Saturday, September 24, 2016

A TENDER MERCY.............
               JERZYLYN KRAMER

Life is full of surprises.  When we received the Nauvoo call we realized we would not be here for the birth of our sixteenth grandchild who was scheduled to be born in mid-October.  Apparently realizing that she wouldn't have the opportunity to be held by her loving grandparents she put it for an early transfer.  She made her way through the transit system and arrived early on September 20th at 10:30 p.m.  Kimberly and Michael named her Jerzylyn. (I know, I know).   She will be spending time in the ICU as she gains strength and her body adapts to the earthly climate.  We share alternate times with her as visitation is very limited.  Kimberly had a difficult delivery but through skilled medical care both her and the baby appear to be on the road to recovery.
Marc and Steve were able to give them both a Priesthood Blessing of health and comfort.  She is indeed a tender mercy for our family.

Who are these "Twits"

                          Elder Gubler, Elder and Sister Nelson, Elder and Sister Gibson (Head Twit),
                                      Elder and Sister Bacon, Elder and Sister Titus (L-R)

     If you ever wondered with angels are trained in heaven you might want to look into the Missionary Training Center.  That's not only because of the heavenly atmosphere but also the apparition of a guide from the moment you arrive until they are sure you have been passed off to the next guide to take you from station to station while making sure you have been properly processed.  Senior missionaries are very obedient and the process flows smoothly until they are distracted or momentarily and left to wander the vast expanse of artwork and hallways of the building. 
 Once processed we were welcomed, praised, and separated into Districts.  We were combined with   with three other couples to form a district  then we  joined the fold of countless other young missionaries who swarmed the halls with zeal, enthusiasm, and smiles.  In our group were  The Nelson's  from Oregon and heading on their 5th mission (4 previous Temple) to preserve records in Topeka, KA.  Elder Nelson served in the Bavarian Mission at the same time I was there, and,  although we couldn't recall each other we were able to share memories of the mission.  The Bacon's were called to serve in Florida, Tallahassee Mission doing MLS and  The Titus' were from Oregon and were called to L.A. and were working in Public Affairs.  We were surrounded by tremendous leadership as Elders Nelson and Titus were former bishops and Elder Bacon was in hiatus as he was previously called to be a patriarch.
     We also met the four other couples called to serve in Nauvoo with us.  While we didn't get a chance to spend a lot of time with them we look forward to the time we will.  At our first instructional period I was impressed to turn around and see where the deep baritone voice behind me was coming from.  Turned out it was Dave Beecher whom I had worked with years ago.  He and his wife have been called as the Nauvoo Pageant Directors.  Who would have guessed?

Fun Fact:  The missionaries consume two tons of Lucky Charms a month.

     The rest of the week was Preach My Gospel training, role playing, companion study,
live missionary practice, two trips to the dentist and learning scenarios  in small rooms watched by Brother's Gubler and Larsen to help us with our teaching.  We were taught to keep it simple.  Sister Gibson took this to a new level in companion study.  She was asked "Who was Moroni?"
"Well", she said, "He is the guy on top of the temple".  For this ribaldry (and probably many others, as we were enjoying our time) the title of "Twit" was conferred by one having authority.  The next day, however, Sister Gibson was struck with a severe tooth ache and would spend a considerable amount of time in the dentist's chair seeking relief.  Do to her absence, the title of "Twit", being temporarily vacated, others in the group stepped forward and carried it proudly.  We were a united district and probably the only one that had a name.
    I know that Sister Gibson and I were both touched by the spirit on many occasions and grew to love those with whom we came in contact. 
     God's speed and countless blessings as you depart and serve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

So After The Call...


     Things started out in cruise mode....we signed into the missionary portal where were were given a checklist of things to make sure we would  complete prior to our entering the MTC on September 19.  59 days seemed like plenty of time to wrap things up.  The problem is that this list gets longer each day rather than shorter.  Good news.....we heard from the Nauvoo mission directly.....bad news.....there is more to do.  For the most part the site apparel is now done at the sewing room.  What isn't is an anxious moment for Marilyn since sewing on a machine is not a strength.  Thank heavens for Judy Njord who has jumped in and helped with those items that need a seamstress.  As the days get closer the lists don't.  The missionary portal has all but been forgotten and there are still items requiring attention.  A mention in the Nauvoo letter about singing gets little attention as there seems to be more pressing things at the moment.
     About the singing....we soon received a CD with the cast performing the numbers and we found the words to the songs we were to learn.  And then the fun began.  It's not that Steve doesn't sing.....he just can't.  He can't  carry a tune even if its placed in a bucket and put it in his hand..  Then there is the memory thing.
Don't they get it....old people don't remember.  It's like the movie "Groundhog Day".  No matter how far we  get in memorizing.....we get to start over the next day...without remembering a thing.  We both do sing-a-longs with our headphones attached to our ears in separate rooms.  Mindy and Molly are constantly laughing as Steve belts out a chorus or two.... "he's very loud." I wonder how many times we have sung "Welcome to Nauvoo"?  Or for that matter "Farewell, Nauvoo"  Not to mention the street song which makes no sense since we have not seen the streets.
     We are discarding stuff left and right.  One good word from Nauvoo...."Please don't bring your food storage"  "There is no room in your apartment for it.  I hadn't planned on it but I guess someone must have showed up with it.  What do we take?  What will we need?
We have labored incessantly over what we should be wearing.  What if we make a mistake?
Will it result in the honor of us being the first on the frozen Mississippi River as the procession of pioneers  in the annual enactment  follow? 
     Five days to the MTC...................

                                  We don't lack enthusiasm