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September 22, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Yesterday was fun. We met up with our dear friends, Ed and Eunice Johnson, who live in Fairfield, Iowa. They came to Nauvoo to attend the temple. We visited and had lunch together. Ed worked at Monsanto when we were new in Soda Springs. They lived around the corner from us on 1st East in the blue house, and our kids played together. We had a good time catching up on things.
Tonight we just got back from a fun district meeting and dinner. Our new district leaders are Elder and Sister Taylor, the Nauvoo Pageant missionaries. They are currently from Alaska, but for some time lived in Pocatello. (He had his own fire extinguisher business and she was an RN at the hospital.) They are very nice people whom we have grown to love. In fact, we have grown to love all of the people in our district. We have grown to love all of the people in our mission, for that matter.
The topic of our district meeting was, “What did you learn from the two meetings held with Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy?” He and his wife told us some wonderful and inspiring stories, stories from their life experiences. He also gave us some council and perspective for our responsibilities as missionaries. One story he told us occurred when he was a mission president in Ghana. He found out that his previous business partner in Bain Capital had just made a huge amount of money in investments, and he wondered what he was doing on a mission. Then everything was put in perspective for him as the remote, cavernously bumpy road they were traveling on jolted them off the road, rolling the car three times. His arm was bleeding profusely. Big chunks of flesh were missing. They got him to a medical facility that had some equipment to save his bleeding arm, equipment that was donated by a missionary about a year ago. That was a defining moment in his life, to realize that his life was saved because of the service of someone else.
That was just one example of the stories and testimony that he shared. We came away with a desire to be better and serve with our whole hearts. In district meeting we took turns talking about our feelings and thoughts about what we learned. Elder Campbell said he learned that if we live up to all of the covenants that we make, the more we exercise agency to live our covenants, the more the Holy Ghost will be with us. He also learned that as we serve as a couple our children and families will be ok.
I said that we already knew the principles Elder Gay taught. We had heard them from President Gilliland before. But hearing them again and how they have applied in his life and the life of others inspired me with a stronger desire to be better and to strive harder to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. One thing that sticks out in my mind was the initial call they got by Elder M. Russell Ballard to go on a mission. Elder Ballard told him that he was doing many good things, much for humanitarian and a lot of other good things that I don’t remember. But he told him that his life was out of balance and that he needed to go on a mission. I thought of myself and all of the busy things I was involved in before this mission. It was all fun, but not nearly as important as the work we are doing right now.
All week and longer the mission has been getting ready for this big event here in Nauvoo tomorrow. It is put on by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission in conjunction with the church and the city of Nauvoo. It is part of Habeas Corpus and the Courts: Individual Liberties from Joseph Smith to Abraham Lincoln to Guantanamo. Many big wigs will be here all day long tomorrow. Some of the sites and other places in town will have 10-minute presentations by scholars. The crowning event of the day will be an evening with Elder Dallin H. Oaks. His talk tomorrow is entitled, “Behind the Extraditions: Joseph Smith, the Man and the Prophet.” So you can see it is a rather high society event that will be here.
Just before Elder Oaks speaks the male quartet that I am in charge of will sing. I have been stressing over that this past week or so, because they weren’t singing in tune. They decided to sing acapella, and it really did sound bad. Sister Gilliland heard them practicing when I wasn’t there and told them they weren’t blending. President Gilliland and I have talked about it over the phone several times this week. Using all of the tricks and tools I could think of, and asking them to pray for angels to help them, they are finally sounding rather good, and I believe it will be fine. I told them to put the piano back in, and asked them to join me in praying for angels to help them, as they are on his errand. This morning as they practiced on the stage they really did sound quite good!
Well, mission choir is going well, the weather is beautiful, cooling down a little, and we are tired and going to bed.
We send our love to you all, and trust and pray that you are being blessed through our service.
Elder and Sister Campbell
P.S. If you get this in time, will you pray for angels to help, too?
-Elder and Sister Campbell, Eunice and Ed Johnson
-View from the Sarah Granger Kimbal Home
-Flowers poking through the fence at the Sarah Granger Kimbal Home
-Decorating a lamp post with wood
-Elder Mendenhall, Elder Campbell, and Elder Gillespie
-Sister Campbell in the Sarah Granger Kimball doorway
-Elder Campbell in the Sarah Granger Kimball walkway