We started getting oriented today. The senior missionaries here are great and we are sure to enjoy our experience here. This feels like a very special place!!
Some of the things we had recently learned about Kirtland, have been confirmed and expanded on. Kirtland was a place very special in the development of the Church and Gospel in our time. More things happened here than anywhere else, even more than Nauvoo. In Nauvoo's prime, it rivaled Chicago for the largest city in Illinois. In Kirtland's prime it rivaled Cincinnati for the largest city in Ohio. We'll try to list more of those things as we learn more fully about them.
These first two pictures are of the Whitney Store. Newell K. Whitney was a special man in Church history. He owned most of the businesses in Kirtland and made it all available to the Church. The stock is all a re-creation, but is taken from ledgers kept by Brother Whitney and is, therefore, an authentic representation of what he had.
The second of the two pictures is of the upper level of the store where Joseph taught the brethren about the Gospel and other things -- the School of the Prophets. Here the Lord appeared to them on one occasion.
There was a scourge on Kirtland referred to in the Doctrine and Covenants (124:83). That scouraged was lifted only a few years ago by President Benson. Since then, the presence of the Church has been steadily expanding and the area has prospered.
They have told us here that no one comes to Kirtland unless called by Joseph to do so. Hmmm.
The last picture is of the ashery, another one of Brother Whitney's businesses. Ashes were processed here to be used in making soap and other things. It was a very profitable trade, in those days. Pictured is the final product called Pearl Ash. It is this product that was sent to other areas to be used in producing soap and the other items.
One last thing. We had been told that they had some sprinkler/watering problems before we arrived. They have been apparently trying to resolve them for some time and have been quite excited that we might bring the ability to resolve those issues. And, having learned a little of those concerns, we believe we just might be able to help.
We will also be helping to prepare the flower beds for a big flower planting party on May 21st.
Louise, our sort of supervisor, said that all of the new arrivals have come with talents and abilities which are specifically needed here. She insisted that we were sent here in answer to prayer. And she was sure of it because she was the one who had been doing the praying!
Now we are doing a bit of praying of our own, that they will not be disappointed!