Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Monday, September 28, 2015

We May Plant Seeds. . . We May Water Those Seeds. . . or . . . We May Harvest the Seeds. . . We are all helping build the Kingdom of God. . .

   Yesterday was another wonderful day at Carthage. . .   I would like to share  several experiences that I had there.   It was my turn to take 6 people through the jail, 2 couples and 2 gentlemen.   The spirit is always there, its as if Joseph and Hyrum are there.   We got to the Martyrdom room and went in and talked for a few minutes and played the 4 minute tape.  I like to sit for a minute or two after and let the spirit whisper to our spirit.   I then bore my testimony and ask if any one would like to say any thing.   One of the women ask about the cry Joseph uttered as he fell from the window, "My Lord, My God".   That is a Mason cry for help, and Joseph was a Mason.   I have a different take on the cry and was able to share my thoughts.   I believe that Joseph Smith knew Jesus Christ in a personal way and feel that as Joseph leaped or fell from the window he saw Jesus Christ, our Savior, who, I feel had come to take him home.  We probably will not know the true answer until we see Joseph Smith in Heaven and can ask him personally.  Some how it makes my heart feel better.   Everyone left the room and had started down the stairs when I noticed the other women sitting in the Dungeon Cell, she was crying so I felt I should just let her be alone in her thoughts.   Everyone was down the stairs when she came out and held me in her arms.  While crying she ask if she could bare her testimony to me which she did as she held me.   It was a beautiful testimony and when she finished she thanked me for listening and said she didn't want the others to hear.   I shared, that my testimony was much the same, and thanked her for sharing with me.   We walked down the stairs together, and when we were outside she ask if we could stay in touch.   We visited a little longer and then said goodbye.

    On my second tour it was a party of 7, 3 couples and 1 woman who was by herself.    After the tour was over and we had all left the jail one of the women came back to find me and said, "I believe that we will see each other again even if it is in Heaven,  we will know each other."   What a beautiful concept.

    My third experience, a couple came into the Visitor Center in Carthage and said they just wanted to see the Jail, they didn't want to see the film or anything else.    Her great grandfather was one of the guards that guarded Joseph that day and she couldn't understand why they killed him.   We explained the best we could and assigned Elder Horlacher to take them through the Jail.   Elder Horlacher will finish the story a little later, but what a thrill to meet someone from the other side whose relative was there and knew of the martyrdom.   They were from Oregon and had come a distance to see the jail, and find out why someone would want to kill him.

     I was asked to conduct the tour of the couple by Sister Price which I was glad to do.  The couple told me that their great grandfather had been assigned to be a guard inside the Carthage Jail.  The film which we show in the visitors center shows Joseph teaching the guards.  I told the couple how special it was to meet them because I tell the groups (especially the youth groups) that when you are involved in a bad situation it is alright to leave and not be part of it.  This is what the guards did.  They left saying that they wanted no part of this and that Joseph was a good man.  The replacement guards were instructed not to talk with Joseph.  The great grandfather had written about this experience in his journal and said that if they had known what was going to happen to Joseph and Hyrum Smith they would not have left.  The couple also told me that Joseph Smith had given a scriptural reference in the bible.  The couples daughter is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints  and had the specific information.  I tried to give the couple a Book of Mormon but they refused, however we left as friends. It was a thrill to meet the non member folks and to testify that like their great grandfather, Joseph Smith was a good man and I know that he was and is a prophet of God.

   Coming to Nauvoo brings history to life.  It is one thing to read about it, but quite another to walk the streets and visit the homes and feel of the spirit of the Saints who walked, laughed, cried, died, suffered and gave everything they had for our Father in Heaven and his Kingdom.   On the way to Carthage Joseph said "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens."    As the Saints were leaving Nauvoo, walking down the Trail Of Hope, they were singing "All Is Well".   My dear family and friends, could we do the same if we were ask?    We Love You All so much.

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Time to Step Up. . . . . It's Time to be the Leaders. . . . The Missionaries who were here before us have gone Home and on to the New Chapter in their Lives ! !

     At our Rendezvous last night we said good-bye to the remaining cast who will be leaving us.  Our cast went from around 60 to 30.    The show must go on,  we were promised they will keep all 3 casts even though that means we will be doing 3,4,5, even 6 parts or more.   Now, can we remember it all, is the challenge.   We truly love our mission.

     In our mission choir we are singing the Hymn "More Holiness Give Me,"  page 131 in the Hymn Book.   I'm not sure if I really, I mean really, listened to the words.   I want to invite each to find the hymn and take a few minutes in home evening or wherever you can find a quite moment to read the words,  I would like to recite just a    few, "More patience in suffering, More sorrow in sin, More faith in my Savior, More sense of his care,  More joy in his service, More purpose in prayer,  More gratitude give me, More hope in his word, More Savior like thee."

     Every once in a while a question is ask or comes to mind,   "What does the Savior ask of us?"  He asks us to follow him.   We each will interpret the meaning for our own self.  But I find it humbling to ponder the question.   Am I trying hard enough?  This life is a test, will I pass?   There are so many questions we must ask our self as we prepare to return to our Father in Heaven.    Our Father in Heaven has set the standards we must follow.   We can look at the Parable of the "Ten Virgins" to perhaps understand how important following the standards completely is.   All ten virgins I'm sure were good women, perhaps even great, but only 5 were allowed into the wedding.   Why?

     We have a Sister here in the mission whose granddaughter came for a visit.   She is 10 years old, her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother during the week and with her father on the week ends.   Her father is the son of this sister.    The mother is on drugs so this young girl does not have a wonderful home part of the time.   Sister Mamales took this young granddaughter around to all the sites, to Rendezvous and a Wagon Ride, etc.   She had a wonderful time.   She was asked what she enjoyed the most and she replied, "I loved how part of God came out of the missionaries and everyone was so kind."   My dear family and friends, we never know what even a smile or hello will mean to someone.    Please stay the wonderful people that you are. . .    We love you all so very much, we couldn't be more blessed than having you all a part of our lives.   Thank you.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

A few odds and ends! ! !

Main Street in Old Nauvoo, an other flower pot, the Cultural Hall where Rendezvous is performed nightly.  Elder and Sister Horlacher with their wagon loaded on the fairy ready to cross the river.  
Sister Horlacher weaving, actually it is very relaxing.                                                                        

Even though this is not a sunset, it was very beautiful!

This week I had an interesting experience while at the blacksmith shop.  The picture at the bottom is of a family which our son Charles taught while on his mission in Wisconsin.  They asked about my name tag and wondered if I knew if  there had ever been a missionary with that last name serving in Racine, WI?  I told them about Charles and the connection was made.  He had taught them but they were not baptized until after Charles was transferred.  We had such a wonderful visit and I was so excited that I called Charles to tell him.  It is a thrill to learn of my sons missionary success. Our world is very small when we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also had an experience with some folks from Sweden and Norway.  I tried to make a connection with Denmark but they said that they also couldn't speak Danish either! (Ha..Duaine..I'm trying)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How the time can fly ! ! !

    Tomorrow September 9, 2015 marks one third of our mission completed.  I can't even realize we have been serving for 6 months.   We just keep learning. . .  The sites have slowed down as far as guests and we have learned  "sometimes it is more tiring to do nothing, than be extremely busy, because you can't rest from it. . . . . . . . . ."   Our hours are shorter now, basically 10 am to 5 pm.   Makes it easier to get to Rendezvous at 6:30 pm.    We have time to get to know our companions, what a special treat it is.

    The Young Sisters have a baptism coming up, September 23.   A woman in her 30's.   She is married with a young son, 7.   Elder Horlacher had given them a tour in the blacksmith shop and they have included him, us, in part of the excitement.   Her husband had been a member of the LDS Church since he was a boy but had become inactive.   He hadn't been to Nauvoo since a boy, and the family was trying to find something to do, when he remembered Old Nauvoo.   They came and fell in love with Nauvoo as well as the missionaries.   They are here going through the sites every chance they get and have been to 4 of the Rendezvous.   They have invited us to dinner on the 25th.    It is so cute to see the excitement they have.   It is interesting to me that many of the people who live right here, have heard of Nauvoo, but don't have any idea about what it is or what is here.   Her mother knew about the mormons and has a great dislike for them.   If they would just learn about us with a open heart they would find we are not so bad, ha, that we just want to follow Jesus Christ.   This family just moved to Carthage so they can be in the Nauvoo Ward.  Their son was child of the week at school and for his favorite song he chose "I Am a Child of God".   It is so fun to be a part of someone coming into the church.

     I have been thinking a lot about service lately and how important it is to give and even to receive.   In Matthew 6: 3-4 it says "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seethe in secret himself  shall reward thee openly."

      Pres. Thomas S. Monson said, "Loving service anonymously given may be unknown to man - but the gift and the giver are known to God.   Of this truth I testify."      I also testify that blessings truly come when we are in the service of our fellow men, for we are in the service of our Father in Heaven.   He needs each of us to help him in caring for each other.   I once heard, he only has you and I to send to do his work as he is not here to do it himself.   When you think of it like that you can't help but feel it a privilege to give service to each other.    We love you all so very much.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Beautiful Nauvoo ! ! !

Beautiful. . .
the flowers have been so beautiful this summer.  Just a few to show the beauty.   These are at the Visitor Center.  They are in pots.  The mission puts out 400 pots like this throughout the sites as well as on the main street of town.    They are beautiful. . . . .

Elder Horlacher and myself were given the assignment to clean the Old Nauvoo Burial Grounds.   The entry to the grounds is beautiful.   We cleaned the statue and building where all the names are.   It was so peaceful and spiritual.   A great experience to visit and clean for the saints.
The path to the graves was so peaceful and beautiful.   The statue is of a family who have just buried a small child.

The Fluckigers, and Gayle Roundy (Dorothy and Gayle are cousins )
 The Robison from Panguitch and Couchs at the Farewell Breakfast.
The Waltons

We have a Farewell Breakfast each month to say good bye to those who are leaving and Hello to those who are coming.   It is always an emotional moment.   The Fluckigers were hear to visit the Roundy's who are here as Temple missionaries.  It was fun to see Dorothy and her husband as it had been many years since we had seen them.   The picture of Elder and Sister Horlacher was taken in front of the Visitor Center.  Our Sunset Cast and our District.  The Daltons, Sister Layne, Sister Boyle, Taylors, Skinners, Horlachers.