It's official that colder weather is on the way. This morning we had to use the ice scrapper for the first time on the windshield. The last month has been quite pleasant with temperatures in the 60's, 70's and 80's. The leaves are starting to turn. By our next update there should be many good pictures of colorful trees. The picture above was taken in the flower bed in front of the Browning Gun Shop.
We were blessed to have Elder Ballard, an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, come to the mission since the last update. He talked to all of the site missionaries for about one hour. His message was that the world is changing more everyday to a more difficult place to stand for truth and righteousness. He encouraged all of the missionaries to take time to bear their testimonies of the Gospel to our families back home, especially our grandchildren.
We are getting close to our winter missionary staffing. There are still a few couples leaving this month and in November. The good news is we received five new couples this week. After that, we should be somewhere near 100 missionaries for the winter. With the reduced winter hours (10-5) we are ending up working the whole shift quite often instead of partial days in the summer 9-6 summer schedule. The crowds slowed down after Labor Day but for the last few weeks we have had several bus tours and other visitors coming through. This last week we have had several nights where two Rendezvous Shows were required because of the crowds. With the ending of the Sunset Show, we definitely feel like we have more time available in the evenings since we now only have two Rendezvous nights a week.
With a little more time available, Sister Rober and I have taken a few trips on our Preparation Day to interesting museums near here. Our first trip was to Springfield to see the Abraham Lincoln sites. They have restored his home and neighborhood and there is a fantastic museum telling about his life. We learned many things about him in the museum and gained much respect for the difficult time he had to watch over a horrible war in our country's history while at the same time holding out to end slavery and unite a divided country in the aftermath. Springfield is about 2.5 hours from Nauvoo and is worth the side trip for anyone planning a Nauvoo vacation.
Our second trip was to Hannibal, Missouri. It is 1.5 hours from here and is the childhood home of Mark Twain. They have a museum and village there also but it is not the scale or quality of the Lincoln sites. He definitely had an interesting life and it is easy to like his style of speaking and writing. We were very lucky that the day we arrived one of the big riverboats docked for the day. That looks like an interesting cruise and way to see the grand old Mississippi River.
The are 26 Sites here in Nauvoo that we can serve in. Here are some pictures of the Sites I normally serve in:
Browning Gun Shop
Riser Boot Shop
Family Living Center
Cultural Hall (Home of Rendezvous Play)
Brigham Young Home
John Taylor Home
Heber C. Kimball Home
Sarah Granger Kimball Home
Wilford Woodruff Home
I am tempted to write something about each Site in these updates but that would not do them the justice they deserve by making a personal visit. If I told you all of the details you might decide to not visit and that would be a mistake. The reason is that you can not feel the Spirit of this town in a written summary. There is a special feeling to know that you are walking the same streets as the well known pioneers in church history. In the Nauvoo Pageant, the narrator of the performance is Parley P. Pratt. In the show he makes the following statement - "When you are here, we are here with you". I want to affirm that is true. These are special streets and they were special people who lived in this town. As we get the chance to talk about them in our tours we can feel they are indeed here with us.
I want to give credit in this blog to Elder and Sister Heslop. They have gone home but during the end of their mission time they were assigned to be mission photographers. Many of the pictures in these posts were taken by them, or other missionaries, and they did a great job of compiling and documenting these pictures for all of the missionaries to have great memories of our missions. Thank you Heslops!
Love from Nauvoo
Elder and Sister Rober