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


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