Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bro. Gassaway's Testimony

I just wanted to say that being on work crew has been one of the best experiences of my life. Making new friends it was like a month long party, haha; It has been a good mission preparation experience as well. Being apart of the work crew has reaffirmed in my mind that the Lord is all about work. I was able to strengthen my testimony so much in the spirit and in Jesus Christ while at work crew, I really think that I grew there. I would recommend being on the work crew to anyone, it truly is a testimony building experience. I cant say that being on work crew has finally opened my eyes to the knowledge of Christ love because I already knew, but it most certainly helped me learn of his love for me even more. Working on the flight crew especially helped me to feel Christ's love. Every evening seeing Christ come down like that just made me want to go and share my Saviors love with everyone, I wanted to go shout it from the rooftops so that everyone would know Christ lives and he loves each and every one of us. I know that Jesus loves me, so much in fact he gave his life for me. I know Jesus lives with all my heart and I cannot deny it. I know that the work we were engaged in at work crew was definitely the Lords work and it can only be furthered one way.... Work. If ye have a desire to serve God you are called to the work. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

With love,
Brother Gassaway

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stage views and our fans

Pageant Cast Pictures

Final processional pose.
Destruction scene.
Christ visits the Americas.

News Article from Deseret News

Young men set stage at Hill Cumorah Pageant

By Wade Jewkes
Deseret NewsPublished: Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2008

Since 1937, the Hill Cumorah Pageant has been presenting spectacular outdoor theater productions in Palmyra, N.Y.Each year seven shows are produced with smoke, flames and other special effects with magnificent props and backdrops in the outdoor setting on the slope of Hill Cumorah.The work crew responsible for setting this stage consists of 26 teen-age boys between the ages of 16 and 19 who arrive about two weeks before opening night and stay only about a week afterward to disassemble the entire production.For anyone who has attended this event, the first question that comes to mind is: How could these young kids pull this off? Especially with no experience.Perhaps much of the credit should go to Glen and Donna Krebs, who are in their third year as work crew leaders in charge of this team. Glen Krebs defers credit to the Lord when he explains: "We pray about all the applications and we select who the Lord wants."He said 55 applications were submitted this year and in previous years as many as 100. Four of the young men selected this year were returnees from last year.Ethan Call, of Colonia Juarez, Mexcio, explained why he returned for a second year: "I really enjoyed it the first year and I was planning my mission at the end of my freshman year at BYU. And this is great missionary preparation."He has already received his call to Panama and he cites the parallel missionary experience at Cumorah: "We are given companions," he said, "and we study every morning for about a half-hour." Subject material usually includes scriptures from the play, and they are given a "word for the day."Each of the 26 young men is individually set apart for this "calling." The meal routine includes singing a hymn and reciting the Joseph Smith quote on the "Standard of Truth."Before each performance, all the cast members -- including the young men from the work crew -- mingle in the crowd talking to the people and hoping to do missionary work."Last year I had a great experience," Call said. "There was a man from El Salvador who spoke no English and I was able to talk to him and make a referral." Because he grew up in the Mexican Colonies, he speaks fluent Spanish.Opportunities are provided to visit the Sacred Grove and see other historic Church sites in and around Palmyra.Donna Krebs takes on a role similar to a dorm mother. "It is like having a family, only multiplied. I put up a little job wheel."One youngster ran into a beam and she had to take him to a doctor where he received nine stitches. "My role," she said, "is to make sure they have a clean house and clean clothes and a full tummy."Hard work is part of the script for these teen-agers. The first task after they arrive is to find the holes for 300 posts and map corresponding measurements. After constructing the light towers, they are the ones who run the lights and special effects. And a few take part in the play where they construct Nephi's boat during the actual performance.More than 700 volunteers make up the cast and the work crew. None are paid. Back in the 1960s and '70s, about 90 percent of the participants were from Utah. Today, one official estimated that only about 40 percent were from Utah.Glen Krebs and his family, from Lexington, Ky., participated as cast members for several years before he became involved as a work crew leader. "The thing that was most meaningful to me," he said, "was seeing my family share testimony with the people."Now he wants to provide a similar experience for members of the work crew. "My goal is to try and provide as many opportunities to feel the spirit and build their testimonies."Jordan Hilton, an 18-year-old from Greensboro, N,C,, verified that Krebs' goal is working: "It is definitely a lot of hard work, but it is worth it."Call responded to the question of why a 16-year-old boy would want to do this: "It is a good experience to learn independence. It is a lot of hard work, but it is a lot of fun."Krebs said, "It's the best-kept secret in the church. It's better than youth conference or EFY."Email: is produced by the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah.It is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

NEW Work Crew Pics

Brother Hilton working on the high beam.
A silouette and the complex stage.
The boys and the big green machine.
Having fun at Hobart College.
Breaking the record - too bad it's not an Olympic event.

Brother Marchant's Testimony

Work Crew is the awesomest 4 weeks ever. Not only do you gain 25 best friends and 2 spectacular new parents, you also have loads of fun (imagine a fiesta almost every night), get used to the missionary lifestyle, and most importantly have a tremendously spiritual experience as you visit the sacred sites and learn from many amazing leaders. I know that the church is true and the only church led directly by our Heavenly Father. I know my Savior reigns and one day will reign in glory over the entire Earth when he comes again. I look forward to that day and know that my Work Crew experience helped me prepare to one day bow and bath his feet with my tears. I would challenge any worthy young man to pray if Work Crew is right for them so they too can become better prepared for that wonderful day.

Your Brother
in the Lord,

Brother Marchant