July 28, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
This has been another great week! Two of our children are here, TR and Amber and Peter and Gracie and children. It is wonderful to have them here! We are enjoying the time with them.
Yesterday, Sunday, was an amazing day. Because of our family being here, we attended Sacrament Meeting in Nauvoo instead of traveling to Burlington. We were surprised to find out that the speaker was Christoffel Golden of the 70. His talk was very inspiring. He said the church will not be turned on its course again. “It is flooding the earth and is growing in righteousness,” he said. “Those who struggle with faith will fall away if they don’t watch themselves.”
He told us that the percentages of activity in the wards and branches are higher than they were 20 or more years ago. Temple marriages are increasing. We have 85,000 missionaries out now, and it will reach 100,000, he told us. Many are returning to activity. “This is the great age the prophets have spoken about.”
He gave us a simple formula to attain Eternal Life. It is found in 3 Nephi 11. Have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. “That is how,” he said.
He said that the ups and downs in life are good for the soul. He also referred to Doctrine and Covenants 46, which talks about gifts of the spirit. He said it is a misconception to believe that some will not receive their own personal witness of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. All can receive their own witness. The Lord has a desire to send a witness to all His children. We all have heard the voice of the Lord many times, he told us. “All of you have a testimony.” He said that if we are intent upon something good, the first voice that comes to us will be of the Lord. “But tighten your seatbelt. It’s going to be quite a ride.”
That afternoon we visited some of the sites with our kids. We took a tour of the Tin Shop, Browning Gun, and the Bakery, for starters. Then we went to the house Pete and Gracie and their friends, the Gales, are renting where we ate dinner. Then we all went to “Our Story Goes On,” a musical dramatization done by the pageant cast.
We attended the British Pageant last night. After the show I was surprised to meet a lady who asked me if I had served a mission to Ireland. She spoke with a British accent. She introduced herself as the mother of a young missionary who served in Ireland the same time we did, Elder Midgley. So that brought back memories of Elder Midgley sitting at our table for a Sunday afternoon dinner. It was fun to meet her. Today she came to where I was serving with her husband and daughter in the Sarah Granger Kimball home. She had a picture of him taken with us the night of our musical fireside. He was our technician for the production.
Nauvoo is special in many ways. One is meeting so many wonderful people, many of whom we have some kind of a connection with. Another is the wonderful feeling that is here and the testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that we bear.
We said our good-byes to Pete and Gracie and children on Thursday, and to TR and Amber on Friday. We miss them all but know that we will be able to see them all again soon. It was fun for me to give tours to our kids at the Family Living Center and the Sarah Granger Kimball home. We were pretty busy the whole time they were here, but did get some one-on-one time with them.
On Friday we also said good-bye to the missionaries who are leaving in the month of August at a mission breakfast. These are missionaries we have served with for almost a year-and-a-half now, so we have gotten close. We hope we will be able to see them again, too!
Today we went to our Burlington ward. I practiced with Shari Bair after church. She is going to accompany me while I play the violin next week in Sacrament meeting. So far there have only been intermediary hymns instead of special musical numbers, so this should be a good change for them. We met more members and are getting better acquainted with them.
Today the Sunday School lesson was excellent. They have a brand new teacher. He talked about the challenge Moses faced when he came to the borders of the Red Sea. He said that we will come to the borders of our own Red Sea and ask, “How is it possible?”
He said, “I testify that miracles can and do occur. Even after they do occur it is not easy. We have our own weaknesses, but we can do seemingly impossible things.”
He concluded with this question: What are you going to do to bring scripture study and temple worship as a more valid part of your life? He asked us to consider this question during the week and to come prepared to share our answers.
So I am throwing the question out to you. What are you going to do to bring scripture study and temple worship as a more valid part of your life? If you would like to share your thoughts, you may reply to this blog.
We love and miss all of you!
We send our love.
Elder and Sister Campbell
– Hanna, Jacob, Jonah, Celeste, Sadie, and Garett at Pioneer Pastimes
– On stage after Rendezvous (above)
– In the Women’s Gardens with TR and Amber
– The Peter Campbells saying goodbye to Elder Campbell
– Elder Campbell at work with Elder Gillespie
– At Family Living Center saying goodbye