Sunday, September 6, 2015

Bugs, Beautiful Nauvoo Summer, Farewell Breakfast for us this time, Grape Stomp, Dinner at the Stone House

When we reach out to communicate with God, it's called prayer.
When Father in Heaven reaches out to communicate with us, it's called inspiration or revelation.

Check this out. Patterns of Light 

Will you think about this for a minute?  Many churches teach religion, but in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, restored truths are taught. 

What is our loving heavenly father trying to communicate to you? What changes does your He want you to make to bring you closer to Him? Will you strive to make those changes now?

Every time we work in Pioneer Pastimes we spend a half hour or so sweeping away spider webs and bugs from the play area. Check out the praying mantis below. They grow them big here.
 The web on our rear view mirror below appeared after just a couple of hours this week and reminded me of another time of horror for all arachnophobes. We were in a hurry as usual and after hastily climbing in the car, I rolled down my window in order to see better. Well, to my terror, I noticed too late why the window was hard to see through. There was a spider web that filled the whole opening where my window had been. Determining what size spider was needed to create such a web, I quickly rolled up the window and moved a little closer to Elder Johnson. skin is crawling in remembrance.
 Now that Nauvoo has slowed down and we're considering the fact that we'll be heading home way too soon, we're taking notice once again of the beautiful surroundings.

 Most unforgettable to me will be the Nauvoo temple quietly looming behind almost every site.
Our farewell breakfast this month included 42 missionaries. It's the biggest group I've witnessed and it's a bit sad that we are numbered in that count. We've never seen time fly so quickly and we'll be home in a month.

 Elder Johnson got to play the piano for Farewell Nauvoo--the song we sing every farewell breakfast. He did great.

 The great Grape Stomp. Remember last year I reported a 5K that the city of Nauvoo hosts each year? Well, its that time again.
 I found a group to walk with this time. (It included all the sisters below with the exception of Elder Johnson)
 Elder Johnson took first place for his age group. I'm pretty sure he wasn't the only runner. :)
 Sister Saline walked with us and took first place for her age group.
 Actually, we had numerous winners from the missionary pool.
 We had almost as many winners as we had participants (seven out of fourteen). There was probably 150-175 who participated from the surrounding communities so that's pretty good don't you think?

Summer is not over yet. At Pioneer Pastimes, the temperature reached 99 degrees yesterday. It only reads 98 below, but it had been 99 several times earlier in the day. It was an exhausting way to recuperate  from the morning race. We're not complaining though...The weather is suppose to drop dramatically by the end of this week.

  Here's a bit of interesting history. As the Mormons left Nauvoo and headed west away from the mobs that hated them so desperately, they were not as prepared as they had hoped and planned to be because of the early departure the first of February instead of spring. Thus, once they got across the Mississippi River and a month or two between them and their enemies, a muddy spring slowed their progress. However, since they were a bit safer from the mobs, they used the delay to earn money for supplies for their travels.

The following is taken from a National Historic Trails guide published by the US Department of Interior referring to this time in Mormon history:

The pioneers comforted and helped each other along: those who had food, bedding, and shelter shared with those who had none; those with musical or literary talent tried to cheer and inspire the camp. Their hardships brought the people together, forging their faith, group identity, and sense of destiny. The spirit of these Mormon pioneers rings in the lyrics of their now-famous anthem, "Come, Come, Ye Saints," written one miserable, muddy night in south-central Iowa by emigrant William Clayton, in honor of the birth of his son.
 Above is a picture of the church and stone house built and used by Mormon pioneers as they made their way west.

The guide goes on to say: Under church direction, Latter-day Saints settled throughout the Southwest and Intermountain West. The journals, letters, sketches, and photographs they created to document their experiences across that vast region remain invaluable to historians. Their stories continue to inspire and fascinate. Today Latter-day Saints are mainstream Americans, recognized participants in national politics, international economies, and the global community.

Clearly, the Mormon exodus to Utah was not a mere footnote in the history of the American West. It is an integral part of the American story.

Remember, I told you about a hotel in Bentonsport that was built by the Mormons when their trip was delayed? Well above is another building called the stone house built by the Mormons and used for many years by pioneers passing through. The building was remodeled a few years ago and we ate an Amish cooked meal in it last night.

The Amish are some of the sweetest people I've met--anywhere. We've become pretty good friends with the Bontraeger's who catered the meal. (Amish don't like their pictures taken so we respected that.) They are the owners of the Sunrise Bakery. See their website at Sunrise Bakery

We enjoyed tasty home cookin' in a historic building renovated with current styles. How fun that this old building is still getting good use.

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