Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fun, Family and Friends in and Around Nauvoo this Summer!

In June before the Pageant started in July, Nauvoo hosted the BYU group "Noteworthy". They were a very entertaining a cappella group. 

In July we welcomed David, Lana, Austin, Zoie and Nixen to Nauvoo. They saw all of Nauvoo and had a great time. This picture is taken in the home built by Joseph Bates Noble who is Bryce's 2nd great grandfather and David's 3rd great grandfather, and Austin and Zoie and Nixen's 4th great grandfather. Get the idea???

Stilts at the Fair before the Pageant were a BIG hit!!!

I really like this picture of all of us in the miniatures of Nauvoo.

Hotchkiss Street will never mean the same again,  I can tell you that!!!

David and Austin tried to beat the record but didn't quite make it. It was fun to watch them try!

Zoie and Nixen had fun in the sack race. 

Bryce was able to demo how bricks are made behind the scenes. He'd spent all winter making bricks so it was fun to show of his skills!  

Mom and Jack and Greta Floyd visited in July too and they saw all around Nauvoo. I love this picture of faithful members of today'Relief Society - standing in the parlour where the meeting was held to discuss forming a women's organization on March 4th, 1842

We went to Bentonsport which is an official part of the Mormon Trail in Iowa. Mom and the Floyds loved everything about Nauvoo and the surrounding areas. It was so fun to have them here. 

Sometime this summer, we went with our friend Stuart Deathrage to a few church history areas in Missouri. This one is where Parley P. Pratt preached near Clarksville.

This was Louisiana, MO where Stuart just had to take us to a favorite donut shop. There was a barge passing by and I got a great picture of it, don't you think?

Feeling discouraged, Parley P. Pratt climbed at the top of this rocky area to pray. The locals were very impressed with Stuart's knowledge of the area.  

It's been over a year that Bryce baptized Stuart and it only seemed fitting to take a picture by the sign of the Pittsfield Branch building.  

Then we went to an obscure cemetery that was full of Deathrage ancetors! We took lots of pictures and copied them off for Stuart. He LOVES doing genealogy!

We also had fun with Annelisa and Kyle. They saw everything. It was their first time to Nauvoo and they loved it! They saw the vignettes, the two Pageants, the Young Performing missionary shows, the street performances, Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo (starring us) and Sunset by the Mississippi (starring us)!!! Come to think of it, all our visitors saw all of these amazing things. No wonder they looked so tired at the end of their visits!

When we were in Bentonsport with Annelisa and Kyle, the Indian arrow head museum was open. This is the result of 60 years of one man collecting arrow heads in the area. It was impressive. He made all the wood displays and wall inlays himself! He'd built a cool barn for them all too - see next picture. 

Bryce caught this picture of the Mississippi. Beautiful!

By far, the best part of the summer performances are the two Pageants - the Nauvoo Pageant and the British Pageant.  They follow much of the history of the early Saints and the many inspiring stories about them and the Prophet Joseph Smith. The actor who portrayed Joseph this year was Dallyn Ballis. He was excellent.

Of course, there was lots of dancing and fun mixed in with the stories. 

It was always a thrill as a missionary to come up on the stage at the end of the British Pageant singing "Called to Serve". I took this picture and sadly, we do not have a picture of us up on stage. BUT WE DID IT, really we did!!!

Annelisa and Kyle and I talked with Dallyln Ballis after his "King Follett Discourse" vingette. He was very gracious and talked to us a long time about preparing for his role as the Prophet Joseph Smith.  As we have served here in the Nauvoo mission, our testimonies of the divine calling of Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God have deepened.  It has been an incredible journey for us. 

After the summer rush was over, BYU Vocal Point came to perform. They were AWESOME! Their director is a man named McKay Crockett. We'd watched him on TV when he sang with Vocal Point on the Sing Off competition a few years ago. We LOVED watching them every week and eventually coming in 2nd place. 

Well...he was nice enough to let us take our picture with him. I even told him how I like his name when I heard it on the Sing Off and hoped someone would name one of our grandkids "McKay". He thought that was pretty cool! 

Summer brought buying garden vegetables at the local Carthage farmer's market. It was alot of fun and a good chance to visit with the locals. It's all a part of missionary work! We have invited so many people to Nauvoo in our visits around Illinois and Iowa! Many people didn't even know there was a historic village in Nauvoo let alone about all the free shows and entertainment all summer! 

In August, we went to the Hamilton, Illinois tractor fair about 12 miles away from Carthage. There were a couple of hundred tractors displayed and in the parade. Never seen anything quite like it. Mid-westerners are very proud of their vintage tractors. And so they should be!

One day, we sat in Iowa's largest rocker. You had to be quite creative getting in and out of this in a skirt!!!

Bryce had a bit of trouble himself when he tried to drive this old gal! 

One night we were able to go out to dinner with Stuart Deathrage and the Sister missionaries also serving in Nauvoo whom we were with in the Missionary Training Center almost 18 months ago. They are Sister Hardy, Sister Webb and Sister Joines. 

ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF THE SUMMER WAS ATTENDING THE NAUVOO TEMPLE WITH STUART DEATHRAGE. It had been a year since his baptism and he was so excited to go to the Temple for his own endowment.  The Sister missionries are from left to right, Sis. Schenck, Sis. Stirling, Sis. Nelson, and Sis. Lynn. Sis. Lynn and Sis. Stirling taught him the missionary lessons. They and their companions were able to come to the Temple too. It was a great day!!!

It turned out that the man we'd asked to take our group picture was someone Bryce "knew". He was a member of the singing group "The 3 D's" which was a singing and comedy group from BYU back in the the 1970's. They had come to Calgary when Bryce was about 14 years old and made a big impression on him.  Small world.

I like this picture of me in my "Abigail" outfit. Bryce and I have been "Peter and Abigail" for about 16 months. It has been so much fun. And to think that we only have 3 performances left until we go home! Wow! 

The thing we will miss most about our mission is being missionaries. What I mean is that we'll miss wearing our badges and being official representatives of Jesus Christ with a mission to bring others to Him. We'll miss testifying of the great faith and sacrifice of the early Saints and how their examples strength our testimonies and our lives. We'll miss being in the historic Carthage Jail where we have had numerous opportunities to testify that Joseph Smith was called by our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ to be Their Prophet. His mission? To restore the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in these Latter Days.  The title - the Prophet of the Restoration - has such greater meaning now!

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