Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bare naked Indians, tornados and other stuff

By Greg:

When I was a boy my Haws grandparents lived in Salt Lake City near the Liberty Park.  When we went to visit them we would turn off Beck Street and go up Victory Road, pass in front of the State Capitol and then go down State Street.  My brother, Kenny, and I would enjoy seeing the big statue of an amazing Indian that stood in front of the building. As he was scantily clothed, we called him the Bare Naked Indian.

This is the original "Naked Indian" in front of the Capitol Building

I later learned that this statue was made by an artist named Cyrus E. Dallin.  He was a famous Utah born artist that did many sculptors.  Among his most famous works (he did over 260 works) and their locations are General Winfield Scott, Gettysburg Battlefield; Sir Isaac Newton, Library of Congress; Equestrian Statue of Paul Revere, Old North Church, Boston; Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Syracuse, New York;  Massasoit, Plymouth Massachusetts; and the Angel Moroni, Salt Lake City Temple.

This week we were in Kansas City looking for an apartment near what is called The Plaza.  I looked across the street and on the corner I saw this statue of a lone Indian.  I told Sister Haws, “That looks like the bare naked Indian!” I did a legal U-turn and we went back to the statue.  Sure enough, it is a copy of the original that stands opposite Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This is the Indian chief that helped the pilgrims.  He is the reason we have Thanksgiving. I think Massachusetts is named after him.

This is the statue in Kansas City, Missouri

We Googled this and found that there are five other casts from the original.  One is at the Utah State Capitol, one on the Campus of Brigham Young University, one in the Springville Utah art museum, one in Dayton Ohio and the final one here in Kansas City Missouri!  All BYU fans and alumni will no doubt recognize this statue. This Indian chief was quite the human specimen!

This is the one on the BYU campus--hey you walked by it every day--surely you knew what it was?

Sister Haws and I then checked on another statue that we had seen earlier.  This one is called The Scout and sits on a point in a park near the World War 1 monument in Kansas City.  We were delighted to find that it was also made by Cyrus E. Dallin.  He entered it in a competition at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition that was held in San Francisco in 1915.  It won a gold metal.  After the fair it was moved around on display.  A campaign in Kansas City raised $15,000 in nickels and dimes from the school children to purchase the statue and permanently place it in Kansas City. 

What a small world we live in.  We think it is cool that the Angel Moroni’s sculptor cousins are here in Kansas City.  But today, hardly any local people even know what they are looking at, other than statues of Indians, even naked Indians.  Even the plaques telling about the sculptures have been stolen.

We traveled far to the Southeast regions of our Mission to attend a discussion and to participate with missionaries in companionship studies.  Elder Rea is originally from Australia and Elder Vaniman is from northern Idaho, Sandpoint. They are in the little town of Tipton, Missouri.  There was not a suitable motel in the area so we stayed with some members.  Brother and Sister Anderson live in another little town called Smithton.  They have a small farm (60+ acres) and he also has a plumbing business.  They live out in the country.

Elders Rea and Vaniman in Tipton, Missouri

Well the weather was looking pretty bad.  In the west we could see the clouds forming and they seemed to be like funnel clouds touching the ground.  We asked the Andersons if they ever have tornados in the winter.  “Oh, yes,” they said.  In fact, before they built their nice new home, they lived in the old farm house just down the road.  One day a tornado came and touched down right where we were and completely destroyed their barn. They said parts of their barn were found ten miles away.  Well, not to worry, they have a storm shelter in their new basement.  All night we asked each other as the storm raged around us if tornados were like lightening.  Can they strike the same place twice?

This tornado was in Joplin Missouri, which is not far from here

We survived, but we will keep a close eye out for storms.  We both have a severe weather app on our phone, so as we fly off to greet Dorothy, we will know if it is a tornado.

By Debi:

Greg and I have been going into the office as much as we can to receive training on our new responsibilities.  Of course, Greg understands the financial part of his new job and he is learning all of the computer programs with ease.

On the other hand, I am struggling to learn everything that I have to do.  Luckily, I have a very patient teacher in Sister Drake.  She is helping me understand the different computer programs I have to use and how to enter all of the information correctly.  I will also be responsible for getting all of the mail to the missionaries and believe me, that is a very important task.  All of the Sisters and Elders are so anxious to get their mail from family and friends.  That is a daily job that can’t be delayed.

One of my new responsibilities is to take care of all of the referrals that come into our mission office.  Referrals come from the Church headquarters, other missions, other missionaries in our mission and from members who just call us direct because they know their friend or family member live in our mission.  After I get a referral I have to find the area they live in and get the information to the missionaries that are in that area.

Last week I received a referral from the Hawaiian Temple Visitor Center.  A woman on vacation visited the Visitor Center and loved everything she learned about the Church.  In fact, she even bought herself a Quad (the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price combined into one volume).  She asked to have the missionaries contact her when she arrived home.  Her home is here in Missouri.  I found the Sister missionaries and gave them the contact information and told them that they had a great referral.

We are slowly falling in love with all of these missionaries-especially the sisters

Two days ago we visited the Sisters in Overland Park.  We observed their companionship study. They did a great job and we were very impressed.  During companionship study the two missionaries are to take turns role playing and teach a principle that they are going to teach one of their investigators that day.  As these two sisters started talking I realized that they were talking about someone who had just been to Hawaii.  I interrupted them and asked if it was the same woman I had referred to them just the week before.  It was the very same. She has had 3 lessons and is planning on getting baptized. 

This picture has nothing to do with the referral, but Marshall and I are in Hawaii?  At a Luau!

I am so excited to see how truly important these referrals are that our office receives almost every day.  I will take this part of my new job very seriously and make sure that all of these important referrals are delivered to the right missionaries and given top priority.

Missionary work comes in so many different forms and sometimes unexpected ways. 

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