Monday, February 11, 2013

Albert L. Cullimore Starts his Mission (part 1)

The following, as well as all the parts to follow, were dictated in December 1952.

The Missionary Experiences of Albert Lorenzo Cullimore

I received my call for a mission in August of 1895, from President Wilford Woodruff, then President of the Church.  I left for the mission field on September 27, 1895.

The Bishop called together for interview, a group of men who he thought worthy to go on a mission.  On this occasion, there were seventeen of us in the group.  There was no question as to whether it was a convenient time, or whether one was able to go; he was expected to be ready to go at any time.  It was considered a divine call and was readily accepted.

After the interview by the Bishop, and the recommendation to the First Presidency, the call was issued.  We were again called into the bishop's meeting and given our call, and then assigned which month we should leave.  I was asked to leave the following month, September.

One of the chief problems in leaving was to see to it that my family was provided for while I was gone.  Merle was two years old when I was called; and my wife, Luella, was expecting another child in three months.  This made my concern about leaving even greater.

My brother, William, had just recently returned from his mission. While he was away, I managed his farm for him, getting the provisions for his family.  I cut and hauled their wood for fuel, took care of the cows, etc.  Of course all proceeds from the farm went to his wife and family.  There was no sharing in profits for running the farm.  It was a responsibility that I accepted for him.  Luella and I even moved in with Aunt Lizzie and her family for a short time while Will was gone.  It was while living with them that Merle was born.

When my call came to go on my mission, Will reciprocated.  This way we knew that our families would have the necessities of life while we were away, and someone would look after them.

After I had been interviewed by the Bishop and the month had been set for me to leave, I had an interesting and impressive dream. I dreamed I got on a train; we went a long distance some place, where I am not sure.  I was impressed by the sharp curve that the train went around and the loud whistle that it gave.  Just after going around the curve, the train came to a stop.  Two people were there to greet us.  We walked some distance through the timbers and came to a house.  The house was a log house with a chimney on the outside, built up with mortar.  As we approached the house there were people out to greet us.  They said they had been waiting for us.  We went into the house and had a big meal.

My dream impressed me so much that I told my brother, Will, about it.  He said, "Al, you will be assigned to the Southern States Mission.  The home as you described it was exactly as some of the homes in the South are built.  You described the house better than I could."  (My brother, Will, had been in the Southern States on his mission.)

When my call came, it was to the Southern States Mission. President Elias S. Kimball of the Southern States Mission assigned me to go to Bedford County, Tennessee.  As we were traveling along on the train we went around a sharp turn and the whistle blew, immediately the scene came back to my mind as vividly as it was in my dream.  (I had forgotten about the dream until the particular incident revived it.)

The train was late.  There were two missionaries at the station to meet us.  They told us that some members, the Durhams, had prepared dinner for us; and they knew that they would be waiting for us, so we would take a back path through the timber.  There in the clearing I saw the house just as natural and vivid as if I had lived there for years.  The people hurried out to greet us, and we enjoyed a big supper which they had prepared for us.  This dream and the incident that followed was very inspiring and important to my missionary experiences.

(To be continued...)


Bessie said...

I enjoy your histories of the Southern States Mission here, the names and places more and more familiar. I’m pleased Brother Cullimore’s dream—and his brother’s help, “Will reciprocated” was preserved. This one I’ll copy for a grandson.

BruceAllen said...

Glad to hear it, Bessie.

Amy T said...

I've never read much about the service of Elias Kimball -- he actually served longer as mission president than his brother but he seems to be overshadowed in the collective mission memory by J.G. Perhaps it was because of J.G.'s role in the earlier history of the mission.

Anyway, this is a nice account. Thank you!