Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Memory of a Lifetime

Sunday I drove to Nauvoo from Independence with my sister and her kids to spend a few days here seeing the sites. We both lived here for a semester of school so we both have very fond memories of the beautiful city. I hadn't been here yet in the summer when they have the pageant and all the other day shows and activites so we have been seeing a lot of shows, having ox and carriage rides, and visiting the old homes. My parents have also been here but left today. It has just been so fun to re-learn about and remember the early saints who sacrificed so much. When I went to school here before I got to live in the Joseph Smith Academy building(which no longer exists) just across the street from the new Nauvoo Temple. But I could only do Baptisms for the Dead at that time. I have been really excited to be able to go back to the Temple for an Endowment Session. I made my appointment for 4pm and then a little bit later for different reasons called and had it moved forward to 3pm. I was really excited to be back in the Nauvoo Temple and was praying that I would have a special experience. Well when I walked into the Chapel Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was sitting there on the back bench with his wife. I gave him a huge smile and he smiled back. I went up a few rows and sat down and just couldn't believe who was sitting right behind me. We soon all went in to start and there was only 9 of us. I was so blessed today to have the privileage of being able to participate in a very small and beautiful Temple session with a man who is a special witness of Christ. Throughout the meeting I couldn't help but ponder on the early saints and I just felt such an overwhelming amount of gratitude for their strength and courage. I had strong feelings that I was meant to be there in the Temple at that time and with Elder Andersen to help feel of the Spirit of the Pioneers there with us in the Temple identical to the one they worked so hard to build so long ago. I felt that I need to have more courage and strength in hard times. It was an experience I will never forget. What a remarkable answer to my prayer. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's true Church. I know that He loves us and is so mindful of our needs; and even wants:) Jesus Christ is his Only Begotten Son. Please do not Doubt; but Believe!
I Love the Sunset on the Mississippi!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our Last few Days with the Students

Oldest Class: Middle School 3rd Graders (Steve, Sandra, Jenny, Kristy, Jenny, Heather, Liji, Veronica, June)
Middle School 2nd Graders (Leah, Monica, Emily, Christina, Lisa, Janet)
Top to bottom (Chase, Harry, Howard, Steve, Blake, Lucas, Leah, Monica, Lisa, Emily, Janet)
Middle School 1st Graders (Brad, Jim, Jeff, Julian, Vin, Den, Luke, Tony, Kaleb)

6th Graders (Stella, Vanessa, Anne, Peter, Andy, Chris, Jay, Kurt, Tyler, Rob)

3-5th Graders (Sam, Michael, Tom, Ian, Adam, Katy, Alana, Tina, Emma, Vicky, Emily, Ella)

Mrs. Young and Jack
Our Youngest and Sweetest student (Nina)
We said our goodbyes to her in the afternoon but then that night as we were in with the oldest class there was a little knock on our door and there was Nina. Tears came to my eyes just seeing her there and I was so touched she came back. She had made us some little crafts and came to have another goodbye. She is one we will never forget. That morning she was the first one to the Academy and when she came into our office she came over to me, hugged my arm and whispered to me, "Mr. Waite and Mrs. Waite go uhm."(motioning her hands away) I nodded my head sadly and said, "Yea." Then she just squeezed my arm so tight and started moaning and saying, "nooooo." It was like the sweetest thing ever.
Jenny, Veronica, and Grace some of our favorites.

Leah was super shy when she came to the Academy and stayed that way for quite awhile; but we finally got her to open up a bit and ended up being one you could really see progress.
My most favorite:) boys class.

Vin was probably our best conversationalist in the whole school and he is Nina's older brother.
Jeff got me some chocolate!
The students brought tons of chips to share. They wanted a party.
Howard tried the hardest.

We got to spend of lot of fun tutoring hours with Vicky.

Vicky, Jess, and Sam
Michael trying to look like Mr. Waite

Emily and Ella

2 of our funnest students and they happened to be brothers. (Julian and Ian)
Doing a dance for the camera.
Ella and Michael
Beautiful Emily

Lucas, Blake, and Chase
Jenny and Grace

We each tutored Kim once a week.
Sylvia was our only High School student that we tutored each week.