Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30-Harry's Report on The Miracle of Christmas Show

Hi family!
I'm forwarding an email Dad sent to Randy Johnson and an email from our mission pres. I thought you would like to read dad's words. Hi family!

Love Mom

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Harry Schultz <heshela@gmail.com>
Date: December 22, 2014 at 10:43:25 PM CST
To: Randy Johnson <rjohnson@bhleste.com>
Subject: The Miracle of Christmas

Well Randy, you made Nancy and I look really good by letting us do your show.

 It was a smashing success. (of course there are always a few glitches).  About 600 the first night and about 850 on Sunday.  Lots of community support from non-members, about 1/3 were non-members.  

Saturday Night we had  a VIP reception with ministers and Civic leaders from surrounding communities. 

 Narrators, Matt and Rebecca Bean from Macomb
The Choir was about 65 strong.  Children's Chorus about 3, a 15 member Bell Choir and a 17 piece orchestra.  I had a man and wife as narrators, Matt and Rebecca Bean from Macomb.  They are professional voice-over artists and Christmas Carolers. They were amazing and brought the script alive. 

The FM guys built light trees, hung (12) 750 watt lights from the West Theater of the Visitor's Center and also hooked up all the sound (5 speakers, 24 input mixer board, 10 cordless mikes, and special hanging choir mikes)  There are two quality cameras already installed in the Stake Center Chapel, with a switcher and toggle unit to change camera angles and zoom.  They also have all the projectors and cables.  So I'm spoiled.

BUT, it was your help giving me the music and videos that made the concert. 
Right before the concert started. Choir and orchestra in place.

I started with the Bell Choir doing, "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, with the Carolers joining with "Carol of the Bells"/  Then "Joyful and Triumphant."  It was a great opener with the audience singing and getting into the Christmas spirit. 

Next The Live Nativity of "Slumber Song" and "Silent Night" with Joseph, Mary and their 2 1/2 month old baby entering doing a tableau on one side of the stand.

Next the children all came in with  "Star of Bethlehem" and "What Child is This." (Shepherds came in during this) on to "Friendly Beasts" then "Do You Hears What I Hear" (Most people who talked to me afterwards commented on how the children were such a delight).
Then "We Three Kings" with 3 great singers. One was the Narrator, who is the director of vocal music at Western Illinois University. I had Wise Men come in  and enter the Nativity Tableau.  One was a black guy from Nigeria who is in one of the wards.

Next, "What Shall We Give." and "The First Nowell" and"God Bless Everyone" with Bell Choir, Children" and Choir. And "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."  The lineup worked good and it was very spiritual.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for it all.

I did hit my head on an air duct  in the Stake attic turning on the permanent projector at the dress rehearsal.. (Six Stitches). And Bonked my head standing up from under a cabinet. (No stitches, just blood on Sunday Night).  

The Click track cable failed just before the Sunday Night concert, so I made an announcement, pulled the cable from under 50 people and restrung it and it ended fine. (I ran the sound), 

Did I say that I got two spotlights and children's Chorus risers from the local high school.  The woman who sang "Slumber Song" is a show director who just recently became a hero to the school district by producing and directing a play.  She made $2,600 for the district.  (Doors were opened.)  

I got 3 octaves of bells loaned to us from a church in Keokuk after much prayer and effort.  (Doors opened)  

The Patriarch of the Community of Christ Church in Nauvoo  was in the choir and even gave the opening prayer Sunday night. One Presbyterian choir member got her minister father from Hamilton to attend and also her Carthage minister.  (Doors opened)  

I gave 1 radio interview, one newspaper interview, and appeared on a local Quincy TV news show.  

Here's what the Mission President emailed to Nancy and I.

Elder and Sister Schultz,

  You should be feeling a great deal of joy and satisfaction this morning as you reflect on the accomplishment of the week.  Congratulations on two outstanding and spiritual performances.  You did it!  It came together in a wonderful way.  Many, many hearts of members and nonmembers were touched and the stake members were unified and brought together at Christmas time in an important way.  Well done.  I commend you both and all those who assisted you.   

  Larry Gibbons

So Thank you Randy. for helping the missionary work here in Nauvoo.  I love you guys to bits.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24, 2014- Christmas Service for the Steimles

Each year our family gives gifts to each other in the form of services for other people. We try to choose something that would be important to those families.  For 2014, this was our service.

On Saturday, Oct 11, 2014, this year we volunteered to help with "The Great River Run." This is a half marathon from Keokuk up the river to Nauvoo. People come from all over the US to participate. There are also bikers and walkers too. About 200 came this year. It is sponsored by the cities and Chambers in the area.

They asked around the mission if you wanted to help, you should contact the person in charge. So we did. We thought we would just help at the finish line, but at  around 10 p.m. the night before, the head person, Jennifer Smith, called and asked if we would take the halfway point at Mount Moriah turnoff and hand out waters and Gatorade to the runners. We were asked to go on their website and get instructions on how to hand things out, as well as some of the rules and policies.

The next morning we were up and dressed warmly by 7:45 a.m. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed helping the runners and cheering them on. We were there until about noon.  Knowing how much running is important to the Steimle, we did this service!

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014-Nancy's Report on show & Harrison for Christmas

Hey everyone. I wanted to tell you how well our shows went this past weekend! I will split the pictures between my description and Dad's that will be dated December 30.

Yesterday, after church we served in the Visitors' Center then ran home to eat at 2:00 and had to be at the church again by 3:30 to reset the show. We had to take most if it down for the other wards yesterday. My son, Harrison, flew out here to spend Christmas with us and help us and he was so great! He was like the stage manager and got everyone on and off with cues especially the Nativity people. He also was a shepherd. 

Well.... My friend Sally was right! Heavenly Father blessed us with the performances. Saturday was really like the dress rehearsal with a few minor glitches with sound and the choir dragging behind the orchestra and music tape. But the audience couldn't tell. And the choir monitors weren't working well so they couldn't hear the music. But all in all, it was amazing!! 

The temple recorder, Brother Rick Marshall is a conductor and conducted the whole thing! Harry sat in the back and ran the sound board and video feed.  The only problem we had was last night, right in the beginning, Rick's ear piece wasn't working so he couldn't hear the music through the monitors so everyone waited 10 minutes while they traced the problem and fixed it. I was sweating bullets and praying so hard. But they finally did and the whole evening was perfect!!!  

The tech part it was mind boggling! Our F M guys (Facilities Management) built 2 light trees and we got 2 spot lights from the high school. 2 theatre students from the college in Quincy came and ran the lights. Then there were videos that went with the songs along with live video feed of the show. When the videos of Christ (taken from the church videos) were shown on the screen in the chapel and in the back for the cultural hall. 

Me with half of our 35-person children's choir

Where the Live Nativity went
We decorated the chapel with large wreaths, garland, red velvet bows, and 2 dozen poinsettias everywhere. They approved twinkle lights too! We also removed 3 rows of pews to fit all the orchestra. We also had to coordinate a 65-voice choir (mostly stake people and some senior missionaries), 16-bell choir, 35 person children's choir that I directed, and a 16-piece orchestra! 

The worst thing that happened was Friday night Harry hit his head on a speaker and had to get 6 stitches!!! Then last night he went into the storage closet to check electrical stuff and hit his head again in a different place and was bleeding right before the show. Harrison helped clean it up, and he had to get more stitches this morning!!! 

On Saturday night before the show we held a VIP reception (Harry's idea) for city and churches dignitaries, i.e., ministers, mayors, chambers of commerce, etc.  The mission had it catered and 50 people came!! We reserved seats for them too! We are just so amazed at the outpouring of love and support!!!

I am so grateful to all who helped to make it happen.  The first night we had about 600 people, and the second over 700 persons came!! People came from all over and many many nonmembers. We were overwhelmed with the support!! We got standing ovations!! 

One of the biggest treats this time of year was that my son, Harrison was able to come visit and spend Christmas with us.  He was a huge help with the program! He was like the stage manager, making sure people came on stage with their cues such as the live Nativity (he was even one of the shepherds) and was an errand runner. 

Us Christmas morning.  Still waking us up early!
We also went touring together on our prep day. We had fun with him at the historical sites and going out for dinner, and viewing the Christmas lights in Keokuk. Harry gave Harrison his pioneer hat (he has 2) and we thought he looked Amish with his beard and long curly hair.

We were sad when we had to say goodbye to Harrison. It's always hard to see them leave.  Until next time Harrison!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15- The fun of our mission and The Christmas Walk

Dear Family and Friends,

            I am writing this letter from home because I have been sick the past 2 days with the flu. We have had a very memorable past 2 weeks, and I wanted to share them with you. I usually tell you about the missionary experiences we have in the Visitors’ Center, but I want to tell you about how “Fun” it is to be on this mission, and to participate in wonderful events here.

            I already shared with you about the “Bootiful Nauvoo,” which had over 3,000 people here on the main street up on the bluff (that is where all the hotels and stores are.” It was very fun and successful- we as missionaries were able to carve pumpkins – over 500, make up candy and kettle corn bags to give out, and ride on the Crazy Band wagon. We played funny rhythm instruments like kazoos, tambourines, and sticks along with a tape of music played through loud speakers. This was great fun to be involved.

            Then over Thanksgiving, I shared about our event where we brought 125 investigators, less-actives, and others to Nauvoo, gave them tours, and fed them a delicious dinner. Then this was followed by a show of entertainment (which we had the fun of singing and performing, telling jokes, etc. for them.)

Here isa  flyer for the Christmas Walk
            But on December 5th and 6th, we had a wonderful weekend of fun activities that I would like to share with you. For the past 3 months, besides preparing and rehearsing for this Christmas Program, we as a mission have been working on the annual traditional “Christmas Walk” that took place on Friday night. It started with a Christmas Tree Lighting in the Visitors’ Center where 400 people gathered to listen to the Warsaw High School Choir and Jazz Band. There were short speeches from the mayor, John McCarty, a nice nonmember man here, and president Gibbons. Then the missionaries sang a song, “Light up the Tree” and the mayor pushed the button to turn the lights on. So Fun!! 

            Afterwards, wagons were at the doors to take the people down to the sites where the walk began. They were dropped off down by the main Center, and spread to 4 homes that people were positioned to tell Christmas stories with musicians playing background music, i.e. guitar, violins, etc. Then at the cultural hall there was a Live Nativity acted out by missionaries too, with angels who sang, shepherds, wise men, and a harpist. It was really amazing. Then they ended the evening by coming to the Family Living Center for food; homemade cookies, fresh veggies with dip, cheeseballs with crackers, and hot chocolate and apple cider. All the sites are decorated in wonderful old-fashioned Christmas decorations, and all the sidewalks were lined with luminary bags of candles. Also along the whole street were big oil barrels with fires burning, and a group of carolers by each one singing songs- so atmospheric. I was on the Food Committee, and also sang in the live band of entertainment in the Family Living Center where the food was being served. There was a guitarist, Elder Schultz on the standup bass, a piano, and clarinet. It was so much fun, and we had people dancing to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and Jingle Bell Rock, and singing along to other fun songs. What a great night to feel the Christmas spirit and unify this community and other neighboring towns.

Singing in the live band.

            On Saturday night, Dec. 6th, there was The Messiah, a community production that also is a tradition in this small town. Elder Schultz and I sang in it. We have been practicing every Thursday night in the Methodist church. Many people from other faiths took part. The choir had about 40 singers, with only 10 missionaries, and a live orchestra of about 16. We performed it in the St Peter and Paul Catholic Church next door to the temple. I can’t tell you what an incredible experience this was! For such a small town to put on such a professional Messiah was remarkable. And fun!! We were even treated to refreshments over in the Rectory, where the two priests live. There are no nuns there anymore since they tore down the Girls’ School which was across the street from there. The Catholic elementary school here doesn’t even have any teachers who are nuns. Now we are in the last week of our “Miracle of Christmas” concert. It is performed this Saturday and Sunday nights. We are very excited to see it all come together after so much hard work! The bell choir sounds great, the children’s chorus is sounding so good, and the live orchestra backing the big adult choir is amazing! We are trying to have it videotaped so maybe we can post some of it on our blog.

      We also had my niece come visit us this month.  It was so fun to see her.  Here a few pictures she sent for us.

             We think of you all at this special holiday season celebrating our Savior’s birth. May we live His commandments to show our love for Him and each other.                       

             Love The Schultzes

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 3-Elder Schultz's Birthday & Preparing for the Holidays

Dear Family and Friends,

            We can’t believe how fast time is flying. In one week we will hit our halfway mission mark; nine months! Our release date is September 10, 2015 (Nancy’s birthday and our anniversary).

            Last week on November 26, we celebrated Elder Schultz’s 70th birthday! What a huge milestone! He says even though he looks old, he only feels about 50! This mission has kept us so busy; we don’t have time to think about feeling old. It was pretty uneventful, because I was sick with the stomach flu, so we didn’t go out to a restaurant. But he received some really nice emails from our children about why they “were thankful Harry Schultz was born”; and some very nice gifts too. He says we will celebrate next year when we are home. If you all remember, it was also our son, Harrison’s 24th birthday too. Happy Birthday, Harrison!

My gift to dad. Our friend and co-missionary here Elder Clement painted this. 
I got it framed. We love it.

            We also had Thanksgiving the next day here as zones. Our mission is divided into 3 zones of about 5 districts; so we had about 40 missionaries there. Our zone had dinner together in the Visitors’ Center Bistro, which is down in the basement. We all brought the food, had a delicious meal, and played a fun get-to-know-you game, too. It wasn’t quite the same as dinner with our families, but it still was a memorable time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you Buhrley Family!

            Our big Thanksgiving event for the mission, on November 22nd turned out to be an incredible success! At the beginning of that week we didn’t know how many would be coming, since only a handful had RSVP’d. We had bought food, and were preparing for about 125 persons. Each member of our committee of 5, divided up the Stake and took 3 wards; we called the bishops, ward mission leaders, and really stirred things up.  By Thursday, we had about 140 positive responses; people who are newly baptized needing fellowshipping, less actives, and nonmember investigators. We were so excited! We had planned so many details. They were divided into 6 groups of about 25 persons each, and we were their tour guides. We had wagon and carriage rides, then went down to about 5 of the historical sites (each one doing a different route) as groups. My group had a newly baptized family of 7: from Keokuk. Also we had a young new member family of parents with 3 small children from Fort Madison, and two other women from Galesburg. Even though they were very different from each other, they all enjoyed each other’s company and bonded.

Here is a picture of my group I took around. The Keener Family from
Fort Madison and Walls from Keokuk.
            After the activities, we went to the stake center and had a really nice Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Several missionary couples helped setup, serve and cleanup. The autumn decorations of pumpkins and colored leaves looked wonderful! Elder Schultz and I, and another missionary couple put on the program with singing, jokes and playing instruments. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. We ended up feeding over 150! We are so thankful to Heavenly Father for helping us make this possible! We felt His hand in all the planning along the way. One of the best blessings was that even though the whole week was cold in the 20’s, that day it was in the high 50’s! It was perfect weather! We have a saying here that there are “Nauvoo Miracles,” and this was one of them.

            We are also in the thick of our “Miracle of Christmas” concert. We only have 2 ½ weeks to get it polished. There are so many aspects, i.e. rehearsing the choir, and bell choir, getting flyers, posters, and tickets printed, getting a live Nativity together with costumes, practicing with the 30 voice children’s chorus (which I am in charge of), decorating the chapel with Christmas garlands and wreaths, and all the technical stuff like risers, light trees, spotlights, media and video screens, etc. Whew! We are getting nervous because a lot still has to be done, but also excited, because there is such positive response! We are hoping to have about 700-800 each night! And we are hosting a VIP Reception the hour before it starts for dignitaries from the cities surrounding here, i.e. mayors, ministers, chambers of commerce and leaders. We are surely praying for a successful audience, and praying for good weather. If there is a snowstorm, it could keep people from coming, so please remember us out here in your prayers!

            We continue to also serve in the Visitors’ Center and historical sites. I was in the Family Living Center last week, and helped decorate it for Christmas. Elder Schultz had an Administration Day to work on the concert. The week before we both served in Carthage, and then each took a couple of tours. Numbers of people are down, but they keep coming. We were busy the week of Thanksgiving because of the holiday. We can’t express enough how much we love this mission. We feel like we are contributing a lot to “hasten the work” of the Lord before His second coming. There are many people out here in the Midwest, Northern and the Eastern states that need the gospel, and the wonderful blessings that come with living the Lord’s commandments. We are doing all we can to attract visitors to come to this amazing place, and feel the spirit of the early saints who built it. We will become the official site leaders of the Visitors’ Center in 2 weeks, and also on the Public Affairs Committee. We are planning to host a “Time Out for Women,” and several concert series events in the coming months.

            I would like to leave you with my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves me, and each one of us. I know that this is His restored church on the earth today, and I am so very grateful that we celebrate His birth this month. The church just launched a month-long missionary push, to help invite people to learn about the Savior in their promotion- “He Is The Gift”. We were just trained about it all. They have spent a lot of money buying number one position on YouTube for Christmas Day, and want all of us to go on the website “Christmas.mormon.org” and view the short 2-½ minute video. PLEASE DO THIS, then share it on all your social media that you can. Use the hashtag #sharethegift. Get this message out, please! It is the one small thing you can do to be a missionary that will really make a big impact!  Their slogan is “Help others to Discover the Gift, Help others to Embrace The Gift, Help others to Share the Gift.” This is something you can do today! Please do it for the Lord, in gratitude for all He has done for you.

We love you all and think of you every day. We are grateful to have been called to this wonderful place and honored to wear the Lord’s name on our badges.

Love Elder and Sister Schultz