Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday, Oct. 31, 2016 – Work and flat Tire, Clean Main Street

I guess we are in a routine at FM. We always seem to start the day with indoor jobs until the sun comes up an it warms a little, then we go to one or more of the historic sites to clean, cut down flowers,  pull weeds and blow leaves. This morning Sis. Johnson and Kiana transplanted begonia rooted cuttings into larger pots before we went outside to work.
Next we work down Main Street to clean the flowerbeds all along several historic sites; the Scovil Bakery, Printing Office, John Taylor Home and Post Office. This was a large job and took the rest of our work day. One of the reasons we are cleaning out all of the flowerbeds before the frost kills the plants is to make way for all of the Christmas decoration that will be going up soon. If we wait until the freezing weather kills all of the flowerbeds, we won’t have enough time to clean them all out before the decorations go up.
During our lunch break Sis. Johnson discovered where the Mission’s “Live” Nativity scene backdrops & manger were stored. There location has been a concern to Sis. Johnson for weeks now. Now, that’s one less thing for her to worry about. But she can’t relax, there are dozens of other pressing issues relating to the Mission “Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting” that she’s in charge of.
After work and before leaving the FM compound for home we took our car to the power washer bay for a good cleaning. They also have a very powerful vacuum for cleaning the vehicles. All of this equipment is available for us to use after hours. Now our car is squeaky clean inside and out. Back home I would have taken my car to “The Carwasher” and it would have cost me $18. Saving money is one of the benefits of serving the Lord on a mission.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016 – The Brick Yard, Anderson’s, District Meeting & Dinner

This morning Sis. Johnson and I were in the parking lot of the Visitor’s Center on our way to Sunday School. As we walked to the door the autumn leaves and colors of the trees were just stunning. I couldn’t help myself, I had to stop and take a few pictures. The leaves and the trees are beautiful.
This afternoon Sis. Johnson and I were assigned to give tours in the Brick Yard. This was a first for us as we’ve never given tour there before. Generally, all Fall & Winter, every other Sunday we will be giving tours somewhere in Old Nauvoo. We used to give Sunday tours about one week in three but as more and more senior couples go home those of us who remain will be doing more Sunday tours than we used to.
I like giving tours at the Brick Yard. As it turns out we are all like bricks! Our life is an opportunity to be shaped, molded, and fired like bricks. Like making bricks, the process doesn’t happen overnight.  There is a specific process and recipe that produces good bricks, bricks that can withstand the storms of life.  When we follow the Savior Jesus Christ, we receive instructions for our lives that will help us develop strength, stability, live joyfully and fill our role in the kingdom of God.
This evening we had another very good District meeting. There are five couple in our district and we meet monthly.  The best part of our District meetings isn’t the meeting. The best part is socializing with our friends and fellow missionaries and a wonderful dinner.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 – Plant Tulips, Pumpkin Walk through “Boo-tiful Nauvoo,”

We enjoyed a great P-day. We started off in the morning planting our three flowerbeds with tulip bulbs. Our home here in Nauvoo has one large flowerbed by the back door and two smaller ones by the front door. Last May when all of the tulips were pulled out of the ground in Carthage, the bulbs were all given away. Sis. Johnson saved a bunch for other missionaries and some for us too. After 5 months, they will finally be back in the ground again.
Since we are from the deserts of Arizona, we don’t get to plant tulips in our flowerbeds at home. But now we work with Richard Hancock and he’s an expert Illinois gardener. He knows when, where and what to plant. Since Richard was planting, we knew it was time for us to plant our little stockpile of tulip bulbs.
 I spent most of the morning shoveling, rototilling and raking the soil to prepare the flowerbeds for the bulbs. Then Sis. Johnson and I did for ourselves what we’ve been doing for FM these past two weeks, we planted tulip bulbs. The flowerbeds look great but now we will have to wait until April to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

This evening was the long awaited Pumpkin Walk through “Boo-tiful Nauvoo.” The mission had two entries. The first was the float that Sis. Johnson and I helped decorate. It turned out very good and was the very first entry in the whole parade. There were lots of entries in the parade but from what I saw, ours was the only “Float” entered.

The other entry by the mission was a Chinese style dragon carried in the air by a dozen or so Elders and Sister Missionaries. Sis. Van Horn sewed the entire dragon from scratch. She is one of the sisters that is assigned to work in the mission sewing room so she’s a great seamstress.  
The 500 carved Jack-O’-Lanterns lined the main boulevard of Nauvoo and they were one of the highlights of the evening. Each pumpkin was carved with a unique face or image. Some of them were so intricate and detailed they took hours to carve. 
After the parade was over I walked up and down the street for half an hour looking for the three pumpkins that Sis. Johnson carved. Finally, I did find one of them, but I never found the other two. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016 – Mow & Clean Parking Lot at Carthage, Decorate Mission float, Pumpkin Carving

I had some help with my weekly mowing and cleanup at Carthage. Scott Higley brought a couple of his staff with him, as well as his oldest son and they helped with leaf removal and they cleaned the parking lot. They brought extra leaf blowers and the parking lot sweeping machine. The parking lot had three weeks worth of accumulated leaves and acorns so the parking lot sweeper was very helpful. 
Even though I said I was mowing I’m really using the mower to vacuum and collect leaves. The grass is getting mowed at the same time but the grass catcher is catching very little grass, it’s completely full of leaves when I dump it.
While I was in Carthage today, Sis. Johnson was working with Richard’s crew in the greenhouse transplanting rooted cuttings to larger pots. It seems like we’ve been doing a lot of this lately.

At the end of her shift, Sis. Johnson got to help carve pumpkins with the other volunteers in the mower building. She had time to carve three pumpkins and there are still a lot left to be carved. The volunteers should get them all done; they still have Saturday morning to finish the job. 
This afternoon Sis. Johnson and I joined the other members of the float decorating committee to decorate the mission float that will be one of the entries in the “Pumpkin Walk” parade that goes through downtown Nauvoo tomorrow evening. 
The event “Boo-tiful Nauvoo” is a very popular event. People come from miles around to see all of the carved Jack-O’-Lanterns and other decorations, as well as see the parade and participate in the other festivities here in Nauvoo. I was listening to the radio on my way home from Carthage this afternoon and they had a “Community Events” piece that spotlighted “Boo-tiful Nauvoo.” It was very good and the piece lasted several minutes on the radio. You can’t beat free advertising.