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