Visiting Mimi Joy!


We arrived in Mimi’s neck of the woods on Tuesday. Toby’s mother, Joy, has been serving an 18 month mission for our church. We have not seen her in 15 months, so a stop to see her in Missouri was at the top of our list as we planned our trip itinerary.


She is serving in the Independence Missouri Mission and lives in Trenton, Missouri with her companion, who we have affectionately adopted as our new Aunt Sue.


We met on Tuesday morning at the Independence Visitor Center, the start of our tour of historical church sites in the area. This visit was a double blessing. We were able to visit Mimi Joy and tour some special historically significant places in our church’s history.

The best part was that we had two fabulous, personal, missionary tour guides to show us around.

On the first day we visited the

Independence Visitor Center:

Independence:  Identified as the center place of Zion. A temple site was dedicated on August 3, 1831. The Saints were driven from Jackson County in 1833. Here the visitor center focused on the story of the pioneers during their time in Missouri. 


Liberty Jail:

Liberty Jail:  Joseph Smith and others were unjustly imprisoned here from December 1838 to April 1839. In the midst of troubled times for the Church, Joseph called on the Lord for direction.


Far West Temple Site:

Far West:  This was the largest Mormon settlement in Missouri. A site for a temple was dedicated at this location. Here on July 8, 1838, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received a call from the Lord to serve missions in the British Isles

and the site of the Haun’s Mill massacre:

“Haun’s Mill, Caldwell County, Missouri is the site of one of the great tragedies in early Mormon history. It was here that a mob of some 240 men attacked the LDS settlement centered around a mill on Shoal Creek operated by Jacob Hawn. At least seventeen men were killed and others wounded.”

The following morning we visited Adam-Ondi-Ahman, where we met a church historian from the area who gave us a very special tour of this holy site.


It was an incredible experience!


Preacher’s Rock


After a picnic lunch we drove to see a few other fun sites in the area, including:

The Squirrel Cage Jail:

“The design and size of the Historic  Squirrel Cage Jail make it a one-of-a-kind structure.  It was one of 18 revolving (“squirrel cage”, “human rotary”, or “lazy Susan”) jails built.   Built at a cost of about $30,000,  our unique jail has revolving pie-shaped cells inside a cage. 

The design was the invention of William H. Brown and Benjamin F. Haugh, both of Indianapolis, Indiana.  A patent issued to them on July 12, 1881, declared, “The object of our invention is to produce a jail in which prisoners can be controlled without the necessity of personal contact between them and the jailer.”  It was to provide “maximum security with minimum jailer attention.”  As one deputy put it, “If a jailer could count … and he had a trusty he could trust … he could control the jail”.

Today, only 3 revolving jails remain:  a one-story structure in Gallatin, Missouri; a two-story jail in Crawfordsville, Indiana; and the unique three-story jail in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  All three are preserved as museums.”


and a visit to the town of Hamilton:

Hamilton, once known for being home to J.C. Penny, is now known for its quilt shops. Although not a sewer myself, I couldn’t help but be impressed by this little town filled with beautiful fabric shops, each themed with different fabric patterns.

“Little ol’ Hamilton, Missouri has become a quilter’s paradise—some might even call it the “Disneyland of quilting.” A dozen beautiful shops line the main street, enticing restaurants have come to town, and there’s always something new to find!

At MSQC, there’s plenty to love. Shop in specialty stores dedicated to seasonal fabrics, primitives, Civil War and 1930’s reproductions, gorgeous batiks, colorful solids, fresh modern prints, and much more! It might be a bit of a drive, but we promise it’s worth the trip. Get ready for the ultimate quilting experience here in Hamilton.”


The coolest shop on the street, however, was….Man’s land!

This brilliant marketing touchdown is a man cave for husbands. Located in the center of a dozen fabric stores, this room is filled with leather recliners, big screen TVs, books and magazines, a pool table and vending machine…

everything a guy might need to settle in for the day while his wife heads out with his wallet in hand.


We ended our visit with a tour of Mimi’s missionary apartment. The kids loved seeing where Mimi lived and asking questions about life as a missionary.


The also met “Larry,” a funny mask that Aunt Sue and Mimi have fun hiding from each other in an ongoing prank.

Everyone had to try on “Larry.” Can you guess who is who?


We concluded our visit with a delicious Chinese buffet dinner out. Our time with Mimi was short but very sweet. It was great seeing everyone get reacquainted and wonderful seeing how happy Mimi is in Missouri.

Our visit to Missouri church history sites was all the more memorable,

sharing them with Sister Mimi McCleery!

We love you, Mimi!

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