Well I have to talk about the Fireflies here in Nauvoo. Now I have never seen fireflies before, and only in movies. I can now say, that how they are portrayed in movies is not at all what they are like in real life. I thought that they just glowed all of the time, but they actually only light up for a few seconds every once in a while. It is so magical though! We have a little space in our backyard where there are a few trees, and they will just light up there. These summer nights in the Midwest are so serene with the warm air encircling around you, hearing the fluttering of moth's wings and seeing the fireflies spontaneously flickering on and off in the nature around you.
Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve came and talked to us on Friday morning about Nauvoo. He gave mostly explanations about the history of Nauvoo, including his own research from when he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. I enjoyed that part a lot, and kind of thought it was funny when I looked down my row of seats and saw most of the young sisters passed out in their seats. It just shows what a history nerd I am, but I thought it was really cool and it helped me gain a better understanding of Nauvoo. He ended his time with us with a testimony of the Holy Ghost, and how important it is to our missionary work. A lot of times when we are giving tours, there will be so many people that companions have to split up. However in stead of thinking that I am alone in teaching a group, I like to think that my companion is the Holy Ghost, and try to involve him in every way that I can. I know that no matter what I say to them, it will not make a difference unless they can feel the spirit and feel closer to Christ. Every day I try to be worthy of the Holy Ghost's companionship and to come closer to Christ. Even though I may not make a lot of progress during a week, I still like the fact that even inching a long is better than nothing.
On Saturday we went on splits from the Laurels that were from Iowa City. They had a Young Women's Camp titled, "Called to Serve", where all of the girls from their stake had to be recommended by their bishop, fill out paperwork, and then received a call to where they would be serving for a weekend. They were then set-apart by their stake president, and assigned a companion. On friday they maintained the missionary schedule, had companionship study and everything, and went to the temple. Then on Saturday, they went on splits with us to see what it was like to be a missionary. Most of the girls were 16, and a bit shy, so I liked to help them get out of their comfort zone. I loved the girls I was paired with, and now they all want to go on a mission to a Visitor's Center!
This past Sunday we were able to watch a performance called, "Our Story Goes On". It is a performance that is put on by the core-cast, the main characters that are there all of the time and don't rotate out like the family casts do. It is a Christian themed performance that shows the different times in all of our lives, and they interweave Broadway songs that apply to their situations. The man who plays Brigham Young sang, "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables, and oh my goodness! I have never heard it sang so beautifully! Most of these cast members are professional singers and it was a treat to hear the Broadway songs sang by people who were on Broadway!
So I don't know if many know this, but supposedly Allred is the third most common last name in the Church. I have heard that a few times, and never really took stock into it, until I got here to Nauvoo. Wearing a name tag with the last name of Allred almost ensures that at least every five minutes I will be stopped by a guest or a senior missionary that asks if I am related to the Allreds in this state, or that town. I have heard literally every state west of Kentucky, and each person brings in a new place where they know Allreds. I am CONVINCED that Allred is at least the top 5 for the most common last name of the Church.
I am so excited that I get to watch the Nauvoo Pageant on Saturday! I am so happy I can see it again :)
This past sunday I was able to serve in Carthage jail. WOW. I was so close to tears in the Martyrdom room, and it was definitely a highlight of my week. I highly encourage everyone to try to come to Nauvoo and to stop by Carthage. The spirit was so strong, and I felt so grateful for Joseph Smith, Hyrum and their sacrifices.
Yesterday I worked a place called Pioneer Pastimes where kids can play Pioneer games. It was just hilarious! One little girl came up to me and said, 'You look just like Snow White, except you need darker hair. That's ok though. Will you play princesses with me?" She was just the cutest and we played pioneer princesses with the dress up clothes. There was also this little boy that is OBSESSED with Doctor Who. He had a long button up shirt, vest, and even the long brown coat. He searched for about an hour to find someone to play with, and finally found a little boy who knew what Doctor Who was, and it was the cutest thing to hear them yell, "Let's go to the Tardis!" and "Look out Rose!" I just love my mission :)