Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another "Nauvoo Miracle"

Friday, I had an incredible experience. I had gone up town to exchange something at a store that I had bought earlier in the day. I had almost waited until the next day, because I thought they probably would be closed, and I couldn't call them because we didn't have a phone book in our apartment :) Anyway, I got to the store just as they were locking up, but they let me in anyway, and I was probably there for about a half hour or so. Then as I was driving back home, I looked out across the river and the sun was just this huge red/orange ball! It was incredible! I didn't have my camera, but I hurried back to the apt. , ran in and got it, and sped back up the hill to the Temple to get a picture. As you can see, I didn't get the big ball, but I did get there before the sun went down. This is taken right by the stautues of Joseph and Hyrum on their horses as they were going to Carthage. Ok, now for the story. I was kind of aware of a family also there looking at the sunset, and they started to leave just as I did...

...I turned around to take a picture of the Temple with the sun shining on it (I will never tire of taking pictures of that beautiful building),
And then just to make conversation, and to be friendly, I turned and said.."so are you just visiting Nauvoo?". They replied, yes, they were from California, and were now going to head home. The father looked at me and my name tag and said, "Evans...are you related to Richard L Evans" I said, "yes, my husband is his son" to which he replied...I was on a mission with his son! At first I thought he meant Richard L. Evans son, and I said "oh , my husbands brother, Bill?" And then I realized no, he is too young for that! He said "no, your husbands son, Rick". It was then I recognized him , and at the same time his wife husband traveled with you throughout Japan!
IT WAS ELDER MARCH! CLIFF MARCH!! He was one of Rick's companions in Sapporo and did travel with us after we picked up Rick. We went several places in Japan, and Hong Kong and then on to Hawaii, where he left us to travel to his home. We, of course had not see him since then or heard anything about him and that was about 25 years ago!!

WHAT A MIRACLE!! That we would happen to be there right at that time. I know it is not by coincidence, but rather by a grand plan from a loving Heavenly Father, who loves his children and wants them to have experiences like this that bring them joy!
I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of his family...I was just too excited to see him!! He was with his wife and her mother and their two children...a boy and a girl about 12 & 14. He followed me home to our apt. so he could see my husband...but I didn't take any pictures there either:( They were anxious to get on their way before dark...but what a wonderful experience....Definitely a Tender Mercy!
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Watermelon festival in Nauvoo!

Thursday, the 27th, we drove over to Montrose, again...this time with the DeMordaunts to see the watermelon festival! We had heard there would be a BIG watermelon on display there that had won 1st prize in the Iowa State Fair. NOW THAT IS A BIG FAIR! This was just a little small town carnival and fair, but it was really fun to feel the excitment. This is probably the biggest thing in many of these people's lives!! The people here are so nice, though...we have NEVER met anyone yet who has not been really outgoing and kind to us...and they all know who we are because we have to dress like missionaries and wear our missionary tags where ever we go!

It was really a pretty good sized carnival for such a small town. It brought back lots of memories of the carnival that would come to Burley every year when the fair and rodeo were on.
Notice the Michelle's Corn Dogs sign. I doubt if you ever make corn dogs, do you, Michelle?

This was fun to watch. It was the Montrose Watermelon Princess contest. It looked like they were all young girls about 10-12 years old. They asked them all questions but then the winner was chosen by drawing the name out of the hat. The prizes were tickets for the rides on the carnival.

You could eat ALL THE WATERMELON you wanted FREE, OF COURSE! After all, this is the WATERMELON FESTIVAL! They were also having a watermelon eating contest, later, but we left because it started to rain....really pretty hard. No body seemed to mind, however and they just continued on riding the rides and playing the games. No one even put up an umbrella, except the 4 of us. I'm sure we looked rather strange!

I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel, but they closed it down because to the rain...actually because of the lightning. They didn't close any of the other rides!! I haven't been on a Ferris wheel for years!!

Sister DeMordaunt and I. We certainly don't look like the other Fair goers, do we!!!

And here is the watermelon....all 179 pounds of it!! Pretty cool, huh?

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Old Mansions in Keokuk

Keokuk is the town right across the river from Nauvoo that we visit about once a week to get food ect. Last week as we drove across the bridge we decided to take the road by the river, just to see where it went and we found a beautiful little park with this statue of chief Keokuk, a Sac Indian after whom the town is named. He lived about the same time as Joseph Smith, and they knew one another well. Joseph would invite him to many events in Nauvoo. He is buried underneath this monument!

Saw a doe and her two fawns in the park. They were not afraid of us at all.

A little pond and fountain in the park.

This was obviously a very wealthy area years ago, because of all the huge manions along that road. We had no idea they even existed! Some of them were very run down...but some still were beautiful. I took a few pictures that you can see below.

This one was went WAY back in back also towards the river.

Isn't this one interesting? Those are all big rocks!!

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Brother Romrell's birthday.

We had a little surprise dinner/birthday party for the Romrells. They are the couple who live in our apartment building on the main level. (We live upstairs) They are an amazing couple from a little town outside of Rexburg, Idaho. This is their 5th mission! They have served 3 missions to Russia and one to Hungry! Their home was one of the ones completely distroyed by the Teton dam when it broke many years ago! They have been really nice to us, and we have enjoyed so much getting to know them. They are also the couple who trained us in the Temple to be the coordinators of the baptistry. They were here last year. We also invited the 2 couples who live across the street from us...the Days (on the left...also missionaries who were "held over") and the Eickbushes. The Eickbushes are from the Mt. Timpanogas don't live far from us. We hope to continue that friendship when we get home. They are wonderful are EVERYONE here!!

Never did find out how old Brother Romrell is...but they have several great-grandchildren so I know they are older than us!!
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Summer evening in Nauvoo

On my walk one evening the light was just perfect and I decided to talk some more pictures of this beautiful place!

Heber C. Kimball is right next door to us, and was one of the first restored!
Graves of Joseph, Hyrum and Emma Smith. Look how beautiful the flowers are!

Looking out over the Mississippi from the Cemetery.
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More pictures on a summer evening

The Seventies Hall on Parley's.. this is the last building the pioneers would have passed on their way down to the Mississippi.
The Blacksmith shop on Parleys
In back of the Blacksmith's shop
The back yard of Brigham Young's home. See the well and the above ground root cellar.
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More Nauvoo!

Brigham Young's home

A crapapple tree in Brigham's yard...ooh sour!!

My walking trail...the sun was just right that evening!

The sun setting by the campgrounds.
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Trip to Montrose and Zarahemla

On Tuesday, August 25th, we took a trip over to Montrose, Iowa This is the town just across the river from Nauvoo, and is where many of the saints were living at the same time Nauvoo was being built. It is also the place they first fled to when they were driven out. We had a very interesting and informative tour from a man (not a member) who has spent many years researching the area and mapping the Mormon trail across Iowa.

Here is one of the trains that I have been hearing every night for the past 4 months. Actually, my brain has now become used to it and I really don't hear them any more unless I really focus. Isn't that amazing what the brain can do. For several weeks when we first arrived, it was so LOUD it would wake me up several times a night!!

The above 3 picture show us trying to determine where the wagons came up on the shore. This memorial is right be the river. Mr. Foley, who was our guide can take these wires and find the trail. It really does work. They move out and in as you walk. I know it sounds weird. but it was fun to try.

Mr. Foley telling our group about the pioneers that had settled in that area.

The Temple from Montrose. This is how it would have looked to the Saints as they crossed the river. Can you imagine how they must have felt?

A little cemetery in the settlement of Zarahemla. These are the graves that he has found so far, but he feels there are many, many others

Walking to the cemetery... check out how tall the corn fields are now!!

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