Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Carthage and Life

     It is astonishing to me to see how the Spirit touches the people who come to Carthage.  We had a small group of 5 people from Brazil and China.  The two men from Brazil married women from Shanghai.  The night before Carthage this group attended our Rendezvous with the mission president.  We were told that they were  VI P's.  ("A rumor did Fly")  At Carthage each missionary takes their turn giving the tours as the groups come.  It was my turn for the tour when this group arrived.  I thought everything went well.  The questions which they asked were all answered and I felt good about the experience.  After the tour the group talked among themselves in Chinese for quite some time in the visitors center.  I provided some information about the pioneer trail and additional church historic sites.  The men from China was writing his doctorate thesis regarding the Mormon Church and its adverse treatment in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. The group was going to Salt Lake for Conference Weekend.  Today in our training meeting President Hall told our mission that when this group got to Utah the two non-members asked to be baptized. The baptism was preformed by a member of the 70.  It is so wonderful to see and be a small part of  this great work.  President  Hall explained that the Chinese culture need to have every piece of the puzzle fit, that a missing piece of the puzzle creates a great stumbling block for them.  I have no idea what pieces came together but I do know that the Spirit is the answer.  I believe that in the days to come that through these folks and others that the church in China will expand greatly.

     I had a older brother and sister on a tour of the jail.  In the martyrdom room with just the three of us there and with plenty of time,  they shared some very special things with me.  They are both converts.  The first time that the brother come to Carthage as a non-member he said that he felt and saw something very special.  He said that he saw the room June 27th, 1844, and the events which happened there.  He could see the smoke from the black power guns and how it filled the room.  As he told me I was able to understand better how Willard Richards could have been overlooked by the mob being yet alive due to the smoke filled room. Also Joseph had prophesied the day would come that Willard Richard would see balls or bullets fly on his right and left side and his friends would fall, but Willard would not receive a hole in his garment.  He did receive a nick under his left ear.  He realized that that prophecy had been fulfilled.  I am learning as I see and witness how the spirit touches the hearts of people.  Everyone is different and what I see or feel is not how others see or feel as we receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost.  It is a blessing in my life to witness this in the lives of others.  We play a 4 minute audio tape which describes in detail the events in that room.  I've heard the tape many times so I now take this time to study the folks which are in the room.  I watch how they are touched by the spirit which is there.  This is a remarkable experience for me.

     The Talent Show has been an experience.  The show its self went very well, all 26 numbers!  We have a lot of talent in our mission.  Sister Horlacher was part of our Lucy Mack cast sisters singing "Sugartime".  All 10 sisters sang the song and then had a hand slap routine which was fun to watch with their white gloves.  I was plenty nervous as I sang the song "Angels Among Us".  Sister Cluff played the piano and Elders Reimen, Hombs and Apperson completed the stage band and backup singing for the chorus.  It went well because I didn't pass out; I received a lot of complements.  I feel so relieved that this experience is over!

     I had to give the thought and prayer a week ago in Rendezvous, and I had heard this story which I love so I shared it with our cast.   "Who Packs Your Parachutes"   Charles Plumb was a Navy Jet pilot in Vietnam.  After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface to air missile.   Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands.   He was captured and lived 6 years in a communist prison.  He survived and is now giving lectures on things he learned from this experience.   One day he and his wife were eating lunch at a resturant.   A man walked up to his table and said, "You are Plumb, a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam, and was shot down."   Plumb was surprised and ask, "How did you know that?"   The man replied,"I packed your parachute."   Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.  They shook hands and the man said, "I guess it worked!"    "It sure did or I wouldn't be here today."   Plumb thought about the man all night.   He wondered what the man looked like in uniform.   How many times had he seen him, and not even said 'good morning' or 'how are you?'  Because he was a pilot and the other was a sailor.   He thought of the many hours he had spent at those long tables folding each parachute just so.   Holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn't know.    Now he asks his audience "Who's packing your parachutes?"    We all have someone who provides what we need to make it through the day.   There are many kinds of parachutes,  Plumb used them all when he went down.   Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parachutes.   Sometimes in our daily challenges that life gives us we miss what is really important.   We may fail to say hello or thank you, congratulations on something wonderful that has happened to them.   Give a compliment or say something nice for no reason at all.  I want to thank each of you for your part in packing my parachute.  I love you all.  You all are so special in my life.

    Elder Horlacher's brother Jim and his wife Carrie came to visit us.  They are so wonderful.  They are our first guests here at Carthage.   We had such a nice visit with them.  It's hard to spend much time together, but they came to see us preform in Rendezvous and to see our Sunset practice.  Jim even danced a little with Elder Horlacher.   I think they are about ready to come and preform.  Ha
They are such a support to us.  We love you both so much.

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