Monday, May 27, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Sister YPM in Nauvoo

…So, about our shows, We had a dress rehearsal day on Friday so we got a bit of a first run practice of what our day is like. And yesterday was the real deal. It is so strange going from practicing in silence to having a real audience. It really livens up the place. I am in cast A and my day usually goes as follows:

Wake up by 6:30 to shower and get ready (5 girls sharing a shower... its crazy. But the upstairs girls have 6 or 7 sharing a shower so I'm not complaining)
We get together as sisters before we leave and have a circle prayer in our living room and come up with a word of the day to try to remember and live by. (like obedience has been one, reverence, focus, energy, do-ers etc)
We drive to the visitors center and have prep meeting by 8 am to 8:30-ish with the band YPMS and we prep and do whatever else needs to be done so that we can be at the cultural hall (the original one on main street) by 10 for our cast call for Just plain Anna-Amanda. (If you are in B cast, you would then get ready and go do "Nauvoo Singers" which is the singing group that walks around town and sings TONS of random, happy, fun, and spiritual songs.

These two casts switch daily)
Perform Anna-Amanda from 10:30 to 11:15
Be back to the visitors center by 11:30 for lunch
Back to cultural hall for the second run of Anna-Amanda at 12 for the 12:30 show
Meet the audience, and running back to visitors center to get ready for High      hopes.
Have notes from last high hopes performance at 2.
Sing on balcony at 2:15
Start first cast at 2:30 of High Hopes (casts switch off)
Meet audience at 3:45
Reset stage and do notes again at 4.
Sing on balcony at 4:15
Change for Sunset by the Mississippi costume  AND be done with dinner by 6:30
Meet on outdoor sunset stage at 6:30
Sunset show at 7
Meet audience at about 8
RUN to trail of hope by 8:10 so we can start it by 8:30
And perform that until the last group gets through, however long that may be (usually around 10pm)
Then go home, say prayer with my sisters, and do it all again the next day!!

What a happy day. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else! We are going non stop so sometimes writing letters home is rough. I think once we REALLY get into our schedules we will know more about how to manage our time and it will become easier.
It has been SUPER rainy here. The humidity hasn't bee bad. Except for the one day we had to run to the basement of the visitor’s center when they were worried about a tornado. (I just re-read that and laughed at how casual it sounded. It was just another day here in Nauvoo.) That doesn't happen often, and it wasn't anything too bad to worry about. It was just a HUGE storm. Like, I did the lightening strike/ thunder count and it was literally only like 2 or 3 seconds away. But everything was fine, and the humidity actually wasn't too bad after the storm passed. I just want to soak up this cool weather because we were told it is going to get HOT here!! (I didn't even pack a jacket I thought it was going to be so hot... So that was a fail on my part) but it hasn't been like Utah cold so no worries.
We get to go to Carthage jail in about a half an hour. I am SO excited! What a privilege. We have a scene in High Hopes that we sing a song called "No ordinary brothers" and it is all about Hyrum and Joseph and how they stuck together through everything. Even to death. It is the moment when the letter from Willard Richards reaches the town and everyone hears about the martyrdom. We are all in our own sections on the stage, spread out in our own family groups, spotlight on each gathering, mourning together. It is absolutely beautiful. Then we end up on our knees, symbolically coming together in one big prayer, in 4 part acapella as we sing a beautiful/sacred prayer to heavenly father about helping us move forward.

"Father in Heaven, grant us this day, strength to move forward, forgive, and obey. Spreading the gospel now and forthwith. Ne'er to forget that we knew a prophet of God... Our brother, Joseph Smith."

 Going to Carthage jail today will change that scene forever for us we hope. We are told we will have the chance to sing there. And I just cannot wait. I learned so much about the prophet the last time I got to go there. I always thought it would be this sad, mournful, solemn place. But it is definitely not, it is a place of love, of faith, and of hope for the future of the church. It made me invigorated the last time I was there. So I know today will be spectacular. I can't wait to tell all about it.

We get to go to the temple every thursday morning at 6:45 am! That seems SO early but it is completely worth it. Our first time was last thursday and I LOVED it so much. What a beautiful temple we have here. I love looking into the meeting room where the early saints would attend church and conduct meetings. I also love looking up the huge spiral staircase that leads to the hall of the celestial rooms. I love it.

Like I said before I am Sally Randall in our trail of hope presentation. She is in her 20's with a husband and family. I wanted to share my monologue which is an actual letter written by Sally to her family in England:

June the first 1846

My dear family,
The temple is finished and dedicated to the Lord. It is a most splendid building. I am very glad that I am worthy to have a name with the saints of God and to enjoy the priviledges that I now do. You think there is no need of going from here but the mobs are threatening continually to come upon us. We heard they were coming today, but I have not seen anything for I believe there is faith enough in the city to keep them back until the saints all get away. We have to make a great sacrifice in order to do so. Most are selling out, although at a very low price. The saints have been going steady since last February and are still going by hundreds. We expect to start in a few days for the west. We go as Abraham went, not knowing whither we go. But the Lord will go before us and he will be our front, and our rearward.
Sally Randall."

What faith. What diligence to follow the word of the Lord. Not knowing where she was going to go, and leaving behind the most beautiful temple.
Well I must run.

Love, Sister Smith.

Monday, May 20, 2013

3 Weeks to Polish 6 Shows....Opens on Saturday!!!

Rehearsal for three weeks straight M-S

From early in the morning til LATE at night....7 am-10pm

Spiritual Feasting....

Singing His Praises.....

! Happy Birthday !

Loving Sisters and NEW dresses

Not just singing, LOTS of dancing too......

NEVER been happier!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

First email from Nauvoo!

Hi Everyone,
 Life is going so well here! It is hot and humid like they said it would be. But the spirit here is SO strong! It is such a wonderful experience to be surrounded by the spirit constantly and in such a high quanitity.
Wearing a name tag has been so powerful. I didn't know that I would feel the love and passion and responsibility I do when I wear it. It's funny, the first week or two, I kept having these weird freak thoughts of, "Oh no! Where is my phone?" and then of course I remembered I didn't have one and it was okay. But recently, we have to take off our badges when we dance on stage and stuff, so when I don't have it on, often times I find my self grabbing at my neck thinking, "Oh no! Where is my name tag?"
Our rehearsals are going well. This is our last week of practicing and we open on Saturday! We open everything! Our mainstage musical "high hopes and riverboast" (which has two casts), our little kids show we do twice a day called "Just plain Anna-Amanda" (also with two casts), our evening show called "Sunset by the Mississippi", and also a vignette we do in the twilight hour (favorite time of day RUINED by the movies) called "The Trail of Hope" We each have a real person we are portraying while we stand on the side of the street called parley street (also known as the trail of hope), that is the street all the saints left out of as they were leaving Nauvoo. So it is a very powerful thing we get to do every other night. There are two casts for those too so I have two parts. I am a girl named Sally Randall in the first one. A woman in her 20's who has a husband and family who have to leave Nauvoo, I recite a letter she wrote to her family back in england about leaving, and in cast B I play Eliza R. Snow. What a priviledge. I get to sing a song she wrote the lyrics for: hymn #122 "Though Deepning Trials" accompanied by a single violin, It is absoutely beautiful. So things sure are moving quick here! But I couldn't be happier.
The spirit runs our rehearsals every day. We will be moving right along and some weird feeling will creep in, or we will start getting worn out and not be performing so well, so we will have a prayer, and amazingly, the bad feeling leaves or we perform just perfect after that. It is amazing what a prayer can do. My testimony of that has grown much more as well.
I am usually pretty good at being obedient about our bedtime, but last night I stayed up a bit later and was talking to one of my sisters here. We talked for a long time about The Savior and our Heavenly Father and the second coming. My testimony of the love and caring that those heavenly beings have for me PERSONALLY has grown so much. I decided I just cant wait until the second coming. It is going to be such a miraculous time.

Love, Samae

Thursday, May 2, 2013

And off to Nauvoo I go... (:

So... I am a very irresponsible human and haven't written in almost 10 months. Well.. in a nutshell, I am cancer free. I finished all of my treatments on September 10th and have gone back to school at SUU and am SO happy. I auditioned yet again for the Young Performing Mission in Nauvoo Illinois for this summer and made it again. I am leaving tomorrow morning and will be using this blog for keeping anyone who is interested updated on how I am doing. I am terribly excited!! So... I am sorry I haven't kept up with this BUT I will be better this summer (because my wonderful mother will help transfer all my adventures out there on here) This really is such a monumental time for me. Reading back on just a few short blog posts ago, I am reminded about how hard it was for me to not be able to fulfill this calling, and now, I have the wonderful opportunity of getting a second chance. Thank you for all the love and support from everyone! I really have felt the prayers of everyone and really apprecite the concern and compassion for me. I will be back in 3 and a half months... See you later!

The church is true. (: