We Sang Our Duet


March 30, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We completed the bulk of our training today! Tomorrow Elder Campbell and I will be on our own in the Family Living Center. We will teach visitors how the pioneers made rope, barrels, rugs, shawls, candles, pottery, and bread. There will be other couples working with us, so we won’t have to do it all, but for the first time we won’t have mentors with us. We did some training in the various sites during the latter part of the week. I trained in the Brigham Young home and the Lyon Drug Store. Elder Campbell was in the brick yard learning the process of making brick and in the Seventies Hall. We are learning to tell the stories of these sites. It will be a lot easier once we know what to say.

On Wednesday we had our little audition. We sang our duet, “I Am A Child of God,” while I played the guitar. We had practiced well and so were well prepared. Elder Campbell did a great job, especially since it was his singing debut! I am so proud of him! I also played an original version of the same song on the violin, and then played the melody on the tin whistle. It was actually kind of fun.

Sunday is our busiest day. After our early morning church meetings we will almost always have an assignment in one of the sites. That is the only day we will work together in the sites. The other days Elder Campbell will be working in Facilities Management while I work in the sites. From what has been said he will be doing some welding. He hasn’t had anything to do with that yet. Now that our site training is finished he will start Facility Management training.

We are also training to be on stage. We are learning the songs and steps for the show, “Rendezvous,” We attend the show every evening. It is interesting to see how the various casts interpret the dialog.

Elder Campbell met Elder Ballard from Snowflake while he was training in the Seventy’s Hall. In the course of their conversation they found out that they served in the same mission as young men, at nearly the same time. Sister Ballard is the one I met in Mesa at a JoAnne’s store, when we were both looking for fabric. Elder Campbell and I find little connections with other missionaries all of the time. Another couple, Elder and Sister Germer, are the parents of Nick Germer, who taught band in Grace a couple of years ago. The Germers performed the husband and wife duet in the show, “Rendezvous” tonight, and did a really nice job.

Earlier this week we also had the privilege of meeting with President and Sister Gilliland for breakfast. President Gilliland is very punctual and organized. He had each of us state three traits of ourselves as we went around the table. There were eight couples in all. During meetings President Gilliland instructs us from Preach My Gospel and the scriptures on many basic and important topics. Sister Gilliland is very open and candid when she teaches, easily bringing in the spirit. I have an easy time relating to the things she says.

We had a surprise visit from some friends from Soda, the Howey Humphreys family. They came here on spring break. They stopped to see us a couple of times, as they were in town for about three days. We found out from Matisha that Lisa Lakey Smith of Soda Springs is a descendant of William Gheen, whose home we are living in. That is really cool! What an awesome location the Gheens had, and subsequently had to leave.

We went to a temple session on Thursday. We were impressed with the beauty of the building. The spiral staircase with a wooden banister is very striking! It is supposedly much like it was in the early days. As I looked at it I thought of those people who sacrificed so much to build that temple and then had to leave it…and their homes. I stand in awe of those pioneers and their sacrifice. They gave everything they had to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. And look what has come of it now! The saints went west then, and now the saints in the west go all over the world to proclaim the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That is exactly what we will be doing in our sites: proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and planting little seeds of testimony in the hearts of those who visit. That is our purpose and that is our calling.

It was also neat to be in the Brigham Young home and realize that the room Brigham added on was used as a council room. It was where decisions were made and the move west was planned and discussed. It is exciting to see the old China that was found in the root cellar belonging to that house. That China would have belonged to Brigham Young’s wife, Mary Ann.

Well, Elder Campbell and I need to do a companion study and then go to bed. So I will sign off for now.

We send our love to all!

Elder and Sister Campbell






Top – Elder and Sister Campbell in costume as missionary guides at Family Living Center
Bottom – Elder Campbell preaching in the Seventy’s Hall
– Elder and Sister Campbell at print shop
– Elder Campbell at sunstone at temple quarry
– Along Mississippi River


The spirit cannot be restrained when pure testimony of Christ is born.


The spirit cannot be restrained when pure testimony of Christ is born.

Such was the experience of the early Saints who lived during the time of Joseph Smith in the city of Nauvoo. Elder Campbell and I arrived in Nauvoo on March 22, 2013. It was a beautiful spring day…then. We were immediately immersed in some orientation, had our picture taken, and met with President and Sister Gilliland. We were assigned to the Gheen home, originally built by William Gheen.

William and Esther Gheen were taught by the missionaries in 1840 in Pennsylvania and subsequently moved their family to Nauvoo. When originally constructed, the Gheen house had four rooms, two on each floor. Brick chimneys at both sides of the house were built to receive stovepipes for cooking and heating stoves. Those fire-gables were removed sometime in the 1880’s. Over the years other changes were made to the house, as well. But as in its original day, it views the Mississippi River to the west and the Nauvoo Temple to the east, with nothing but trees and grass (and on days like today, snow) in between. We are totally spoiled in this “pinch me to see if this is real” phase of our lives. However, reality will set in soon as we begin our on-site training tomorrow.

Last week at the MTC was great, with two outstanding devotional speakers, one on Sunday and one on Tuesday. Monday we drove to Salt Lake City to the visitor’s center on Temple Square. We took a tour to view an example of the type of tours we will be conducting. Our classroom instructors, Elder and Sister Mitchell, were outstanding in training us for our assignments in Nauvoo. As last week, we did some role playing to practice greeting and talking to visitors.

Monday night TR and Amber drove down to see us. We went out to dinner together and had a great time, reminiscing a little about the time five years ago when they came to see us off to our Ireland mission. We also happened on Sister Burgoyne that day at the MTC. We gave her a final hug, as she was leaving early the next morning for the Ukraine.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent completing our training with Elder and Sister Mitchell. Elder Mitchell is very personable and close to the spirit. Sister Mitchell is quite spirited and fun. It made for a good combination. There were sixty six missionaries in training with us. All but two were heading to Nauvoo. Everyone arrived in Nauvoo in good order, after two or three days of driving.

Saturday we did laundry. We were happy to find a washer and dryer in our full unfinished basement. We shopped to stock our kitchen shelves at Walmart in nearby Keokuk. In the evening we attended the “Rendezvous” show, which we will soon be a part of. The cast did a wonderful job! It is a fun show.

Today we attended church, met more of the missionaries, and visited the Brigham Young home in preparation for tomorrow’s training. We also had dinner with most of the newly arrived couples, hosted by one of the couples, the Lybberts. Getting to bed early seems to be our challenge. Our days begin early. Tomorrow we and several other couples will have breakfast at the Mission President’s home.

This is an exciting place to be. We do miss all of you. Please write us and let us know what you are doing. Know that we are thinking of you and remembering you constantly in our prayers.


Elder And Sister Campbell







March 16, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had a very busy week! Our first day was full of instruction, entering with a huge group of new senior missionaries. 64 of the new senior missionaries are going to Nauvoo. The MTC itself has about 2800 young missionaries right now. By mid-summer they expect to have a lot more, with half of them being sisters. The young missionaries are all great! It is fun to talk to them and find out where they are going. There is a lot of excitement in this place.
We met Sister Burgoyne (Sally Ann) in the cafeteria our first day. It was very nice to see her. She made it a point to find us, and again the next day. She sat close by us at the devotional on the 2nd night, and we met up afterward to pose together for a picture. She is a good gal and will go a long way in her missionary work in the Ukraine. Our devotional speaker was Elder Johnson of the 70.
All week we have been training so that we will know how to teach the gospel to investigators and less-actives, and how to work with the ward leadership. Our instructors are very good. Most of them are college students. We are amazed that they can teach us so well at such a young age. We had to do role plays a few times, which was difficult. We know the gospel very well, but to teach it in words that make sense to someone who is not familiar with the doctrine is a challenge for us. But we studied hard and did pretty well. Elder Campbell took the initiative in most of the teaching. I was good at interjecting now and then. That’s the way we did it for most of our role plays. We found that role plays can be very effective.
There are some very nice couple missionaries training with us. One couple, the Pixlers, are from Mesa, Arizona. They lived in Tempe in the 60’s and knew Mary Ida and Ed Burgoyne and the Moody’s, as they lived in Tempe First Ward. Later we talked to the Jones, who are from Phoenix and are in the Phoenix Camelback Stake. They knew Grandpa John, who interviewed their son when he got his Eagle. We had eight couples in our district. One couple is on their way to Sweden at this moment, and another is already in New Jersey, as their mission president needed them right immediately. We and one more couple in our district are leaving for Nauvoo on Wednesday the 20th. The first of the week we will be training specifically for our mission assignment.
It is great to study the gospel a good part of the day. Studying how to teach the Atonement, repentance, forgiveness, the restoration of the gospel, faith, prayer, and the Book of Mormon is rewarding, especially when you can in all sincerity promise wonderful blessings from reading and praying and living righteously. I know by experience that these things bring many blessings, and I believe that I have only experienced a small percentage of the possible blessings.
Today was our P-day, so we did our laundry and went to the temple. We were amazed at the amount of young people working in the temple, kids in their early twenties. It was very nice to see. Afterwards we ate at a Mexican restaurant nearby, as we arrived too late for lunch in the MTC cafeteria (due to a schedule error).
I will close with an anecdote given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland.
“Come to the edge!” he called to them.
“No, we’ll fall,” they answered.
“Come to the edge!” he called again.
“No, we’ll fall.”
“Come to the edge!” he insisted emphatically.
We came to the edge.
He pushed us, and…..We flew!
Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.

Know that we miss all of you and pray for you every day!
Elder and Sister Campbell

Location:Missionary Training Center, Provo, Utah