“What are you going to do…”

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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.

July 29

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.

August 3

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

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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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Our Favorite Things

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June 28, 2014

Dearest Family and Friends,

We had a wonderful week, climaxed by a commemorative program for the 170th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The music during the program was beautiful. The Young Sister Missionaries sang and the Young Performing Missionaries sang. The Nauvoo Brass Band played. The music was followed by an address by President Gibbons. He spoke of the fear of the citizens of Warsaw and Carthage who fled their homes after the horrible deed was done. Later they warily returned, incredulously finding that no one had touched their homes in their absence. The Mormons did not retaliate. The Mormons had a militia rivaled by none, yet they did not come. They were in deep mourning and did not seeking revenge.

The assailants had thought killing the prophet would put an end to the church. President Gibbons reminded us of the now over 15 million members of the church in 173 or more countries. (I don’t remember the exact number.) He paid tribute to missionaries who are serving in Nauvoo, and said, among other things, that our children and our grandchildren would be blessed for our service.

At the end of the program teamsters led two riderless horses down the walkway, in honor of Joseph and Hyrum. President Gibbons told us that Abraham Lincoln was the first president of the United States to be officially honored by the inclusion of a riderless horse in his funeral cortege.

Today, preparation day, we were invited to dinner at Elder and Sister Jones’ home. They are from the Twin Falls area. They invited the men that Elder Jones works with and their wives. Elder and Sister Gillespie, Elder and Sister Thurston, and Elder and Sister Couch were there.

We each had a turn to tell something about ourselves and then to tell about a favorite thing of the mission. Elder Campbell said that he is happy to be able to do a speaking part in “Rendezvous,” something he has never done before. This is something he thought he could not do. My favorite thing is to serve in the sites with my husband on Sundays, and to speak to the visitors in the sites. It is especially rewarding when my companion and I can share the tour in an inspired way.

This week Elder Campbell and Elder Gillespie worked together cutting out chipped and broken brick in the Women’s Gardens and putting in new. It is a taxing job. They are hard workers!

We hope you have a great week. We plan to have a fun week with Evelyn and Jason and family!

Love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Elder Campbell working with Elder Gillespie (above)
– Sister Campbell’s flower bed

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Lincoln

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June 22, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Today Elder Campbell and I served in Land and Records, one of my favorite places. We served with Elder and Sister Ballard. While we were there Julie Conlin Johnson came in and inquired about who had the 3C license plate. She is the daughter of Bart and Ruby Conlin of Soda Springs. So we had a good visit with her. She and her husband and six children live in Maryland. Interestingly, Julie’s mother, Ruby, is a cousin to Sister Ballard. Julie was hoping to find her while in Nauvoo. So that was fun. It is fun to meet people you know from home or elsewhere.

This week was a good one. I served in the various sites, as usual. Elder Campbell did more work on the Visitor’s Center parking lot, preparing and putting in concrete. After a day of hard work in the humidity, he comes home soaked to the skin.

Yesterday was the highlight of our week. We went to Springfield, Illinois with Ed and Eunice Johnson. We were happy that they could take time out of their busy lives to go with us. We took our car, but Ed drove. That seemed to be a good setup for the four of us.

We went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Old State Capital. Through the tours and wonderful displays we gained a better understanding and appreciation for Lincoln. What a great and inspired man he was! We also saw the Lincoln Home, although we didn’t go inside, and the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site. That is quite a magnificent monument there. The most moving place for me was the room in the museum set up to look like the place where Lincoln lay in state. It was authentic-looking. Everything was very interesting. I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to go there.

Of special note was the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office, where Lincoln practiced law for a time. The shell of the building and the flooring in the upper rooms are original. A tour guide took us through the building, which also had a store, a post office, and a court room. Towards the end of the tour, because of our missionary badges she told about the trial of Joseph Smith in that building. He was tried for the attempted murder of Governor Boggs. He was suspect because it occurred shortly after the Mormon extermination order. Joseph Smith was found not-guilty, as there was no evidence that he was in Missouri at the time. The guide told us that the actual trial did not occur in that reconstructed court room, but in the back of the building, which was not set up for tours. Afterwards she took the four of us back there to see the area where the trial was.

Here are a couple of quotes from our Relief Society/Priesthood meetings today. Quotes are by Joseph Smith in his letters to Emma. “Whatever happens, the Lord is in it.” “If we are faithful, all of our losses will be made up.”

In Sunday School we studied about King David. Once of the important lessons for us as related to that tragic story of David and Bathseba is to keep the stage of our minds filled with virtue. Choose a hymn to fill your mind in times of trial or testing. Memorize that hymn. (Boyd K. Packer)

From training meeting this week we learned that prayer is the spiritual preparation of the day. The Holy Ghost conveys answers to us from our Heavenly Father. (David Bednar)

Even though the days are generally hot and humid here, we have also been getting a lot of rain lately. There can be thunder and lightning and torrential rain, and then an hour or so later, clear blue skies. Right now it is dark outside so I think I will say goodnight and go to bed.

We love you all,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– At Lincoln Tomb
– Elder and Sister Campbell, small version of statue that is in Washington DC at the Lincoln Memorial, Eunice and Ed Johnson
– Posing with the Abe Lincoln family (above)
– Old State Capital
– Sister Campbell, Eunice and Ed Johnson
– Outside the original court room
– Court room like the one Joseph Smith was tried in Springfield, Illinois
– Home of Lincoln
– Back room where the court room was
– Elder Campbell working with the elders on the cement drive.
– Lincoln law office in Springfield, Ill

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Well-Spring of Blessings

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June 15, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week, another well-spring of blessings!

The days are so full now that we rarely have a spare minute. We start our day early with personal study and assignments, and we end our day with our show and companionship study. Most days we are thinking it is too late to study, but we do it anyway. Needless to say, we sleep soundly at night!

This week while serving in the Cultural Hall, the band played their afternoon concert inside because of the rain. This happened both times I served there this week. We got our own personal concert, with several guests drizzling in each time. Both concerts were excellent, but the second day was better than the first.

Today we have district meeting, which we are just about ready for. Elder Campbell and I are in charge of a discussion about giving the tour when gests come. The discussion is based on a training meeting we had last month by two visitors from Salt Lake who are over all of the visitor’s centers in the church. They want us to do things certain ways, and we do our best to follow their council. They are very inspired leaders. Our main focus is to help guests draw closer to Christ. We are to weave our testimony into the historical setting of the site, and also stay within the time-frame allotted to that particular site. It is a challenge to do. It should be an interesting district meeting. We hope to get a good discussion going.

We were able to see the Living Legends’ concert twice. They are a BYU performing group consisting of Native American, Latin American, and Polynesian students. They put on a wonderful program of song and dance. Their costumes were outstanding. The students came into the sites during the last two or three days of their visit here. They also went to our “Rendezvous” show and seemed to really enjoy it. One or two commented to Elder Campbell at how much they liked his part in the show.

Yesterday we went to Montrose, Iowa, and took a picture of the temple from across the river. We also went to the meat shop there and then back home. It was just a relaxing day for a change.

Today Sacrament Meeting was on keeping the commandments. Here are some highlights from my notes.

Keeping the commandments brings blessings every time. Breaking the commandments eventually brings sadness every time.
Keeping the commandments brings safety and peace.
Keeping the commandments shows honor and love to God.
Keeping the commandments will “Enable us with power and a place in the Celestial Kingdom.

Two thoughts from my notes in Relief Society:
Be steadfast through the storms of life.
When you’re sinking in the depths of the sea, don’t worry, your life guard walks on water.

We send our love,

Elder and Sister Campbell

– Project for the week for Elder Campbell, preparing for concrete
– Pictures taken by Aunt Margaret at “Sunset by the Mississippi” (above)

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