The Spirit of Nauvoo

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August 4, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

The work hastens forth in this area. How goes it in yours?

We just got home from our regular meeting block. However, it was all but regular. First of all, Fast and Testimony Meeting was unusual because it was the last one before all of the young performing missionaries and a few senior missionaries leave. So many people bore testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, spoke of their love of their time in Nauvoo, commonly because of the spiritual growth they personally made during their time here. One young elder said it well when he said:

This is a sanctuary away from the darkness of the world, a city set on a hill. We shine our light as the lower light of the Savior. The warm feelings we have here are indicators of what it is like in the Celestial Kingdom.

The rest of the meeting block was spent at the feet of one of our Savior’s disciples, Elder W. Craig Zwick and his wife, Jan. Sister Zwick told us that if you have faith in the Savior you will have power to do all that is asked of you. We must go to the Lord in faith every day, and allow him to expand our capacities, she told us. She also asked us to be grateful for what we have.

Elder Zwick talked to us about his experiences in the Chile Santiago South mission 24 years ago, when he served as a mission president. He told of the faith of the members there, of a ward council that knelt in humble prayer right amidst the smoldering ashes of their church house that was set on fire and burned by terrorists immediately following a baptism. It was an experience that changed his life and the life of his young sons.

He told us about his handicapped son who can’t read and can’t even tie his own shoes, who actually went on a mission for one month and taught and converted people to the gospel during that time. He spent the month in Thailand as companion to his younger brother who was finishing his mission there. It was his faith and earnestness, and his diligence in doing the work that brought him success with the people he met.

Elder Zwick also told us how Elder Nelson proposed lowering the age to 18 for elders missionaries, which immediately led to lowering the age for the sisters. This is really accelerating the hastening of the work, which we are a part of here in Nauvoo.

You can feel the spirit so strongly as the Pageant finishes its last night here, and as the young performing missionaries conclude their last week. One young missionary put it well when he said, “Nauvoo won’t be the same when we leave, but you will.” He meant that we have changed and made spiritual growth ourselves, which growth we will keep with us as we continue on.

On Tuesday we took our new friend, James Miller, to the Pageant. He met a lot of people, including the missionaries in his area, to whom he gave his name and contact information. He wanted to come back and go to the pageant again, so we planned for our next available date to pick him up, which was Friday. But when we got to his house on Friday, he wasn’t there. Neither did he answer his phone. So I don’t know what happened. Probably his parents or his pastor told him to not come. It is sad, but maybe he will still be able to learn more. His mind was like a sponge, soaking up everything about the gospel. He knew nothing about it, and loved everything he heard and saw. He wanted to come back and take a picture of the temple before it got dark, which we were planning to do on Friday.

We did get a picture of some of the many visitors to the pageant: Cousin Suzanne Holmes, her husband, Ben, a bagpipe player, and their son, Max, a bagpipe drummer. I didn’t get a picture of their whole family. I met them all briefly last Sunday.

We also ran into our old next-door neighbor, Jennifer Kraus. Their younger four children were with her, even though Paul was not there. We had a good visit before the pageant began. We also ran into Penny Moore and her two daughters, Jenna and Ella. They are from Soda Springs, former cello students of mine. I was able to visit with her for a good while at Pioneer Pastimes while her children played.

One other bit of news is that I was called as the new music director for the mission. I will direct the mission choir and be responsible for all of the Sacrament Meeting music, like a ward music chairman. It is a big responsibility, so I feel humbled and excited and nervous all at once. The person who had the calling is leaving, and left some big shoes to fill.

Well, that’s all for now. Pray for us that we will be able to fulfill all of our duties and responsibilities as missionaries for our Lord and Savior.

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

-A scene from a dance in the pageant (above)
-Susanne Holmes and Sister Campbell
-Ben and Max Holmes
-Penny Moore, Sister Campbell, Ella, Jenna
-Lily pads in bloom on the Mississippi
-A scene from a dance in the pageant
-Elder and Sister Campbell with Jennifer Kraus and 4 of the children
-Elder Campbell at the Mississippi River
-Sister Campbell at the Mississippi River
-More lilly pads in bloom

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