A Mission Tour.....
.....Fuels our Fire....Refines our Focus
Each year a General Authority is assigned to visit the various missions of the church. It was our privilege to have W. Craig Zwick and his wife Jan instruct us. Not only did they instruct us....they inspired us with their teaching and counsel. Their message spoke volumes about the greatness of President and Sister Hall who have been working diligently to bring the message and the spirit of Nauvoo to those who visit and serve here. Beginning with my search to serve a mission I was always drawn to seek and assignment to this special place. FM issues aside I am been blessed to serve here. Sister Gibson has also found it to be very rewarding and her spirit is a strength to me.
My notes of the meetings are numerous....there are many clear messages.....some soul searching questions....and lots of guidance. Our time serving in the sites is extremely limited compared to most. Sister Zwick spoke of a greeting in another language...."How is your Heart?" A different culture...but a strong insightful message of self introspection rather than a physical examination of an organ, I am sure. So....how is my heart? Today....at this time....it is full of joy, happiness, contentment, and warmth. I am blessed and glad to be here with my beautiful companion. I think of my family and their successes......and struggles. I think of those friends I have left behind temporarily and of the many good times. I do miss you....you are special to me. I pray that I may be a profitable servant in our Heavenly Father's vineyard.
Our time here is short in the grand perspective things. Yet it is our time to learn. I am not a teenager anymore....therefore I don't know everything. In fact, I have learned in fact that you don't need to know everything when it comes to spiritual guidance....we have the Holy Ghost who does. What we need to do is "learn to listen". So here is one of my many "takeaways" from Elder Zwick:
Don't let experience take the place of revelation
Create a climate for the Holy Ghost to Teach You
What am I willing to do to get to where I want to Go?
..........During the Week
To say that things in FM heated up this week is a literal statement. I have found that 70 degrees here feels like 85 in Utah. So when the temperatures rocketed to 86 for most of the days it became a literal sweat box. By early a.m. I was soaked. Our fearless leader was gone all the week before and didn't return until Tuesday. We were able to complete two of the three projects we worked on. It was a banner week. Monday found us putting in another 100 feet of rail fencing on the Trail of Hope and we had visions of making a big dent in the project during the week. That ended when he returned and our focus was immediately shifted.......The Benches for the Community of Christ and tearing out and replacing 120 feet of sideway and curbing at the Visitors Center became the priority. Seems two of the three paid FM employees were disabled or gone for most of the week.
Elder Sims and Hacking worked on forming, filling, and pouring concrete as the bench supports.
I trailed in at the end as Elder Sim's back flared up with all the shovel work. They are trying to get him to go back to work in HVAC since it will be less stressful for his back....Hopefully he will avoid the counsel and assignment....doubtful but hopeful am I. Elder Hacking and I were just getting ready to set the benches and Elder Sims showed up again to help. We let him work (like who could possibly stop him) and as you can see we all enjoyed the fruits of our labor.....if only momentarily.
The rest of the week saw us complete the concrete on the sidewalks of the Visitors Center. The first pour resulted in 7 extra yards of concrete being delivered. A chaotic panic ensued as we scrambled to prepare another section. Sometimes we are blessed in our stupidity as we were able to get it prepped and poured before the concrete couldn't be worked. So we learned our lesson and the next pour several of us calculated and re-calculated the required amount. It was a perfect estimate....if one was only pouring half of prepared form. We weren't.... so we ordered more concrete and soon all the form was filled up and we were done. FM is a lot of fun....I am looking forward to seeing the Chiropractor soon if the good times keep rolling like this!!
The Legends Take Their Flag and Leave.........
Elder and Sister Hopkin, after extending a couple of months, finally headed home to Mountain Green, UT. They are living legends here for their work ethic and diligence. If there is a job to be done....even if it could wait.....Sister Hopkin was their doing it. If we scheduled a project for 3:00 pm start it would usually be done as Sister (and/or) Brother Hopkin's would have it done (or nearly so)....good news sorta.... why did we even bother to show up?? We did give them a "hale and hearty" THANK YOU. Elder Hopkin is our driving voice in Rendezvous! That will definitely be missed. They received their NRI Retirement service flag and rode off into the western sunset.
Sister Gibson immediately stepped up......tried learning how to run the Mini-Excavator, dig and shovel gravel, all the while tending to her other assignments including waxing the Joseph and Hyrum statue in Carthage. After the pictures were taken.....she retired and went on with her many other important duties. All the FM employees breathe a sigh of relief as their jobs are safe.
Why Does a Turtle Cross
Main Street in Nauvoo?
........To Get his Picture Taken
You are Invited........
To Visit and Celebrate Summer with Us.........
At the request of the Nauvoo and British Pageants we are attaching a link so you can see how much you will miss by not being here. Please copy and paste the link to your browser and enjoy.
We hope to see you....We would love to buy you an Ice Cream @ Annies
Saturday in Hannibal....
We had looked forward since our first visit to Hannibal to a sunset dinner cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat. Soon the word spread in the Sara Granger cast and interest rose. Soon Sister Hacking took charge and before we knew it we had forty-four of the case enlisted. It got even better. A Marine Squad group who had also served in Korea together were also on board. What an awesome experience when the ship paid tribute to these fine men by playing the Marine Hymn...little did they know that we had been singing the song for months in preparation for Sunset on the Mississippi....It Rocked!! As they stood at attention we were proud to be there celebrating our freedom. The forecast for the day had been 70% chance of showers....it hadn't looked good but we figured it would be a good time with friends no matter what. Well Sir, if you could have sat down and wrote a script for the weather you couldn't have done it any better.....it was perfect. It reminded me of the day there was a 90% chance of rain in Quincy a couple of weeks ago....Yes Sir we plowed on and...it rained and rained and rained that day and we got soaked...what was the difference? If we hadn't plowed on we would have missed out on both experiences....go figure? One good....one not so good....we will remember them both.
Prior to the cruise we toured the city on the local trolley...Cotton was the tour guide....I'm not sure he knew who Samuel Langhorn Clements was.....but he did know Mark Twain. Several of us hiked the 244 stairs to the fake Mark Twain Lighthouse and got a great view of the river. We could have driven to the same spot....who knew? Not me.....everyone just followed. We all slept pretty well that night...except for those who were in too much pain.
We were talking with the Wayment's when the band struck up the Beer Barrell Polka and away they went. The danced on as we cheered and clapped!!