Elder and Sister Adams, the Directors of the Independence Visitor's Center and Historic Liberty Jail, warmly welcomed us when we arrived in Independence, helped us unload our belongings, invited us to dinner at their home the first evening, oriented us to our responsibilities, and helped us transition to mission life in Missouri. We arrived on Dec 27, 2012 and they completed their mission on January 20, 2013 and returned home to South Ogden, Utah.
A farewell reception held for Elder and Sister Adams. This is Michelle with a few of the sister missionaries and Sister Stevenson, one of the senior sisters who serves at Historic Liberty Jail with her husband. They are reviewing a scrapbook that was prepared for Elder and Sister Adams upon their departure from the mission.
The sister missionaries singing a customized song at the farewell reception for Elder and Sister Adams, to the tune of the theme music from "The Adams Family" TV series.
Our new Directors for the Visitor Centers, Elder and Sister Brenchley, with Sister Saunders, who served at the Independence Visitor's Center for two months awaiting a visa to New Zealand. She received her visa and is flying to New Zealand the next day.
Elder and Sister Pyne with Sister Saunders prior to her departure to New Zealand. Sister Saunders is a soft-spoken, spiritual, and sweet sister, with an amazing singing voice and piano skills.
Standing in front of the plot that Joseph Smith dedicated as a temple site. The property is part of the original 60+ acres purchased by Edward Partridge, and is now owned by the Church of Christ Temple Lot church. The white building in the background is a church owned by the Church of Christ and is located on the dedicated temple lot. This lot is situated northwest of the Independence Visitor's Center (a photo of which is included later in this post).
William A. Sheldon and the Pynes standing by two of the original corner stones of the temple lot in Independence, referred to in D&C 57: 1-3. William A. Sheldon is the oldest living apostle of the Church of Christ Temple Lot, one of the early break-offs from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The temple of the Community of Christ Church (formerly Reorganized LDS Church). This temple is located directly north of the Independence Visitor's Center. It, too, is located on part of the original 60+ acres purchased by Edward Partridge. We look at the spires of this temple many times a day when we are on shift at the Independence Visitor's Center. Michelle strongly dislikes the architectural design of this building!
The Stone Church, owned by the Community of Christ Church, located northwest of the temple in the previous photo, also located on part of the original 60 acres.
All the Independence Visitor's Center sister missionaries gather at 9:00 pm each evening in front of the Christus in the visitor center to sing songs, have a prayer, and arrange car logistics and schedules for the next day. As you can see, we have seven sets of sisters serving in the visitor center at the time of this photo. That will grow to eight sets at the upcoming arrival of new missionaries on January 30, 2013. This is a special experience each evening, listening to the angelic voices of the sister missionaries and joining them in kneeling prayer at the close of the day.
Sister Missionaries are at the core of the visitor centers, and at the core of our missionary lives. A large part of our service is supporting, guiding, uplifting, teaching, and assisting the sister missionaries in their service. Here are sister missionaries from both Independence Visitor's Center and Historic Liberty Jail. Starting from the front, left to right: Sister Sant (Virginia), Sister Atkins (Logan, Utah), Sister Harding (Lehi, Utah), Sister Hansen (California), Sister Grange (Vancouver, Washington), Sister Spivey (Valdosta, Georgia!), Sister Stobbe (Provo, Utah), Sister Moon (Centerville, Utah!), Sister Altier (California), Sister Thorne (Payson, Utah), Sister Hawkins (Spokane, Washington), Sister Wilson (California), Sister Call (California), Sister Lewis (Highland, Utah), Sister Wilson (Oregon!), Sister Singh (Fiji), and Sister Ogletree (Dallas, Texas).
On Preparation Day, taking Sister Sant, Sister Stobbe, Sister Call, and Sister Moon to lunch at Chili's off Highway 291and 35th South in Independence.
The three sets of missionaries who are based at Historic Liberty Jail. From left to right, Sister Spivey, Sister Altier, Sister Ogletree, Sister Hansen, Sister Lewis, and Sister Wilson.
The arrival of new missionaries on January 30, 2013. All the missionaries affected by the transfer resulting from the arrival of the 33 new missionaries to the Missouri Independence Mission met in the parking lot of the Independence Stake Center at 7:30 am on January 30th to be transported to their assigned areas. There were over a 100 missionaries gathered in the parking lot, meeting new companions, saying good-bye to previous companions, taking photos, hugging each other, loading luggage in various vehicles, and leaving for their new areas. The bus in the background is taking missionaries to distant locations. The energy among the missionaries was sky high! This is a photo of all the sister missionaries involved. There are four new sister missionaries assigned to the visitor centers. We are there on our Preparation Day to take Sister Thorne and Sister Altier to the Kaw River area in Kansas City, Kansas. It is a notoriously poor and dangerous area in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. It took us two trips and all morning in our Ford Explorer to transfer their luggage, since they had accumulated so much stuff on their missions.
Standing with Sister Moon, who is opening up a new area with a new companion straight from the MTC. The new area is a suburb of Wichita, Kansas. We worked closely with Sister Moon because she and Sister Stobbe served in the Independence 1st Ward area, our assigned ward.
Elder and Sister Pyne with Sister Thorne, prior to her transfer to Kaw River (in Kansas City, Kansas).
Michelle receiving a birthday gift on January 25, 2013, from Sister Thorne, Sister Call, and Sister Hawkins. The two chairs they are sitting in are the chairs we sit in as we await guests to greet as they arrive at the front doors of the Independence Visitor's Center.
Elder and Sister Pugsley and Elder and Sister Pyne prior to a concert at the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. The performers were Sweet Honey in the Rock, a group of black Acapella singers, who sang gospel, folk, blues, and raggae style numbers. Elder and Sister Pugsley are from Cache Valley Utah. They are the senior senior couple in the visitor centers (in terms of length of service). We have enjoyed their friendship, association, and support as we have transitioned into mission life.
The impressive architecture of the Kaufmann Center for the Perfoming Arts.
Elder and Sister Pyne standing in front of the Independence Visitor's Center. The architecture is somewhat similar to the Church's Jerusalem Center in Israel. Do you think there is a coincidence that the Jerusalem Center and the Visitor's Center at the future New Jerusalem have similar architecture?