Friday, December 02, 2016 – Main St. & Pioneer Past Times, V.C. Live Nativity Arrangements, F.L. Center, Visitor’s Center
The day of the BIG event has arrived. We started our day by blowing and cleaning Old Main Street from the Printing office to the Pioneer Pastimes. All day as we worked Sis. Johnson was talking to people and checking on the progress of their plans and set up. We made several trips back and for with last minute supplies, Etc.
The “Live Nativity” scene looks great with the arrangements in place. We had a lot of help from other seniors. Everything is set and ready for this even.
Tonight’s program, the “Christmas Walk & Tree lighting” went very smoothly. From all reports from the various sites, venues and events, the whole evening was a huge success! My best estimate of attendance in the Visitor’s Center was between 350 to 400. Then, based on the number of plates given at the refreshment table to guests (about 600 to 650) there could have been an additional two hundred for a total attendance of about 600 people.
I heard several reports from a number of people that were here last year and they all commented that the problems they had last year were all solved with good planning. The Teamsters said the new route and departure point made the wagon rides a delight for everyone including the teamsters. You’ve never seen a happier bunch of men atop their wagons singing Christmas Carols at the top of their lungs. The teamsters and their passengers all had a great evening.
The live nativity was a resounding success. Sis. Rober did a wonderful job planning the pulling off a perfect evening of costumes, music and performances. The sister that played the harp for the live nativity attends one of the local wards. She’s played the harp for the live nativity here in Nauvoo for many years. She express (through her tears) that this was the best live nativity she’s ever been a part of!
It’s been a long hard 7 weeks of planning, preparation and work that Sis. Johnson and Sis. Hacking have put into this event and it all paid off tonight. Every single missionary that chaired a sub-committee worked tirelessly too. They pulled together their volunteers, everyone worked together and made every aspect of the event a delight for all those who attended. Well done Elders and Sisters of the Nauvoo Mission! Now go home and get some well deserved rest.
A tender Mercy with three teenagers at the Christmas Walk.
During the Christmas Walk I experienced a little miracle, or as Pres. Bednar likes to call them, a “Tender Mercy.” It wasn’t a big deal but a little miracle none the less.
I was walking south on Main St. on my way to the Tin Shop and Browning Gun to take pictures of the story tellers and the burn barrels. As I walked south I met two families on the sidewalk walking north on their way to the Cultural Hall, where I had just come from. I greeted them and we all exchanged a cheerful, “Merry Christmas.” The adults and children appeared to be having a good time. They even posed for me as I took their picture.
We all continued on our way when I heard three teenage boys approach me from behind also heading south. They moved quickly half running and skipping, almost bouncing down the middle of the street singing “Jingle Bells.” But it was hard to tell it was Jingle Bells because they were screaming the words at the top of their lungs. There was no tune, no melody and rhythm just loud obnoxious yelling and screeching sounds.
They continued with their insufferable noisy way past me and quickly were well past me and I heard them no longer. I thought to myself, someone should talk to those young men and ask them to be a little more amenable to the spirit and mood of the occasion.
As I continued south a short distance I noticed the luminaries that lined the sidewalk. They made an interesting jog at the “Pioneer Pastimes” site and I decided to see if I could catch a picture of their glow as they seemed to go off into infinity. I intended to take the picture without flash and only use only the glow of the candles in the luminary paper bags. But, I forgot to turn off the flash and I pushed the shutter button and poof the flash went off.
Instantly I heard moans, groans and quiet voices from the other side of the rail fence that lined the sidewalk. The sounds came from the three teenage boys who had pasted me earlier. They had jumped the rail fence and were hiding in the lawn waiting for me to pass. They all stood up and I greeted them with a “Merry Christmas.” I took advantage of the opportunity to talk to them for a moment. I said, you know fellas , folks have come to this event to enjoy the season and feel the Spirit of Christmas. You can help them by singing a little softer and try to carry a tune, a little melody and rhythm would help too.
The three young men gave me a subdued OK and assured me they would. We parted company, and the young men went back north to the Cultural Hall, and I continued on my way south.
That’s when I realized the “Tender Mercy” that had just occurred. I the minds of these teenage boys, they had been caught in their mischief. They thought I had gone looking for them; I caught up with them and had documented who they were by taking their picture. They were contrite and apologetic because I had evidence against them. When in reality, all I wanted was an interesting picture of luminaries glowing off into the faint distance. A "Tender Mercy" indeed.