We Invited Him To Come

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July 27, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has flown by. Several interesting things happened. First of all, while I was serving on Monday in Pioneer Past Times, a place where children can dress up in pioneer costumes and/or play old-fashioned games, some old friends from Soda Springs came by, Ed and Eunice Johnson. They are now of Fairfield, Iowa. With them was their daughter, Lydia, and her husband and children, who live in Utah. That was really fun to see them. Ed and Eunice said they would be back, maybe when daughter Debbie comes to visit.

A couple of days later a visitor in the Family Living Center asked me where I was from, seeing that I was a Campbell. Come to find out, he is a second cousin to Elder Campbell. He is from Pocatello, William McKee, on his way home from serving as mission president of the Tennessee Nashville Mission. They had to come home a year early because of a series of very serious health issues of his wife, which all came up at once and unexpectedly. You can read about it at http://desne.ws/Ob6VPIG. They were here in Nauvoo to see their son and his wife, who were in the Pageant this last week. (Each week a new family cast replaces the old one, while the core cast stays for the whole month.) It was pretty interesting to visit with them. I just feel badly that Elder Campbell didn’t get to see them. It will definitely be on our list to go visit them when we get home. RaNae McKee is one miracle woman, and very blessed to still be alive, having gone through a heart attack, two strokes, and heart and brain surgeries, all within a four-day span. She looked like she was doing very well, under the circumstances.

Also, all week long, Elder Oaks and his family were in town for a family reunion. The Utah part of his family came on the train from Salt Lake City to Burlington, Iowa. I’ve been meaning to tell everyone that you can ride the train to get here. It’s cheaper than flying. Anyway, Elder Oaks spoke to us in our missionary training meeting on Friday. The subject was unusual for a training meeting, but I suppose not unusual for the lawyer that Elder Oaks is. He talked of the finances of Joseph Smith and the church back then, based on some research he did as a young lawyer when he lived in Chicago in the 1960’s. His research, among other things, explains why the church got no settlement for all of the land it owned in the 1840’s.

Later while I was again in the Family Living Center, Elder and Sister Oaks and some of their family came in for some of the tours. It was kind of nice, although they just all blended in with the others who were visiting, as it should be.

Elder Campbell spent most of this week working on the siding of a two-story house. He enjoys that type of work better than the other work he has done here. He enjoys working with Elder Gillespie and Elder Mendenhall.

Last night I did my solo again at “Sunset by the Mississippi.” It went well. Tomorrow I will play the guitar for Elder Ballard again. Only four more performances of the show are left for this season.

Another interesting experience is a friendship Elder Campbell and I are developing. We keep running into a young man from Keokuk. He is often in Walmart riding in an electric cart when we go there for groceries on Saturdays. We have invited him to come to the Pageant with us next week. He is pretty excited. He is somewhat handicapped. It will be a fun thing to take him to see it. We will let you know how it goes.

Today (Sunday) we served together in the Brick Yard. We taught people how they made bricks back in the 1840’s. It was a first time to serve there for both of us. It was kind of fun. Nothing lent itself to taking pictures there. But a lot of people came. When they come to the brickyard they get a little brick that we make just for visitors. At the end of one tour, one of the visitors said she saw her mission president and his wife last night, President and Sister Pond, who were there to see their grandson play in the band. Asking a couple of questions, I discovered, you guessed it, Mom, it was cousin Diane and Steve Pond. I am hoping to see them, if they haven’t already left to go home. I think their grandson must be one of the bagpipers. I will try to find out tonight.

Well, gotta go. The Pageant core cast are putting on a show for us tonight. I love you all!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. We just met Ben and Suzanne Holmes and their children. Suzanne is a daughter to Diane and Steve Pond, and looks a lot like Diane. Diane and Steve left this morning, so we didn’t get to see them. Ben is a bagpipe player and their son is a bagpipe drummer. They have only been here for one week, so we haven’t seen them play yet. But we will this week! It was fun to get acquainted a little.

-House Elder Campbell is working on siding (above)
-Look at the size of those mission horses!
-What a beaut!
-Ed and Eunice Johnson with daughter Lydia, her husband, and daughters
-Sister Campbell, Eunice, Lydia
-Sunset taken by Elder Campbell

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There Were Twelve Bagpipers

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July 21, 3013

Dear Family and Friends,

It was another great week! Today, unbeknown to us until we got there, we had a visiting authority, Elder Craig C. Christensen, of the Presidency of the Seventy, and his wife. They spoke to us. Sister Christensen spoke about the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. In Hebrews 12:2 we learn that he is the “Author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” She told us that the joy that was set before him was us, because he made it possible for us to receive that same joy when we receive the fullness of the atonement.

Elder Christensen talked about Joseph Smith, who is the seer in the last day, as written of in 2 Nephi 3:6-15. He said that Joseph was one of the noble and great ones, raised up by the hand of God. He knew he’d get an answer when he went to pray in the grove. He just didn’t know how powerful that answer would be. He was a man who lived on both sides of the veil, he told us. Joseph had 57 or more visitors from the spirit world who gave him instruction and training concerning the restoration of the gospel.

On Friday we attended what is known as the “King Follet Discourse.” It was a speech given by Joseph Smith in a grove near the temple site, one of his last speeches. It was given shortly after the funeral of King Follet, who died while digging a well in Nauvoo. In that speech Joseph presented a lot of insight as to the nature of God, and of man in the next life. The man portraying Joseph Smith in the Pageant gave a small portion of the discourse. It was presented in the grove just west of our house, and it was as if we were there in the grove with Joseph.

Just prior to the discourse the bagpipe band played some hymns. There were about 12 bag pipers, and it was wonderful to feel of their spirit. To me they represented the Scottish immigrants of the early days of the church, and then I realized that they really do represent the descendants of those Scottish immigrants. Their music was beautiful.

On Thursday while I was serving in the Seventies Hall a contingency from the Pageant came in and presented a vignette about the preaching of the gospel in all the world. It was so wonderful that I called Elder Campbell to come down to see it, as they were going to do it a second time. The characters portrayed Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Parley P. Pratt and told us about their missionary experiences in England and other places. Some of their wives were there and told us of their feelings. All of the experiences were from journal entries or other records.

Then yesterday we attended a play, “High Hopes and Riverboats,” which is an historical fiction story taken from journal entries, presented by the Young Performing Missionaries. It was outstanding. I am glad we took the time to go see if before they all leave Nauvoo and go home. Last Sunday night we also went on the Trail of Hope, which the Young Performing Missionaries also do. They act out various situations from quotes by various pioneers, both by people well known and by ordinary people who are not generally known, people like our ancestors.

So we have had an amazing week of feasting on the spirit of those early saints. We also did our normal weekly routines of serving in the sites for me, repairing electrical equipment and working in carpentry for Elder Campbell, and of doing our shows in the evenings.

Last night after “Sunset on the Mississippi” we drove to the end of Parley Street and took pictures of the sunset. It was gorgeous! Then we came home and finished our pizza.

You all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S.: I forgot to mention that this Friday Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be here to teach a training meeting. We are all excited and in anticipation.

P.P.S.: Elder Campbell wants me to say that at the Country Fair before the Pageant we were able to check to see if we are related to any of the characters in the Pageant. We found that we are both related to Brigham Young, but through a different line. Brigham Young is Elder Campbell’s 4th cousin 4 times removed and I am his 4th cousin 5 times removed. We are also related distantly to several of the others, including Joseph Smith. You can check for yourself at NauvooPageantCousins.org.

-Sister Campbell with other missionaries working in the garden in Carthage
-A house Elder Campbell is working on to put on new siding
-Lily pads on the Mississippi
-Wagon on the trail of Hope
-Grove where we listened to Joseph’s discourse
-Bag pipers in the grove
-Bagpipe drum majors
-Joseph at the podium
-Sunset on the Mississippi

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Awesomely Fantabulous

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July 14, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We had an extremely full week. Now that Pageant is here, a lot more people are here. This is what we have been gearing up for ever since we arrived four months ago. The sites are very busy. Our days are fuller because we want to attend the Pageant after a full day of sites and work—at least on the days that we don’t have two shows of “Rendezvous.” After our “Sunset” show we still have time to attend the Pageant.

Now let me tell you a little about Pageant. It is “awesomely fantabulous,” as I wrote in my journal last night. I also wrote, “If any of you need your testimony strengthened go to the Nauvoo Pageant. Everything about it, pertaining to, leading up to, and resulting from it is inspired of God.”

In it is an overview of the people who lived here, how they came here, why they left, and what they believed, (which is what we now believe). It is so tastefully and artistically done, fully entertaining with song and dance, laughter and tears. The main actors are hired. The Young Performing Missionaries are center and front for the dances, which is really cool, because they are so good, and especially because we know them. We see them and work with them almost every day. The Pageant really helps to strengthen my love for and my testimony of Joseph Smith the prophet.

Last Tuesday Ann Schulz and her daughter and son-in-law, Tara and Curtis, and their four children came over for dinner. We enjoyed their company for about an hour before we had to hurry off for our performance in “Rendezvous.” They were going to the Country Fair (an old-fashioned fair) and Pageant. It was very nice to visit with them. I was impressed with the older boys, ages 14 and 12, who were so helpful in getting the food on and then clearing off when we were through eating. It looked like they were all having an enjoyable Nauvoo visit.

Yesterday we attended the temple in the morning, served in the Family Living Center together in the afternoon, did “Sunset on the Mississippi,” at 7 p.m., and Pageant after that. It made for a long day, but Elder Campbell was happy because he learned how to weave at the Family Living Center, which was a man’s vocation back in the 1800’s.

This morning I had to be at the church at 7 a.m. for a practice for the musical number in sacrament meeting. We had six violins, a viola, a string bass, and a piano and played an arrangement of “Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning.” It did turn out quite nice.

Have a good week, all!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Elder Campbell and Elder Stevens getting ready to weave on the loom.

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“God Looks on the Heart”

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July 8, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week-end we had three free nights in a row. Wow, that was nice! This week-end we were as busy as ever. Saturday we attended the temple, did some shopping and cleaning, and then had our “Sunset on the Mississippi” show. It was hot but it was fun, especially talking to the visitors afterward. Friendliness is contagious.

Yesterday, Sunday, Elder Campbell helped set up chairs in the cultural hall at 7 a.m. while I practiced for a musical number in Sacrament meeting next week. There will be 6 violins in all, a viola, and a string bass. Elder and Sister Germer play the latter two, three young performing missionaries play the violin, 2 senior missionaries are beginners on the violin, and myself. We are playing an arrangement of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer.” There is also piano with it. It will be nice.

After our Sunday block we worked all afternoon in the blacksmith shop with Elder and Sister Boyer. It was everyone’s first time serving there, so Elder Jennings came and trained us. We had a lot of tours, and it went really well. Elder Campbell had studied quite a bit, and he knew what to say as he taught by the spirit. I also did some of the teaching, although I let him do most of it. Except on Sundays when couples serve together, it is usually a site run by the elders.

While serving there my cousin, Ann Schulz, stopped by. That was a nice surprise! She is here in Nauvoo for a few days with her daughter and son-in-law and their children. So we will enjoy visiting with them while they are here.

After the blacksmith shop we came home to break our fast, and then were off to a monthly slide show and zone conference. The slide show is put together by Elder and Sister Wise. They use pictures submitted to them by the missionaries for the month previous. Then President Gilliland spoke on conditions of the heart as spoken of in the scriptures. He asked the question, “How would we know if our heart is not right?” Some examples from the missionaries were speaking negatively, having envy, criticism, sarcasm, gossiping, belittling self, pride, making excuses, etc.

Then he gave us some scriptures, such as 1 Sam 16:7, “God looks on the heart.” Isaaiah 29:13, “Their hearts are far from me.” D & C 64:34, “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind…”. He concluded with Isaaiah 61:1, The Lord knows how to heal us if we turn to him.

So that was pretty much our day. By the time we finished with that we were ready for bed, so exhausting is the work, especially in the heat. The blacksmith shop is not air conditioned as the other sites are, because of the fire pit that they use. But it is a good work to be engaged in, where the rewards are great.

Pageant starts this week, which we are excited about. Professional musicians are brought in to do the main parts. The excitement is rising as all of this is in preparation.

Elder Campbell did more work with an electrician this week. He helped install dishwashers and a refrigerator, as well as repair electrical cords. I spent the week working in various sites. On Friday Elder and Sister Price came in to the Family Living Center where I was serving. Sister Price’s mother, Beth Allred, was with them. She and her husband are the ones who bought our house in Montpelier in 1957. It was nice to visit with her for a bit. She lives in Shelley, Idaho, near Elder and Sister Price, who are about to go home from their family history mission here.

On Wednesday after “Sunset on the Mississippi” several of our cast went to a little restaurant called Peter’s Place. I had a blackberry milk shake and Elder Campbell had a root beer float. Mine was excellent! It was fun to just visit and laugh for a bit.

On July 4 we had plenty of visitors at the sites. Facilities Management had a picnic. Elder Campbell brought me a plate of food, which was very nice. Then I was back to the Wilford Woodruff home. One father in particular was extra appreciative of the sacrifices the early Saints made. He was thinking about the educated men who surrounded Joseph Smith. Joseph himself was uneducated in worldly knowledge. He marveled about the many men who assisted in the work. I said that it wasn’t by chance that they surrounded him, particularly Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, and others. He agreed, that it was not by chance, and quietly spoke of their unwavering faith and dedication and hard work. It was a sweet tour. He spoke of the strength of those men as he and his wife and teen-age sons walked out the door. I spoke back to him of the strength of his family that I felt. It was a special moment.

Some tours are just special like that.

Well, I’d better go. I think Ann Schulz will be stopping by soon with her family, and I need to get ready for the day!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

-Abandoned home on the Mississippi River (above)
-Elder Campbell giving a ring to a young visitor
-Elder and Sister Campbell in the wainright part of the blacksmith shop
-Lily pads on the Lake Cooper part of the Mississippi River
-Elder Campbell giving a tour in the wainright/blacksmith shop

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Another Busy Week

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June 30, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We had another busy week. It started on Sunday night with an excellent broadcast for new mission presidents and missionaries. It was actually for everyone. We learned that the young missionaries are going to be utilizing technology more in their missionary work. Missionaries will also be available to give guided tours of our meeting houses. We listened to stories of how ward councils and members have worked successfully with the full-time missionaries in meeting the needs of the people in their areas.

Shortly after the broadcast we attended a fireside by BYU Vocal Point. Those young men were outstanding! They told us stories and sang beautiful songs in 9-part harmony. A highlight was “Danny Boy.” One of their members had written a third verse for that song with a gospel message.

On Monday we attended the 60th wedding anniversary open house for Elder and Sister Stevens of Ogden, Utah. Then off to our show, “Rendezvous.” Often in the green room before the show or in the middle of the show while waiting to go on stage, Sister Allen will turn her hat upside down. She can be kind of goofy, but fun. Unbeknown to her, I had all of the sisters turn their hats upside down when Sister Ballard told us that we were going to have a “Special Announcement.” It was kind of fun for a laugh. Elder Wise took some pictures of it for our monthly mission slide show.

A special event this week was attending a commemoration of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum on June 27. It was at the jail in Carthage. President Gilliland spoke about the sacrifices made and of the faithfulness of Hyrum to his younger brother. The Young Performing Missionaries sang and the Young Sister Missionaries sang. The Nauvoo Brass Band played. BYU Vocal Point sang, “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Greif.” It was all very inspiring and a great privilege to be there.

On Friday I worked in the Land and Record office. I worked with Young Sister Missionary, Sister Dransfield. I was excited to learn that she was looking up her ancestor, Lumon Andros Shurtliff, who is also my ancestor. Her parents are in town for the week, so I got to visit with them briefly, and share a few moments about our common ancestry. Her father had a nice bound book of Shurtliff’s autobiography. It is the same book that I have, although not bound in the same way.

The next day we ran into Sister Dransfield and her companion, Sister Hall. They were serving at “Nauvoo on the Road” in Keokuk, Iowa during a 100-year celebration of the Keokuk power plant and dam. Elder Campbell took a picture of them as they practiced walking on stilts. “Nauvoo on the Road” has mini-displays of the sites and old-fashioned games to encourage people to come visit Nauvoo.

We took a tour of the Keokuk power plant with Elder and Sister Gillespie (of Highland, Utah). It was very interesting. It is billed as America’s first great dam. A few docents were scattered around the area, dressed in period clothing. One acted as if he were the visionary who believed the dam to be possible. He said he was instrumental in getting the idea to be a reality. He just started talking to us as we walked past him. He said he had raised thousands of dollars for the project. Then he told us he died 10 years before it was completed. It was interesting to talk to him. He stayed right in character. Another man and his wife were also dressed as they did in 1913. He pretended to be the photographer who took award-winning pictures of the project during the 3-year construction process. He didn’t stay in character as well as the other fellow, as they wanted to tell us that they had a daughter living in Salt Lake City. We took a moment to take a picture with them.

This week Elder Campbell served with an electrician most of the time. They put in dish washers and a washing machine for various missionaries. He also did an excellent job on his lines in “Rendezvous.” I did well on mine, as well. We are improving!

It is always good to hear from you. Take care, everyone!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

-Martyrdom Commemoration at Carthage (above)
-Sister Hall and Sister Dransfield on stilts
-Elder and Sister Campbell in front of the Keokuk Power Plant
-Elder and Sister Campbell in front of a dam gate
-Elder Campbell and Elder Gillespie in front of one of 15 generators
-Elder Campbell in front of old Union Electric truck
-European street organ
-Photo of ship entrance into the dam area
-Dam that the trolley went across
-Elder and Sister Campbell in front of old-time trolley car, which took us across the dam.

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