Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 7 (1891-1892)


Lt 19c, 1892

Olsen, O. A.


January, 1892

Portions of this letter are published in CD 259-260, 487; 7MR 346; 8MR 49.

Dear Brother Olsen,

I see what is needed here as much and more than ministers: it is persons who will exert a good influence, and act a part as [do] Brother Shireman and his wife, to settle in this country and let a steady influence be going out from them to leaven those with whom they associate. If this can be done, if families will uproot where they have been a fixture for years and come to this country, settling in the New Zealand and in Sydney, and in places out of this city, there would be changes wrought that it is impossible for the ministry to do. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 1

It was not the best thing for our brethren to make so little effort to secure that experienced help which I so greatly needed. But I could see a selfishness, if they had persons who were able to do a good work, to tie them fast. I am sure I said all I could say; but at [the] last [there] came here with me those who would do their best to connect with me, but [who] left me lame and unprovided for. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 2

I needed persons who could not only help me in my lines of work, but who could have that ability and experience to be educators to others, teaching how to cook, how to treat the sick. May Walling is an excellent treatment girl as far as the practice is concerned; but she is not an educator. Sister Emily Campbell is an excellent person, steady and determined, but she is not an educator. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 3

I am suffering more now for want of some one who is experienced in the cooking line, to prepare things I can eat. The cooking here in this country is in every way deficient. Take out the meat, which we seldom use—and I dare not use it here at all—and sit at their tables, and if you can sustain your strength, you have an excellent constitution. Food is prepared in such a way that [it] is not appetizing, but is having the tendency to dry up the desire for food. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 4

I would pay a higher price for a cook than for any other part of my work. I hired an Australian girl as I thought, to cook; [I] pay her three dollars per week; but these girls know nothing about cooking, only to prepare the food under another’s direction. If that person is not apt and has no skill in cooking, you will see, as we have in our experience, the stereotyped breakfast: porridge, as it is called—we call it mush—baker’s bread, and some kind of sauce, and that is all, with the exception of a little milk. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 5

Now one, after eating in this kind of way for months, knowing what will appear before them at every meal, comes to dread the hour which should be interesting to them as the dreaded period of the day. I suppose you will not understand all this until you have experienced it. But I am really perplexed over this matter. Were I to act over the preparation in coming to this place, I would say, Give me an experienced cook who has some inventive powers to prepare simple dishes healthfully, and that will not disgust the appetite. I am in earnest in this matter. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 6

Then I should say, Give me a thorough calligraph operator. I need this so much. Elder Haskell thought I could find such persons here, but they do not appear. And those persons engaged in this kind of work should be men and women who can exert an influence. I wish you could have seen the attention created here in the efforts made with those we had, poorly qualified in some respects, to teach cooking, and to give treatment. May, I say, is an excellent practise girl in giving treatment; but it needs, combined with this, one who can tell the reasons, explain the process. But the efforts made created a wonderful interest. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 7

During the institute following the conference, a house was hired purposely to have a school in teaching how to cook, [and] teaching how to give treatment. The rooms would be filled to their utmost capacity. When we saw how eager they were to learn all they could, and then considered how lame was our force, I felt as if I could cry. Now, what is to be done? I know not; but I call upon our people in America who would be missionaries, to uproot where they are and to come to this country, and prepare to go to other countries to do the work they know how to do. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 8

Our sisters did well. May Walling did nobly. She took case after case of afflicted ones and gave them simple treatment in a variety of ways to relieve suffering; but this kind of work needs a ministering that we have not. I call for you, and you call for others, while we are on the ground, to unite our forces to select good help. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 9

There is a Sister Saterlee in Battle Creek who lives with her husband [and] has worked in our missions. She is a valuable woman. Her husband is a genius, a useful man anywhere. I know this Sister Saterlee has been matron of the dining tents in our conferences in New York. I want you to see if these people cannot come and help in the work. She has been matron in the Sanitarium in Battle Creek; but, I am ashamed to speak it, some connected with the sanitarium imagined that there was not all that style maintained that was essential for the place, and dropped her out. Her influence is good and true and wholesome. Had I know these things before I left, I would have selected her to come with me. See if you could manage to have this couple come to this country. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 10

I talked of this Sister Saterlee going into the Health Retreat, or taking the supervision of the boarding hall at Healdsburg College. She is capable of either position; but [she] is just such help as is needed in this country. We will join our forces and do the best we can to place an entirely different mold upon the habits and customs here; and when we see so many willing and anxious to do, we want them to learn how to do. Will you consider this question? I would so much desire that Brother and Sister Hall from South Lancaster shall be with us, for our forces are too small. They can do a good work for me and for all others. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 11

I never should have consented to come with the help I have. They do their best, but we want others here that will go from place to place in the churches, capable of instructing. It has been one hard push from the first of my starting for this place, and some things continue to look mysterious; but now [that] we are here, give us the help this country needs. Some may come on their own expense, who are laborers, who have trades, but who will as well, be missionaries. Will you do your best for us, and see that the call I made is not treated as listlessly as the plea I made before I came here? 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 12

You can not imagine how much needs to be done, and at once. We have no time to lose; the end is near. The Lord wants us now to watch, to wait, to work, and to pray. We hope that when Brother and Sister Rousseau come that others will accompany them—Brother and Sister Saterlee, if they are not fastened, and if they are, may be they can cut loose. You may think of some families who desire a warmer climate and shun the hard winters who would like to move to this country. We see no other way, Elder Olsen, than to place persons in New Zealand, in Sydney, in this part of Australia, that shall be, through piety and personal experience, able to give a different mold to the work and [this] element be constantly working like leaven to strengthen the churches, that from within they may work outward. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 13

Do not let the idea that I have the rheumatism scare any one, for the work forced upon me for the last three or four years, the little sleep and rest that I have had, has been enough to affect nerve and muscle; and the only marvel is that the strain has not made me a paralytic or perfectly helpless. The strain of the last year has been terrible to me, and I am surprised that I have endured it. To God alone is all the glory. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 14

I can see the reason for my present suffering, and yet I have labored during this past conference with might and soul, and have spoken fifteen times—three times more before the conference—eighteen times since coming to Melbourne. This is the chance given me to get acclimated. I would not heed weakness, [nor] loss of appetite, for I have had but little relish for food since I left Petoskey. Food is repulsive to me; I eat out of a sense of duty. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 15

But no one will carry the burden I am obliged to carry; no one will have so little opportunities as I have had to “come apart and rest awhile.” [Mark 6:31.] The burden is on me day and night; but few hours of sleep can I obtain. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 16

I am burdened in spirit. I see the want of piety, the low estimate placed upon sacred things; and knowing the value of a right appreciation of heavenly things, I long, I pant, for the salvation of God, that I may through Jesus Christ strengthening me do the important work given me. There must be no betrayal of sacred trust by me. I must live as in the presence of God and in the sunshine of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 17

I must meet all for whom I labor in the judgment. I must give an account of my stewardship. Says Christ, “Without me ye can do nothing.” [John 15:5.] Thank God that I am able to do anything; thank God that I can put my entire trust in him and hang my helpless soul on Jesus Christ. I must work; if I fall it will be at my post. Day and night I consider the little time I have to work. The Lord helps me; the Lord blesses me. Praise His holy name! 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 18

Well, consider the things I have presented before you. The work here is but just begun. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 19

This must go without delay. Love to all. 7LtMs, Lt 19c, 1892, par. 20