Roy’s Letters while on his mission: Part 1
(Letters 1-5, November 7, 1922, to January 3, 1923)
Roy served in the German-Swiss Mission from 1922-1924. Excerpts are from his letters, mostly to his sister [my grandmother] Ruby Grace Lundquist. Letters are unedited and selected according to universal interest. Some items of personal interest are not included.
Roy E. Lundquist’s missionary photo
1. November 7, 1922. On board the ship “Empress of Britain.”
Had I attempted to write Saturday as per your suggestion I should have not reached land with the boat. Just yesterday I have been in possession of a clear brain and vision. But this letter will hold for that by-gone day and Sat. next will find me at my post. Your idea meets my sincere approval and barring accidents I shall comply.
We are steadily approaching Cherbourg, France where we unload a few passengers and mail; thence to Southampton, Engl, for 12 to 15 hours with a probable chance to make London and back; and then to Hamburg. I am writing this to be mailed at Southampton and you’ll get it in about two weeks from date or less, just in time to catch you recuperated from my sending Elsie a letter before you. But you know I owed her two and you all read them anyway. You know I shall never catch up with my mail unless I combine a few friends together and have them meet at an appointed spot to read one letter addressed to all. I only have about 30 letters yet to write before any others start coming from Zion to answer. However my pens number two and I can buy carbon paper if necessary.
Now then – we have been on this obnoxious highway some eight days and believe me it’s no joke. Yet have I enjoyed most everything but the return trip on three perfectly good meals. It is said that a waiter in the dining saloon asked a passenger who had before him a dish of soup, “are you going to have it, sir, or have you had it?!!”
So you see what’s prevalent.
But after Dick [his brother] varifies my statement that the ocean is always rocky as well as salty, just ask him what he would have given if that darker [?] sickening continuous rolling had ceased while he got his balance or the balance of his dinner down. Really it is abdominal!
At any rate the boat’s swell and we’re used to it now and eat almost as ravenously as Alva! [Alva Perry, later became manager of Deseret Book Store.] Well, we ought to we had to starve for two days to settle what we couldnt keep down – You know you can never keep a good man’s dinner down, aboard ship at least. – I should think the fish would die – and I wonder how often my three dinners have changed owners since I left them. – Well that’s not nice but it’s true!
My job as party leader is not very sensational because I’ve lost or haven’t found the nack of looking after others’ troubles but we’ve got a good bunch and nothing has been out of place so far because they can mostly look after their own dinners.
Ruby dear, I nearly wept when you made me think of that Sat. night with our own sweet rafters ringing with a strange ring – merriment – Gee! it was novel!
But I must ring off! Dad gets a letter now too.
Tell Aunt Helen I am very grateful for her helpful attention just before leaving and at all times. She’s a peach! Everybody was grand!
Anyway I must quit. Güten ruiket as the owl says – be happy ever as I am and write Sat. RL
2. November 15, 1922, Königsberg, Prussia
Nov. 15 – 1922
I am at last settled into a position where I can breathe. It has been actually impossible to get time to write. I have travelled by rail to this portion of the country and have temporarily been assigned to work with Doug Cornwall whom I knew at home. When he left Salt Lake it was the idea that he was sent to be reformed. It was not true though; he merely needed an opportunity, as most of our young men do, to show what they are made of. Doug has proved to be a wonderful missionary bringing cheer and inspiration to the poverty-striken people. He gets right in with them (the people) and he has the best spirit of all the missionaries here. Therefore I consider it quite a privilege to be allowed to chum with him. Though this mission conference has a good reputation yet there seems to be something lack [sic] at present due to a dire need of inspirational leadership. We need men! as Doug says. But we must do our part anyway, profit by others mistakes and pray for guidance and inspiration. This is a good field and there is lots of work, I am quite helpess at present because I cannot speak a particle of the language. But it is my aim to get in and dig this thing out. I have a lot to learn and work is the keynote of success. So be it.
Most every where one meets such wonderful people; yet people who have fallen into the clutches of a doomed nation. Germany at one time was a very prosperous nation as it shown by the well built houses, the extremely well-made furniture; everything portraying the skill and patience of a civilized people But their trouble lay in not observing the laws of association and love. The civilization was among a class, a minority, that ruled an under majority. The war humbled all weath, spread disease and has ruined the whole. The country is now in the stages of a people trying to recover from a terrible revolution that was actuated by the war when the aristocrat lost his seat. The country is in debt, the people must accept a hopeless wage and accept further all the punishments that God meets [sic] out to the empires that have denounced Him.
It probably has always been worse here than in America but you know how things are there now for a lot of people. Well then, multiply that by 10 or 100 and you have the situation of the majority in Germany. People eat practically nothing nourishing, get no light to speak of, some 90 per cent are diseased and they must work hard. We imagine we work hard at home but I’ll never complain again since I have seen these people. They are slow but they’re sure.
I don’t know whether to weep or just feel sorry and get used to it or just what to do. I want people to be able to live like I can live and I see no way out. It is the devil’s own work and the people’s fault; they have brought it on themselves. Many though are honest in heart and search for truth and light and it is these we are trying to encourage in faith and make happy. To a certain extent this is being done, slowly, of course; but God will reward our efforts and hear the prayers of those who believe in Him. Men are never to far down that they can’t come back.
It is quite impossible for you at home to realize what the conditions are. But when you are told that food costs, under normal exchange in money values, ten to fifteen times as much as in America you will appreciate what Germany is suffering. Don’t you see that someone must pay for such a depreciation in the value of the mark. It means that the workman must do his work for barely enough to exist on and often less than that. A good wage is 3,000 marks a week. Now meat is 1500 marks to the pound here, bread 200, clothes up in the 10’s of thousands and some or most men must keep a family. It means that in time there will be complete starvation for the majority and ruined lives for nearly all. It can’t go on much longer. I haven’t studied the situation carefully and I don’t know what is actually the economic situation, but I do know that something must be done or this people will lose their identity as a nation in good standing. Filth and vice and crime cannot help but ruin a whole nation.
This is all I had better say now. Auf verderschon everybody. and I hope you are all well as I am. It’s cold and wet here but not so bad. I’ve written a lot and received none so far so I’ll rest on my oars until I get some, eh?
Be good and accept my best love from Deutschland,
Roy E. Lundquist
(brother, son and elder, uncle, etc.)
P.S. What would you like to know? that will help me to be interesting. Tell Cliff I still think he’s the biggest fellow I ever knew and also give my greetings to Kay and Chic–tell Dick and Mercie I expect to write them soon and to be satisfied now with greetings–also will you remind Mrs. Hall that I will never get over the cleverness of her surprise box–I opened the last parcel the other day. herf friendship cannot be measured in words.–Tell Herbert hello as well as Betty.
You will have to pardon me hereafter if I do not write regularly. I want to put all my soul into this work and you people can get along without me pretty well. I will never forget but let me write when I can squeeze time. I have more to write to besides you and you can all cooperate on my letters. I like to write, but it is not teaching me the German language or distributing tracts or getting me to meetings, etc. Nevertheless it will be my aim to do my best so allow me fair play.
There is nothing I can ask for except mail from you; I will do my best to answer what you send but send lots. And good literature and don’t forget the pictures I wrote you of. I have not to date received any mail because I just got here in Königsberg Monday night. My mail will be forwarded from Switzerland in about a week or two. Darn!
My address now will be
Herr Roy E. L—
Neve Danningasse 21
Königsberg i/Pr Germany
3. November 27, 1922 Königsberg
November 27 
I have a few moments that I will take before retiring to write you a little of what has, is and may happen in Germany
First what has happened.
I have been tracting and had the strengthening privilege of having doors slammed in my face. After prayer we hit out into the cold morning air and to our field of tracting. On the way I was taught my little speech and very weakly muttered it to the lady who answered the first door in the house. I place half the weakness to climbing the stairs and the other half to the natural timidity of one who says something he hardly understands himself. You see the living quarters are built tightly together with but one street entrance to each set of doorways, “all-the-same-apartment-house” at home. Well, you climb 4 or 5 flights of stairs and start at the top ringing doorbells. You are quite out of breath (climbing so far) but it was proved to be the best method for if you are thrown out at the start you are not so discouraged if you have to walk downstairs to get out of the “guy’s” reach. However we distributed forty tracts and my partner had a few conversations. Of course all I was good for was to help hold the door open after I had introduced ourselves and asked the “frau” to take and read the tract. It all is great stuff and I will be glad when I can get to a point where I can be senior partner and be able to tell the people my full mission. There is plenty of room for improvement amaong the missionary work here and I ache to get the chance to see what I am made of. This is what I have concluded from my first tracting tour. You know until a fellow can get to a point where he uses his own judgement and abilities and powers of speech he can do little toward the fulfillment of his mission. Thus the early part of my labors will be study and using every opportunity to express and learn this language. It won’t be long if I work.
Outside of fights between the effeminate creatures here there is little excitement going on. Two girls got together the other day and pulled hair and scratched and kicked each other’s shins something scandalous! These people hae a natural habit of scrapping. Man and wife are continually assuming warlike atmospheres and everywhere you here [sic] the love taps expressed. They expect a few riots here this winter. In Berlin things are perilous.
It seems very difficult to write what is really interesting to you. We are eating the very choicest of foods – horsemeat and sour cabbage, rye bread, strong cheese, peculiar soups and dry, untasty potatoes. But where we eat we get the food served clean and well cooked so we cannot complain. Yet I would just like to have you people try some of the awful fish soup and dishes that some of the saints prepare. The greasy, dirty way in which things are put on the table I wonder that the Lord can bless them. One elder found a worm in his soup, and then managed to get away with two more dishes. So you see fortitude is a quality we must cultivate in this field. Hard luck stories dont go and you must take what comes and do your duty.All will be well if we hold up our part and strive by example to show these people how to live. Everybody is away behind and must be educated to a new system before they can or will live better.
Things that are to happen are many and uncertain. First I may at some place, sometime, somehow learn to speak this language. Then I may get a definite partner and a definite residence. As it is things are quite inconvenient as I am staying now with two other missionaries as a guest. I cannot feel that the room is mine and furthermore three is a crowd when it comes to living in a small room. On the first of the month we have a big change here in this conference and then you will hear what the big chiefs decide. Thus far it has been impossible to get closely into the work but I hope it wont last too long.
Will you kindly, Ruby, cash this check I am returning. I carried it over here because I forgot to cash it at home the night I left and I didnt find a way to have it done on the way here. Now then this is the way to send money to me hereafter: Double-seal an envelope, with sealing wax and register the letter at the P.O. Send the money in greenback denominations of $5.00 each – $10.00 or $15.00 at a time, that is, 2 or 3 – $5 bills. Registered mail receives the best of attention and is only delivered here to the individual himself, so do not be afraid of loss. I tell you this because Dad may be reluctant about sending money that way (also money is sent from Basel this same way.) But here is the value. The American greenback Dollar is the king of kings over here. It is the standard of value and all exchange fluctuates about it. If you send money to Switzerland I can only get the money in Swiss francs which rate a lower exchange than the dollar – that is $l’s worth of francs in Switzerland sent here when exchanged into marks rates about 10 to 15% lower than the dollar exchange. You see the dollar is high value everywhere and as there has been no known case of loss thru registered mail it is saving money to send direct. Starting with the return on this lettter I wish you would send me American bills and my credit at Basel, Switzerland, can be used to purchase tracts and books that I need from time to time and as a reserve as well if any delay is made with the U.S. mail.
Now then one more point. Can I be spared the amount of $20 per month? It costs around $15 to live here in the winter and there are a few little things that I would like to have besides the living allowance. Altogether twenty dollars will keep me going and if it is too much after I understand better how to live you can sen less.
Are there any questions? If not I will go to bed.
I have not received one bit of mail to date except a card from Basel announcing my credit there and a sum of 400 francs in currency at my request. No letters have been forwarded from there. I hope you wrote there as I asked. All will be well though and I dont complain – You can send boxes of stuff here if you pack them securely. Maybe in a tin box – personal goodies and things are allowed – they can tell you at the Post Office just whether what is sent can come through. Others have received things and I would sure appreciate something if ever so little. I may tell you what I can get and perhaps not but I hope to send some of the cheap things of good quality home by some returning missionary. It is not advised for or against so I can use my judgement and when I can use my tongue I am going to use my eyes and head and a nickel or so. Things are very cheap – excepting food and fuel.
May the Lord bless you all with health and strength as he is blessing me. I am learning marvelous things concerning His great wisdom and works and it wont be long ere I am up to this thing to my neck.
Cheerily and affectionately I am Yours till the mark drops. Roy E. Lundquist.
4. December 29, 1922 Königsberg
December 29 –
I am up real early this morning having used my Christmas present, mentioned in Dad’s letter, to very good advantage. The other boys sleep soundly and I continue a campaign on letter-writing. The Christmas rush is a worry here as well as at home and one does not have time for himself. Letters have piled up and an immense task is before me. But we are on four days leave from our branches and in that time I may get all my mail off to the States. We expect to celebrate the New Year here in Königsberg and then get back to our fields full of the new life that must be to accomplish a maximum efficiency. I was quite jealous of the lovely time you must have had at the Deseret Gym as explained in your letter of Nov. 26. I did “use my good imagination” to try to picture your fun and it made me realise where I was and have much farther ahead U.S. is. But life is not interpreted by the quality, especially the elaboracy of entertainment but rather by the spirit of activity and the unity and purpose of such activity. Thus we rank just as important in life over here when we are able to please the children and grown ups in our branches as much as you do over there. Progress is a relative movement but must be forward. You folks of course are ahead of us but then to progress you’ve got to interest more people in a bigger way than ever before. The problem increases as intelligence develops and must be satisfied. We have fine success everywhere here and in places equal the powers and progress of the saints in Zion. The one difference is the lack of fundamental ability to live the gospel. The people here weren’t born in the Truth and it is often difficult to work with them. But all in all life is as interesting here as it was at home and if you ask for a true confession I shall say “more interesting than it was at home! “That may be hard to swallow but it’s the Truth. We become more and more German everyday but we retain American identity. I will not deny however that when I return that Zion will be more interesting than here. If you don’t understand me it doesn’t matter.
My Christmas package hasn’t arrived yet but may be there when I return to Tikit. Mrs. Hall’s peppermint chews came the day before Christmas but I didn’t open them till Christmas. They hit the spot! –Say could you send a propylactic tooth brush and some Pepsodent and Kolynop? These things (dentist articles) are terrible in Germany. Thank you kindly. If my time lasts I’ll write again in a day or so, Roy
5. January 3, 1923, Königsberg
Jan. 3 – 1923
I wonder what you are thinking of your brother when he receives two fine letters before answering? I received a big letter from you and one from Dadie around Dec. 21 and am just answering them both now. Really I just have to take days off to write because you cant work it in during the day. I am gradually getting settled into my quarters and soon hope to work to a regular schedule.
Many important things have happened since last you heard. I was chosen as a second counselor to our branch president, my companion, Merle Foulger. Than another item was a lovely Christmas program given by the choirs of the two branches in this city. Christmas meant also a little happiness for the children with a program and a few gifts. The day after Christmas we had conference missionary meeting. Things are not going any too fast in our work here. I expect so much and was sadly disappointed. Most of the missionaries take a long time to get into the work and their spirit is one of indifference. Some are even rebellious to instructions and furnish serious problems to those in authority. To those who will dig the mission field works wonders. To others it seems a damper on their high life. The missions should not be looked upon as “faddish,” as some coming here have the idea and let me tell you I am ashamed of some reports we hear at our missionary meetings and the attitudes some express. Conditions are not always as we like them here among the saints and many turn their noses up at having to meet them. It is hard I must admit but unless we sacrifice a few notions we can never learn to love this people and without love no worthy progress can be made. The same selfish troubles and complaints that we hear at home come up among the elders and it’s disgusting to see the narrowness of our own brethren. Aside from these problems everything goes well. We are to settle down to hard work after the holidays and are determined to support our new conference president Orson Kasteler. By the way Ruby you will know Viola Peterson in Sunday School who is Orson Kasteler’s sweetie. Tell her to be just as proud as she can be of her idolator [sic] over here because he’s in store for big things. Greet her for me.
I am just as happy or happier than I have ever been in my life–I see things I have never thought of before and I have found things in life that are really sweet. Tell Mrs. Hall I have found “that something” but why doesnt she write, I wrote her a big letter on the ship. Guess I had better write again because if that got lost I dare not risk losing her friendship too. The more I remember her interest in me the more I appreciate real friends. She and Hubert are ideal people–pep, brains, accomplishments just a few people aspire to those heights–Oh I miss all you people at home–but I am learning new things here as I say. Ruby I can truthfully say I know this gospel is the only plan of salvation. We appreciate it like all other things, only when we we begin to understand it’s beauties. Have you ever felt your life just beam with happiness and love – you look for bigger things – selfishness becomes a nightmare – you plan and think on bigger planes. I have felt that in your letters too Ruby we must be growing together. About your desire to help the poor here – it is cheapest and best to send all you wish free of charge thru the Red Cross. This you may do impersonally – when I come across a particular case where help can be given it is reported to the Relief Society and taken care of here. Your idea is big but dont worry too much about Germany – she is really about as well off as our own country – it’s the other countries, Russia, France, Italy, Armenia, etc. that really suffer.
Thus so much for love and unselfishness – I think you can work such principles to good advantage right there in Zion. If you can but arouse one soul to “that something” (Mrs. Hall will tell you of it) then you have accomplished more there than all the effort you have, centered on these countries. So let the Red Cross handle your offerings Ruby – system counts – and spend every second with the straying souls of Zion – I have a new aim when I get back which is to try to pull a few of those indifferent young fellows into the light that I see now. I figure I can do them a great favor if I knock at the door of their souls. Our responsibility in these last days is so immense that I am nearly afraid that my capacity is insufficient – my aims are higher than my potency, my power.
So awake oh my soul! Give ’em all you got!
It seems I never get melancholy and I dont worry about my girl – she has her own mind – I can only do my best to interest her – after that fate will take care of conditions. Dont think I am a fatalist! only an optimist!
And about food and health and air etc. – Ruby please do not misjujdge my good sense. You know a few brains guided by an Almighty Power will work wonders in conditions as we meet them. I have not been sick a single day since I have been here and I never felt better in my life – up early in the morning – PRAYER!! – 10 to 15 minutes with exercise – boxing – calisthenics – workouts on our rings we have in our room – then study – breakfast – coffee (made from cereal) and rye bread and butter – occasionally mush – tracting – dinner at a regular place wherre absolutely good food is cooked – not always to our taste but at least clean. Afternoon – visits- study – business or whatever comes up – supper at the same place as dinner unlesss we are invited out by saints – meetings – study or visits – exercise and – PRAYER!!, bed – and then —Oh! Boy! the days just fly – I’ve been here about two months and it seems but a year! – Now will you stop worrying about me?
Say I am nearly histerical waiting for that plum pudding – but so far as Mutual Banquets are concerned you cant make me jealous – We had a marvelous time New Year-s Eve – played games – danced – sang – till three in the morning – 8 missionaries and some saints at the place where we board! Scandalous but lots of fun – It’s not all work here during holidays at least – then a “choir fest” – dancing – program – eats – 4 P.M. to 11 P.M. – New Year’s Day –
Last week we visited Berlin – Marvelous! – costs 50¢ train fare from here now – 12 hours ride – Berlin? inconceivable to Americans – beauty – luxury – art – history – speed (in better parts) U.S. cant touch tthe old country for neatness and management – Am going to send a few picture cards I picked up – Saw most of Berlins’ wonders, stayed three days, ate high and came back on three dollars and a half – when you are careful money here goes a long way – But they watch the auslander (foreigner) to work a graft on him – all eyes open or you get “hosed.”
This must do you kiddo till you write again – Greet Everybody who ever heard about my existence for OX (mush) Roy.
Letters while on his mission: Part 2
(Letters 6-11, January 18, 1923, to May 14, 1923)
6. January 18, 1923, Königsberg
Königsberg i/Pr. – Jan 18 – 1923
Only too glad I was to get your letter day before yesterday. This morning is the first opportunity I dare take to answer. Dont you see that our time is not ours but our works’ and therefore just now and then we can slip in a minute or so for writing. You know as well as you live that I like to write letters and furthermore that I’ll write everyone and every time that the opportunity affords. So again, dont think harsh things when even a week separates a receipt of your letters and the answer. You must do as I do and exercise an awfully lot of patience with the mail. Do you know that for thirteen days I waited without so much as a card from anywhere! The other fellows get just lots of mail; I rate very little. But that doesn’t matter just so long as I get enough to keep the spirit up. I know just what your thinking right now. – “Well darn him!” Ruby, you to date have signed five letters, Elsie two and Dad one, Sarah four Alva two and that’s the sum total which spread over nearly three months away doesnt average very high compared with what I have written, not to you alone but to all. I addressed thirty two letters to U.S. up to a week ago, most of them before New Years. Dont you see that I am writing more than all my friends put together? and when even all those letters are distributed to quite a few over a period of three months it would seem that I am not writing them each one often enough. But think of the amount of work it places on me. It’s just like a central at the telephone office, it takes her all her times answering hundreds of calls which mean only a moment on the line for the calling party. Cant you see the concentration I am working under and if you do then do get mad or say darn him because he doesnt write oftener and more completely. If I could type, it would be better but you know how long it takes to write a letter in longhand. I dare not let a letter get away that isn’t a credit to the education I have received. Sometimes my letters arent a bit good reading matter and sometimes they are, because I feel right and think right. Good letter writing is one asset and I am trying to accumulate assets. But too much letter writing is further a damper on missionary spirit and diverts precious time from duty to pleasure. Duty holds us to our mission first and when letter writing interferes with missionary work then the letters must be neglected. Christ himself clears the situation: When reprimanded by his mother for not having met them to go back home to Nazareth and was found among the Wise Men in the temple he said “Wist ye not that I be about my Father’s business.” would it be too strong an example to use in my case? Please then, do not be impatient with me; I am doing the best I know how. You folks at home have more to console you than I have – you have all your friends, your amusements, your comforts; I have more than you in a different way but it’s hard to get used to and means study and time, hence letters must take a back seat and await their turn. You may do likewise, I appreciate every single word from home but I only say write when you can, I do not begrudge a long pause.
I hope all that has been understood, I mean well and you know it.
Surely Christmas must have been fine at home with so much snow as two feet; it even covered Dick’s Christmas tree! (1 ½ ft.) how did he ever find it? I mean to write Dick at my first opportunity but tell him to be patient as well – Rome wasnt built overnight. – neither is this deutsche sprache acquired in an evening.
You should have by now received plenty of “answers to your letters” and besides not having “to write to the four winds.” That’s was not a very good compliment. I havent enought wind to blow my own horn that Mrs. Hall gave me.
I am thanking you for the paper for my loose-leaf book – it hasnt arrived of course – neither has that Christmas box but I entertain a mountain of faith and hopes for both.
Ruby, we are laboring under a stress of uncertainty here. War may break out any time and the people wont be interested in religion. Do not worry because all will be well though we probably may have to leave the country. Nothing is definite to date. You probably will gain thru newspapers the events before I can tell them thru mail. Again, dont worry!
I return all the greetings you sent and I extend them to all whom I ever knew at home. Everything is well and progressing,
[Written in the margins: “The letter I received you wrote at KOB.” and “I was very, very glad for the news of Ivan.” Ivan is his brother.]
A rich bit of love Roy
7. January 26, 1923, Königsberg
January 26 –
Starting now this is LETTER NO. ONE. number yours as well –
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!
Omigosh – Omigosh – Omigosh – Omgosh!
I had a wonderful dream just the other day. I imagined the mail man came with notice of a parcel at the Post Office! Needless to say I got all bet up and rushed to the spot! I dreamed they handed me an immense box the weight of which nearly put me down getting it to our abode. Then came the surprise – who – what – how? Man-O-Man – Tacks – aching fingers – guesses – then reality! I just gasped – I pinched myself and lo! and behold it was a real Humbug – and cake and pudding! and two actual ‘onest to goodness apples as big as a house! – nuts – tin boxes – views of S.L. and my photograph snaps! – Really – it was too much – I expected more. Well, I’ve had my iron – tasted the new Wrigley brand of gum and everything and still got ooddles left. The cake was wonderful – it took the prize of Chrsitmas articles so far sent to this conference. It was matchless – unduplicable! Anyway I’m still dreamin’ aint I! Truly I cant believe I have awakened – yet – but I’m still enjoying my mouth – latee Xmas so I must be awake. The dream was a day dream and is lasting for days – Yea, it will last for centuries because I shall never forget what a marvelous box of thoughtfulness and ingenuity came on January 23 – 1923.
Ruby, each moment I realize the work it took to compose such a lot of good things – The pictures promise me many a pleasant evening with these people and fond memories for myself. Those big, fine street cars shown in front of the Orpheum just thrill a person after he has seen them at home and ridden in them and must then compare them to those dinky affairs in German. – The humor articles raise my stock away above par in Königsberg missionary circles. I am the first lucky one to get a “Humbug.” Everything came thru fine and I want to try to express in words my sincerest thanks and appreciation for your trouble and regard, and sacrifice. Oh! words dont satisfy the occasion – Here’s a big mmm-hug – and a magnetic – um – kiss! I could squeeze the life out of ya and Elsie and Dad, etc. – Roy Boy ainta goina forget the folks at home very readily – Again – a bow – a kiss – and I thank you!
Today we have had just an inspiring missionary conference meeting. The spirit manifest just thrills you even to the point of one fellow just breaking down in tears. It is certainly the one means of salvation these testimony meetings; they restore life and present new methods. All is well here – the language goes fair but slowly -winter fails to take much of a hold here and the work progresses in reasonable weather. This is all I will have time for – love and thoughts to all know that I remember you in my prayers.
[In the margin: “It’s been ‘ten’ days since I rec’d mail from you folks – Your letter of the 16th I answered in the 18th.”]
8. January 29, 1923, Königsberg
|January 29 -’23
Right off the reel I want to say something to you as I finish reading your letter of the 7th. It is: PLEASE REFRAIN FROM APOLOGY!, at least where it is not needed. Ruby dear we must not apologize for what we try our best to do; that is a poor form of repentance. True repentance is a secret conviction of failing or weakness or even sin which is forgiven us when by our WORKS we correct the difficulty. An effort to better things can be recognized and commended without any excuse to justify previous action. Real friends judge us by what we are doing and not by what we may have done or didn’t do. Our past recommends our present but the present must justify the past by improvement. Progression merits admiration; we need not defend what we do or did with apology. Just so we are not here to excuse Mormonism, rather we come “to show our faith by our works,” to prove our message by our living it, even as Christ.
Applying the foregoing lecture to your letter I begin with what you ended with “please appreciate this effort – and forgive everything.” Well, I must say I forgive everything but the last part of that quotation. It sounds so much like our matchless family jewel Ruby who has ever worked her finger ends off to help others and then timidly excused herself for not doing more. Oh that we would learn to live appreciation. (I am starting now to economize [on paper] so turn over)
You wished for material and ability to write letters – “even as your brother!” Why don’t you wish for something worth while, while you are wishing – your aims are lower than your already realized position; you aim down not up. You have above all things unselfishmess and sincerity and believe me you lack not words nor structure. Yet you excuse your efforts; previous letters carried this impression stronger than your last ; at home I remember you used to become discouraged with apologetic imaginations. Do you remember I was that way too, some evenings at least? Yet now I would love to talk with you; I assure you they should not be aught but building, uplifting conversations. Truly I have developed as you must develop a nerve which carries us over these times of depressed spirits; a nerve whose quality is made up of patience, and hope. Optimism is today the world’s salvation preserved by love of which the normal attitude is patience, long suffering. Are we exercising enough intolerance for our fellows? Jesus in the crisis of his agony said “forgive them Father for they know not what they do!” – Mebbe I am wandering from my theme but doesn’t this show a relation to it when I say that we can all have just a little more patience with ourselves without crushing enthusiasm by apologizing for past and especially present and future action. Ruby, ol’ thing, dont resent my treatise it is meant for me more than you but I talk to you so that I wont be talking diretly to myself and taken for an “unfurnished” dwelling for intelligence. Nearly are my criticisms profit me more than the one I criticise because I need them most.
Remember then that we are not to remind each other (or anyone else for that matter), of our weaknesses; that apology breeds a shaky trust of ones self, and hence eats out the root of confidence. All is well – class is out!
I am truly grateful for the million and seven things that keep you busy in my behalf. I pray that all will be well. Sometimes I really wonder if you havent too much weight on your feminine shoulders; can it be that you are happy? Oh, how I look forward to when I can relieve you of what you carry for me – if you could know how it hurts me to feel that I am dependent upon a sister to hold up the ends that Dad had to drop. Ruby, it just makes me sick, because I think I am become a grievance. Just because I must ask for two or three years credit on my life, thru the church requiring my efforts then I become an inconvenience to my people. Where is justice – what is compensation? I feel proud of the sister who will always take one more task cheerfully – Mother’s life was made short from overburdened willingness – Ruby, is your lot too big?
This month I have received books that I ordered from the Liverpool office. They are just dandy works and furnish me with a surprisingly high flow of knowledge and inspiration. I had to buy an english Bible, “Gospel Doctrine,” “Essentials of Church History,” “Jesus the Christ,” “The Vitality of Mormonism” as well as german copies of the Standard works of the Church; i.e., D & C. – Pearl of G. Pr. B of M “articles of Faith” in english and german; and all these come to a figure near $15.00. Towels, pajamas, a morning robe and more handkerchiefs and a raise of our board from 6 to 8 dollars in four weeks all go to make my bill for this month amount to a surprisingly gross sum. Agitation against foreigners makes it so that we get “stuck” on a lot of things we buy, necessities even, and hence it isnt so easy to live here as you think. In Berlin the boys are having quite a time getting along on less than 30 and even 40 dollars. Some fellows out in the small “bergs” living with saints can pull through very reasonably, but here in Königsberg things are quite high. Happily I am completely stocked with necessities and can hold expense to quite a low figure for next month and following periods. It will hit around $15.00, no less in the future. Last month, January, came to $46.50 – Our room rent raised on us to help me justify the amount further. Things are not the snap that they appeared on first thought. Nearly everyone’s bill went sky-high this month because the dollar went up and they bought heavy – I didnt dare compete with them.
From now on I entertain no intentions of buying anything to take or send home and I wish you would refrain from sending expensive remembrances. Your Christmas box cost a revenue toll of over a dollar and a half to go thru Switzerland besides your postage to there and forwarded from there. Then figure the cost of the contents, and the value received to a less appreciative person than I would make things about equal. Everything was wonderful but a little parcel costs less and is appreciated equally as much. Ruby, try to understand that I mean to help you to help me.
My funds will be low when you receive this so kindly send me an allowance if I merit it. You can suit yourself as to method. Send either a draft not less than fifty dollars to Basil to be deposited to my credit or send ten dollar bills by registered mail direct to me. Either way is quite safe and both methods are being used by various missionaries. But action is the next requisite! Thank you!
Keep up the old spirit and encourage Elsie and George in everyhing that’s good.
Duty on articles is really to be disregarded if you wish certain things of value at a low price over here. Permission can be had to send them direct through or being carried by a person he is allowed so much without duty. Things are possible when you see your way clear to spare the coin so dont allow any fond hopes to dwindle.
Missionarily speaking all is well – the work goes on and we are everyone happy. We are not living in “luxury” but we are living.
The pictures you mention I shall send home in films which can be printed at home very much better than here. You can look for a registered letter of films soon – there arent many but they’re good.
The reams of paper arent yet here though I expect them soon. The reason I required them from home is that such a quality of paper and such a style of lives cannot be secured here and as my chief purpose is to use my loose-leaf as a journal you can see that such paper is necessary. The cost is greater but the convenience and satisfaction is worth more. Then I want to preserve my notes on the gospel which I am studying systematically. Do you appreciate why now I asked for the paper? Paper is very cheap here but you get good paper only in stationery – a tablet of this paper costs for 50 sheets about 5¢ – not bad?!
I am finding it hard to write something new each time. There are plenty of things to write but they require their particular time and I use that ordinarily for my journal. I am trying to make that as good as I can and then it is hard to repeat a thought, not hard but monotonous, to me, at least. When I get home you can read my silly (?) articles.
Casually but absolutely yours. Roy
[In the margin: I am getting to be just like a father to everybody – giving advice, etc. – someday I may be – now I must learn.
I hope this fixes up my insurance – please o please don’t drop that – ]
9. March 3, 1923, Königsberg
Königsberg, Ost Preussen
On the 3rd of March
Because you have lived the longest. The longer one lives the dearer they become; here’s hoping you realize eternal life! Tell Elsie she’s no less dear to me than you only as there is diffference in age. No! I won’t say that – you’re both the same! I’ll give you so much love between you and you two can do the portioning.
Ruby that introduction is rather silly but there’s a thot there. Now I want to thank you for the best letter you ever wrote. It was written on the 25th of January, at least so dated; left Salt Lake on the 2nd of Feb. and graced my doorway on the 26th. Just one month that letter was coming and it sure stirred things up in my ol’ heart to read it, feel the sincerity, rethink the thots you thot and cry over the joy of being your brother. Gee! Ruby, you’re big in love; probably your faith in yourself waivers occasionally but the works are there and they strengthen faith and confidence, and therein lies your big love. Ruby women like you dont bless this earth very often with their presence because there are so few; mother was one, you are the other that I know; Mrs. Hall I dare say is a third. Well, I suppose there are quite a few if we look hard but, comparatively, they are scarce. Elsie will bejust such a women for as yet she and I are but kids. Anyway you’re a marvelous creature and I appreciate you more each day. We find nice people here but they have been used to the whip and they still use it themselves. Love has not entered their hearts as a controlling power. Is aunt Ada still a southerner?
Now in this letter I want to tell you of two important things: our conference at Berlin and a change in branch presidency as well as conference and mission presidency.
On Feb. 17th and 18th general conference for all Germany convened; the other portions of the Mission, Switzerland, Austria-Hungary and part of Frances, not meeting because of passport difficulties encountered in traveling. None the less a splendid series of assemblies proved pleasingly successful. On Sat. morning 207 missionaries met at 9:00 sharp with Apostle David O. McKay presiding. The meeting lasted 8 hours and 20 minutes without a recess! Such an occasion I believe will have no future comparatives as it surely has had to precedent; Pres. McKay, now of the European Mission affirmed that no such meeting had ever been held in the field to his knowledge. Imagine 207 MEN – clean, sincere, with a purpose behind their presence and doing a marvelous work – meeting in one assembly to receive instruction and inspiration. Pres. Ballif of the Swiss-German mission spoke first; urging that we must FEEL our representation and live worthy of the blessings which are being poured upon all. Pres. McKay announced the meeting as an epoch making occasion – enouraged us to CONTACT – “Let everyone’s spirit mingle with the other’s – soul touch soul! – Sincerity is the basis of charity, the foundation of character and a rock on which to build your life!” “The Word of Wisdom does not refer to overwork!” – Then time was given each missionary to say in two minutes what he thot the two greatest needs of the Mission were, and to bear a testimony if they had one. Many wonderful, helpful suggestions were given: some practical, some theoretical but all good. Love, initiative, get up early, faith, works, follow up advantages with friends. study systematically, the Scout Law, obedience, gentlemanly behavior when together, “on your toes,” courtesy, “keep smiling even though the dollar goes down in value” (which it had done at that time and caused many sorrowful, worried missionaries); All this was summarized by Pres. McKay in the most inspiring, uplifting speech I ever heard. Possibly it was because there was a personal element in the appeal – right to me as a missionary – but one could just feel the very power of the Apostleship resting upon his words. There was authority, representation, the Holy Gost working thru a man instructing other men in the Will of God. Not a person stirred – absolute quiet reigned while he spoke – we were all carried away in a joyful spirit as he smoothly led our minds into the depths of inspiration. As a consolation to those who had modestly said they had not done enough work, he said: “Ye have builded more than ye knew!” Six big points he gave were:
1. “Look into people’s hearts even though you have to penetrate unkempt rags!” “We’re not here to find fault nor scorn – We’re here to understand and give!”
Be gentlemen – dont do that which will mar! manners – refinement – a gentleman is one who makes everybody at home in his company.”
The aim of the European Mission: “Every member a missionary!
Teach by example! “Your gospel is glorious! – Live it! Tell about it! “You who think you haven’t a testimony havent thought!” “Analyse what you’ve got.”
Make no promises! “Blessed is he who expecteth not for he shall not be disappointed!”
Be dependable! respect authority – “dont be a slave to your appetites for false pleasures” (smoking especiall
The meeting had lasted 8 hrs. 20 min. and was the longest and most substantially inspirational one I ever attended. I have complete notes in my journal of every important expression or event. The loose leaf system is proving very, very efficient Ruby. Drew Jacobsen was to conference from England his release being secured – Harold Bennett, Carvel James and I dont think of any others that you know; but I knew and rejoiced to the height of my glory in renewing acquaintances with SEVENTY missionaries. I have all their names. You just can realize the extreme joy one feels when he meets old friends after such a span. What will it be when I get back? If I have fulfilled my calling with results and my best then I know that my return will be a never-ending happiness – when not it will be a continual sorrow. I must do all in my power! (So Ruby, dear, dont expect long letters any more. I’ll try to make them as near one another as possible but length must be abandoned. You see I started this on the 3rd and here it is the 6th and not finished. I just cant systematise my work to include much letter writing. I do exceedingly well to get two written in a week. I have a list of 20 people I should write at present and I simply cant do it! It worries me becasue I wonder what you think when I dont write. I wonder what others think but in a way I dont care because I know my time is not wasted when used entirely in my work.
Now to finish my account of conference and give you a few other bits of occurence, answer your letter of the 7th of Feb. (that just came this morning and Elsie’s as well), and then leave you to judge not lest ye be judged.
I’ve told you of missionary meeting at Berlin which was most important as it regards the vitality of the mission. Now I’ll enumerate the other meetings with a passing comment only. Sat. evening “we held Priesthood meeting up,” as you say in German. Some 800 special representatives of God were present, Apostle McKay speaking thru an interpretor and outlining in beautiful English the organization of our church with its interwoven responsibility and presidency of the Priesthood. The translation, as he spoke into the German was quite accurate. Sunday A.M. a dandy exemplary or pattern prayer meeting was held at which Apostle McKay stated that the Sunday School was a best organization in the Church because it is where real Saints get a start right; seeds are cultivated into ripened fruit, the work starts as children. He handled the meeting wonderfully thru an interpreter always, giving examples and advice that rang home to every teacher or supt. present. Gee! he [words cut off in copy] shorthand so that this letter would have to be so long and yet include all. I could write actually volumes but I dare not. (In writing, my journal comes first at which I spend one half hour before bed – I have 150 pages in fine writing thus far completed. Then when I can, I write home.) It took actually 8 hours to compose a journal report on notes taken at conference. – Sunday School was attended by about 3,000 Saints, Missionaries and friends and children. A wonderful program made you appreciate your church and God’s work. Ruby they put over just as big things here as at home. The one difference is that we dont own the halls or assemblies or schools in which we meet. There’s so much work here your head swims and we conscientious missionaries have to work so much harder because others sluff and lay down. Pres. McKay’s wife and Pres. Ballif’s daughter spoke in Sunday school. The daughter spoke in German – quite a novelty, honor and accomplishment. It was nicely done- she’s about 20 or 21 – beautiful. Then an afternoon meeting crammed to another 3000 capacity in the same hall as S.S. – Missionaries spoke – and right well – Pres. McKay spoke again and Pres. Lilywhite from the Netherlands Mission, both by interpreters. They each gave of their fulness. Pres.McKay oft times carried away in the fervor of his speech forgot his interpreter and entered into long paragraphs. But the embarrassed translator did good work to restate the content in German. But he had his hands full, he is German-born and never been in America, what he knows he learned of himself and from missionaries – Bro. Rodikel. (Here I am still going strong – where will I land – the hours fly by and yet only a few pages are results. I am petitioning for longer days or an extension at the end of my Mission for answering letters.) Pres. McKay summarized the two themes of the whole conference:
1. The divinity of Christ’s mission
2. The paralleled mission of Joseph to restore the Gospel of Life.
Again he handled his subject masterly giving a powerful testimony to seal his expounding. That Sunday evening the Berlin Choir sang an oratorio “The Martyrs” (translated into German) in quite a commendable manner. The conference closed, an inspiring success; a crowning of a lot of work done and a promise of a greater future of results.
I have happily lost a partner who has not lived true to his responsibility. He is transfered to another branch with no particular authority now. I say happily because I have received a new companion brother Douglas Cornwall whom I knew at school; he has pep, decision, works hard and we fit together like gloves. You’ll hear pretty soon from our branch with its new president. In spite of a slow, easy going environment I have held my own. I have my English class well under way, my grammar, German, class showing results and have now been privileged to take charge of missionary meetings 3 times a week in the mornings 8:30-9:30 for the purpose of studying the gospel and solving tracting and branch and conference problems. I have 11 under my wing. I have worked out a system to work to in making a succes of my new responsibility. I was given this by our new conference president William Squires an A.C. student and I feel quite thankful that I should be chosen for this position when he has only known me a week. He too is full of pep and system and I know our work will go! This new class gives me one more thing to pray for; I have so many it takes many minutes, morning and anight, to invoke divine assistance upon all. I dont think my progress is puffing me up – rather it is humbling me, especially because of the particular callings I must fill. Every moment is used – sleep comes as a necessity.
Yesterday we had monthly missionary meeting. The majority of boys had a fine spirit, but some alas! are not, or have not found the spirit of their calling; they seek to satisfy vain ambitions and will land where all disobedients land – a shameful release and a ruined character with the future a doubt. The changes were made because of necessity; men (?) were not filling the bill. My suggestions in a number of cases were considered, made a matter of prayer and acted on. Thru faith I know we are going to do a big work; we have faithful servants in authority and that counts. My companion (he is senior) and I are determined to set an example. I hope to tell you in about a month that we have succeeded; God’s work must go on, it will go on!
In this connection a bit of mirth will product [stet] an effect: “I’ve been in the harness in this church for the past twenty years.” “Yes; and during that time you’ve worn out 15 holdback [reins?] and only one collar.”
Still going strong and not on your letter yet.
Ruby I thank my Father in Heaven, in tears for the spirit and faith you show in your letters., You dont realize how much that helps me to know that you and Elsie are progressing in such long strides. Knowledge is God’s glory – I have no desire to become rich – if the Lord so wishes it that I in time shall accumulate monetary advantages whereby I can help others then so be it. But on the other hand if my place be among the majority of hard working people all my life then am I satisfied for I know under no conditions will my opportunities to gain truth cease. A testimony of the Gospel and a living example of it is my aim in life. A girl who will share this idea and goal with me is she whom I shall choose as a help; together will we execute the plan and strive to fulfill all the commandments of God our Father. Ruby, dearest, be not grieved in your heart that you have not yet been called to fill the measure of your creation. The Allwise Father knows your desires; therefore be ye patient. Austin Pack wrote me a fine letter and I think he’s pretty straight. Any sudden break in his attenion is merely a confirmation that men are as funny as women in nature. Sometimes we dont think; we dont realize, that is the men dont, we dont consider others feelings, we are all for us; we have whims and fancies which make life a puzzle for othes. I dare say I have caused a few hearthrobs in my time at home and I am not exempt from them myself that is being caused. Anxiety rules my mind even now. For nearly one month I have heard no word from Dodie though her last letter was wonderful. There must be a reason yet it may be only a whim of hers, possibly neglect or mail service. Whatever it is my concern does not exceed my patience which I have learned to summon on any occasion. To be satisfied with what we dont understand and cant help is the law of happy life.
Tell George he’d better write or I’ll get sore! I understand thoroughly about the letters of the three different missionaries. I imagine my partner (former one) could write as equally an uninteresting letter as you mentioned that one of the three had written.
I was happy to learn that Mrs. Hall at last got some of my preminum correspondence.
About your gloves: at present the dollar is unseemly low and prices high. It would be unwise to buy now. Be patient on that score too.
Any news connected with any name that I know just thrills me pink. About Rhea, and Cliff and etc.; that hits the spot in correspondence.
What I like most of all is just letters! The wonderful kinds you’ve been sending. Anything else but money is superfluous and counted a luxury. Everything is appreciated to the highest degree of my college breeding. One dollar and Five dollars come safely in your two (that is your’s and Elsie’s) letters.
I’ll let this letter go now, as it is, and answer again soon the content of your last. Tell Elsie, I’ll write too. Most appreciated. Roy [In the margin: “Something More” came today – thanks hundreds! -“]
10. March 18, 1923, Königsberg
Mar. 18 – 1923
(Dear old Carl’s* Birthday)
[* Carl Jacob Lundquist, brother of Roy, died at age 18 in 1918]
I am writing you again. It will be very short for I must write Elsie, Dad and Aunt Ada as well.
Yesterday I received four big letters from home one from good friend Alva, two from you, you rare jewel, and one from Dad with the ten inside and the address for the party in Königsberg .
Now before I go further let’s settle the business I have. Ruby would it be impossible to send to Basel on my account some fifty ( 50) dollars. This would serve as an emergency fund to act as a fly-wheel on my financial conditions, i.e., it would save borrowing from other missionaries when money from home is delayed in the mail. I requested this amount in January but I received no notice to date of its arrival. Figuring on this amount by at least Mar. 1, I hoped to pull thru Feb. on the last few nickels I had. But here it is March 18 and only yesterday did any money come which is already used up by my meals and rent for March thus far. Things are always going higher and the dollar is losing its almighty worth so that living is becoming a worry now, not because we have lost faith but because the money has to go faster than it comes. Truly if necessary we can travel without purse or script. Yet, it is not even advised by the authorities here. The food is so terrible at times that many would absolutely lose their health and are losing it just because they must stand the offerings of Saints and friends. Whenever possible we are urged to eat well and preserve the health that is so necessary to good, peppy work. I wish you could see an example of two of the missionaries who dont use their head and get along on as little as possible, living in holes eating poor food, etc. They soon become unhappy, lose their spirit, wish they were never here and finally rebel against what at first seemed worthwhile economy. But really it’s my old story of cheap economy which is used and unsuccessfully. For the maintenance of my good health, happiness and general welfare I petition for this money. If it cant be had then I am satisfied; If it can be had then I will be more than pleased and assure you the appreciation will be more than words, even works. Ruby besides our noon meal which costs $1.50 per week now we have breakfast always and many times supper to pay extra for at home, that is, in our room. Then more than $2.00 a month for rent and light and heat, heat varying with the climate – coal here is higher than home, 65¢ per 100 lb. We have suffered many a cold chill this winter though now it is nearly over. Today is wonderful. Anyway these things bring the monthly bill not under $12.00 for just living expenses. Then we help the poor every chance we get, taking loaves of bread and other necessities along with personal visits in the giving. Just the other day we were called up to help finance the funeral of a poor brother’s baby boy. They simply didnt know where the money would come from. They barely have food in the house. Our branch is not rich and the fast offering is meager so what is left. The missionaries have and they give the last drop. Do you folks begrudge such use of your money?
Now then all these things with a few other personal items reach ordinarily about $20 per month and I have received far below this. With $1.00 in my pocket today I cant imagine what I shall do. But we are all brothers and that will account for things till I can get reassurance from you people. To date I have been given for my use about $110 which has been used in the four and one half months that I have been here. I have not included your money for gloves in this amount nor am I using or have I used it. It’s yours Ruby and must be used to your purposes.
May I have $50.00 sent to Basel by draft if it is not already sent? And then have Dad continue the ten dollars every two weeks which he has started – thank you – and trust in me.
I was very surprised and indignant to hear of George’s accident. I just said, “the little fool, he’ll have a reminder for sure now to make him use his head!” Yet I was very thankful that it wasn’t of greater consequence. We learn, yes; but oh how costly when we dont think. Tell George he must be a man when I get home; a man who has laid aside child’s play.
Ruby, dear, thank Clarence Bean for his splendid letter and the beauftiful most appropriate silken American Flag which he sent thru with his letter. It was sure fine! And thank brother Pack for his letter, too. When opportunity comes I’ll answer all these things but I dare not take time yet.
A new plan is worked out in our conference at Königsberg. Eight missionaries meet regularly under my charge to be instructed or learn by disussion the principles of the gospel in the german language. This is another duty I have and it is going very, very well. It will mean the backbone of the conference because we can train missionaries here to send out into newer fields. I am happy to be again chosen to lead. I learn more than I teach, as I’ve said before, I believe.
I have the privilege now of working with brother Doug Cornwall, a marvellous spirit, and we fit like engine pistons. Oh but it’s lovely to work with inspiration – with one who too has ideals of good character, good German and thorough gospel.
Well, I simply have to close; it’s bedtime and I’ve written quite a little at that. With your next letter I’ll try to summarize my criticisms of all – goodnight. Me.
11. May 14, 1923, Tibit Ostprussen
May 14 – 1923
On this terrible paper, poor ink and with discordant pen as well as a tired line of thought I begin to write you of the proceedings of one called a missionary by trade, profession, clothes and walk. The wear and tear of the ages are beginning to tell on the details of his resources; subtracting here yet compensating there. Worn out heels means just so many moire responsible before God for the message which has been given them.
But Ruby, dear, life is so ordinary everywhere. You write of monotony prolonged and of disappointments, etc. Goodness! We experience the pair of trials every day, even here. Routine grips even the mission-field! Do you believe that? Surely you do not think that life here is so very much grander than at home, that possibilities are greater! No they absolutely are not – you have just stacks and stacks more promising things in Zion than in all the wide world over. The one and only advantage and value of the mission field is appreciation. We come here only to learn by hard bumps and contrast the values at home. We are awakened! Then we are given two or three years to dig down into the bottom of things and cinch a testimony. We are merely forced into trials and difficulties in order to harden that which was unused, unaroused at home: PATIENCE. Oh! what a marvelous word. Waiting to drink again of the fuller breath of life in Zion – thus waiting and overcoming homesickness – just a matter of character strengthening. It can be done at home but it is more surely accomplished here and yet requires an added effort. – You say we “can somehow outwork a disappointment.” True! But you, too, can work it out quite nicely at home.
You can give your all – you fit into your given place in some constructive business. You help others to live better by living so yourself. We are only 2000 to 3000 at a time in the missions* but you are hundreds of thousands at home. Can you demonstrate as we try to the difference between a Mormon and a person of the world? Can you be natural and yet bigger than most girls? Ruby, dear, you have led a beautiful life – be not disappointed in yourself – exercise just a bit more patience with Ruby and help her to live one day at a time. Read “Up from the hills” and learn how a man came thru hell to success and yet “carries on.” A person must realize what eternity is, then what duty is, then what knowledge is and intermingle with it all a few grains of persistence and you have a happy life.
Ruby, if your health sets you down on the hard ground of misery occasionally or your unavoided schooling opportunity hurts now and then and furthermore you wish for the mission field to drown your troubles because you would be happier why just think of this: many are not exempt from poor health or at least attacks of illness when upon missions – one’s faith will keep him quhite well but you know God’s will is often that we should suffer pain and sorrow. Then if you will but look about you at home and see how many very silly girls have graduated from universities probably you may see a gleam of wisdom in holding you to the more humbling path of the school of life. – Ruby, would education have spoiled you? Who knows? Who dare, question God’s wisdom. Your education, Ruby, has not been at the blackboard but I must say I marvel at your big-heartedness, your refinement, your really good English (you should hear some of these college students speak in missionary meetings – you’d be surprised at their slaughtering abilities.) I truly think Ruby you have no room for criticism against yourself; all you dare say of yourself is “I can and will improve!”
Joseph Smith was not book-learned from shools when he started relying upon the Spirit of Revelation to guide him. Search his life’s story and you’ll find he but lived worthy of the immense truths he was able to bring forth merely because he worked humbly and patiently for the knowledge he attained. Ruby, do I have to tell you your possibilities are endless – welcome a few difficulties.
Ruby if you will so have it that you will fulfill a mission then just start preparing now. I’ll be back in a year or more and then we’ll see that your wish is granted. The world would love to behold another true Mormon girl. Their eyes will some time be opened to Truth. I love to think that we can both have helped.
Never write that you have been negligent – I understand because I am the same. I write when I can. I want you to do the same and a little oftener.
“Kar Fax” just tickled me all over and the dog-tooth violet is a beautiful reminder of a wonderful, thoughtful sister at home. – The dollar bill always fills a big hole somewhere – thanks muchly –
This photo with Roy (left) and unidentified
companion was probably taken around