Monday, July 6, 2015

ME AND MIKE

 . . . want to be missionaries.

We would be so good.  "Do you think they would let me go with only the Aaronic Priesthood?" Mike asks.

They sure should, but you know they expect the higher power.  You got to go through the temple and wear the garment to be a real missionary.

I'm smiling as I type.  This was truly a favorite vacation.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

SHOWTIME!

I'm just smiling as I write this post.  These shows were sooo much fun.  Here we go.

Mike and I had no idea what we were going to experience.  The only recommendations were from the older missionaries and you know how that can go sometimes?  Old Foggies? Scary!

Our first show was out on the lawn in the open air, but these Mormon know how to be professional. They had the high dollar lighting, all the music instruments and drums and look at all the older missionaries dressed in costume.  It was truly a show!  Mike again was teasing, "Look at that greenie, she needs some help."

I have the Johnson marked with the white arrows.  It was fun to see them.  "Mike, we could do this. Want too?"

They warned us about the weather and said that they would stop on first signs of danger.

It was a wonderful evening and we acquired about an hour of entertainment before the winds and the rain started coming.  The missionaries old and young were singing and dancing and story telling.  They had special young ones from BYU helping out with the program and it kept our attention.

Senior Moment . . . Brain Freeze!

I looked over at Mike at one time in the program and he was drumming his umbrella to the ground with the beat of the tunes.  He was feeling it; Big Brigham himself.

They paid tribute to each of our nations defense systems as they asked the audience to stand if they were or had served in one of these groups while they played and sang each fight song.  It was jubilating!

The Army: Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey! The Army's on it way. Count off the cadence loud and strong TWO, THREE. For where e'er, we go, you will always know, that the Army keeps rolling along.

The Navy: Stand Navy out to sea, fight our battles cry. We'll never change our course so vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.  Roll out the TNT.  Anchors Aweigh. Sail on to Victory and sink their bones to Davy Jones, Hooray!

The Marines: From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.  We fight our countries battles in the air, on land and sea.  First to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean.  We are proud to claim the title of United States Marines.

Mike nudged me when they brought out the Coast Guard flag, "Stand for your dad." I wanted to stand up proud in honor of him, but I didn't dare.  Thank you Mike.  Love you Dad. 

Sidenote: In our audio tape we are listening to, Maggie had to leave behind a music box that was given to her by her deceased father; the music box she had carried with her clear from Scotland.  Her belongings when weighed in for the handcart trek were over 17 pounds, so she sadly had to give up her music box.  Maggie went over and covered it up in the bushes so the sun wouldn't rot it so quickly.  To her surprise, months later, Eric presented it back to her on the journey.  His pack didn't weigh in at 17 pounds, he could have some extra weight, so secretly he went over and retrieved the music box from under the trees.  Oh, he's such a good boy. I want a boy like him for my daughter.


The Coast Guard:  So here's the Coast Guard marching song.  We sing on land and sea. Through surf and storm and howling gale, high shall our purpose be. "Semper Paratus" is our guide. Our fame and glory too. To fight to save or fight to die, Aye! Coast Guard, we are for you.

It was so fun.  I didn't want it to end . . . but here came the high winds and we had to depart the area, but not before saying hi to Mr. Johnson.

We wonder if they would cancel the Rendezvous in the Grand Hall at 8:30.  It was inside though?  We drove by and the first show was still going and the rain was just a pouring down! So we waited outside in our wagon in the parking lot.

The weather was NOT going to stop this show and thank goodness; they had us laughing.  Remember years and years ago when each ward in the stake would put on a play, they were called "Road Shows."  They went on for about a month or two so everyone got a chance to see all of them.  They were so clever and amusing.  Awards were even given.

Well, tonight's show reminded me of the past Road Shows. This one too, was well performed as we got seated after running for cover from the storm.


The show had about 4 different stories going on throughout it, but it was all about the Saints getting ready to leave Nauvoo. Agatha was totally against the church, but her husband didn't mind the Mormons; he actually, befriended them. Agatha and her husband had a daughter that was sneaking out with a Mormon. Agatha was always wondering where those teenagers were.

There was a rich lady in the community that a widower was trying to court, but she didn't realize it until the very end; oh these men, sounds like I'm not the only one that can't figure them out.

Then there was Jed, who was inactive and liked to swear.  His wife was trying to reactivate him.  Finally, he gave in. (Jed and his wife are from Panguitch, Utah. I stopped them and asked because they looked so familiar.  Dale and Verus Barlow were also in the audience.  Dale was my high school Vice Principal.  They were also on a service mission to Nauvoo for 6 months.)  "We could do this  Mike, huh?"

Mike told me he wanted to get voice lessons before we put in our papers.  "Crazy . . . Crazy in LOVE with you.  Crazy . . . Crazy for feeling so blue."  You ought to hear him.  Yes, he needs lessons.

Agatha was such a boss.  She had her husband bending over all the time taking orders.  He was sick and tired of it and scammed a way to send her off to the crazy house for awhile.  While she was gone, he started reading the Book of Mormon and became converted to the gospel.  When Agatha returned home, she was a lot more calm and she too said she would read the word.

The members of the community were patting Agatha's husband on the back and telling him how proud they were of him.  He ended the show with, "I always knew that there was a higher power, but I always thought it was Agatha."

That had us all laughing! Oh, it was awesome.  I want to see it again.


We wanted to walk down the Trail of Hope at 9:45 pm. That was suppose to be another really neat experience where missionaries were dressed up telling personal stories about the pioneers leaving Nauvoo, but the rain was still coming down hard. Unfortunately, it was cancelled.

Mike and I felt the Spirit of Nauvoo and couldn't leave before, us too, took one last look at the beautiful Nauvoo temple as we drove by in the night.

Good bye Nauvoo.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

PERFECT TIMING


 Tick Tock, Tick Tock . . .

Like I told you in the beginning, Mike planned this trip and he made everything special.  We have never stayed in a Bed and Breakfast Inn, but he thought  it would be the perfect setting in Nauvoo.

 Not a Super 8 for this city; an upgrade of Motel 6.  You know Mike's style.  hehehe

The room Emma's Aviary was beautiful. (And remember I have deep respect for Emma.)  We hurried and checked in after leaving the Pioneer city.  We had exactly one hour before heading back to the night shows.  The lady at the Bed and Breakfast suggested the famous Nauvoo buffet.  Yes, we like A LOT of food. And she also reminded us "A full breakfast at 8 in the morning."  This was our place.

 We arrived at the restaurant  just in time.  Not a line. 
Served ourselves seconds and out the door with a full belly. Perfect!  Kiss the boy!

OH BEAUTIFUL FOR . . .

spacious skies, for amber amber waves of grain.  For purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain. America, America, God shed his grace on thee; and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

While on our travels, Mike and I had an overwheming sense of gratitude for the pioneers and to our Heavenly Father for this beautiful country.

There ain't no doubt we love this land . . . God Bless the USA

Friday, July 3, 2015

LET'S PLAY CITY

I remember when I was a young child, I loved playing in the vacant lot down the street and building a community with my cousins and friends.  We each had our huts, built bonfires, had a government and pretended.  It was so much fun. We were young, but played the game of maturity.  We just all want to grow up too fast; don't we?  It's part of our plan.

Keely and Keaton, Alex, Jula, Elise and Lauren, Ta Ta too; did the same thing in our circle on Serviceberry.  They each had their properties and stores.  Driving around on their bikes or in their Little Tike plastic cars.  I would sit out on the lawn and watch them.  Oh, the memories.

Nauvoo - the city of the Mormons. I was back playing my game; if only for a day.

From the temple, we drove down the hill to the Visitor's Center, we got there just in time to get on the last wagon tour of the day.  They don't like the horses to be out in the hot, humid heat for too long; so the last tour of the city is at 1:30 pm. Oh, I was sooo thankful we made it.  I had looked this up on the internet previously and it says it is one of the top 10.

Mike knows some people from Parowan who are serving a mission in Nauvoo - the Johnsons.  Mike was looking all over for them as we toured the city and was just about ready to give up - he couldn't see them anywhere.

"No standing up," was a rule.
Here I am in the wagon shooting pictures.  This picture doesn't do the whole feel of the temple view justice - you had to be there to feel it.  There was something to it. Who were these pioneers, how did they persevere? I know . . . they had a commitment to follow the Lord's commandments. They succeeded in many things and knew of their self worth. They had a strong will and belief in the Heavens.  It had to be real.

The city the Mormons settled is down below the temple in a grassy, clean landscape of green fields and big shade trees. Looking up to the bluff, there is the big, beautiful temple in the skyline. It's comforting.

We drove in the wagon through the streets as Sister Jones with her beautiful voice told us all the stories over a headset microphone.  I commended these older missionaries serving in Nauvoo.  They acted the part in their pioneer gear.  I wondered as I met each one - who they were married too.

Unlike younger missionary companions, the elders didn't have to stick with their partners.  They each traded off jobs daily.

To those of you who love firearms.  Hint, hint, Micheal.  This is a great story of the Browning Company's founder, John Moses Browning.  John Browning was born in Tennessee in 1805.  As a teenager, he was apprenticed as a gunsmith, started his own shop and was building a successful business.  It was at the time of Lewis and Clark and all the other expeditions, that John decided to move closer to the Mississippi River where all the explorers were heading.  He was smart and knew business. He knew the explorers and the people migrating would need their guns polished up or even better - another new one. What man thinks he has enough guns?  I know that story well.

One day John Browning met the Prophet Joseph Smith down by the Mississippi River.  Browning immediately took a liking to him and joined the church and moved up the river to Nauvoo.  He was converted strongly.

Browning business success lead him to high regard in the community and soon he was elected to be justice of the peace in the county.  During this time, he would communicate with many lawyers traveling the country and guess who was one of those young lawyers?  ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

I LOVE Abraham Lincoln, I have a statue of him in my home.  I've always honored the man.  That needs to be one of my  blog entries alone- Abraham Lincoln, What a Man!  I'll do that some day and tell you what I think of him.

Knowing this information, gave Mike and me a better time line of history.  We started asking more questions to ourselves.  We wanted to learn more. History is so interesting.

Browning was devout about his religion and his firearms. Guns made by him during this time were marked with the words, "Holiness to the Lord - Our Perservation."

I need to take a big breath . . . what has happened now to our country?  I'm shaking my head . . . makes me wonder and scared.

The Browning home was full of resourceful things.  Look at this piece of furniture.  The cream was put in the base of this and the baby on top as the mother sat in the rocking chair mending while rocking her baby to sleep and whipping the cream into butter. How neat!  I think I could be this kind of pioneer.  One that's home safe instead of out on the prairies.

We loved this city and the history contained in it. 
At times, I thought I was with Brigham Young himself.  Just look at Mike's beard.  "Brigham Beard," he stated.

We drove by Emma's house next, I was too in thought - zoned out - wondering about this dear woman to get a picture of her home.  I've seen drawings of Emma and know of too many of her trials. I tried to imagine all that she went through as we drove by, but I shook it off.  I would never be able to endure what she did.  I hold her sacred.

The Smith Family Cemetery is located next to the homestead.  The granite monument marks the final resting place of Joseph, Emma and Hyrum Smith.

Off to the bakery.  We needed something. Oh Mike really got a kick out of this.  "Look at this Kim, the ball meets the chain even back in Nauvoo days!"  I knew I always loved the Mormon gospel. hehe 
Yep, we each got a cookie.  We wanted two, we hadn't eaten for hours because we knew the city closed at 6 pm and we wanted to get it ALL in instead of stepping away for eating.
Nothing better than homemade cookin'.


In another home we toured, the springs in the beds were made from rope and the mattress from straw put in a pillow-like case.  They would hit the pillow coverings each night with a stick to hopefully knock out the bed bugs to the floor below.

It didn't matter where you were in the city, you could see the temple up on the bluff.  Our tour guide told us, "This gave the Saints encouragement and comfort."  Amongst all their trials, they could look upon the temple and have faith in our Lord and Jesus Christ.  "For the temple is a house of God a place of love and duty.  I'll prepare myself while I am young, this is a scared duty."

This is John Taylor home, the man who later became a prophet.  In his belongings that he carried across the plains, was this rocking horse for his son. Originally, he left it behind, but returned because he knew how much his son loved it.  Our precious children and what we do for them.  If they only knew.

Glen H. Milne lives on even in Nauvoo.  A couple months before my dad died, he asked Mike if he would make a handle for one of these old fashioned toys.  My dad played this game when he was a little boy and he wanted to donate something like this to the Pioneer museum in Washington, Utah.  Dad's idea was a little different. His stick had a empty tobacco can to help keep the metal ring turning, but it was the same idea.

Mike said, "Come on Kim, first one down to that tree and back is the winner."  I jumped in and was ahead for a minute, but you know who's always the final winner . . . Michael.

We loved this home's story. I forget whose it was, but he was the postmaster in the community and he had to have the mail service right there in his home.  We never knew how expensive it was to send a letter,  but we were educated by this sister.  25 cents a sheet and that was expensive back in those days. The pioneers would write three different ways on one sheet of paper to help save money.  You had to know the code to decipher; it was pretty neat.

This older sister missionary told us about the shows that were held each night at the Grand Hall.  We were so thankful for all the information these missionaries gave us throughout the day in Nauvoo City so we could experience it all.

TORNADO WARNING UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!  Really?  Should we be scared?  You know me; I kind of was.  It had been a beautiful day so far, the weather man had to be mistaken.

We hurried and ran back to the Visitor's Center to get tickets.  We didn't want to miss a thing.  Rendezvous - 8:30.

Honestly, it was getting close to 6 pm and we for sure wanted to make it to the Blacksmith's shop.  Mike was adamant about getting me a ring and marrying me again - he wants to do it again. Really?

And, we too, didn't want to miss the printing press.  The pioneers printed their own newspaper weekly.  "Let's go see it."

I was in front of Mike when we walked in the door of the printing press when I heard Mike say,  "I've been looking for you all over, Sister Johnson."  Here she is.  Isn't she pretty and you can just feel the energy within her.

Mike asked her where her husband was?  "He's home," she said.  Wow, that's a pretty good gig, older missionaries get resting.

She told us about another show at 6:45 pm, that we had already planned to be there too. Mr. Johnson would be there narrating a big part in the show.  Mrs. Johnson was excited to see us. She said, "Oh, it so fun to see people from back home."

 Here we are . . . meet Mr. Blacksmith.

I'd say this man is a very important one . . . yes, the blacksmith . . .  and  . . . this one too. . . Mikey  Many essentials are made and had by the ambition of these men.

Mike put the ring on my finger right here inside.  I feel like a young girl showing off my beautiful steal diamond.  I like it; I'm going to wear it. It will have much meaning.

The Exodus.  What's that?  I know it's a book in the scriptures, but today it was used in a different context.  Parley street in Nauvoo was titled the "The Trail of Tears."  The pioneers were once again driven out by persecution from non-believers.  Can you imagine the line up of covered wagons on this street headed down to the waterfront as they each lined up and waited for their turn as the wooden barge took each wagon across the Mississippi river.  It was truly a picture in my mind.  I could see it clearly.

An Exodus: a mass departure of people. An exit.  Makes sense.

It was with tears that they looked back at their temple while waiting their turn to cross the river.  It was their house they built for the Lord, they turned it over to Him, their very best work.

Some people know they must leave to survive.

Sad . . . So sad!  I'm crying.

Prophet Spencer W. Kimball later changed  the name to "The Trail of Hope."  Sounds so much better.

Hope. A verb. Definition: To want something to happen or to be the case. A feeling of trust.  A feeling of expectation and desire for certain things to happen. To expect with confidence.

"Tho we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances, Heavenly Father promises the HOPE of His Light."  It's something that we only have when it's all going sooo rough.

I loved the city of Nauvoo.  I could do it again tomorrow.  I loved learning about these famous people. They are famous. Maybe not in the world's eye, but in Heaven, they are glorified!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

LITTLE DO WE KNOW . . .


So true . . . Life?  What's next?

As we left the temple grounds, we stopped and paused . . . and pondered as we read about the Prophet Joseph Smith's last ride.  Joseph and Hyrum Smith never did get to see the finished Nauvoo temple.

Look what we all have to go through.  Trials and Tribulations. It's not fun.

So touching.  Sacred and silent.

MAAAAA GGIE


You just had to hear the way Eric said her name on the audio.  Don't you just love it when you hear your boyfriend or husband call your name?  I do.

Eric was from the countries of Scandinavia, Maggie from Scotland. (That's where my family name is from.  David Milne joined the church in Scotland and came to Utah by boat, via Australia then the United States.  Upon arriving, he met President Brigham in Utah, "Brother Milne you have crossed half way around the world to join us here.  Welcome.  We are going to send you and your family to St. George; I have duties for you.")

Eric was traveling with his brother, Olof alone.  Their parents and other siblings would join them the next year after earning more money.  Eric and Olof didn't know how to speak or understand any English, but President Willie called Maggie to be the English teacher on the ship and that's when it all got started.

Well, not quite. When Eric first stepped on the boat, he noticed Sara, she was very pretty, but it was Maggie, who was standing right next to Sara that put a spark in Eric's heart.

Maggie McKinley was not planning on joining her family to travel to Zion.  She was in love with James. James had just asked Maggie to marry him and she was planning on staying in Scotland.  James was not a member, but a good ambitious boy.  Maggie's mother would surely miss Maggie, but she let Maggie make the choice if only she would do one thing she asked, "Maggie, I just want you to fast and pray about it."

Maggie did and was feeling pretty confident about her decision; she was staying.  James had even come to the place where she was just finishing up her prayer on the park bench and told her the date when they could be married.  She just knew it was the answer.

It was also at that time that Maggie promised her mom that she would meet her at church, so Maggie threw her arms around James, gave him a kiss and ran off to church.  She found she was a bit late when arriving.  The meeting had already started.

Tears poured out of Maggie's eyes and her heart was full.  She had sung all the songs in the hymn book many times, but where did this song come from?  Words in a song never touched her ever like these did that day.  She knew. Oh! she knew. She had to leave James and head to the plains.

More to this story later.  I love romance.  This story kept our main attention.

Speaking of romance.  As Mike and I walked the Nauvoo temple grounds, we admired a young couple coming out of the temple; they had just gotten married. They were in their wedding attire taking pictures. "The fire is in his eyes," Mike teased. "Game night!"  "Oh Mikey," I smiled back at him. "You're such a man!"