Directing a Choir of Angels

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April 27, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

How is everyone doing? We hope well. We would love you to email us any time. We love pictures, too!

This week Elder Campbell and several other elders finished putting siding on the Hamma House. It looks quite nice. He also has been studying his new part in “Rendezvous” as Noah. He has a lot of lines. We will start doing that part in another week. It should be fun!

I served with young sister missionaries three times this week: Sisters Searle, Newell, Munro, and Maile. Sister Maile is Tongan, her family living in California now. The young sisters are very good at giving tours and at sharing tours with their companions. We senior missionaries have a harder time sharing the tour. Part of the reason is that we are with a new companion almost every day. As a site leader it is my responsibility to train the sisters that I am working with. I work with them to share a tour and give the tour properly. For example, we are supposed to give just what is in our tour outline, and to not add a lot of detail. It is important to keep the tours short and concise. We want to leave plenty of time to testify of a certain principle and for the spirit to bear witness of that principle. Also, the guests have other places to see while they are here, so we cannot hold them too long. It takes a lot of practice and study to do a tour well.

Concerning the mission choir, I am still getting comments wherever I go about how wonderful they sounded last week. It was a great experience for everyone, and a rewarding and successful season. Here is the email I sent out to the choir members this week.

Dear Marvelously Magnificent Mission Choir,

It has been a great pleasure and honor serving as your director. You are a group of true and dedicated musician missionaries. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us, and for taking the time out of your extremely packed schedules to come to the practices. Your musical skills, diligence, worthiness, and willingness all came together to make it possible to produce a heavenly sound. It has been a goal of mine to direct a choir of angels. I didn’t realize it would come while I am still alive. Your sound was so heavenly that I do believe angels were assisting us. I am still hearing about it as to how wonderful you all sounded!

Thank you all for being a part of such a spiritual musical experience.

Love,

Sister Campbell

Yesterday we went to Keokuk with Elder and Sister Gillespie for the Civil War Reenactment. Two major Civil War battles took place there, and they hold a special event every year. It was fun to walk around the park and visit, and to be there for the “battle” with cannons firing, soldiers marching, and cavalry parading. Abe Lincoln gave an public address. There were booths, a pan throwing contest for women, and a magic show by Professor Farquar. All fun!

When we got home there was a message from Jolene Hoge. Jolene and Steve are here for a short visit. We visited with them last night, and today we went to some of the sites with them, including a trip to Carthage. They are going to our district meeting with us tonight. We are looking forward to it!

Right now we are in the middle of a huge rain and thunder storm. There is a tornado warning in some outlying areas, but not to worry about us. We are just fine.

Well, gotta go. I am taking Grandma Lambourne’s Spaghetti Sauce to the dinner meeting. I hope everyone likes the spicy version.

Love to you all,

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. The sauce was a hit; there was very little left over!

– Elder Campbell with Elder Gillespie siding the Hamma House in a manbasket
– Elder and Sister Campbell at the Civil War Reenactment celebration (above)
– Elder Campbell listening to a band concert
– Civil War soldiers
– The cavalry
– Jolene and Steve Hoge at Carthage

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He is Risen

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April 20, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

He is Risen

As Sister Gibbons said in her talk today, “He is Risen” is a salutation for Easter Day in Eastern Europe where she lived for a time.

We had a very nice Easter service during Sacrament Meeting today. The mission choir sang three numbers. President and Sister Gibbons spoke between the numbers. The choir sang, “Jesus Once of Humble Birth (Sally DeFord),” “I Stand All Amazed (Sally DeFord),” and “This Is the Christ.” We added the Young Sister Missionaries, making the choir members total over 54. We had to bring in extra chairs again to accommodate us all. Everywhere I went afterwards people commented about the choir, the wonderful sound they produced, and the spirit they brought in. I was very happy with it, especially that they once again followed me to a tee. I do believe that we have had angels helping us all along. I must say add that our accompanist, Sister Peterson, has been great to work with. Now I can relax a bit and not have to worry about the next rehearsal, since choir is over until next fall.

On Friday I served in the Visitor’s Center. I had set a goal to get one guest card filled out by the end of the week. So far I had none. So with that goal prayerfully in mind all that day, I stayed out on the floor so that I could greet visitors as they came in. Two brand new sisters were working with me and doing a great job of greeting people, too.

Towards the latter half of my shift I saw in the doorway a stream of visitors coming in. They came in couples. They were all quite young. The girls wore longer-than-usual dresses. Many of the boys wore shirts that matched the dresses. As they walked in they split off into pairs. I, as well as my companions, walked up to some and greeted them. They were Mennonites, as evident by the white beanie hats some of the girls wore. I introduced the displays to one couple and shared a little about Joseph Smith’s First Vision. I explained about the relief map of Nauvoo and was able to tell them how the people were forced out of Nauvoo. I told them how for a time some were able to cross the river on ice, which was a great blessing to them. They were polite and somewhat interested. Then they had to go so that they could visit some of the other places in Old Nauvoo. I figured that was it, and was as close as I would come to giving out a guest card that day.

But thirty minutes to closing another group came in, a class from Principia College in St. Louis. Their instructor introduced them to one of the new missionaries. He explained that they were studying various religions and we were on their list. They wanted to spend thirty minutes in our visitor’s center. He wanted us to show them what there was to look at here. The new missionary looked at me, as she wasn’t sure how to handle that. So I took them to the First Vision statue and walked them around the center, pointing out various displays that they might be interested in. I mentioned the Book of Mormon/Bible display, stating that the two books go hand in hand. We ended at the Christus Statue. Some went outside to view the Women’s Gardens.

Two young girls lingered so I played for them the audio for the Christus Statue. I felt like I was guided by the spirit as I asked them how it made them feel. They said it was peaceful. Then one started asking me sincere, heartfelt questions about our religion. Just she and I sat for a time and I was able to answer them all reasonably well. She wanted to know how we pray, and many other things, including what the women’s role is in the church. Another girl came over and asked more articulate questions, one in particular was about the Proclamation to the Family, which she had picked up and was reading. She wanted to know about God and if he was always in the form of a man. There were many questions. Finally, I said that they needed to fill out a guest card so that someone could come and teach them more about our religion. They were both much interested and went with me to the information desk to fill one out. Instead of the one guest card I had set for my goal, I had two! That was the coolest missionary experience I have had! I won’t know the rest of the story, but I hope they will accept the restored gospel and become members of this wonderful and true church of Jesus Christ.

Elder Campbell would like to share a portion of this talk by President Howard W. Hunter from an address he gave in 1993.

In this lovely springtime season of the year, this annual awakening when, in the northern hemisphere, the world is renewed, blossoms, and turns green and fresh again, we instinctively turn our thoughts to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of mankind, the source of light, and life, and love.

As a Palm Sunday and Easter season message, I have chosen for my brief text this morning the words of an ancient and sacred hymn, which are attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux and estimated to be nearly nine hundred years old. With the rest of the Christian world, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sing reverently:

Jesus, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see
And in thy presence rest.

On Palm Sunday, and next week on Easter Sunday, our minds turn very naturally to wonderful thoughts of Jesus. Indeed, Easter, along with perhaps Christmas, may be the only time in the whole year that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ’s flock find their way to church. That is admirable, but we wonder if thoughts of Jesus, which “with sweetness [fill our] breast,” ought not to be far more frequent and much more constant in all times and seasons of our lives. How often do we think of the Savior? How deeply and how gratefully and how adoringly do we reflect on his life? How central to our lives do we know him to be?

For example, how much of a normal day, a working week, or a fleeting month is devoted to “Jesus, the very thought of thee”? Perhaps for some of us, not enough.

Surely life would be more peaceful, surely marriages and families would be stronger, certainly neighborhoods and nations would be safer and kinder and more constructive if more of the gospel of Jesus Christ “with sweetness” could fill our breasts.

Unless we pay more attention to the thoughts of our hearts, I wonder what hope we have to claim that greater joy, that sweeter prize: someday his loving “face to see/ And in [his] presence rest.”

Every day of our lives and in every season of the year (not just at Easter time), Jesus asks each of us, as he did following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem those many years ago, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” (Matt. 22:42.)

We declare that he is the Son of God, and the reality of that fact should stir our souls more frequently. I pray that it will, this Easter season and always.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the mem’ry find
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
O Savior of mankind!

We testify as the ancient prophets and Apostles did, that the name of Christ is the only name given under heaven whereby a man, woman, or child can be saved. It is a blessed name, a gracious name, a sacred name. Truly no “voice can sing, nor heart can frame, a sweeter sound than [that] blest name.”

We testify that we know President Hunter’s words to be true: that Jesus is the Christ, that the resurrected Lord is the Lord of all the earth.

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

-Helping Elder Campbell with a training packet at Land and Records as we served together on Easter Sunday. Several guests came in a little later.

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The Hope Our Savior Gives Us

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April 13, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

April showers bring May flowers! It is a beautiful warm rainy spring day. The Young Sister Missionaries have returned from their 6-month outbound experience, along with some new ones. They bring a life and exuberance to the mission! They came to our “Rendezvous” show on Friday, and their energy got the rest of the audience going with enthusiasm. It was fun!

Our Noah and Sophia part in “Rendezvous” is coming along. We practiced for the first time with the accompaniment on Friday. It is not a big part, but big enough to cause a lot of stress. Elder Campbell has the most to learn. He just about has it down. It will be fun once we got past the nervousness.

Today choir practice was extra sweet, as some of the new missionaries joined us, including most of the Young Sister Missionaries! The choir sounded awesome! I feel so privileged to have been the choir director on this mission. Our last performance is on Easter Sunday. (During the busy season we don’t have choir because our schedules are too full.) We will sing three songs in Sacrament Meeting.

Last night we had “Sunset” practice on the stage; the weather was so nice. Elder Campbell has a cute little line in the men’s number. I am playing a fiddle part written by Elder Germer for the women’s number. It is a fast moving fiddle part! Elder Germer is an amazing arranger, and wrote a band accompaniment for both the men’s and women’s numbers. (Elder and Sister Germer have now gone home.)

During this week before Easter take the time to go to Mormon.org/Because of Him. There is a great video expressing the hope our Savior, Jesus Christ gives us. I know our Savior can bring joy and satisfaction to our lives in an ever troubled world if we but follow His example and live as He taught.

He is Not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6) The empty tomb in that Jerusalem garden is a reminder that when the women who so lovingly cleaned, anointed, and wrapped his body came to observe the tomb, His body was gone, and in His place were two angels.

“He is not here: for He is risen,” they said.

The door on the tomb repeats that phrase: “He is not here, for He is risen.” It reminds visitors that the Savior not only lived and died for us but that He also rose from the dead.

Because Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind it’s possible for each of us to live again with God.

We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– At the annual Prairie Burn demonstration. Elder and Sister Taylor had a weiner roast for everyone prior to the event.
– Getting started
– A wind picks it up.
– About 5 or 10 minutes later
– Elder Campbell getting read to go up in a man basket
– The Hamma house Elder Campbell is working on
– View of the temple on my way home from the Cultural Hall
– View of the temple at sunrise
– Kathy with with a new missionary, Sister Brown, of Jerome (a sister of Paul’s backpacking friend) [Ron Farnsworth and his family are close friends of Paul Campbell’s family].


Terry and Kathleen Campbell

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Love God First

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April 6, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This week we had our annual talent show. I played a medley of fiddle tunes in a trio. We did a good job, as did everyone else. There is a lot of talent among the missionaries here. The directors of “Sunset” have to narrow it down from 24 entries to 12, so we’ll see who gets to do specialty numbers in the “Sunset” show this summer. I am already playing a fiddle part for a song the sister missionaries will be singing. It is so fast that I have to work hard to get it down. Also, Elder Campbell and I are reviewing the Clarinet Polka dance. All for “Sunset on the Mississippi.” It is fun.

I served with a new sister here, Sister Bowden, on Wednesday. We discovered that we both have daughters living in Hobbs, New Mexico. I gave Evelyn Sister Bowden’s daughter’s phone number so that she can get in touch with her. On Thursday I served with another new missionary, Sister Harwood. She is a cousin to Rodger Sorensen. We were also serving with Sister Beard, who was here last summer and came back. They are from Tetonia. Actually, both the Harwoods and the Beards are from Tetonia, Idaho. We have a lot of wonderful new missionaries who recently arrived.

Our new mission president, President Gibbons and his wife, are here now. They are from Dallas, Texas. They spoke to us briefly at a mission breakfast. We will hear more from them tonight. He is a former member of the 2nd Quorum of Seventy. We are looking forward to their leadership, even though President Chynoweth has done a great job as acting president.

Right now we are serving in the Heber C. Kimball home. We listened to General Conference between visitors. There have been some excellent talks. It is hard to choose a favorite, they are all so good. Elder Uchtdorf talked about being grateful for all the good things we have in life, and not dwelling on the difficulties. He admonished us to let our hearts be full of thanks. President Monson talked about love, the most important thing. If we love God first, the love of mankind will follow… You’ll never regret a kind deed done… Charity is the pure love of Christ. It will be well for the man who is found possessed of it at the last day… Careless words destroy ones’ confidence. Forgiveness heals… The recipient of your kind words may remember them forever… As we try to understand the incomparable gift our Savior gave us we will love Him more.

Elder Campbell liked the talk by Linda S. Reeves of the Relief Society General Presidency. She talked about protecting your family from the ugly blight of pornography. She testified of the importance of daily family scripture reading and family prayer and weekly family home evening. He also like the talk by Elder Oaks in the Priesthood session, who talked about the role and responsibilities of women in the church through the Priesthood.

Elder Bednar reminded us that today is the actual birthday of our Savior. Elder Chistopherson reminded us that Mary, a woman, was the first to see the resurrected Lord.

There was so much wonderful counsel given, but those are a few of the highlights. We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– in the Heber C. Kimball home