Saturday, September 24, 2011

From Independence to Nauvoo!

We started our day early, and headed to the Visitors Center in Independence, Missouri.  We took a short tour giving a brief history of the time that the saints were here.  It seemed like a sad, terrible time, yet those great men and women had such positive happy attitudes through it all.  It was a great faith booster for me.  We learned that there are at least 3, if not 4, break-offs from our church that have built buildings/temples all around just a few acres of land.  They are all bunched together, trying to be close to the temple spot that was dedicated so long ago.
Here is the marker of the actual spot.  The land is owned by the 'Hedrikites', and they have a very small building.  We went inside, heard an older man talk about the plot of land, and give a small history of what happened within their church.  His question for us was "Which branch of the church are you from?"  Our answer was "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."  And he replied, "Oh, so the Salt Lake branch".  It was interesting to see his take on things.
Across the street was the Community of Christ church building (formally RLDS).  Some serious changes in their beliefs have happened lately.  How convenient of them to conform to the world. 
 And this shiny, gawdy building is the Community of Christs' temple and Visitor Center.  We were interested to go inside their museum, because they had a lot of Joseph and Emmas' original things.  Unfortunately the building was closed (it was Labor Day). 

Next stop was the Liberty Jail.  The jail was a cold, dark, awful time for our prophet and his companions, yet my favorite part of this history, are the revelations that he received full of comfort, peace, and a promise of safety and freedom again.  It was such a spiritual experience, and was wonderful.  And the people that were going through the tour with us happened to be great-great-great- grandchildren of Hyrum Smith.  Pretty neat.
After our time at Liberty Jail we went to the Far West temple site.  It was a bit of a drive, but it turned out nice.  It is just SO pretty in the midwest!  I just couldn't get enough of the green lush scenery.
The original cornerstones are still in place.  It looks like it will be a very small temple, but David disagreed.  I think I will trust him, because he knows more about building and dimensions than me. 
It will be wonderful when we can build a temple there.  When the growth and population allows for it.  The spirit was strong and the feeling of peace was very real on that ground.  David said later that Far West was his favorite stop in Missouri.
We spent a while at Far West and then journeyed on.  After another leg of the trip we got to Adam-ondi-Ahmen.  Even being on that sacred ground was overwhelming.  I just kept saying how blessed and lucky and thankful we were to be there, at Adam-ondi-Ahmen. 

And just a few more shots of the beauty of the area, and us on Preachers Rock, where Joseph Smith was said to have preached quite a few times.  No one was there with us, which was nice for the quiet, but the downfall was, there was no one to take our picture together! 

The day was closing fast, and we planned on getting to Nauvoo before dark, so we headed on toward Illinois. 
We spent just a few minutes in Iowa, just to say that we went to Iowa, and then headed across the HUGE Mississippi.  I had never seen a river much bigger then the Silver Creek, or a lake bigger then Lake Powell, so the Mississippi River was a sight!!  It was huge, and spectacular!
Driving right along the banks of the Mississippi was awesome.  SO big, and beautiful, and at sunset too!  We pulled into my parents apartment right as the sun went down, and unloaded the truck.  They were away at a performance when we got there so I made myself at home and started a quick load of laundry, nosed around and waiting impatiently for them to get home!

....And for next time; seeing my parents =), our time at Carthage Jail, and maybe a bit more about our first day in Nauvoo!

Friday, September 16, 2011

OOohhh- KK-lahoma!

To correctly read that title, you must sing it. Which I did, over and over, all through the state of OK, yet again, driving David crazy! =)
So, about the time we passed into Oklahoma, everything got really pretty.  Green, grass, wildflowers, trees, etc.  I realized that not all of America is dry, dirt and desert on our trip across this country.  It was SO beautiful, and I kept oowwing and ahhhing, which was also probably driving David crazy!
 So, for a little background, David and his family lived in Oklahoma for about 6 or 7 months when he was senior in high school (17 years ago, YIKES!)  They attended a branch in Clinton that we planned into our trip, so we could get to Sacrament Meeting while on our drive.  Here is the church building, which by the way, now holds a ward, not just a branch!  The church is growing, even in Oklahoma!  David saw a few people that he recognized, and he was able to visit with them.  It was nice to have the opportunity to get to go to that ward in Clinton with David.  He really enjoyed it.
 And here is where they lived.  Taloga, OK is a tiny town about 35 minutes north from their chapel and branch.  Not many LDS people in small town Oklahoma, I discovered. 
 Here is the school that David and his sisters and brother went to.  It held all grades, K-12.  Davids graduating class had 13 people in it.  Yes, thirteen. 

 And here is the house that they lived in.  No one actually used that 'front door', because that is the room that David and his brother Ben used.  We would have gotten another angle of the house, but there where several people out on the back porch, and we didn't want to make a scene!
 And just for the Peterson family, I also included pictures of the grocery stores that they shopped at.  The top one is still in business, and the bottom (yes, the sideways one) is empty, and for sale. 

 And here is a shot of the park that the kids played at all the time. 
We spent some time driving the streets, talking about Davids memories, and getting to see things that still look exactly the same, even after 17 years.  Gotta love small towns, some things never change!

After our time in Clinton and Taloga, we headed on toward Kansas City.  It was a beautiful drive.

We drove through Kansas on our way, and because I don't know any songs with "Kansas" in them, so I said,  "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore".  David told me, "But we ARE in Kansas!"  I guess he was right...

We got to our hotel in Kansas City, MO.  Did you know that there are two Kansas City's?  One in Kansas, and one right across the state border in Missouri?  Well, I didn't!  We went to a very authentic Chinese restaurant, and watched Chinese TV.  It was almost funny how very transported we were.  Not a word of English in the whole restaurant.  Just from our table...

David, back at the hotel, studying up on our next day of touring and traveling.  We had the great opportunity to go to Liberty Jail, Far West, and Adam-ondi-omen (yep, still don't know how to spell it...)

......stay tuned for our next day, chock full of church sights throughout Missouri.  It was wonderful and spiritual, all at the same time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

From Snowflake AZ to Shamrock TX

I have more pictures then you can possibly imagine, and so I figured that I would be nice and cut my blog posts down into smaller segments.  Your welcome.
Last Saturday, September 3rd, David and I woke up early, and finished getting things ready and cleaned up.  We left our wonderful children in the capable hands of Davids' sister Eva. We owe her HUGE! Here is a quick picture that David took on our way out the door.  Five groggy and sweet kiddos eating their cereal, and one cute little niece too!
We drove away at about 7:30 am and headed eastward. It was a wonderful drive, in a super nice truck, with all the bells and whistles. We even had cruise control and a reliable air conditioner! I know that is pretty commonplace, but not for me. My van is on the last toe of its last leg, so cruise control and air conditioning is a real treat!! The ride was cushy and comfortable.  
 This is our one and only picture we took in New Mexico.  This is the prettiest thing you will probably see in the whole state.  Between Snowflake and Amarillo, it is the most boring scenery there ever was.  And that is a fact.
Passing into Texas.  I had never been to Texas so it was pretty exciting for me.  I kept singing "if you want to play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band".  I was driving David crazy. 
 BUT... look what we found!  Cadillac Ranch is literally in the middle of nowhere, and such a fun, busy stop.  David and I tried our hand at spray painting, and both decided that we will leave graffiti for the pros.  But it sure was fun to paint the cars, and stretch our legs.  Oh, and we didn't need to bring our own spray paint.  There were cans scattered all over the place.  Talk about graffiti and litter!!

This picture will not post the right way, but you get the idea. It was super fun... and windy! 

 The guy behind us in the red tanktop jersey had more color on him then the cars!  He was COVERED in bright tattoos.  David and I had a laugh about it, after the fact of course....  he may have just killed us!
Here is the largest cross in the United States.  It is hard to gauge the size of this thing (especially sideways!), but it really is HUGE.  You can kind of make out some telephone poles down in the tree line, above the rearview mirror.  =)  That's how big it is.
 And this is a fun little water tower that is all skiwampus and crooked.  Even sideways!
We found our hotel in the tiny town of Shamrock, TX.  We ventured out to find a place to eat.  We found a ma and pop restaurant, and enjoyed a delicious meal swimming in grease and gravy.  YUM!  I really liked sitting quietly and listening to all the thick Texan accents around us.  It made me smile, and feel a little out of place.  We headed back to our hotel room in the pouring rain.

 Sunday morning, before heading toward Oklahoma for church, we found a famous gas station that had been seen in movies, and grabbed a few pictures there.  I still don't know what movie the gas station is from (anyone??), but it is done up nice, and has a little gift shop inside. 

...stay tuned for the next post that will take us from Shamrock, TX into Clinton and Taloga, OK, and onto Kansas City, MO! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One more then twenty-nine

Me, sitting on Preachers Rock at Adam-ondi-ahmen (sp?)

I still will not actually say "thirty".  I prefer "one more then twenty-nine".  I don't quite know what I have against being 30, but it is a strong dislike of the idea.  Where it came from?  I don't know.  So I celebrate turning older then I ever wanted to admit to being today.  It has been a very regular, slow type of a day.  Same busyness this morning getting ready for church.  A bit more hyper kiddos during Sacrament Meeting, and one sad, sick little boy (Jay) to interrupt Relief Society.  I got a nice nap after church (still trying to catch up on some sleep from our nice week long retreat to Nauvoo! TONS more on that soon!) and a yummy dinner made by my wonderful husband.  I know that my age sounds older then I want it to, but I still feel the same.   So, happy birthday to me!