Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18- Cold Weather, Vignette, Site Leaders

Dear Friends and Family,

            Sorry we haven’t written for a couple of weeks, but the Internet was down all over the mission for a week, and we couldn’t send any emails out. The temple here is closed November 1st for cleaning and refurbishing, and they were re-wiring and updating all of the computers and telephones, which also affected us.

            Holy smokes!!! It has gotten so cold here! Last Monday November 9th it was in the 60’s, and then overnight we had snow. Now it has been in the low 20’s and high teens. Those who said this is a “different” kind of cold weren’t kidding. We have lived in Utah and Idaho, and they don’t compare to this, with the humidity. The wind blows constantly off the Mississippi, so the wind chill factor makes it worse. We are definitely Californians learning to winterize ourselves.

            Here’s some more pics of us on stage in our vignette (taken by a friend missionary). 

Four sister missionaries enjoying the autumn in front of John Taylor home.

            Wonderful things are happening in this mission, in spite of our numbers of people being down. Many families with small children are still coming to visit. They are taking them them out of school and visiting Nauvoo on purpose. Many come from other neighboring states like Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and the East coast. Busloads of different Mormon Church History groups are coming, and other Senior groups too. We were just called to take over as Site Leaders for the Visitors’ Center, when the Pincocks leave in December. That will give us more responsibility. Besides greeting guests, we will be in charge of scheduling the theaters for big groups, and coordinating with the tickets and tours people. We will be even busier than we are now. But it is exciting and we feel honored to serve there.

Our dear friends, The Pattens came to Nauvoo. We were at Carthage so they came there.
They only had one day because they are moving to Florida.
Will be on Gulf side south of Tampa. A job transfer. It was so good to see them.
Their kids are very cute. Noah is so tall! He reminds me of Sam at that age. 

            They split our 2 casts for the Rendezvous show into 3 again. They felt we needed to have an extra night, and only perform twice a week. We are relieved, but it is hard to learn new parts, and get familiar with “new people.” We had 2 casts as of September and we were just getting used to that. But we have grown close to everyone in this mission and feel they are our new best friends; such wonderful, hardworking people who love this gospel and want to serve the Lord. We will certainly miss them when we all go home. We have already lost over 80 missionaries in the past 2 months, which has been really hard to say goodbye. We miss their enthusiasm and spirits.

Learning to make rolls from Elder Bogaski a master baker who worked for
Great Harvest in Albequerque, NM.
            This Saturday is our Thanksgiving event. We are pleased with the response from all the 12 wards and branches in the stake. We have about 125 nonmembers and less actives coming. We will take them to tour the sites, (I am one of the 3 tour guides to take them around) and then put on a big Thanksgiving dinner up at the church. Elder Schultz and I are in charge of the program and entertainment there.

            But our biggest event is coming on Dec. 20th and 21st. Our “Miracle of Christmas” concert  is really coming together. What great support we are having, and miracles have literally taken place for this to happen. We feel the Lord’s hand in this. Everyone we ask to help, and be part of it, have enthusiastically said, “Yes!” From the orchestra director, the choir director, Brother Marshall, the 70 voices and 30 children, and we finally got bells last week! We had hit dead ends but we contacted a United Brethren church and they lent us 3 octaves!! We are so excited and they have been rehearsing! The Sewing Department made 40 women’s red scarves, and people are donating time and help with publicity, flyers, posters, and more. It will be amazing. I wish you all were here to witness it.

            I know I have said it in past letters, but my testimony continues to grow and grow. I love and revere the prophet, Joseph Smith. What a mighty spiritual man he was, to be worthy to organize this church, with the priesthood, and all the revelations that are in the Doctrine and Covenants. He had so much persecution, and spent much time in jail away from his family. And Emma sacrificed too, carrying on without him, and being alone most of the time. I don’t know how these people did it! I am constantly amazed at their strength and faith. I love these early saints, and all they did to pave the way for this gospel to move forward. I feel so humble to represent them here, and honored that the Lord has called us here. I really want you all to come out here some time in the next 9 months before we go home and experience this wonderful place!

Can you believe on December 10th will be our half way point?
            I think about you all very often, and miss all of you. Thank you for writing to us, because it means so much, and helps us not be homesick.

Love you all,

Elder and Sister Schultz

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3- Start of the Seasons & More Visitors


I love Autumn in Nauvoo! So fun to see the season changes. 
And very different from California.

 Dear Family and Friends                  

            It is definitely cold here now. We had a beautiful Fall in November, with changing colors and brisk weather, but in the last week, temperatures have dropped to the 20’s at night, and the 40’s-50’s in the day. All the trees are bare, the plants have died, and we feel Winter coming.

I’ve never seen so many colors of autumn before! It is so beautiful here! 
Bright oranges, reds, lemon yellow. Amazing God’s creations!

The past two weeks have been so eventful. Our son, Sam, and two of his singers who he manages, Justin and Ryan, were on tour with my other son’s live children’s show, Yo Gabba Gabba. They realized they were only 4 hours away, so they drove down here for our P-Day (the day we have off to do preparations). It was great to take them around Nauvoo, and show them the sites, the Nauvoo Temple Visitors’ Center, and on a wagon ride. We enjoyed having them here very much.

The boys learning to be a blacksmith.
They were so excited to learn about our faith and religion and history of the church.

Taken from Sam's Instagram (posted by Christy)
Great visiting my parents on their mission in Nauvoo, learning more about the Mormon history & my family history.

My mom was sad I left. Always need your mom. Gonna miss this wonderful woman. (and dad).

            The next week we had the Mission President conference here for 35 Mission Presidents and their wives. In addition, Elder L. Tom Perry and his wife Sister Perry, and several members of the Quorum of the Seventies were also here including Elder Rasband, and Elder Craig Christensen. Elder Schultz was asked to help escort them around on a tour of the historic sites.  We were also very honored to have them speak to us in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. It is hard to believe that Elder Perry is 92, had recently had a hip replacement, but was so active and sharp. He didn’t seem old and frail at all. His message to us was powerful, and the Spirit was so strong. What a wonderful experience to be taught by our church leaders here in Nauvoo. An interesting fact: he served a mission here in the central states as a young man, and walked the streets before there was any restoration done. Buildings were all boarded up and abandoned. He said it was a lonely deserted place. But he was on the committee when they started to buy the properties and restore them. He also was on the planning and rebuilding of the Nauvoo Temple, so he really loves Nauvoo.

Grammy and Grandpa’s house is ready for Halloween now!
Thank you Steimle Family (my daughter Nanette)!

            Last weekend was Bootiful Nauvoo! A traditional event the Saturday before Halloween where they line the streets with 500 carved pumpkins (carved by us missionaries and some townspeople; I carved over 12 by myself). 

I carved the two on the right.

     There was a parade before it got dark, and several of us missionaries rode on a decorated wagon and were a “crazy band” playing rhythm instruments to Monster Mash and other songs. It was great fun! We were so shocked to see over 3,000 people swarm the streets- they had come from all over! There was food for sale, and the mission provided free bags of candy and kettle corn.

            We are in the thick of two big projects! Besides serving in our regular assignments in the visitor center, pioneer sites, and public affairs committee, we are on the committee to put on a big Thanksgiving VIP day for nonmembers and less actives. We expect about one hundred members who will bring their nonmember friends, on November 22nd. They will have wagon rides, visit four sites and will be treated to a big Thanksgiving dinner at the Stake Center. Then, we and a few other missionaries will put on a short program of entertainment for them. We are working on all the details and logistics!

We are also in charge of “The Miracle of Christmas” concert on December 20th and 21st in the ward chapel. It is for the whole community and the Nauvoo Stake. Many hours have been spent meeting with the Catholic priest, and school, and pastors of the six other churches here. We started rehearsals 3 weeks ago, and are so pleased with the support. Over 70 persons showed up to sing in the adult choir, and 35 for the children’s chorus. We will also have the Nauvoo Orchestra accompany us, as well as a bell choir. It has been a lot of work, ordering music and putting together music folders, making practice cds, and rehearsing. I am teaching the children’s choir, and Elder Schultz is co-directing the adult choir with a local man here; Brother Rick Marshall. He is also the Director of the Messiah on December 7the (we are singing in it too!), which is performed in the Catholic church. We hope this will be so successful, that they will keep it going in future years. It will be a great unifier for the Stake and also a missionary opportunity.

WHEW!!! No wonder we are exhausted every day when we get home. But we are so happy and love serving the Lord here in Nauvoo.

I had a good experience last week in the Visitors’ Center, and I learned an important lesson from Elder Schultz. A young man about 30 years old came in, and looked homeless. He asked to use a phone to call his mother, because he was out of money, and was driving to Utah alone. He had no cell phone. I, of course, judged him, and suspected that he might be lying. He even scared me a little. I said, “You can’t use these phones because we can’t make long distance calls, but Elder Schultz can help you.” Right away, he gave him his cell phone to use, and was very compassionate. The man did call his mother and she wired money to him. I asked Harry, “Why did you let him use your phone, and you didn’t question whether he was honest?” He said, “When in doubt in a situation like this, always “err” on the side of compassion.” This really affected me and made me realize how much I judge people by their appearance, and I need to learn to help and love all of God’s children. We meet so many people every day from all walks of life, and every race and religion. I’m learning a lot from my “Senior” companion.

I would like to end this letter with a tribute to the Nauvoo Temple. It has been a privilege to live here in this city, and pass it every day. It symbolizes so many things to us as missionaries: the early saints’ sacrifices given to build the original temple, and then having to walk away and leave it, knowing they would never see it again. The fact that it is an active temple where we can enter and do ordinances for our ancestors is such a blessing. Originally it was planned to have it as an empty “monument”- just a shell with partial walls. But President Hinckley wanted it to be an active temple. Many times when we pass on the weekends, we see weddings taking pictures on the steps and the grounds. And we can walk to it anytime because it is so close. Sometimes we have an extra hour we love to just go inside to feel the spirit, walk the halls, view the beautiful old-fashioned furniture, lighting and d├ęcor; and especially the magnificent circular stairway that goes up 4 floors!  It is truly an honor to serve there, and be so close to it. It is a beautiful and special building. I hope all of you will come to visit, and make attending there an important priority. If your teenage children come, make sure you schedule Baptisms for the Dead for them. I have a strong testimony, which grows every day of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I am honored to serve as a missionary for this amazing church. The church really is true!!!

We love and miss you all. Please write us, even short notes mean a lot!

Elder and Sister Schultz