Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Lt 140, 1897

White, W. C.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

June 6, 1897

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 306-307.

Dear Son Willie:

Today the Vancouver mail brought me several letters. I was glad to hear from you; but I cannot write many letters for the mail, for my head has become too weary to do much. At first it was my heart that I suffered from; now it is my head. I am improving; in some respects I am much better. My heart is suffering less; but my head—I cannot think; I cannot tax my brain at all without much perplexity and bewilderment. I have to give up. I have written quite a letter to Edson, and will send you a copy. Your house is going forward as fast as we can have it move. Brother Hare’s house is likewise going forward. Your house has been hindered because of the rain. The first boat was delayed, and now the second boat is behind time. This is bringing the lathe and other fixings. Today, Sunday, they are driving matters. The chimneys will be finished today. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 1

We have only one man, a steady hard worker, who is paid by the hour for his work. We board him, for there is no other place where he can board. He is to build an oven for the school building, and I shall also have an oven built for my house; then May can use it whenever we are not baking in it. The floors of your piazza are laid and painted their first coat. The kitchen floor is laid down; the house is enclosed and roofed. We had feared rain today. We will let you build the cistern for your place just as you want it. I expect the floors will be laid today; but they cannot lathe the house ready for plastering until the boat comes in. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 2

On Thursday Sara and I went down to the post office, and we took the children seated before us in the bottom of the Israel carriage. They slept all the time. We first went to the school, then the post office, then to the school again, and home. They are stirring little fellows. They have occupied our parlor now for some time; but we are anxious to have the house completed, and May and the children well settled in it before you come back. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 3

We have just experienced the heaviest rain we have had in this country. All our garden was a lake. The high ridge where corn was planted last year, we had planted with potatoes; and everything—beans, peas, potatoes, etc., were all covered. The water has now gone down, and we can look across and see the red potatoes out of the high ground. We shall have to replant. Otherwise the rain has done no damage. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 4

The people in this country, as they have read of the terrible cyclones and tornadoes, such as had been represented as taking place in St. Louis, have said that they could not credit the representation of the power of these storms; but now they have no question on this point. (See paper.) We have had some strong winds which take branches as tall as a man and long as my arm, and break them off as you would break a pipe stem, hurling them to a distance. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 5

Brethren Martin and James said that our orchard would be greatly injured by those trees whose tops were cut off, that the roots would absorb the moisture and richness of the soil. They advised us to take them down, and we followed their advice. Not one is now standing in the flower garden. I wish you could see their massive roots. Many of them are as large as the tree itself, and running along underground as long as the tree before the tops were cut off. We have them now cut out by the roots as deep as the plough will ever go. I am pleased to see them uprooted. Brother Martin says he will put in their place some evergreens that will not be such hungry, thirsty trees. He will come the last of the week and make my garden. We have courage now to have this done. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 6

The school is moving along excellently. There are now about sixty students attending. They are intelligent, I think, and far superior to those in George’s Terrace. We are pleased, and everybody is pleased, with the location and buildings. Elder Daniells says he is going to work for the school with all his power. The Melbourne church have sent several students, and are paying their way. I have been too sick to go over at all for three weeks. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 7

Brother Haskell is the Lord’s servant, a man of opportunity. We appreciate his experience, his judgment, his thoughtful care and caution. He is indeed a mighty man in the Scriptures. He opens the Word of God in such a simple manner, making every subject reveal its true importance. He urges home practical godliness. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 8

Yesterday I ventured to attend meeting, and the room, which is between fifty and sixty feet long, was full. We were thankful for a decent place in which to assemble to worship God. One young man has taken his position. His name is Piper. He is from Petone, and brother to the girl who was working for Sister Tuxford. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 9

I spoke from (John 6) upon the words of Christ: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day; for my flesh is meat and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him.” [Verses 53-56.] 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 10

I have not seen much of Brother and Sister Haskell. They have all the work they can well carry, and there is no show about them. I understand that the children in the primary division are highly pleased with their teacher, Lillian. Herbert and Brother Hughes get along nicely together. The board, a very incapable and ignorant one, elected Brother Herbert Lacey as principal without counselling with me. This brought me to the front to speak. Brother Hughes is principal, and he will, I think, do well in this position. He has had experience in managing. I think there will be no trouble. But I have had to speak plainly, and keep out the breezes coming from Battle Creek. 12LtMs, Lt 140, 1897, par. 11