Sunday, August 8, 2010

Has it only been 18 months?

It’s Sunday August 8, 2010. We have been serving an 18 month mission here in Nauvoo and our release date is August 16, 2010. Wow! This has been an amazing, wonderful, frustrating, incredible, hard, fun, funny, educational, inspirational, exhausting, exhilarating experience. This summer has gone so fast. We’ve had a great time with our assignment as directors of “Sunset by the Mississippi”
We had more wonderful family members visit us: My parents and two of my siblings, Elise and Phil Richins and Dave and Chris Foote and their two darling daughters, Lisa and Kim. It was so wonderful to have them here for a few days.
The Pageant is over now so there are fewer visitors in town. It’s been great having so many guests come to Nauvoo since that’s why we’re here. It’s fun and crazy to serve in the sites when it’s back to back tours. I was serving in the Scovil Bakery a couple of weeks ago and it was a zoo. I was tempted to take a basket of cookies outside to those lined up and offer a cookie to those who were just coming for a cookie but didn’t want the tour. But, I didn’t. The last few weeks I’ve also been assigned to the Tickets and Tours desk a couple of days a week and that’s been a lot of fun. So, now I have been lucky enough to have served in every place possible in this mission except for the sewing room (and that would have just been silly since I don’t posses the excellent skills required – those ladies are incredible!).
So, our summer schedule has gone something like this: Every morning we leave at 8:20 for Preparation meeting and then we're off to our sites. Ron serves in the Browning Gun Shop from 9:00 til 11:00 or so, and then he takes care of the mission mail until somewhere between 2:00 and 2:30 depending on how much mail there is. Then about 4:00 he goes to the Sunset Stage to make sure it’s clean and set up the benches onstage and set up the sound system etc, etc and get things ready for the nights performance. Sometimes that involves mopping up after a rainstorm, which is a pain.
I get to serve in a variety of sites but I’m always on an A shift which means from 9:00 to 3:00. After my shift, I spend a few minutes getting my notes etc. ready for that night’s Sunset then I’m off until about 5:30 when we get ready and head back to the Sunset Stage and set up the props and microphones etc. I have had one “show” day a week (Wednesdays) when I’m in the production office from 9:00 to 3:00 instead of a regular site. Every night at 6:30 we meet on the outdoor Sunset Stage and have prayer and announcements with the cast assigned to perform that night, then the show starts at 7:00. It’s a fun time to be with each cast and also the Young Performing Missionaries. We are finished with the show at 8:00 and have things cleaned up and we’re ready to go home by 8:20 or so. (This happens 6 nights a week)
This time next week we will be on the road heading to a few church history sites then on our way to Utah. We are excited to get back to our real lives and our family but it is really bitter sweet. It’s been amazing to be so closely linked to the wonderful people serving here. No matter what our individual assignments are, we all have the same goal and that is to do the best we can and have the best attitude we can so that every guest who comes to Nauvoo will have a wonderful experience and hopefully feel the spirit of old Nauvoo and the early saints and especially the spirit of Jesus Christ. Hopefully, individual testimonies of the Savior are strengthened and for those who are not yet believers in Jesus Christ hopefully they will come away with a desire to find out for themselves that the Savior loves them and has a plan for them. That is the purpose of all the work that goes on here. It has been wonderful to be part of this team. We will miss it, but it is time to go home.

We will miss seeing the Nauvoo Temple every day.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the beautiful Nauvoo Temple.

A few parting shots...

Cooling off before the show

The stage for "Sunset by the Mississippi"

Ron as "Snerdley Sly" in the melodrama. We never know what is going to happen when he is onstage. My parents, Elise and Phil, Dave and Chris, Lisa and Kim were here for his first show and it was memorable!

Ron, Ken and Jane doing the "Nauvoo Exercise"

Singing "Grandma's Feather Bed"

Taking Melvin for a ride. He loves it and he's wearing his new shirt that says "Tuff Guy"

My shoes are worn out, guess it's time to go home.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A visit from Mike and Gwen Smith

It's fun to have a visit from family!!! Thanks for coming Mike and Gwen, it was great to see you!!