August 25, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
We had a cast party on Tuesday night. Several members of our cast will be going home soon. They each had a turn saying something at the end of the party about what they learned on their mission and about how they felt about leaving Nauvoo. That made me think about how I feel about serving a mission in Nauvoo. Here are a few excerpts from my journal.
“It is one of the most difficult things I have done. It stretches my ability to serve with my whole heart and my ability to give my whole self to the Lord. I have learned to care about other people more—from a complete stranger to a close cast member. I have learned that it doesn’t matter what I look like. People will like me if I exert myself, extend myself in genuine love and friendship. I am learning how to be a friend.
“I have learned to love the prophet Joseph Smith. I have learned to appreciate the sacrifices the Saints of Old Nauvoo made.
“I am still learning to have complete faith and trust in God, no matter what. I am learning how to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I am watching how others bring out the best in people, bring out a discussion with people, and how others serve unselfishly. It is awesome to see the wonderful characteristics of the people who serve here. I hope to emulate them.
“Lastly, I am learning how to bring our guests closer to Christ.”
President Gilliland called me into his office on Wednesday to discuss a musical number he wanted me to put together. On September 23 the Illinois Supreme Court Historical Preservation Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are sponsoring an event here in our visitors’ center. The keynote speaker will be Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He will speak on the murder trial of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The musical number was requested by Jeffrey Walker of Salt Lake. He wants us to use his arrangement of the original version of “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.” That song has special significance, as Joseph Smith asked John Taylor sing it just prior to his being martyred in Carthage. So I am in charge of getting the best missionary singers together for this special number. I have lined up four men, and they are getting together to work on it. So that has been an interesting little part of my week.
On Thursday we drove a little ways to see if we could find the location of the homesites of some of our ancestors. Without even looking for it we found the location of the home of my ancestor grandparents, Horace and Elizabeth Rawson. It was on the corner of Carlos and Partridge Streets, where we stopped to take a picture of the missionary horses. We also found the general area for Lumon Andrus Shurtliff (his homesite is now a forested area) and James Holmes (his homesite is in the state park area). We will have to take a walk to see if we can figure it out any further. It is kind of fun to explore when we get a chance.
Although there are not many visitors in Nauvoo at this time, last night we still had two shows of “Rendezvous.” They were great audiences, which made it fun to perform. Also, I was able to go in and watch part of the second show, as it wasn’t completely full. I must say that Elder Campbell nailed his part right on the head.
We send our love to you all!
Elder and Sister Campbell
-Corner where Rawson ancestors lived (above)
-Flowers in front of our house
-Angel Moroni in front of a full moon
-Missionary horses out to pasture
-Statue in Visitors’ Center of the First Vision
-More of the missionary horses
-Some of the many flowers in Nauvoo
-Sister Campbell in front of area where Rawson ancestors lived
-Area where Shurtliff ancestors lived