All the way from Houston, Emma & Annie Beckstrand came to Nauvoo with 350 teenagers 14-18 years old from their stake in Texas.
Oh yes, and Nathan Beckstrand as well.
It's always fun to have company. Nauvoo is a testimony building place for all ages, but soooo good for youth who are searching for truth. You can't help but notice a group that size.
Bentonsport and Bonaparte Iowa... again
Two of the Young Sister Missionaries came with us on our preparation day. We took them to Iowa. It was interesting enough to do it two weeks in a row. That says a lot.
Young Sister Missionaries find fun a little differently than we do.We ate at the Old Mill again where the LDS crossed the Des Moines River after a delay due to heavy rain bringing mud that was impossible to pass through.
We walked the bridge again...remember last week? This time I brought evidence of the rusty support beams.
He hikes and camps all around the midwest to find these specimens of petrified wood, geods etc.
What an interesting fellow. He has also been collecting arrow heads since he was seven years old and has them displayed inlay wood that is intricately designed. Beautiful work, don't you think?
He is standing next to his favorite arrowhead below which is in the shape of a snake. "That's a big deal", he says. There were hundreds of arrowheads all around the room. My camera battery died or I would have taken more pictures.
Nauvoo on the Road
It was finally our turn to go with the Nauvoo on the Road group. We joined the Bloomfield County Fair showing our Pioneer Pastime games, cinnamon cookies, and rope making.
We had the honor of having Jeffrey R Holland, one of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, come to Nauvoo. It was really a family trip for him and not an assignment to speak to us, but he took an hour last week to address us. The sites were all shut down early one evening and Rendezvous and Sunset were moved to 5:30 instead of 7 pm to accommodate him. That's a big deal...right!
Well, anyway it was worth all the trouble. There is something quite amazing about being in the same room with an apostle of the Lord and Savior. Even if he hadn't talked, I think it will be emblazoned in my memory for life. I took a few notes to remember.
He said that if he could choose where he served as a missionary, of the 405 missions throughout the world, he would pick Nauvoo. He thanked us for giving of our time and money to be here. He acknowledged our sacrifices and compared it to the sacrifice made by the saints in the 1840's. Of course, it's not nearly as great, but it is a sacrifice for all of us and the Lord loves us for it.
Elder Holland suggested that most of the early leaders may have known that ultimately, Nauvoo would not succeed, but perhaps they knew that it would 100's of years later. He believes that we are keeping the dream of Zion alive in and through the temple, the sites, the pageants, the performances and all that we do here.
May I offer you my testimony again? Nauvoo is like no other city on earth. Why? Because it was initially built as a city of God. The first place on earth after several millennium to have a temple where truths are taught and ordinances are performed for the salvation of all mankind... any who choose to accept it whether living or dead. Men, women, and children gave their all including their own life to keep it alive. Now the followers of Christ have returned to honor and celebrate what was started over 175 years ago.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth in it's fullness. Will you learn this for yourself? Will you ask in prayer if this is true?