Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunset by the Mississippi Month

Sunset by the Mississippi (Photo by David Johnson)

(Photo by David Johnson)
(Photo by David Johnson)

(Photo by David Johnson)

May brought warmer weather, springtime flowers and more people to Nauvoo.  It was exciting to see the change of seasons and feel the anticipation of summer with the arrival of the Young Performing Missionaries and Nauvoo Brass Band. The Sunset by the Mississippi Show opened up on May 27 following two months of practice by three different casts.  Sister Rober taught the choreography to all three casts.  The show is different this year and it is being received well by the crowds and local people who have seen many shows over the years.

Nauvoo Brass Band (Photo by Don Searle)
Sara Granger Cast (Photo by Don Searle)

Young Performing Missionaries  (Photo by Don Searle)

Old performing missionaries (Photo by Don Searle)

Sister Rober as a dancing Grandma in Grandma's Feather Bed (Photo by Don Searle)
Over the last three months over 80 missionaries have arrived to replace those who went home last fall.  It is so good to have new missionaries to get to know.  During our time here I estimate we will have met around three hundred fellow missionaries. They are the best!  We are making life time friends with people from all over the country,  This is a very unique mission.  It is unbelievably quiet in the winter and insanely crazy and busy in the summer.  We get to meet every week as a group with our Mission President for training.  We live by the calendar.  Every week we need to check our schedule for the following week to see if we are making bricks, being a blacksmith or leading tours at over 20 sites.  In addition, we need to learn parts and dancing for the Rendezvous Show and Sunset Show.  It is a great experience and worth every tired night in the summer. We are missionaries telling the story of this city and testifying of the restored gospel and our Savior Jesus Christs through the messages at our sites and in the shows.  The Prophet Joseph Smith is buried here and Carthage Illinois, his death place, is 30 minutes away. Over 200,000 people visit this city over the year.  They come to us.  They leave inspired by their visits and the faith and obedience of the people who lived here.  As we look at the schedule now we are saddened to see our original group as the next missionaries to leave on September 7.

Last week on our Preparation Day we took a two hour trip to Moline Illinois where the John Deere Company is headquartered. We toured their pavilion and saw the massive size of farm equipment being manufactured today.  Illinois is definitely John Deere country.  As you pass by homes and farms it seems that everyone has their green and yellow John Deere mower or equipment parked outside.  The Combine is quite an amazing piece of equipment.  One huge machine is sent through the field to cut the corn or beans, separate the husks or pods and then separate the actual kernels and beans while at the same time disposing of the waste back to the field.  A truck moves alongside the Combine to receive the finished product.

Time to mow the grass
Always wanted a tractor 
The Combine machine is massive
We are really excited for the month of July in anticipation of Carson and Kim, Scott and Cori, Brian and Kate, Mark and Lisa and John and Lisa visiting our mission with 15 grand kids.  I know they will feel the spirit of this special city and the Saints who lived here in the 1840's.

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