Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 – Training Meeting, More Bows Wreaths Pinecones & Swags, Decorate Wagon, Mail from Grandchildren

Today was our weekly Mission-wide training meeting, and it was very good. We heard from all three in our Mission Presidency. They all gave us training with very useful instructions. In fact there was so much good training I can’t begin to give it justice here. But briefly, 1st Counselor, Pres. Trythall referenced our MTC training from last spring and how it affected his experience as he served in the Visitor’s Center on Thanksgiving Day. Very powerful training.
Second Counselor, Pres. Pursel spoke to us about the teaching instructions that are available in the front of each site book that most of us overlook. He also tied those pages to the instructions to missionaries on page 8 of “Preach My Gospel.” He concluded by reading from 2 Cor 9:6 and then quoting Pres. Monson: “When the time of performance has arrived, the time for preparation has passed.” His instruction was very good.

Mission President, Pres. Hall, spoke to us about several different topics but his primary message was a report to us about his Mission President’s training he attended after General Conference in October.  There was so much good information and insightful things he taught us that I couldn’t write it down fast enough. I found myself taking pictures of the documents projected on the screen behind him. I will enjoy reviewing the documents over and over again.
At the conclusion of the Pres. Halls remarks he presented his proposal to us of the new Illinois Nauvoo Mission “Vision Statement” that reads, “Prepare, live, and carry out assignments so visitors will feel the spirit in every aspect of their Nauvoo experience.” This is very good, it has a great depth of thoughtful meaning in very few words that sums up what each of our jobs are in the mission.  

We greeted a new Senior Couple to the mission, Elder & Sis. Jones. They hail from Utah and this is there 5th Senior mission. Evidently their last mission was right here in Nauvoo. It was recent enough that Sis. Jones commented she recognizes a few familiar faces that were here when they left the last time. This is very cool; their turnaround time was very quick.
Today was a carbon copy of yesterday, except for the weather. Today was overcast in the 40’s all day. But, like yesterday we worked in doors all day. And, we did the same holiday decorations as yesterday. We tied bows and pinecones on wreaths and swags. Scott and his crew went to the Carthage Visitor’s Center early this morning and got it completely decorated. This afternoon they started decorating all of Old Nauvoo. There is still a lot of work left for them but they did get started.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – Warm, Pine Cones, Wreaths, Swags, Wagon, Christmas Walk

A warm front has moved into Illinois and today’s high was 15 degrees above normal! It was a beautiful, clear day but we still worked in doors all day getting ready to decorate Old Nauvoo and Carthage for the Christmas season.
All morning Sis. Johnson and I were in the “B” building again working on all of the pine cones, bows, wreaths, swags and garlands. This brought back a lot of fond memories for us as we would put in long hours working in our flower shop back in Mesa, AZ. The scent of freshly cut pine boughs filled the air as our hands would become sticky with pitch as we handled the pine cones and pine boughs. Good memories are great but getting the pine tar off of our hands is still just as difficult.
Tomorrow Scott will take a crew of men to Carthage and get the Visitor’s Center all decorated for the holidays. We got everything he needs ready and it’s lined up by the door, ready to go.
After lunch Sis. Johnson delivered supplies and ran other errands relating to the “Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting” on Friday. I was in the “D” Building again decorating the second of three wagons. (Tomorrow we will decorate the last one.) Again I had a good crew to help me and the work went well.
At tonight’s performance of “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” we only had 5 people attend. As we get closer to winter we can expect smaller audiences but they say this is a little early to only have 5 in attendance. There is a rule about performing “Rendezvous” to small audiences. The rule says, if anyone shows up, even one person, the show goes on!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016 – Watering while it Rains, Bows, Baisch & Skinner & Watsons’ Shipment, Decorate Wagon

Another very busy day for Sis. Johnson and I. We did all of today’s jobs in doors because it rained most of the day. We started in the greenhouses because some of the plants there need watering almost every day. 
Next we made more big red velvet Christmas bows and attached them to huge pinecones. These will be used to decorate several sections of white picket fences that line the streets of Old Nauvoo. Sis. Johnson and I along with the FM staff will be decorating Old Main Street and other streets with historic sites. When we finish, they are going to look great for the month of December. Our goal is to have everything done and decorated in time for the big event this Friday evening, the “Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting” program.
While we were making bows in Bldg. B, the large mower shed, Scott Higley & Richard Hancock received their big shipment from Baisch & Skinner Wholesale Florist from Quincy. We helped unload the delivery truck full of wreaths, pine swags and pine garlands. All of these holiday greens and the bows we are making will look great for Friday’s “Christmas Walk.”
We finished our day in building D, a very large building for vehicle parking and storage. It is big enough to hold each of the horse drawn wagons that will be used during Friday’s “Christmas Walk.” We had a lot of good help as we decorated the first of three wagons. There is a lot left to do but today was a good start on all of the decorating.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016 – Sunday School Lesson, District Meeting & Dinner, “Light Up the Tree” Rehearsal

Sis. Johnson and I taught the Sunday School lesson this morning. It is a humbling experience to teach a class full of Senior Elders and Sisters that know the gospel better than we do. Not to mention the room is full of former Bishops, Relief Society Presidents, Stake Presidents, and even Mission Presidents. Sometimes we find ourselves asking, what could I possibly teach these wonderful, experienced and seasoned Seniors that they don’t already know. Well, somehow we did it, we made it through our lesson and it all went very well. I think they might have learned something.
Tonight we had our monthly District meeting and dinner. This time it was at Elder & Sis. Witbeck’s home. We’ve known the Witbecks since the MTC last March and we enjoy the company of all of our District members. The food was good but the company was great. You’ve gott’a love a meeting agenda that is more eating and socializing than Business.
From our district meeting we went straight to our rehearsal for the “Mission Tree Lighting” program at the Visitor’s Center. All of the Seniors from the whole mission were there to practice our song, our routines and the Mission Choir practiced their “Flash Mob” Christmas Carol too.
Sis. Johnson and Sis. Hacking are the Co-Chairs for the whole event and they are very pleased with how well everything is going. They are particularly grateful for all of the hard work by all of the sub-committee leaders that have worked tirelessly to pull everything together. It looks like the whole event is on schedule to be a very big success. If the weather cooperates next Friday, it will be a huge success.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016 – P’day Shopping, Lesson Preparation, Amish Nativity

Today is our P-day (Preparation Day) and we cleaned house, did shopping, and prepared the Sunday school lesson Sis. Johnson and I will give tomorrow. I’ve come down with a cold so I’ve gone through a half box of Kleenex tissues but on the bright side I got to take a nap this afternoon. It was really nice.
Sis. Johnson has collected many nativity scenes over the years and one of her goals this year was to find a nativity that might be unique to our mission here in Illinois.  A week ago Sis. Johnson went shopping at The Allyn House gift shop here in Nauvoo. (See my post about The Allyn House dated:  Friday, Sept. 9, 2016) She came home lamenting that she didn’t buy the Amish Nativity scene she saw there. It would have been a great addition to her collection. I asked her why she didn’t buy it she gave a bunch of non-sense answers like, “I was already in line at the checkout when I saw it, it cost too much, and it was on the top shelf!”
Personally I don’t do any Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve, and sometimes even later. But when Sis. Johnson didn’t come home with that Amish nativity it was time for this husband to seize the moment and spring into action. I said “Dear, why don’t you go back to The Allyn House and buy that Amish nativity, it will be my Christmas gift to you? With a big grin she was off to The Allyn House. Bingo, my Christmas shopping is done!