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)

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