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