I was in Nauvoo volunteering in the costume department for most of the summer - 7 weeks. I was helping with the Nauvoo Pageant, that takes place for one month every summer. The British and Nauvoo Pageants tell the story of the missionary work that took place in Great Britain (for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the acceptance of the gospel by thousands of people there, and the exodus of those Saints in coming to Nauvoo to help build up the Church. Then the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the exodus to Utah.
The following is an excerpt from an email I sent to my family:
This Nauvoo experience is taking me out of my comfort zone and making me grow and stretch. This week I had to become more friendly, look out and befriend new volunteers who have come, ask for help and pray to be able to do hard things. I have relied on the Savior's atonement and He has helped me learn and grow.
Someone pointed out to me all the things that have happened to me while being here serving: my water pipe broke in the back yard, a tree in my front yard has broken in half tearing out half the tree, and possibly ruining all of it, my laptop broke, but miraculously someone was able to fix it, my phone quit but I discovered I can use my kindle to read emails and books AND it has a camera. So yes, bad things have happened, but I have seen the Lord's hand in resolving most of them too.
I have been pondering about something here, and that is how much work and time and expense has gone into the little details that not many people notice. Also, how important the details are and the importance of individuals--the ONE. Example: The pageant is put on for a month. The core cast do the speaking and singing parts for the entire time. But families come for 2 weeks at a time to perform the group parts and dancing. Every week a new group comes (20-25 families). They spend a week learning the dances and movements while watching the group from the week before who came a week before them, actually perform on stage. Then their second week, they perform while the new families that have just come learn and watch them. This entails directors and choreographers teaching the same dances and movements to a new group every week. This means we rip out hems and wash costumes and remark hems and re sew hems on skirts and pants every week. This means the logistics of housing and feeding families is huge. BUT this means 125+ families get to participate and have their testimonies strengthened and renewed. This means hundreds of individual lives are touched.
Another example: There are two fabric temples used for the pageant. One for rehearsals and one for the performance. They are huge panels that are tall and hoisted up the tower every other night (they are used for the Nauvoo pageant, not the British pageant). 80 women in Utah sewed on them for 6 weeks several years ago. They have cross stitching on them, soft sculpture, ribbons, applique, etc. Hundreds of hours were spent on the temple panels. And they are used on stage for only 10 minutes during the pageant!
I couldn't comprehend why all that work was done for a mere 10 minutes of show time. But a new roommate came last night who helped sew on the temple panels. In fact, it was her sister who was asked to make the panels. She said women came every chance they could to work on them and she said what a privilege it was and how much they enjoyed doing it. And when I said, "yes, but for only 10 minutes?" She replied, "but they've been used for 15 years already and 10 minutes times 3 nights a week for 15 years is a lot of use!"
So I've been pondering: what do I do, or could be doing for 10 minutes a day, that when added up, will effect my life dramatically?
What do I do, or could be doing for 10 minutes a day with my children, that when added up, will effect their lives dramatically?
Thanks for reading,