Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 98, 1892

Olsen, O. A.

[Adelaide, Australia]

November 16, 1892

Previously unpublished.

Elder Olsen:

There is a subject I ought to bring before you or someone, at once, lest I should let it slip. Fannie has had a very afflicted time since she came to Australia. She has received $8.00, I think, per week; she should have $10.00. She earns it; she is a very rapid worker, and I do not know how I could supply her place. She has now been with me so long that she can do double the work that some hands would do. She has to pay $3.75 for board. When with me she paid $3.50, and I supplied light and wood and helped her in other ways. Now she is boarding at the school, and pays $3.50, and provides for her own fires and lights. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 1

I speak in her behalf, that she receive more wages. She has pledged, while in Michigan, to different enterprises calling for means, $80.00, and she was not comfortable or decently clad. She loves to give to the cause, and I cannot prevent her. And I know she does not spend money foolishly. But please consider Fannie, for she should have no less than $10.00 a week for the amount of work she does. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 2

It is quite expensive living here. Wood is sold by the pound, not because it is so scarce an article, but it requires so much labor to work it up. Last winter it cost me alone $5.00 per week to keep our fire, and then the arrangement for warming rooms was a grate, and we were driven from that to heating with stoves. A stove for which I would pay three or four dollars in America costs twelve in this country, and everything you buy in the line of furniture is extremely high. We furnish our house with the picked up second-hand articles, but paid for them as much, yes, more, than for first-class ordinary furniture in America. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 3


November 16, 1892

Last winter it would have been better for me healthwise to come to this place, Adelaide, as this city is in the arrangement the most healthful I ever was privileged to be in. There is so very little crowding up, so large parks surround it, which is public property. No garbage allowed anywhere. Willie came here and was delighted, and expected that I should come at once, but I was a helpless cripple. The fare was high to get there; then he could not be with me; but I be dropped down among strangers. Everything for my convenience left behind. They went to see the authority if I could not bring in my phaeton for my own private use; but the duties extorted just from one colony to another was more than the value of the article to be transported. They said the duties alone on the phaeton would cost me $250.00, and the costly freight would bring it up to about $300.00, and I only paid $200.00 for it second-hand in Melbourne. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 4

I brought here only one piece of furniture, a common, cheap rocking chair, with carpet cloth back and seat, costing four dollars in Melbourne, and I thought it could be got through by putting it in my compartment in the car; but the door of the car made it impossible, and although no duties were charged me, just the freight was $2.25. I am thoroughly disgusted with the laws and methods and arrangements in this country. Blessed America in comparison to this! 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 5

Well, I say that last winter would cost me several hundred dollars more to get established in Adelaide; then it would be away to one side, could not consult with our people, and they needed my experience given me of the Lord. And I said I will remain in Melbourne, and leave the result with the Lord. This spring six weeks ago I came here, because the church needed me. I have spoken fourteen times, and then had meetings in the suburbs to get together sisters to have meetings in their homes, which has called forth from me two hours of solid talk, and most generally some old lady was deaf and they would place her close by me that she could hear, and I could not relieve my voice, but keep it up high, praying or talking. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 6

November 15, yesterday, I had such a meeting. About ten women assembled. I called at the post office and received American mail, and read aloud to them the blessed good news from yourself and Dr. Kellogg. But the landlady was deaf, so I had to shout out every word so she could hear. But we did have a feast of fat things. I would read and weep. I appreciate the situation, for you know and I know how hard was the battle last year. The movements made last year in regard to the tithes was in the order of the Lord, just as He would have it. And to hear that Bro. Evans was not a failure was good news indeed. Well, the Lord was in our midst, and we had a precious season of conversation and prayer. All seemed to appreciate these gatherings, but they are a tremendous task on me. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 7

You see by that which I have written I am improved in health. I am much better. We are two miles from the city. All is quiet here, and we enjoy it. But when I think that if there had been an earnest, conscientious worker here, who had the Shepherd's care and the burden of the work, how much might have been done that was not done. My heart is very sad. We are quite sure that if personal labor had been bestowed the numbers here would have been doubled. We would now have been packing up to leave; but our tickets have been extended one month, and therefore we remain. I am alone in the work here now, and I dare not release myself from doing, for it is the time to do. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 8

Elder Daniells has been gone two weeks, and will return in about ten days from this time. Meanwhile I must do what I can to set things in order in the church. I am able to walk better and help myself. I am improving in health, and with the blessing of God can go to New Zealand after the Australian Conference. We called for one hundred pounds from this church for the school. And we received pledges for that amount. It is a new thing for them to give, but they are learning here much, which I hope will be abiding. I am having no rest from labor in writing or in working for the church. It is doubtful whether I come here again before we shall return to America one year from now. But it is useless to lay plans. Leave it with the Lord to direct. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 9

Our expenses, home expenses, have been almost double here than they would have been at home, but if the Lord will give me health and strength to labor I will be happy and cheerful all the time. I know I have the peace and blessing of God. We pay a little over seven dollars per week for home furnished—very cheap for this place. The church furnishes me a phaeton and a pony for which they pay one pound per week. I pay for keeping the horse. My girls take care of him, feeds, curries, harnesses, and unharnesses. We three are alone now in the house, Emily, May Walling, and I. Was disappointed in my mail. I received so few letters last Monday, but Tuesday I received the balance. Willie had not sent them. They came yesterday; I was glad. 7LtMs, Lt 98, 1892, par. 10