Joy in the Journey

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July 20, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

On Monday I served in the Seventies Hall. A nonmember Jewish lady came in. Her sons had found Old Nauvoo on an internet search, discovering that everything here was free. So they flew in from (I think) Washington State and rented a car to get around in. They were having a great time. She commented on the similarities between the Mormons being driven out and the Jews during the Holocaust. She had ancestors who were victims of the Holocaust. She stayed and talked for quite a while. She had already filled out a Guest (referral) Card and was quite interested in the church.

That night we went to Carthage to Elder and Sister Gneiting’s home. (Elder Gneiting is a cousin to Galan Gneiting of Soda Springs.) Sister Gneiting had planned an evening of music and food. Everyone brought food. For the music Sister Gneiting played the piano, I played the violin, Elder Taye played the mandolin, and Elder Ballard played the harmonica. Everyone else sang for some of the numbers. She invited several couples from our cast, as it was our night off. It was a “One last get-together,” as the Gneitings and the Ballards go home the first part of August.

Later in the week after our “Sunset” show we met Pete and Gracie’s bishop and wife, Dave and Ilene Jenkins of Ione, California. They had wanted to meet us. They came here with a tour bus. They are friendly people, great people, very nice to visit with.

Many tour busses come here. They are often going to other historical sites as a part of their tour. Some of them are tours for youth, some for Young Adult groups. Some wards and stakes bring busloads of young people to see the Pageant and the sites. This is a booming place right now.

Today in church we met more people. I served in the primary during sharing time. It was fun to get acquainted with some of the children. The people in the Burlington Ward are so open and friendly. There are new members, newly activated members, and investigators.

Last week Vinca, a newly baptized member, gave me and the other Nauvoo sister missionaries a hug so that we could take it back to Sister Olsen, the missionary who taught her in the sites and was instrumental in helping her to get baptized. She is a strong member now.

Today I talked to Doris Richardson. She was baptized ten months ago. She has never seen the Nauvoo Pageant, so I encouraged her to come. She is in her 70’s and is in a wheelchair. She would have to rely on her family to bring her. Her husband and children were all baptized about 37 years ago. Finally, she determined that this was what she needed to do. She told me the story of how it came about, and she also told me the story of her testimony of tithing. She was living on social security, and it was hard for her to think that she would have enough money to pay tithing. But she decided to go ahead, and was blessed. She has had enough money for all of her expenses ever since, and feels like she has been particularly blessed in paying her tithing.

In our mission training meeting on Wednesday, the subject was Joy in the Journey. Here are a couple of quotes from that training.

When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. Richard G. Scott

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us to “turn not away the small, still voice; it will teach [us] what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruit of the kingdom…. It will whisper peace and joy to [our] soul; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from [our] hearts, and [our] whole desire will be to do good” (Millennial Star, 23 Sep 1873, 598).

We have experienced some of that kind of joy.

We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Working in the Women’s Garden (above and below)
– With Sister Duncan and Sister Davis in the Green Room

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From All Parts of the World

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July 13, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Now that the Pageant is on, we are busier than ever! The sites are continuously busy with wonderful, respectful, and interested guests. It never ceases to amaze me how many people come all the way out here from the west, the east, and all parts of the world, really. There are two pageants, the British Pageant and the Nauvoo Pageant. The British Pageant was presented for the first time last year in Preston, England. Just for this year it is being put on in Nauvoo, because the stories of the two pageants are so closely entwined.

I love to tell the stories of the faithful Saints in the sites, of how they sacrificed their homes and their livelihoods to follow a prophet of God. I love to tell of how Old Nauvoo got started, and of the sacrifice those early apostles and their families made to serve missions to England and elsewhere. Their families were home with little to live on but faith and hard work. I love to help the visitors find where their ancestors lived who were here in Nauvoo in the 1840’s. I love to welcome people who come here, helping them to feel loved and important. It is not hard to do, because everyone here is so kind and accepting. There is rarely a cross word spoken. This is a wonderful place to be, a haven from the difficulties of a troubled world.

But we work so hard that we are hardly in relaxation land. We work long hours, especially now that we are in our busy season. We are often doing well to get a good meal in before we have to hurry off to our show. We stay up late and arise early, burning the candle at both ends. It is nice to have a preparation day to catch up on rest and laundry. Since we are doing the Lord’s work we are happy and we rejoice to have this great opportunity to be a part of such a grand and ideal program.

Today was our second Sunday in the Burlington Ward. We met a lot more people. I am lined out to be a substitute in Primary and to provide a musical number next month in Sacrament Meeting. It is fun to participate in the lessons and to get a feel for the dynamics of the ward. The bishop of the Burlington Ward, Bishop Hammond, is a very young man barely out of college. He went to school at Idaho State. The Hammond’s best friends, the Mix’s, live in our ward in Soda Springs. I believe they moved in just as we were leaving, so we have never met them. Interesting.

Well, I am going to get a little rest before heading off to an MTC party, probably our last before going home. We rarely have a Sunday night free, and if we do someone plans something. J

We love you all. I want you all to know that I know that Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, that He leads and guides President Thomas S. Monson, and that there has been an unbroken chain of authority since the gospel was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith. I love the Pageant because Joseph Smith is one of the main characters, who speaks his actual words. He truly was a great prophet.

We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. Our love goes out to you, Mom and Dad. We are saddened to hear of Dad’s confinement in a care center, following his strokes and paralysis. We are thinking of you and praying for you, and know that Heavenly Father is mindful of your struggles at this time!

– Elders singing at our MTC party
– With Tressa, Hailee, and Kenson at Pioneer Pastimes (last week)

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The Rain Stopped

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July 6, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

How are you all? I hope things are going well. We had a fun-filled week. Evelyn and Jason were here, along with Tressa, Hailee, and Kenson. It was a lot of fun to spend time with them. It had been two years since we saw them and over three years since we saw Jason, other than online. Way too long!

Today we started a new assignment. We, along with another couple and a single sister, traveled to the Burlington, Iowa ward for church. We will attend there most every Sunday until we go home. A few other missionaries are assigned to other outlying wards and branches. I consider it a great privilege to be able to go. There we are to get acquainted and to serve where needed. Mostly we will fellowship with the members and help to strengthen them in whatever way we can.

Today I met a black sister, Betty Mayn, who has been a member for 6 or 7 years. She had two granddaughters with her. I also met a woman about my age who is in a wheel chair, Sister Richardson. She has a lot of family in the ward, but has only been a member for less than a year. Her story is similar to Grandma Campbell’s. She has been attending church for years, but didn’t ever see fit to be baptized. But then a new missionary came who had been acquainted with her grandson who was apparently going to school in the west. When he found out that his friend would be serving in his grandmother’s town, he told him to seek out his grandmother and baptize her. When this missionary found Sister Richardson, he told her what her grandson had said. She knew that this was what she needed to do and was baptized shortly thereafter. That was fun to meet her. I hope to see her again next week.

During this past week we went to Carthage with Evelyn and Jason. We were with them whenever we could. They went to the shows and visited some of the sites. The kids loved Pioneer Pastimes, where they could dress up and pretend to be pioneers, playing house in a little log cabin, and playing pioneer games.

I also went with them on a 1-mile handcart trek. We had to cross a creek three times. Good thing the water wasn’t very deep!

On Wednesday we did our “Sunset by the Mississippi” show. The directors thought the weather would be good and were planning to be on the outdoor stage. But just as I finished warming up on my violin before the show, it started to rain. It rained quite a bit and everyone was getting soaked. (Luckily, I was able to get my violin into a dressing room and dried off.) Tressa and Hailee were saving seats for their parents and were drenched.

Evelyn and Jason and Kenson were in their car saying a prayer, asking the Lord to stop the rain just long enough for the show. Many other people were praying that the rain would stop, also. There was a huge EFY group planning to come to our show, as well. Evelyn told me later that as soon as they finished their prayer the rain stopped. And immediately after the show as we started into the audience to greet some people, the rain started back up again. It was a tender mercy of the Lord, and a testimony of the power of prayer.

Well, Evelyn and Jason are back home, now, and we are hopefully resting a little this afternoon so that we will be ready to launch off a new fun-packed week! Pageant starts on Tuesday! Exciting!

We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– The Jason Curtis family at Carthage
– Elder and Sister with grandkids at Carthage (above)
– On the 1-mile trek
– Old friends stop by, DeRay and Carrie Young

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