Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

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Lt 138, 1893

White, W. C.

Wellington, New Zealand

Sunday, August 13, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in 12MR 136-138; 4Bio 101.

Dear Son Willie:

We are packing up to go to Hastings. Two telegrams have come, one from Brother Anderson and another from Brother McCullagh, to stop off on our way to Hastings, but I am not prepared to speak until I shall get a temporary set of teeth. I can speak to a few who know me, and I would not be embarrassed, but to stand before a congregation I would not be doing justice to myself or justice to those who so much desire me to speak. Ormondville is only three hours’ ride from Hastings. So, after seeing Sister Caro, I can have a temporary set of teeth and then go to Norsewood and Ormondville, much better prepared to speak. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 1

I am not very well just now, but I will be all right when we can have sunshine. Yesterday, Sabbath, was a nice day and I consented to meet with the little few in Elder Israel’s house. Mrs. McCalpin and her two daughters were present, and Sister Carlton [?], Sister Tuxford’s mother. Sister Tuxford was sick in bed with a severe cold. Emily gave her treatment, and she is much improved; is up today. Brother Camp and Brother Mountain and family, Sister Irving, Sister Ward and children were present. We had a good little meeting. I read to them a letter from Elder Daniells, very interesting to all. This is the only meeting I have attended in Wellington since my teeth were extracted. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 2

I labored with the family of Sister Brown every morning and night for ten days, and on the Sabbath had a regular service. The last Monday morning I called for a decision from the children. All present decided they would serve the Lord. I was so thankful I cried with joy. Martha came home with us and has been helping to get ready to get off. I thought it best to go now to Hastings and Napier and get in working order, for I know not what emergencies may arise, calling for labor. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 3

I expected the mail might be, by some means, secured to us Sunday, but it does not appear. Therefore I must wait until Monday before receiving the news. Brother Mountain is here helping Emily pack. Elder Israel left last Friday, intending to visit several places and join Brother Simpson. It has been very stormy, and that was the reason we were held in Long Point, Paremata, so long. It is a most beautiful day today. I hope it will continue pleasant for a few days. August has been thus far rainy and windy until Saturday and today, Sunday. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 4

We will take your things to Napier with us. Elder Israel said he would return in two weeks, then he thought he would visit the Brown family, and some may want to be baptized. Then he would accompany us to Napier. But that would bring us to September; then before I could get to Napier and be ready to labor in Hastings and Napier, it would use up a good bit of September. So Emily and I decided we could go to Napier, if unaccompanied by any man. We intended to leave Monday, but as the mail did not come, we leave Tuesday. Brother and Sister Wilson are very glad to receive us in their home, which has room enough for us all. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 5

The girl, Nina Piper, has been with us several weeks. She is a remarkable girl among the girls. She is a sincere Christian. They have a large family, and it is hard to support them. Mr. Piper has been a drunkard, and poverty has been their experience. I pay the girl seven shillings per week and she is getting herself some clothing. But she was very sad when we decided to go to Napier. She had been told by her father that she must go out to work and earn her food and clothes. He has work now and has not drunk for two or three years, but he is not a Christian. I thought it would cost too much money to have her go with us, but as the time drew near when we must go, I told Emily my mind was ill at ease. I could perhaps get a girl in Napier, but she might be frivolous and want to be with the boys. She might be wasteful. She might be one who would be ill satisfied with the work, and Nina is feeling she is so privileged. She is willing to work hard and is saving, quiet, not forward. She answers well for us. I did not want Emily to do the housework, for she has more than she can do now. I could not lay any extra burden on Sister Wilson, for she must go with her husband. We decided that we will not in the end save anything to go at a venture and leave a good girl behind. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 6

When I proposed the matter to her, she was so elated and felt so privileged, she acted as though it was a dream. I never saw a girl as thankful, and it is such a rare thing to have anyone who does the common duties of life thankfully. I felt thankful that it was my privilege to make anyone so happy. She immediately communicated with her father and mother. They both felt very much pleased to have the girl with me, and the mother said it seemed so much of a favor to do her, to employ her daughter. She thought it was too good news to be true. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 7

She went to the government office where her brother is employed in the stamp department, and she told her brother of the proposition made to her. He told her that her lines had fallen in pleasant places. He is not a believer and is a staunch Presbyterian, but she came back so happy. She said he told her he was glad to see her. The mother came down, evening after the Sabbath and remained until past ten. I had a pleasant interview with her. I never saw a woman more thankful, for she has a mother’s interest in her child. The mother is a sweet-faced, amiable-looking woman. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 8

We shall have no trouble now in getting the help we so much need, and we know what we have by experience—a child in years, yet a woman in stern experience. This is the way matters stand. If I go to Sydney, I shall certainly take her with me. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 9

The mail day was a trying day. We sent off quite a mail, and we all have felt like doing next to nothing since. We have now quite a little mail for South Africa, copies of letters sent to America. We will be glad to welcome you to Napier. Elder Israel says he shall break up as soon as we do, so by the first of September Sister Tuxford will be left alone to manage the office. I will now leave this until tomorrow, after looking over the mail. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 10

Monday, August 14

About eleven o’clock at night there was a knock at the door. My window being opened, I looked out and saw a man at the door. I inquired, “Is it the postman?” He answered, “Yes.” Then I called Emily and they received the mail. It was a very light affair. I send your mail. Today, I think, the boat leaves. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 11

I send you Edson’s letter. Poor boy, I feel sorry for him. I do not think he knows himself, else something more would have come than that scrap of a letter contains. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 12

I send you the draft upon Echo office. My letters were: one from Elsie Hare, Emma and Edson, Reekie, Ebdall, Marian. I cannot believe this is all the mail I shall receive. It is very small indeed. I think there must be more to come. We have very little to answer this time if this is all. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 13

August 15

We leave here for Napier. I think we will be comfortable. Brother Mountain is going to help us off in the morning. He worked late. Last night Nina’s father came to see us and her. He seems quite an intelligent man. He thinks it the most wonderful thing that I take an interest in their daughter and expressed great gratitude, as though we were doing them a great favor. I assured him we would have an interest in her. He thought it was such a rare thing, so unexpected. 8LtMs, Lt 138, 1893, par. 14