Lt 92, 1892

Lt 92, 1892


Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

May 9, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in 4Bio 30.

Last mail I had written some letters early in the month, but my hands became so weak that I could write but little; every move caused me so much pain. I was glad to read your letter with others. I feel like thanking my friends for taking the time and trouble to write to me. There are many whom I am obliged to communicate with, and after mail week is over, I am almost prostrated. This time the mail bears very little from me. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 1

Fannie is a cripple, and her health is quite poor, I suppose, on account of her enforced inaction. Emily Campbell is fitting herself to become my bookkeeper and typist. May has taken charge of the cooking. I am happily surprised, for she does exceedingly well. Everything seems to be cooked well and in season. This is an excellent school for May; she is obtaining an experience in care taking. She does all cheerfully, gives me treatment every day. Annie, my hired girl, does the washing, ironing, and scrubbing. She did not know how to cook, but May has taught her to make bread. She proves herself to be an excellent bread maker, but May has to stand as chief in the housework and cooking department. Marian is about the same in health as you have generally seen her. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 2

I think our location is favorable; we have a house separate from other houses; we have a large garden abounding with flowers. When we came here four months ago, the whole place, about one acre of land, was grown up to tall weeds. In the garden everything except the geraniums was dead. The girls went to work in the garden, pulling weeds, making flower beds, sowing seeds for vegetables. It was very dry, so we bought a hose, and Marian was chief in the flower garden. With water, the flowers sprang up. Dahlias, the richest beauties, are in full bloom, and fuschias flourish. I never saw them blossom as they do here; the geraniums, Lady Washingtons, in immense bunches of the richest colors to delight the eye. Now the geraniums have mostly ceased to bloom, but the chrysanthemums are in their glory. I never saw such abundance or so great a variety; they are just beautiful! Marian has had exercise and something to call her out, and it has done her good. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 3

I am the same helpless cripple, day and night full of pain, but I do enjoy the thought that I am a child of God, and I spend many sleepless hours in prayer and thanksgiving to God that I have my reason. My memory is good, but I dare to write but little, because my nerves are so weak that I suffer much more after writing. I have paid twenty dollars for electric baths, but see no real good resulting therefrom. I have just stopped all medicine and treatment except what May gives me. Nights are now very long and days short, as in winter with you. I get up between five and six o’clock. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 4

All the family are very kind to me and do all they can for my comfort. I maintain cheerfulness, for no good will result from moaning and murmuring, none at all. I can walk sometimes a little better than others, but it is poor work. I ride out in the phaeton when it is pleasant. We are learning all the time to invent easier things for me. A board is placed on the piazza, one and reaching into the phaeton, so I do not have to step up the two steps; then I have had a spring seat made which relieves the right hip. On this seat, covered with pillows, I can ride quite comfortably. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 5

Last week Brother Wilson put his horse into our phaeton because it would go faster than ours. He took me twenty miles for a ride, but my spring seat was not then made, and the ride was too much for me. Since that time I have not walked as well as before and have suffered terribly from nervousness. When we ride out with our horse, he goes slowly, and the ride does not jar me, and I feel better after riding. The process of getting ready makes me dread to go; but our girls say nothing to me. May and sometimes Emily harness the horse and bring it to the door, and then insist that I must ride. May is generally my driver, and she does well. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 6

All are just as tender to me, but I long for restoration. I am at times tempted to question whether I am in the way of my duty. I did not want to come, but felt that I ought to yield to the voice of my brethren. I am here and, though separated from my friends in America, the Lord is nigh unto me, His grace sustains me, and I rejoice in the love of God. If I should give way to my feelings, I should have a good many hearty cries over my case, but I will not. I praise God that I am His child, standing under the cross of Calvary. I say, Thy word is pledged to hear my prayers. I shall be restored. I shall see of the salvation of God. I will praise the Lord that Jesus is mine, and I am His. What should I do now, in constant pain and weakness and suffering, without the help and grace of Christ? 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 7

True, when I rise up or try to change my position in bed there is some groaning done. I will not let May lift me. I will not call any of them up nights, although I have to be up about six times to change my position. I have had a strap fastened to the head and foot of my bed, and this is a wonderful help to me; I can get up and disturb no one’s sleep. Sometimes I can sleep only three hours during the night, but the grace of God I know is sufficient for my day; I cannot explain why this is not removed. I know how it came very well, but how to get rid of it is no easy matter. I am not drawn out of shape, but full of pain. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 8

I am glad that Brother and Sister Maxson are at the Health Retreat. I think they are where the Lord would have them. But if he becomes uneasy and dissatisfied, as I am afraid he will, I think Dr. Gibbs would come if invited, and would do better than Dr. Hare. This much I venture to say, but if Dr. Maxson and wife will stay because they have their heart and interest in the work, I believe the Lord would bless them, and their efforts made in the strength of the Mighty One would be a blessing to the institution. The Lord will be with us if we will be with Him. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 9

Emily has gone with the Echo wagon for the goods sent from Oakland for me. Sister Tay is to stop with me for the present, according to my request. She accompanied Willie and Elder Daniells from New Zealand. While they stop over until tomorrow, she came on and arrives today. I can tell you how the goods came before this letter goes to you. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 10

Now it is proposed to take me to Adelaide, five hundred miles from here. But this involves much expense, and it will be disagreeable for me to make the journey, helpless as I am. Oh that the healing power of God would come upon me here! We seem to be needed here. The Echo office is five miles from our country home. Willie can be with us here. We are within three minutes’ walk of the train, the fare is low, and in twenty minutes he is borne to North Fitzroy. I cannot see how I can be five hundred miles from him, yet he must be in the office here, for it is suffering for the help he can give it in the strength of the Lord. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 11

So we are to make some important decisions, and we pray day and night for the Lord to mark out our path before us that we may make no mistake. Tomorrow Willie comes home. Then there will be a canvassing of the whole matter. Adelaide has a church of above one hundred. They need help badly, but I dread the division of our family. Willie has been gone about seven weeks to New Zealand, and I feel so much the need of him to counsel with. The Lord guide us is my prayer. 7LtMs, Lt 92, 1892, par. 12