We are getting up to speed, increasing our endurance for the active spring and summer months ahead. Spring is here as we see the trees bud, the winter crops getting green, the tulips are about 4 inches above the ground and even the Canadian geese are nesting. The weather hasn't quit got the message as there are still some cold days and nights. The river is thawed and the huge river barges are operating on the Mississippi River.
The Relief Society Re-enactment was held at the Community of Christ's Red Brick Store. The sister missionaries attended in there best period dresses and bonnets. From the visitors center they rode in the wagons to the Red Brick store. I was asked to be in the program to play Willard Richards, The 1st and 2nd councilors of our mission participated. President Blair was Joseph Smith and President Hyte as John Taylor. Our mission president, President Hall also attended. I had the best speaking part possible...when Joseph asks Willard to take the minutes, I said "thanks". They said I did very well. I was suppose to pretend to be taking notes with a feather quill pen. There was a ball point pen attached to the feather so I decided to take the minutes of the organization of the one of oldest women's organization in the world. Many were interested in what I was writing.
Sister Perazzo from Fallon, Nevada along with President Hyte and Blair in front of the Red Brick Store along the Mississippi River.
The Carthage visitor's Center has gotten busier. For the month of March we have had _347 tours of 2,782 guests compared to last month of 45 tours and 367 guests. Things are just starting to get busy. The Carthage Visitors Center on a busy day this Summer will see over a 1,000 guest per day. Many families have taken advantage of the school breaks and have come to Nauvoo and Carthage. Each tour takes 45 minutes to complete. We have really been blessed as we have witnessed the Spirit touch those who come. Carthage truly is a special place. There is nothing routine about the tours. When you are in the very room where Joseph and Hyrum gave their life's blood for the work and cause of the Lord. How they were able to endure to the end. I invite the guests to imagine and ponder about being here in the very room June 27th about 5:15 PM when the mob murders Joseph and Hyrum. We testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. My understanding and appreciation has grown so much more deeply. Last week as I was bearing my testimony a woman asked me how being in the Martyrdom room strenghtened my testimony? I'm not sure what I said as I answered her. It was like the words were not mine as I testified with a very real and powerful spirit how this knowledge of Joseph and Hyrum's sacrifice of their life's blood for the cause of truth.
When ever we have guests which need an interrupter I am amazed at the strong spirit which is there. It is like the communication is spirit to spirit. When the folks are speaking Spanish I think of Elder Trevor Horlacher in Mexico how he is testifying and teaching or Elder Richard Miklich in the Philippines as we have had guests from those countries. When the weather and time of day is just right you can see a reflection of the paintings of Joseph and Hyrum. Joseph in the window and Hyrum in the open door way of the summer kitchen.
We have preformed our new parts of Thomas and Elizabeth, the Rendezvous play now a number of times. We still get keyed up (I sweat) because of nerves. As we ask for strength we are able to do amazing things which are totally out of our comfort zone. For both of us to sing solos on stage is something that I would have never thought possible. I am so proud of Cheryl. When she says her lines and sings on stage I have to be careful not to forget my parts because she is that good!She has become my coach as I am singing a solo for the mission talent show in April. I felt that I might as well go for it! Some of the numbers from the talent show will be selected to preform on the Sunset Stage for the summer shows. I honestly don't care if I don't make the cut, what matters to me is that I tried. The song is "Angels Among Us" by Alabama. The last time I practiced on the stage with a mike sister Horlacher told me that I wasn't singing loud enough because when I sing louder my voice sound more raspy and better. So I will belt it out even with the mike in my hand. I have excellent coaches.
Last Saturday I attended the temple with Brother Nick Kennedy. He gave me the honor of being his escort as he received his endowment. He has truly grown in the gospel. This October he and his wife are planning to be sealed in the Las Vegas Temple and then attend the St George temple with a short visit to the ranch as they continue on to the Salt Lake Temple.
Other events which have kept us busy. The Multi denominational Easter Program which was held in the Nauvoo Stake center. This is the second time we have attended this special event. We also attended the Prairie Grass Fire again. It is amazing how fast it burns.
|The Annual Prairie Grass Fire..From start to finish is just a few seconds|
This is the Cox family from Star Valley, WY. They are good friends of the Waltons which we served with.
|The Reed family from Sparks, Nevada. They are in the same ward as Fred R.|
The picture of the Mississippi River, early morning fog, and a fisherman in a boat was so beautiful.
The picture of the Sunset was taken out in the prairie. It looked like the whole west was on fire. A little different than the sunsets on the Mississippi but just as beautiful.