Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)


Lt 87a, 1896

Olsen, O. A.

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, Australia

May 25, 1896

Portions of this letter are published in FBS 72; 12MR 57; 4Bio 254-255.

Dear Brother Olsen:

Last October I wrote to you a long letter, which, with several other articles, was very hastily prepared for the mail, but which, on this ground, we finally thought best not to send at that time. My mind had been so wrought upon by the Spirit of God that the burden upon me was very great in regard to yourself and the work in Battle Creek. I felt that you were being bound hand and foot, and were tamely submitting to it. I was so troubled that in conversation with Brother Prescott I told him of my feelings. Both he and W. C. White tried to dissipate my fears; they presented everything in as favorable a light as possible. But instead of encouraging, their words alarmed me. If these men cannot see the outcome of affairs, I thought, how hopeless the task of making them see at Battle Creek. The thought struck to my heart like a knife. I said, I will not send the communication written to Elder Olsen. 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 1

Soon after this I became unconscious. I had gleams of recollection, but thought that death was upon me. The family became alarmed. As I slowly revived, they decided that a long sickness was before me, and W. C. White telegraphed for Sara McEnterfer to come to me on the next boat. For about two weeks I remained in utter feebleness. I was like a broken reed. I could not leave my room, could not converse with Brother and Sister Prescott. I did not expect to recover, and seemed unable to exercise faith for myself. But I was not left to myself. I had thought that I could not attend the camp meeting in Victoria, but I ventured out, and my strength gradually returned to me. 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 2

At Armadale the enemy came upon me like a lion from a source I did not expect. Again I was stricken and afflicted, but the Lord raised me up, and I bore my testimony to the people. The particulars of my trial in Armadale I have not opened to our people in America. I hope never to be compelled to do this. Had I dared to do so, I would have declined to attend the Tasmanian meeting, but I went, and the Lord sustained me. On my return to Sydney I could say, I am faint, but pursuing. 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 3

Fannie Bolton has now left us. Sister Burnham and Marian are with me, also Sister Maggie Hare, whom we are entrusting with articles to prepare for the paper, and who gives promise of becoming a good worker. I have just engaged Minnie Hawkins, who has been long in the Echo office, who understands the typewriter, has some little knowledge of shorthand, and we hope may be able to assist in preparing copy. Like Maggie Hare she is young and healthy. They have not the nervous temperament like Fannie Bolton, but will bring a healthful current into the work. If sanctified to God, they will do good work. The atmosphere in my home is now good, better than it has been since coming to this country. If the Lord graciously spares to me my memory, and grant me His Holy Spirit, I can now do my duty better here than elsewhere in preparing articles for papers and issuing books. 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 4

I do not propose to go to Battle Creek. The memory of the terrible siege I had there for two years, with so few to help me, remains with me as a warning. I prefer to remain in this far-off country. I have a large work yet to do in writing if I can possibly get the time. But one thing after another has crowded in, labor in speaking, and writing that had to be done for Battle Creek, and for churches in this country. But I hope now to accomplish a good work in book-making. 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 5

In our home at Cooranbong, we are retired from the city. We shall not here be afflicted with holidays or with the amusements of city life. And we shall not keep a hotel. And indeed we could not, since our house is so small and our family is so large. We have twelve permanent members in the family, while Brethren Pocock and Parcels, who have been painting the house, have swelled the number to fourteen. You can see that it would be a great loss to me to move, and then it would necessitate the scattering of the ones whom I hope to make useful to me in preparing matter for papers and books. 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 6

Willie has hired the convent building which has been left vacant, and has his family there. His May is the mother of twin boys, fine little fellows. Her sister Nora is staying with her. Her brother Herbert and his wife are with them at present, Father Tucker boards with them, and these, with Ella and Mabel, make up the family—ten in all. Brother Lacey Senior has purchased a place, a small house, and forty acres of land, paying for the same by installments. [Letter ends here.] 11LtMs, Lt 87a, 1896, par. 7