Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16- Spring is here!

Dear Family and Friends,

         So much has happened in the past 3 weeks, that I hardly know where to begin. First of all, it got up to 75 today! Hooray! We are feeling Spring in the air. We haven’t worn coats for a week now, and the tulip bulbs I planted last fall are starting to come up! I love seeing the change of seasons here. Growing up in California, I never was able to see them. Seeing the bare trees and bushes come alive and turn bright green, and then blossom is just amazing. And when they turned bright autumn colors in October, that was beautiful too!

         We have gone from 10-20 guests per day, to over 200 a day during March because of Spring Breaks all over the U.S. Families are coming in to see Nauvoo, mostly from Texas and parts of the south. This week we are welcoming people from the north near Chicago, Michigan and Minnesota. We love to greet these people and share our excitement and spirit of Nauvoo. I had a great experience today with a young man named Joe. He is from Champaign, Illinois and had never been here before. He has been searching for a religion, and found Mormons, and has been having the missionary lessons. He has set a baptism date for May. But he wanted to come to Nauvoo to strengthen his budding testimony. We really connected at the First Vision statue, where he shared that he had just read 3rd Nephi, where Christ comes to America. He got choked up when trying to express how much it touched him. We shared an emotional moment, and I bore my testimony to him, that I knew this gospel was true, and that Joseph had seen the Father and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove. And that I knew the true church had been restored on this earth. He thanked me, and I congratulated him on being baptized.

         After the Exodus last month, we have been very busy on public affairs committee, setting up VIP meetings for us and our director, Sister Watkins and the President. We had one on March 10 with Fort Madison Mayor, and chamber people- about 10 persons. The meeting was a great success, and we told them we wanted to work together as partners. And we invited them to come over for wagon rides and site tours with their organizations. Tomorrow morning we meet with all the City leaders and board members of the Burlington Partnership. The mayor and about 50 people will be there to hear our presentation for Nauvoo. They are giving us about 15 min. which is unheard of they tell us. Usually they don’t allow outsiders of Burlington, but I guess they really perked up when I told them we have over 200,000 visitors a year to Nauvoo, and 60,000 in July alone because of the pageants. Then they were calling us to set up this meeting. So we are nervous but also excited!

         We have been enjoying lectures and training by President Brinley. He is such a scholar on religious subjects, and we are so blessed to have him here. If you remember, he was a professor at BYU for over thirty years. He taught one lesson on the revelations that were given to Joseph Smith here in Nauvoo. Then another lesson which was really interesting was on “Fifty doctrines that are unique to our church different from other churches.”  Just to share a couple; 1. The Trinity- that we believe the Godhead to be three distinct persons, not one. 2. We pray to the Father, and not Jesus. 3. The Plan of Salvation; a Pre-mortal life, mortality, and a spirit world after death with 3 degrees. 4.The nature of angels, 5.sacrament prayers, 6. temple ordinances and covenants, etc. Aren’t we blessed to have a wonderful church with a living prophet who receives revelation for us today?

Picture from Hal and Gina Halladay: "We love this missionary couple! We had a little Brea reunion as Mike Coyle 
happened to be in Nauvoo at the same moment."
         Also since the Exodus, the spirit of Elijah has been working on us to find more of Harry’s ancestors to have their temple work done. Sister Brinley is a genealogy specialist, and has been training me on Family Search and I am getting excited. I downloaded about 20 of his names ready for temple work. I will send some to you all, when I get them printed at the temple. So you will all need to go to the temple and help get the work done!

         Tomorrow afternoon is our Relief Society Organization Re-enactment up in the Red Brick Store, where it actually took place. We are wearing pioneer dresses and being driven down my wagons there, and we will share it with the Community of Christ sisters too. I am so excited to be part of this. I have been asked to give the closing prayer, as a relative of Emma Smith, the original first president of the Relief Society.

         We were called this week to be District Leaders of some of the new couples that are coming in March and April. We will help welcome and train them, and “shepherd” them for the next several months. We will have 2 new couples and 2 young sister missionaries. This will be a special experience. We grew very close to our “district leaders,” the Murrays, who went home last December. We still stay in touch.

         I better close because it is getting late. We sure love you all, and miss home so much. But we also love being here in Nauvoo, and have met and worked with such wonderful people. What blessings we have received! Too many to mention, and we are so grateful for them all.

Love from Nauvoo!  Elder and Sister Schultz

No comments:

Post a Comment