Another week has whizzed by

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March 30, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week has whizzed by! Elder Campbell continued to work on the Hammer House, getting the siding up. The Facilities Management crews are working as fast as they can to get homes ready for the many new missionaries arriving weekly.

On Tuesday our cast had a talent audition for a talent show next week. It is in preparation for this season’s “Sunset on the Mississippi.” I am in a violin, mandolin, and harmonica trio with Elder Taye and Elder Ballard. We are playing a medley of fiddle tunes. It sounds quite authentic to the era and is fun to do.

Also, amid my full schedule I was able to work in a rehearsal with the Nauvoo Community Orchestra and the concert last night. The director, Dennis Dowell, is retiring and conducted his last concert with the orchestra. The concert was entitled “A Celtic Spring.” We played a Leroy Anderson Irish Suite and some arrangements of classical works. A lady with a beautiful voice sang a wonderful arrangement of “Danny Boy.” The whole concert was very nice. Elder Campbell really enjoyed it and I had a great time, too. I was glad I was able to play in it.

On Friday I was serving in the Family Living Center. I had not brought my violin that day. Some of the elders who are musicians like to take their instruments while serving in various sites so that they can play music when tours are slow. I hadn’t checked my schedule to see that Elder Fuellenbach would be there. He plays the guitar and wanted to have a chance to play “Ashoken Farewell” with me. Since I had walked to the site, Sister Tucket took me home to get my violin. But we were so busy that there had been no time to play music all day.

For the last part of our shift I was a greeter at the door. A group of women walked in. I greeted some of them as they entered. They were from Arizona and other places. They wanted to look around a bit, as it was almost time to close.

Shortly after that Elder Campbell came in. He had come to give me a ride home. He noticed that one of the ladies looked familiar. Then another. He asked me if that was Tess Nelson, a close friend of Grandma Mary Lou. I looked at her sitting at the rope demonstration. I said that yes, it was. And the other familiar-looking lady was her daughter, Tammy. (They had been in the rest room when I was first greeting them, and had missed them.) So we were all surprised to see each other and had a good visit. They wanted me to play my violin for them, and I just happened to have it there with me. So Elder Fuellenbach and I played “Ashoken Farewell” for them. One of them recorded it so they could play it for Grandma Mary Lou. Three of them were from her ward. We gave Tess and Tammy hugs for Grandma and everyone left. I was so glad that Elder Campbell had been there to see them, too.

It was just one of many little miracles that happen here in Nauvoo every day. The Lord is in the details of our lives. We often times don’t recognize it, but He is very much aware of us. I know that as we live righteously and ask for divine help, He will give us the help we so desire and need.

Elder Campbell adds this quote by Joseph Smith from our Priesthood/Relief Society lessons today. “if you obey the Gospel with honest hearts, I promise you in the name of the Lord, that the gifts as promised by our Saviour will follow you.”

We send our love your way,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Sister Campbell in a recent “Rendezvous” scene with Elder and Sister Taye (above)
– Sister Campbell, Laurie Peterson, program organizer, and Dennis Dowell, orchestra director

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Two Viola Students

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3/23/2014

Elder and Sister Campbell

Illinois Nauvoo Mission

PO Box 215

Nauvoo, Illinois 62354

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Campbell spent this week working on the Hammer House out on Highway 96. They are putting up new siding. It’s going to be beautiful when it is all finished! He also spent quite a bit of time working on his new part as Noah for “Rendezvous.”

I served in various sites during the week, as usual. On Monday I was in Land and Records. I am enjoying the Brigham Young file. I have to decide what or what not to include, as there is much written on him. He was truly a great man, the leader of the first trek West and overseer of the migration of the Saints to over 500 colonies in the West. He was an inspired leader, a prophet of God.

On Friday I served in the Visitor’s Center, when most of the sixteen new missionary couples arrived. I was able to meet many of them first hand as they arrived. More will be arriving in subsequent weeks.

The mission choir sang in Sacrament meeting again today. We sang a Sally DeFord arrangement of “I Stand All Amazed.” The choir did a fantastic job. I work on the music and worry all month, but they always come through doing a beautiful job. Next month is the last Sunday for the choir until September. We will sing three numbers on Easter Sunday.

Friday we invited Jordan and Rebecca Bodily and their two young children over for dinner. They lived just north of Soda Springs prior to coming here. Jordan was hired by the church to be one of the bosses at Facilities Management. Their children are Emma, age 2 ½ and Porter, age 5. They were very busy, but fun to have over. In Soda Springs Jordan had been hired by Caribou County to oversee the restoration of the Caribou County Courthouse. We were able to catch up a little with them on the things they are doing. They are expecting a baby in September.

Yesterday we went to Carthage for a special program Sister Ballard put together. She planned it to encourage residents of Carthage to come and visit the jail. The program was held in a sitting room in the Visitor’s Center. In that room there are some paintings depicting events in Joseph Smith’s life. There is also a lovely grand piano in that room. Several people from the community were invited to present musical numbers. I also played a violin solo for visitors. It was a fun idea. Many visitors came, but very few from the city of Carthage. That was a little disappointing, but the overall event was well received by those who came. For my solo I played “Ashoken Farewell.”

An interesting side note is that I now have two viola students. Two missionaries of my cast have had a desire to learn to play the viola, independently of each other. So on Monday mornings we will have viola lessons going. Elder Scott, and Sister Duncan have both started lessons: Elder Scott because he has always wanted to, and Sister Duncan so that she can play duets with her granddaughter when she goes home.

Today we are having quite a few tours in the Wilford Woodruff home. It is my most favorite place to serve. Wilford Woodruff was a very special man, a great missionary and 4th president of the church.

We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Elder Campbell working on siding a house with Elder Gillespie
– Elder and Sister Campbell in the Wilford Woodruff living room (above)
– Our district leaders, Elder and Sister Taylor in the Wilford Woodruff kitchen

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The Upstairs room of the Red Brick Store–the first Relief Society

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March 16, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This is my best day yet! That is the slogan of temple missionary, George Durrant. He is usually there to greet everyone when we attend his wife’s (Susan Easton Black Durrant’s) lectures on the early days of Nauvoo. So I am adopting that slogan for myself.

It was our best week yet! With visitors picking up, we had a full house at our Rendezvous show. We have had several tours in the sites every day. People are here on their spring break, even though it doesn’t seem so much like spring most of the time.

Yesterday the sister missionaries attended a re-enactment of the first Relief Society. It was held in the upstairs room of the Red Brick Store. The store is now owned by the Community of Christ Church, and they allowed us to use it for our special event. We met at the Visitor’s Center and rode in the wagons to the Red Brick Store. When we arrived, missionaries dressed as Joseph, Emma, John Taylor and others greeted us. The script for the re-enactment was from the minutes scrupulously taken by Willard Richards. A missionary posed as such pretended to be writing with a quill pen. It was very authentic looking. Elder and Sister Monney portrayed Joseph and Emma. After Emma and others were elected as a Relief Society presidency, Joseph had Emma stand up next to him at the front of the room. He read to her a portion of Doctrine and Covenants section 25, which was a revelation he received specifically for her. He told her that she would be blessed as the president of this organization to be able to lead, guide, and exhort the sisters, as would others after her.

President and Sister Chynoweth also spoke. It was a very effective event.

On Friday our new Rendezvous director came in to the Post Office where I was serving and asked me if Elder Campbell and I would be willing to learn the Noah and Sophia parts in Rendezvous. Of course, I said yes, knowing that Elder Campbell would agree. So now we are working on a new part that hopefully you all will be able to see when you come.

Today in Sacrament Meeting our district leader, Elder Taylor, was one of the speakers. (His wife was also scheduled to give speak, but was ill.) For his talk he decided to put away his notes and request the help of the Holy Ghost, after the example of our former mission president’s wife, Sister Gilliland. The following is the gist of what he said:

Hope is perfectly clear in the gospel. We hope to attain a Celestial Glory, which hope is attainable if we receive a forgiveness of sins. It seems almost unattainable sometimes when we realize that we need to be perfect to have complete forgiveness of sins. Enos and many other prophets received a remission of their sins. Enos asked the Lord, “How is it done?” [Enos 1:7] We receive a remission of our sins when we are baptized. We can also receive a remission of our sins every week when we partake of the Sacrament worthily. Perfection is a direction rather than a place.

Faith, hope, and charity are an interesting trio. Charity is the activity part of the trio. It is not passive. It has to do with selfless giving and doing good works.

In flying an airplane, attitude + power= altitude. With an upward attitude (nose pointed up) plus power the plane will rise. Also, the lift from above gets the plane where it needs to be.

Using this as an analogy for our lives, instead of complaining about something that we have been asked to do and having a bad attitude, if we use our energy to figure out how to make it happen (nose pointed up) instead of grumbling, and go forth serving others, we will receive the help and energy from above to do it. Doing so draws us closer to Christ. As we live a righteous life with a positive attitude and serving others, a remission of sins will come. That is how we can have hope in Christ as more than a passive dream.

May you all have hope in Christ, and each day may you be able to say,

This is my best day yet!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Getting on the wagon
– Waiting to go (above)
– The wagon behind us

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Hurried to our awaiting coach

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March 9, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been busy today in the sites! People are starting to come here again! We are excited. Today in the Family Living Center we have been busy all afternoon. It’s great. Elder Campbell and I are serving with Elder and Sister Monney, who are going home soon. It is a real treat to be able to serve with them.

Last night the temple missionaries had the opportunity to have their own dance on the 3rd floor of the Cultural Hall. Our missionary dance band played some of the old dance band favorites. The string quartet played a few short numbers at their intermission. We played an old favorite that I’ve played with friends at home, “Tennessee Waltz.” The missionaries really liked dancing to that one. We also played our Scott Joplin arrangements. The dance was really fun. Elder Campbell and I danced the night away. But after the quartet played we hurried down the stairs and out to our awaiting coach (Chevy Impala), because of the change to daylight savings time and early church this morning. It was a fun night.

I was fortunate to be able to serve in Land and Records two times this week. I am still working on the Brigham Young file, updating it. There is so much written on him that it is a huge project. There are many books and files to go through. He was truly a great man, now known in Washington D.C. as the great colonizer of the West.

I have also been practicing once a week with Elders Taye and Ballard for the “Sunset By the Mississippi” specialty number auditions. We are doing a couple of fiddle tunes. It sounds pretty authentic, I think.

Elder Campbell continued to frame the windows and put in new windows at the Hammer House. He also keeps busy with all of our activities and assignments.

On Friday we had a farewell breakfast. A few couples from our MTC group are going home, as we have been out for a year. It’s sad, because they are like family. We hate to see anybody go home. One couple going home is Elder and Sister Williams of Pocatello. He is a retired dentist. Sister Williams is a very hard worker. She made a lot of quilts while she was here. In fact, the mission just completed a huge humanitarian project. The sister missionaries made layettes and knitted hats for a local hospital. Some made colorful pillowcases and quilts for a women’s shelter, and 200 boo bears were made and donated to the fire department. I helped with some of those items, depending on where I was serving. At any rate the people who received them were very delighted. It has been a very worthwhile project.

I close with these thoughts from Susan Black Durrant about Joseph Smith in her lecture this week. She said his greatest successes with people were when he was on his way to somewhere else, when he would stop and help or visit with someone. He had many responsibilities while living in Nauvoo. He was the mayor, the lieutenant general of the Nauvoo Legion, an administrator for the University of Nauvoo, a prophet of God, and president of the Church. Yet he had the common touch and was never too busy to talk to people. What a great example! So many of the missionaries here are good at that, too! It is a good trait to emulate.

I hope I’m learning something.

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Making rope
– Dance band
– String quartet (above)
– Sister Campbell and Sister Monney
– Elder Campbell and Elder Monney with the rope they made

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Good Deeds

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March 2, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another busy week, even though we still have very few visitors. I take plenty of projects such as handwork to the sites. I also do some family history and indexing in the sites. I enjoy the time to study and visit with my companion.

Elder Campbell has plenty to do in Facilities Management. This week he worked on what is called the Hammer House. It is an old home that FM is redoing. He helped tear down a section of the old outside walls and put up new plywood. He helped tear down some of the old porch, put frames around some of the windows and put in new windows. He particularly enjoyed this week working with some of the young carpenter employees of the church.

Every evening this week was busy, too. Our “Rendezvous” show nights rotate. This month our shows are on Mondays and Thursdays. Tuesdays we have “Sunset by the Mississippi” practices. Before that practice I practice some fiddle tunes with Elders Taye and Ballard. Right after that we go to Susan Easton Black Durrant’s lecture. This time the lecture was on the building of Nauvoo in the 1840’s. She also gave us a little background on the rebuilding of Old Nauvoo, which began in the 1960’s. Wednesday we attended the temple with our cast. Friday and most of Saturday we stayed home, which was nice.

Today acting President Chynoweth announced that our new mission president’s health just will not allow him to fill the position, so he has been released from that calling. We are awaiting the decision of the Council of the Twelve as to who will then be our new mission president. President Chynoweth was tearful when he said, “This is a sacred place. I feel it every time I leave and come back.”

We carry on as a mission under former President Gilliland’s two counselors, President Chynoweth and President Jones. The zone leaders also carry their fair share of the mission responsibilities. Plans are now underway for a re-enactment of the first women’s Relief Society. It will be held upstairs in the Red Brick Store, as it was originally done. I’ll tell you more about that after the fact. There are also many new missionaries coming in March and April.

Our temple president bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting today. He told us, “Never a good deed you do will go unnoticed. You are a light of Christ.” This is very true. Because of the knowledge you have of Christ, your faith and example of righteous living can be seen by those you associate with. Of course, you don’t want to broadcast what good deeds you have done, but your Father in Heaven knows of them and will remember all of them. That is what matters. When you do good deeds something happens inside of you that draws you closer to Heavenly Father. This is true because you are helping Him care for His children. It also causes you to feel better about yourself and to forget your own problems. And finally, it gives you more strength and desire to do good deeds in the future.

I honestly love this mission and working for Heavenly Father in whatever capacity I am asked. I love working in the sites. I love telling people the stories about the early Saints who came here because of their faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love working with the many wonderful missionaries serving here. I love this special time with Elder Campbell where we serve, study, and grow in the gospel together.

I hope you will all be able to come out here and see for yourself this wonderful place.

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Joseph and Hyrum Smith statue in front of the Nauvoo Temple (above).