Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sister Missionaries Sociable

Almost every Sunday evening we have what they call Sociables. They are like firesides...but that is a funny name because firesides were never by a fire....anyway.....these are presented by different people, and they are always great! They are in the Visitor Center and in order to get a good seat you have to come about an hour early! Otherwise you are in the overflow room and only see it on a screen and not live.

The sociable last Sunday was put on by the 20 Sister Missionaries that serve in Nauvoo. It was excellent...most of them can sing as well as play an instument.
The Sister in the center with the guitar is Sister Parker from Angela's ward in Bountiful. Angela was her Laurel teacher. Her companion is the sister standing on the left, and we discovered she is Rick's cousin, Wayne Evans' granddaughter! Small world! She is Sister Thomas. They are both darling girls, and are doing a wonderful work here.
Sister Parker in the center
Sister Parker and Sister Thomas.
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Missionary parties

The Virgins. They provide our music at most of our parties

Brother and Sister DeBry. He was the MC and was really good. Had some great jokes!

At the condos

Elder and sister Romrell

Pioneer Pastimes - July party

It was President and Sister Peterson's 47th anniversary that day.

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Visit with Mark & Pam Papenfuss

We had a fun visit with Mark and Pam and their 5 darling children. They live in Peoria and this is their Temple. They try to come once a month and take turns going on a session. I told them I would tend next month so they could both go together. I hope they will let me do that.
Don't you just love the "pose" of their oldest daughter!
The baby is only 2 months old, and was a little doll.
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The Vignettes

During Pageant month, the core cast performs little vignettes throughout old Nauvoo. So far I have only been able to see these three.
This one is called Women of Nauvoo and is performed in the women's garden by the Visitor's center. The women tell about the organization of the Relief Society and their love for it and one another.
This one is called Letters of Emma and Joseph and offers insights into the life of the Prophet Joseph and his beloved wife Emma through quotations from their actual letters narrated by "Lucy Smith". It is performed by the Mansion House
"Hyrum Smith and his wife Mary Ann" singing at the above vignette ..they have beautiful voices
The King Follett Discourse vignette. Performed in the grove by Joseph Smith...excerpts from this funeral service which was one of the Prophets last major sermons.
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The Bagpipe band that plays before all the vignettes.

Odds and Ends

Kim Smith and her son Brian. They are direct descendants from the Prophet Joseph. He was the first descendant to serve a mission. There are about 138 now that have joined the church. Her conversion story is so interesting!
Me with "Joseph Smith"
With my best friend in high school...Joan Mitchell Call. She was here with some of her family for Pageant. I hadn't seen her for years!!
The Hofeling family...out of costume. We had them over fr Sunday dinner. Their oldest son, Nathan is on a mission in Uruguay. He received his call here in Nauvoo last summer and opened it in the Seventies Hall in front of Joseph and Brigham and many of the 12! (all Pageant people, of course)! Pretty cool though!
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Stories from the Pageant

The Mitton family at the Eickbush's

There are two very interesting and spiritual stories in connection with Pageant this last week. First let me tell you about the Mitton family. They are neighbors of our friends, the Eickbush's and came to participate in Pageant. They have been here for 2 weeks...They have 3 children who are 12 years old and are triplets, but both the boys were born with celebral palsy and are in wheelchairs and cannot talk or do anything for themselves The mother and Abby are in Pageant, while the dad pushes the boys around and lets them watch so they can have the experience of being here. It has really touched everyones heart. Pauline Eickbush told me they take them everywhere. The deacons in their ward even push them and let them "pass" the sacrament! They are the nicest people and always cheerful and never complaining. It really made us stop and think about our many blessings, and wonder if we are really grateful enough for them. It also made us realize any problems we think we have are not that significant!!

I just happened to come upon them at the line dancing one night at the pre-pageant activities and MacKay was beaming from ear to ear while his mom pushed him around in time to the music. They can't talk at all, but they sure can smile!!

The last night of Pageant for this cast...I was there with Linda Evans ...and for the finale when all the cast is on stage there was Matthew and Mackay with their parents. I just broke down crying.!! It was so touching and so wonderful that they would let them participate.

People congratulating them after Pageant. The whole cast learned to love them!

Second story....this is the Snapp family and their 3 youngest ones. They are also in Pageant, as you can see. They have 4 boys of their own ages 7 to 13 and then they adopted these two darling little black girls ages 3 and 4 (actually just 3 months apart) Then last fall after they had been accepted to participate in pageant, the mother of the youngest girl called and asked them if they would adopt her baby...a little boy. The were able to seal him in the Nauvoo Temple just the day before this picture (a real miracle because the paper work usually doesn't come through that fast!) Rick and I were able to be their guides that day and it was wonderful!! The sealing room was packed with most of the pageant cast and there wasn't a dry eye in the room as those 7 beautiful children in white were brought into the room. We were thrilled to be part of the experience.
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More Pageant Pictures

Three of the performing missionaries. All of them are also in Pageant and Sunset as well as 2 plays of their own. They are really kept busy! They bring a lot of life to Nauvoo and it is going to be sad to see them go!

Blaine Hofeling...he is in Pageant as well as being in charge of the pre-pageant activities as well as being their official photographer (see the camera)! Busy man.

On the of little ones in Pageant...she was just off playing by herself. This is such an amazing experience for these families that come to be in Pageant.

Last Wednesday night they reserved seats on the front rows for all the Temple missionaries. We were on the front row! It was awesome! This is about 1/4 of our group.

The Nauvoo Brass Band...they are also called missionaries and are from all over the country.

Blaine with the man who plays Robert Laird in the Pageant. He is from England (but plays a Scot) and has the best accent. He is very talented!!

The Actor who play Charles Makepeace in the pageant. He is the comic relief and does a great job . The women is Kim Smith...a direct descendent from the Prophet Joseph!! She converted to the gospel about 10 years ago and her story is amazing. She and her son do firesides. We have heard them once, and hope to go again. I will post a picture of them both later.

A collage of pageant on it to make it bigger.

A collage of the pre-pageant activities....great fun!

Blaine and his mom, Luana and 3 of his children. This was right after pageant one night. They had all been in it and the littlest one, Clarisa was really tired.

ALL THE CORE CAST! I'm beginning to feel like they are family, I have seen it so many times.
Last night was again one of those miracles. It had rained all day....really hard at times, but about 7:30 it started to let up and by 8:00 it had stopped. We went down to watch the last of it and it was a wonderful night...the stars even came out....amazing!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Nauvoo

Just a few more pictures of "Beautiful Nauvoo"...hope you are not getting tired of them. I don't think I would ever get tired of this place, but I realize pictures do NOT do it justice. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the saints to leave this place.
This lake I pass when I walk up the hill. It was been a delightful summer so far. Unusually cool (in the 70's)...which is unheard of for July here. It does rain hard...but often just at night. It reminds me of that song from Camelot...something about "the rain that doesn't fall till after sundown". Anyway, the rain makes everything so beautiful and green.
These children were by the lake picking mulberries...they almost had a full bucket. They said their mother was going to make them a mulberry cake...yum!!
This is called getting "barged"! I was on my way over to Ft. Madison with another sister missionary to see the "Balloons over the Mississippi" an annual event of hot air balloons (which got cancelled because of the wind)...BUT on the way a barge was coming up the river and so a siren goes off and the gate comes down on the bridge while the bridge swings out on both sides and leaves an opening for the barge to pass through. It is quite interesting to watch...but it takes about 20 minutes or more, so if you are in a hurry to get somewhere it can be a problem. We often get people calling the Temple who have a reservation for a certain session telling us they are going to be late because they have gotten "barged"! This barge didn't have hardly anything on it, but sometimes they are really loaded high. We have been told that one barge can hold as much as 135 semi trucks!!

Here it is coming out the other side of the bridge being pushed by the little tug boat.

Praire grass by our apt. They let a large area of it grow just to let the visitors see what it is like. Can you emagine how our horses would LOVE this!! :)

Sorry...just had to show you a few more sunsets!! I made a slide show of several of them, but I couldn't figure out how to post it on this blog.

I love the sunsets down by the Mississippi.

Notice I have on a jacket....and this is July...amazing!!

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Another short video of one of my walking paths. Wish you could make it bigger!!

Finding more mulberry bushes....they are delicious...but not as good as the Newfoundland blueberries!