Tales of the Unexpected

I still have to write about my birthday but some recent events have unfolded that I wish to write about while they are still super fresh in my mind. I’ll launch straight into it: One fine Nauvoo morning, the work crew arose from their comfy beds to fall down the stairs to the cafeteria for the 6:45am opening. Today, we will concentrate on one of the work crew members – the Matt. Matt (I) managed to get down to the cafeteria for around 7:00am which was already too late as we were supposed to be on site by that time. I quickly got some cereal and chocolate milk and ate.

In a few minutes I had finished and had persuaded Sister Childs to let me take a plate of food down to the Pageant site for Layne, a good friend who works on the Pageant security team. He wouldn’t be able to eat until lunch and during such hot weather, that’s not fun. I ran upstairs and got the last few things I needed and then set off down to the site with Randy. Upon arriving at the site, I went and met Layne with his plate of breakfast in hand. He was very grateful for it. After having a quick chat, I went to put my things under the stage and get up-to-date on what was to be done.

Shortly after that, Steve Wall asked me to go to the truck and get the remaining drinks out of the back. I had no problem with that and went straight about my task. What happened next was so unexpected, I’m still in shock around 18 hours later. On my way out to the truck, expecting to have a normal day, I looked to the right towards the Temple and the JSA and who did I see? My Dad (Michael), Ed (Older Brother) and Emma (Older Sister). I don’t actually know what my reaction was, I’ll have to see the video and laugh. I was in total shock, I had absolutely no idea that they were coming. It was just such a fantastic surprise, I don’t know how else to say it, I was ecstatic. My Mum (Liz), Ellie (Younger Sister) and Will (Younger Brother) couldn’t make it for a number of reasons, but I look forward to a similar greeting at Manchester airport in just over a weeks time. I will continue this post ASAP, I have to be up again in approximately 5h30m and I would like a good day! I hope this has been a good introduction, I’ve got plenty more to say. Night Night

I was a lot more shocked than I look - really, I was.

Okay, I’m back weeks and weeks later. Fortunately, I can still remember most of it. Anyway, carrying on, I don’t know how to say how surprised I was. It just wouldn’t go through my mind. Before I left, they had said how they wouldn’t be able to visit because of work commitments and a couple of other reasons. I just though, how could this be!? What are they doing here. It was the biggest surprise of my life. It’s a good job I don’t have a heart condition. I had my headset on ready for the morning rehearsal and so I radio’ d Steve (the guy we work with under the stage) to tell him. He was just as surprised as I was and told me to bring them under so I did. Several other members of the work crew were under there and were pleased to meet them. It was so fun because I’d had the opportunity to meet the families of other work crew members, now it was my turn!

After spending some time under the stage, I still had plenty of people to introduce them to, I next went over to Layne (great friend, work crew assistant leader and security guard) and told him to guess who they were – he probably guessed by the smile on my face. We spent about an hour or so talking to Layne and in that hour he gave me and my family a quick tour of the Pageant site on a golf cart. It was so great to be able to show them all I had seen.

Steve very kindly gave me the day off work and so I took the opportunity to show them some more historic Nauvoo buildings. Ean (Bagpiper and friend) and Garrett (Crew member and friend) were able to join us which made it even better. I can’t remember which order we did things in but we visited several sites, some of which I hadn’t yet visited. Again, it was so much fun! The day followed on with lots more visits and introductions to my friends. Another great thing to mention is the JSA cafeteria and it’s missionaries. The cafeteria is run by a number of missionary couples who do the most amazing job. Elder and Sister Childs are on the admin side of things (as far as I know) and they were so kind as to let my family members have lunch.

In the evening, there wasn’t a normal performance as it was Monday so there was a dress rehearsal. I had the opportunity to watch with my family. I think it was the second time I saw the show since starting work. It went really well and there were few stops. My family said how much they enjoyed it and were so pleased to see it after all my descriptions. Then, came the worst part of the day – they had to go over to Keokuk to sleep. It was quite difficult to say bye after being so long apart, meeting for a short while and then leaving again. I knew I would see them in the morning but it was still hard. Anyway, they departed and I went back up to the JSA to meet the rest of the work crew.

That concludes the events of the day they arrived! I’ll write another post to summarize the final days in Nauvoo.