She read The Book of Mormon and was baptized.

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February 23, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

We are sitting in the Browning Gun Shop and Home, waiting for visitors to come. We are serving with Elder and Sister Mayne from Missouri. This is a very interesting site, one of my favorite ones, even though I have only been here once or twice. It is generally a site that the elders serve in, with the exceptions of Sundays. Jonathan Browning invented the repeating rifle. He is also famous for his innovative gun making skills. Elder Campbell will talk about the rifle making process. I will talk about Jonathan and how he came to Nauvoo to meet Joseph Smith and eventually join the church.

The mission choir sang today, “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” and did very well! The 40+-voice choir was right together and watching me with their consonants and breathes pretty much together. It was nice, and almost brought tears to my eyes. We have 7 more rehearsals left, and 3 more songs to prepare within that time. Then we will stop choir for the season, as the busy season will not allow time to hold choir practice.

We’ve been attending the Susan Easton Black Durrant lectures on the early Saints. On Thursday she concluded her remarks by talking about Jane Manning, a Black woman who joined the church in 1842. Jane was in born a free woman in 1822 in Connecticut. When the missionaries came to the home where she lived as a servant, none of the household wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. Jane was not asked. Most Black people could not read. She had to prove to the missionaries that she could read before they would give her a book. She read the Book of Mormon and was baptized. She was about 19 years old. Soon several members of her family were converted.

She and her family eventually went West with the Saints. For years she spent one day in ten working on the temple in Salt Lake, but was never given the opportunity in this life to receive her temple blessings. Even though Jane could not receive those blessings in this life, she was faithful in the church to the end of her life. Sister Durrant concluded that we should all strive to be as faithful as this great woman, Jane Manning.

February 24, 2014

We did have two tours in the Browning Gun Shop and Home. Then last night we attended a “Sociable” (meeting) about Carthage. There were several guest speakers. It was pretty interesting and informative. They covered the history of the Carthage Jail since the martyrdom and the future of the jail and the work that needs to be done on the building.

Last week Elder Campbell did a little work at the Water House, grouting the tile flooring. He also did some work on the walls of the Wilford Woodruff home. That project should be finished this week. He worked some on Phase Three, the newest building at Facilities Management. There he helped put up a wall and hung doors.

I kept busy in the sites. At Land and Records I was excited to get the Brigham Young file to update it. I enjoy working in the various sites with the sisters in the mission.

Well, that is all for this week. Have a great week, all!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– My favorite room in the Browning home
– In Elder Campbell’s favorite room in the Browning home (above)
– With Sister Mayne in the Browning home

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Valentine’s Day Dance

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February 16, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

As we continue on in our mission, our new mission president still has not been able to come. He has met with the two counselors over the internet a few times, but mostly the mission is being run by our acting president, President Chynoweth and counselor President Jones. These elders were the two counselors to President Gilliland. They and the zone leaders are doing an excellent job of keeping things running smoothly.

One very fun thing happened on Valentine’s Day. We had a dance on the third floor of the historical Cultural Hall. It was very special, something that is not normally done. We had to get special permission from Salt Lake to hold the dance there.

The Cultural Hall is one of the original buildings in Old Nauvoo. It was bought back by the church in 1967 and was restored to its original state as much as possible. The family who bought the hall in the 1880’s removed the 3rd story because of deterioration. They used the building as a 2-story home. Then when the church was restoring the 3rd story, they discovered the original floor under the roof. So they put up walls from that original 3rd story floor.

We had our dance on that original floor, complete with dance band and entertainment. The band was by our three dance band missionaries. The entertainment was The Nauvoo String Quartet. We played a couple of numbers from the balcony of the 3rd floor. It was pretty cool!

Right now Facilities Management is renovating and/or painting a few of the historical homes. Elder Campbell has spent a lot of time in the Wilford Woodruff Home chipping off old wall plaster and getting ready to put on new. This week he worked in President Cynoweth’s basement putting in a new floor drain and a new wall. It is a continual process to upgrade the homes.

I worked in the various sites, as usual. I will be serving in the Cultural Hall two times each week, as I am now the assistant site leader. (The site leaders help to keep things in the various sites in order.) Today choir practice went quite well. They are ready for next Sunday, when we will sing. They will sing a lovely Beebe arrangement of “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” We do have some very nice voices in the choir, and they generally blend quite well. Our accompanist, Sister Peterson, plays beautifully. I am fortunate to be able to serve with her about two times each month in the Cultural Hall where there is a piano. When we have no visitors we can rehearse together.

In Sunday School we talked about Abraham and the promises made to him. These promised blessings can also be ours as we receive and make covenants and as we keep the commandments. One of our privileges and responsibilities as members is to preach the gospel throughout the world. Elder Campbell would like to share this quote with you on that subject by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles:

As surely as the Lord has inspired more missionaries to serve, He is also awakening the minds and opening the hearts of more good and honest people to receive His missionaries. You already know them or will know them. They are in your family and live in your neighborhood. They walk past you on the street, sit by you in school and connect with you online. You too are an important part of this unfolding miracle.” “It’s a Miracle,” April 2013 general conference.

Have a great week, all!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– At the dance (above)
– Elder Campbell on the day of the Exodus re-enactment
– Dancers listening to the Nauvoo String Quartet
– Missionary dancers
– Nauvoo String Quartet playing from the balcon

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We stopped at the ice.

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February 9, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Campbell and I both gave our lessons today from the Joseph Smiths was in Priesthood Meeting and mine was in Relief Society. The lesson was on God the Father and was based on the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. For both of us we felt the lessons went very well. We both wanted plenty of class discussion and were able to get it, so we were happy.

Elder Campbell began his lesson with the following statement by Joseph Smith: “The purposes of our God are great, His love unfathomable, His wisdom infinite, and His power unlimited; therefore, the Saints have cause to rejoice and be glad, knowing that ‘this God is our God forever and ever, and He will be our Guide until death’ [see Psalm 48:14].”

We both chose the following question to end the lesson with: What are some things we can do to nurture our children and grandchildren’s love for their Heavenly Father?

Here are some of the suggestions the classes came up with:

Ask them more questions about what they know about Heavenly Father.
Teach them to picture Him as a person who joys when they are happy.
Teach them to turn to God in times of trial.
Teach, pray, and fast. Be an example.
Learn from them.
Tell them that while we are on a mission they can’t be with us, but we still love them. So, too, while on this earth we can’t be with Heavenly Father, but He still loves us, and we can talk to Him through prayer.
Love everyone, because Heavenly Father does, and we are doing His work.
Tell them you are serving because you love Heavenly Father.
Let them read in your journal.

Through our study Elder Campbell and I both learned a lot, as is always the case.

Yesterday was a big event here, the re-enactment of the Exodus from Nauvoo. Missionaries had been preparing for it for quite a while. The Saints left Nauvoo on a sub-zero day in February, 1846. Our re-enactment was on a cold day, February 8, 2014. People walked down to the end of Parley Street along-side teams and wagons to the Mississippi River. The early Saints were able to cross over on ice. (We stopped at the ice.)

My favorite part of the event was indoors, singing during the program prior to our walk. Our string quartet was playing, and then everyone joined in singing “Let Us All Press On.” As they were singing I was thinking, “They all left, and now we are back.” It was neat to hear everyone’s voices.

Elder Campbell was in the Nauvoo Militia. He carried a “Rendezvous” gun (from our show). He was specially assigned to walk by Dan, one of the horses, to keep him calm. He said he made a new friend, as the horse liked to nestle his nose under his arm.

I carried an English flag, representing some of my English ancestors. I walked for my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth Coffin Rawson. Elder Campbell walked for his 3rd great grandfather, Hezekiah Thatcher. It was a little cold, but we dressed warm.

We spent most of our week preparing for the week-end events and responsibilities. Tonight we are going to watch a video made yesterday of the re-enactment.

We hope you are all keeping well! Sorry that we have not been very good lately about calling you and keeping in touch. We miss talking to you!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– String quartet playing before re-enanctment
– Elders Ballard and Taye joinging the quartet
– Elder Campbell with Dan
– Sister Campbell on the ice (barely)

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“Received a ham in payment”

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February 2, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a good week, even though it has been cold and snowy. Because of the snow we were able to go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride!

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh ‘ore the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the woods, oh how the wind doth blow.
It stings our nose and bites our toes as over the ground we go.

We learned all about that yesterday first hand (but I was the Grandmother to whose house we were eventually going). It was fun!

This week Elder Campbell was preparing the floor and then laying tile in the Water House. It is a difficult and laborious job for such a young man as he.

One place I served this week was in Land and Records. I usually get there one day each week. This week I was fortunate enough to be able to work on the file of my ancestor, Luman Andros Shurtliff. When a file hasn’t been updated for six or more years, we pull them out to update them. Land and Records has quite a few newer resources which were not available when these files were last done. I feel very fortunate to be able to work on them. There is a lot written about Grandpa Shurtliff so it will take me a couple more weeks to finish the update. It is interesting work.

Reading about Grandpa Shurtliff, I found a record of his first wife dying in 1845 in Nauvoo. Mother had told me about her, and that she was buried on his property. But I didn’t remember her saying that she died on the day that a baby daughter was born, who also died with her. What difficult things these people had to go through! It would have been heart wrenching! My ancestor is her sister, Altamira Gaylord, whom he married not long after.

This week we were able to attend two of Susan Easton Black Durrant’s lectures. She is doing a lecture about the early Saints every Tuesday and Thursday. She is the church’s foremost historian and authority on the early Saints. On Thursday she talked about the bank failure in Kirtland, Ohio, and how so many of the church leaders at that time fell away. They became bitter enemies to Joseph Smith and the church. At the end of the lecture she reminded us that the main body of Saints remained stalwart and faithful. She then asked us who had ancestors who were among those faithful Saints who followed Joseph Smith to Missouri to escape the angry apostate-driven mob. My hand went up. I had several, but the one on my mind was Luman Andros Shurtliff, so I called out his name. Then she told the congregation about him, how he worked on the temple, and then went to the Red Brick Store and received a ham in payment. He said that the ham was the best pay he could receive. I was impressed that she knew something special about him, and also proud that it was my ancestor she chose to talk about.

Friday evening I took a cinnamon roll making class from our baker missionary, Elder Bogaski. He taught us some tricks to making the rolls thick and moist. It was a good class. Elder Campbell went, but sat and read his book while he waited.

We are both studying hard for the lessons we teach in Priesthood and Relief Society next week. That will be where we spend any spare time.

Have a great week, everyone!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Sleigh ride
– Posing as cinnamon rolls rise under plastic (to keep them moist)
– Showing off the flaky biscuits (baking instructor on right)
– Horses in action
– Elder and Sister Campbell on the sleigh
– Sister Campbell in front of sleigh
– Elder Campbell in front of sleigh

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