Tuesday, December 13, 2016 – Very Cold, Leaves at Wilford Woodruff’s, Hedges in Women’s Garden, Reader Boards on the Trail of Hope
When I went to the car this morning to start the engine and warm it up 20 minutes before leaving for work I couldn’t get the driver’s side door open. In fact all of the car doors were frozen shut! It took me several tries to finally get one of the doors open. Several people we work with and some of the missionaries from colder climates have suggested we use a hair dryer. Good idea but first I will have to buy a long extension cord to reach the car. Maybe next P-day I’ll buy one.
We started another work day in very cold conditions, 18 degrees. But instead of getting warmer with the sun coming up, it got colder. When we broke for lunch at noon it was down to 16 degrees but the “Wind-chill” said it felt like 2 degrees! And yes, with a 20 mph wind it did feel like 2 degrees above zero! In spite of the cold, we love our job!
We started work at the historic Wilford Woodruff home. We blew leaves out from in front of the building into piles for the vacuum to pick up. This morning Sis. Johnson and I had help. We had the assistance of Hyrum, one of the paid staff at FM. His last day of work will be Dec. 23rd and then he goes home to put in his mission papers. He’s a good young man and a hard worker. Soon, he will be a great missionary somewhere in the world.
We were off to Old Main Street next where we used the power hedge trimmer to cut back a hedge that hasn’t had any attention all year. Now it has a new haircut. It looks much better.
Our next project took the remainder of our work day. We trimmed several of the hedges in the Women’s Garden at the Visitor’s Center. It was a very big job but we had a good crew helping us. Richard worked with us as well as several of FM’s grounds staff.
Our last project was quick and easy. Sis. Johnson and I walked the “Trail of Hope” and cleaned all of the reader boards. "The Trail of Hope" has over 30 descriptive plaques with selected writings and quotes from the journals of those early faithful pioneers that were driven from their homes. The trail of hope is about a quarter mile long and ends at the “Exodus Memorial” on the banks of the Mississippi.
The “Trail of Hope” is a very sacred and hollowed place on the banks of the Mississippi River. February 4, 1846 the saints in Nauvoo were under orders from the governor to leave immediately. So within the week, in one of the coldest winters on record, the Saints hurriedly packed their wagons with only their essential possessions and walked down Parley Street to the Mississippi River.
During the winter of 1846 more than ten thousand Saints left their homes. As they left their beloved Nauvoo they looked back at their beautiful town, their homes, their shops, their farms and their Temple and knew they probably would never see any of them again in this life. But they had hope in the future. They had the promise of a Prophet that they would be able to find a new home and once again have the peace and happiness they so desired. Thus, these first steps on their journey west became known as “The Trail of Hope.”