[Written from] Blount County
February 19th 1896
Elder Robert R. Judd, laboring in East Tennessee Conference, writes that "Elder J. B. Woodward of Wellsville, and myself have been laboring together in Polk County, Tennessee. We have been treated royally while traveling in this country, having the privilege of associating with the leading and wealthiest men of the county. We obtained access to any and all of the schoolhouses, and I think we have done much good in allaying prejudice.
"There is one instance I will speak of to show that the hand of the Lord is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear. We went to a place about sundown one night and asked if we could get entertainment for the night. The lady informed us that the gentleman was not at home, but that he never turned off anybody, and for us to come in, that he would be home soon. So being somewhat tired of our day's journey we accepted the invitation. A little after dark her husband came in. I told him our business and who we were, and that his good lady had partly promised us the privilege of staying all night. But he said: 'Gentlemen, I can't keep you, but you can stay down below about a quarter,' and as we could not talk him into the notion of keeping us we left and went to his good neighbor. Well when we got to this neighbor we were invited in and when we made known our business, and who we were, they commenced to throw up all of the old grudges that had ever been held against our church or people. With the help of the Lord we were able to answer their questions satisfactorily." The Elders stayed all night and spent the next day preaching the Gospel to the people, and stayed another night. "The next day we had a talk with the gentle man who would not keep us, and he proffered to let us hold meeting in his house. So we accepted the proposition and gained many friends." Both families became friendly with the Elders, and manifested interest in the Gospel.
"We have just closed this (Polk) County and we are on our way to Madison county, North Carolina, where we expect to open up a new field of labor."
Elder J. R. Halliday, conference president, had been released on account of the illness of his mother. Elder J. H. Hart was appointed president in his place.
Robert R. Judd