This week started off with a three mile hand cart trek, led by President and Sister Call (counselor to the mission president). Many inspirational pioneer stories were shared along the way. The students had a great time pulling the carts through the streams, mud and prairie fields.
The students also had the opportunity to see the young performing missionaries’ shows: “Anna Amanda” and “High Hopes and Riverboats”. It was fun for the group to be in the audience and enjoy the talents of these young missionaries.
A highlight for the students was the Martyrdom Trail tour with Brother Craig Dunn. He took the students on the path from Nauvoo to Carthage – stopping along the way at historical points of interest. Craig shared many insights about the events that occurred in the last few days of Joseph Smith’s life.
The group performed at the city park in Macomb, Illinois. It was a lunch hour performance and many people, young and old, came to watch. The dancers were able to interact and visit, and invite many people to the evening performances in Nauvoo.
The Folk Dance Ensemble was able to visit the Joseph Smith sites run by the Community of Christ. The tour guide remembered them from 2008, when the group helped fill sand bags to create a levy around the Nauvoo House. There were four members of the ensemble who were a part of that 2008 group. The guide thanked them again for the efforts in saving the Nauvoo House. The tour guide was very gracious and also shared with the group that he is a 5th great grandson of Joseph and Emma. At the end of the tour the group finished in the Red Brick Store on the 2nd floor. The group sang the song “Irish Blessing” for him in the Red Brick Store on the second floor. He said: “I’m confused, because I thought you were a dance group, but you also sing so beautifully.”
Their trip to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield proved to be successful. They performed in the rotunda for a very enthusiastic crowd who stopped and enjoyed the presentation. One lady came up afterwards and said: “What a pleasant surprise. I did not know that attending the museum would also include a delightful performance from such clean cut students”. The students had the chance to go through the museum after their performance and were able to interact with people who had watched the performance. The students loved the experience at the museum. The “Ghost in the Library” show was a hit!
Their last day in Nauvoo was spent driving to Memphis, Missouri; a small Americana town. The sponsors were volunteers of the community and were very excited for them to be there. They fed the students lunch at the Methodist church before the performance. The small theater created an intimate atmosphere and big energy for the performance.