We are in Missouri! (and they Welcome us!)
|This is at Winter Quarters|
We are here. We had a great trip across the country and we even stopped at Winter Quarters and visited the historical sites there. We decided that we wanted the full dose of all of the important sites of the early Saints.
We came into Missouri on Wednesday afternoon and immediately met with our mission president, President Donald Keyes. He is a great man and we had a wonderful visit with him. He gave us our assignment to find and rescue the Young Single Adults of the Liberty Stake. There are over 500 young people. Not all of them are lost but a good share of them need to be found. President Keyes asked us to spend our first couple of days getting settled into our apartment and visiting all of the Visitor Centers and historical sites.
This is the Mission Office. It used to be the Mission President's home.
We have been to Costco and Wal-Mart to buy all of our supplies. We feel like newlyweds. We had to buy all of our spices, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. and then after we spent a lot of money we had to ask ourselves if we had anything to eat. Good memories.
We are so amazed how comfortable we are here. We have a very nice apartment, a nice vehicle (we brought Greg’s truck) and we feel like we already are starting to know our way around. Life here in Independence is a little bit different than Africa. I have to say, for me anyway, the biggest difference is the smells and the ease of getting around.
There is real wild-life here as well. This deer felt safe and secure and posed for us to take her picture. She lives at Adam-oindi-ahman.
We do miss the people in Africa very much. They will always hold a dear place in our hearts. They are so humble and so willing to listen to the message of the Gospel. I am sure we will have wonderful experiences here in Missouri but it will be very different from Africa.
In the pioneer days, and not just the Mormon pioneers, but all traveling west, there was a saying: “Have you seen the elephant?” That had many different meanings, and is not really used anymore, but it meant to express the excitement and the fears of “seeing” the West and experiencing the frontier. Well, we spent the first night in Sidney, Nebraska. That is the world headquarters of Cabala’s. Their first store was there, but now they have a huge store with a lake out front so you can test your boat or fishing stuff. Inside is a big stuffed elephant. So, we can truly say, “We have seen the elephant!”
We went to the Haun’s mill massacre site. JB tells us the Church has recently purchased this from the Community of Christ Church (formerly the RLDS). There is nothing there except a sign and a dirt road leading to Shoal Creek. All around are beautiful farms. I was interested in the sign on the road. I know that those opposed to the early Church really just wanted to kill Joseph Smith. Based on the bullet hole in the sign, there are still people who want to kill him, again.
We went to Adam-ondi-ahman (known here as AOA) and were impressed by its beauty and that it is also a well-managed farm. We have been able to confirm that it is a mission unto itself. Although it is “in” the Missouri Independence Mission boundaries, it is not part of it. President Monson is the Mission President. Those serving there are in the Adam-ondi-ahman Mission.
Our mission headquarters are across the street from the Community of Christ Tabernacle and Temple and our Visitors Center is kiddy-corner to the Temple Lot. It is a bit confusing because there are several groups here that all have similar names. These are the main ones:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (us)
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now the Community of Christ)
The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Christ-Temple Lot
We have a mailing address:
Elder and Sister Haws
207 East Sea Avenue #4
Independence, MO 64050
We will tell you more about this place in coming blogs. There is lots of cool stuff to talk about.