Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011

Combine harvest of corn.

Rotten tree stump - shoe is for comparison.

Young Sister Missionaries all of whom are leaving this week

Fellow sister perfomers in our "Rendezvous" cast, unfortunately we didn't get the men side.

Well folks, this will be our final note from Nauvoo! The house is cluttered with boxes ready to be put in the truck and go for the long ride. And most of the drawers and cupboard shelves are empty. The six months here have raced by and it has been a sweet experience to tell the story of Old Nauvoo, the people who lived here, their faith, and their courage. Many, many times we have had the priviledge to testify of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. We have made many friends and tried to do our very best and on top of that it has been fun!

The summer was extremely dry here but most of the crops came through in good shape. The trucks and combines are busy just about every day bringing the crops in from the field and what a crop it is! (The combine in the picture was eating up eight rows of corn and the corn was just a flowing as the lady driving it was unloading the bin while she finished that part of the field.) There is almost a nonstop flow of soybeans and corn coming in from the field. This part of the country certainly does supply a great deal of food and feed.

Most of the time this area is pretty wet and the hardwood trees don't make good lumber because they rot out inside. Many trees look good from a distance but when you get up close you can see that they have rotten limbs and bad spots in their trunks. The tree in the picture was just one of the many we have seen that are bad. When we saw how much that tree was rotten on the inside we were amazed! (I took my shoe off and set next to the tree so I could show what size tree it was.) It was a big tree without much holding it up.
In case anyone is wondering about our travel plans home this is what we have planned. We finish loading and pull out of Nauvoo on Tuesday the 11th. We will head east and arrive in upstate New York on Friday the 14th. That evening we will have dinner with Bruce's siblings and the next day meet Keith and Christina at the Palmyra Temple. After that we will be heading west and expect to see the lights of home on the 20th. We don't want to set any cross-country records going home. We just want to enjoy the fall and the trip. This summer we have worked hard and a slower pace will be good for us.
Our love to all!

Pam & Bruce

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Having too much fun in Nauvoo!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011

The Webb Blacksmith Shop in Historic Nauvoo. This missionary is making small horseshoes to give away to visitors. See

We can't say enough about the sacrifice of those who lost their lives on 9/11/11 - those who inocently died and also those who worked and served in the emergency services. We honor them. May God bless America.

I have been thinking today about some family from the past. It has been such a privilege for me to walk the same streets and they did here in Nauvoo. I hope you will enjoy learning a little about them.

Here is Martin Peck. He was born in 1806 in Massachusetts and died in Utah in 1884. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1833 in Vermont. "A number of his neighbors were assisting him in a house raising. He suggested to them, that in the evening when the day's work was done they go in a body and break up a meeting which he had heard the young Prophet Joseph Smith was holding in the nearby woods. Intending to cause a disturbance, he found himself converted instead. Many times after he was heard to testify that before the Prophet had spoken five minutes he had received a thorough assurance of the Divinity of his mission, which testimony remained with him all his life". Martin was a blacksmith by trade and also played the clarinet in the Nauvoo Legion Brass Band. He lost his first wife Susan Clough Peck in Nauvoo, the mother of his 7 children, the last three dying in infancy, but all 7 born during the persecution and migration of the Church.

And now meet George Mayer, born in 1805 in Pennsylvania, dying in 1896 in Utah. He was a wainwright by trade, or a wagon maker. He also made grain cradle scythes. He was baptized in 1843 in Logansport, Indiana. He moved to Nauvoo in 1844 where he also a policeman and guard. He assisted in the erection of the Nauvoo Temple. "I never found any religion that suited me, or that I thought was the religion of Christ till Nov. 11, 1843, when I heard a Latter-day Saint by the name of Jerry Dunhum, who I sent for to come to my house that I could converse with him. When he came I found that the Latter-day Saints had the genuine Bible and New Testament doctrine." Later George was present at the Haun's Mill massacre in Missouri where 18 saints were brutally murdered. "George was shot through the body as he was trying to escape. The mobbers did not pursue him, and he succeeded in getting away and recovered from his wounds, but was never as stout afterwards.

I am pleased to have learned of these third great grandfathers and their history, along with others. They were real people. They were again forced to leave, this time their beautiful city of Nauvoo and their just completed temple on the hill. I owe them thanks for their legacy of faith.

This is a genuine daguerrotype photo of the original Nauvoo Temple. It was destroyed by fire and tornado by 1850. A new Nauvoo Temple was erected, the outside a duplicate to the original, in 2002.

Love to all,

Sister Pam Karn

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011

The height of the corn in Nauvoo

State Capital in Springfield, Illinnois. On our last full Preparation day (evening included) we took a 3 hour drive to Springfield to see the Lincoln sites. It was well worth it.

The stove where Mary Todd Lincoln cooked breakfast

Lincoln sat here

The Lincoln family lived here in this house for 17 years in Springfield, Il

Hi folks,

Well things have slowed a bit in Old Nauvoo! The past two weeks we have not had nearly as many visitors as we had been having over the summer. The other side of that story is that the number of missionaries has started dropping. In the middle of August the young performing missionaries left and then the young sister missionaries have started going down in numbers. In August we lost more senior missionaries than we gained and in September there will be a drop of about thirty more. Then October arrives and we will be part of almost forty that will be pulling out! After that the numbers will be really low here! During the winter not nearly as many people come a-visitin! Every since we have been here there have been three casts performing the shows. Now that summer is over the only nightly show going is the "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" so each cast does it two nights per week. My guess is that some time in October they will have to go to two casts and perform every other night.

Last night we had two shows of Rendezvous which has been the only night in a week we needed to do two shows. And last night was our first night of playing "Jed and Annie" in the show. It was scarey but we did it!

We have learned that Pam's coughing problems here seem to be due to allergies. She appears to be allergic to more things than she thought. But by watching what she eats she has been doing very little coughing and that has made things much better for her.

The weather report - June was very wet and since then we have had very little rain (rain would appear on the weather radar and when it got close to us it would go north or south of us or just disappear) and boy has it been hot. Yesterday a cold front went through and today has been the first comfortable day we have had in quite a while. But the corn is looking good and the soybeans look good! There are acres and acres of those two crops here and not much else.

I guess that's the news from Nauvoo!

Elder & Sister Karn

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer is winding down. The Pageant is over, crowds are decreasing, and the temperature if gradually cooling (thank goodness!).

No more "Mr. Moustache"! (Elder Karn is on the far left).

Three young perfoming missionaries doing "The Audition".

Band and stage YPMs.

YPMs doing the patriotic tribute.

YPMs singing "Frog Kissin' "

(Elder Busath, the drummer)

The show "Sunset on the Mississippi" is over for the season and the 40 Young Performing Missionaries are leaving on Tuesday. They have added fun and great entertainment to Nauvoo and they will be missed, especially by the senior missionaries. They have made us feel younger. The interesting thing about these missionaries is even though they are called as full time missionaries for the 3 1/2 months they are here, they must audition for their roles. Twenty of them play in the Nauvoo Brass Band and the other twenty dance and sing on stage. All of them are college students with either music or a perfoming major. Out of the approximately 1000 applicants auditioning, 40 made it. They are all very talented and upbeat. Anyway, "Sunset" has been a fun show. Here are some photos highlighting parts of the show.

May your summer finish with a similar bang! We are having great fun here. Pam's allergies have been wicked but we seem to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Big things are happening at home and we miss being with family. Yet, we love being missionaries and will savor every moment to the last.


Elder and Sister Karn

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Is it really 24 July 2011? Wow the time blazes by when you are rocking and rolling every day! The month of July in Nauvoo is a blurr. There are so many activities going on and so many visitors here that even in normal times there wouldn't be any down time but this July has brought some additional challenges. Supposedly each summer folks here get the "Nauvoo crud". The Nauvoo crud is sore throat and coughing which may get worse and it comes back time after time. People have it for a while and then feel better and then get it again. Well this July it has really plaqued the seniors. Normally we are packed on stage during some of the big numbers in our shows but the last few weeks we have felt a little lonesome on the stage because we have had so many folks out sick. And many days we have to change assignments because so many folks are out sick and some sites have had to close early because we are so short on people. Sister Karn had a real bout with the crud but seems to be on the mend now.

The big heat wave has also been here in Nauvoo. All the days this past week were in the 90s and the heat index was over 100 and on some days reached well past 100 into the teens. On some of those days we had outside assignments and boy was it hot in pioneer clothing! The great show "Sunset By the Mississippi" had to be moved to the inside stage and the room only seats 250 so some folks don't get to see the show.

The pictures we were going to attach don't seem to want to cooperate and attach! Did anyone else ever have technology problems? We sure love technology when it works but when it lets us down we sure are lost!

So folks - all is going well in Nauvoo and we are rolling rapidly and happily down the road of this time of service.

We love you all - God speed dear friends!

Elder & Sister Karn

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Push your handcart up here folks!

Above is a photo of the thorns on the trunk of the Thorny Locust tree. Pioneer trekkers and modern day trekkers have to watch out for these, along with Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.

Here are some photos of the handcart trail when people go on our local Nauvoo trek. Imagine 500 lbs. of goods in the handcart along with the difficulty of pushing and pulling the handcart trek.

"Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" is performed all year long, no holiday exceptions, except for Sunday. There are 3 different casts. Each cast performs the show twice weekly. During the busy summer each of those nights two shows are performed, 7pm and 8:15pm. Because the Cultural Hall holds about 100 people it is necessary to have tickets. If you are coming our way, let us know and we can reserve tickets.

During the month of July we have wonderful visits from friends and family. It was so great to see them and to spend a little time around Nauvoo with them. Some were able to attend our night time performances of "Rendezvous" and "Sunset". We are pure and untalented amateurs on stage but we give it our all (especially Elder Karn). But the love and "good job" comments made us feel special.

We hope your summer is going well.

Our love to all, Elder and Sister Karn

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Photos from top down

1.Here is "Sister" Karn in the Stoddard Tin Shop showing visitors how to make a skimmer pan. It is one of the places that both the Elders and Sisters work.

2. In this photo I am in the Stoddard Tin Shop showing folks the "Super size" tin snips. There are small ones, regular size and this super size. One handle fits in a hole in the table and then they can be operated one handed.

3. This is how a happy tinsmith bends tin pieces.

4. Here is Sister Karn with her hand on the stove in the Sylvester Stoddard home. It is a neat home and has some fun things in it like the mouse trap!

5. This photo shows the first few steps that folks take when they go on the handcart trek. They cross this little stream known as "Joseph's Creek" about five times if they do the full trek. And crossing the stream is one of the easiest parts of the trek.

6. Here is a picture of the handcarts that are parked and waiting for the next folks to take them out. We have a total of 22 carts but two of them have broken wheels right now and three are out on loan for the pageant. Some days we send out all or nearly all of our carts and other days just a couple. There are days we have up to two hundred people use the carts and other days it is just a few.

7. Here is the headquarters of the handcart people. I am the assistant handcart site leader now and I go there three days a week to send out the handcarts and then recover them. The buckets in the left side of the building contain brushes and scrappers to clean the carts in the stream before they are put away. The cleaning part of the trek is the most fun for many of the folks that do the trek.

The other thing to report is that we bought a bicycle so I can go to the handcart job and then to wherever else I need to go. It is a good bike and I can carry quite a bit of the things that I need at the handcart site.

This past week the temperature reached 99 on one day and in the 90s on a couple of more days. The super hot day I worked at the blacksmith shop which is not air conditioned and worked at the forge part of the time, making minature horse shoes for a demonstration of what a black smith did. It is fun but on a day like that it is just too hot to enjoy it. So working at the Stoddard Tin Shop was really nice on the following day. You might not have known that tinsmiths worked in air conditioned shops! Well, at least they do in 2011 in Old Nauvoo.

We are well and enjoying the service and the spirit of Old Nauvoo. We hope that you are all well and that a cool breeze is blowing in your direction!

Elder & Sister (the magnificent) Karn

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Isaac Snyder, my (Pam) ancestor, is buried here. He died in 1844, at age 56, from "lung fever". His grave is unmarked.

Hi Folks,
It is easy to see the time whiz by here. We don't often have free time let alone time to take photos. But that is okay. It is lots of fun to learn so much about Nauvoo. Today we served in the Land and Records Office of Nauvoo. We had about 15 people come in looking for their ancestors that might have lived here in the Old Nauvoo period (1839-1846). It is amazing when one considers the short period of time the Latter-Day Saints lived in Nauvoo. In just 7 years the city was built up to a population of 12,000, rivaling Chicago. Many businesses were thriving and people built beautiful red brick homes from the bricks that were made locally from the clay found here. I had ancestors that lived here, one a blacksmith, one a wainwright (wagon maker) and another a farmer. I love learning more about them. It makes the period come alive to me. Elder Karn has a new assignment to help manage the handcart treks and he is kept very busy most mornings. The trail the handcarts take is pretty muddy and through a cow pasture where he has seen a bull. I think I will forego that experience.

We continue to do our best whether dancing or singing or telling about Old Nauvoo and those that sacrificed so much due to persecution. Most of the "Saints" left Nauvoo in the dead of winter, 1846, when they crossed the frozen Mississippi in their wagons. Times only became harder because of the weather and their meager supplies.

Have a good week. Elder and Sister Karn

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Folks, For all of you who did not have time to look at the blog last week don't feel bad - you didn't miss a thing. We were so busy this past week that we didn't add much other than a couple of photos to the blog! So this weeks post is a bunch of different things all added together. The second picture is of the Pretty Pam aboard the Mark Twain River Boat. We went down to Hannibal, MO last week to check out Huck Finn but he wasn't home. It is a neat little town and we had a nice time. We also went on the river boat for a cruise (a short one hour one) up (a few hundred yards up stream) and then down the Mississippi a ways and then back to Hannibal. We did see the island that gave Mark the idea for Huck's hide out.

The first picture is of our front living room. (We have two and that is the first one you come into when you enter our house.) We have two sofas in the other living room and it is a little bigger.

The next picture is of a tug and some barges on the Mississippi. A single tug boat will push up to fifteen barges and they are about 150 feet long! They will fasten them together five wide and up to three in line and push from the back. It sure looks like "the tail waging the dog!" I can't remember how many tons they said they could carry but it was a huge number of tractor trailers worth!

The next two pictures are of the area that we call "Pioneer Pastimes". Families and school groups come to this area and learn what the games pioneer children played and just have fun. There are clothes there for people to dress up in and look like pioneers. We worked there one day and we only had a few problems - one of them was a little girl who did not want to give up her pioneer clothes at the end of the day. She was having fun and did not want any part of calling it the end of the day!

I (Bruce) am now the assistent on the handcart group. It doesn't mean much other than that I tell folks what not to do and where not to go with the hand carts. Then I give them a handcart and send them out to pull it around and have fun. Most everyone enjoys it and gains a lot of respect for the folks that pulled carts that were loaded and travelled 1,200 to 1,500 miles!

Both shows that we are in are going now. We are not big time players but have lots of fun doing our parts.

The only other news from here is that we have had some very hot and humid days and some big storms roll through. Pam had to take a couple of days off this week because the cold settled into her chest and was not good! She is a little better now and back on the job!

Love to all and stop in when you are in the neighborhood!

Elder & Sister Karn

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some fellow missionaries here in Nauvoo, and friends we worked at the Ogden Temple with, took these photos at our last performance of

"Sunset on the Mississippi". Interestingly, Elder Karn is carrying the Marine flag during the patriotic tribute. The Army flag was already spoken for. It is all good. The temperature and humidity during this show was up there. If you look closely you can see the steam. Love to all!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

1. Sunset over the "Mighty Mississip" this evening.

2. Nauvoo Temple, standing on the hill like a giant frosted wedding cake

3. Elder Karn coming out of this evening's zone conference

4. Sister Karn demonstrating candle making at the Family Living Center today (candles were made of tallow not wax!)

5. Elder Karn demonstrating rope making at the Family Living Center today

Every week brings new skills and experiences. We have been assigned some new places. Our days are full. Probably one of the most exciting things is that we opened our new show, "Sunset by the Mississippi" last night on the outdoor stage. The audience seem to love it.

As far as the Mississippi goes, we aren't seeing any flooding here and everything is fine. We get some wild thunderstorms. We had night in the middle of the day today. The street lights came on and it was dark! We have a weather alert radio that comes on and warns us of tornado warning when we are home. The city of Nauvoo has a tornado siren and we all have assigned areas to go to in the event of a tornado.

We have had some wonderful visitors; friends from around the country come and visit us. A visit to Nauvoo is worthy every effort.

This weekend we are thinking of all those who served their country and defended freedom. And we remember those who serve today.

Elder and Sister Karn