Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Monday, March 21, 2016

We must have Courage and be Kind. .

     We are always reminded about keeping the Sabbath Holy, and it does way on our minds as we try to keep it holy.   Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley said:  "If you have and doubt about the wisdom, the divinity of observing the Sabbath day, stay away from the stores on Sunday, stay away from the markets, stay home and gather your family about you.  Teach them the gospel, enjoy yourselves together on the Sabbath day, come to your meetings, participate.   You will know that the principle of the Sabbath is a true principle which brings with it great blessings."

     As Elder Horlacher has been talking about Carthage and our new assignment, I am so grateful for this opportunity to talk about Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.  There is a quote from Joseph, it is found in Joseph Smith History 1:25:  "So it was with me.  I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth?  I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen?  For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it,  neither dared I do it, at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation."  I share this with our visitors at the end of my tours each day.   And I bare testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.   I truly feel of his spirit each day as I serve at Carthage.   Joseph Smith is a prophet of God in the latter days, or he is not.   It is as simple as that. . .

     As we serve our mission we have many opportunities to learn about enduring.  ha ha    There are some days when we are concerned about doing that one more thing.  Here is a quote from Pres. Thomas S. Monson:  "What does it mean to endure?  I love this definition:  to withstand with courage.  Courage may be necessary for you to believe: it will at times be necessary as you obey.  It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence."  We must all have courage.   Have any of you seen the new movie Cinderella from Disney?  If not you must see it,  her mother tells her she must have courage and be kind.  What a wonderful concept.

     We love you all so very much,   You are our family and friends and " we must cherish one another, comfort one another and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together".   Lucy Mack Smith

Not Spring Yet, But Just Around The Corner

     We are enjoying the assignment of being in carthage.  Working together each and every day is a special experience for us.  Sister Horlacher also enjoys not having to wear the site cloths as an extra benefit. I wear a suit and tie each day now which isn't as comfortable.  We are always on a time constraint the tours of the Nauvoo historic sites range from 10 to 15 minutes while here in Carthage the time for the complete tour is 45 minutes.  A special film of Joseph Smith takes 18 minutes and the rest of the time is taken in the jail.  Our Key message is that Joseph was a prophet.  The spirit which is here is powerful and our experiences are phenomenal.  A well dressed man came for a tour of  the jail.  He had the time for the complete tour.

     His legal case was completed and had a little time before returning to Northern Illinois.  He was interested in the legal aspects.  The what, where, why and how of the charges of the case.  While I have read and studied the historical aspects I didn't have all of the details.  This was good because we exchanged email information so that I can provide the information he desired.  He likes history.  He also told me that "America could have had a wonderful president if they had elected Mit Romney.  I have never meet a Mormon who wasn't a good.  James Patten is his name.  I will send the material and if I can get a mailing address I will include a history book of God's dealings with the people of ancient America's like He's dealings with the people of  Holy Land.  The Book of Mormon is the tangible hold in your hand key to know if the gospel is true and has been restored and that Joseph is a true prophet.  By the way we have seen the fellow which we had wrote about before has been back to the jail two time that we have seen.  We saw him on the sidewalk just looking at the jail through the fence for a few minutes.  The other time he was in a pick-up doubled parked looking at the jail. We believe and hope that we will be able to talk with him again.  It is clear to us that he is deeply interested and maybe a little troubled regarding this place.  We meet many of your friends that come to Carthage as well.      
 The Hammer Family from Santa Clara, Utah.  We had a very nice tour with them.  It is fun to visit about our families in Utah and Arizona.

We meet the Skinner Family from Arizona but unable to get a photograph.  The Skinner's are friends of Charles and Christine and family.

The Needham family from St. George.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Carthage: A Wonderful Experience

     We are really enjoying being assigned to Carthage.  We are learning lots as we prepare for the busy summer months.  We can't plan for the individual families which will come but we do plan and schedule the many youth groups which arrive by the bus loads.  The challenge is how to accommodate for the large groups all at once.  We are very limited on space.  Our film room will hold about a 100 at a time but the historic jail is very limited in space.  The rooms are small and can only handle groups of about 25, up to 45.  So we split the groups and stagger them into the different rooms.  The real challenge is to spend the time without being rushed to have a deep spiritual experience for the guests.  I am enjoying a spiritual feast each time I open up the jail for the day.  I inspect the rooms making sure that everything is in order.  I have the privilege of cleaning the floors and original wood work.

     The reward comes each time as I ponder what took place there, with such strong spiritual feelings.
This time of the year our tours are small sometimes only one or two people.  One experience I had with a non-member man was special.

     This man was raised in Carthage and came back to visit family.  He said that he had plenty of time so we were not in a rush.  Our 18 minute film is generally how we start the tours.  The film made for the Carthage Visitors Center talks about how others, both members and non-members, felt when they visited the Prophet Joseph Smith.  This man was very interested in the historical aspect of the jail when and how  it was built.  He was very impressed with the workmanship and the materials used in the construction.  I pointed out the many areas which are still original and in excellent condition.  The jail is 177 years old.  I gave the full presentation.  In the martyrdom room I could see that he could feel the spirit.  Outside the jail we talked about the restoration of the gospel.  I presented him with a Book of Mormon and asked him if he would read it.  He said that he would but then asked me how he could know it was true.  I turned to Moroni 10:4-5 and underlined it.  I explained that when you get to this part which I have marked you must do as the scripture says, ask.  I explained that asking is to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon asking God if this Book is true.  He said that he would do this.  I invited him to come back again and we could answer any questions regarding the book.

     The weather is like a roller coaster.  We had two days last week in the 60's and now its cold again, 14 degrees now and the weather report says "much colder than yesterday".  Well I can't argue about that.  I noticed that yesterday the farmers were starting to work the fields, cultivating  and fertilizing.  I do believe that Spring is right around the corner as I have seen the tulips starting to come up.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We are still adjusting to this chapter in our mission. Working together as companions each day, working in the same site, not wearing site clothes, adding travel time in our schedules of meetings and mission activities and still trying to find our stuff which we moved.  Carthage is the most unique site of our mission as it has the restored historic features of the jail as well as its own visitors center.  The spiritual influence of Carthage is so special to us.  To be a witness of how the spirit touches those who come here is amazing.  As a missionaries we are blessed to experience how the Holy Ghost touches hearts with the burning influence upon them. We have all had these experiences and will continue being straightened by the Holy Ghost but here in Carthage it is very powerful. There are the special times each day that I feel the spirit so strong as I open up the jail for tours. I am alone in the jail as I check the rooms to make sure they are clean and ready for the day. I remember and ponder the events of June 25, 26, and the 27th.  I  remember Joseph and Hyrum what they said and felt.  I think of John Taylor and Willard Richards who were with Joseph and Hyrum at the last.  I remember Steve Markham, John Fullmer and Dan Jones  who were sent by Joseph on important assignments.  How when they were not allowed back into the jail after their tasks were completed. The more I read, study and see, the deeper my love and appreciation grows for the prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith. We are truly blessed with this experience and if we can remember our lives will always be blessed.

     Our new part for Rendezvous went well.  We were so nervous about this new part and especially the singing.  We still practice, practice, practice, sometimes 6 or 7 times a day.  We even continue practicing the Jed and Annie parts along with the Thomas and Elizabeth vignette.  We have gained a greater understanding and appreciation for this play called Rendezvous.  How it shows in songs, in humor and even tears how the saints felt as they were here in Nauvoo. In this vignette Thomas  has

explained to Elizabeth that we are leaving in a little more than a week....and I've got to built a create for the chickens and I'll have to buy a rooster!!!!
  I can just see you now atop our wagon, leaving Nauvoo.

 You'll trip over your wiskers before you see me sitting atop our wagon leaving Nauvoo.

 Thomas says maybe you're just too old to go West!


Who drove the wagon all by her self across Missouri!

I knew You'd go Elizabeth.

Oh  Did You.

Farewell Nauvoo
Farewell Nauvoo....