wait for an answer.   I asked if they would like to do the reading quiz, and the lady said, no but her son would pass.   The Saints spelled as it would sound, example youtenshels, it is fun for the guests to figure what they were trying to say.  An other couple, he had served here as a young man, came back for the first time and was in tears wherever he went.   He had served in Kentucky and Tennessee and then in the summer was sent here to Nauvoo.   He said he had forgotten the spirit that was here.  His wife was just as emotional, she shared they had been planning this trip for well over 8 years but something always happened so they couldn't come.  It took a best friend passing away for them to realize this trip was important to them.  They may not be here tomorrow, today is all we know for sure.  They didn't tell anyone where they were going, they were afraid Satan would try again to stop them.   Again we feel blessed to have been ask to serve here.  Because it is slow, we have a great opportunity to get to know our companions that we serve with.   I am finding that many who are serving our Father in Heaven are really here on borrowed time.  Elder Horlacher and I felt we had a struggle  getting here but I am finding our story or experience can't even stand up with some of the stories we learn about.   It is so wonderful to know these latter day saints who love our Heavenly Father so much and will sacrifice so much to serve him and to give others the opportunity to hear about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.   Each day I ask myself, what or where would I be without it.  I am so grateful for those early saints, my ancestors, who gave so much so the gospel of Jesus Christ is here on the earth today.  I am so grateful to Joseph Smith, and his brother Hyrum, who gave their life for us to know the truthfulness of the gospel.

   Many of the missionaries are starting to leave now in groups and will continue thru October.  It has been hard to even think of them leaving because they have been so wonderful and have helped us in so many ways.   Today I finally realized they must get on with the new chapter in their lives and it is time for me to stand and try to fill their shoes.   I am so happy to have finally reached a place where I feel I can let them go. . .   They were going anyway, ha ha, but now it is OK.

   We love you all so much and ask our Heavenly Fathers choicest blessings be yours, take good care of yourselves and each other, so we can all sit down together in Heaven.  Let's never forget who we are, children of a Father in Heaven who loves us, and that we are really all brothers and sisters.

Youtenshels, Utensils.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunset on the Mississippi . . . . . . . . . .

                   Sunset on the Mississippi
                      "They are going to make a big Star out of Me. . . . . . . ."
Things we see in our yard. . .

 We keep trying to get the turtles, but they are pretty smart. . .  They say they come out to sun themselves, but the minute it starts to rain they go back in so they won't get wet. . . go figure.    The male deer came one night with his family, but stayed in the shadows and we couldn't get the camera in time.


 Our MTC Group ! ! !

 Elder Ray and Sister Barbara Doying were leaving the mission because of Medical issues.   We needed one more picture for our memories.    They will and are missed.   What a wonderful couple. . .
E/S Black, E/S Cox, E/S Stroud, E/S Mathis, E/S Skinner, E/S Reimann, E/S Clark, E/S Ramsey, E/S Winnsor,  E/S McKnight, E/S Doying, and of course, E/S Horlacher, ( not in order).   What a great group we make. . . .

 The Young Preforming Missionaries at their farewell. . . . . . Another beautiful sunset.   It is hard to let another sunset go without getting a picture because they are all so beautiful. . . . .

Elder Chamberlain, Elder Horlacher, and Elder Couch singing "When the Sun goes down"   Mississippi Mud.
All of the cast singing Mississippi Mud.   The opening number for Sunset on the Mississippi.

  The young missionaries dancing and the Senior Sister Missionaries singing and dancing "O be Joyful".  
   We really do miss Sunset but are happy having the extra nights off.   We truly enjoy our mission.

Going to Rendezvous

One day it was raining so hard, just like buckets being poured.  
Another night at Sunset by the Mississippi it rained for 10 or 12 minutes.   They had to get the water off  the stage so we could go on.

A barge going down the Mississippi.   This one only had 3 but most will have 5.

The audition
What are you eating?
Can I have some?
Yes. . . .
Doctor he's dead. . . . .

What  fun at Sunset on the Mississippi ! ! ! !

Our cardinal.   Looking out the kitchen window.
Sun set on the Mississippi River.   They are so beautiful.  The camera just doesn't do them justice.  Looking from our porch.

Monday, August 17, 2015

It May take a brick to get our attention ! ! ! !

   We always have such a special Sacrament Meeting.  Today was wonderful.   We had the Young Sisters give the program.   Sister Schenck from San Deigo told of her conversion.  It was very touching, but the part I want to relay is that we get to pray about something or anything and can  know for ourselves if it is true.   We have that choice.   She also shared that she was 14 yrs. old when her mother found or the LDS church found  them.   It was the friendly ward that kept them coming back.  Someone really was happy to have them come to church.   She shared that a lady invited them to dinner.   And then invited them again and again and again.   She has been in the church for 5 years and is now on a mission.  The Sister's shared such simple truth's.  Things that really touched my heart.   Truth is unchanging.   We must get our answers from correct sources.  Questions are the way that we can find the truth.   Joseph Smith asked many questions of the Lord to find out what he needed to know and teach.   One of the questions I feel we all should ask ourselves is "Is the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ true"?   It either "is true or it is not".   We must take time each day to make sure our testimonies are strong.   Seek our answers through study and prayer.   Go to Heavenly Father.   Another thought that really hit me is "We can''t teach what we don't know" and "we can't lead where we aren't willing to go".  These thoughts really hit me as a missionary.

     Our District Leader Elder Dalton shared a story with us that I really loved.   A young man had just bought a very expensive car and was very proud of it.   He was careful where he parked it and even how fast he drove it.    One day as he was driving down the road he heard a bang and knew something had hit his car.   He stopped fast and saw that someone had thrown a brick and hit the side of his car.   He saw a young boy by the side of the road and yelled  "Did you throw that brick at my car?"  The young boy said, "Yes".    The young man was mad and started to yell at the boy and then thought to ask, "Why?"   The boy replied , "My brother tipped over and I couldn't help him,  I knew no one would stop if I just yelled."   The young man went with the boy and found his young brother had tipped over and fallen out of his wheel chair, and was in a serious situation.   He helped the boy with his brother and even gave them a ride in his car.   The young man never had the dent removed from his car and kept it to remind him that sometimes a brick has to be thrown to get our attention.   We love you all so much!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Small World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What a thrill it is to have someone
come through that we have known in the past or we know someone that they know.
Jewel and Jay Black.  Jaenet Ah Quin's mother and father. They found me at the John Taylor Home.     Nolen Roundy's, from Alton, Utah, daughter and family. I saw them at the Pendleton Log Home and School.   The Bright's, John and Cheryl, from West Jordon, Ut.  Our neighbor's 30 or so years ago.   In the middle of a tour, at Brigham Young Home, I realized that I knew them so I ask if I could ask what their name was.   What a fun surprise!    We also saw one of our grandson's (Travis) friend from Gilbert.  Tucker Sideway.   He and his mother looked both Elder Horlacher and myself up.   A family from Chicago, who had lived as a neighbor to Charles family, also came through the Brick Yard.
 Mark and Cheri Miklich, Celina, Andrew, Caleb, and Richard in front of the Carthage Visitor Center.  The Jail in background, the statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

 The family on a wagon ride through down town Old Nauvoo.
A close up view.

 Taken through the bullet hole at Carthage.  The bullet hole in the door of the Martrdom room.    Duaine and Jenny, Mike, Scot, Hilaree and Brandon in front of the Nauvoo Temple.  Bottom, The Miklich Family.   We were honored with Yummy Nuts from our great and wonderful friend, Sister Irenee Ah Quin.   We really feel loved and special.  Our Beautiful Granddaughter Heather writes to us often, how we love that.  Also thanks to the St. George 4th Ward who were so kind to write us.  Now we know how important a letter from home is.
 The Brights

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer's Over. . . . . Almost!

    After the Pageants things have really slowed down.  We are still busy but without the hugh volume of people.  There were days at the brick yard for example that we wouldn't see the other elders working because as we would finish one group, there would be another group of 30 waiting.  I had one group of 58 people in the room, we were so crowed that there wasn't enough room to walk.   Some days this would go on for 6 hours straight.    We were so happy to have our family with us this year.   Duaine and Jenny and their family, Keith and Susan and family, along with Larry and Mary Baker and Claudet, and then last week Mark and Cheri's  family.   We love our family so very much and recognize how much we have been blessed with such a good family.   The Young Preforming Missionaries will be leaving in two days and we will miss them so much.   I have enjoyed the Nauvoo Brass Band.  We were able to get to know several of the band members because they would be assigned to the sites one day a week.  The band as well as the stage preforming missionaries have so much energy.  I believe that by seeing how hard they work we as senior missionaries try harder to keep up the pace.   As we go through these times we get closer to the other senior missionaries as well.

     Saturday night was the close of all shows except Rendezvous.  Friday night was our casts last Sunset by the Mississippi for the Summer.   We had just started and had finished the prayer when it started to rain hard.   We have a weather gage that shows on radar the storm and how it is moving.  It showed it was moving fast and would be through in about 10 to 12 minutes, and sure enough it ended about as fast as it started.   The preforming missionaries sang while we all just sat there and got wet.   Many in the audience had umbrella's so they stayed pretty  dry while we got soaked.  It actually was quite fun.  The men started to squeegee the stage floor so by the time it stopped raining it dried almost instantly.   Tonight we had our Zone Conference and a reception for the young missionaries that are leaving.   It was hard to say good bye.   There are several others that are leaving also, who are very sick.   The Doyings, who came with us, our MTC group, will be leaving very soon.  They also will be missed, they are in their 80's.

    When Elder Clark of the Seventy was here a few weeks ago he shared a story with us that I really loved.  He told of a young boy, I will call him John, who was from a great family, members of the LDS Church, but later in his teens stopped going to church.  He rode with a biker gang and got heavy into drugs.  He finally was so bad that he ended up in a biker safe house to dry out.   One day a couple of missionaries were walking down the street of the safe house, they saw John sitting on the porch but kept walking by.   A few minutes later one of the missionaries stopped and said, I think we should go back and talk to that man sitting on the porch.  So they turned around and went back.  They walked up to John and introduced themselves and ask if they could sit and visit with him.   John couldn't see any harm so he said OK.  He knew about the missionaries from the church but knew he wouldn't talk about religion so it was no big deal.  The missionaries ask where he was from and so he told them where he had grown up.  One missionary was from the same town and ask, "Do you know Mr. and Mrs. ---------------?   John said, "Yes, They are my parents".   The young missionary with tears in his eyes said, "They are my parents too."  John didn't know he had this brother because he was born after John had left home.  Tears filled Johns eyes and the two embraced.  The story ended well with John returning home and getting off drugs, with the help of his family.  He got married and held church positions.   We never know who we will touch or how we may make a difference in someones life.   If we can have the courage to put ourselves out there and share.