Last week we took our vacation to Nauvoo. What an amazing trip! If you ever have a chance to go, I would totally recommend it! I can't even put into words what kind of experience it was. We flew into St. Louis Saturday morning and picked up our sweet sweet rental car. It was a blue Mercury "cop" car. I should have taken a picture. I started laughing when Kyle pulled up in it! We drove into Nauvoo later that evening with no clue where to go. I tried to call Brett (his brother lives there and manages rental properties. We were staying in one of his houses. Brett and his brothers just happened to be there the same weekend visiting) trying to find out where to go as we pulled into town. He didn't answer. Anyone whose ever been to Nauvoo, knows its not a very big city. We were driving up the main highway and Brett and his brothers were walking down the street across from the temple. I saw him and had Kyle pull over. As I was getting out of the car, I looked down the street the other direction and saw Kyle's brother and niece, Dusty and Kamree. Small world! They independently planned a vacation to the same place at the same time. What are the odds! We spent that evening hanging out with Dusty, Becky, Kamree, and Becky's sister's family (Melanie, Robert, 2 year old Patience and their baby Emma.) We left Kyah behind and watching Patience really made me miss her! It was our first time meeting little Emma. She is just 4 months younger than Spencer, so I like to joke about them getting married. I took pictures of them together thinking it would be cute to have infant pictures in a wedding video someday! :)
Sunday we went to the missionaries ward. Holy heavens, I've never seen so many couple missionaries in my life! I felt like I was in Stake Conference....it went through the overflows and into the cultural hall! That evening, we headed out to what would be my favorite part of the trip...Carthage Jail. Brett took us out there and we just happened to get there at the same time as Dusty and the family again. We had to laugh at the missionary who was working that tour that day. After watching the 20 minute video they have about Joseph Smith, she came in and asked us if we had time to see the tour of the house. The look on Brett's face was priceless. No ma'am, we drove all the way out here to watch the video. Thanks, have a good day. Taking the tour was so humbling. To stand there in the bedroom where the martyrs of Joseph and Hyrum took place was incredible. The original door is still there. There is a bullet hole in the middle of the door that you can stick your finger through. It is the shot that hit Hyrum in the face and killed him. It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that I was standing on the same floors, in front of the same window Joseph fell out of. It's something words just can't explain.
The whole group standing outside the jail.
We spent the rest of the week casually taking all the tours of all the houses. We were there the perfect amount of time. We were mostly constantly busy, but never rushed and we got to tour all the houses. I got to see everything that I wanted to. The spirit that is felt there is SO strong. Even Kyle felt it. He really enjoyed himself too. I couldn't believe how excited he got about some of the things we saw. Mom and I said that when the kids are all a little older, we want to plan a big trip back there with all the family. Mom and I were able to go to the Nauvoo Temple Wednesday night. They have tried to make it as accurate as possible in recreating it. It is all really incredible.
Driving around such a small town, it had a feel of being back in the old days, and we didn't feel it necessary to obey current laws! :) It got really old, really fast to put Spencer back in his seat when we were just driving house to house. It started by just not buckling him in. Then we just started holding him on our laps. He thought he was pretty hot stuff!
This is one of my favorite memorials. Mom and I went on a walk Sunday evening and ended up here at sunset. The picture does not do justice to what we saw.....seeing the sun setting over the river, with the temple right behind us. So Amazing! The plaque on the statue says that Hyrum and Joseph stopped at the top of the hill before they left for Carthage for the last time. They were looking back at the unfinished temple and Joseph said "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them."
I am so grateful for the experience I had. I had a hard time leaving. When we got back to Salt Lake, we decided to finish up the tour and go downtown to Temple Square and take a tour of the Beehive house. It was interesting to see how different it was from Brigham's house in Nauvoo. Then I just have to add one more thing....Sunday, in Sacrament, our special musical number was the men in the choir singing Praise to the Man. Kyle leaned over to me and said, that's fitting, isn't it.