September 7, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
It is with somewhat of sadness that I write the last letter of our Illinois Nauvoo Mission. It has been a great mission! Yes, it has been hard. In fact, it has probably been the hardest thing either one of us has ever done. But it has been wonderful, and we are grateful for every minute of it.
Today was our last day in the Burlington Ward. We told our new friends there good-bye. Everywhere we turn we are saying good-bye to someone. Tonight will also be our last zone conference and mission slide show. (The slide show is a fun collection of slides from the mission during the past month.) Yesterday was our last time in the Nauvoo Temple.
Monday and Tuesday will be our last days to serve in the sites or Facilities Management. After a day of cleaning on Wednesday, we will be heading West.
During this mission we have grown in our testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We are strengthened in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, and in the power of the Holy Ghost. We hope to be better people for it, better citizens and neighbors and better members of the church.
On Friday we had dinner with President Gibbons and his wife, along with nine other couples. It was very nice and enjoyable. Today we had an interview with the president, our exit interview. For both events we were invited to tell of our feelings of our mission extemporaneously.
On Thursday we did our last “Rendezvous” show. It was quite fun. Everyone in the cast is special. Our “Rendezvous” director, Sister Taye, also did her last show, as she and Elder Taye are going home the same day we do. Several others from our cast, as well. About sixty of us are going home this week.
Monday was rather unusual. Our distant Tillotson cousins, Ezra Tillotson and his sister, Donna Norvel, came here from Troy, Missouri. They were anxious to meet us and to see some of Old Nauvoo. We arranged to have the day free so that we could spend the time with them.
We have common ancestors, John and Mary Tillotson. They joined the church in England at about the time the Saints were leaving Nauvoo. John died in England but Mary and the children immigrated to America with the Saints. They settled in St. Louis and did not go West immediately. Consequently, some of the children never did move West to join the Saints. Ezra and Donna’s ancestor, Ezra, stayed in the St. Louis area. His descendants were not raised in the church.
Ezra and Donna were very much interested in learning all about Nauvoo. We took them on a carriage ride and they got a little bit of history of the church in the Visitors’ Center. We took them to Carthage and a couple of other sites. Then they went to our “Rendezvous” show and saw our last performance as Noah and Sophia Packard. Hopefully they will want to come back and bring some of their family and friends.
It was a great way to end our mission. We will be able to keep in touch with them and all of the wonderful people we have met while here.
We look forward to seeing all of you and telling you more about our wonderful experiences here. We want you to know how much we love the Lord and are grateful for this marvelous opportunity we have had in serving a mission for Him.
Elder and Sister Campbell
– Ezra Tillotson, Donna Norvel, about 4th cousins with E/S Campbell (above)
– Donna and Ezra
– Sister Campbell with Donna and Ezra after Rendezvous
– A day at the sites when no visitors were around (remaining)