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!
Elder and Sister Campbell
-Some of the beauties of nature in Nauvoo