Monday, April 14, 2014

Cheerful letter from a missionary in the south

Abner, Lawrence County, Tennessee Dec 19, 1884

[to]
Elder George C. Lambert

Elder McCuistion and I have just returned from a three weeks trip into Giles Marshall and Lincoln counties where there had never been any Mormon” Elders before.

We met many Fine people who treated us kindly, and invited us back, while on the other hand we met some who showed us the door, (when they learned we were “Mormons”) and warned us never to darken it again.

At Talley station in Marshall Co., we held two meetings, and had the pleasure of speaking to about 150 people each time, who had never seen a “Mormon” before. We also attended a Baptist meeting thinking to get an appointment in the evening. Parson Creeks on learning that we were “Mormons,” very kindly invited us to preach which we consented to do. One gentleman, however, objected to us preaching, stating that when the house was built it was with the understanding that “Mormons” should not be allowed to preach there. Quite a number of men then arose and took our part stating that we had as much right to preach as any one else and if they stopped one sect they should stop all. After parleying for nearly half an hour they decided to leave it to a vote of the house. Parson Creeks then put the vote and the whole congregation voted for us to preach except four. Mr Creeks then gave the meeting into our charge and I spoke to them for over an hour on the first principles of the gospel.

Elder Thos. H. Robins is with me now and we will likely take a trip to Marshall County again in about ten days.
Elder Fuller returned home last month and I have been appointed to take his place as president of the Southwestern Tennessee Conference. I feel my weakness and inability in undertaking the task, still with the help of the Lord and the faith and prayers of the brethren I shall strive to do my duty and fill the position to the best of my ability.
On the 30th of this month it will be 15 months since I left home and the time has passed so quickly that it scarcely seems half that long. My health is good and I am feeling well in the ministry. Above all things that I prize my mission for, is for the increase of testimony it has given me of the truth of the gospel . I have seen the power of god made manifest many times in restoring the sick to health and have felt free in testifying to all men that this is the Gospel of Christ restored to earth again in its fullness.

The weather here is very cold and the ground is white with snow I have suffered far more with cold here than I ever did at home but the open condition of the houses is no doubt the reason of it many of the people here live in railed pens that you might throw a cat through; but the people are all noted for having good beds.

GEO J WOODBURY

3 comments:

Amy T said...

Lots of familiar names there! Interesting comments about the housing. Sounds pretty wretched in that regard.

Ardis said...

It's nice to see a pleasant letter with good news. I suppose there were lots of them, but the ones we tend to hear about are the dramatic tales of hardship and persecution.

BruceCrow said...

Amy,
The names don't change much do they?
The homes were made deliberately drafty (they did that in Hong Kong too) because there was no air conditioning for the summer. In the winter you can add another blanket, but there are only so many blankets you can remove during the summer humidity.

Ardis,
Given what had happened just a few months earlier, I think his tone is indeed very upbeat.