Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sharing the Joy! 1-31-16

I talked to an older man and woman in the Visitor's Center yesterday who were friends with each other. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he was Lutheran. As I visited with them, I sensed that he really wanted to learn about our Church, but every time I made a comment the woman would discount it or change the subject. At the end of our tour she finally admitted that they had agreed not to try to convert each other. I laughed and said, "But I didn't make that agreement!"

I then asked him if he would like a copy of the Book of Mormon, and he said "Yes!" Sometimes we can feel so apologetic and afraid we might offend someone that we fail to share the magnificent message of the restored gospel! Actually our message cannot offend earnest truth seekers if we invite them through the spirit.

Mormon Trail West 1-31-16

We stopped for lunch in Keosaukwa, and I ordered a soft shell taco. It was quite a bit bigger than I anticipated!

Next Saturday is the Exodus Commemoration. We get to walk down the Trail of Hope for some of our ancestors. I have over 30 of my own direct ancestors who lived here! I'm walking for Hiram Dayton, Isaac, Morley, and Jane Johnston Black and giving a special presentation on Jane. I'll give you all the details next week.

Exodus West Across the Mississippi

For our Preparation Day Sister Cook, Sister Hardy, and I went to some nearby settlements in Iowa where the Mormons encamped on their way to Winter Quarters. Here's the bridge they crossed at Bonaparte and an interesting old round barn from a slightly later period.

Goodbye January!

Last week of January already! Our new mission president and his wife, Pres & Sis Hall, came to visit my companions and me and left a blessing on our home. It was a very special visit.

I continue to enjoy living across the street from the Nauvoo Temple. Here is the view from my bedroom window.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

From My Front Porch 1-24-16

Here's the sunset overlooking the snow-covered Mississippi.

The Gospel Is True! 1-24-16

This week was very special to me, because in spite of there being so few visitors, I was privileged to talk to four different non member groups. I told them the beautiful story of Joseph Smith's first vision and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and gave them copies of it. What a joy it is to share the greatest message in all the world!

Done at Last!!! 1-24-16

Hooray!! IT'S FINISHED!!! Friday night Elder Apperson and I finally finished all the post production work on the Rendezvous recording! One of the things that helped us most was remembering my Dad's analogy of resetting broken bones: If you try it too many times to make it perfect, it causes a lot of scar tissue, whereas if you just set it once and let the body work with it, it eventually perfects itself.

It was a lot of work, but it actually came together remarkably fast because we had so much help from the Lord. We made four different recordings - one for the cast, one for pianists, one for people doing vignettes, and one called a show track (all my kids know what that is!). Anyway, there are 50 different tracks on the four recordings, so it was a big project!

New Mission President! 1-24-16

Well, it has been another exciting week! Our new mission president and his wife took over on Monday - Pres & Sis Garth and Sharon Hall from Rexburg, Idaho. We love them already! They are going to be wonderful.

We also got to participate in a worldwide missionary satellite broadcast on Wednesday, where we received some wonderful training.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

At Jesus' Feet. 1-17-16

I love working in the Visitor's Center! Every season brings its charm. On several occasions I have been deeply touched while watching young children being drawn to the Christus statue and reaching up to Jesus or sitting and looking at Him quietly for a long time.

One sister told me that when she does Nauvoo on the Road she offers all the children pictures of either a child at the blacksmith shop, a child playing games, or the Savior. Almost every single one chooses the Savior.

The Frozen Mississippi. 1-17-16

The weather here is so variable. One day will be in the high 40's and the next in single digits. This week the Mississippi River froze. I thought that only happened when the early saints were forced out.

I can scarcely imagine the saints crossing the Mississippi on solid ice! It is so cold here with the windchill that you can hardly breath. How did they survive when they were driven from their homes the first week of February and had to camp all across Iowa to Winter Quarters where they still had no homes? Their undaunted faith was almost without parallel.

I took the first picture a few days ago before the river was completely frozen over. The second picture is from the same spot all frozen.

Adding the Vocals. 1-17-16

After the piano tracks were complete, I arranged and scheduled 4 elders and 4 sisters to record the vocals, plus about 10 others to record the speaking parts.

All the recordings turned out amazingly well! We are still doing some post-production work on them. It is a big project, but we have really been blessed. I am so happy with the results!

Re-Recording Rendezvous. 1-17-16

The last two weeks have been very busy and challenging for me. I was called to make a new recording of all the Rendezvous music. No one could understand the words on the old one because it was too fast.

I have been working with the Appersons. He was a sound technician for a few years and brought recording equipment with him to Nauvoo. I recorded all thirteen piano tracks - never dreamed I would do that! They are the most challenging music I have ever played.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Wintry Week. 1-10-16

I went to Iowa City to visit Shawn for my P-Day. We had such a good time that we forgot to take pictures! Besides visiting, we went shopping for a few minutes. In 2 minutes Shawn found me the perfect purse - regularly $65 on sale for $15! I'm impressed with his shopping skills!

I have spent most of this week making a new recording of Rendezvous. I'll give you the details next week. Have a great week!


Brrr. It finally got cold here. This morning the temperature with windchill was -13 degrees. The almost constant breeze and humidity make it feel a lot colder than it is. I'm grateful for my long down coat!

These pictures show the frost inside (not outside) my car in the windshield.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!!! 1-3-16

Today the testimony meeting was especially tender. Our mission president and his wife will be released from the mission in two weeks. They have been so wonderful. Pres Gibbons is one of the most Christlike persons I have ever known.

I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! I think it's going to be the best year of my life so far! I love serving this mission here in Nauvoo. I am learning and growing so much. I hope it will be the best year of your life too! I love you!

New Year's Eve Party 1-3-16

The entertainment was hilarious. Even the mission doctor got into the act. He was a former OB/GYN and came dressed as a stork!

I broke out of my comfort zone and did a clogging dance with the sisters in my dance class.

New Year's Eve. 1-3-16

New Year's Eve was the climax of the week. We had the funnest New Year's Eve party I have ever been to! We had all kinds of snacks and good things to eat.

Ice Instead of Snow. 1-3-16

We had bigger crowds this week, so it was really fun to work in the sites and share the gospel!

With all the snow everyone has gotten, we have only had a half an inch so far. We did get an ice storm on Monday that broke lots of branches off the trees. It sounded like "when up on the roof there arose such a clatter..." Here's our driveway. (You can see the temple across the street in the background.)

Last Party of the Year. 1-3-16

Last Sunday we invited the single senior sisters over to our home for our last get-together of the year. It was fun! We have such a good time together.