Lowell Massachusetts was established in 1826 and used to be East Chelmsford. It was renamed for an early industrialist, Francis Cabot Lowell, who sought to imitate the success of England in the textile industry. We learned all this from a visit to the Lowell National Historic Park a few days ago on our preparation day. Lowell Massachusetts is the first planned factory city in the United States, and used water powered textile machinery to create the first factories in the USA to take in raw product, cotton, and produce finished dyed cotton fabric. This process was very innovative, and the manpower at the beginning was woman power. The original workers were the daughters of New England farmers, who became the “mill girls.” Later, the immigrant population replaced the mill girls, and now the city of Lowell, continues to have vibrant and diverse population. We enjoyed a morning of touring and learning about the textile industry and the innovative approach to manufacturing undertaken here. Our niece, Rachel Scott, visited us and we toured the museum on that occasion and earlier with the two Spanish speaking sister missionaries, with whom we enjoyed a canal boat tour of the Lowell canals. The resulting cloth is a tightly woven and durable fabric, useful for all types of clothing. Here are some pictures from the our museum and boat tour.
We were able to see a demonstration on machinery from the early 1900’s as it used weaving machines to create the versatile cotton textiles that were the product of the mills. As I thought about the process of weaving and how important it is to have the right type and color of thread to create fabrics and cloths, I thought of how important it is to have the right thread and colors in our lives to create a durable and lasting tapestries. We were able to visit the Boston Massachusetts Temple yesterday. In that holy house we make covenants with God to follow him and be a disciple. One of our callings here is to teach the Temple Preparation Class. One of our students was able to go for the first time and make these sacred covenants. Her tapestry of life is now starting to be woven with threads of rich colors that will over the years endure for eternity. Her weaving will be tightly woven and able to endure trials and tribulations that will come, and despite these trials will remain vibrant and distinctive. We are all “woven” tightly to the Savior as we live like him and seek to help others to do the same and make and keep sacred covenants.
Here are some pictures from these experiences of the past few weeks as we continue our mission here. We have now served five months of our mission. Time seems to flow quickly now. On the 4th of July we sponsored the sisters and elders in our district in the 2-mile Chelmsford 4th of July Race. They enjoyed it and we enjoyed that they enjoyed it.
We are working primarily with the Spanish group in the Lowell First Ward. Recently we had a group barbecue and it was well attended. They know how to grill very well these folks, especially our group leader who is from Uruguay. It was all very tasty and we had a group picture afterward.
Lastly, we received new mission leaders at the end of June. We had a meet and greet with them for our Nashua Zone. President and Sister Hayden are from California and we know that they will do a terrific job here in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. Here is our zone and they are on the far left.
And so the work continues. We are starting to help more people with family history. Sister Zollinger gave an outstanding youth fireside on the subject and it was a great success. One adult leader said that it was the best fireside he had ever attended on the subject. If you know Sister Zollinger, you know that it is her passion. In my very biased opinion it was outstanding. The youth were engaged and participative. As always, thank you for your prayers. I felt it keenly in the temple when prayer was offered for all the missionaries world-wide. This time it was personal.