September 15, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Hello, everyone! How was your week? We have kept pretty busy, as usual. Elder Campbell worked on building a gate for a pasture and putting in new gate posts. He and his fellow workers ripped all of the carpet and linoleum out of one of the houses and put in tile. That was a full week for him.
Friday night we attended the temple. Elder Campbell was commenting that we have attended the temple every week except for two, since we arrived, and except for another two weeks that it was closed for cleaning. Yesterday (Saturday) we drove up to Burlington, Iowa, to do a little shopping, and then to Bonaparte to a place called Bonaparte’s Retreat where we had a sandwich. Bonaparte is a quaint little town. They were having a swap meet there and an ancient pottery tour, also, but we had to hurry home to attend a Land and Records meeting.
Some of the places I served this week were the Visitors’ Center, the Brigham Young Home, and Land and Records. Land and Records was especially fun. I enjoyed the sisters I served with. I found out that Sister Pincock used to live in Soda Springs from 1978 to 1979. Her husband worked at US Bank. He was in the community musical, “The Music Man,” and she helped teach the singers for that. I was in the “Music Man” orchestra, so that was a fun to connection to make.
Yesterday the Land and Records site leader had a meeting to help train everyone further. We learned about the township maps, and I gained valuable insights that will help me further in greeting and assisting guests who come in.
At the Brigham Young Home several of our guests were nonmembers. One couple didn’t want any of the history of Old Nauvoo or any of the stories. They came in and said they were antique collectors and just wanted to look at the antiques. They were very interesting to talk to. He was extremely knowledgeable about antiques. He could look at an item or a piece of furniture and tell you the date of it, where it was made, and whether or not it was a genuine antique. He was very impressed with our antiques. (The church does an excellent job in furnishing the homes as authentically as possible.) My companion was Young Sister Missionary, Sister Etherington, who talked to his wife about God and her core beliefs (briefly) while I talked to him about the antiques. After the tour they invited us to their home, about an hour or so away. They live in a period setting with about 14 period buildings on their property. Their house is furnished with antiques. So that was quite an interesting tour.
A little later an interested group of three came in. We found out by the end of the tour that they were nonmembers. They were intently interested and polite. The one young lady had been reading a book about Mormons. The older lady had been here several times before. The young man was intent and curious about what we said. They took a guest card, but I won’t know if they ever filled it out or not. We just plant seeds here, and they are usually cultivated elsewhere.
Another great experience for me this week was in Carthage. I served there for the first time on Thursday. The whole tour is very interesting, but there is a strong spirit in the martyrdom room. Carthage is where we get to tell people about Joseph Smith and about his associates who were with him for support. I followed one tour through, then team-taught a second tour, and finally gave three tours on my own. The groups I took through were from Idaho Falls, one from New Zealand, and the last couple was from Washington State.
The spirit is especially strong in the martyrdom room because people are especially reverent there, knowing what transpired. They know that Joseph Smith gave his life for the cause of Christ. Although the angry mob could kill him, they could not stop the work that he had begun. Under the direction of Jesus Christ he had laid the foundation of the church so that the work would continue on after his death. His blood will stand as a testimony against those who murdered him at the last day.
Those are words similar to what I said in the martyrdom room. I do bear my testimony at the end of the tour, a short and simple testimony of the divinity of the work that Joseph Smith set forth. It is not uncommon to see tears in the martyrdom room because of the power of the spirit there.
Well, we have another big week coming up. Elder Robert C. Gay of the 70 will speak to us tonight and again on Tuesday morning in our training meeting. Then next week Elder Dallin H. Oaks will be back. We are getting much spiritual food, not to mention our companionship study and our personal study.
You all have a great week!
Elder and Sister Campbell
-Sisters in the green room before Rendezvous
-Sister Campbell and Young Sister Dransfield (also a descendant of Luman Andros Shurtliff and Altamira Gaylord)
-Area north of Nauvoo where Elder Campbell’s Babcock ancestor lived