String Quartet


January 26, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Campbell and I are sitting in Lyon Drug waiting for visitors to come. We just finished giving a tour to a sweet young couple who were making a day of it visiting the sites in Old Nauvoo. It’s kind of special to give a tour right now, when there are so few visitors in town.

Last Sunday our acting mission president, President Chynoweth, conducted a meeting of music and testimony. I played in a string quartet with Elder and Sister Germer and Sister Jones. We played hymns and hymn arrangements. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. We enjoy getting together to practice.

I worked all week in the various sites, doing research in Land and Records, practicing in the Cultural Hall with our choir accompanist, and studying, knitting, and doing humanitarian work in some of the other sites. I believe we had only one tour all week. Elder Campbell worked at the Water House again this week, sanding most of the time, working towards getting ready to paint.

On Wednesday we had our Wednesday morning mission training meeting. Before it started we were able to have a video chat with our new mission president and his wife, President and Sister Hunter of St. George. President Hunter is recovering from some back issues and it will be another week or so before they can come. It was nice to meet them via the internet. They will be wonderful to serve under when they finally do get here.

Tonight we are having district meeting at our house. Our district leaders, Elder and Sister Taylor, are not able to be here, so they asked us to act in their stead. Since today was such a busy day we had to get everything ready yesterday. We are having dinner and then a group discussion. It will be based on questions the Savior used in His teachings in the New Testament. Everyone has to come up with questions we can use in the sites using the Savior’s pattern for teaching.

The house had to be cleaned and the living room reorganized so that we could fit in a table. We did some shopping and cooking, getting everything ready the night before. We studied every night all week in order to be prepared.

We also started practices for “Sunset by the Mississippi” this week. It will be fun!

Carry on, everyone, with all of the wonderful things you are doing in your own lives!


Elder and Sister Campbell


P.S. Here are a couple of questions our district came up with at the meeting:

If you knew that there was a prophet on the earth today would you be interested in what he had to say?
What are we packing in our wagon as we journey back to our Heavenly Father? What do we need to throw out of our wagon?

– Elder Campbell
– Elders Jones, Gillespie, Thurston, and Campbell at the Water House
– Sister Campbell, Elder and Sister Germer, Sister Jones (above)




Fervent Testimony of Joseph Smith


January 19, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another beautiful, sunny winter day in Old Nauvoo. The snow has mostly melted, which is like it is in a lot of places. Being from Soda Springs, it makes it feel like spring. But we know better. More cold weather is imminent.

Our mission president and his wife went home yesterday (to Phoenix). Today we were supposed to meet the new mission president, President Hunter. However, he is laid up in bed with a bad back for unbeknown reasons, and will be a few days in recovering. Consequently, he is not here yet. A counselor in the mission presidency, President Chynoweth, is acting as mission president until he gets here. Tonight we are having a sociable (like a fireside). Instead of listening to the new mission president speak, as originally planned, we are having a testimony meeting with a lot of music. Our recently formed string quartet will play some hymns. Sister Germer, violist, arranged one of the hymns, and it is quite nice. Elder Germer plays the string bass, Sister Jones plays 2nd violin, and I play 1st.

This week Elder Campbell worked on the Water House some more. He did sanding, getting ready to paint. He says it won’t be for a while yet.

In Land and Records I found a new book there, entitled Who’s Who in the Doctrine and Covenants by Susan Easton Black (published in 1997). In the book is a write-up on Solomon Hancock, my pioneer ancestor. His name is mentioned in D & C 52:27. He and his family suffered many trials with the early Saints. The article stated that he was a singer, and sang a song by his brother, Levi W. Hancock at the Independence Day festivities of 1838. He went West with the Saints, but died near Council Bluffs at age 54. Mother has most of this information, which she and my sister, Margaret, have typed up and made available to all of us, among other histories. But it was neat to see it printed in a book.

Susan Easton Black Durant, the author of the book, is a temple missionary here with her husband, George Durant. She is a former religion instructor at BYU and gives lectures here available to the public twice a week. So far we haven’t availed ourselves of the opportunity, as it is nice to just have a night to stay home. But I am sure we will soon. She is an articulate speaker and is very dynamic. George is also well-known for his speaking ability. He has written over 40 books, and also is a former teacher of religion at BYU. He also participates in the lectures from time to time, and has presented a sociable for the missionaries not too long ago. He can be quite humorous.

This week while I serving in the Wilford Woodruff home (one of my favorite sites), I was looking at the children of Wilford Woodruff, thinking that none of them could have been the child that I remember as an old man back in about 1960 in the Boise 13th ward. I remember an old man slowly walking with a cane up the aisle during fast and testimony meeting towards the pulpit. I remember that it took a very long time for him to get to the front of the room. (I was only about age ten.) I remember him bearing his testimony, and it was v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y long. He seemed to talk forever. But I do remember that he said he was the son of Wilford Woodruff (born 1807). He said he was one of the youngest children of President Wilford Woodruff, and then he told us how his father bore a strong and fervent testimony of Joseph Smith. He said it in no uncertain terms, causing me to remember it all these years, that his father knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I believe he bore his testimony on more than one occasion.

Well, my companion pulled out a sheet of paper that listed all of the children of Wilford Woodruff, not just those of his first wife. There was a John Jay Woodruff who was born in 1873 in Salt Lake City and died in Boise, Idaho in 1964. With a little research, I found that his daughter, Leta Woodruff Dougal, had a child born to her in Boise in 1940. I remember my parents saying that he was living in our ward with his daughter, which would have been her.

Well, that’s my story for the week. I thought it interesting that I would think of it, a childhood memory of so long ago.

Elder Campbell and I are studying for our lessons that we will be teaching in two weeks in Relief Society and Priesthood meeting. It is a big deal here to give a lesson. Every week it is someone different. The lessons are always excellent, so there is a bit of pressure to study hard and do a good job! J

Elder Campbell would like to add a quote from our Preach My Gospel manual about enduring to the end.

“As we continue to live the gospel, we grow closer to our Heavenly Father. We enjoy and
appreciate more the Atonement of the Savior. Our families are drawn closer together. We
experience greater feelings of the love, joy, and peace that come from the Atonement. Our
hearts are changed, and we find security in living the restored gospel.
As we continue to exercise faith in Christ, repent, and renew our covenants, we enjoy
continued guidance from the Holy Ghost. If we endure to the end of our lives in being
true to our covenants, we will receive eternal life.”

We send our love to you all.

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. Elder Campbell had a follow-up appointment with the dermatologist, and the rash on his arms is clearing up on schedule! It looks much better.


How to nurture children’s…


January 12, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

How are you doing? Elder Campbell and I are in the Carthage Visitors’ Center with Elder and Sister Ballard, waiting for visitors to come. So far no one has come, but we still have some time left. Sister Ballard was doing some indexing, so I decided to try. I am just a beginner at it. Then Elder Ballard and I played some music. I played hymns on the lovely baby grand piano while he played his harmonica. Elder Campbell and Sister Ballard listened. Those are some of the things we do while we are waiting for visitors.

Elder Campbell continues to work on the Water House remodel. It is coming along. It’s a good thing there is heat in the house, because earlier in the week we had 40 below zero weather with the wind chill factor. It has warmed up considerably, to about 40 above now.

I worked 1 ½ days on a shawl for Sister Gilliland in the Family Living Center. President and Sister Gilliland are going home at the end of this week. We will go over to their place to say good-bye, as they are having an informal open house today. Last Sunday President Gilliland gave his last zone conference. It was an excellent study of the Tree of Life as in 1 Nephi 8. He cross referenced with 1 Nephi 12 and 1 Nephi 15. We discussed how it applies to us now. Of course, we have studied it many times before, but his was the most in-depth study I have heard.

Elder Campbell adds this all-important question, one that is a part of his upcoming Priesthood lesson, “In what ways can we nurture children’s love for their Heavenly Father?” I add, “How can we nurture their desire to stay hold of the iron rod and feast upon the word of God?”

Elder Campbell found a Conference Report by Joe J. Chirstensen of the Presidency of the Seventy (“Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment”, Oct 1993) that you may want to look up and study. In his talk he said, “First, do not be afraid to set clear moral standards and guidelines. Be sure to say no when it is needed. Second, teach your children to work and to take responsibility. Third, create an environment in your family in which spiritual experiences can occur. Fourth, follow the counsel of the prophets.”

We welcome your comments and suggestions on this subject.

We send our love and warm wishes to all,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– With President and Sister Gilliland at their home (above)
– In Carthage Visitors’ Center with Elder and Sister Ballard
– Shots of the Water House




The Finishing School of Nauvoo


January 5, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Campbell worked all week at what is called the Water House, which is on Water Street overlooking the Mississippi River. They insulated the home this week. He did much of that work himself. Towards the end of the week he helped put up sheet rock. When finished it will be a totally new house on the inside. He still works with Elder Gillespie and also two new elders, Elder Jones and Elder Thurston. Elder and Sister Mendenhall went home about a week ago. She was released from the hospital in Iowa City shortly after Christmas, where she was recovering from severe burn wounds. She made a miraculous recovery, for which we are all grateful.

I served this week in the visitors’ center greeting guests, in the Family Living Center working on the shawl loom, in the Scovil Bakery where we give each visitor a gingerbread cookie, and in the basement of the visitors’ center making about 1145 of those cookies. We are making them ahead for next summer. Surprisingly they taste just as good or even better after they have been frozen for a few months.

For New Years’ Eve we had a dinner and a movie with our MTC group. Then we all met in the Family Living Center for food, dancing, and entertainment by our own dance band, three previous dance band players who only met on this mission. They are very good at it and it was fun for everyone.

Yesterday, preparation day, was a quiet day of cleaning, study, and attending the temple. Then a storm came in and put down several inches of snow overnight. But no problem, we all made it to church, so far as I know.

In church one of the sisters, Sister Fullenbach, bore her testimony. From what she said I wrote in my study journal, “Am I making any difference in the things I am doing?” She talked about how little things can make a big difference. She quoted a scripture, D & C 64:33:

“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”

In her testimony Sister Murray called this the Finishing School of Nauvoo. We are not only here to teach other people, but we are here for the polishing of a“rough stone.” In other words, we are here in Nauvoo for the rough edges of our “natural man” nature to be polished off into a smooth and more perfected character. I see that happening to the missionaries around here. This is definitely somewhat of a Zion society.

Is not that what life in general is all about? Are we not all learning and developing as we go through life, getting the polishing, the growing, and the stretching and strengthening of our character? We get the most growth through difficult times and difficult things that we are called upon to do. We get the most stretching and strengthening through our extremities. It is up to us as to how we respond to such situations. That is where our character is truly tested. And when we fall short it is up to us to pick up the pieces and get going again. When we make mistakes we can repent and try again, starting a new slate. It’s never too late.

Well, that’s all for the week. We don’t have many visitors coming to Nauvoo, so we are working on humanitarian projects in the sites. There is plenty of work to keep us busy. I study my music for choir whenever I am near a piano, to be ready for the next rehearsal and the next time we sing.

We hope you have a wonderful week!


Elder and Sister Campbell

– The work on the Water House
– New Years’ Eve dance (above)
– Corn husk doll decorations in the Scovil Bakery
– Baking gingerbread cookies