Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"This really IS the happiest place on earth..."

"...Disneyland can't compare with what goes on in Nauvoo."

Quote by Sis. Renouf, wife of the pageant president. One of the most sincere, most humble, most missionary-minded women I've met.

Yesterday was a total day of miracles and I don’t even know how to describe it. It was just cool because since pageant has started there have been a lot of things that have pulled my attn away from the VC cause I’ll just have other stuff that needs to get done with Pageant—mostly in the call center. But yesterday I was able to spend a ton of time downstairs on the main floor with the guests and the Lord gave me amazing conversation after amazing conversation. Everyone I talked to was someone I connect with in some way. It was way cool and humbling that the Lord would bless me like that. It was like because He knew I wasn’t able to be down there as much as I wanted, He put all my amazing experiences in one day. :) Love it!

Really interesting conversation I had with a woman who was formally a member of a church that branched off from the LDS Church and now is LDS. It was interesting cause she talked about how hard it was because it was so close but so different. It was harder than coming into the gospel from something that was so totally different or off-base or whatever. She said she had a real struggle knowing what to accept and what to reject from her previous beliefs. She had to really start evaluating her beliefs one-by-one, beginning with her understanding of who God is. Sis. Rancie noticed in the scriptures that whenever people start falling away, that’s usually the first doctrine that Satan corrupts is who God is and our relationship to Him. We also talked about how tricky it is that the closer something is to the truth, the harder it is to distinguish. Satan really is subtle. But we have so much comfort in knowing there are things he can NEVER counterfeit…like the feelings of peace that come through the Spirit. Anyway, I love it. I love how clear-cut the gospel is. We tend to overcomplicate things and Satan especially weaves a tangled web but the gosp is simple. The most important thing to know is that God is our Loving Heavenly Father and He sent His Son so that we could be cleansed and return to love with Them.

So Dad and Joanie and Scott, thank you for coming! I was so glad you were here. :) I’ve gotten many fav reviews on my fam and how cool you guys were. I had so much fun with you guys here and thanks for taking such good care of me. We’re gonna use the candy (minus the snitches I already took) to have a post-pageant unwinding night. The dark chocolate M&Ms. Whoa! :) And bro, thanks for coming to the temple with me. That was way cool. I was really hoping and praying we’d be able to make that happen.

When my fam was here I got to show them how to make shoes in one of the sites. Incidentally, in that same site I got to fix my own shoe with an 1840s awl (I think that’s how you spell it). I was so proud of myself!

So the other night—this is how unified our companionship is—Sis. Thomas and I both woke up at 2am itching our chigger bites. We were both like “are you awake” “yeah” “me too. I have chiggers and they’re driving me crazy.” “me too!” Little bonding moment. Then later the other thing that kept us awake is some sort of critter that decided to move into our walls. We could hear him start at one side of the room and gradually move to the other. It was hysterical. I was hoping it was a squirrel and reflecting on our adventures in AK.

Can I tell you all how much I love Sis. Thomas. We ‘re such Engl. nerd twins. She prefers to call us “intellectuals” but I my brain has become far too mushy to merit that title. But we have tons of fun. And she’s really level-headed and keeps me in line. And she loves to go on walks so we walk often. I love it! I love walking in Nauvoo!! Today we’re going to go to the Dusty Farmer (a SUPER genuine Mid-west lunch place tucked in the middle of the cornfields) and then go listen to the brass band play at the park at noon. I love the brass band. Did I tell you that? I even got their t-shirt this yr.

Which brings me to my next point, the YPMs are all leaving. Sniff! It’ll get really quiet. In addition to that, we’re losing like 40+ senior missionaries. It’s a ton of the staple ones that we’re really tight with. We refer to it as the mass exodus. Rivaled only by the one in 1846. :) So the crowds will be slowing but we won’t be cause there will be fewer of us to do the work. The slower times though always seem to give way to miracles of their own. I love it! I loved the pageant! I love Nauvoo! I love this work!

Thanks for all the support. Love you all!
-Sis. Cartwright

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