Next stop was at Spring Hill, Missouri, also known as Adam-Ondi-Ahman. It is a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere. We went to a couple of scenic overlooks. There are fields and fields surrounding the area, with groves of trees, small streams, and even ponds throughout the property. This is an important LDS church history site. We took pictures of this tree because it had a weird fruit on it that none of us had ever seen before. We asked one of the missionaries about it while in Nauvoo, and he told us it is called Osage Orange. The fruits are larger than grapefruit, and good for keeping bugs away. If you want to know more about Adam-Ondi-Ahman, go to http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=06f2759235d0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1
for a great article about the events that took place in Missouri.
Our next destination was the Beautiful City of Nauvoo. We stayed at a great place called Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites. I would highly recommend it. There are not a lot of hotels in the area, but this one was great. We got a great room with a kitchen, three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and could sleep 10. It's perfect for a large family who doesn't plan to spend tons of time in the room as the common spaces are kind of small. There is so much to do in Nauvoo for both adults and children. It is a very family friendly place. Mark, Andrew and I all went into the temple to do Baptisms for the Dead on the afternoon we arrived. Andrew had never been inside the temple before. He was so excited. This was a huge highlight of our entire trip. The Nauvoo Temple is exceptionally busy during the summer months, but in the fall and winter it is very quiet. The workers were so thrilled to have a "youngster" there to do baptisms that they really gave Andrew the royal treatment. He was even given a small tour of areas in the temple that most people don't get to see. It was a really special experience for us.
The next day, Gramma Dee and I went to the temple while Mark walked around town with the kids. I ran into a distant cousin of mine there in the temple. The Flakes are serving a mission in Nauvoo. They wear pioneer clothes and talk to people about what life was like there during the "Mormon" period--the mid 1800s. After the temple, we went to the Visitor's Center and on a horse drawn carriage ride and tour. The kids loved it. The cute missionary "grandpas" who gave the tour were so nice. We really felt the Spirit as he talked to us about many of the early settlers in the area. We took tours of some of the historic homes, and visited the Smith Family Cemetary where Joseph, Emma and Hyrum Smith are buried. The entire city is so picturesque there on the Mississippi River. We only wished we had more time there. We may go back next summer. I really need to finish chronicalling our trip so that I can tell you of our current goings-on here in West Virginia. Stay tuned.