Monday, April 4, 2016 – More Training, “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo”.
All day has been filled with training meetings and orientation. Mid-morning we were taken on a wagon ride to tour all of the historic sites and buildings here. It is thrilling to see the actual buildings where such important men and women of God lived and worked over a hundred and sixty years ago. Great leaders, Prophets and their wives like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilfrod Woodruff, Heber C. Kimball, Lucy Mack Smith, etc. In the future we may very well be assigned as tour guides in these buildings.
This afternoon we met with the “F.M.” (Facilities Management) director and staff. Our assignment in Carthage is to be over the maintenance and care of all the grounds, buildings, flower beds, mowing, pruning, minor repairs, etc. I can’t tell you how much Sis. Johnson & I are looking forward to this assignment. We will still be singing and dancing almost every night but during the day, we get to play in the dirt!
Tonight we went to “The Cultural Hall” to watch the stage production of “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo”. The senior missionaries put on the production 6 nights a week. “Rendezvous in old Nauvoo” is one of the shows Sister Johnson and I will be singing and dancing in.
They told us today that the auditions for “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” will be held tomorrow and we will start rehearsing next week. It’s funny, every senior missionary is required to sing and dance in “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” even the 1st Counselor in the mission presidency and the mission doctor had parts tonight. Since every one of us must participate, I asked, why do we need to audition? Well . . . they want to find out how badly we sing so they can decide how far toward the back they need to put the new missionaries! I think I will be on the very back row!
In “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” there is a tender moment when a husband and wife sing a duet with these lyrics:
And so Nauvoo, I say farewell to you
With numb and aching heart, one last adieu
As through our tears we look to homes beyond
Could ever we be fond of one as you?
One cardinal’s song, one sunset’s glow
One Nauvoo dawn, one silhouette of woods on snow
From templed hill faint echoes ring
Where prophets walked and talked with God
Their memories linger
And so we go and hide our aching heart
No one will see our tears when we depart
This home we leave will shelter memories clear
Of all that we hold dear in Old Nauvoo
Farewell Nauvoo – Farewell Nauvoo
As I listened to the couple sing this moving and powerful song, it made me teary eyed as I thought of the sacrifices ten thousand saints made when they left their homes. They could only take what meager possessions they could carry and leave their beautiful homes, farms and businesses behind in the middle of the coldest winter on record. Every one of their lives was a testimony of their faith, their love for the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as they crossed the frozen Mississippi river and said, Farewell Nauvoo – Farewell Nauvoo.