|Sister Sarah Bailey|
Friday, February 27, 2015
February 27-missionary work, descendant of pioneers, valentine's day
February 27, 2015
It snowed here the last 2 days and more is coming tomorrow night and Sunday. It is so beautiful! But very very cold. The lows have been below zero most of this week, and the highs only in the teens. I forgot to tell you last week when I said we were trying to get used to all the layers we put on when we leave the house. The last things we put on our boots are “ice cleats”, which I had never heard of before coming to Nauvoo. Not even when we lived in Utah and Idaho for 11 years. They are rubber things you put on that have spikes in them so you don’t slip, because here with the humidity, the snow turns to sheets of ice on the sidewalks and streets. They really do help give you traction!
Some pretty neat things happened this week. We are getting ready for the Relief Society organization re-enactment on March 17, and will take place in the Red Brick Store upstairs. They passed around a paper for all of us to sign if we were relatives of any of the 22 sisters who were in attendance at that first meeting. And Sister Harper and I were the only ones that signed up, under Emma Smith (Mary Fielding our actual great, great, grandmother was not there, but Emma is our aunt). I felt a special feeling and honored to be here as her descendant. Then Elder Harper, her husband handed me 2 nails- old square hand made kind, and said “I saved these just for you- they are putting on a new roof on Carthage Jail and these are 2 nails from the original jail, when Joseph and Hyrum were martyred. Again I was overwhelmed with emotion! What a great privilege to serve on a mission where my ancestors on both my mother’s and father’s sides lived here.
We had some amazing experiences and met some great people in the Visitors' Center these past 2 weeks. Two women came in from a small town near St. Louis, Mo, and represented a women’s Baptist church group. Thirty are coming to Nauvoo in April for a girls retreat and came to make housing reservations. We helped them plan their days and got them tickets for everything. They were surprised that nothing costs money, and everything is free. They do this annually, and usually have to budget a lot of money for it.
The next week, 10 young girls came in from Truman College near Kansas City, Mo. to learn about the Mormons. They are in a sorority there. They toured the historic sites, saw the film, “Remembering Nauvoo,” and had so many questions. We gave them a short tour of the VC which tells of the restoration of the church, etc. I gave them all bags with pamphlets and Books of Mormon, and asked them to read them, and follow the counsel at the end when Moroni asks the reader to pray if it is true. There was a really great spirit there as I was able to bear my testimony of the truth of this book. We have nonmember groups like this come into Nauvoo all the time.
On Monday, as we were closing, an older gentleman came in to the VC as we were closing, but we allowed him to enter. He is a Jewish doctor from Israel here working in the Ft. Madison Hospital Pediatrics department, and wanted to learn more about our church. Elder Schultz gave him a tour, showed a film, and said he would get him a Hebrew Book of Mormon, which by the way, is out of print, since no proselyting is allowed in Israel. If anyone knows how we can get one, please tell us! His name is Meir Rottenburg (yes, his ancestors are from Germany) such an interesting person. His wife was arriving Saturday, and he wants to bring her to Nauvoo to see all the historic sites.
I've also been a bit emotional today. We had a sweet 21-year-old Down Syndrome girl come in with her mom to serve a special mission here! She is #8 in family of 10 from St Louis and all her older brothers and sisters served missions and she wanted to also! She arrived to the VC with her mom and we greeted and welcomed her. She was so excited! And hugged everyone! Even Dad and President Gibbons! She kept saying, "I'm so nervous!" But when Sister Brown, the mission secretary, pinned her mission tag on that said Sister Bailey, I got really emotional! She was so happy to be an official missionary! She understood what she is doing! She will only be here a week but will help on the VC and Family Living Center. I realized we should all try to be as innocent and sweet as her! What a blessing that President Gibbons said yes that she could come. This sister will bless so many lives by serving here.
Elder Schultz has been very busy working many long hours every day on developing the new website for the Historic Nauvoo. Go on to see how outdated it is: “historicnauvoo.net” so that you will appreciate how good it will be. They are trying to post it by next week. They have added so many wonderful features like using Google maps to get here, videos with music, daily calendar updates, and links to many other websites like Mormon.org, and ones to help find accommodations. He made a big change, with the president’s approval, of changing the name from “Tickets and Tours” to “Guest Services.” It will be so exciting to help our guests plan their trips to Nauvoo!
We are also keeping busy during this winter, and slower visitors time, by doing many humanitarian projects. I am making loom hats like the youth made in the ward in YM/YW, and putting together newborn baby kits, with blanket, hat, burp cloth, and sleepers. Then we have made hundreds of other items such as quilts, adult bibs, warm pajama bottoms, mittens, boo boo bears for children in the hospitals, and pillow cases. We also have put together over 200 hygiene kits too. The stake Relief Society President picks them up and distributes them throughout the stake area to homeless, battered women, and hospitals. All of them have tags that say “lovingly made by the sisters and brothers in the Illinois Nauvoo mission.”
For Valentine's Dinner, Harry took me on a date to this neat Victorian house. He got me a corsage and everything!
The last thing I want to share with you was something fun I have never experienced before. Instead of wagons, they brought out the sleigh that holds 10 persons, and I got to ride on it. Have any of you actually done this before? I was thrilled! You sail along like you are skiing- so smoothly, not bumpy like on the rode with wheels. We sang Jingle Bells loudly, because it really is “oh what fun it is to ride in a one- horse open sleigh!” The wind was cold blowing in our faces, and was so wonderful!
I want to close by bearing my testimony again; especially to our grandchildren. Please read this letter to them. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth, with the priesthood that is the power to act in the Lord’s authority. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and instrument in translating the Book of Mormon, and organizing the church as it was in ancient times. I also know that I am descended from wonderful amazing people who paved the way by joining the church and never wavering in their faith. They followed the prophet, even if they had to leave their homes here in Nauvoo, and settle out west. Oh how thankful I am that they did this. I love all of you so much, and want you to know that true happiness is found in this gospel- in keeping His commandments, and loving one another.
I look forward to this summer in seeing many of you! Please come, it is an amazing experience! We will help you plan your trip with tickets, hotels, etc.
Love Elder and Sister Schultz
In Nauvoo, Illinois