Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas in Nauvoo!

Christmas in Nauvoo was wonderful! We've never received so many Christmas cards and goodies ever before - and all from the Senoir missionaires we love and serve with!

After the many wonderful Nauvoo Christmas activites that we enjoyed participating in - Christmas Walk, Handel's Messiah, and The Miracle of Christmas program -  it was nice just sitting at home cozy and warm on the 24th (our Prep-day) and Christmas Day. Then, because of technology -  our kids and grandkids were "face to face" with us!  We watched the kiddos practise walking, open their gifts, do tricks and be goofy! Almost like being there but without the mess and the dishes! (Blatant plug for you senoir couples out there to go on a mission!)

The mission hosted a wonderful ham dinner on Christmas Day followed by a short program. Bryce was the MC of the program and he wrote a poem for the occasion. Hope you all enjoy it! 

All in all, this was a Christmas to be fondly remembered! 

The Rescue                 December 2015                                   by Elder Bryce Walton

Santa’s sleigh ‘s on outside of town, Completely broken down.
And Rudolf’s crashed the whole team so they’re tangled on the ground.
If Rudolf had just seen the lighted Temple on the hill,
He wouldn’t have hit that silo where all the gifts would spill.

Oh glory goodness, what a mess, now what would Santa do?
He’d have to get them out of there before the night was through.
And what of all the children who lived in Nauvoo town.
He could not bear to see a single face that had a frown.

Now not to far away President Gibbons watched the sky
He thought for just a minute he’d seen Santa’s sleigh go by.
Yes, there was a trail of stardust but it suddenly took a dip.
Oh what if Santa Clause had crashed and couldn’t complete the trip.

He tried to use the Internet but that thing never worked.
I guess I’ll use the telephone he nodded with a jerk.
President Venkeer and President Hyte got quickly out of bed.
It sounded like the President thought Santa Clause was dead.
His counselors soon got to work to notify the troops.
Have the District Leaders gather them in groups. 

We had better wake the teamsters and get them out of bed,
And we’ll need the sleigh and horses especially Mic and Ned.
By now all lights in houses were on in town and flats
And all were grabbing tools as they donned coats and hats.

Zone leaders called the Districts and they called every one
The Senior Missionaries were all moving on the run.
But oh when they arrived upon the crash site what a start.
Packages were everywhere, all harnesses torn apart.
The reindeer were exhausted; they lay as in a daze
And all the reigns and traces were tangled in a maze

When all the sewing room sisters arrived upon the scene
They saw that Santa’s great big bag was torn from seam to seam.
Quick, grab your threads and needles; we’ll fix up that old pack
Then everyone pick up the gifts and help us put them back.

There’s no time now to fix this mess the Teamster boss cried out

Now Santa’s sleigh is broken so he’ll have to use our sleigh
We’ll hook it to the horses then he’ll be on his way.

Now the Belgians did not know that it would be a busy night
It would be somewhat difficult without the gift of flight.
To speed them on their way we will need to say a prayer
But Santa sprinkled stardust and they rose into the air.

Whoever had seen 8 Belgians adrift upon the sky.
Mythical beasts I hear you say but I see them flying by
Now off they went into the air to finish Santa’s run.

But without the missionaries he’d never have gotten it done.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Prophet of God

Yesterday was Sunday and Bryce and I were assigned to serve at Carthage Jail Visitor's Center. We had been there in the spring and early fall, as visitors ourselves, but had never served there as the missionaries who conduct the tours.  

It was a sacred experience to be in the room where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered, making them martyrs for their belief in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ here in the latter days.  In that setting, it is a deeply spiritual experience to testify that you know Joseph was a true Prophet of God - just as Moses of old.

How grateful we are for the sacrifice of both Joseph and Hyrum. They were righteous men of God who were true to their knowledge that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints IS Christ's church on the earth. How grateful we are that God continues to provided us with Prophets today. We know that President Thomas S. Monson is God's Prophet today. The following quote is from the talk Pres. Monson gave Sunday morning this last October General Conference: "To each of you, I say that you are a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. You have come from His presence to live on this earth for a season, to reflect the Savior’s love and teachings, and to bravely let your light shine for all to see. When that season on earth has ended, if you have done your part, yours will be the glorious blessing of returning to live with Him forever.

How reassuring are the Savior’s words: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Of Him I testify. He is our Savior and Redeemer, our Advocate with the Father. He is our Exemplar and our strength. He is “the light which shineth in darkness.” That each of us within the sound of my voice may pledge to follow Him, thus becoming a shining light to the world, is my prayer in His holy name, even Jesus Christ the Lord, amen."

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Meet the new found cousins! Elder Burns and his wife are serving at the Nauvoo Temple. They came in to the Lands and Records Site where I was serving where we found out that we have a common ancestor - Enoch Burns.  I've never met a Burns cousin before. It was pretty exciting. In Nauvoo in the 1840's, Enoch and his wife Elizabeth Pierce Burns lived in Nauvoo just north of the Temple. They went thru many hardships but held on to their faith in Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel.  I was able to help Elder and Sister Burns find out more about Enoch Burns and other ancestor's they had here in Nauvoo.  It was a good day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas...

We made sure we brought a bit of Christmas from home... to make us feel more at home. 

Our 4 foot tree has some Nauvoo wooded rounds and some "brick" ornaments Bryce made with cookie cutters.

It looks really good.  

This is the 2nd of 4 quilts I've now made for the humanitarian efforts here in the Mission. It's fun to make quilts for others who don't have much. 

A scarf for good will. So grateful to have learned how to crochet here in Nauvoo! Thanks to all those who've taught me in the various historic sites over the last few weeks. It's fun!!! I guess you know the family will be getting for gifts over the next 10 years!!!

This is a beautiful Nativity in the Visitor's Center. It's absolutely lovely.  

Some of the folks gathered to watch the tree lighting. I like this because the Christus is lit reminding the group of the true reason for celebrating Christmas.  Various local school choirs sang before the tree lighting. 

The highlight of the evening, by far, was the Nativity. The true meaning of Christmas and a love for and belief in the Savior Jesus Christ was tangible in the room. The Mission Presidency were the Wise Men (type casting) and the missionary couple that were Mary and Joseph were tender and loving toward each other and the baby Jesus. It was the highlight for us. 

Three days later we were in Handel's Messiah with full orchestra. It was alot of fun. This will be our 12th year of singing "The Messiah".  Who knew we'd be able to do it in St.Peter and Paul's Catholic Church here in Nauvoo, Illinois!