Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lake of the Osarks

By Debi:

Yesterday was a working P-day and we had a great time.

We left the apartment at 6:45 am all packed and ready for our adventure. We were assigned by our mission president to go to Sedalia, Missouri, and visit a companionship during their study hour.  Sedalia is two hours away so we had to leave early.

On our way to Sedalia we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen in my life.  We are from Utah and we see the sun come up over the mountains every morning which is quite a sight to behold.  But here in Missouri the sun comes up right at the horizon and it is beautiful.  The amazing thing about the whole experience was it just so happened that we were listening to Barbara Streisand singing “America” on a CD in her powerful voice right as the sun rose above the horizon.  The colors of orange and pink reflected off of a few clouds that looked like they were on fire.  Wow, what a morning.

Of course she is on the approved list of music for Senior Missionaries

After a wonderful hour with two great Elders we drove over to the Katy trail head.  We have talked about the Katy trail before but if you don’t know about it, it is a great biking/hiking trail that is 264 miles long and runs almost the entire width of the state of Missouri.  It is the old Railroad line for the Missouri/Kansas/Texas Railroad.  It is now known as the Katy trail. One of the trail heads is in Sedalia. 

We got on our bikes with our lunch packed and off we rode.  It was very cold but the sun was shining and the sky was blue.  It was a perfect day.  We have been riding a stationary bike in our apartment so we are in kind of in shape.  We were able to ride 20 miles along a beautiful trail out in the country side.  Missouri is very much a farming community.  As soon as you leave the city the farms stretch as far as the eye can see.

After our ride we took a little detour on our way back to Independence to see the Harry S. Truman Dam and reservoir which is part of the Ozark lakes. 

I had never seen the Ozark lakes and they are beautiful.  I am sure that when the world is so green again it will be even more spectacular.  These lakes cover hundreds of miles and they have thousands of miles of shore line.  The people love to fish in the lakes and enjoy all boating activities. They have great camp grounds around the lakes.

The Visitor Center is up on the edge of a cliff looking over the Dam.  It is a beautiful center with a spectacular view.  President Harry Truman was very proud of this project and the benefits it has for the people of Missouri.  It produces electricity, flood control and a water supply for the state.  Also one of the displays around the Visitor Center was the Hooper House.  We were excited to see anything named Hooper.  The man who owned the house was named John Hooper.

The cool thing is they say "Hooper" just like we do

On our way home we went through a little town named Tightwad. I thought that was so funny. The population is 69 people.  There is a little convenience store named the Tightwad Center!  We really had a great time seeing this little community of Tightwad!

The more we explore Missouri the more we are falling in love with this place.  Everywhere we travel we find something beautiful and fun.

By Greg:

At the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson sought to establish an organization that would exist that might allow countries to settle their differences before they lead to war.  You might remember WWI was supposed to be the “War to end all Wars”.  Well, he was not successful in getting the US Senate to ratify the treaty that would have established the League of Nations.

Woodrow Wilson, "Father" of the League of Nations

At the end of World War II, another Democratic president had the same vision. It fell to his successor, Harry S. Truman (of Independence, Missouri) to lead the charge to form the United Nations.  In this instance, Truman was more successful that Wilson had been.

This could have been the entrance to the UN instead of the RLDS complex

During the debates in the Senate, Senator Elbert Thomas of Utah, stood on the floor of the Senate and proposed that the headquarters of the UN be established in Independence, Missouri.  He stated two reasons (besides the cool name of “Independence”).  First, it was the home town of President Truman, and second, it was right in the middle of America.

This was a serious proposal!  The Chamber of Commerce sent a telegram to the “Big Three” who were meeting in the Potsdam conference urging adoption of the idea.  They also contacted the Churches (LDS and RLDS) about the possibility of obtaining their lands.

Well, it never happened, and the churches may not have given up their lands either, but I thought this was a cool thing when I came across it in the Mission History.  I wonder if anyone has ever heard this before.

We have said this before, but there are a lot of things around here named Truman.  He was very popular after he was president.  He really liked the Tennessee Valley Authority and pushed for one of his own.  Thus we have the Truman Dam and reservoir.  My dad never called him President Truman, or Harry Truman; I grew up knowing him as just “Harry S”.  Of course, men in the navy and their teen-aged sons had all kinds of fun with that.

Harry S Truman supporter of the United Nations

One of the sad things we keep seeing here is that the historic markers are taken and probably sold for scrap metal.  This is sad as the value of the bronze is nowhere worth the value of the historical recollection.  We went to Troost Park to see a monument that replaced the original one that was destroyed.  Here is what I found on the internet about this monument:

The new replacement monument

The marker at Troost Park was erected to commemorate the first log schoolhouse in Jackson County. On August 2, 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith and others assisted the Colesville Saints in placing the first log as a foundation for the establishment of Zion. It was done at the site of the building which was to be both a school and a church. A ten-inch oak was cut and carried to the designated location by 12 men representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel.1

Among those who participated were Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Hezekiah Peck, Ezekiel Peck, Joseph Knight, Sr., Aaron Culver, Ezra Booth, Freeborn Demill, William Stringham, and Ira Willis. Oliver then laid a cornerstone and delivered an address.

The original marker read as follows:

 “School in Zion. On August 2, 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith was assisted by the members of the Colesville Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others in laying the log for the first house as a foundation of Zion in Kaw Township. The log was carried and placed by twelve men representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The house, a place of worship, was also used as a school and was the first school to be erected within the boundaries of Kansas City, Missouri, as they existed in 1832. Unveiling and Dedication September 14, 1963 by President David O. McKay The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The original  marker was to be dedicated by David O. McKay, but was dedicated by Joseph Fielding Smith instead. 

In 2000, a restored marker was dedicated.

Here is the “restored” monument today.

What did the scrap metal dealer say? "Oh, are you sure you don't need this anymore?"

Oh, how sad!

When Joshua and the Children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River, the Lord told them to build a monument out of Twelve rocks, one for each tribe.  He said that when their children asked, "What is that monument for?" they would tell them the Lord led them across on dry ground.  

Well, when some one asks, what is this monument for?  They will have to call me, I guess.

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