Sunday, August 16, 2015

Illinois State Capital, The Crumpley's from Colorado, Touring Nauvoo with my Sister, Verena, and family

For preparation day last week, two of the young sister missionaries wanted to go with us to Springfield, Illinois. We stopped at the Illinois capital building before going to the Abraham Lincoln museum.

 It's a beautiful building don't you think?

 We also enjoyed the Lincoln museum. What a great man... loved his sense of humor. During one of the presidential elections, Lincoln was accused of being two-faced. His reply was, "If I had two faces, why would I use this one." He has a point. :)
 We went to Olive Garden for lunch, but forgot to take a picture so this will have to do. (Eating at franchise restaurants is a real treat when we're isolated in small town America.)
 Robert and Ruann Crumpley from Arvada came to Nauvoo. They report that Colorado still exists. 
Is that true? We miss all of you, but it won't be long now.
 My sister and three of her children came to Nauvoo.
 We went on an oxen ride with them. Amazingly, all this time has passed before we finally took time to experience this part of Nauvoo.

 Below are a few of the reader boards that accompany the oxen ride.

 Since we worked at Pioneer Pastimes in the morning, we had a few hours in the afternoon to take the Beckstrands touring through some of the sites.
 Elder Johnson hasn't lost his touch at the barrel making demonstration.
 This view is outside the Jonathan Browning Gun Shop. I didn't get the best picture, but if you look close, you'll see the temple peering above the trees. In the front you see the fenced off grave sight of little Emma Eliza Browning. Emma died here in Nauvoo, but what comfort Jonathan and Elizabeth Browning found knowing that with temple blessings, their family can be sealed together beyond the grave and into the eternities.

 We got a picture of one of the steepest stairs in Nauvoo below. Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Joseph Smith, was given this home in 1846 before the saints left Nauvoo. She was too crippled to endure the long trip to the Salt Lake Valley and remained in Nauvoo for most of her remaining years. She was forced to leave during the Nauvoo War in the fall of 1846, but returned a few years later when the enemies stopped harassing them.
 Rope making... fun for all.
 Nauvoo blossoms as big as a child's smiling face.
 This is the grave sight of Lucy Mack Smith and her husband Joseph Smith Sr, parents of Joseph Smith Junior. Note the Mississippi River and beautiful blossoms in the background.
 The trip wouldn't be complete without including Carthage.
 Our preparation day was spent taking the group to Quincy.
 Gotta love this story too.

We ended the day with lunch from one of our favorite franchises. Elder Johnson and mine was Panda Express. The Beckstrands chose KFC.

In Sunday School today, Mormon's all around the world studied the story of Saul who later changed his name to Paul in the New Testament. Remember the story?  
See Acts 22:6-16 or Acts 22 (scripture form)

 I was struck with the thought of how alarming it would be to wake up one day and realize that you had been working passionately for years on the wrong team. It seems obvious to me that Saul truly thought that Christ and His followers were wicked blasphemers who should be eliminated from off the face of the earth. We know the rest of Saul/Paul's story of course and many of Christ's teachings are recorded from Paul's teachings as he embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ and worked just as passionately to defend His word.

So, my invitation to you is to learn for yourself which is the Savior, Jesus Christ's gospel and work to be on His team. It doesn't matter what choices you've made up to this time in your life. There is enough power in the atonement to heal and change even Saul so why not each of us. 

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