Look back…and see what they [left behind]

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April 20, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been fun! On Tuesday we went on stage before a live audience! All in all I think the new missionaries (including us) did a good job. There are three casts, and the 64 new missionaries are mixed in with the veterans. Elder Campbell had a pottery part and a kicker part. I had the part of Mrs. Hess on Tuesday with a few lines, and was a buggy rider both nights. We both sang all of the chorus numbers.

Yesterday Elder Camp from Salt Lake came. He is the executive director of the show. The veteran missionaries have been dreading his coming, as he has been rather hard on everyone in the past. But he wasn’t so bad this time. He told us of his vision for the show, “Rendezvous,” and the purpose of it. It is to help the audience catch the vision of what happened here and to feel the spirit of Nauvoo through our performance. Rendezvous is a fun show to be a part of.

Today was preparation day. We went on the wagon ride and the buggy ride. I had wanted to do it for some time, and we were finally able to. When we arrived at the wagon I saw a familiar face up in the wagon. I looked again and there were two familiar faces, that of Bart and Ruby Conlin, [of our home town]. They were in Nauvoo to visit her cousin, Sister Ballard, on their way to their mission in Palmyra, N.Y. So that was pretty fun.

This week I worked in a couple of places I hadn’t been before, the John Taylor home and the Land and Records office. There aren’t very many visitors this time of year, so in some of the places I got a bit of crocheting done while waiting for people to come. In the Land and Records office I was able to look up all of mine and Elder Campbell’s pioneer ancestors and get the record of where they lived when they were here. Next is the fun project of driving around to find those places where they all lived. We have that yet to do. Those of you who have been here have probably been to that office. Whenever you do come you should come with the names of all of your Nauvoo pioneer ancestors so that you can look them up yourself.

This week Elder Campbell worked on painting a sealer coat in the bathroom renovation project. He also did some tiling. The floor tiles look like wood. Elder Campbell worked on laying the wall tiles on Friday.

Today the wagon ride took us down the Trail of Hope. The guide told us to look back at the temple and see what they were leaving behind. All of the stories of the people that came here that I have been studying are becoming more and more real to me. The sacrifices they made and the faith they had have a big impact on me and who I am today. As Sister Bennett said, a Japanese lady I worked with this week, “Since I was five I have heard these stories about these people, about how they were converted to the church, how they came here with faith, and how they were driven from their homes. Now that I am here and hearing all of these stories I am realizing that it is real. Their stories really happened. Their sacrifices were real.”

In most of the evenings we have either “Sunset by the Mississippi” practices or “Rendezvous” performances now. We are learning to do a polka for “Sunset.” It is going to be fun, even though we have never done a polka before. I couldn’t believe it when Elder Campbell stayed on stage to learn it.

Yes, we are having a good time, even though it is hard. But it is by difficult things that the most growth will come. “And by small and simple things [which may be difficult for us] proceedeth that which is great.” Doctrine and Covenants 64:33. Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

I am attaching a letter about places to stay and a website to go to that lists all of the events in Nauvoo.

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. I have included a few pictures for. One set of pictures is of a statue of Joseph and Hyrum on horseback, which Elder Campbell took. It depicts their ride as they set out to Carthage, looking at the city and temple for what they knew would be the last time in this life.

Statues of Joseph and Hyrum as they were leaving for Carthage

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John Taylor upstairs bedroom. The horse belonged to his son.
John Taylor’s bedroom. That tall object was his shaving stand, which he used in Salt Lake City
Elder Campbell and young hired worker laying floor tiles
Elder Campbell and Elder Gilespe painting a water-proof sealant on the walls

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Horse and carriage with missionary drivers
Elder and Sister Campbell in front of the horses

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