Saturday, April 25, 2015

That Will be 6 Cents Please!

Another one of the historic sites in historic Nauvoo is the Post Office. It was so much fun explaining the creative way people wrote to get as much information on one side of a piece of paper so the letter would only cost 6 cents. The price went up if the letter was being delivered farther away. If the letter was going farther than 400 miles (like back to England) then it would cost 25 cents. That's alot since one dollar was a day's wage in 1840's.  If the information you wanted to mail was really important, you might write 2 letters and send one by steamboat, one by stagecoach to help ensure it arrived at it's destination safely. There were many hazzards along the way in those days. It was fun to tell people that we don't have to worry about those hazzards when we communicate with Heavenly Father through prayer. We can just use "knee-mail".

The visitor's also get to see the Fredrick Merryweather Dry Goods Store which shows people the various things that were available in the 1840s. The neatest thing was a "chalk box" for marking a line when building except they used red berry juice instead of chalk! Who knew!?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bryce (Elder Walton) working in Webb's Blacksmith Shop!

In the blacksmith shop you demo making small "horseshoes" and "prairie diamonds". It takes quite a bit of practise to get good at it. 

Skilled blacksmiths made tools, latches, candleholders, horse and oxen shoes and iron parts needed to build wagons. 

In 1846, under the Lord's direction, Brigham Young asked the Saints to build wagons and prepare to leave Nauvoo. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hello Nauvoo - Our New Home!

We knew we were close to Nauvoo because this was our first glimpse of the Mississippi. On the other side of the river is Illinois. The buildings you see in the picture is a restored fort at Fort Madison, Iowa.  

Ta-Da!!! Goodbye Iowa...hello Illinois! 

We were getting pretty excited by this point. 

The Nauvoo Temple greeted us first! What a beautiful sight! So much history!

The statues of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith face the Temple. It is a poignant location for this statue. Joseph and Hyrum rode out of Nauvoo on what was, in fact, their last view of Nauvoo and the Temple. Within a few days, they were murdered at Carthage, Illinois on June 27, 1844. 

Our new home - the upstairs apartment with our entrance in the back. We love it! The foundation is early 1900's but it has all the modern conveniences including a dishwasher who is standing by the tree. 

Our District leaders had a welcome note and supper waiting for us! We were very grateful to be taken care of after moving all our stuff in. 

This is our kitchen. To the left of the table is a pantry.  

This is our living room. Behind that chair on the left is the unfinished attic with more storage. 

Bedroom with two huge closets, a chest of drawers and a mirrored dresser. 

One of our first things to do so it would feel like home was to put all our photos up of our family.

These are the closeets in the bedroom. Nice, eh?

We are so happy with our little apartment and we love being here in Nauvoo. 

Then tonight, Sunday, all the Nauvoo missionaries dressed in our historic clothes and went to Richardson's Point to see a newly restored area along the Mormon Trail. This is Bryce and I standing with Sister Olsen (some may remember her as Elizabeth Davies) from Calgary. She is also a missionary in Nauvoo. Monday we will have an orientation, Tuesday we "audition" for parts in the various plays and we'll also be assigned a cast -one of three - that perform "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" nightly. Wednesday we start assignments at various historic homes here. We will talk to visitors about the history of the Saints and the faith they had in Jesus Christ that supported them thru trial and challenges.  Bryce and I appreciate their examples. Our faith in the Savior Jesus Christ has supported and strengthened us in our difficult times as well. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Our Tour of Temple Square in Salt Lake City

Since we will also be serving as Visitor's Center Missionaries, this morning all the Senior Missionaries going to Visitor's Centers drove to Salt Lake City and were taken around Temple Square by wonderful Sister Missionaries.  We even had a chance to take a picture by the statue of Jesus Christ. It's quite moving to stand by this statue surrounded by murals of the universe representing some of God's creations. 

The next Visitor's Center we will be at will be in Nauvoo! The time has arrived! We will leave the MTC Wednesday morning. We'll drive to Nauvoo arriving some time on Friday. We'll be arriving in Nauvoo at the start of the busy season. We've heard we'll be busy giving tours  during the day and then in the evening we perform in the Senior Missionary play called Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo. At the busiest time, we'll perform this play twice a night and maybe even three times a night!  

You can't be on Temple Square without taking a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. It took 40 years to build and was finished in 1893. 

Hundreds of flower beds rivaled anything we saw at Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Miracle of the Shoes

First of all, notice that the suede shoes on the left are scuffed and worn while the shiney leather shoes are on the right. 

The Miracle of the Shoes is based on the following information: I bought the suede shoes on the left in Calgary after looking in all the major shoe stores in the city. They were the only ones that I found that fit my hard-to-fit feet. On top of that, they were a brand new style for Clark shoes that was ONLY available in suede. I have only had them since the end of February so I have not been very happy with how they now look mid April. So on Saturday, we went to the Clark shoe outlet near Thanksgiving Point. Louise Campbell and I were scouring all over to find some replacement shoes for me. We found other suede shoes just like mine and a different style that were sort of comfortable. Then I went down the row for a third time to see if there was anything else and I found the exact shoes I owned BUT in leather! Coincidence? I don't think so. I needed shoes for Nauvoo and God provided.

Fun Filled Weekend

Senior Missionary Couples get alot more freedom than the Junior Missionaries do. We can come and go from the MTC and even stay with family or friends. So, Saturday, our friends Mark and Louise Campbell from Calgary who are temporarily living in Provo, took us to Thanksgiving Point Gardens to see the Tulip Festival. It was beautiful!

 That night we all went to the BYU Ballroom Gold and Touring Team Dance Extravaganza. It was amazing.These pictures are from the internet but the performance we saw was like this. 

We really enjoyed the weekend with the Campbells. 

Then tonight back at the MTC, we enjoyed a Sunday Fireside perfomance by the BYU Men's Chorus. (photo from internet).We have been enjoying their music - 170 voices strong, for 10+ years. They were wonderful. 

Our District - Our New Friends

This is our district. We had all of our small classes this past week with these new friends. All the Senior missionaries were divided into smaller groups called districts. Our teacher, Sis. Frandsen is in the middle. She was a wonderful teacher. Lots of fun too. From the far left, Elder and Sister Adair were going to Martin's Cove, WY to a church pioneer handcart historical site. They will be helping with hundreds of youth that will be recreating pioneer handcart treks over the summer. The next couple, Elder and Sister Parry will be living in their home and giving support to the local missionaries. The third couple from the left, Elder and Sister Martin are going to be serving in the Toronto Mission office. Then there is Elder and Sister Walton - but you knew that already!

Sister Baer, in the middle, was our afternoon teacher. She was helpful, fun and kind. These pictures were taken on the last day of our first week in the MTC. The Adair's were leaving that evening but the rest of us will in the MTC Monday thru Wed for office or visitor's center training. And what a small world - later when my daughter Rebecca saw this picture she called us right away because Rebecca recognized "Sis. Baer" as a student she taught at Timberline Middle School about 7 years ago. Cool! Rebecca taught Kelsey and she has now taught us!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Missionary Training Center - Here We Come!

We entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) at 10:45am on April 6th, 2015! Neither of us were nervous - just excited! Checking in was very well organized. It is amazing being here! After we checked in and took our bags to our room, we, along with 97 other Senior missionaries that arrived today, were warmly welcomed by the MTC mission presidency and their wives. 

After our orientation, we had to get a picture by "the map" while we pointed to Nauvoo, Illinois. 

During some free time, we had a chance to walk around a bit. In the main foyer, they had a first edition Book of Mormon on display that would have been published in 1830.

They also had the original plaque that so impressed President David O. McKay in 1898 when he served as a young missionary in Scotland.  He was homesick and this saying motivated him. It was donated to the church in 1965. 

The next 2 pictures are taken in the main foyer. Tomorrow, our classes and training start at 8am and end, including breaks and meals, at 4:30pm. After that we have free time. Senior missionaries have alot of freedom compared to the young missionaries: we can have cell phones and laptops; we can go anywhere in the area by bus or our car; we can visit family/friends; or even go shopping if we need someting. 

The feeling here is welcoming and enthusiastic. Everyone is eager to serve in whatever area of the world they've been called to - some to Australia, some to South Africa, some to eastern Europe, and some to various parts of the USA. Today, the talks were motivating and inspiring - we were spiritually fed.  

They sure treat the Senior Missionaries well. As you can see, our room at the MTC (with our own bathroom) is very nice! 

Family Escapades in Colorado and Arizona

Our pre-mission trip began with 5 days with Sandy's daughter Megan and her husband Jared and their 4 kiddos Logan, Riley, Sophia, and Parker (see next pic)

Parker had changed alot since we'd seen him at his birth in January.

Making cinnamon rolls with 3 of the kids was fun.

We had fun collecting pine cones and pulling weeds in the backyard and playing games with the family.

Then it was time to leave for Gilbert, Arizona to greet newborn and #4 baby - Maxwell Clark Gage. He is the son of Sandy's daughter Rebecca and her husband Colby. It was wonderful to be there to help out for almost 3 weeks.  

Max is a cuddly little guy and we loved to hold him.

We even went to Butterfly World with Max in tow.

Bryce put his gardening skills to work with Evie and Sam. 

We were in Mesa to enjoy the Easter Pageant held outside the Mesa Temple.  

The Mesa Temple gardens were in full bloom. 

We had front row seats and enjoyed watching the life of the Savior performed by close to 500 people -all volunteers.  

We dyed Easter eggs with Sam, Jackson and Evie.

The Gages had wanted to go to the Rockin' R Ranch so we took them and the older 2 kids and had a great time. We started to get in the mood for period costumes.  

Bryce got a little carried away but we did get him back on the straight and narrow. 

Then it was time to say goodbye and make our way to Utah.  

On our way to stay with Bryce's brother Jim and his wife Leanne for 2 days, we stopped in Provo to see the progress on the Provo Temple. It is really coming along.