Mmmmmmmmmmm! Day of Rest!

The day of rest has finally come! Well earned I’d say. I certainly made the most of the available lie in time. I didn’t emerge from my pit until 11:30. This was the longest sleep I’d had since leaving England. I didn’t get to bed until 2:00am because I had to do some washing. It was the only opportunity I had. All other times we are too busy. Making the most of the time I had, I went to the computer lab and called home. It was really great to hear how everyone was getting on and hear someone without an American accent! (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the American accent at all but it’s nice to hear someone with your own once in a while!) I spent as long as I could on the phone before the power on my laptop ran out and the time to get brunch ran out.

I got to brunch just in time – I’m very glad I did, I don’t like to start a day without my cereal (and chocolate milk). As soon as I was done with brunch, we had our daily study class at 1:00pm. The lesson was taken today by Jared – he did a really great job and got the message across just fine. It’s not easy when people are falling asleep. As soon as we were done with the lesson, we went over to the Nauvoo ward for their 2:00pm service. I won’t tell you what I thought of it (Sacrament Meeting) online so you’ll have to ask someone I know! Sunday school was just fine, with half the work crew and other visitors, I think we managed to tripple their usual class size.

Finally, we had Priesthood meeting. We started in the Chapel with everyone else for the announcements and got a chance to introduce ourselves. After the announcements and the invitation to leave for our separate classes, someone came up to me and said “Have you got my money for me?”. I thought he was messing about so I played along and said “I certainly have”. He then introduced himself as the Pageant Treasurer. I didn’t expect to meet him there but I’m glad I did. He said he’d see me in the next week for the handover.

We next moved onto young mens and swamped their meeting aswell. We introduced ourselves by playing a cool game, I’ll have to try it sometime, but I need a group of people I’ve never met before. I suppose it would be ‘doable’ with a group of people you know. You start by taking a piece of paper and writing your name, favourite plave for a holiday, favourite hobby and favourite food. The leader would then shuffle them up and start reading out the interests and the other members of the group would have to guess who it was. I liked it anyways. The lesson was on the importance of Prophets. I had taught this lesson a few weeks previous so I was already familiar with it. It’s always different with every teacher though.

We got out of Church just after 5:00pm and dinner at the JSA would be finishing at 5:30pm so we hurried straight over. You know how teens are with their food. We had a small ammount of time to chill/talk/email etc before we went over to the Pageant Presidents house at 7:00pm. A few days previous, we were told that we had been invited over for ice-cream and cake. I though that was really nice – to invite 9 smelly, grubby young men into your home! We did brush up very nicely though. We had been in our sunday clothes for the service at the Nauvoo Ward, some of us stayed in our smart clothes and some of us changed but we weren’t smelly and grubby like on a work day.

We arrived with a very warm welcome. I also met the Pageant Public Relations Coordinator whom I had emailed an article weeks earlier. I thought that was really cool; I’m slowly meeting all the people I’ve been emailing to get things sorted. We started by going round the room and sharing information about our family size, church history, children (for the adults!!) and what brought us to Nauvoo. All the adults had great stories to tell. There was a lot to take in. I always like to hear about other peoples histories – I’m not nosey, I’m just so interested in the way things work and how different everyones circumstances/experiences are. I was the first young man to speak and I was really nervous at first – I like to have a written plan.

I went ahead and started talking about my family, how many bothers and sisters I had etc and eventually got on to how I ended up in Nauvoo. For those of you who don’t know, checkout the ‘Introduction’ post right at the beginning of the blog. After sharing the story, the Pageant President siad that he couldn’t remember why they decided to extend the date for applications. He said that it could have been extended so that those who the Lord had planned for to go, would get the opportunity to do so. I thought that was really great, we may not always know when the Lord intervenes to let the right things happen.

The rest of the meeting was great. There were some amazing family histories and run-ups to applying to the pageant. After all our stories, we tucked into cake, ice-cream and popcorn. All super tasty. After that, we reluctantly returned to the JSA. No-one really wanted to leave. I spent a lot of the time we had spare catching up on my journal; I still have plenty to do.

Things are still going great. I love it here. I think the reason I’m managing so well from home is the fact that it’s a completely new place and schedule to what I’m used to. If I went to a destination where the rest of the family usually were, I would probably find it much harder. I’m almost caught up now so I’ll try to keep up when I do!

Bye for now,
Matt

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