Our days have become busier with the assignment as Sunset by the Mississippi Coordinators for the senior missionaries. Sister Rober is teaching choreography to three different casts of 50-60 missionaries each. I am helping her on the technology and music side. That means we are at rehearsals every night except Sunday until the show opens on May 27th and at every show until August 12. This has been a blessing in that it allows us to be around every missionary in the Mission on a weekly basis. Normally you are with the same cast four nights a week and have two nights off. We are enjoying the challenge and the experience. We are over half way through our rehearsal schedule. There are only three weeks left and the last two will be coordinating with the Young Performing Missionaries who have just arrived in town. The casts are becoming familiar with the show and I can feel an excitement building for opening night.
During our first year we did not take the opportunity on very many personal days (one per week) to travel around to nearby communities and feel the spirit of the Midwest. We decided in April that we needed to take this opportunity so we took two trips to Iowa for spring festivals. The first was to Kalona which holds a quilt show every year. It is one of the many Amish communities nearby. You know they are serious about their quilting when you see quilt patterns inlaid on the side walks in the city center. Almost all missionaries take home one special item as a remembrance of their mission. We bought a hand quilted bedspread to be our special keepsake.
Our other trip was to the town of Pella. It is a Dutch community that holds a tulip festival every spring. It was a very festive day. Many of the townspeople dress in authentic clothes. There is a parade, lots of Dutch specialty foods and a tour available of the town windmill. It was a perfect weather day and a fantastic experience.
The visitors in Nauvoo continued to increase in April. We are called as Missionaries to tell the history of the people who lived here 1839-1846 at the 25 various sites. I am the Site Coordinator for our Brickyard. In the Brickyard we tell about how the bricks were a symbol of permanence and beauty for the Nauvoo saints. We explain how they made bricks and how the bricks are a firm foundation for building a strong house. We relate how our Savior Jesus Christ can be a strong foundation in our personal lives. As missionaries we make miniature souvenir bricks for our visitors. Most of our production takes place in the winter when the crowds are sparse. In the summer, we are very busy with the tours and pass out bricks from our inventory. Here is a picture of our store room. We are going into the busy season with almost 19,000 bricks in inventory.
We are so excited for many families members who will come and visit this summer and feel the spirit of Nauvoo. We are missing children and grandchildren but know they are being blessed as we serve here a Missionaries.