Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Smith Family Cemetery

Rick and I walked through this cemetery the other evening. There was such a peaceful feeling there and the river looked so beautiful. These pictures really don't do it justice. You just need to come see it for yourself!
The grave monument for Joseph, Emma, and Hyrum Smith. That is Joseph and Emma's homestead on the left and straight ahead is the Nauvoo house which was never finished.
It was nice to see these new monuments for Joseph's mother and father. The last time we were here, there were just some very old ones that you could hardly read. was neat to think that those old ones were probably the original ones. There are several Smith family members buried in this cemetery.
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High Hope & River Boats

We went to the production HIGH HOPES AND RIVER BOATS the other day and it was so fun. This is one of the musicals the young performing missionaries put on, and they are SO TALENTED! I took this picture afterwards of just a few of the cast members. They have 3 different cast, because they put it on twice a day every day except they are in other productions also. The girl in the yellow is the same one that played the fiddle so amazingly in the SUNRISE ON THE MISSISSIPPI that we saw the other night.
A fun thing happened on Saturday at the Temple. I was on the main floor and saw all these same young people come upstairs from being baptised. It was so fun to see them again and this time in regular clothes and without make-up. They were so friendly and recognized me from the night I took their picture!
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunset on the Mississippi

Last night we went to the first production of the summer here in Nauvoo. It was called "Sunset on the Mississippi". They have several productions throughout the year in addition to the Pageant in July. I think they put this one on every night during the summer. It is a musical put on by the Site missionaries plus some of the young performance missionaries that come in for just the summer. A lot of these young people are from BYU, but anyone can try out for it, and BOY ARE THEY TALENTED! It was so fun. We went about 45 minutes early so we were on the 3rd row. The weather was perfect, even though it had rained earlier in the afternoon. And the sunset was beautiful. Before the musical started, they had the Ahuna family from Hawaii do a pre program that lasted about an hour!! It was wonderful too. This is a family that has traveled all over the country doing this program about different Polynesian cultures. They are members...four sons and two daughters and their spouses and about 9 grandchildren. They were good! They are only here for 3 days! I was going to take lots of pictures but I could tell my battery was getting low so I only took a few, and then it went completely dead about the time "Sunset" started, so I only got two of it. I even had extra batteries in my camera bag and they didn't work!!

The father and his 4 sons and 2 sons-in-law. The third son to the left of his father just got his mission call to Russia, Siberia! How about that, going from Hawaii to Siberia!

The two daughters and one daughter-in-law doing the traditional hula. They brought a lot of people up on the stage to teach them a hula too which was really fun.

A son in law doing that tradition Maori dance to scare off the enemy...where they stick out their tongues. See the videos at the end of this blog for a couple of the other dances.

Some of the Site missionaries in their opening number of "Sunset" You should see these "old folks" sing and dance....they are pretty good!

At the beginning of the show, they did a fun thing. They called up all the children in the audience to make a hat and get a musical instrument and then along with the young missionaries they had a parade down through the audience and up on the stage, to the music of the Nauvoo Band. This is another group of young people who are called here during the summer just to play in this band. They perform at the productions, but also go up and down the street playing several times a day....even up in the regular town of Nauvoo! I often wonder how these locals feel about these hundreds of Mormons who desend upon their sleepy little town in the summer! They certainly can't deny that WE HAVE RETURNED!.... in spite of being so cruelly driven out by these people of Illinois!

I think you can see some of the young missionaries mixed in here... and the beginning of the sunset...and then my camera died!! Boo Hoo

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This was the youngest son, (age 16) doing a Navajo hoop dance. The first video is when he started with just a few hoops...but then he kept adding and the last video shows how many he had at the end.

This was just a short part of the fire dance done by his son who is an attorney. I only got a few seconds before the camera failed, but he eventually did it with two flaming torches! Quite impressive!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Goslings !!

There are so many geese around Nauvoo, it is really fun to see them flying and honking. They are very vocal :) We had heard a week or so ago that the babies had hatched, but I hadn't seen any. Then yesterday on my walk I saw a little family come out of the bushes really close to me. I was so excited. The mom also goes first, then the babies and the dad in the rear. It is really cute. Anyway, I hurried and got my camera out and took this picture. Then as I moved closer to take another one, out of the bushes came about 4-5 more familes!! I tried to get some pictures, but they were soon in the water and headed over to the other side of this little pond. Click on the pictures to see them bigger. It is so neat to see how protective they are of their family. Some had 3, some 4-5, and one family was 8-9!!! Reminded me of us :) Not many of males in the animal kingdom stay around like that. I thought it was interesting, and very touching.

Aren't they cute!

Here comes all the other families!!

Here is the family of 5 and the one of 8-9!
Families, Families, and more families!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Miscellaneous things

The Nauvoo Restoration Incorporation gave us free flowers to plant around our apartments
I was quite pleased with how our flower box turned out....however, they tell us we can't water it! They just depend on rain around here....hope it works!
This huge limb came down the night of the tornado watch when we had such a terrific storm. The is in the back yard of the Heber C. Kimball home, but is right next to our drive way! Scary!

This is our back yard....can you believe it. When I was planting flowers the other morning I just looked out over that view and again felt SO BLESSED to be in the beautiful, peaceful place!

One of "The Groves" where Joseph Young would preach to the people. They never did build a church in Nauvoo, but would hold their meetings outside.

Believe it or not...THIS IS A HOUSE! It is on the river close to the dam by Keokuk. We don't know the whole story, but apparently this WEALTHY man build it for his girl friend and then she left him!! It is empty now, and we hear they may make it into condos. Maybe Dan would like to buy it. :)

These next two pictures of Rick & me were taken in a great store we found in Keokuk. It is actually called Family Discount Shoes, but they have EVERY in it especially in the basement and the attic that is filled with bargins!!
Notice the ceilings of this place! The plaster is coming off and the boards are even hanging down in some places. BUT WE HAVE FOUND SOME GREAT BARGINS end table, a bookcase both for $20, and a beautiful big mirror for $10.00.

Some of my good buys yesterday! Notice the bricked up windows. It is quite the place...certainly a contrast to the home pictured above. :)

Taken Sunday down by the end of Parley's street. We had walked down there after church to listen to a few of the site missionaries tell of the experiences of the pioneers as they left Nauvoo. I had seen them doing this earlier (I posted about it a few posts ago ) and Sunday they repeated it for the Temple missionaries. It was so touching!

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Monday Buggy Ride

Monday afternoon I talked Dad into going on a wagon ride with me around old Nauvoo. It was wonderful weather and it took about an hour. An amazing thing happened. The sister missionary who was narrating the tour from the back of the wagon was a Sister Beamer from Canada!! She and her husband were missionaries in Newfoundland when we were there. He was the president of the little branch at Gander (about 8-10 people). They are now here in Nauvoo as Site missionaries and this was her first day doing the wagon tour. A "tender mercy" of the Lord to bring us together! We didn't think we would ever see them again after Newfoundland.

The beautiful horses that pulled our wagon and one of the trailmasters. Can you see the bags on their behinds to catch the poo so the streets don't get messy. :) Pretty smart! It must work, because you NEVER see any manure around Nauvoo.

The Smith family cemetary where Joseph and Hyrum are buried.

Headed down one of the streets by our apt. The wagon ride goes right in front of our apt. several times a day. It is fun to wave at the people. There are 3 different sets of horses that pull the wagons

When you pass the site, if the missionaries are not busy, they will come out and wave at you.

The oxen eating as oxen do. You can also take an oxen wagon ride. I may have to do that alone :)

I never get tired of looking at this beautiful Temple. Sister Beamer bore such a beautiful testimony to us about Joseph Smith and the restoration as the wagon was passing by the Temple. This is an amazing place.

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Saturday trip to the Amish & Mennonite communities

Last Saturday after our shift at the Temple we went with another missionary couple -the DeMordaunts -to visit some of the Amish & Mennonite communities in Iowa. It was very interesting. These pictures don't do it justice, but I hope you can get a little feel for the beautiful countryside. The people do NOT want their picture taken, so we respected their wishes, but they were all very kind and gracious. The Mennonites are not as strict in their attitudes towards modern day life. This store pictured below is run by them. It is called THE DUTCHMAN and it has wonderful produce and all kinds of bulk food, and hundreds of bolts of material, because they make their own clothes, of course. It was such a fun place to visit. I want to go back.

The DeMordaunts from Rexburg. Wonderful people. He was Mission president in Africa, and also in the Temple presidency in Idaho Falls. She was at BYU when I was. She was a member of another Social Unit...but I remember her a little. We dated some of the same boys! :)
By the way, the wind was blowing really hard...she doesn't wear her hair this way :)

This little pond and beautiful grounds were someones yard!!

An Amish farm...they use NO electricity or cars etc. All their farms were beautifully kept.

An Amish barn...don't know what the symbol means, but I thought it was interesting. We saw lots of similar designs on the barns.

An Amish garden. They grow all their own food. Can you see the buggy on the road?

This was their "work buggy" . Their regular buggy is enclosed like the picture below.

I had to take a picture of this buggy fast while they were driving away, because as I said they do not like their picture taken. The horses really move at a fast trod. It was quite amazing how fast they could go. We talked quite some time with a nice young man in a furniture shop about their community. He was about 16-17 and said they only go to school until the 8th grade (& that is in their own community schools) When we asked him why, he replied that was just what has always been done! I guess when they live as simple as they do, you don't need much formal education. He said there were about 75 Amish families in the area. We also stopped at a little greenhouse and bought some flowers. The family there were a little nervouse about us, I think, but said if we came back in July they would give us a buggy ride. We are going to try and do it.

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Saturday trip with the DeMordaunts

We also visited a couple of historic villages in Iowa - Bentonsport, and Bonaparte. Bonaparte is where my great-great grandfather died on his way to Winter Quarters leaving his widow with a young baby and 10 other children!

Bentonsport, Iowa... a quaint little restored village..kind of like Nauvoo. Below is a quote I googled about this town. Interesting that many of these homes were build by the Mormons on their way west.

A small Iowa village on the Des Moines River was once an important port-of-call for Des Moines River steamboats. Tree-covered hills hem in the little valley in which Bentonsport lies.
A booming town of over 500 in the late 1800's, Bentonsport, now much smaller, is a popular retreat with the history, park and artist atmoshpere.
Several Mormon families stayed in Bentonsport anywhere from a few months to several years in order to build up supplies to continue west. The Mason House Inn is one testament to the craftmanship of those early pioneers.

A century old iron foot bridge in Bentonsport,

The Des Moines River...see the shadow of the bridge.

View of the Des Moines river from the edge of the bridge

Us on the we look like missionaries?

A darling house right by the Des Moines river. What a fun summer home!

The view right outside out window at the Bonaparte Retreat where we ate. This restaurant was an old grist mill used in the 1800's It was so beautiful and the food was delicious. I had a rib eye steak and it must have weighed 2 pounds! No kidding, I should have taken a picture of it.....covered the whole plate and was about 2 inches thick!! DELICIOUS!

We saw this sign by a bridge and had to take a picture. Don't you love it that they call them a "band of Mormons"!! They were real desperados weren't they ?![

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