My son Mike just told me that sometime we would have to explain what the Mormon Battalion is. Maybe there are more of you that have no idea what we are talking about when we say the Mormon Battalion. So here we go.....
The Mormon Battalion is not a visitor's center but an Historic Site. So we have to be so careful not to proselyte or make people feel we are being missionaries. We try very hard to not make people uncomfortable and just tell the history of what happened. We help tell the story of a group of 500 soldiers who march from Iowa to San Diego. They were recruited through President Polk to go help secure the area here in the war against Mexico. It is told is such fun way. It is a great interactive program that is well done and wonderfully moving. We go to five different rooms. The first room is a room where talking pictures help tell the story. The next room looks like a camp ground that the Mormon's were in when they were recruited and tells the story in a video presentation. Brigham Young tells the camp that they won't have to fight if they keep their faith and are true to the gospel. The third room is the outfitting room. It looks just like the outfitting room that the Battalion actually went to. There we get a volunteer from the group to dress up as a soldier. I will put a picture of Soldier Olivia, our grand daughter, when she came with us to the MB last year. The fourth room is depicting a campfire on the Santa Fe plains. It again is a video presentation showing as a movie what it was like to be there. It shows their challenges and the things they accomplished. We move on to the last room where we are finally back in San Diego. It is a room that depicts the courthouse that the Battalion built after they arrived here. They taught the Mexican's how to make bricks and it was the first brick building in the city. We talk again to pictures and they help tell the end of the story. We explain that these were "ordinary people who did something ordinary through their faith in Jesus Christ". We remind them that the Mormon Battalion was a great success story. They didn't have to fight like they were promised. Everywhere there was supposed to be an army to fight them - no one was there. They help forge new trails that helped others when they came west. They were paid and were able to send money back to help buy wagons, food and supplies for their families to come west, and they helped build the city of San Diego and great relationships with those that were already here.
It is a beautiful building. The sister missionaries usually do the tours. On Tuesdays, it is their P day so the senior couples do the tours then. The sisters really are great and darling. They really make the tours wonderful. And they are so much fun to be around. We really enjoy being there with all of the good people who work with us.
There used to be more talking about religion but we are totally to refrain unless people ask us. We just tell the story of these wonderful people and what they accomplished.
We are going to the San Diego Tourism Authority tomorrow all day. We are making relationships to market the Mormon Battalion try to let more people know how great it is.
I would love it if you all would do me one favor. Go to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site FaceBook page and "like it" and then go to Yelp and put on a positive review of the Mormon Battalion. That would be a good way to help us do some missionary work! There are only 39 reviews on Yelp and three or four of them are negative. But that gives us a bad overall rating. We are thinking that if we all put on a positive report we can bring up the rating.
We love you all! We also love any and all emails and letters we get! Thanks so much for your love and support. It means a lot!