5 weeks ago
Monday, April 8, 2013
Elder Cullimore (Part 5)
A continuation of Elder Cullimore's mission Recollections...
On this trip we stopped at the home of Mr. Nephi Patterson. He was a Primitive Baptist (hard shelled). We talked most of the night with him, but did not accomplish very much. Our chief topic was pre-destination. We had several conversations with him and then we were called back to Chester County. A few days later a severe hail storm came and destroyed most of his crops. He went out into the fields and stomped on the destroyed crops and cursed the Lord. He was struck down with paralysis.
The first audible sounds he made were, "Cullimore, Cullimore." So they sent for me and I went to see him. Mrs. Patterson wrote for me to come, at his request. So I went. He told me the difference between us was not as great as he had thought. He told me that he would be baptized if he got well--but he waited too long.
In my missionary travels I did not have to sleep out in the woods at all, but sometimes we had very uncomfortable places to sleep. One night we slept just like a dog on a pile of cotton, just as it had been brought in from the field, husks and all. It was not the most comfortable bed. As we walked and walked, the soles of my shoes wore thin. Soon there was a hole in the center. I covered it with paper, but as it got larger I put cardboard in it. We were good at mending our clothes. We washed our shirts in big iron kettles and hit them with a board paddle to get the dirt out. After one of these washings my shirt slit on each side of where my tie would go. I sewed it up the best I could. The dew and the sun turned my clothes red. The band of my hat got ragged and dirty so I took it off. While walking through the woods a stick ran through the top of my duffy hat, making a hole in it. A lady gave me some flour and a piece of cloth, and I made a patch and pasted it in. I tore my pants on a huckleberry bush. I was very grateful for the mending bag my mother had made for me before I left home; it had a needle, thread, etc., in it. I took off my trousers and sewed up the eight-inch tear as best I could.
In one of the towns nearby we got permission from the judge to hold a meeting in the courthouse. After our meeting, a Universalist preacher, Reverend Whittley, jumped up and said how Mormons belittled women. He talked very degrading about the Mormon women and our teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. After he finished his declarations, he left before he could be refuted personally, but we were able to refute the things he had said to the congregation.
We stopped with three boys next who were quite wealthy. Their parents were dead and they were living alone. They had servants and all evidence of wealth. We went on to the County Seat which was a distance of about five miles. I was very discouraged about the condition of my clothes and conditions in general. I thought I had prayed sincerely about the matter, but I suppose I had not. At this time I prayed as I have never prayed before. I told the Lord I needed a pair of shoes, two shirts, a hat and a pair of trousers. I asked that the way might be opened up that I might get them.
We went to the post office, and there were three letters for me; each contained money. We went to Hendersons to get our tracts and books, which came by train. When we got to the station, there sat Reverend Whittley, the Universalist preacher, who so insulted the women of the Church and my wife and mother. I looked at him and said: "I at last have you where I want you. You must apologize for what you said about my wife and mother". Of course he refused, and we had a big argument. He wanted to leave, but I would not let him go. A crowd began to gather around us. He finally gave me a dollar, and wished me God's speed and left. It was the hardest thing I ever did to take the dollar from him, but I did. It was an answer to prayer.
A young girl whom we had met before put a dollar in my hand, and told us their father had a letter for us which had been put with his mail. He had opened it by mistake. I received letters from two friends, one from Uncle Birdsell, and two from people I didn't know well. Each letter contained money. I went to a haberdasher across the street who was having a sale. I bought two shirts, a pair of shoes, a pair of trousers and a hat. When the items were all added up, I had just enough money to the penny to pay for them, after he had deducted the discount. This was truly an answer to prayer. I have often thought had I refused to take the dollar from the Reverend Whittley, which was so hard for me to accept, I probably would not have received the other money I had asked for. We must humble ourselves and accept the ways of the Lord.