Monday, April 24, 2017






Sister Gibson bids Farewell....
      .....As Sister Lee Master Packs up and Leaves
    Sister Gibson's assignment to work in FM Conservation when we arrived in October  offered her a wonderful opportunity to work closely with the FM department.  Since that day she has worked with and under the direction of Sister Lee Master.  Together they have shared many memorable moments as they have climbed ladders, cleaned and organized sites, ascended lifts to mount ornaments on the twenty foot Christmas Tree, count and clean the numerous minuscule and large
artifacts found on the sites, and venture into places that only the highly trained and chosen are allowed to go.  They have become the "dynamic duo" of conservation.
     She and her husband said farewell at the Thursday FM Prayer meeting.  She could hardly speak and yet his joy at being finished was apparent.  They left that afternoon to visit their daughter in Pittsburgh and would soon be on their way back to their home in Orem.

A Twist of Fate......
                          .......at the Seventies Hall
     I have often joked that "no good deed goes unpunished".  Well.....that may be true outside of Nauvoo but here we are often rewarded with what is referred to as a "Nauvoo Miracle".  Let me give you an example.  Sunday we were not scheduled and were we were looking forward to a break in our schedule as we had a "Sociable" that evening at 6:00.  Our good friends the Hacking's approached us and asked us if we would mind doing their scheduled assignment in the Seventies Hall as they had family coming a they would like to spend some time with them.  I thought about if for a millisecond and said "Sure" knowing full well that Sister Gibson would be glad to do that for them even though I hadn't asked her.
      It was probably one of the best days this year in Nauvoo....sunshine....no wind....and absolutely delightful temperature.  For the most part there is little visitor traffic this time of year so we sat outside the Hall on a bench in the shade enjoying ourselves and the weather.  A car came down Parley Street....drove a little past us and then stopped.  Rolling down the windows they called us over and inquired "What is this place?"  As I explained the history of Nauvoo they kept asking question after question.  In the middle of this a group shows up for a tour so Sister Gibson jumps at the opportunity to take them inside to show them the Hall.  I the couple if they might want to go inside..."Oh No.....we're in a hurry and just wanted to ask a couple of questions.  Some time later they are still asking questions.  It is clear they want to know more but don't want to get "involved".  At this point I suggest they read the Book of Mormon I had been telling them about....."Ok....where can we buy one?  "Not for sale here", I said.  "How about I give you one"......"all I ask is that you read it"
I slipped in a referral card and gave them a promise it would change their lives....Will it?  I don't know....all I know is that it has changed mine.
     The Hackings stopped by to bring the family and asked how we were doing.  When they hear our experience they were stunned and excited.....it just doesn't happen that often to the FM missionaries.
And there you have it......................a Nauvoo miracle for the Gibson's.......Good deeds are rewarded!!

The End is Near........


     
      .....but is the Completion of the House?

     Work on the Schenck house continues at a furious pace in the Nauvoo tradition.  It has been a week of great progress as the siding on the exterior of the house was nearly completed with only one gable end remaining.  Some fascia, soffit repair, concrete work, and exterior grading and painting the exterior are the only things that remain on the outside.  On the inside the painters are doing  final painting while the cabinet shop keeps making daily appearances.  With any luck at all the doors and drawers in the cabinets may be completed by the end of the week.  Sister Hopkin has already begun cleaning and vacuuming the bedrooms even though there is still work to be done....if it sounds like chaos...it is.  The Oldroyd's (the Doctor and his wife) make daily visits to check on progress.  The plan is to move them in by the end of the week.   It's possible........and so is the Mississippi River freezing over this week.
     We were given a lists of new projects that were to me completed and it looks like I will be moving on soon to do the re-hab of the women's portable pageant lavatories.  Its been sitting in the yard for months waiting for someone to get to it.  Elder Sims will be moving over to the HVAC department to help there. He should be able to help them out immensely as that is  his field of expertise.  

 Bats.....Bugs......
                  .....and Bravery?  
 
        They put it off as long as they could.  It was a dirty job.......someone had to do it.  There are two log cabins ....the Fields and Sessions,  that are kept on site to show the typical type of dwelling for the majority of the residents in Nauvoo.  During the winter they are used as storage areas and are locked up.  Sounds like a good idea until you are the person called upon to open the doors and see what has holed up in their for the winter.  Sister Gibson pled her case for fear of spiders and so Sister Hopkin volunteered....after all the only thing she dreaded was mice...bravely they opened the doors and attacked ....Sister Hopkin screamed the loudest....no mice....just.......BATS!  The buildings are cleaned and the sisters have moved on.  What would the mission do without them?

Welcome to Broadway.......
                                  .........Sunset Rolls On!
     We've been rehearsing Sunset on the Mississippi for almost a month now.  Our cast has now marched, sung military anthems,  started learning to sing a song naming the fifty states (sounds like an elementary school project to me) while the Elders strut around stage while trying to hold their sagging bellies in and  singing a version of Stout Hearted Men and looking "macho" while the teamsters and their wives work on roping and dancing.   It's unclear at this point if the teamsters are trying to show off rope tricks or lasso wives.
     All I can say is "it ain't Rendezvous........it's Broadway (with geriatrics).  What's even better is the young performing missionaries will be arriving in a couple of weeks to start practicing with us.  That should be a good time!!  Lots of laughs!!!!  At least we don't wear Mic's like the YPM's

Kalona Calls  "Bread....Bread......"
 
      It was more a reason for the Lindeburgs to go to Costco in Iowa City but we did settle on a side trip to an Amish/Mennonite community in Iowa named Kalona.  It turned out to be a great little city with a great surprise.  We arranged for a trip through the Chamber of Commerce and our guide was a member of the Mennonites.  It seems that, according to the way it was explained to us, a Mennonite is a Liberal Amish.  They use electricity, cars, and most modern conveniences and buy clothes off the rack like most of us.  The Amish remain true to the original beliefs wear modest home made attire, beards, and plain dresses  and shun modern conveniences but will use modern implements for farming as long as they don't have rubber tires.  The are retrofitted with steel rims when purchased.  They have communion twice a year at which time all members who partake must be obedient to the commandments including no rubber tires. 
      The city is also famous for it's quilt industry because of the Amish and Mennonites and go so far as to call themselves the "Quilt Capitol of the World".    It is very, very clean and all of the dwellings we saw were very well maintained.  They seem to be surviving in todays world and according to our guide the young people, for the most part, stay with their traditions and upbringing.
     The surprise of the day was a visit to the Amish Bakery......finally I found bread that I really, really like.  Don't think I'll be driving a hundred miles to get it very often.....at least I know where it is. 

                                  ......   We Answer the Call
     

Monday, April 17, 2017



A Nauvoo Baptism......


       
     It was a wonderful whirlwind week as Brian and Stephanie arrived with Elle, Liam, Mazi, and Brian's parents' Vince and Carol Ann and our grandson Jaustin.  They arrived here on Wednesday afternoon with screams of joy and hugs of love  from Grandma and soon they found their way down to  the Schenck house to check on Grandpa's work and give him the hugs and love treatment.  It was great!!  After hanging out at the apartment we made our way down to Keokuk and the Baymont Inn, got them checked in, and went to dinner at Pizza Hut and then it was back to Nauvoo for "Sunset" practice.  That night they learned about bed bugs......
     Thursday brought them back where they did some of the sites and The Carriage and Wagon Rides.
That turned out to be a not so fun event for Liam as he was extremely allergic to the horses and his eyes swelled up like lemons.  Fortunately the swelling soon subsided.....although we never did get to do the Oxen Ride.....After we completed our assignments we caught up with them and visited the "fun" sites.  They got their Nauvoo Bricks at the Bickyard, made their rope at the Family Living Center, were presented prairie diamond rings at the Blacksmith Shop.  After lunch/dinner at the Nauvoo Bakery everyone waited with great anticipation for the Rendezvous performance.  Grandpa was the Editor and Grandma the Relief Society President and it appears that everyone really enjoyed the performance.....maybe even astounded by it?  Jaustin reminded me of an earlier role I played in primary as "Brother Friendly".   (I'd hadn't given much thought to that lately....I'm glad.... it's a good memory for him, and I hope,  others).
     Friday was Liam's big day as he was baptized in the Nauvoo Stake house....Since all the good stories of baptism in the Mississippi include breaking the ice to perform the ceremony....and this wasn't possible..... it was decided to hold it in the confines of a chapel instead.  It was a good choice as Liam had figured out the river was dirty and cold when he was throwing rocks in it earlier.  It was a wonderful time with Brian performing the baptism and confirmation.  Our good friends, the Lindeburg's came and Sister Lindeburg gave Liam a Nauvoo Star and helped with the program. 
     Saturday brought the Nauvoo City Easter Egg Hunt at the fire station.  Everyone had a good time as Elle, Liam, and Mazi filled their buckets with plastic eggs loaded with candy and free ice cream cones at the Nauvoo Bakery.  After that we headed for Carthage for a visit.  In spite of the tragedy that occurred there one can always find a special spirit at the sacred site.  Elle was really touched and I am sure will have a vivid memory of her visit there.  After lunch we headed over to the Community of Christ property that borders Old Nauvoo and has the Smith family farmhouse, Mansion House, and the Red Brick Store.  While it is historically important and interesting is does not seem to have a warm and fuzzy feeling to it.  The guide, while knowledgeable and informative, seemed to lack a testimony or conviction of Joseph Smith as a prophet and would rather spend time explaining about his young son that reluctantly became the leader of the breakoff reorganized church many years later after the Saints had migrated to Salt Lake,  In fact, The Book of Mormon and the First Vision were hardly even mentioned.  We wrapped up the site visits with Lucy Mack Smith and Brigham Young homes before we had to rush off to Sunset practice.
     Easter Sunday the Webb's and Jaustin joined us for church before saying their good-byes and heading back to Chicago.  It was a great time.....wore us out.....but it was a great time.

                  ...and Easter Celebration

 The Carthage Spirit.......

                     ......Is There for All to Receive
    
     We have been to Carthage several times and there is always a special spirit.  This trip not only touched our lives but also others who were with us on the tour.  Included in our tour was a couple who you would least likely suspect the Spirit to visit.....who knew?  I assumed by their dress that they were "bikers".  The message on the woman's shirt was hard and contained an obscenity.  Hopefully, I prayed, the grandchildren wouldn't understand or even bother to read.  Through out the tour they were quiet and very respectful and seemed to be interested.  As we sat in the martyrdom room at the end of the tour the guide left us to ponder what had been explained and the tragedy that had occurred there.  Elle, my granddaughter, was moved to tears and obviously upset and touched.  And then it happened.....The woman quietly said "I came here today because my first husband's name was Joseph Smith.  I don't know what I expected but it wasn't this.  I feel something I have never felt.  My life has been a mess for a long time.  Now, all of a sudden, I feel a peaceful feeling of comfort.  I never expected or have felt this".  She then turned to here male counter part and said: "Do you feel it?" and he was quick to acknowledge the warm and peaceful feeling.    Brother Waite, our fellow missionary and tour guide, was quick to explain what she was feeling and offered her a Book of Mormon with the promise that she could find the truth to life and our purpose here.  She readily accepted.
      And there is the great truth.  There are people who are ready to listen to the message of the Restored Gospel.  We just have to be in the right place.....at the right time.....and have the Spirit bear truth through us to those people.  It is the message of our Savior that will bring us the peace and salvation that we seek.   
     The picture of Elle, Liam, and Mazi is through the hole left in the door by the ball that took the life of Hyrum Smith.


Easter......
           .....Brings the MTC Group Together
     Even though we get together once a month for a dinner it was special that we could all spend it together at the end of a busy Easter Sunday.  We had a great meal at the Lindeburg's followed by time together to talk over how thing are going for all of us.  It is special and amazing that we all come from different backgrounds and yet have such a great time with each other and grow from the experience.  Good Friends are Priceless!!

Sometimes We Just Have a Good Time....
     The weather on Easter was phenomenal.  The weeks before had started to warm up the temperatures but by Sunday it was and exceptional day and we pretty much got spring fever.  That being said we were assigned to the Dr. Calvin Pendalton Home and School.  Since it was Easter and the weather so fine it appears that most of the students (visitors) got spring fever and played hooky.  That left us with no one to teach so we took to the camera to give us a memory of the day.  Sister Gibson rang the bell and Elder Gibson gave his best "cool" impression at the sign post. While we kept our sight in view we went for a walk and talked with the other site missionaries.   What can I say.......It was spring fever!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017






Ramblin' On.......
      Rather than wait until the weekend and pull together pictures and fill in the stories I thought I would take a different approach and reflect on some things.  Probably the most significant was conference as it is always full of instruction and perspective.  It was poignant and thought provoking to watch President Monson give guidance to the church though his body is obviously tiring.  Those few words packed power and inspiration and wise counsel.  At our mission training on Wednesday we listened as the mission leadership gave their impressions of the messages and how they benefitted them.  We were all counseled to go into conference seeking answers to questions we personally might have.  It was an interesting introspection of where I am and where I am going.  President Tryfal who was released as a counselor said of all the things he had learned recently it was most important to note that repentance is a daily process...examining where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow.  For some reason I reflected on one of my most difficult callings as a ward mission leader.
Rather than dwell on that I then moved on to one of my very most rewarding and cherished memories.....eleven year old scouts....The Armadillo's.  The pin I still wear gives me ample opportunity to tell the inquirer of the great times and love I have for those boys.  I do miss those boys dropping by for visits and talking of their lives and interests!   
     As noted last week we had the Great Prairie Burn (Smolder).  The small turn out resulted in plenty of hotdogs, kettle corn, and chips being left over.  So for the first days of this week FM was treated to free lunch....hotdogs...kettle corn....and chips to the point that even the young service elders have had enough.....and that's saying a lot as they are always willing and able to eat anything left over.
     Another of the perks of being in Nauvoo is the frequent visits of General Authorities who bring their families here.  This week is was Tad Callister, General President of the Sunday School.  He brought a large contingent of family with him and was also gracious enough to speak to the missionaries....site and temple.  He spoke of the significance of the ordinances of the temple and it was a very spiritual and rewarding meeting. 
     We are looking forward to next week when Stephanie and her family, along with Jaustin, arrive for a visit.  It will be so much fun to see them, get hugs, and be with them for a while. 
Cleaning the Cultural Hall.......
                       .........Quilts and All
     While the annual spring cleaning is winding down Sister Gibson is still busily engaged in the handling and preservation, and of course, cleaning the delicate artifacts that are here.  Just to give you an idea......the top picture shows here cleaning a quilt on one of the beds in the display at the Cultural Hall.  Everyone one of them....on beds and on hangers need to be cleaned and in order to do this they must have a protective screen used.  Not only that...when they are re-folded a special paper is inserted in the folds and care is taken to make sure they are not the same folds that existed before.  If you take the time to look at all the items in the picture you can see how challenging this is.  East item must be carefully handled and the utmost care taken to insure their cleanliness.    What trust they place in her and Sister Lee Master to accomplish this....no wonder it takes them so long.
     Fortunately the items that are behind glass.....such as the Hair Wreath only get a cleaning on the exterior.  It would be hard to imagine cleaning each of those individual hairs.   Actually, it's really kind of a bizarre item....I'm sure it must have been a big deal in the day, however.

The Race is On.......
                       ....As the New Doctor Arrives
    
     The doctor and his wife arrived a week ago and Sister Hopkins placed them in temporary quarters pending the completion of the Schenk house......he can only remain there until April 17th as new missionaries will be arriving and his temp residence will become someone's permanent one....THE RACE IS ON!!  One day alone we had nine trucks and 13 missionaries working in the confines of the house.  It seemed like you couldn't take a step without stepping on someone's tools, fixtures, or toes!!
Elder Sims and I found refuge in the garage hanging and taping the sheetrock....of course it took several hours to clean out all the garbage, tools, and stored items in order to work.  Undaunted we plowed forward.  I took a selfie of us.....just for giggles! (Yours and mine)
    Elders Hacking, Van Horn, Sims, and myself took to putting down the new vinyl composite flooring.....none of us had ever done it but I had seen a lot of it on other projects and Elder Van Horn, being his usual efficient self, had read all the pamphlets the manufacturer could provide as well as the installation instructions.  We sanded the floor smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom and Elder Van Horn applied the glue.....Elder Sims could find nothing better to do.....after all he was tired and it was at the end of the day....so he watched the glue dry.  After an hour and one half we all jumped in and laid the floor...it went in amazingly well and looks great. 

    The next day, I blinked and before I knew it, everyone, but me,  was a cabinet installer.....imagine that!    About the best I could do was hold a cabinet for Elder Daines as he installed it.  Never mind it was the middle cabinet in the run.....Seems Lon, the cabinet geru,  had precut all the holes so it had to be installed first...never mind his duct hole was 2" bigger that the one installed in the ceiling.  Thirty years of ordering, installing, and building cabinets.......and there I was watching in disbelief.....actually comic relief.  The Elders did know, for the most part, what they were doing....and so did I.....I moved to the garage and continued to sheet rock.  A day and a half later about half the cabinets were installed, more issues that a newspaper had been dealt with and it was calm again....waiting for the rest of the cabinets to be delivered.  I hope the doctor and his wife don't expect doors, drawers, or shelves too soon...I don't.  I love these guys...... anywhere but the workplace.
     We are pretty much done with the interior.....given the cabinets that are yet to be installed.  There is a lot of small stuff that will take a lot of time but it looks like we will be moving outside to begin our work on the exterior.  Sounds fun!!

Mark Twain Calls........
                                     .....Hannibal Answers
     We always keep abreast of the weather forecast.....we were in the midst of a wet, wet cycle
that appeared to have no end.  So when the blue sky logo popped up for the weekend we were more that ready to go....somewhere.....anywhere!!  Hannibal, Mo. called and we answered.  It is about 90 miles from Nauvoo on the Missouri side of the Mississippi.  Mark Twain made the place famous with his writings....Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky, Miss Polly, and Injun Jim.  Not to mention all that wit and wisdom he penned.  When the Lindeburgs were unable to go we invited the Hackings.  It was a delightful day.....the weather was fantastic we had a great time. 
     As we stood at the entrance to the cave that Mark Twain had made famous in his writings  the guide gave a disclaimer warning about claustrophobia.  Elder Hacking and Sister Gibson went pale....
...I mean really pale.  Eventually they "sucked it up" and ventured into the cave....fortunately they soon appeared to forget about it and really enjoyed it.  It reminded me more of the many slot canyons we had explored in Lake Powell.....sure you couldn't see the sky....but that was also true with many of them.  There is a portal there called "The Marriage Chamber" where several ceremonies had been performed.  I will be going back to get a picture with Sister Gibson....to see if she is still willing after all these years.....what's your bet?
     We then toured the Mark Twain museums and sights stopping along the way to blow the riverboat whistle as well as take a swipe at painting the famous Tom Sawyer fence.  This is a great little town to visit and I am sure we will return.  After all the River Boat dinner cruise seems like a great idea.

    

Sunday, April 2, 2017




It's a Classic.......



        ......Save the Original.....It is Priceless!!


     Our granddaughter Elle did a drawing of Grandma and Grandpa for a fourth grade school project.
The results speak for themselves.........Van Gogh has a protoge'!! 
     I think one of the things that we miss are these little bits of heaven that our grandchildren bring us.
The school fund-raising projects.......Not So Much!! (but we are always willing a glad to help)  Thanks to Face-Time and Skype we are able to see them and their life changes but it is surely welcome when they visit.  The Texas Gibson's were here a couple of weeks ago and we are looking forward to seeing our daughter Stephanie and her family...along with Jaustin, when they will visit us
over the Easter Week.  YIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Spring Brings Blossoms......

                              .....And April Showers


     Driving by the Nauvoo Neighbor office I noticed blossoms on the tree....it's a sure sign of things that will be coming.  What has been here for the past 10 days is pretty much cloudy skies and intermittent rain and thunder storms......Which are pretty impressive to say the least.  It always gives one to wonder if there is a Tornado hiding somewhere nearby waiting to strike.  It's   interesting to note that it is easy to find something to worry about....it's earthquakes in Utah.  We had a first siren test of the season a couple of weeks ago.....thank heavens it was a cloudless day at the appointed time that it went off.....otherwise it might have been scramble city. 
     We have a large Magnolia tree out our front door that is just preparing to blossom.  It will be spectacular and welcome as it will also mean that the tree will quit dropping giant pods on the trucks that are really annoying.  We still see deer in the back fields every evening and now the squirrels are beginning to emerge.

       She's not Indiana Jones.........
                   ......Yet She Found a Treasure

     One day last week three crates showed up at the FM warehouse where Sister Gibson and Sister Lee Master noticed them.  On the outside of one box was written "original Moonstone" while the other said "Sunstone".  Like curious little squirrels the Sisters climbed a ladder (since they had so much practice on ladders over the fall).  Inside revealed the treasure.  It must have been the annual check to see if they are still inside the crates since the top had been removed revealing the stone as well as the commemorative plaque.
     The whole episode reminded me of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Since it's not the federal government it's likely to assume that they will be stored in a place and never forgotten.  But then it is Nauvoo.....what more can I say.

The Handcart Barn Moves to Completion......

          ..Though the Handcart Trek is Wiped Out!
    
On Tuesday we were summoned to the Handcart Barn to help with more concrete pouring.  With the cheap missionary labor it is deemed more practical to keep the truck standing around while we move the concrete in by hand.  It still took so long to do that renting a pump truck would have been much easier and pretty much the same cost.  But then I would have missed the experience of Elder Sims as a skidster operator.  The goods new is that no one was injured during the pouring of the concrete.....If there is any bad news it would be that I appeared to look like a slacker as I stood outside away from the action inside the barn while fearing to get too close to Elder Sims.  After two close calls I figured it was not worth risking life and limb over.
      After we finished the pour we went to lunch in the FM room where the topic of conversation among those already present was that Salt Lake had decided to discontinue the handcart experience in Nauvoo.  After all it wasn't "period correct" as the handcarts were employed many years after the saints had left Nauvoo.  I hope they don't figure out that electricity, indoor plumbing, sidewalks, internet, tv, or any other modern conveniences aren't period correct either. 
     It is ironic, to say the least, that all of the handcarts were re-built  last year to replace the fleet which had been weathered and damaged from sitting out in the elements.  It was with the understanding that the new handcart barn would be built to house them and protect them from the weather. Somebody needs to wake up the person who was sleeping through one of the many meetings where all of this was discussed and correlated many times over.  Building a barn when there were to be no handcarts......?
   I'm sure the barn will be used for storage of some kind and the handcarts will be well used at the Martin-Willey sites.  It is just a loss for Nauvoo as it was a very popular attraction for the many families that came to visit.  It also caused a lot of havoc for the youth groups that had planned on the experience when they were here visiting.  I'm sure they can find a replacement activity....hopefully it will involve service and not mischief.

     Chaos............and Progress
                ....from One Comes the Other
     We plowed along stumbling around and over each other and everything on the floor until we got to the point we needed to tile the kitchen and bathroom.  Then...and only then.....did the elders strike a blow for cleanliness as they moved everything outside to the garage....that worked well until the end of the week when it was decided we needed to hang the sheetrock in the garage.  It was only out of shear necessity that tools finally started to get put into trucks and trailers to get them out of the way....at least most of them.  Rather than take the excess materials out and return them to the warehouse it was thought best to leave them in the middle of the garage.  We wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to trip over them.
     Nothing stops our determined Elders here...so they dove in working around each other.  We were cutting molding and parts as others hung sheetrock over their heads.  No casualties....no catastrophes...just a lot of chaos.
     Friday brought more of the same as it was announced that the appliances were being delivered so we needed to seal the tile floor before they got there in the next thirty minutes.....really guys?  Adding to that was a new command that the downstairs dirt room (original house) needed to be shored up more fully so more beams and plywood were brought in to complete the task.  I can only ask..."Why couldn't that been thought of while we were working in the room and putting up six metal support poles and 6x6's to support the floor above...after all it is only a 12x12 room with a dirt floor.  Somebody is afraid the walls might crumble in.....  At day's end all I can really say.....
                                   "It's the Nauvoo Way" 

The Nauvoo Prairie Burn..........
   One of the things that we had heard about before coming to Nauvoo was the annual Prairie Grass burn Grass burn which was held on the Nauvoo flats on the last week of March.  The block is four square acres and is bordered on all sides by streets.  The prairie grass is allowed to grow from burn to burn with no care or consideration.  It is to replicate what the original prairies looked like when the pioneers would have crossed them.  Last year the burn took 3-4 minutes with flames rushing to heights of 20-30' (depending on the story teller).  It made a sound of thunder and drove people back as the fire intensified.  Not to worry, however, the Nauvoo volunteer fire department is on hand!
Hot Dogs.....Kettle Corn......and Rain...Really?
      Preparations for the burn begin weeks in advance and culminate on the day of the burn.  It is a community event....meaning anyone in the community is welcome to the festivities.  It just wouldn't be a good FM event without kettle corn so early in the day the FM missionaries who work in the compound bring out the old kettle, fire it up, and stir away.  In some ways it resembles a Chinese fire drill but the kettle corn is delicious.  Sisters Gibson, Lee Master, and Hopkin jumped right in helping with the bagging of 700 bags for the visitors...far less than the 2500 that were required for Bootiful Nauvoo at Halloween.  The only side bar is that there probably was a lot more that could have been bagged.......the sisters kept eating it all!

The Prairie Burn ....Not a Blazing Fire.....

       ................Just a Smoldering Success  
    The "Great Prairie Burn" is preceded by a hotdog roast complete with chips and kettle corn.  It had rained pretty much every day last week with a drencher over the week end.  It was decided to postpone the burn from Monday to Friday.  It rained nearly every day after with another drencher on Thursday.  Good news, however, Friday was only overcast so without any hesitation the burn was held.  I am assuming that whoever was in charge expected heavenly intervention for success....or was embellished with blatant optimism...or in frustration said "lets get it over with.... one way or the other".  The crown assembled, ate the hotdogs, chips, and kettle corn and tried to stay warm until the big event was started.  Soon the drip cans were in the hands of the capable fire fighters and FM staff as they circled the block lighting the DRY piles of straw that had been strategically placed every few feet to expedite the burn. And then we watched and waited for the inferno.....actually is was more like we wanted to see if anything would even burn at all.  It finally did.....sort of.  Instead of retreating from the fire, however, the masses moved closer to embrace the heat.....And that's how the great Prairie Grass Burn of 2017 went.
     Just in case you missed it in the pictures.....you can see the temple in the background on some of them.  And that's Elder Lindeburg cooking hotdogs in between eating bags of chips.

One Last Thought......
     Last week is now another memory.  The General Conference and Priesthood addresses were of great worth as they always are.  No one ever said life on earth was heaven......so with a renewed vigor I will march into April looking forward to more chaos and progress....somehow they relate very well to each other here.  It is well worth the experience and I am grateful for it.