Enduring Conversion

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November 24, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

We trust that you are all doing well. Things are going great for us here. It was a week of putting up decorations in the sites, raking leaves, working on the shawl loom, and for Elder Campbell, continuing to take out the inside walls and now the flooring of a home on the Mississippi River. We also spent one evening helping Elder and Sister Davis put together luminaries for the Christmas walk in two weeks.

The mission choir sang in Sacrament Meeting again today and did a fantastic job! They sang, “I Give All Thanks to Thee,” by Gerald Lund. Even though the rehearsal last week was a little rough, they came right through and sang beautifully.

I spent several hours on Thursday raking leaves with several other sisters. It was a big job. Now I am an expert on raking leaves. It’s true that in whatever capacity we serve, and I am sure for Elder Campbell, too, we learn a lot and feel like possibly an expert on that thing when the job is done.

Much of my spare time this week has been spent getting music ready or practicing music for our big event, the Christmas Walk, on December 6. All of the missionaries are learning a cute song called, “Light Up the Tree,” for the tree lighting, which starts off the festivities. We are hoping for a big crowd that night.

Friday night Rodger and Mary Sorensen of Soda Springs stopped by on their way to visit Trent and Nicole for Thanksgiving in Ohio. They took us to dinner and then were on their way again. It was good to see them and catch up on the news from home.

Saturday morning we attended the temple with Ed and Eunice Johnson and members of their branch of Fairfield, Iowa. We had a nice little visit with them. Then a little later we went with Elder Campbell’s carpentry companions, Elders Mendenhall and Gillespie, and their wives to dinner at an Italian place in Keokuk. Elder and Sister Mendenhall are going home in about two weeks, so I thought we three couples ought to get together. We hate to see them leave.

Then we hurried back home again to get ready for “Rendezvous,” in which Elder Campbell and I had several cool parts to do. It was fun, and there were quite a few visitors in attendance. As a cast it was one of our best shows yet!

During Sacrament Meeting today as the temple president was speaking, I had these thoughts, which had something to do with what he was saying. “How much study do I need to do to have an enduring conversion? How much study do I need to do to have the Holy Ghost with me constantly?” Every day Elder Campbell and I each have our personal study, and every evening we have companion study. But often the time is short because of other needs and obligations. I do know that the level of my conversion is directly related to the time and effort that I put into it.

I suppose that I could feel to be an expert on a certain gospel subject as I study it and put it into practice, similar to the feelings of expertise on tasks such as carpentry and gardening. Yet there is a difference. I can be an expert on a gospel subject and yet not have a knowledge of the truthfulness of it. Expertise does not constitute truth. The Holy Ghost bears record of truth. One may come to know the truthfulness of any thing through that power. “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Moroni 10:5.

Have a great week, you all!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– view of the Women’s Gardens
– posing after a lot of hard work (above)
– 3 sister missionaries l to r, Gillespie, Mendenhall, Campbell
– view of the Women’s Gardens
– posing after a lot of hard work
– 3 sister missionaries l to r, Gillespie, Mendenhall, Campbell

– putting up decorations in the 70’s Hall
– Elder Campbell with Elder Mendenhall in gutted-out house
– Part of the ceiling line

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Gifts of the Spirit

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November 17, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Campbell and I are serving in the Cultural Hall this afternoon. I am able to write a letter while we are waiting for people to come in. We just showed the cultural hall to a couple. The husband was a brother to our dear friend, Mary Christensen of Soda Springs.

Yesterday I attended a community orchestra rehearsal for the Messiah. It was good to play the violin for a couple of hours. Then today in Sacrament meeting Sister Germer and I played a violin-viola duet with Sister Excell on the piano. We played an Anna Gray arrangement of “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Greif.” Everyone seems to have really enjoyed it.

Choir rehearsal went quite well, although I am a bit nervous about the performance next Sunday. We still have a couple of spots they are not quite secure on. I will have to figure out to take care of that. I have also been rehearsing with a couple of groups for our December 6 “Christmas Walk.” I will be playing violin with clarinet and piano for one event, and then playing guitar with harmonica and mandolin/recorder for another. The combinations are nice.

Elder Campbell helped tear out the inside of a house this week. There were three different roofs on it. They took all of them off and took down all of the inside walls but one. They are going to rebuild the inside. It will be a big project.

On Friday evening Elder Campbell took a pie-crust making class from Elder Bogaski. He made a beautiful pie. It tasted great, too! I attended the class for a little bit, too, and learned a few pie-making tips.

For district meeting tonight we had to write a paper on “Recognizing the Spirit.” The papers will all go to President Gilliland. We each picked one aspect of the Holy Ghost (see Preach My Gospel Pp. 96-97) to study, learn, and write about. Elder Campbell spent many afternoon hours studying. I studied much also. He says it was an interesting project. The chapter in Preach My Gospel on “Recognizing the Spirit” has many scriptures and other information to study. Elder Campbell also looked up a few talks by General Authorities on the subject. We both have a full-page paper and will discuss a portion of it with our district tonight.

Elder Campbell would like to share a portion of his paper with you:

In Acts 4:23-38 Peter and John were before the council. They were seeking spiritual gifts by praying. When they prayed the place around them was shaken and they were filled with the Holy Ghost. The Lord answered their prayers and they spoke with great boldness and power. “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all.” (verse 33) These gifts come by prayer and faith, according to God’s will. I learn from this that I must pray in order to be able to have the Holy Ghost with me. By praying and doing what is right we may be blessed with gifts of the Spirit.

Gifts of the spirit are blessings or abilities that are given by the power of the Holy Ghost. God gives at least one of these gifts to every faithful member of the church. These gifts will strengthen and bless us individually and help us serve others. The scriptures teach of many gifts of the spirit. (See True to the Faith, p. 165.) These gifts “are special spiritual blessings that the Lord gives to worthy individuals for their own benefit and for their use in blessing others.” (PMG p. 91)

Elder Campbell says that even as Peter and John were blessed we can receive the same kind of spiritual help.

Well, that is all for this week. We love you all very much!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Elder Campbell showing his work
– All others: posing at the Cultural Hall

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Turning into winter

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November 10, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was spent serving in various capacities. For most of the sites there is very little to do, because the volume of visitors is way down. But we always take plenty to do to keep ourselves busy. I am finishing up an afghan and I also take various things to study.

I served for Facilities Management twice this week, one day pulling out the flower beds at Lyon Drug and the other working in the back yard of Browning Gun Shop and home. We cut down plants and raked leaves. Elder Campbell hauled in all of the benches on the sidewalks, to put them away for winter, about four trailer-loads full. He also helped put the ceiling on the porch of a home. He helped split a load of wood at the saw mill for the Christmas Walk next month. He did some remodel work at some of the temple missionary housing.

Our Rendezvous director, Sister Germer, has had to fill in some gaps for people who have gone home. As a consequence, Elder Campbell and I have new places to stand and new little parts. It keeps changing. It keeps us alert!

On Thursday we invited Elder and Sister Taylor over for dinner as a thank you for their generosity in giving us a laptop. We had received a surprise package in the mail a couple of days earlier, a set of cook books from my sister, Mary. So I picked out some recipes from the Italian cook book to make Italian spaghetti and meat balls and an Italian salad. It all turned out delicious!

The Taylors told us about their call to be the Pageant Missionaries. They had just returned as missionaries in the New York Palmyra visitor’s center. They had gone back to Palmyra and went to the Sacred Grove to pray as a couple as to whether or not they should serve another mission right away. After the prayer they both felt that they should put in their papers again. An hour and one-half later they got a phone call from Salt Lake asking them if they would serve as the Nauvoo Pageant missionaries.

At our zone conference last Sunday President Gilliland spoke on temples—temples in our day and temples in every dispensation of time. He took us through scripture after scripture referencing the use of temples in each era, including that of Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, and Christ. President Gilliland is definitely a scriptorian.

Speaking of scriptorians, Elder Campbell studied all week for an upcoming assignment made by President Gilliland. He assigned us each to write a one-page paper on recognizing the spirit. Elder Campbell has made a rather thorough study and has his paper pretty much written. Mine is still in the thinking stage.

We send our love to you all!

Sister Campbell

Dear Family and Friends,

Summer is quickly turning into winter around here. ;

I have been doing a lot of research to write a paper for President Gilliland. We have been studying chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel, Recognizing the Promptings of the Holy Spirit. We are to each pick an aspect of recognizing the spirit from pages 96-97. I picked “The Holy Ghost gives gifts of the spirit.” Some scriptures on gifts of the spirit are Moroni 10:8-17, D & C 46:8-26, and 1 Corinthians 12. In my study I’ve learned that you can most likely find gifts that you have received through your patriarchal blessing. It will state gifts that have been given to you from the Lord. I’ve found that studying the references in Preach My Gospel will help you prepare for a talk, if you need to.

President Hinckley said, “Every morning missionaries should get on their knees and plead with the Lord to loosen their tongues and speak through them to the blessing of those they will be teaching. If they will do this, a new light will come into their lives. There will be greater enthusiasm for the work. They will come to know that in a very real sense, they are servants of the Lord speaking in His behalf. They will find a different response from those they teach. As they do so by the Spirit, their investigators will respond under the influence of the same Spirit.” PMG, p. 94. This can apply to everyone, not just missionaries. You should all read Preach My Gospel from cover to cover.

Love,

Elder Campbell

– Fall colors at the Visitor’s Center (above)
– Gardens at Lyon Drug
– Monday’s crew at Lyon Drug
– Fall colors at the Visitor’s Center

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Be good. Do Good.

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November 3, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week went well in that I was able to share the tour with all of my companions in the way that Sister Gilliland taught. It is hard to do because each sister has a certain way she likes to give the tour. In the summer we were too busy to share the tours. One group after another came in and we had split up. That worked well then. But now, with the volume of visitors way down, we are supposed to work together. When I went on a tour with Paul and Whitney and family last month, I found that I preferred to hear from both of the tour guides. If only one spoke I felt the tour was lacking. But it is hard to work together well. Both have to be willing to adapt and share what is said. That is the trick.

This week Elder Campbell got soaking wet driving a man basket in the rain. They used the man basket to put a hoist beam on the back of the print shop. The beam was used originally to hoist the printing presses up to the second floor. He also worked on an old blue house, repairing some siding on it and some places that had rotted out on the eaves. He and Elders Mendenhall and Gillespie put window wells on another home and put a cellar door on another. They also put some concrete stops in a parking area.

Today we are serving in the print shop together. So far no visitors have come. We did some studying together and now we are studying separately. There is always something to do.

Choir practice went quite well. I just got a phone call from the new zone leaders saying that they have moved their zone leaders’ meetings so that they can attend choir. That will add three great singers, and possibly two more! Yay!

On Monday we invited Elder and Sister Knudson over for dinner. They are going home this week to Oregon. We had a great visit with them. On Thursday evening we went over to Elder and Sister Gneiting’s home to play some music and sing old-time songs. (Elder Gneiting is a cousin to Galan Gneiting of Soda Springs.) We had two harmonica players, a saxophone player, a pianist, and a guitarist (me). Everyone else sang. It was great, and it got me playing again. I also had my violin, but it didn’t lend itself to the dynamics of the group so well.

I was able to play my violin for two hours yesterday at a Nauvoo Community Orchestra rehearsal for the Messiah. It was great fun and will be nice to be in that performance next month. Several other missionaries will also be participating.

Sister Brown, another missionary who is leaving this week, said in testimony meeting that it is not enough to be good. We must do good and share the good that is within us. I leave that as a closing thought, that we not only strive to be good, but to do good, and to share the good that we have. Those who lose themselves in service will flourish, and there will be more of their persona to share.

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Waiting for visitors in the print shop
– Fall colors
– Elder Campbell below a hoist beam in back of the print shop
– Sister Campbell next to an1840’s printing press
– Snapshot of the play Rendezvous (unapproved)

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