Christi Comes to Visit......
....It Doesn't Get Much Better!!
It was with a lot of anticipation that Christi was finally able to break away from her hectic schedule and visit us here. It had been almost a year since we had seen her but with the help of FaceTime the absence hadn't been felt near as much as it could have. She flew into Chicago, rented a car, and arrived here in Nauvoo on Saturday evening.....just in time to see us perform in Rendezvous. She stayed for two days and we had a great time with her. We went to Carthage on Sunday....right after I had been coerced into making nachos after church. Some things never change including the usual "noggin nocker" on the top of my head. (As you keep reading you will understand that this seems to be a permanent fixture....one scab off.....three scabs on). We also made a visit to the Arched Stone Bridge where Joseph and Emma used to retreat to as well as their gravesites.
We worked on Monday while she took in a session at the temple. Then it was off to Quincy for dinner at the Pier....one of our favorites. We then got the crazy idea to visit Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri all in the same day...if fact we were so focused on this we had to go back to Missiouri because we forgot to take a picture of the "welcome sign". It all worked out well even though we weren't able to get a sunset picture of the Nauvoo Temple.....it set before we could get there. A visit to Hy Vee supplied us with and ice cream fix.
Tuesday morning she was off bright on early with us to return to Chicago and then on to Maine to visit one of her friends......and then life returned to normal. We were so excited to have her and enjoy her sweet spirit.
It's More Than Showtime.....
...It's Time to Get Busy(er)
Our cast is saying farewell to more of our friends and fellow missionaries as they depart and return to their homes. The Andrus' have been an integral part of our show as they portray George and Agatha and now it's time for them to leave. We will miss them......but the show goes on. Our new director (coordinator) Sister Hipple is showing frazzled nerves as she struggles to work with the departure of cast members and trying to herd the cats (cast) into new parts. Many are saying she is in panic mode as the complex schedules are changed nightly. Filling in the vacant spots with new people who must now learn small lines as well as blocking...add to it some have roles as stage hands as they maneuver props to end and begin scenes. It is less than a well oiled machine and there are miscues, omissions, and commissions on a nightly basis as our aging memories sometimes do not adapt well to change. Some who have been assigned new parts have resorted to "crib notes" hidden in hats and the like....thinking that it goes unnoticed by the audience....it doesn't and we here a chuckle now and then. Hopefully all will calm down soon.
Adding to our adventure here is our new calling as District Leaders of the Martin Harris District. Up until our call the DL's were figureheads who were mainly in charge of organizing month dinners and sharing experiences and reporting on them and making a few cleaning assignments on some sites. President Hall has a new vision that we will be training our fellow missionaries at least once a month...onward and upward. We have also been called to be the FM representatives to work with the Beautiful Nauvoo committee.
Ready or Not......
.....The Teamsters Are!!!
It was slow work because of the late morning starts but we are getting close to the end. Elders Hall and Hawkins are being called away constantly to use their expertise as heavy equipment operators and with not being able to start until 9:00a.m. we don't get a good work flow but it is steady. We had finished the plexi-glass on the roof and most of the fascia and trim and were planning on completing the job the following morning....but what did to our wondering eyes appear but the teamsters had moved the shoeing stock in place and were going to work shoeing a horse....never mind we hadn't cut the reliefs in the concrete slab they were in full swing. Nip, one of the larger horses here was not all that excited about the event and gave the equipment a good test. The next day we made modifications to tie the stock to the support posts and put a major support beam underneath. It should to the job. That afternoon we completed the tin work and started moving on to other challenges.....after all it is Old Nauvoo!!
Sister Gibson Welcomes the Help.....
....As FM Takes a New Approach
We knew they were coming.....and it was with a sense of relief that they arrived. Elder and Sister Jensen and Elder and Sister Schmidt arrived and started their work in FM. They were both called under a new program where the FM missionaries will be assigned to the mission but will not work in the sites although they will be participants in Rendezvous and Sunset.
It is a great relief for Sister Gibson as she will now have Sister Schmidt to work beside her in Conservation and she will not have the worry of housing that was left to her when Sister Van Horn left. Trish, the FM employee who will now be in charge of housing has been on vacation in Europe for the past week and has a week to go. When she returns she will oversee the Housing Missionary, Sister Jensen and the conservation missionaries, Sister Gibson and Sister Schmidt.
There is also a change in Housing as FM will totally manage it and the mission will be able to concentrate on missionary activities and not be burdened with the pressures of selecting and placing missionaries. It has been a busy time with missionaries leaving and those who are staying feeling they need to move to accommodations that suit their wishes....we're talking things like bigger units, king beds, whiter walls.....the bigger/better syndrome that can cause some jealousy and pettiness among some. Anyway...that's where it's going.....for a while.
It's the End of the Road.....
.....as Elder Sims Leaves a Lasting Mark
We said good-bye to my friend Elder Sims today. He fulfilled his commitment and today marked his last day in Nauvoo FM. His last days were spent building a copula that will sit on the kiosk at the end of Parley Street that honors those early Saints who were not able to complete the journey they started out on. The names of the fallen are on those boards. It is fitting that Elder Sims did the work. He is a craftsman.
We have spent so much time together here and although we did not understand each other in the beginning we have become true friends counting on each other for support. I look forward to the day that we may see each other again.
Farewell Elder Sims....I love you and will miss you. God Speed and a safe journey.
Odds....at the End
It was a tough week as I kept running into things or they kept falling on me. I had just lost the quarter size scab on my head when I raised up had and cracked my head on a piece of quarter inch plate on the shoeing stock. It was a gusher but I kept it under control to get a Band-Aid on it. I followed it with one more good bang next to it and then added another when I ran into a protruding handle that had been misplaced in the trailer.
Following day I added the nose piece when doing tear out at the Economou house and a light fixture fell on the bridge of my nose.
None of that was equal to the abuse and questions I took as I encountered people. Never even thought to blame Sister Gibson.....although many suggested it.
Elder Sims received his FM retirement flag Friday and I wanted to sit near the front so I could get a good picture of him. Prior to the meeting, Marcus began playing around on the piano and Sister Gibson couldn't resist sitting next to him. While she may have added beauty to the chair she didn't tone his loud playing down. The grand piano is not really that "grand" as it really is an amplified keyboard place in the chassis of the piano. He plays so loud you can't hear anything else.....which in FM really isn't too bad of an idea.
The Beecher's hadn't been to the Amana Colonies so along with the Lindeburgs we headed there. It wasn't that we needed to go...we just wanted to so we could spend time with our friends and eat at the Ox Yoke Inn where we treated Elder Lindeburg to some German Chocolate Cake....I just couldn't resist ordering it. Sometimes you just have to overrule the minority . We did visit the museum which we hadn't been able to see as well as stop by and sit in the giant rocking chair in West Amana.While in Amana West I found this little wooden heart with the fifty in it and I couldn't pass it up. Fifty seems like but a minute now but getting here took a lot of time.....time well spent.
It was a banner week for visitors. Not only did we get Christi but also Sister Gibson received a visit from her water aerobics' buddy, Barabara and her daughter Shelly. They spent three full days here and loved every minute of it. While they didn't get to see her as Relief Society President they did get to see her in the Saturday night performance of Rendezvous.
They were touched by the many sites and the special feelings they felt her and also attended a very special Sacrament meeting on Sunday. President Hall asked Elder Wayment to bear his testimony. As he spoke we all knew that he felt he had angels present as his life was protected from startled horses. His is small but powerful and we all felt his strength.
Last but not least it is so good to know that I have such a strong support team that takes care of our needs. If anything happens back home we can count on our family, especially Marc and Mindy who are taking care of the houses and looking after them. Best of all Mindy reads the blog faithfully and sends vitamins....it doesn't get much better than that.