Sunday, September 27, 2015
"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." --D&C 84:85
Late Tuesday night a member of the mission presidency called and asked if I would help at the 7:30 am missionary training meeting with a role play on missionary response to the question: why were the saints persecuted and driven out of Nauvoo?
I was too tired to think and didn't have any ideas. The next morning I pled with the Lord to bring to my mind and lips the things I should say. Literally a minute or two before my presentation I was flooded with an insight I had never before considered. With the Lord's help I was able to share it with conviction and power.
Greetings! Happy Fall! I'm still in the same place by myself, but it won't be long until I get moved into a house closer to the sites. In the meantime, I'm really enjoying where I am.
The main things that have happened this week are repeated small experiences that make me marvel. I have such a strong conviction that missionary work is absolutely the Lord's work, and as He said, "Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." D&C 88:73. He is the One hastening it. I am just privileged to be a small part of it and witness daily miracles as He does His work.
We have so many choice missionaries going home. I love them and will really miss them. It truly feels like Zion here.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
After careful consideration I have decided to put Pioneer Puzzles on hold for now. After all, I want save a few surprises for when you come to Nauvoo! However, I will continue to include interesting things that are going on here. Thank you for participating!
Here's my adorable 1-week-old grandson Henry Kay Katschke getting to know his 9-month-old cousin Lucy Ipson who came to visit him with her mother Aunt Andrea! The only thing puzzling about him is how he could be so cute!
On the outside it may appear that as site missionaries we are merely tour guides. But Nauvoo is so much more than a tourist attraction where we explain how to make a horseshoe or a red brick. Every single site is designed with key messages where we relate the things in the site to principles of the gospel - in just a sentence or two - power statements.
It is such a joy to testify of Jesus Christ in such meaningful ways! One Episcopalian couple that visited here from Indiana said with tears glistening in their eyes, "The most powerful part of Nauvoo is going to site after site and experiencing the love and powerful conviction of the missionaries. They have sacrificed so much to be here and they know what they are saying is true."
A missionary told me yesterday that she asked her 9-year-old granddaughter what was her favorite thing about Nauvoo. She thought the response would be Pioneer Pasttimes, making a rope, or getting a cookie or horseshoe. But her granddaughter replied: "There is a part of God that flows out of the missionaries and lands on you. You feel special and loved." That's how Nauvoo makes me feel too.
We toured the Quincy Historic Museum, which has a whole room telling about how the 1,600 people who lived in Quincy in the late 1830s took in about 5,000 Mormons who were expelled from Missouri in the dead of winter. They housed and sheltered them and gave them employment for several months until they were able to travel to Nauvoo. It is a very touching story that most people don't know about.
Here is the monument where the Saints crossed the frozen Mississippi River into Quincy.
Hi Everyone. The weather here is so pleasant and beautiful. I can't believe how fast time is flying by. I haven't really taken a P-Day for about 3 weeks because there is just so much to do. This week however, I went to Quincy, IL with 3 single sisters. Here we are across the street from the Mississippi River. You just might call us Chicks on the River!
Monday, September 14, 2015
This is a Crazy Quilt. See if you can find the following on the quilt. You may have to expand the picture to see them all. You may even find something I missed.
2 birds & a nest
As missionaries leave I am finding myself accompanying more and more. Yesterday I played for the choir, Relief Society, and a special number for a devotional where Sister Elaine Dalton and her husband spoke. The number I was playing for the young sister missionaries to sing was very fast and difficult, and I had little time to practice.
I finally said a prayer and specifically asked for the Holy Ghost to bring the music to my remembrance and to my fingers, since I had practiced as much as I coulda. I played the piece almost flawlessly, and the missionary choir sounded like angels. I had forgotten how powerful the gift of the Holy Ghost can be in our lives and how important it is to ask, so we can receive.
Sister Elaine Dalton said in her talk, "Often we aim too low in our prayers. If we are pure we can pray for additional gifts. Eliza R Snow said 'Often we live beneath our privileges.' The Holy Ghost won't impose Himself on us unless we invite Him."
The biggest events that happened this week happened outside my mission boundaries. My daughter Aimee and her husband Ken had an adorable baby boy, Henry Kay (named after his grandfather Leland Kay) on Tuesday, September 8. Everything went well, and I know the Lord is richly blessing them in my absence.
The other exciting event was that Jared and Julianne's daughter Mia was baptized on Saturday, September 12 in Santo Domingo. I am so happy for her! That's a big step. Congratulations, Mia!
Sunday, September 6, 2015
ANSWER TO PIONEER PUZZLE #18:
In the 1840s beds had ropes stretched across the frame with a straw tick on top of them. At night they would tighten the ropes so the bed wouldn't sag. Then they would beat the straw tick so all the bedbugs would fall to the bottom. Sometimes the beaters were made out of metal and sometimes wood.
Remember the sayings "Good night, sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite." And "I guess it's time to hit the hay."
We had a farewell breakfast Friday morning for all the missionaries returning home in September. There are 47 of them! It's very poignant seeing them leave. We have all grown to love each other so much.
I have been busy this week coordinating the sacrament meeting music, attending extra Rendezvous performances, and watching vignette practices so I can learn how to direct them with Sis Saline. It's exciting, and I'm loving it!
I'm also loving the tours. There are so many choice people coming to learn more about Nauvoo and about the gospel. I love having so many chances to share messages about the restored gospel. It certainly is the "good news" - actually the best news in the world!!!😊😃😇😊👍
It's hard to believe it is already Labor Day weekend! Nauvoo has its annual Grape Festival. I have been working and unable to attend it, but it looks like fun!
I got to go see Shawn in Iowa City on my P-Day! Two single sisters went with me. Shawn & I went for a beautiful ride in the country in his flashy red convertible. Then I took him to Costco - the nearest one to Nauvoo - and we had some lunch.
I love being close enough to spend time with him occasionally. My friends are always so impressed with him. I'm proud to be his mother! Unfortunately I was enjoying our visit so much that I forgot to take pictures!
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
ANSWER TO PIONEER PUZZLE #16:
Sausage maker. The saints stuffed the barrel full of sausage and pushed the handle in to force the sausage through the narrow tube into a bladder skin bag.
ANSWER TO PIONEER PUZZLE #17:
Bee Basket. When the saints were traveling to a new location, they put a beehive in this basket to take it with them. It had openings so the bees could fly out when they weren't traveling.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I also got an exciting new calling this week: assistant Rendezvous director! Sister Jan Saline will be the director, and we will work together as co-directors. Rendezvous is the nightly production I have been playing the piano for and acting in. It is put on by the senior missionaries. It will be wonderful to work with all of them! We are being trained now and will take over near the end of October when Sis Curtis, the current director, leaves.
Here I am with the current director of Rendezvous, Sis Sherry Curtis, and with the new one I will be serving with, Sis Jan Saline.
For P-Day I went with three other single sisters to Springfield, IL and toured the Lincoln Museum, his home and tomb. The museum was absolutely amazing and so inspiring. Abraham Lincoln was a contemporary of Joseph Smith and experienced so many similar trials - including being severely criticized and finally giving his life for the cause. I hope all of you get to visit here sometime.