September 19, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
We left our mission with sadness mixed with joy. Elder Campbell wanted to drive back past our house one more time after we had turned in the key. Then we drove away to a new adventure, towards home after an 18-month mission.
On our way we took in some notable church history sites. We first drove to Adam-ondi-ahman, the place where Adam and Eve once dwelt. It is a peaceful and beautiful area. All of Missouri is beautiful and green. Our next historical site was Far West, Missouri. There a temple site has been dedicated. The four cornerstones were laid out in the early days of the church. The church was able to buy back the property, and a temple will one day be built there.
Next we went to Richmond, Missouri. This is where Joseph Smith and many others were held as prisoners for an extended period of time. The old jail is no longer standing, but there is a historical marker there. My ancestor, Morris Charles Phelps, was one of the prisoners held captive there.
Liberty Jail was our next stop, where Joseph and several others were transferred after Richmond. (Phelps was not moved from Richmond, but was retained there with two or three others.) After being in that cold cell in Liberty all winter the prisoners were allowed to escape. The officials realized that there was no evidence to hold them. (Morris Phelps and others escaped from the Richmond jail through the heroic efforts of his wife, Laura. But that is a story for another time.)
Our next stop was Independence, Missouri. We toured the visitors’ center and enjoyed learning about the Saints of that time. Independence was the first place the Mormons settled in Missouri. There is also a dedicated temple site there.
From Independence we drove through more beautiful country, past Kansas City and through the heart of Oklahoma; then on into Texas. We made our way to Hobbs, New Mexico, where we visited with Evelyn, Jason, and children. We were excited to learn of their expected new one in April!
Then we drove to the Phoenix valley. We visited with much family there. My father is in a care center, so we visited him there and my mother at their home in Tempe. We visited Kendra and Brandon and children in West Phoenix, and Elder Campbell’s mother in Scottsdale. We were able to visit with a good many of our brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, as well. It has been a good trip.
It has been especially rewarding to share our enthusiasm and love for the work that we were so fully involved in. We loved the people, the temple, the message, and the one for whom we served, even our Savior, Jesus Christ. We learned how to testify and how to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost as never before. We have grown so much in our testimony of the restored church of Jesus Christ. We know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. We know that he saw God, the father and his son, Jesus Christ. We know that they and other heavenly messengers taught him, an unlearned farm boy, and guided him in restoring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. We want to share that message with everyone we meet!
We send our love to all of you. We hope to see you soon, if we didn’t catch you on our trip home.
Elder and Sister Campbell
– Last few days of work in Nauvoo
– Great sunset clouds
– At Far West, Mo
– Historical marker in Richmond, Mo
– At Richmond pioneer cemetery
– Tressa, Kenson, and Hailee Curtis
– Evelyn and Jason Curtis
– Ellie and Olivia
– Laura, Ellie, and Sam
– Ethan at school match
– Family gathering
– Josh, Brandon, Emma, Kacey
– Josh, Kacey, Ethan
– Kendra, Brandon, Ethan, Josh, Emma, Kacey
– Brandon, Kendra, Kathleen, Terry
– Tressa, Evelyn, Jason, Hailee, and Kenson
– Terry, Ellen, Martha, Sam, and Grandma Burgoyne