Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stand in Holy Places

Zions Camp, Missionary Apartments and Gigi

There is lots of road construction here, but they have a sense of humor

By Debi:

I am back! I have been in West Virginia for ten days.  Our daughter delivered her sweet baby girl on October 31st.  We now have a Halloween baby.  I have to say she is the cutest little goblin I have ever seen.  I know that some might say I am prejudice but I am sure I am right this time.

I had a great time holding down the fort while my daughter went to the hospital.  Aurora, 3 years old, and Dash, 19 months old, kept me very busy.  We played hide and seek, house, and hours of swinging in the back yard.

Millie and Robert brought home a beautiful baby girl named Georgia (nickname Gigi).  Even though she was three weeks early she weighed 7 lb. 14 oz. and 21 inches long.  Two days later she was readmitted to the hospital with a very serious case of jaundice.  I stayed with Millie and Georgia while Robert stayed home with the children.  It was a very special night for me.  I held little Gigi’s hand for most of the night. As long as I held her hand she was quiet and calm, but if I let go, she would start to become restless and agitated.  I am so grateful for the strength I received to be able to give the support needed throughout the night. The Lord knows and loves us and does support us in our times of need.

Mother and baby are now home and doing great. I love this little family and I will forever be grateful for this wonderful experience with my family.

There is no rest for the weary.  The morning after I flew back to our mission Greg and I went to the Liberty Stake girl’s camp for a day of service. The new girl’s camp is called “Zion’s Camp”.

It is on property that the early Saints owned and lived on.  It is also near the site where Joseph and Hyrum were tricked into coming out to meet with General Lucas.  They were arrested and sentenced to hang in the morning.  Through the determined support of General Doniphan they were not shot on the spot but were arrested and taken to Independence and then eventually to the Liberty Jail.  Greg and I are so amazed how almost every area we visit is filled with Church history.  What a solemn feeling we felt as we stood on the very site of Joseph Smith’s arrest and we pondered the feelings and heartbreak that he must have felt. This new girl’s camp is in a beautiful place full of history. It will be a great blessing to the Young Women and the members in this area for many years to come.

Distance does make the heart grow fonder.  Since I have been back Greg has spoiled me with his love and attention.   While I was away I missed celebrating our 40th anniversary. So Greg took me to a very nice restaurant last night and we had a wonderful time being together.

I am so thankful for Greg and his love and devotion.  Not only has he been my companion on our mission but he has been my companion for 40 years during the good and the hard times of our journey here on earth.  I am looking forward to many more years and then onto the eternities.


By Greg:

Sometimes I am so stupid.  Friday night I was to pick Debi up at the airport when she arrived at 11:00 pm.  Well, I had a meeting from 7 to 9:30 sort of close to the airport.  The KCI is way north and I did not know what to do so I went to a big building near there and waited in the parking lot next to a big pond.  While there I listened to “The Savage Report” on the radio.  I think I actually fell asleep.  When I woke I realized the cabin lights were also on.  I thought, “Oh Crap! (Sorry, that’s what I thought). I have probably run my battery down.” Sure enough, it would not start.  No one was around for a jump, and it was 10:45.  How could I get to Debi?  Then I remembered that this is why I have AAA.  I called, thank goodness my GPS map still worked so I could tell them where I was and soon Mel’s Towing came and jumped me at 11:15 and Debi called at 11:20 and I was there at her gate just like nothing had happened.  I considered not telling her, but, hey, crisis plus time equals humor.

I spent the entire time Debi was gone with Elder Lillywhite.  We have been trying to locate and rent 8 apartments, each in a different city, and stock them with furniture.  I have gone with him to thrift stores, estate sales, more thrift stores, yard sales, more thrift stores and second hand furniture stores.  We do not buy used mattresses, so we are now best friends with the local “cheap mattresses for sale-still in box” guys.  We are also on a first name basis with the used appliance guys. We put washers and dryers in apartments that have hook-ups. This is what our "Bat Cave" looks like on the inside.

President Keyes has instructed us to find clean, safe apartments that do not overlook swimming pools or other distractions.  He wants them to have plenty of natural light (he has found dark basements lead to depression in some missionaries).  Each set needs two beds.  They must sleep in the same room, but in separate beds.  They each need a desk and a good study chair, as well as a dining table of some kind, with chairs.  We also try to give each set a couch, a dresser, a book case and perhaps some soft chairs.  We have found a lot of lazy-boys.  We hope that means the chairs, not the Elders.  We also stock them with all the kitchen and bathroom stuff.  Each set also gets an ironing board, an iron, toilet brush and a vacuum.  We hope they know how to use each.  I come home very tired each night.  I don’t know how Elder Lillywhite (I call him either Chief or Captain o’ my Captain) does it.  He is truly a great soul! Debi has been wondering what I have been doing.  I keep talking about our "Cave" so she has gone looking for me.  Actually we don't know what this is, but it looked pretty cool.  It is probably a storm shelter of some kind.

We were at the Stake Center working in the “Bat Cave” and we realized that there was a big event going on.  It was in the middle of the day.  I inquired and found out one of our members died and it was his funeral.  He is a Polynesian and was part of a family that had 14 children.  He was in his early 40s and suffered a heart attack.  The entire group of people attending seemed like Polynesians.  There is a sizable group of Pacific Islanders living here.  Anyway, they hired a horse drawn hearse to take him from the Church to the cemetery.  I took this picture as they were setting up.

After 10 days of lifting and moving furniture, we went to the girls camp (they are calling it Zions Camp) and spent a few hours lifting and hauling logs.  Debi built this pile of logs almost as tall as she is.  It gave us a special appreciation for the early pioneers who cleared this land with axes and hand saws.  The men were using chain saws and free missionary labor.  Their plan is to make this a mini-Heber camp.  It is a great place and a great plan.

The real Zions camp was a group of 229 Latter-day Saint men who answered the call to travel the 1,000 miles from Kirtland to Missouri.  The Saints had been instructed by the then Govenor, David Dunklin of Missouri that if they gathered together a sufficient group of men he would join them with the Missouri militia and help restore the Saints to their lands in Jackson County.  Joseph Smith received a revelation (Section 103) to call men to this service.

They were engaged during May and June of 1834.  This was Joseph’s third visit to Missouri.  The average age of the men was 29, the youngest was 16, but one man was 79. 

When word reached the Old Settlers that a Mormon army was on its way all “heck” broke loose.  The Missouri Mob/Militia gathered to meet the Mormon Camp/Militia at Fishing River.  This would have been a terrible battle except a fierce storm arose and the Missourians dispersed.
This is near the Fishing River site.

The Governor withdrew his offer and eventually the Camp disbanded.  While they were waiting for further instructions a cholera epidemic broke out killing 13 of the camp.

Most historians point to the fact that 8 of the original 12 apostles were in the camp.  All of the original council of Seventies was in the camp.  Also, this was a great training experience. 

The Lord later told Joseph that the land around Far West was Holy.  This new camp is very close to the Far West Temple site.  The Liberty Stake motto for their Young Women is “Stand in Holy Places”.  This is a fitting challenge for all of us!

Also, they had Tee Shirts that said their girls were "On Fire".
Perhaps many of the things we do in live, even the really hard things, are "training" for something to come.  The brethren learned a lot about moving people and things in Zions Camp.  Also, they learned to follow their leader.  This was not easy for Americans in the early 1800s.  These people were, by nature, very independent.  But if they were to become "one" as the Lord called them to be, they needed to submit their will to that of the Lord.  Much of what we do is to help us to do this as well.  Even girls camps are focused on this training.  I hope we are all on fire and that we all stand in holy places.

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