Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014-Investigators, Brickmaker, the Amish and Camels

Dear Friends and Family:

      Hello from Nauvoo, Illinois. How are you all? We think about you very much while we have been here, which is about five weeks! The time has gone by quickly. We are very busy and enjoy serving the Lord here. Living in this small town of 1,000 (not including the missionaries) is at a slower pace. The people are very friendly to us. There are 6 main religions here with beautiful churches; Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Community of Christ, Baptist, and of course LDS. Our church owns about one third of the land here in Nauvoo now, so we are a prominent voice in the community. We have great relationships with all of these people, and work together. Our chapel is a stake center for all the surrounding wards and branches in this area: Hamilton, Warsaw, Keokuk, Fort Madison, Montrose, etc. The 300 missionaries, both site like us, and temple missionaries meet in our own sacrament meeting and auxiliaries. There are also 2 home wards that meet here.

         We are learning so much since we have been here; about this and other surrounding communities, and on our preparation day we enjoy driving around the countryside. Much of it is typical of Midwestern towns with miles and miles of farmland. We love to explore the small towns and go in their little shops and antique places to browse. The Amish and Mennonites have many communities around here. The mission buys their horses for the carriage and wagon rides from them, because they breed really hearty large horses similar to Clydesdales. An interesting observation: Quincy, Illinois which is about one hour south of here, is the city that took in the 5,500 Mormon refugees when they were driven from Missouri. And they did this for months until they could buy land in Commerce, and start a new city. We really honor the people of Quincy, and Pres. Hinckley gave them a check in 2002 when the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated, to thank them for their unselfishness. Since 1839,  Quincy has “flourished” into a great city of about 40,000 people, and has a Sam's Club, and all other modern stores and restaurants. While Nauvoo here has never grown bigger after the Saints were driven out in 1846; something interesting to ponder, that maybe that is why Quincy has progressed and Nauvoo hasn’t.

Dad’s been looking everywhere for red hot candies. He finally found them at Dutchmans in Cantril, Iowa. An Amish store we had to drive to for his black pioneer hat. 

At a farm on the way was this camel just chewing. Ha!

         We are also learning great amounts of knowledge about this city back in those pioneer times, that my brain is swimming! I feel like a sponge soaking it all in. Each day we serve in a different site, and tell about the people who lived there or worked there. We always give a gospel message, i.e. today I serve in the Seventies Hall which was where the quorums of seventies were taught the gospel before going on missions. I have read up on that information, and our key message is: “Just as the seventies, or missionaries were sent out into the world by Jesus Christ, to preach the gospel in all the lands, missionaries today are preaching His gospel all over the world.” Then we tell about how the building was built, and its purpose; it was also a museum, a school, a worship place, and a library. Elder Schultz is serving in the brickyard today, wearing his pioneer clothes, making the souvenir bricks that are given out during each tour.

        Yesterday I was just in the Lucy Mack Smith Home. It was really special and emotional. I cried reading about her and telling how she lost 7 of her 8 sons in life. Yet she never waivered in her faith and support of the restored gospel.

         It is starting to get very busy here, with lots of tourists.  We serve in the Visitors Center 4 times a week, wearing regular missionary clothes. We enjoy meeting all the different people who come in there. Yesterday we had 2 nonmember couples come in. One was from England, touring the U.S. and I asked, “What brings you to Nauvoo?” and the man answered, “Google!” then he added that Nauvoo is on a list of 1001 places to visit in the U.S. before you die. So we were able to teach them why Nauvoo was here and important in American history. We gave them a Book of Mormon, because they were very interested in the native Americans. And we bore our testimonies. They said a large white temple has been built in their city of Lankershire, and wanted to know about it. So we shared all about temples. It was amazing to be able to really be missionaries! They were so interested and asked many questions. The other couple was from Michigan, and a little older, but also very inquisitive. They wanted to know if we were the original Mormon church or the one that broke off and went out west. We were able to explain the history and gospel, and bear our testimonies and give them a referral card too. We are really called referring missionaries, not proselyting ones. We “plant” seeds of interest and give information, and hopefully they will want to know more at some later time. One of the church leaders, (can’t remember who) said after doing a survey, that converts usually have about 6 or 7 contacts with LDS beliefs or people before they actually want to know more.

A typical day for us is like this; we wake about 7:00 am, have companion study and prayers, breakfast, make lunches and get ready to be in our sites by 8:45 am. They open at 9:00 am. We always have prayer in each site with the others who serve there. Then we have different schedules, like some get out at 2:30 pm, others not until 5:00 pm when they close, but get to take a lunch break of a couple of hours and come back. We run home, have dinner, and are back by 6:15 pm to either perform in “Rendezvous” show, twice a week, or rehearse 2 nights for the new outdoor show which starts in May, called “Sunset on the Mississippi.”  We are having fun, getting to know so many new friends in our casts, and who we serve with each day. They are all amazing people with wonderful life stories, who have also been through trials and struggles, like all of us, but have remained faithful. We are honored to serve with them. We feel a little “out of place” though. We are the only couple from Southern California. Most everyone is either from a ranch or farm, or a small town in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming or Montana. I relate most with the Chynoweths (sha-nahf) who are great people from St. George. He is the first counselor in the mission presidency and he worked for  Kaibab Lumber in Arizona and knows the Whitings. They are leaving May 8th though, because their mission is done. We will miss them tremendously.

We love all the people here very much! We had district meeting last night at our home, and the discussion after dinner and our meeting was so funny to us. There are 5 couples, and only 2 of us don’t have ranches, etc. They were talking about rodeos, and their children who love to ride broncos, etc. and one has a college degree in it, and another in horse shoeing. We felt very out of our element, but enjoyed the conversation! Then our district leaders asked if we could as a district feed the 19 young singles sisters next Sunday. Now we were talking! That was easy for us!! Making food for many is just what we can do! Ha!

Well, I better close and get ready to serve at the Seventies Hall. I don’t know if all of you heard, but Heather, our daughter had a baby girl last Monday, April 20. They named her Poppy Mae. She is so tiny and precious! We are so sad to have not been there, but the Georgiannas, and our daughter, Amber Buhrley, were there to help. We are so grateful to them. We love you all, and pray for you daily. Remember to stay strong, keep your covenants, and serve the Lord in any calling you are asked! The Lord will POUR out his blessings!

Love Elder and Sister Schultz

 (or Mom & Dad, or Grammy & Grampa, or Aunt Nancy & Uncle Harry)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014-Happy Easter!

Dear Family and Friends,

          Today is Easter, and what a beautiful Spring sunny day it has been out here in Nauvoo. We woke to a text from our youngest daughter, Heather Georgianna, saying her water had broken, and she has been in labor all day in Rexburg. We are waiting for the birth right now as I write this letter. I will announce it later when it happens.

Thank you Buhrleys for the Easter Box. Happy Easter, everyone!

          We had a nice sacrament meeting with all the site and temple missionaries this morning. We meet in the stake center above the visitor’s center. There are about 300 of us. The choir was about 50 in number! This last week we received 8 new couple missionaries, and the 19 single young sister missionaries came back for the summer. During the slow winter time, they go out into other areas of missions all over the states. They are so excited to be back! They are the proselyting missionaries here. So energetic and fun! In another week, the Young Performing Missionaries will be here. There are 40 of them with a band, and singers and dancers. They add so much to the summer performances. Things are getting busier and we can feel the excitement! We are rehearsing a lot, and we are averaging over 400 people a day in the visitor’s center. When summer comes, they average about 2,000 persons a day.

We really enjoy serving as assistant site leaders of the visitor’s center because we meet so many families, and tour groups; people of all ages, races, and religions. This past week we had a Mennonite school come and visit the sites. The word is spreading about this wonderful historical place, and we are seeing many nonmembers visiting here. They expect a 50% increase in visitors this summer! And they said last summer was so crazy busy! I had the privilege of sharing my testimony with a Catholic couple who came with their daughter’s family, who had been baptized a year ago. They were very negative until I put on the voice of the Savior at the Christus statue. They sat on the benches, and listened, and she commented: “Now we’re talking!” She finally felt the spirit and realized we have a common bond. Things like that happen all day long. We are usually the first stop before going into the sites, so we get to meet and greet people, and help them plan their day.

I now understand what it is to feel the spirit daily on this mission. It is an incredible experience to be around all these wonderful fellow missionaries, and to feel their excitement, testimonies, and love for the Lord and His gospel. It is like the closest thing I can imagine what the celestial kingdom will be like (outside of the temple). I also appreciate all you young men who served missions, and what you meant when you wrote that you lived by the spirit. We feel the mantle of our mission, and the importance of doing His work, and serving unselfishly in any capacity we are asked. We have district and zone meetings, and every Wednesday we have training meetings for the whole mission- everyone has some kind of extra responsibility in addition to serving in the sites. There are about 40 “FM” missionaries who maintain the facilities – “facilities maintenance”. They clean, and fix broken things, and weed, plant flowers, etc. They also handle all the housing for us and the 80 temple missionaries. It is such an amazing organized place! I just wanted you all to know how great this mission is. We love being here so much.

Okay! Heather just had her baby about an hour ago which you all know by now is a girl- 7 lb 5 oz and 21” long. Her labor was about 17 hours! We watched it all on Face Time. It was exciting, and made it not so hard that we couldn’t be there. 

I want you to know how strong our testimonies are. How grateful we are to be here, and telling about these amazing people who lived here, and sacrificed so much so that the gospel could grow and fill the earth. It is an exciting time to be alive and be part of all this work! I love my ancestors so much for their example of faith. And I know the most important thing we can do is to keep their legacy alive, and endure to the end. Live the gospel!! It is true and the blessings come! I am sure of it!

We love and miss you all. Please hug and kiss our grandchildren, and tell them we love them so much!

Elder and Sister Schultz (Grammy and Grampa)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014- Visits from Laura Kenney Whipple and Family

We were visited by family last week.  Laura Kenney Whipple is my first cousin, Jimae Kenney's daughter.  Here is a letter from her to my daughter, Christy.

Hi Christy,
It was so fun to see your parents in Nauvoo last week!  We did this big church history trip with our oldest two girls, flying into Palmyra, then onto Kirtland, and then Nauvoo.

My oldest, Alyssa (13) was so excited to do baptisms in the Nauvoo Temple, and was so looking forward to it.  As we drove into Nauvoo, my husband realized he didn't pack any church clothes! Augh!!  I called my mom to see if she had Aunt Nancy's phone number, thinking at least Kevan could borrow a white shirt and tie from your dad.  As my mom was looking into getting me a number, we walked into the visitor's center and who is the first missionary I see?  Your Mom!  She gave me a big hug and I introduced my family to her. 

Your dad was just around the corner, and he quickly came to say hello and also gave me a hug.  I count it as a little tender mercy that I was able to locate them so quickly without the  use of cell phones.  Anyway, your dad showed us the visitor's center movie, and they came to check in on us after they were done that day.  We enjoyed dinner with them that evening in Keokuk.  The next day, we saw them both in action, your dad at the Brick Yard and your mom at the Heber C. Kimball home.  They both did a great job.  We had even more fun seeing them in their debut performance of the "Nauvoo Rendezvous" that night.  It was a quick visit, but I'm grateful we had the chance to see them both.

I hope you are doing well out the in Germany... I think of your adventures often and sometimes wish my family was able to explore Europe like you are.

much love,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 12, 2014- Two Weeks of Firsts

April 12, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

         We’re sorry we didn’t write sooner this week, but our Prep Day is now Friday, so we weren’t able to until this weekend. The weather here is becoming better! It’s fun to be in a place that has the change in seasons. We definitely came in winter 3 weeks ago, when everything was brown and bare. It is warming up, and we have green grass, buds on the trees, and lots of bulb flowers coming up like daffodils, and tulips. Yesterday it was 70 and today it is 79. But as happy as we are about getting warmer, we know that leads to very hot humid summers here too!

         Since we last wrote, this has been 10 days of real “firsts.” We have served in many pioneer sites for the first time, especially Carthage Jail, and we were in our first performance of Rendezvous in Nauvoo. We also were able to perform in the Talent Review, with Harry playing his bass, while we sang “In The Summertime”, and he told the one line jokes. Everyone in the mission now thinks of us as the crazy funny couple who did that song, and when they pass Harry, they say “Or” to refer to how he tells the titles of the songs. Like “Get Nellie out of the wheat field Pappy, she’s going against the grain” OR……

         We were very nervous to go on stage in Rendezvous this week. We had only practiced in the cultural hall theater (the old one) once, and then they just made us go up and join the cast and do it last Wednesday! We perform it again tonight. There are several vignettes with characters acting out scenes from living in Nauvoo, and having to leave. Today Sister Taye, the director asked us to do the parts of Abigail and Peter. We are not actors, but we accepted! We have learned like any calling or assignment, you do not have an option. You accept it, so wish us luck. It should be kind of funny. We won’t be doing it for a couple of months thank goodness.

         I have had the privilege of serving in The Family Living Center with all the activities there: candle making, bread (I did the demonstration), rope making, barrels, weaving loom for clothes, pottery, etc. That was really fun, and then I have served in the Post Office, Heber C. Kimball home and Carthage. Harry has also served in the Brickyard, and the Blacksmith shop. We have to learn about each of these places, and tell the stories, and give a gospel “Key” message. That has been a wonderful experience to share stories about these amazing people who lived here and built this beautiful city, with over 15,000 people living here when they were forced out. Yesterday, on our PDay we drove over the bridge to Fort Madison, and then to Montrose which is directly across the river from Nauvoo. This is where the saints crossed the river in the winter of 1846 and landed, and had to camp on the frozen snowy ground. There is a memorial there that honors those brave people who left those few days. You can see clearly the temple from there and their city. It was very emotional to read their feelings of looking back and knowing they would never see their homes and temple again. I’d like to share a couple of these with you:

         “During 1846, approximately 15,000 Latter-day Saints fled Nauvoo and crossed this river. They stood heartbroken on this river bank, gazing mournfully at their beautiful temple and city. With only their faith to sustain them, the Saints turned their wagons to the sunset and began their historic trek westward.”
         “By September the last of the saints were forced out. They fled possessing only what they could hastily tie into bundles. Five to six hundred sick and destitute Mormons crossed the Miss. River and huddled into camps just north of this site. Although church trustees did what they could for the “Poor Camp,” they had little shelter, and food was in very short supply. Starving and near desperation their fate seemed dependent on a miracle. The miracle came when many hundreds of quail flew into the camps and dropped from the sky. The quail proved easy prey and could be scooped up by hand. After each refugee had eaten their fill, an order was given to stop killing the birds.”

         I was so touched by this story of the hardship they endured! Luman A. Shurtleff said, “a rugged blanket or quilt laid over a few sticks or brush comprised all the house a whole family owned on earth and the land it covered all they possessed… and many of the occupants lay sick or dying…” I just wanted to share with you what we are experiencing in learning all of this information. So that you can get an appreciation too of this wonderful mission we are on.

         We had the wonderful experience of serving in Carthage Jail last Monday. We both felt such a powerful spirit there. We were able to take families on tours, and bear our testimonies in the room where Hyrum and Joseph were killed. I felt so honored to share this story of my great great grandfather, Hyrum’s life and death. What a great privilege!

         We are now in rehearsals for the Sunset on the Mississippi show that begins in May. It is on the outdoor stage by the visitors center. It is basically a show with the Young Performing Missionaries, and has some fun music and dancing. There are instrumentals like bluegrass, and Harry is playing the bass. We both sing with the large group of senior couples, and are dancing a polka too! It has been lots of fun to get to know our cast. The mission is divided into 3 casts by names of Lucy Mack, or Emma Hale, or we are in Sarah Granger. The two counselors to the president and their wives are also in our cast. There are about 50 of us. We also perform the Rendezvous show together. It is go-go-go all the time as you can see!  But we love being busy! We are in the Visitors Center 3-4 times a week, and are in charge! We meet so many wonderful people, families, church members and nonmembers. It is the first place they all come to ask for directions, pick up tickets for the shows and wagon rides, etc. We really love being in there so often! There is a constant stream of people. Today we had about 250 persons before noon, and busy season hasn’t even started yet. Yesterday 19 young single missionaries arrived. They will be the proselyting missionaries for the rest of the summer. We don’t actually teach the visitors. Our job is to answer questions and direct them to all the sites.

         I’m sorry this ended up so long, but so much has been happening each day. We are in awe of the wonderful missionaries we are serving with. They are good, hard working people and faithful members from all over the country. The more we get to know them, we are humbled to be serving with them.

         We love you all and do miss you greatly! But we know we are supposed to be here. Please keep living the commandments and be faithful!  The Lord will bless you beyond measure if you do! I have a strong testimony of this. We look forward to seeing some of you next summer!

Love Harry and Nancy

(Mom and Dad)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1, 2014-Performing and Visiting Amish Country

April 1, 2014
Hi Friends and Family!
     Another fantastic week has passed here in Nauvoo. What wonderful experiences we are having out here. It has warmed up significantly. When we first came it was in the 20s and 30s with cold, cold wind. We even had a snow storm that melted quickly. But the last few days it has been sunny, beautiful and in the 60s! Yesterday it even hit 70 degrees! Yay, Spring is coming! But the wind is always blowing.

     We had another week of training, and rehearsing for the shows we will be in. “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo” is a kind of funny vignette with singing, and speaking. It has characters from back in the pioneer times. There are 3 casts that take turns: twice a week. They said we will be in the show by April 14! Yikes! We don’t even know the songs. But it is fun to see every missionary in it, including the president, counselors and their wives. No one is exempt! We also had a special tour of Carthage with all our group of 14 couples who came out together. Our mission includes this part, and we will have the opportunity to serve there.

      Some of the great pluses we get to experience are the “extra” events. We have attended the Nauvoo temple on our P-Day, which was so special and spiritual. The new temple president and his wife are named MacArthurs. Funny coincidence: He was Harry’s zone leader in and assistant to the president in Tokyo, Japan. And he was very good and helpful to him when Harry was a new greenie missionary. They are really neat people! Also Susan Easton Black Durrant and her husband, George Durrant are here as temple missionaries. They were both professors at BYU, and taught at Education Weeks too. She is a specialist on Joseph Smith, and Nauvoo, and has written many books about him. She has been giving free lectures since November on the life of Joseph Smith, and we have been able to hear her last 3 about the events leading up to his martyrdom, and Joseph’s and Hyrum’s deaths and funerals. It has been so amazing to hear interesting facts she has researched, that we had never heard before.

     We started on our first day as assistant leaders of the Visitors Center on Sunday. We were there after church, since all the sites are open on Sundays too. We had to help answer lots of questions, and even lock up and turn off all lights, etc. A big responsibility, but also very rewarding. We will serve there at least three times a week. We don’t wear pioneer clothes in there. But the other two days we serve in the sites, wearing our pioneer clothes: dress, pantaloons, apron for me, and collarless shirt, vest, dark pants and a cap for Harry. Yesterday was our first day and we both were in the Family Living Center. It was so much fun to teach people about life in Nauvoo in pioneer times. I made six loaves of bread by hand! And demonstrated it to the guests who came. We bake it right there in a brick oven that the men built a fire in for us that morning. We had about 200 people come through there, mostly in families who were here on spring breaks. We even had an Amish couple come with their baby to see what we do in there. I also taught about candle making, and how they made their clothes out of wool, and flax. Harry taught about making barrels, rope and pottery. We were there for six hours solid, no breaks! This week Harry gets to be in the blacksmith shop, and me in the post office. We learn as we do it. No training in the sites. It’s a little scary, but also fun!  

     We had a fun excursion last week on our P day. We drove about an hour away to Cantril, Iowa to an Amish store called Dutchman’s. We all were told to go there to buy his black Amish hat for the programs. What a great experience! They sold lots of healthy food there, like grains, and fresh meat, eggs, milk, etc. They also have Amish clothes, boots, hats, etc. And all the workers are Amish too. It was like we went back in time to the pioneer days. We loved it! But we couldn’t take pictures in the store cause that is against their beliefs.

     Tonight was the missionary Talent Review. And WOW, there was some amazing talents! They all auditioned, and they asked us to perform too! We dressed in pioneer clothes, and Harry and I sang “In The Summertime.” We had a guy play guitar for us, while Harry played the standup bass, and I sang harmony. He also told funny jokes before from his Blubber song. The audience roared! They loved us! I guess they are pretty starved for humor! Ha! From these numbers they choose some to be in the summer “Sunset on The Mississippi” show on an outdoor stage. There were fiddles and banjos, and harmonica numbers, and readings, solos with guitars, piano and saxophone solos, and lots more. So we shall see if they use us for the shows. Ha, wouldn’t that be a riot?

     Well, I will close, but as you can see we have been very busy. We don’t spend much time in our cute 2 bedroom pioneer home. We really love it, though. It is very comfortable. And you won’t believe it, but I cook dinner and breakfast every day! There is no fast food around here! I have made roasts, meat loaf, chicken casseroles, spaghetti, and lots more. Dad loves it! We miss you all terribly, but being busy keeps our minds off it. Please write to us, even if it is a short email, and tell us what you are all doing, especially about the grandchildren! We will try and call on Sunday nights if we are not too late at the visitors center. We are off every other week, okay? We love you all so much! And we are so happy to be serving here on this mission. We feel very needed here, and that the Lord has called us here for a special purpose. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.

Love Elder and Sister Schultz (or Mom and Dad to some of you)