Friday, April 29, 2011

Our First Look

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!

Soggy in Kirtland

Well, we made it. Kirtland is beautiful even without very many leaves on trees yet. Won't be doing
much landscaping for a while. Too wet!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lake Michigan

Well, we have had quite an adventure getting here, but here we are at the Sea of Michigan -- we mean, Lake Michigan! It is really big!

A short recap of our journey.

Things have gone quite well -- except for yesterday (Tuesday).  The brief version is that a piece of the trailer frame where one of the trailer springs attach, failed. Broke off entirely and left the spring just sitting against the I-beam.  A man drove by and noticed it, flagged us down, and told us what he saw. We went and looked but he had to show me what he was talking about.  I still couldn't see it.  Can't begin to tell you how he did. Was not readily apparent to me. But the axle had, in fact, moved about three inches forward making it out of alignment.

Had he not stopped us, I suppose it's possible that eventually the undercarriage might have completely failed causing who knows what.

The he said he knew of a place 20 miles down the road that fixed semi-trailers and he thought they might help. They did and three hours later we were on the road again.

We kind of figure the guy who stopped us was not there by accident nor coincidence. Someone is watching out for us and we know who it is.

The second shot is of the place we stayed at the first night out. It's called Lake Ogallala, Nebraska, and was not quite what we expected.  But it was pleasant enough and we weren't there very long.

We'll post a picture of our second nights stay when I figure out how to get it off this new cell phone!  It was a really nice little place.

And we are, of course, 'roughing' it while we are out here far from home in our little RV.  With our cell phone. And our internet anywhere connection. And our microwave oven.  And our Kindle.  Oh, and we are watching our 23 inch plasma TV right now.

Don't you feel sorry for us?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

D-Day (Departure Day!

Well, it's a day early, but we really pushed, got things ready and are leaving a day early.  That way we will miss Monday night/Tuesday mornings storm.

Here are a couple of pictures of our last day spent with the 1st Grade Class at Wright Elementary. Our daughter Julie is the teacher and we have been volunteering for most of this school year.  We help them with reading mostly.  But we also get to help with the parties!!

This is us at a Thanksgiving Point outing. We visited Farm Country and learned all about farm animals! We had a great time!

We will certainly miss them all but are also excited about our new opportunity to help!