Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 – Brick Yard, Weeding & Hedging at HCK Home, Information Kiosk, Elder Ross Johnson(3) Debut

Our full day of work started at the Brick Yard. It’s been four weeks since we weeded the Brick Yard sidewalks. The sidewalk is made of brick paving stones and the cracks between the stones are full of sand and a perfect place for weeds to grow. The Brick Yard needs our attention all year long.

Our next stop was at the historic Heber C Kimball Home. We spent a lot of time there weeding the flowerbeds. We also trimmed the long hedge on the west side of the lot. It has been a year since the last trimming and it was a lot of work. FM’s hedge trimmer I use is sharp and efficient; it really does the job well. The hedge looks much better now.

 Early this morning we had to leave our big trailer at the mechanic’s shop for repair. The electrical connector/plug was broken and had to be replaced. Elder Lindeburg works in the automotive repair shop here at FM. Prior to his mission to Nauvoo, he has spent his professional carrier as an auto mechanic and he knows his stuff. He had the replacement jack done very quickly. By mid-morning we had our trailer back with working brake lights again. Good job Elder Lindeburg!

In the past few weeks and again tonight in our “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” show the torch was passed to the new generation of performing missionaries. Tonight it was Elder Ross Johnson3’s turn to step up and take the place of a departing missionary. Elder Johnson3 did a great job as “The Editor” in Rendezvous. Mind you, this part is no small undertaking. The part of “Editor” is the single largest scripted part in the whole production. The Editor has speaking lines in every single scene and vignette in the whole show. Elder Johnson3 had a lot to memorize for his debut tonight and he was perfect. Good Job Elder Johnson3.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 – Fall Leaves & the Women’s Garden & Main St., The Lyon Drug & Arbor, Liriope Beds at the Vis. Ctr, Sis. Johnson & Sage Cuttings

The Locus trees in the Women’s Garden are shedding their fall leaves fast. The mess they cause requires Elder Kyle Johnson and Elder Cantwell to use the powerful backpack leaf blowers to clean them up two to three times a week. It will be an ongoing project for the next three months as all of the other trees shed their leaves too.

On Old Main Street too, the leaves require constant removal. While the Service Elders blew the leaves off of the street and sidewalks onto the lawns, Sis. Johnson, Lani and I pulled weeds and cleaned all of the historic sites on the west side of Old Main Street like The Tin Shop, The Print Shop, The Post Office and the John Taylor Home. Then we moved across the street and cleaned the flowerbeds of the Jonathan Browning Home & Gunsmith Shop.


Our final stop before lunch was the Lyon Drug & Herb Garden. This site is a favorite of ours because it is so large and full of a large variety of unique heirloom plants and herbs. The beautiful arbor is also a crowd favorite with its vines, flowers and gourds all over it. We love to pull weeds at the Lyon Drug Herb Garden. 

After lunch Elder Kyle Johnson and I pulled weeds from three more of the Liriope beds. As visitors come into the parking area of the Visitor’s Center these Liriope beds are some of the first things they see and we want to always keep them free and clear of weeds.

 While we cleaned the Liriope beds, Sis. Johnson had a special assignment from Richard, our boss and FM’s Horticulturalist. She got to take rooted cuttings from a variety of heirloom aromatic sage plants. She particularly enjoys these plants because they smell so good. This task is the ultimate “Aroma Therapy!”

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 – Sacrament Mtg Talks on Qualifying, Elder Wayment

This morning’s Sacrament meeting was excellent. All three speakers  were assigned the same topic:  “Being Qualified for the Work.” Each one gave excellent talks and we were reminded of the teachings of President Monson: "whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies." This is especially true here in Nauvoo. None of us are professional singers, actors and dancers, but the Lord has qualified us for the work. The whole meeting was a spiritual feast.

At the end of the Sacrament meeting, before the closing hymn, Pres. Hall asked Elder and Sis. Wayment (impromptu) to address the congregation for a few minutes and bear their testimonies. You might recall, on the last day of August, almost three weeks ago Elder Wayment was accidentally knocked down by one of the 2000 pound draft horses and stepped on in the chest. Both Elder and Sis. Wayment expresses their gratitude for all of the love, support and prayers on behalf of Elder Wayment.

Elder Wayment and Sis. Wayment spoke about the series of miracle that happened one after another that saved his life. Every event after the accident was a miracle, from the Priesthood blessing he received within seconds, the quick arrival of the EMTs and their lifesaving treatments, his “Life Flight” to a “Level one Trauma Hospital,” the sixteen doctors that immediately attended him and had him in surgery within minutes, and his miraculous recovery.  Wow, so many miracles and they were all answers to prayer.

Elder Wayment talked to Sis. Johnson and I after the meeting. He is in excellent spirits and he said that the pain from the accident is finally starting to lesson. He also said that there are still four imprints of horseshoe nails on his chest from the horse’s hoof!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 – American Gothic House, Eldon Train Depot Museum, The Dutchman

For our P-day we took a road trip and invited our grandson, Elder Kyle Johnson, to come along. We drove about 70 miles northwest to the town of Eldon, Iowa to see the “American Gothic House” featured in the famous painting by Grant Wood. 

The town of Eldon was a pleasant surprise. We toured the American Gothic House visitor’s center and had our picture taken at the “American Gothic House.” That was a lot of fun. After lunch we toured the “Rock Island Train Depot Museum. We didn’t even know it was there, we just stumbled on it by accident. It was very interesting and we enjoyed this little hidden surprise in Eldon. 

And speaking of Eldon, our grandson, Eldon Johnson turned 5 years old today. We also have another grandson with a birthday today, Carter Johnson; he is celebrating his third birthday today. We want to wish both of our grandsons a happy birthday.

Next our road trip turned south toward the town of Cantril, Iowa to go shopping at the Amish General store “The Dutchman’s.” This is our third time to visit the Dutchman store and we really enjoy the low prices and unique selection of items. I’ve become very fond of the locally produced specialty smoke flavored cheeses, Mmmm-Goood.

Our road trip today was particularly enjoyable because of the beautiful countryside we drove through and the colors of fall as the trees are turning to their autumn splendor, very pretty.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 – E&S Sims, Path to Pageant Bldg., Ginkgo Biloba Grafts, Elder & Sis. Wilson’s Final Performance

Today was Elder Sims last day at work in FM. He has been a carpenter and has helped out in other departments like HVAC at FM. Elder & Sis. Sims will be leaving for home next Tuesday after having given dedicated service to the Lord here in Nauvoo. We will miss them. But we shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves because our friends are leaving. Instead we should rejoice in having been their friends for the time we knew them in Nauvoo.

Our first work assignment this morning was right out of left field. Our crew was asked to remove weeds along a walking path out at the Pageant Building three miles east of Nauvoo. Normally Sis. Johnson and I and our grounds crew don’t do anything with the Pageant building but this morning extra help was needed for a YSA conference coming up this weekend.  A lot of weeds needed to be cut down and removed.

It turns out there is a long walking path, about a quarter of a mile long. It starts at the hotel where the Core Pageant staff live in July and goes  to the Pageant building where they rehearse. During Pageant Season they walk this path to and from rehearsals many times a day. In some places the weeds were so overgrown it was hard to see the path. It was a long hard project but we got it done.  

The rest of our day was the usual Friday blowing and cleaning of the Visitor’s Center, the Women’s Garden, Family Living Center, the Cultural Hall and all of Old Main Street. We concluded our day working at two other sites. It was another beautiful day to work in Old Nauvoo.

Tonight in our pre-show cast meeting, our director Sis. Hipple, explained that none of us are professional actors and that the Lord blesses us with talents and abilities we didn’t know we had to fulfill our acting, singing and dancing requirements during our Rendezvous show each night. She quoted Neal A Maxwell. “God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.” I really like this quote a lot.