Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Just Plain Anna Amanda"

"Just Plain Anna Amanda" is a children's show performed twice a day by the YPM's.  Before the show, they have a puppet show with Granny and the twins.  The performers don't even TRY to be ventriloquists but they tell really cheesy jokes (reminds me of scout jokes - so silly you have to laugh) and they also have the children sing primary songs with them.

I'd like you to meet Anna Amanda Adelia Applebee.  She gets her name from two grandmothers, her mother and her father, and several physical and character traits from various other relatives.  No one calls her by her whole name - everyone calls her Just Plain Anna Amanda.  She dreams of being "important".

She gets the idea that having "things" will make her important so throughout this VERY funny play, she trades or borrows "things" from all the people she meets.  Boots from a man who is working on the temple. (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of him).  Satchels that came all the way from Boston, Mass assa chu sets from a couple of twin friends who are always arguing.
A bonnet from England.


The schoolmaster's cloak.  (Sorry again - no picture.)  As she gets these "things" she puts them all on and then she can't walk and falls down and can't get up.

She decides in the end that she would just rather be herself.  Then she invites a child from the audience to come up and sing the final song with the cast and makes them feel REALLY important.

After the play, the cast goes outside and talks to all the children and their parents.  I've seen this girl many times get down on a child's level, look straight into their eyes and ask, "Do you KNOW how important you are?"  The kids love it - kids of all ages. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Young Performing Missionaries 2012

I need to tell you about our AMAZING young performing missionaries (YPM's) before I forget because we will have a whole new group next summer. 

This is a very unique mission for these young people.  They audition to be able to come here only for the summer months - middle of May to middle of August.  They are anywhere from just graduating from high school to 24 years old.  One of the girls this year was only 17, some are returned missionaries, some college students, and one received his full time mission call to Chile while he was here.  They are actually "called" to the mission, wear the name tags, obey mission rules, etc.

They are the most talented, cheerful, energetic, outgoing, hard working people I have ever met.  They go non-stop from 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night, 6 days a week.  They sing and dance and play instruments, and act, and just talk to people all day every day.  They joke about maybe getting an extra hour on Sunday to maybe take a nap.

The Nauvoo Brass Band performs all day long.  They ride around in a horse drawn wagon and play all through the streets.  Sometimes they stop and give longer concerts at the Cultural Hall, or the Women's Garden, or the Visitor's Center, or other places.  They perform before and during Sunset by the Mississippi and Pageant.  When they go by the sites, everyone stops what they're doing and waves and they smile and wave back (if they have a free hand). 

This day was too hot for the horses to be out so they crowded into the cultural hall for a performance.  It was really loud.

The stage performers do two shows per day of "Just Plain Anna Amanda", and two shows of  "High Hopes and River Boats", they perform in Sunset by the Mississippi every night (I already showed you pictures of that), and some of them are in Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo every night.  During the day (in between shows) they divide into groups and walk the streets with their instruments and little red wagon performing along the way and stopping to perform on street corners.

 What they can do to a primary song or a hymn is incredible - pure magic.


Some nights they perform on the Trail of Hope, singing and telling stories from the journals of some of the people who lived here.  I'll show you pictures of that on another post.

When you ask them how they can keep all their characters straight, they say they can't do it alone.  Then they look up - and smile.  We really miss them.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Carthage Visitor's Center & Jail

Carthage Visitor's Center & Jail

We have been assigned to serve at Carthage a few times now and we love it.  It's about a half hour's drive from Nauvoo so it's nice that we don't have to make that drive everyday.  I always thought it would be a terrible place because of what happened there - but it is so beautiful and there is such a feeling of peace.
 Between the parking lot and the visitor's center you hear soft uplifting music playing and there is a beautiful garden with reader boards of quotes. 
This is my favorite.
Inside the Visitor's Center there are pictures of how the jail was remodeled through the years.
Pictures of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

 There is a history room with beautiful artwork depicting the history of the church.
Guests are invited into a theater room to view a film entitled "Impressions of a Prophet". 
Now - for a tour of the jail. The jail's walls are nearly three feet thick at the base and two feet thick at the top.  The summer kitchen was added in 1850 (after the martyrdom).
This is the inside of the summer kitchen.
This is the main eating area for the jailer, George Stigall, his wife, and seven children.

These are a couple of views of the main living area for the jailer and his family.

You can see the thickness of the walls when you look at the windowsills.

This is the debtor's cell where Joseph and Hyrum and 8 other men who had come to support & protect them spent the first night, June 25, 1844.


The next morning Joseph sent 3 of the men on errands connected with the upcoming trial.  Mobs were gathering outside the jail and Mr. Stigall decided to move the remaining 7 men upstairs for their protection. 
He could have put them into the dungeon cell. 
There are only 3 narrow slits in the two foot thick rock walls for light and ventilation.

The jailer chose not to lock the men in this cell, but this is where Willard Richards dragged the wounded John Taylor and hid him after Hyrum and Joseph were killed.  Instead, the jailer let the men stay in his own bedroom.  I do not think he believed that they were bad men.  Seven men slept here the night of June 26.  The mobs were still outside and a shot rang out about midnight.

The next morning Joseph sent three more men on errands connected with the pending trial.  That left Joseph, Hyrum, Willard Richards and John Taylor there.  A little before 5:00 p.m. on June 27,  some members of the mob stormed up these stairs.
Two shots were fired through the door, one on the edge and one that killed Hyrum instantly.

Shots were also fired from outside, hitting Joseph twice and then from the doorway hitting him twice more and causing him to fall from the window.  The mob raced down the stairs to make sure he was dead and someone yelled, "The Mormon's are coming!"  The mob dispersed and ran away, leaving Willard Richards and John Taylor still alive. 
The mob believed that if they killed Joseph, they would kill the church.  What they didn't understand was that is wasn't Joseph's church - it's Christ's church and it cannot be stopped.