The next day we made our way to the Trail of Hope – which is where the Saints walked for the last time as they headed to the Mississippi river. Along the trail are all the plaques telling stories about leaving Nauvoo and their lives and the trek across to the West. Some of us played characters along the path to give the kids a bit more history about each person – to show how they had real lives.
We then all split up again (which is why some people were dressed up and others were not; it depended on what activity you were doing next and if there was time to change). Zach and Zandra heading to Carthage, Gabe to the temple and I took our group to tour historical sites. We went to the Blacksmith’s shop, the Brickyard and the gun shop. We also went to the gravesite of Emma, Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Rob was at the temple most of the day as they needed extra men in those groups. He joined us for lunch in the park, and then we joined him in the beautiful Nauvoo temple (which was rebuilt in the early 90’s in the same location where the original stood).
That evening was a lot of free time. Our family was supposed to work on a skit, which they sort of did. But mainly kids just hung out. Rob and I walked up to get some famous frozen custard. Our own two boys seemed to have disappeared for several hours with some of their partners in crime…. I believe there are some pictures and videos about their adventures….hmm….
Our last day involved various service projects. Zandra went with a group to the home of an elderly couple to help them organize their garage. Rob and I went down to historic Nauvoo with a group and helped put mulch around many trees. Gabe and Zach went with a group (which included their best buds) to an abandoned school house that needed cleaning up. In hindsight, I’m not sure it was not the best location to send teens…they got a little talking to at the end of the project. They weren’ t the only ones who got into mischief we noted as we walked by the building and the fire alarm was going off and we saw up ahead the fire dept ready to roll…. We have some amazing, incredible kids, but they are still teens too:)
We finished off the day with watching the skits that each family had made.
We followed this up with a moving testimony meeting before having dinner and then boarded our buses for the 16 hour drive home.
Driving through the night was pretty good as everyone mainly slept. We had a couple of workshops on the bus too to close off this incredible experience.
A wonderful trip!