Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015-Illinois State Fair, A Wedding & Nashville Tribute Band prep

Dear Family and Friends:

            It seems like I just wrote a letter but realized it has been almost 3 weeks! It’s hard to believe how fast time is going on this mission. We would have been leaving this week on September 10, and it’s been hard seeing all of our MTC group packing and getting ready to leave. But we had a great training meeting by our president, where he told us to always feel like we are in the “middle of our mission,”, even if we are close to leaving; to serve valiantly until the end. So that is what we are doing. We have about 15 weeks left, and will work hard until we go home.

            Many of you may have already heard, but our renter in our Brea home, Theresa McCoy, passed away on August 13 from stomach cancer. She fought a valiant fight, and we are so sad about their family’s loss. She was the mother in law of Susan Vargas’ son, so if any of you knew them, it would be nice to send them a note of condolences. Our address there is 204 Napoli Dr., Brea.

Good morning, Illinois! On the way to State Fair. “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!”
            Some amazing events have happened in the past few weeks. On the 3rd and 4th weekends of August, we went with Nauvoo on the Road again to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. They invited us back from last year, and we were at the same location, right inside the main gate, at the Looking for Lincoln area. 3 vans took 7 sister missionaries, and 6 couples to help with the pioneer games and activities, and to perform in 3 shows per day. We went for a Friday and Saturday, and the next Friday too. We met hundreds of nonmembers, and gave out brochures, asking them to come to visit Nauvoo. Almost everyone had not even heard of Nauvoo, which is right here in their state. It was a great experience again, and we made very good friends with the directors of the fair.

Our Fair location

With director, Heather Wicken and Lincoln

Our location at the Fair by Lincoln Heritage area.

Nauvoo on the Road

            On Saturday, Aug. 15, I had the wonderful experience of attending the endowment session of Zenta Logan, who was baptized last year. She is from Burlington, and I was able to help in her joining the church. What a privilege to see her stay active, and prepare this past year to go to the temple. It was also neat to see her ward step in and fellowship her. The bishopric and wives, the Relief Society president, her visiting teacher and home teacher were all in attendance. And a sister who has become her good friend in the ward was her escort. Then we had a small luncheon in her honor at a missionary’s home. She was so happy to take this next step in her conversion, and I was happy to be part of that.

            We have lots of social events with this mission, and especially with each of our casts. There are about 65 persons in 3 casts. Our cast is called the "Sarah Granger Cast." Last week we went out to Bonaparte, Iowa for a dinner put on by the Bontragers, an Amish family. They are the family I told about in April who have 8 children and came to Nauvoo to visit, and they have 2 sets of twins. They held the dinner in their barn, and the food was delicious. About 58 of us came, and they served us homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, vegetable, cole slaw, homemade bread, and homemade pies for dessert. They also own a bakery where they sell baked goods to the public. What a treat this was to experience their culture. Marie, the mom, cooked the food, John and the children served, and cleaned up. It was so much fun!! They live in a big Victorian home, and the kids were all barefoot, and sat at the table with us to eat. They seemed so pure and untouched by the crazy world- not worldly at all. I was a little jealous of their simple life.

            Also this month, on August 29, was the wedding of our dear single senior sister, Sharon Watkins. She is also from Laguna Niguel in Orange County, and served in the Newport Beach Temple on a different shift. She met a single man here in Nauvoo, who is on a service mission, fixing all of our computers, etc. in the visitors center. His name is Brother Larry Nicholl.  They shared an office upstairs and decided to get married in July, and they asked me to help them plan their wedding. I was the wedding planner and had a lot of fun working with their florist, the caterer, and gathering all the decorations.  It was held outside here in the women’s garden, and they were married by Bishop Cluff, his bishop. They had about 400 persons in attendance, and it turned out to be beautiful, if I do say so. They paid a caterer and a florist. I ordered linens from my nephew Ron, Berrett- in coral colors and soft yellows.  We used the pioneer theme with corals and ivory, and old lace doilies, oil lamps, mason jars with wild flowers, etc. They served chicken croissants, spinach salad, and 3 kinds of grapes. They had 3 flavored waters and the caterers made 2 delicious cakes- gingerbread with fresh whipped cream and banana with cream cheese icing. Oh, and Elder Schultz set up the sound and coordinated a program! It made me feel like the good ole days of catering. It felt good to use my talent again. 

            Our present projects besides the regular duties of serving as site leaders in the Visitor's Center, is helping coordinate the concert coming here on October 10, called the Nashville Tribute Band- and country band of 9 LDS guys from Nashville who put on an Interfaith Community concert. We have a commitment from a Christian church in Burlington who is pastored by the mayor Shane McCampbell, to come and sing with them. They are performing a “Nashville Tribute to Jesus Christ” called Redeemer, with their original songs, etc. We are helping market it, and make it a success by getting people to come to Nauvoo. It is actually being sponsored by the Nauvoo Tourism Office, who is led by our good nonmember  friend, Kim Orth, and she is so excited that we are working together on this. Please pray for its success! We also hope it will be a great missionary activity.

            We started our new vignette last week in "Rendezvous." We are now Thomas and Elizabeth, not Peter and Abigail. We learned all new dialogue, and we even sing a duet together which has been a challenge for both of us. But we are happy to help in this show in any way we can.

            We do miss and love all of you, but feel a great responsibility to continue serving on our mission. We will soon start the rehearsals, and preparation for "The Miracle of Christmas" program. This is the reason we were asked to stay. So we will be working hard on that after the October concert. We look forward to seeing you in a few months. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. We have loved this mission, and most of all we have loved serving the Lord, and testifying of His restored gospel.

Please write to us if you can. We love hearing of all the news back home.
Love Elder and Sister Schultz

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