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)

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