Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015- Babies, Talent Show, Richardson's Point, Visitors and Artifacts

Dear Friends and Family,

            Greetings from Nauvoo! So much has happened here in the past two weeks since I last wrote! First and most important; Matt and Amber (our daughter) gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on April 21, (which is also our daughter Christy’s birthday). She weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. and they named her Ivy Louise Buhrley. She has tons of dark hair, and is so cute (even though I am a little biased)! This is their fifth child, and Amber is our fifth child, which also makes it extra special. She had no complications, and the baby was born very quickly. We are so happy for them, but sad we couldn’t be there.

            This past week has been full of birthdays for our family; Poppy turned one year old on April 20, Christy and the new baby on April 21, Archer Steimle turned 5 on April 22, and Heather and Wendy Williams (Ryan’s oldest) had birthdays on April 24. Whew! And this week we celebrate Harvey Williams and Cooper Watene (Mossi’s oldest) birthdays. April is a great and busy month!


Last week, we had the Nauvoo Mission Talent Show, which is an annual event. Many of our new missionaries participated, and there is so much talent in this mission. There were over 24 musical numbers and what a variety; vocal solos, quartets, readings, violin numbers, a jug band with banjo, guitar, bass, rhythm instruments such as tambourine, jugs, and washboards! Elder Schultz and I did our same song and jokes as we did last summer in the Sunset show, and I sang a duet with Sister Schwindler who played guitar; “Walkin’ in the Sunshine” (a song written by Roger Miller). There was a comedy skit called Nauvoo Goo, and 3 excellent piano solos by an 83 yr old sister, President Brinley, and our mission secretary, Sister Brown. It is never boring around this town!

            Last week we also had 3 special experiences; the whole mission drove out to Richardson’s Point, we had 45 Amish people come into Nauvoo, and we had the privilege of giving tours to 24 women from The Second Baptist Church in St. Louis, Mo. 

Richardson's Point
     Richardson’s Point is about an hour from Nauvoo on the original pioneer trail of the Mormon saints who left Nauvoo in 1846. It is a special place because it took 3 weeks to get there in the wagons, due to the terrible cold weather, rain, and mud. They had to stay and camp there for 2 weeks before moving on. Three people died there, and are buried, including an 18-month-old baby boy named John Tanner. It is owned by a nonmember family who has made a special monument to the saints and their struggles here. This family built a fence and walkway down to the grove where they are buried.  We felt it was important to all go out there on a Sunday night and have a devotional, to honor these pioneers and the people who have preserved their memories. We had music, the owner gave a brief history, and there was such a beautiful spirit there. It had been raining that day on and off, so it was muddy, and we felt a little of what it might have been like for them. He told us that the farmers who own the property along this pioneer trail do not plow over the wagon ruts, but around them. That is how much they honor the sacrifice of the saints!

These are our APs and they are in Dads and my district! Sisters Pugmire and Hintze. 
The 2 women in bonnets are the owners who are no members.

Meeting Amish Families
            Then, the next Saturday, we had the wonderful experience of bringing 5 Amish families to Nauvoo from their community near Cantril, Iowa. Since they do not drive, our vans went out there (about an hour/half from here) and picked them up. They have always wanted to come, but felt it was too far with their buggies. Many of our Teamsters (who take care of the horses) have gotten close to these families, because they purchase our Nauvoo horses from them, and buy many of the supplies like bridles, feed, etc. from them.  So these Teamsters worked out all the details for them to come. All of us missionaries also shop out there at their big store called “Dutchman’s”- where they sell whole grains, and all kinds of organic natural whole foods; meat, dairy, produce, etc. They came into the Visitors Center first, so we were able to give them a tour of the Women’s Garden and the Center, and show the film “Remembering Nauvoo.” They were all reluctant to see it at first, because they do not watch television or movies, but when Elder Schultz called it an “historical documentary,” then they would see it. I bonded with a cute family of parents and 8 children; John and Marie. They had 2 sets of twins; girls who were about 7, boys who were about 5 and 3 teenage boys and a baby girl. They were all so friendly, and open-minded. The children were well-behaved. I felt a real kinship with the mother, because we both had 8 children. I bore my testimony to them out in the Women's Garden when we got to the family circle statue, that families are eternal, and that we can be together forever. They were all dressed in the typical Amish attire; homemade plain clothing, and the girls wore white hats, while the boys and men wore straw hats, and had beards. It was such a rare experience which I shall always cherish.

More Visitors
            Then this past weekend we had a visit from 25 Baptist women who came on a weekend retreat to see Nauvoo. We helped plan their days and evenings with wagon and carriage rides, films, the Rendezvous show, and visiting the historic sites. They couldn’t believe everything was free. They travel to other places like the Lincoln Museum, which usually cost a lot of money. They wanted to give donations, but we can’t accept them. After the film, Elder Schultz held a question and answer time that lasted half an hour! They had so many questions about the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith- but they weren’t confrontational or negative at all! They were so delighted to be here, and loved every minute. I packed all of them bags with brochures and a Book of Mormon, and challenged them to read it. Then I also gave a tour of the Women’s Garden, which is in full bloom right now with gorgeous tulips! This also was an amazing experience that will be a lasting memory for me.

            I forgot to tell you that in the first week of April, we had a special one-on-one experience in the Red Brick Store with Lach Mackay (I told you about him a few letters ago). He is the head of all the Community of Christ historic sites, and a wonderful man. He is a direct descendant of Joseph Smith through a daughter of Joseph Smith III. So we call each other “cousin.”  He told me that in the basement of the store are a lot of artifacts that are from the Nauvoo era. We met him there, and he showed us bins and bins of things from the property of Hyrum Smith. I was so flabbergasted to see this! There were bottles, fence, chains, and pottery, pots, dishes, utensils. And spread out on tables in the center of the room were items from Joseph and Emma’s homes; glasses, dishes, bowls, pitchers, etc. He even allowed us to take pictures. This was such an awesome experience, I can’t even put into words! To realize that these were items actually used by my ancestors was so amazing. We truly felt honored to have this experience.

With Lachland or "Lock" McKay head of Community of Christ historical sites: Kirtland temple, Independence, and Nauvoo.  Great great grandson of Joseph Smith III. Same generation as me so my cousin

            I want to express to all of you my great testimony of this restored gospel. We are so honored to be here in Nauvoo on a mission, to represent these great people. We call this city the “crown jewel” of the Mormon faith, to visitors who come here, because of all it represents to us; Faith in following a prophet, and love for the Lord, who organized a perfect church on the earth to help us return to Him and His Father.              

Love you All! The Schultzes

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