Sunday, May 18, 2014

Monsoon rain on the Mississippi River

Monday night May 12th was a Nauvoo rain storm that turned highway 136 (which runs along the banks of the Mississippi River) into a river of water. Our old Sienna did pretty well until we headed home after performing in Rendezvous. We had two shows that night and it had rained the entire time. In one dip in the road our minivan became a mini-boat. In fact, the water was so deep that we wondered how we would fair being swept into the Mississippi. Though we came through the pond with a running motor, we could hear that something was not right. Elder Johnson was impressed to keep driving and see how far we could get. We were still about twenty minutes from home but we found that while coasting as much as possible, the car kept running. When we finally stopped in our garage in Carthage, the engine smelled funny, but we couldn't see anything smoking.

The next day we found a mechanic who figured that we had water in the engine shorting out the spark plugs. Fortunately, he also thought that he had the skills to fix it. The shop was close enough to walk to the Carthage Jail Museum and he just happened to be available that day. In fact, the shop looked so abandoned, it didn't look like he had had any business the whole week. Anyway, without skipping a beat, we had the car repaired and ready for our Tuesday night practice back in Nauvoo.

The repairman kept saying, "You are so lucky." I can't believe you made it to Carthage from Nauvoo. Who doesn't believe in miracles?

Thought for the week: History repeats itself because no one listened the first time.  :)

Below is an email sent to grand daughter, Avry, in answer to more of her questions. It may be of interest to you if you wonder what a mission to Nauvoo is like.

Hi again Avry,
We have a few minutes before we go to practice. We are having a really fun time and it helps me not miss all of you quite so much. I know what you mean about missing Colorado. Life is really different here and we have a really strict schedule in order to get everything done that we need to. 

I have been able to bear my testimony 2-5 times every day so far. Most of the time, we have guests who are members of the church. Sometimes they are children about your age and other times they are teenagers. However, most of the time they are adults who want to hear about the history that took place around the time that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred. We have been reading every day about the events and it is fun to answer people's questions.

Today was really scary. Your grandpa and I were in the jail with a family of two young children and their parents. I bet one was almost 8 years old. While we were giving the tour, there was a knock on the jail door. People almost always start their visit in the visitor's center where they watch a film about Joseph Smith, and they have to have a tour guide to enter the jail so it was strange to get a knock on the door. We answered the door and there were 4 men wanting to see the jail but didn't want to go to the visitor's center. They didn't look like members of the church and were from Texas, Colorado, and one was from Carthage. They didn't look like they could be related to each other and may have been at a religious convention or something in the area. They were between the ages of probably 42 and 80 years old. One had a shirt on with the words "Presbyterian church" which means he was not a member of our church. The first question they asked was, "Why do you say that Joseph Smith was martyred?" They also asked things like,"Do you think that only members of your church can be saved?" or "So you think that people go to heaven by doing a certain number of good deeds?" They always addressed the hard questions to me because I probably look like I won't know what to say. You would have been proud of me though because I did know what to say and felt the Holy Ghost help me many times.

Life as a missionary is great but I must admit...exhausting. Elder Johnson admitted to me that Friday night while standing up practicing for Sunset on the Mississippi, (which we start performing the end of this week) he almost fell asleep. I have dozed off a few times while reading between tours in the museum, but never while standing up! I wonder if he could get in the Guinness World Records.

Since I told on Elder Johnson, I must confess a mix-up on my part. Whenever we eat, we use aprons because we're always in church clothes and I didn't bring an unlimited amount. Today, Elder Johnson was ready for church before I was so he brought the car out front and waited for me. I ran out as quickly as possible reminiscing about our son Trevor when he was a teenager. The Johnson family all have memories of Trevor running out of the house with a toothbrush in his mouth, shoes and socks in one hand and his tie in the other. Well, I assumed that Elder Johnson was remembering our son because he was laughing heartily when I got in the car. Well, actually, he was laughing at me because with my nice church clothes, I was also sporting a bright green apron. At least the laugh kept us awake through church.

Does anyone want any tulip bulbs? Every year the tulip bulbs are dug up and given away. If you're coming to Nauvoo this summer and want some free bulbs, let me know.

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