Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday Season Begins

Fall leaves outside of the Browning Gun Shop

Holiday Greetings from Nauvoo.  The weather in the month of November was quite pleasant.  As can be seen from the above picture, there were still pretty leaves early in the month.  That ended quite abruptly on December 4 when the first snow of the year arrived and temperatures are now in the 10-30 degree range - welcome winter!  The picture below is our little Nauvoo house in the first storm.

December 4 Snow Storm

I was thinking that winter was going to be a easier time here with the crowds being much smaller. What I didn't consider is that with the missionary force down from 200 to 100 people it is necessary that we work 9:30 - 5:00 every day.  In the busy summer months there are three schedules.  We either start at 12, end at 3 or have a 12-3 break in the middle of the day.  We are finding that there just doesn't seem to be as much free time in a day to take care of business around the house or in town for shopping. During our shifts now it is not uncommon to have no visitors in a day.  All of the sites have wi-fi and good furnaces so we use our computers, read books and/or work on the many Humanitarian projects the mission is doing, like quilts, knitted caps, stuffed bears, among others.  I spend time on a computer program called the Teaching Center where I can chat and e-mail people all over the world who express an interest in receiving a free bible, Book of Mormon or have questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is a great blessing to our mission.

The mission had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  This time of year we miss the holidays with our families but it is a time to share the holidays here with our mission family. The food was fantastic and the company amazing. We truly love our missionary friends.

Sitting by Elder and Sister Beecher

The Temple Missionaries joined in for the dinner
On the night of December 2nd, the mission hosted a community Christmas activity that included a tree lighting, live nativity production, wagon rides, food and caroling.

Visitor Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (every ornament represents a site)
Sister Rober was the Director of the Live Nativity production with Elder Rober doing lights and sound.  She and Sister Melody Van Horn had lots of fun creating the amazing new costumes to make the evening even more memorable for the cast and audience. The spirit was felt by all as we testified of our Savior,  Jesus Christ's birth and mission. We performed the 15 minute program three times that night with a repeat performance Sunday evening for missionaries who had assignments outside the visitor center and could not attend.  Here are some pictures of the nativity production. You can view the production at the following link:

I was in charge of sound and lights.  This is the lighting control panel in the booth.

Our amazing cast of missionaries.  The production was a spiritual experience for everyone depicting the events of the birth of our Savior.

The Technician with the Director.

The sites are all decorated for Christmas which makes the area very festive and beautiful for the Christmas season.

Brigham Young home decorated for Christmas
Nutcracker helping make horse shoes at the Blacksmith Shop
As of this week we are passing the half way point of our mission.  We can't believe how fast the time goes by.  It continues to be a wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord in such a historic and spiritual city. We look forward to our 2017 mission experiences.

We wish everyone a joyous Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Elder and Sister Rober