|John Needham (1819-1901) Grandma Elinor's Missionary.|
The highlight was standing next to a stack of boxes that the guide said was full of stones found by the archaeologists while digging for the foundation of the restored Nauvoo Temple. They made up the original oxen supporting the baptismal fount. They have been digitally scanned and so that a replica of the originals can be reconstructed hopefully to be on display in the Nauvoo Visitors' Center. We could see right into the boxes. The urge was strong to reach out and touch as I did with George Washington's portmanteau a long time ago, but I slapped my hand as I don't want to be exiled in more than one way.
The work is challenging but fun as I piece together on my Excel spreadsheet the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called from the field in Britain, especially Wales, back in the early days of the Church. My spreadsheet is not at hand, but here are links to some that I have worked on:
John Needham (he baptized Grandma Elinor in 1841!)
John Silvanus Davis (translated the Book of Mormon into Cymraeg!)
Frederick Cooke (Royle and Cooke organized the first branch in Cloy, Overton, Flintshire in North Wales).
William Howell (fist Missionary to France sent from Wales!)
Levi Richards (surgeon to the Prophet Joseph Smith and missionary in Wales!)
William Rees Davies
Joseph Davis Mathews (Hopkin's cousin. At first I thought he was a brother but I kept checking.)
Richard Steele (first we know of to preach in Hay-on-Wye)
There is still much work to do. The harvest is great and the workers are few!
The main point I want to make here is that I am very thankful for this great and wonderful chance to drink from the "grail." The beauty of a senior-service mission is that they really try to accommodate your interests, especially if you can demonstrate helpful skills in a needed area. Then they turn you loose to do good!
The early missionaries of Wales hold a place in my heart because Grandma Elinor held them in hers.