Life Bustling in Nauvoo

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June 23, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We had another full week of service, meetings, and shows. We always do four shows each week in the evenings, two of “Sunset on the Mississippi” and two of “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo.” We then always have five days of service either in the sites or in Facilities Management. On some Sundays we serve together in a site as a couple, which is kind of fun. Also on Wednesday mornings we have a training meeting.

More specifically, Elder Campbell always does five days of Facilities Management, as that is his official assignment. Since it has been too difficult for some of the sisters assigned to Facilities Management to do it every day, I have been serving in that capacity as a volunteer once a week. But this week I served in Facilities Management three days. It was a nice change.

Elder Campbell worked all week on building fence for a horse coral. He worked with several other men. One day, first thing in the morning while he was working, he looked up and saw all twenty of the church’s horses coming down the road, without bridle or lead. They all headed right into the barn to their grain boxes, each going to his own stall labeled with his name. One team of horses are named Nephi and Lehi. Elder Campbell didn’t have a camera with him, but that is one thing he is hoping to get a picture of, the twenty horses who also serve as missionaries here. We did go to get a picture one evening, but the horses had been moved to another pasture and we couldn’t find them. We got a picture of a deer, though, that had come in close to eat the mulberries.

I worked on planting flowers in the herbal gardens one day, and was with the head gardener for the church on another day. He cut back a whole huge table full of beautiful coleus plants while Sister Mengel and I fertilized them and put them outside ready to be watered. There were so many plants that it almost took the whole six-hour shift. It was interesting work because the gardener, Dorrell, has a lot of knowledge about plants. He has worked here for 35 years. We were able to ask him a lot of question about what he is doing with the plants. The plants he was cutting are to be starts for next year. Dorrell is responsible for all of the gardens and shrubbery here. There are so many varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and he can probably name them all.

The third day in FM I worked on trimming some shrubs in front of the Visitor Center windows again. Sister Bogaski was trimming right next to me and discovered a bird sitting on a nest with three little baby chicks, their beaks wide open. I pulled my camera out and she got a picture of them for me. A red cardinal kept parading around the grounds, too, allowing me to get several pictures of him.

I also served in the Sarah Granger Kimball home and the Family Living Center this week. I enjoy working on the shawl loom in the Family Living Center whenever I get a chance.

On Thursday Elder Campbell did an almost perfect job of saying his lines in “Rendezvous.” Hopefully it is getting to be fun for him. I really enjoy acting on the stage and try to put a lot of expression on my face in whatever scene I am in. We enjoy our cast, and had a cast party last night for dinner and a little bit of entertainment.

After “Sunset” on Friday I was pleasantly surprised to greet the Wardle family from Paul and Whitney’s old ward. They had come to pick up their son from his mission in St. Louis, and stopped in Nauvoo. They specifically planned to attend “Sunset” so that they could see us. Three of their sons had been in Paul’s Scout troop, so they are a special family to him. It was fun to visit with them for a few minutes. After that they took the “Trail of Hope” tour while we stayed to watch BYU Vocal Point perform. Nine young men sing a capella. They do a wonderful show. They are doing a fireside for us tonight, one of the little perks we get for serving a mission here.

In church today we learned that we should learn something new every day. Learn something new and write it down, the teacher, Sister Excell said. Every person you meet can teach you something, and, in turn, they can learn something from you. All you can take with you when you die is what’s in your heart and in your head.

So, with that we sign out for another week! We send our love to you all!

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. Trials are for our benefit. They help us develop our character, if we allow it, and they can also help us draw closer to Christ.

chicks in a nest (above)
cardinal in the women’s garden
Elder Campbell in front of the new fence he helped put up
Deer near the horse coral
Sister Campbell working on the shawl loom

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Blessings of Service

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June 17, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

What a fast-paced week! Some of the highlights were working in the gardens for Facilities Management. I help clean out the flower beds last week and worked today planting them. It is a nice change from the sites to be able to do that.

Elder Campbell completed a job on Elder and Sister Ballard’s house, putting on new siding. Today he is working on the Orson Hyde home, repairing and replacing window frames.

Last week we spent about an hour over at the Community of Christ excavation project. They are excavating the Lucy Joseph Smith Sr. log home. It is quite interesting work. One of the missionaries found a fairly good-sized piece of pottery that is purported to be over 2000 years old.

The show “Rendezvous” is going quite well. Every chance he gets Elder Campbell works on his lines. He has them down perfect!

The other night a car drove past us as we were walking to the outdoor stage for “Sunset on the Mississippi.” The lady asked Elder Campbell, “Are you Evelyn’s parents?” as they drove off. I said, “Who are you?” A little bit later we caught up with them. They were Dave and Shauna Landon, formerly of Soda Springs. Dave works for the Department of Energy and travels a lot. Right now he is working out of Chicago. It was fun to see them. We also saw them in the temple the next day. Their daughter and family, Tony, who live not too far away, drove here to spend time with them. We saw them on Sunday in the Print Shop, where we were serving. Also with them were Charlene Simons and her husband, of Grace, which was fun.

Sunday was so busy that I had no time to write. After church services we hurried off to serve at the Print Shop. A couple of young elders who are Nauvoo Brass Band members came to serve with us, and we enjoyed that. The Print Shop is a fun place to serve. They have some printers of the 1840’s era, and we get to show visitors how printing was done.

After that we quickly ate dinner, leftover Southern Chicken Soup, then went to a district meeting, then to a fireside by Susan Easton Black Durrant. She spoke about the 70’s of Nauvoo. It was really very interesting. Sister Durrant has done extensive research on Nauvoo and is known as a historical expert.

That is all I can write right now. I hope and pray that you will all feel the blessings of our service, as stated by Bishop Hegemann in a special prayer we had with him before our mission. That even down to the youngest grandchild will feel the effects of our service. I pray that you, our dear parents, will feel the blessings from our service, as well, and all of you, our family and friends.

I bear witness that this is God’s work that we are doing. That Jesus is the Christ, and that the gospel was restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s mouthpiece today, that he is guided as to the affairs of the church, and that we each can receive guidance over our own jurisdiction and knowledge of the truthfulness of these things for ourselves through the power of the Holy Ghost. In Jesus’s Holy Name.

Sister Campbell

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

Young performing missionaries
Sister Campbell with other missionaries in the herbal garden (above)

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Everything is Free in Old Nauvoo

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June 9, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was even busier than the last. But it was a good week! It started with a zone conference Sunday evening. President Gilliland taught us about being flexible with the changes being made (such as scheduling changes), and being flexible on our tours, depending on the situation. We also had a slide show prior to the conference, which is always done. Elder and Sister Wise prepare a slide show with pictures taken during the past month. For some reason there was an over abundance of pictures of Elder Campbell and I, most of which you have already seen.

Tuesday night at “Sunset on the Mississippi,” I played my solo. I am playing “Cliffs of Moher,” an Irish fiddle piece, followed by “Back Up and Push.” I didn’t get it quite like I wanted, but it went ok. Elder Tunell, the young performing missionary, did great on the guitar. After our show we watched the BYU International Folk Dancers. They are here for two weeks, with show is nightly except Sundays. They are fantastic! They consist of about 24 dancers and 10 musicians. The musicians form a combo that performs numbers between dances. They are truly outstanding performers, all of them. They have costume changes with every new dance. You may have seen them on KBYU. During the show we sat by a sweet couple from England. They were here on their honeymoon. What a cool place to spend a honeymoon. Everything is free in Old Nauvoo!

On Wednesday I worked with a couple of senior sister missionaries in the Brigham Young Home. One of the young band members also worked with us, Sister Brunner. Those young missionaries are so good at teaching. She had studied what to say, and after I started a practice tour for her, explaining where a few items of interest were, an actual tour came in. She was ready to give them the tour. It was a really good day, as we all worked well together and our visitors were responsive.

On Friday I met a lady who was an Ellsworth. I had just served in the Land and Records Office the day before, continuing my work on updating the Edmund Ellsworth file. Come to find out, her husband is a descendant of Edmund Ellsworth. She was thrilled to hear about what I was doing, and even took a picture of me to send to her in-laws.

Elder Campbell now has a small speaking part in “Rendezvous” and did it for the first time this week. He got very nervous and completely forgot his lines on the second show. He asks that you pray for him, that he will be able to remember his lines. For the first show he did quite well, which is remarkable considering who our audience was. We had a house full of BYU Folk Dancers. They were a very lively and responsive audience, which made it fun. The cast was more animated, too.

I did my solo again on Friday night, pulling it off perfectly. I went slightly slower on the tricky part, which made it better. It has a shuffle bowing, which I realized I do better when I have my eyes on the notes, even though I do have them memorized. We also danced Clarinet Polka the best we have done. So it was a good night.

This week Elder Campbell ran a power washer for FM. He worked with a young hired employee cleaning off the face of many of the site buildings.

On Saturday we attended the temple. As we were leaving I met one of the temple workers. She thanked me for all that we do in learning the site tours and the songs and steps for the shows. She was so appreciative that it brought tears to her eyes. I told her that we appreciated her to, that we need the service they do for us in the temple so that we are able to do the best we can in our responsibilities. And that is so true. Without the aid of Heavenly Father, we would not be able to do as well all that we are called upon to do at this time.

We trust that you are all well and happy, and that you, too, are able to accomplish all that you are called upon to do. We pray for your safety and that we will be one with you in Christ.

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Our church house
– Our house (above)

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Trials, Faith and Growth

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June 2, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

How is everyone doing? Things are going great here! In fact, this is the most awesome place in the world to be! I have never been in a place where there are so many Zion people. The missionaries here are of “One heart and one mind, and [dwell] in righteousness. . .” (see Moses 7:18). Of course, no one is perfect, but everyone is striving to follow Christ in word and deed. It is a delight and uplifting to serve here.

We just got home from our church meetings. In a little bit Elder Campbell and I will go to the Family Living Center to serve for a couple of hours. It is one of my favorite places to serve, as it has such a variety of things to talk about. The women talk about candle making, bread making, and spinning, and the men talk about pottery, weaving, rope making, and barrel making. For the most part we give a demonstration and do not actually do the process. I also like working on the shawl loom, which I may have already told you about. We actually do make beautiful shawls there.

Another place I really enjoyed this week was the Tin Shop. There again we only demonstrate, but there are a lot of antique tools and equipment to talk about that were used in making tin pots and pans. I hadn’t realized that tin has been around since the 1700’s. Tin items were very handy, and in many instances a lot nicer to use than those made of wood or ceramic, which were the other materials available during the early 1800’s.

Elder Campbell helped build fence this week in the Old Pioneer Cemetery. He also worked on making some new gates. On Wednesday he went with several van loads of missionaries to a tornado stricken area about 70 miles south of here in Hannibal, Missouri. Several men worked with chain saws in cutting up fallen trees. Others carried the logs up an embankment, out of people’s yards. The people of Hannibal were very thankful for the help the missionaries and other church members provided.

The young sister missionaries gave an inspiring sociable (fireside) last Sunday evening. They depicted in word and song some of the pioneer hardships, experiences, and trials that brought even greater faith and growth to the people. The whole program was wonderful. They are all so talented musically and were so inspired in their presentation.

The final number was the hymn, “Come, Come Ye Saints.” It began with some of them dressed in pioneer clothing and sitting and resting around a campfire. One started singing the hymn and before long others sleepily joined in. Little by little they were all singing. Then the remainder of the sister missionaries came on stage in regular Sunday dress. They were depicting angels to aid and sustain the pioneer women. They added volume to the rendition. Finally, on the last verse we were instructed to stand and join in. The sound was voluminous. The feeling I had was that we represented the Saints in Salt Lake, the descendants of the pioneers, who are now going forth to proclaim the gospel throughout the world.

After that number the applause was so great (the applause that we had been instructed to hold until the end) that, as I wrote in my journal, “it would probably still be going if the one designated to give the closing prayer hadn’t stepped forward. This is an amazing mission.”

And it just keeps getting better.

Well, that’s all I have time for right now. Have a wonderful week, all! Thank you for your letters! We love them, so keep them coming!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

-Some of the beauties of nature in Nauvoo

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