Our Eternal Family

Our Eternal Family

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Our Adventure moves right along. . . .

     Our time at Carthage is coming to a close.   The last 4 months have been a treasure.    The growth that Elder Horlacher and I have grown is beyond measure.   Perhaps we could say the crowning jewel.   This is where Joseph finished his work.   How grateful we are to have learned and shared those final days with those who have come to visit.   Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum did give their lives so that we could have the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on earth today.   Just as our Savior, Jesus Christ had to go on the Cross at Calvary for each of us, Joseph had to shed his blood so we could have the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Just as millions go to Calvary to pay homage to our Savior Jesus Christ, I believe the people who come to Carthage come to remember him, and his brother, Hyrum.   When you consider that the Jail is 175 years old, it has been around 171 or 172 since the martyrdom, and thousands still come each year to remember. Many of the guests come yearly because of the spirit and peace that is found here.   The McReys, who over saw the Restoration of the Carthage Jail wrote a book as they were restoring the jail.   They tell in their book that the quality of the building is a higher standard than other building in Illinois at that time.   They feel that Heavenly Father had a hand in the building of the jail.   I love to think that he did and wanted the jail to be here in our day so we can visit the place where Joseph and Hyrum gave their lives to seal their testimonies in blood.   We are grateful to our Father in Heaven for the privilege of serving 4 wonderful months at the Carthage Visitor Center and Jail.    When we were called to serve here in Nauvoo, my desire was to know the man, Joseph Smith, the Prophet.  I truly feel that I know him better than when I came.

     We have now been back in Nauvoo for 6 weeks.   We live in the flats this time, we live upstairs in a very small apartment,  So we are not able to have friends and family stay with us, other than that we find it to be very comfortable.   We have learned we can do without many things and we can do hard things.  I tease when I say we only come home at night when we can stay in, so we don't have to do the stairs more than once.    Actually they are good exercise.  ha

     Our son Charles and his family were here last week,  They were here a full week.   They gave us the energy to carry on.   We had such a wonderful visit.   We weren't able to do many of the tours with them but we had some meals together and just visited as we had time.   We love our family so much,  they are our joy and happiness.  We have our son Bryan and his entire family, and Tonya's mother coming the 6th of August.   Our whole family will have visited us here in old Nauvoo.   We count our Blessings each day.  What did we do to have been blessed this much?

    This summer has been hot, humid and dry.   This last week and a half we have had a little rain so every thing is green.   It took a half inch of rain to turn things around.   Some of the farmers did use their sprinkling system to save their crops.  Last summer was a wet and mild summer.   Elder Horlacher and I have done our share of perspiring this summer.  The pageant is half over, the month of July is half over,  we find it hard to realize how fast the time is going.

     I have served in the Heber C Kimball home several times since I have been back in Nauvoo.   In the tour I share a story of Heber just after they arrived here in Nauvoo.  He had purchased an old stable and took it apart and then built a crude lean to for his family to live in.  He was called to serve a mission in England with Brigham Young.   At this time Heber was sick, his children were all sick and his wife Violet was deathly ill.   When the appointed time came Brigham Young, also sick, was helped in to a boat to cross the river to meet with Heber, so they could began their mission.  They   stayed a short time at the Kimball home, hoping to get well.   As Heber and Brigham left they were both helped into the wagon, as the driver began to leave Heber ask him to stop, he said to Brigham, " My heart feels like it is melting to leave my family in the arms of death, Bro. Brigham, even tho it will be hard to do lets stand and give a hurrah to our families,"   They stood and called," Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Isreal."   The wives hearing the call did get  out of bed and came to the door to wave good bye.  Heber and Brigham were on their way to England, not knowing where they would spend the night or where they would eat their next meal.   They understood how important it was to spread the gospel throughout the world.  I was thinking what would I do,  would I tell the brethren that I would go when I was well.   They had such faith, how grateful I am for their faith and dedication to the gospel and the Lord.   I will truly come home a different person.  It is good to be back in the sites to share the Saints stories once more before we leave.    We are getting acquainted with the new missionaries, as we were in Carthage when they arrived and really didn't get to know many of them.  They are getting ready to take over.  how I remember last year when many of the missionaries left.  I didn't know if we could do all that was ask but I now know that it is possible and that they will even be better.

   I had an experience 2 nights ago.   I have been having some trouble with dehydration.  I'm pretty sure this  is why this experience happened, but I had gone to bed around 9 o'clock.  I had been a sleep for around an hour when I suddenly got cold.  Really cold. I got a couple of blankets and added to the covers.  I could not get warm, this went on for about 3 hours when it hit me, this would have been how the Saints would have felt when they were crossing the plains.  They would have been wet, no place to dry their clothes and to warm themselves.  The reality hit me so strong.  They probably didn't get warm.  My heart hurts as I think about how cold they really must have been.  I also realize I can do hard things.  I am so grateful to know the things I have learned here in Old Nauvoo, and I am grateful for the lessons the Saints have taught me.   I love my Father in Heaven,  now comes the hard part, and that is to endure to the end living as I know I must to be with my Family, my Friends, and with Heavenly Father.   May we all "Cherish one another, comfort one another, and gain instruction that we may all sit down together in Heaven."   Lucy Mack Smith

   We love you all so much.   Thank you for all of your love and support.   I am grateful to call you all family.  Know that you are each Special, and a Son or Daughter of a Father in Heaven who loves you and wants only the very best for each of us.

 We started to watch the corn grow but before we knew it, it was full grown

The Angells, they left early to care for her parents,  wonderful people
 Remember the turtles of last summer, well they were slower this year.  We counted 30 on this log.   They are so fun to watch.

Sister Cluff,  she helped teach us how to sing for Thomas and Elizabeth.  Number one cheerleader.
Charles, Christene, Nicole, Travis, Heather, Jeremy
Sister Cluff

 Our last home here in  Old  Nauvoo, 920 Hotchkiss Street.  We are upstairs. Our entrance is in the back.  The picture of Elder and Sister Horlacher in our back yard.