Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 4: Last Day in Nauvoo

Monday was our last day in Nauvoo.
 First off, we took a carriage ride through Old Nauvoo.  The carriage ride showed us many of the homes that could be toured as well as some of the homes that can not be toured and told stories about those who lived in these homes.  I really wish I had brought my journal with me on this trip...or at least a notebook.  While I know I felt the spirit, I really can't remember the details that were shared.  Except one.  I was very touched by this quote from President Hinckley:
"Today, facing west, on the high bluff overlooking the city of Nauvoo, thence across the Mississippi, and over the plains of Iowa, there stands Joseph’s temple, a magnificent house of God. Here in theSalt Lake Valley, facing east to that beautiful temple in Nauvoo, stands Brigham’s temple, the Salt Lake Temple. They look toward one another as bookends between which there are volumes that speak of the suffering, the sorrow, the sacrifice, even the deaths of thousands who made the long journey from the Mississippi River to the valley of the Great Salt Lake."
I just love that imagery...Joseph's temple and Brigham's temple standing as bookends. 

 So grateful for the temple.   After our carriage ride, we went to the temple and did Baptisms.  It was another wonderful experience.  A member of the temple presidency spoke to us.  We were told that the baptismal font in the Nauvoo Temple is the biggest in the world.  He talked about how family history and temple work are done for real people, people who lived and loved and who need our help to progress.  He also let us walk to the bottom of this amazing spiral staircase that stretches up toward the top of the Nauvoo Temple.  He spoke of eternity.  Michelle really felt like her time in the Chicago Temple and the Nauvoo Temple were the highlights of the trip for her.  

Then we went to see a show at the Cultural Hall..."Just Plain Anna Amanda".  It was a cute and fun story about a girl named Anna Amanda who wants to be important.  She keeps borrowing items from other townspeople to help her feel important...but ultimately she realizes that the best person for her to be is herself.

 I found out on Sunday evening that my friend Leslie's niece is a performing missionary in Nauvoo.  I had seen her name tag and wondered if she was related to Leslie.  So after the show I introduced myself, explained how I knew Leslie (we were in the same singles ward about 15 or so years ago) and gave her a hug from her aunt.

After the show, we headed to the Family Living Center.  At the Family Living Center, you can see demonstrations or even participate in pioneer era activities.  Michelle helped make a rope and was able to get a rope to keep.  We watched them creating a rug out of strips of fabric on a loom and learned about that process.  We learned about the process of making candles.  And one of the sisters there had the same last name as a family in our I asked her and she is their aunt/great aunt!  It's a small world! :)

 As we learned about candle making, I found it interesting to hear about the courting candle.  The candlestick had spirals and the courting couple were allowed to visit until the candle reached the top of the spiral.  The father could/would either wind the candle down to the bottom of the candlestick so that only a small amount of candle poked out at the top if he didn't like the young that they only had a short time to visit.  Or if he did like the young man, he could twist it so that more of the candle was above the top spiral so they'd have a longer time to visit.

 Whenever we travel, we get photos of the signs of the states we are in.  The signs for Iowa (which is where our hotel was located...only 20 miles or so outside Nauvoo) and Illinois are on a bridge and it wasn't a safe place to stop and get photos so Michelle just did her best out the car window.

 One thing we didn't get to do was the Oxen Ride.  We ran out of time.  Another thing that I wish we'd had time for was the Trail of Hope.  It rained a fair amount while we were there, and so the official Trail of Hope was cancelled.  Basically, it is a short trail where the wagons lined the street as they were leaving Nauvoo.  If you looked behind you, you could see the town and the temple.  (On the carriage ride, we rode down the Trail of Hope so we kind of got the experience.)  Along the trail, there are signs posted with journal entries of different saints who left Nauvoo.  I read a few of the signs while we were on the carriage ride, but it moved too quickly to read all of them. I think that would have been very moving.

Michelle was hungry and it was lunch time so we headed up Mulholland Street to do a little shopping for souvenirs and to get lunch.  We'd eaten at Annie's Custard on Saturday...they had delicious waffles topped with custard.  That's what Michelle wanted for lunch on Monday, so we ate there again.  Very tasty.

Then, sadly, it was time to leave and start heading back to Chicago.  We stopped at this beautiful spot just outside of Nauvoo to take a few last photos.  There was a very small waterfall and it was a lovely little area.

 Our drive back was long.  We were listening to A Pillar of Light (the first book in the Work and the Glory series).  Michelle was tired and slept a fair amount of the drive back.  Overall, things went well.  But it rained nearly the whole drive and there were several times when it was raining so hard that I could only see a few feet ahead of me.  Especially since I was driving in unfamiliar areas, that made me quite nervous.  And twice my phone got an emergency alert (with a beeping noise like an emergency broadcast on tv...but thankfully it only lasted for a second or two) that there was a flash flood warning in effect in that area.  That only added to my nerves.  But fortunately, we made it safely to our hotel and checked in.  Michelle did her own hair and liked the way it looked and wanted a photo.  :)   Then we returned our rental car, had a bit of a fiasco getting back to the hotel but made it back and went to sleep since we needed to leave for the airport at 4:15 A.M.  Fortunately, everything with our flight home went smoothly and it was so nice to be home again.  Such a wonderful trip!!  However, next time (when Ella turns 12), I will either take her to Palmyra instead...or fly to St. Louis instead of Chicago.  Chicago is a neat city, but the traffic was insane and we spent too much of our time driving.

Tired but happy...our last photo together on this trip!