On Wednesday morning I awoke after having slept like a rock which was my mode of operation. I hadn’t dreamed for a long time, so my sleep was hard. The next morning we were up early and off to pick up Elder Carter after our less than yummy breakfast. We drove through some absolutely beautiful countryside. This state is a great place to visit. There are a lot of places to go and things to do. We got to the city (actually, it was small and not sure it classified as a city). We didn’t have as much time as we would have liked, so we went to the place where an historical tour would take place. It was really nice. There were several old buildings, but we couldn’t enter because we weren’t on the tour.
When we got there, we had an hour before we had to pick up the first missionary. Then, we would pick up the other on the way back through Madison. There was a tour that we could take, but we didn't have enough time for the whole thing. We decided we would just walk around and see the place. I would have liked to go into the fur trading store, but we couldn't unless we were on the tour. There were some other buildings we could have gotten into, but again we couldn't do it unless we were on the tour. Craig found a couple of books that were dedicated to Indian lore. One of the books had the Indian tribes stating that they knew they were part of the Lost Tribes and came here from Jerusalem. We figured that we were close enough to Nauvoo that probably missionaries had taught the tribes. It was in that area that the men of Nauvoo would have gone up to get the logs they needed to build Nauvoo.
Prairie du Chein sits on the Mississippi that separates Wisconsin and Iowa. Looking at that great river makes one realize why Samuel Clements took the name Mark Twain and wrote of its glory and majesty. What a system of water that flows along, so strong that it would pull you down quickly into its depths never to be seen again. There is such strength in the flow of the water. The width of the river is extraordinary, considering the water froze when the Saints needed it to so they could cross. That was truly a miracle.
One of the things we were looking forward to was that we had been told that Prairie du Chein was the place for the headwaters of the Mississippi. We quickly found out that was not true. It is the headwaters for the Wisconsin River. On one side of the town, is the Wisconsin and then just a few miles away is the Mississippi. I’ll bet if they get a lot of rain, there are problems with flooding. That may be why the tourist place we stopped in was built on stilts.
There was a bridge over the water so we decided we had a few free minutes to travel across. We weren't quite sure we were leaving Wisconsin and going into another state or not. There was no welcome sign, but as soon as we got over there was a tourist city on one side of the road. On the other, we turned and took a road down by the river. We passed a casino on a boat. We also saw several paddle boats pushing large barges up the river. It almost looked like we had traveled back in time. When we came back across the bridge, there was a welcome back to Wisconsin sign. I guess that means we went to Iowa.
We found the Chapel and picked up the Elder as he finished up a meeting. We left there and went back to Madison to pick up a Sister Missionary. She wasn’t quite as ready as the Elder. We were getting hungry and felt that we needed to eat, but by the time the Sister was ready to go, it was almost 3:00. We had an hour-and-a-half to get back to Milwaukee and had to be there by 5:00. So we skipped stopping for food. We would deliver them to the Missionary Home. We weren’t sure if we would be invited to eat because last time we weren’t. This time we were. It was nice to eat a great meal. We left that night thinking good things were happening in the Mission.
We had a goal of 75 baptisms by the end of September. We are all praying together and asking the Lord’s help in reaching our goal. I can feel the strength of praying as a mission. We had 37 baptisms up to this point. We will be looking forward to reaching our goal.
After we picked up the Sister, we headed back to Milwaukee, not stopping for food. We knew when we got back that Sister Cutler would have food to feed them. I had brought some food bars and fruit so we fed them as best we could. It was an interesting trip. We had met Elder Carter before when we visited the Church in Reedsburg. He was so mousy and quiet, no personality. I’m not sure who we picked up that day pretending to be Elder Carter, but he was very personable. We had worried that he would be hard to talk to on the way back, but no problems. When you asked him a question that was yes or no, when he answered in the affirmative, he didn’t say yes, he would say “absolutely” or some other word I can’t remember now. It was an odd word, not heard often, but it was obvious that he wasn’t putting us on, his choice of word was unique. I wished I could remember what it was.
When we got to the Mission Home, we stayed for dinner with about 10 missionaries in all that were leaving. Our mission was told that the number of missionaries would be reduced from 280 to 200. Certainly, more appeared to be leaving than coming. It was a good evening, and after a testimony meeting, we headed home. We had seen another part of Wisconsin, and still we are in awe of its beauty.
On Thursday, we went to the gym that morning, and had a Salvation Army thank you luncheon for all the volunteers. It was really nice, and we took the opportunity to talk to others about what we do. Then we spent the rest of the day collecting pictures and getting them scanned in. We now had enough students to have a Pathway class, and we are excited. There are 23 that have signed up, but one will not be going this semester as she took this one last year. She will pick it up in January.
Friday found us at the Temple. The greatest thing about going to the Temple now is that we are taking family names every time. That is such a blessing. There are many doors opening up for my family. I’m still amazed that when I find a new family, much of the direct line ancestry has been done. I have to work on decendancy groups.
On Saturday, we were supposed to go to Lake Geneva and take a tour around the lake and then visit another state historical site, Blackpoint Estates. We actually got in the car and went for gas, but the weather looked nasty. It was foggy (which is a common occurrence), wet, and cold. We decided to call the place and check to see if the lake tours would be on. We were told that they would go out as usual, but we asked if we would really be able to see anything. They said that we wouldn’t really enjoy it as much with the weather being the way it was, but they would gladly reimburse us or reschedule. So we rescheduled it for a couple of weeks later.
That night there was a secret going-away party for the Carters. They would be leaving on Monday, and we were invited by their Ward to go to the one this night. It was really nice. We got to talk with them for a little bit, their Ward really loves them. We envy them the relationships they have with their leaders because this was in the Bishop’s house. Our Bishop hardly even knows us, even though we have asked to help them in reactivating or whatever. They don’t seem to have any time to deal with us. What can we do? Nothing. We do go visit some members, but we stay busy with the genealogy work and with Pathway when it starts.
On Sunday evening, we had a meeting in the North Stake to help them plan a missionary meeting on genealogy. We found out really quickly that the woman over the library was not really interested in a missionary activity. She wanted to tour the library, and do some other things that are really meant for the members. It was a good meeting, but we could feel her dominance in the meeting. For some reason, those in the North Stake aren’t very friendly. Their Stake President isn’t very friendly either. He is going to be replaced later in the year because he has served for over 9 years. Tough calling!
Monday found us having a farewell dinner for the Carters at the Mission Home. All the Senior couples were there, and it made me wonder if this would happen for the other couples that will be leaving soon. We all had to brag about the Carters, and believe me, I could find nothing but lots of good stuff about them. They have been good to us. We have so enjoyed them and will truly miss them in the office. The other couple in the office will leave in October. The couple serving in Kenosha who speaks Spanish will leave the first week in September. Those will be three hard to replace senior missionary couples. The Carters’ replacements have already arrived, and they will be great. She is really different from Sister Carter, but I like her. She is more like me, not so angelic. Hahaha
Our week ended with Zone Conference held at City Branch. I’m really going to have to look on a map, because that building appears to be in the center of so many places. We love the building, but it has become the Spanish’s branch. It is a good place to meet.
September’s scripture is 3 Nephi 27:20 –
Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth and come
unto me and be baptized in my name that ye may be sanctified by the
reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand blameless before me at the
Elder and Sister Lenhard