Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15-Baptism and Young Visitors

Dear Family and Friends,                                                      
            How are you all? We think of you often out here in Nauvoo. We are still very busy, even though the crowds have lessened. We have many tour groups coming here by buses, and we had many young families from Arizona, Utah and Idaho, who are on a Fall break. We are very busy in the Visitors’ Center, and in the historical sites, because in the last month we have lost 80 missionaries who went home. Many of the sites are “shared” with others, so 2 missionaries go between 2 or 3 other sites. It has been very confusing, but we are all trying to figure it out. We definitely miss those missionaries who have gone. They became our good friends. There are only about 8 remaining couples who were here before our MTC group came out in March. We passed the 7-month mark on Oct. 10. However, last week 6 new couples have joined us so that really helps.

            I had a great experience coming out of church a week ago. A woman (Sharon) in the Nauvoo Ward passed me, and caught me, because she wanted to invite me to her mother’s (Patricia) baptism the next Saturday. She had moved out here from California to live with her daughter, and was taking the missionary lessons. Patricia had many questions, so she came to the Visitors’ Center, and I sat and spoke with her on the couch for about half an hour, and tried to answer them. When she decided to get baptized, Patricia asked her daughter to find me, and make sure I was there. I felt honored to be part of her conversion, and I went to her baptism. It really touched me that even though she is 80 yrs. old, and 3 men had to lift her down into the water to baptize her. She really wanted to be baptized.

Our friends, the Linfords, came to visit.

            One of the new couples is Elder Doug Brinley and Sister Brinley. They are from Provo, and well known at BYU and Education Week as speakers. Elder Brinley taught marriage and family relations classes at BYU, and has written many books. He is one of our three zone leaders, and will eventually be a counselor to President Gibbons, who requested him. He has been teaching us classes for the past three weeks, on how strengthen marriage, and we are grateful to have them here.

            We have been working on some big projects coming up. I have been planning a large Thanksgiving event on November 22nd, to welcome less actives and nonmembers from the stake, to come to Nauvoo. They will have wagon rides, visit the sites, and have a big Thanksgiving dinner that afternoon. We are trying to help stake members realize that this city is a great missionary tool and testimony-building place. We are expecting about 100-150 persons. Please pray for our success.

            Also, last week we had our first practice for the big “Miracle of Christmas” concert which we are doing on December 20th and 21st at the Stake Center. We sent the word out to invite singers from the Stake and the City. We had 75 people show up! We were so excited. We had an orientation, and went through the music. We also will have a children’s chorus of about 30 singers. The Nauvoo orchestra will also accompany us. By the way, Elder Schultz played the standup bass in their concert last Saturday. It was really quite good. We have been working extra hours on publicity materials, making music folders, and visiting the ministers and Catholic school to recruit children. We are getting excited to see it take shape, and we pray that it will be a success and great unifier for this community. President Gibbons is behind this event and very supportive.

Dad playing in the Nauvoo orchestra concert
            This coming week we have a Mission Presidents Training Seminar here in Nauvoo. Elder L. Tom Perry and 6 members of the Seventies are coming to train 35 Mission Presidents and their wives. They have asked us all to help escort them, and even provide dinner for them. Elder Schultz has been asked by President Gibbons to drive the general authorities around. We are very excited to help them in any way we can.

            We would like to introduce you to Keegan (left) and Donnie (right). They remind me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. We met these 2 stepbrothers in the summer when they came into the Visitors' Center. They have a sad home life. Nonmembers who live summer with a stepmother and winters with an uncle (Donnie) and grandparents (Keegan).

            We have grown to love them and they adore Dad. We haven’t seen them since summer so we were excited when they came in yesterday. Their stepmom just lets them wander the town and area and they are always dirty and sometimes shoeless. Dad really “cares” about them and took them on a wagon ride, gives them candy etc. They were standing by the door to his priesthood class waiting for him to come out. I went home and fixed them food and brought it down to the Visitors' Center cause they said they were hungry. Hug and love to your children and be thankful they are growing up in loving homes.

            I want to express to all of you how wonderful it is to be here in Nauvoo on a mission. Words can’t describe the feelings of waking up each morning in this beautiful, sacred city, and to serve in the homes and shops of those great valiant pioneers. We have grown close to them by telling their life stories, and bearing testimony of their sacrifices and faith. We surely love you all, and look forward to seeing you in the future. May God bless all of you!                                                     

Love Elder and Sister Schultz


Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2- Surprise Visitors, New Callings & Meet the Mormons

Dear Family and Friends,

            I’m so sorry that it has been 3 weeks since we last wrote, so this letter may be a little longer than usual. Life is always busy here in the Nauvoo Illinois Mission. Besides serving in the Visitors Center five times a week, we have served in Carthage, in the Family Living Center, and in the Brickyard (Harry) and Tin Shop (Nancy). Not as many people are coming into Nauvoo, now that school has started, but we do have a constant stream of persons who plan this as a special trip, and several bus tours, like Mormon Heritage, etc. Instead of averaging 2,000 per day like in the summer, we average about 2-300 per day, but we are thankful for those. And I am amazed all the time of how many nonmembers and foreigners come through here each day. Last week we had people from Bangkok, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, and Quebec. We had 4 church members from Germany here on their way to general conference. Then we had 2 nonmember couples from Poland who spoke very little English, but loved all the historical sites and learning about American pioneer history. We love to tell about what the Mormon people believe. I give all of them lots of pamphlets, and Books of Mormon. We have them in about 15 languages. We feel that Nauvoo is the “Salt Lake City or Temple Square” of the eastern United States. Many come here who can drive in a day, and feel the same spirit as going out to Utah.

Serving in the wonderful Brigham Young Home
            We are so excited! They just announced this week that the British pageant will definitely be back next summer! At first they had said no, but when they saw that the numbers doubled, and it was a great missionary tool to explain the “falling away and restoration of the gospel” in Europe, many Protestant people have joined the church because they get the connection- between proper authority, and a living prophet. Please, if you can, in any way come next July, come to Nauvoo! It truly was life changing for me, and for thousands of people. In that month alone we had over 65,000 people.

 This past week we had the wonderful surprise of three of our daughters come to visit! Nanette (who brought her 1 year old daughter, Stella), Amber, and Heather (who brought her 6-month-old daughter, Poppy Mae).  These two babies were born while we were on our mission and we had never seen or held. They told Harry, but surprised me! I was so excited and could hardly contain myself emotionally. We had so much fun showing them around, playing with the babies, going to the temple, wagon rides, and our last day, we went to Carthage Jail together (where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred). It was a very emotional time to share, but was also emotional having to say goodbye until next summer when all of our children will be coming in August. Thank you so much for all of you who helped make their visit possible! The dads who took care of the children, and any who gave them financial help, we so appreciate you!

(I will put the pictures of their visit below my letter so the letter doesn't become lost after the photos).

We just got the final approval to go forward with the Christmas Program. So on December 21st and 22nd, “The Miracle of Christmas” will be performed in our Stake Center. Many steps have led up to this, and we feel the hand of the Lord in making it happen. Elder Schultz met with the Stake President and 12 bishops, to present his ideas and music. They were all on board and so supportive! Then he and President Gibbons met with each minister and priest from the local churches to try and include them and get their support: the Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran and Community of Christ. They felt a positive cooperation from all of them. Christmas is a time that can unify Christian religions!

This will not be an easy undertaking! There will be a 60-voice choir, a 30-40 voice children’s choir, a bell choir and a chamber orchestra. This program is borrowed from our good friend, Randy Johnson who wrote it and has performed it for the past 6 years in the Carlsbad/Del Mar area in California. By the way, he and Carolyn, his wife, came out here last week to celebrate their 37th anniversary. We had fun with them, visiting, going to dinner, and the temple. We are so grateful to him for his help in bringing and sending all the music, arrangements, sound tracks and videos/media that go along with it. We are trying to get a lot of attendance from the areas around here with larger communities, like Burlington, Keokuk and Fort Madison, Iowa, and Carthage, Quincy Illinois. Please pray for the success of this amazing program, and if you can come out here in December we would love to have you!

            Besides working on this program in our spare time, I have been asked to be on the committee for a big Thanksgiving dinner on November 22nd. We are inviting all the wards and branches to bring nonmembers or less actives here for us to host them in a few of the sites, ride on wagons, and then have a big Thanksgiving dinner. The food will be provided by all of us missionaries. This is another way to bring people to Nauvoo for the spiritual “experience.” There is a lot happening all the time here.

            Last of all, I want to tell you that yesterday in our training meeting we were shown a preview of the new movie, “Meet the Mormons” that will open in mainstream theaters on October 10. It is the greatest movie and everyone of all ages will enjoy it! The photography is amazing, the people they feature are so interesting, from all different countries and age groups. The church is asking us all to go on “” and request to have this movie shown in your local theaters. There is a place to type in your zip code. PLEASE do this immediately. They say the first week is the most crucial! Or the theaters won’t show it longer. ALSO please post it on your Facebook page, Instagrams and emails- everywhere you can think of who may be following you. There is a link for sharing a “trailer” of the movie. I promise it is an amazing movie! So professional, and it makes you laugh and cry! I can’t say enough about it! You will be so proud you are a Mormon after seeing it. And best of all, all proceeds go to charity, so any money that is paid goes to a good cause, and is tax deductible.

            I love this gospel, and being on a mission! I have such a strong faith and testimony in the restoration, and feel the urgency of the Lord hastening His work. Please be part of it! Share this movie with all your friends- EVERYONE!

We love and miss you all, and look forward to your future visits to this amazing city!!

Love Elder and Sister Schultz

Pictures of Our Daughters' Visit
It was fun having surprise visits from our children. 
(These pictures are from my daughters)

Driving from Quincy to surprise Mom. Dad knew. Mom was so surprised.  Heather and amber were in 1 car and dad and Nanette in another.

Nanette & Elder Schultz

Heather, Nanette, Poppy, Me & Amber

Heather, Poppy, Me, Elder Schultz, Stella & Nanette

Stella Steimle

Stella Steimle

Poppy Mae Georgianna

Nanette & her 1-year-old Stella

Darling Grandbabies, Poppy & Stella