Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017 – Cleaning Brigham Young’s home and Visitor’s Center, Heat Index

We got a lot done this morning considering it was a short day of work. We started at the historic home of Brigham Young and weeded and cleaned for several hours. We hadn’t been to the Brigham Young home in three weeks and it was due for a thorough weeding and cleaning.


We finished our morning at the Visitor’s Center Flowerbeds. It had been a couple of weeks since we did a comprehensive weeding there. A whole new crop of weeds have sprung up and all of the flowerbeds needed attention. Several varieties of flowers and the “Day Lilies” especially needed to be “dead headed.” Most of them are all going past bloom now and all of the empty dead stalks and stems needed to be removed.

 After our mid-morning break we evaluated the heat and humidity and determined that we could keep on working even though it was very warm. But by 11:30 the “Heat Index” said the temperature “Feels Like” it was 110 degrees. We were really hot and we decided it was time to call it a day. It was a good thing we did; by mid-afternoon the “Feels Like” temperature was up to 116 degrees.

The National Weather Service posted an “Excessive Heat Warning” today because it was so hot and humid. The Excessive Heat Warning was in effect until 8:00pm when the “Feels Like” temperature was forecast to finally get below 105 degrees. As a result, tonight’s “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” outdoor stage show had to be cancelled. And from the looks of the forecast for tomorrow, “Rendezvous” will probably be cancelled again tomorrow as well, but we hope not. Sis. Johnson and I really enjoy performing on stage in “Rendezvous” and especially tomorrow because it is our turn to sing our duet, “Senior Moments – Brain Freeze.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wednesday, July  19, 2017 – Four sites, Josh Fuller BYU Study Abroad Group, Pres. McCoy & Golden Ticket, New Bicyle

We were very busy today and we got four sites completely cleaned. However it was a very hot day and since the “Heat Index” was so high, Richard sent us home after lunch. That was very nice of him, I was already toasted!

While we finished the “George Laub” home we got to meet one of the students that is living there for two weeks. His name is Josh Fuller from Gilbert AZ. He and the other student are with “BYU Study Abroad” group. They’ve already spent time in Canada and in other location in the US. He was glad to see us there because there is a large wasp nest on their back door that prevents them from going out to the back porch. One of FM’s managers, Louis Hernandez, came with a can of Wasp and Horne Jet spray to kill them all. Now the house is safe for the BYU students and also safe for us to finish our work.

Today Sis. Johnson and I got our final “Golden Ticket” from Elder McCoy. This time the Golden Ticket is our assignment to speak in Sacrament Meeting on the 30th of July. During their 18 month mission each Senior Missionary is given four Golden tickets. One is to teach Sunday School, another is to teach either Relief Society or Priesthood meeting. Another Golden Ticket is to give the opening or closing prayer in Sac. Meeting and the last one which Pres. McCoy gave us today is to speak in Sacrament meeting. We knew we would get our final Golden Ticket sooner or later but we just didn’t know when.

After work today Elder Kyle Johnson picked up a bicycle from Kendall Gallaher, FM’s Auto Mechanic. Bicycles are available for the Service Missionaries while they are working for FM on their missions. The bike looks brand new. It isn’t fancy, it only has one gear but Elder Johnson is delighted to have his own transportation to get around Historic Old Nauvoo. It looks like a really nice bike.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – Goodbye to our family, Lyon Drug weeding and trimming, Lucy Mack Home, George Laub Home, Exodus Point

On our way out the door to work we had to say goodbye to our family this morning. They were still packing when we left. But they are gone now and we will miss having them in our home with us, miss the hugs from grandchildren and miss the big family meals.


For the rest of our mission here in Nauvoo this will be the last family members we are aware of that have plans to come and visit us. Sis. Johnson is very sad not to have her family around her. But we only have a few more months of our mission left and she will be back in the “Grandma Mode” once again.

We put in another full and busy day at work again. We started at the Lyon Drug Herb Garden. This is a very large garden to maintain and it requires more attention than any other. We trimmed plants away from the sidewalks, we spread “Dear Scram” to keep the deer from eating all of the flowers and we did another thorough weeding of all the flowerbeds.

Next we were off to the Lucy Mack Smith’s home followed by a new missionary house we’ve never cleaned at before called the “George Laub” home. It really needed a lot of work so we didn’t finish before lunch. We will probably go back and finish tomorrow morning when it is cooler.

 We finished our work day at the Exodus Point and Pioneer Memorial. There are several flowerbeds that needed weeding. The cracks in the sidewalks were full of weeds so we pulled them by hand. The best part of working here in the hottest part of the day are all the trees. Since we worked in the shade of the trees, the 90+ temperatures were tolerable in the afternoon.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017 – Baptisms for the Dead, Work at Cultural Hall & Browning Gun, Tree trimming, Carthage Jail Tour with N&V and P&B

Early this morning Nathan, Valerie and their daughter Samantha went with Paul and his son Robert to the Nauvoo Temple to do baptism for the dead. They had 16 family names and the children not only were baptized and confirmed for their ancestors but Nathan & Valerie did the initiatory work for them as well. It was a beautiful morning to do saving ordinances in the temple for ancestors.

Sis. Johnson and I had a busy morning at work. We started by moving and re-aligning all of the barriers on Old Main Street in front of the Cultural Hall and the Browning Gunsmith Shop. The barriers are intended to give pedestrians ample space to congregate in and around the historic sites and not have to worry about standing in the street. Unfortunately some people don’t like the barriers and move them all over the place. So occasionally we have to go back and re-align the barriers and the flower pots that go with them.


While we were in front of the historic home of Jonathan Browning & Gunsmith Shop we noticed the weeds were back in the flowerbeds with a vengeance. We spent the rest of the morning there weeding the flowerbeds in front and behind Browning Gun.

 While we were in the flower gardens behind the Browning Gun Shop we also did a lot of bush and tree trimming. The reason was to make the view of the Nauvoo Temple unobstructed from the back porch of the Browning home. As the missionaries give tours of the Browning home they are taken to the back yard gardens to see the grave site of the infant daughter of Jonathan & Elizabeth Browning. In the 1840’s, standing by the grave, the view of the Temple reminded the Brownings that Families can be forever through the Sealing ordinances in the Temple and they would someday have their daughter with them again.

After work today Sis. Johnson and I traveled with Nathan & Valerie and Paul & Beth and their families to Carthage to attend the Carthage jail tour. We truly love the Carthage tour. I’ve mentioned this before but I truly believe it bears repeating. The Carthage Jail tour and especially the martyrdom room is one of the most sacred and hallowed places in all of Church History. The Prophet Joseph new we was going to be killed by his enemies when he left Nauvoo for Carthage on that hot June day in 1844. He could have fled the state for safety but rather he chose to seal his testimony of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with his blood. En route to Carthage Joseph said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men . . . I shall die an innocent man . . .and it shall be said of me ‘He was murdered in cold blood.’”

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017 – Greeter & Usher, Brunch, Fan Charts, Sunday Concert, Trail of Hope

This morning our Mission District was called upon to serve in Sacrament Meeting as Greeters and Ushers. Sis. Johnson and I were happy to do our part. Every Sunday one of the Districts is assigned to provide Greeters but only in the month of July are Ushers needed. July is Pageant month and the busiest season of the year for Historic Nauvoo. Every Sunday in July the chapel, overflow and cultural hall are completely full with guest that are here in Nauvoo to enjoy all of the shows, historic sites and feel the spirit of Old Nauvoo.

After church Sis. Johnson cooked up a big “Sunday Brunch” for our family. Sis. Johnson really knows how to put on a spread for her family, she made Eggs & bacon, three types of pancakes, regular, cinnamon and peanut butter. There were three types of syrup as well as fresh strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes with a breakfast crumble cake loaded with cinnamon & icing. Mmmm-Goood!

Our daughter-in-law, Valerie went to the 70’s Hall and Land & Records office to research  her ancestors today. She had 8 pages of “Fan Charts” (pedigree charts) in hand and she came away from “Land & Records” with a thumb drive loaded with a treasure of information, maps, land transactions, census records, journals and other historical documents that told the story of her ancestors that lived here in Nauvoo in the 1840’s. This is all information about her ancestors that she had no idea about. She is delighted with her treasure of information.

This afternoon, with tickets in hand, we all went to the Visitor’s Center to watch & listen to the YPM’s (Young Performing Missionaries) put on a Sunday afternoon concert. And, once again I was blown away by the music and the songs performed. It was truly an inspirational experience of the highest quality.  I just melted in my seat enthralled by the performances of dozens of numbers including “Amazing Grace”, “The Lord’s Prayer” and Rob Gardner’s version of “Savior, Redeemer of My Soul.” Then they concluded with the most fabulous rendition of “Come thou Fount of Every Blessing” ever performed.  In these few words I’ve written here I can’t begin to express how outstanding the concert was. I think you would have to experience it to really appreciate it.


This afternoon the children had a lot of fun catching lots of little tree frogs that are all over our house, in our garden and lawn. They also assisted me in finding and dispatching dozens of those Tomato Hornworms that are stripping the leaves off of my plants. The kids were all having a grand time.

This evening Sis. Johnson and I watched all of the younger children so Nathan & Valerie, and Paul & Beth could take the older kids and walk the “Trail of Hope” with the YPM’s providing vignettes at regular intervals along the way. This too is an amazing spiritual feast as the YPM’s performs the true life stories of the pioneers as they left Nauvoo and made their journey west.