Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21, 2014 Zenta's baptism, Rendezvous & surprise Whiting cousins

Hi Friends and Family, 

I can't believe how fast time flies! We have been out here 3 months- we reported here to the mission on March 21. We are super busy right now because summer is here and visitors to Nauvoo are coming in record numbers! We average 1,000-2,000 people per day in the visitors center. It is hard to talk to everyone that needs help to know where to go and what to see and do. The young single sister missionaries help us each day.

     Last Saturday I had the privilege of going to Zenta Logan's baptism. I drove over to Burlington Iowa, about an hour away with 5 senior single sisters. 2 are from California; Laguna Hills, and Hunt. Beach. Their husbands have passed away. We had a lot of fun with just "the girls". Zenta was so excited to see us all there to support her. Many of the local ward sisters were there too. She is a single sister with one son, and some of her friends were there too. It was very spiritual and a special experience. We felt honored to be part of it, and be invited to it.

     This past week, Harry and I had our debut performance for our Rendezvous vignette. I was very nervous because both shows (7pm and 8:15pm) were full! We did fine, and remembered all of our lines. We only perform it once a week, and another couple has the part the other day. Twice a week we also perform in the Sunset by The Mississippi show on the outdoor stage as a specialty number. Harry plays bass, with a guitar and banjo backup, while we sing a duet. He also tells funny jokes. People seem to love his act, because they love to laugh! We will only do this show until Aug. 9, that is when the summer season ends, and the Young Performing Missionaries leave. And we do our vignette only six months, so none of you will see us when you come out next year. That's kind of sad. But we are sure having fun, and enjoying this mission.

     I had a neat experience 2 days ago. I went to land and records here to find information on my ancestors who lived here; Edwin Whiting on my mother's side, and the Hyrum Smith's on my father's side. A young girl there who was also doing research, heard me say Whitings. She asked what family I was from, and I said Edwin Marion Whiting, and she said, "Me too!' (that's unusual because Edwin had five wives.) We were from the same wife, and same son. And my grandmother, Martha is the sister of her great grandfather, Lynn Whiting. What a small world! She is here for the Nauvoo Dig- they are digging the area where they believe Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack's log cabin was. She is not a Smith, but is an archaeology major at College of S. Utah in Cedar City. We sat and bonded over memories of the Whitings. Their branch of the family doesn't come to the Whiting reunion anymore. She can't even remember going, since she is only 20 years old. I shared information with her for her research about my great grandmother, Martha Ann Smith Harris. She was so excited.  So I went to the dig the next day and signed up to help. This is the last week so I am going on Monday. It looks like a lot of fun.  They found the southeast pillar of the home this week, and the stone walkway that went down to the Miss. River in front of their home.  It is just north of the Nauvoo House and across the street from Joseph Smith's Homestead house. They have also found many artifacts there like spoon, dish pieces, glasses, and more. They told me that in 2 years, 2016 they will begin the dig at the site of Hyrum Smith's home on Water Street by the river- just down from Joseph's home. We should all plan to be there. It is so exciting to be here around our ancestors homes.

     I must hurry and send this as we have to leave for one of our  shows.  We hope you are well and happy, and doing what you need to do to help "hasten the work". This is the Lord's church, and he needs all of us, especially as the times get harder! We love and miss you all. PLEASE PLEASE WRITE TO US! JUST ONCE A MONTH, at least, to keep us posted on your activities.

Love Elder and Sister Schultz

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11, 2014-A new baby, a new baptism, a new calling, and a bee box

Dear Family and Friends:

It’s hard to believe 10 days have passed since we last wrote. We are so busy here, that the days pass quickly. First of all if you haven’t heard, Ben and Katie were blessed with a baby boy yesterday, June 10. He was so anxious to join their family,  that he was born in the car before they could get to the hospital. Ben had the privilege of “delivering the baby” himself. There were no complications, and both mother and baby are fine. His name is Jimmy Brett Schultz and weighed 7 lb 14 oz. Congratulations to Ben and Katie!

I am also excited to announce that the sister that came to Nauvoo from Burlington in May, named Zenta, is being baptized on Saturday! You may remember her in one of my letters. She was Catholic, and we bonded about the women’s garden. She called our mission office and asked someone to find “the nice sister who helped me in the visitors center that day, and invite her to the baptism.” I feel so honored that she has chosen to be baptized, and that I in some way helped her feel the spirit. We usually don’t hear about the results of people who come here to visit, so it is great to experience this with her.

This is Zenta

With the elders and young bishop and sisters who taught her

We received a new calling in addition to all our other responsibilities; the president asked us to be coordinators of the Public Affairs of the mission, specifically to be in charge of the Illinois State Fair. This is a huge invitation for Nauvoo to be acknowledged and honored by the state! It is held in Springfield, Illinois, home to Abraham Lincoln. They have asked us to put a program together for opening day, when the governor will be there. We will try and use the Nauvoo Brass Band and the Young Performing Missionaries to sing and dance. They want also for us to bring pioneer games and demonstrations because the theme is appreciating the past. We will have missionaries dressed in pioneer clothes to help with this. We are so excited to be involved with this important activity. 

In addition, we will also go out into the surrounding cities and represent the church and mission  to all the clubs, organizations, chambers of commerce, etc. We want to strengthen relationships with these people, and invite them to come to Nauvoo, so they can learn about this remarkable town, and the people (saints) who lived here. We tell visitors that the reason this place is so important in history is because it was the starting point of the biggest migration of people or pioneers to go across the plains; over 70,000  total went west over many years.  And that Brigham Young is known as the greatest colonizer of the American West.
Serving today in the post office with my friends Sister Curtis and Sister Nuttall
We had over a 600 people through the visitors center from 7 am until 1:30 when we left today. There was a busload of 50 nonmembers who came to Nauvoo to see what this place was all about. They had so much fun going on wagon and carriage rides, viewing the musical, “The Promise,” and visiting in the sites. People are amazed that there is no charge for any of it, and that there are so many volunteer missionaries. I personally took 2 couples around and explained why the saints were driven out of here by persecution. They had so many questions, and very interested. Many many families who came today told us it was their first visit.

With Sister Scott and Sister Curtis. Fun sisters and we are all neighbors. 
We live next door to each other.

Here I am serving at the Log Schoolhouse with Sister Barnum

Yesterday I had a tender experience in the Lyon Drug Store. A family of 7 came in; parents and five children. I didn’t pay too much attention to each person and just starting giving the tour. When I got to explaining the “bee box” which is a cute clever way they used to catch a bee to find their hive and get honey, I noticed their little daughter about 5 years old had her eyes closed. Then I realized she was blind and had a little white cane. She was in the back, and I asked her to come up and hold the box and feel and touch it. She just lit up and was so happy I involved her. I was so touched by this amazing family who already had five children, and were expecting number 6! What a challenge that mother and father must have. They were members from Kentucky, and had come to have their children experience Nauvoo, to strengthen their testimonies. That’s what I love about this mission. We meet such wonderful people from all over the country, and get to tell them the faith promoting stories of the saints who lived here.

We only serve in pioneer sites once a week so we don't get many pictures like these. They are from the Family Living Center.  Young Single Sisters-Sister Hansen and Sister Munro.

L to R: Sisters Dahle, Boyle, Tucket and me

My faith and testimony grow stronger every day. I thought I already had a strong foundation in the gospel, but I learn so much each day that builds and strengthens my testimony even more. I have grown to love these humble people who sacrificed so much. I love the Lord, and feel honored to represent him here on this mission. I am grateful for his atonement, and I understand that the way we can truly show our love for Him is to serve him and his children who are all around us.

We love you all so much, and are very grateful for your support and encouragement. It is hard to miss out on important events like births, baptisms, reunions, etc. but we know without a doubt this is where we are supposed to be, and that this mission call was inspired. Any of you who are becoming of age to serve either a fulltime youth mission, or a senior mission, please do it! Make it a priority, and plan for it. Don’t procrastinate. It is the most amazing experience you will ever have!

Love Elder and Sister Schultz

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2-A personal letter to my children

Dear Family,

            I wanted to write you separately from our regular newsy letter to tell you a few things that are more personal, and to give you some counsel from your parents. I have been pondering on many things lately, since we have been out here on our mission, and I want to share them with all of you.

            We are having a wonderful experience out here. We are so surprised at how much missionary work we are able to do in teaching nonmembers. In the Visitors Center today on Sunday, the people who came in were mostly nonmembers traveling and wanted to see this historical city. One couple was so receptive, took a referral card and filled it out. Dad talked to many others. I manned the desk and gave out maps and told them what to see. All of the pioneer sites are open on Sunday. Dad jokes that people can smell that he used to be a nonmember, and are drawn to him. He can relate to their questions and doubts, and bears a strong testimony to them. I will write more about the news part of the mission in my other letter.

            We ask for your faith and prayers to help us learn and perform our vignette in the Rendezvous show. We start performing on June 17, and are very nervous. We have had to memorize over 6 pages of dialogue with just the two of us on stage. We are putting our faith in the Lord to help us do this. We will have 2 shows a night once a week. We only do it for six months, but this will be the busiest six months during the summer months. We also speak in church next week on “following the prophet.” Our meetings are packed with 300 missionaries, including 40 Young Performing Missionaries, and the 20 single sister missionaries. And many visitors now that it is summer. It looks like stake conference each week.

Dad and I would like to give you some counsel:
1.     PLEASE TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE GOSPEL! Are you having Family Home Evenings and not just playing but really teaching them gospel principles? You must know how serious these last days are before the savior comes again. Your children need to be strong to withstand the temptations out there. Teach them about the Savior and His atonement.
2.     PLEASE PRAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN. Besides family prayers every day, help them get in the habit of saying personal prayers. Teach them how to do it, and talk to Heavenly Father. Also pray in the mornings before they go out the door to school, etc.
3.     PLEASE READ SCRIPTURES DAILY WITH THEM! Have them read if they can. Don’t just read to them. Even if you do one verse do it EVERYDAY! Tonight we had a great lesson from our mission president on being spiritually educated in the scriptures. He said it will not matter how much you learned in your vocation, or education, or how much money you earn! But we must make our daily decisions on “a solid, deep foundation in the scriptures!” Our true HAPPINESS depends on our knowledge of the gospel. Do we have only a fifth grade education of spiritual things? We need to have doctorate degrees. Every night open your scriptures- keep them by your bed and read a few scriptures- then ponder them as you fall asleep.
4.     PLEASE KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS! Don’t just say you are an LDS member! Truly live it every day! Keep your temple covenants! They are promises you made to the Lord which are serious. They should not be taken lightly. If you don’t have a recommend, get one as soon as possible. Make this a high priority! Honor your priesthood, sons! This is power to lead your families and heal them when they are sick or hurting. Call on this power. And go to the temple monthly. You are giving up important blessings that are yours, by not going. Dad and I are going every week. We feel such peace and comfort there. You will too! Do the basics: Go to church, pay your full tithing, do the above things, do your church callings, LOVE your children, hug them! Then also love all your neighbors, friends, nonmembers, be an EXAMPLE!

            I want you all to realize that you are truly from “Royal Heritage” in this gospel! I am out here, and it is hitting me hard how blessed and great it is to be an actual descendant from Hyrum Smith, a great man, church patriarch, valiant in his commitment to helping the new church get started. He was always there for Joseph. PLEASE NEVER TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED! Live your lives to honor them! They gave up their lives for this gospel. Where much is given, much is expected. You were all valiant spirits in the pre-existence. Please know this and follow the Savior. He loves you, and died for you. All He asks is that you try hard and keep His commandments.

Dad and I Love you all very much! We feel honored to be your parents.
We Love and miss you!
Mom and Dad (Elder and Sister Schultz)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1, 2014- Memorial Day BBQ, Crutches, Rendezvous, Visitors

Dear Family and Friends,

I apologize for not writing now for 2 weeks, but life got crazy during the Memorial weekend. All the new shows opened, and we are in full swing on our summer schedule. Our visitors center opens at 7:30 am until 7:00 pm. So we are there by 7:15 am. Over that weekend we averaged over 1,000 visitors a day, and continue to have that many, sometimes even more. There are shows, films, vignettes, brass band concerts, going all day long. We also provide wagon and carriage rides, and offer handcart pulls, and oxen rides. There is so much to do here. It is all very exciting!

             Last week Harry stood up from a table in the Visitors Center, and turned and wrenched his hip muscle. He couldn’t even move. He was on crutches and in bed for a few days. Finally it relaxed and he could walk again. It was on the side of his hip replacement so we were very worried, but relieved it wasn’t more serious.

            We are performing The Sunset Mississippi Show on the outdoor stage two nights a week, and the Rendezvous Show 2 nights also. And we start performing our vignette as Peter and Abigail in two weeks, so we are trying to memorize our dialogue and rehearse the blocking. Kind of nervous about it!

Here I am crocheting a baby blanket for Heather right before a show

            This past week we had our friends Bob and LeeAndra Lowe come and visit us. They were on their way to Utah from Nashville, Tenn. So they stayed with us for 2 days. We had so much fun! They went to all the shows here too! We packed a lot in those 2 days! LeeAndra and I grew up together in Pasadena, and sang in a trio all through high school and college. She was on the Young Ambassador tour when Harry and I met and fell in love. They have a wonderful performing family who play many instruments, sing and dance. They were in Branson in a theater for 10 years!

            This mission works hard and we are busy, but we also play too! This week we have a cast barbecue, and a mission breakfast on Friday. The barbecue is only for about 65 of us, but the breakfast is for all to say goodbye to missionaries leaving and welcome new ones in. We also celebrate birthdays with lots of treats every night before a show. It is hard to stay on diets here! Ha!

And I made our back door a prettier entrance by planting flowers.  Neat great girls! All sharp, full of personality and strong testimonies! They will all make great wives and mothers! Sister Newell (in red shirt is daughter of Lloyd Newell, the moderator/speaker for The Spoken Word every Sunday with the Tabernacle Choir. 

Sisters L-R Sister Gines, Morales, Poulsen, Hansen
Back row: Sister Hall, Richardson, Hoyt
Front Bending Over: Sister Newell, Munro, Hintze, Etherington and Searle

These are the co-site leaders with us in the visitors center L-R: The Christiansens from Orem and The PIncocks from Rigby, ID. Great people.

            One of the programs that just opened here is “The Promise.” It is a musical with singing and dancing performed by the Young Missionaries. 

            I am blown away by their amazing talent. They have learned all the dialogue, and music, and dances in less than a month. Also they perform a play and puppet show down in the sites. They also sing and clog in the Sunset show with us. The Nauvoo Brass band consisting of 20 young members plays concerts daily, and they ride around Nauvoo on a wagon through the streets playing. They also accompany us for our shows. They have all their music memorized! It is amazing and we are enjoying all these young people so much!

We had some couples over last night for pizza and to watch the Lincoln movie. Of course Dad had to setup a “theatre.” 

And I made our back door a prettier entrance by planting flowers.

            We continue to serve in the visitors center and meet wonderful interesting people every day. We love being here and are so grateful to have this opportunity to serve the Lord. The gospel is true and we want to share it with everyone!

Love Elder and Sister Schultz