March 22. I received a letter from Brother Pitchforth with a fifteen dollar check in it. He said $10 is from father, $4 is a present from John Wright, and one dollar is from him for me to spend for postage stamps. It will come in handy. The Lord will bless them for their kindness.
March 23. Louisa Udall and I took a walk to Cranbrook and called to see her father's Uncle John on the way. We called on Masters George Drawbridge and John Drawbridge, father's cousins in Cranbrook, for the purpose of getting genealogy on Grandmother Drawbridge's side. She is the wife of Jesse Udall. We went to the churchyard, where I got four names. They assisted all they could and the parish clerk promised to assist me. We called on Louisa's grandmother, named Wilding, who is eighty-one years old. The uncles and aunts are named Dungay. The next day I called on the parish clerk and he says he finds Drawbridges back as far as 1700. He will get me all the Drawbridge names in his record this month.
March 25. I started from Cousin David's at 2 o'clock p.m. They treated me very kindly. He is poor and works very hard. Cousin Louisa walked with me a short distance and she wishes to be baptized the first opportunity. Some of her folks are not happy about it and she feels sad.
April 6. I left Wrotham for Well Hill. My feet are blistered terribly today in my walk of twelve miles. I felt the heat because of carrying so much, my frock coat, my valise, and my bundle of books. I would not concentrate my mind on any subject today. I have a treacherous mind in this way, for it seems when I would do good to myself in the way of studying and storing my mind with wisdom, then evil of some kind presents itself; man's carnal nature seems often to predominate. Man's evil propensities are certainly at warfare with the spirit. I realize that if man gives way to his carnal nature it will lead him to woe and sorrow and eventually to a grave of dishonor and ill-fame. The lusts of the flesh break up happy families, destroy communities and break down nations. The lusts of the flesh grieve the spirit of God, pollute the body, deaden the mind and intellect, destroy natural affection, and to say the least of it, bring on every evil imaginable. But if a man
endeavors to live according to the Spirit he will have peace, joy and happiness; it will elevate him, purify his body, strengthen his faith and bring love into a family which will bind and unite them and merit the respect of neighbors. The spirit of God causes unity in any community. I have to be on the warpath continually to overcome the evil in my nature and to live my religion in spirit and in truth as I want to do.
April 16. I reached the office after three and one-half months' absence.
April 18. I have been downtown doing a little shopping. I bought a gold ring for my wife, really her wedding ring. I bought myself an album today that cost 6s.
May 1-5. Visited Waltham, St. Lawrence, Berkshire, the old home of my mother. The relatives were all kind. Went into the home where mother lived as a girl. There are the same rosebushes my grandmother planted, and the grapevine still hangs around the door. Grandmother took great pains with her neat little garden, I am told. My grandparents died here. Next day went to the house on Sirlic Street where mother was born. It is red brick with a thatched roof and great timbers of oak running through the walls. Am thankful to be permitted to visit these old places of my ancestors.
June 4. Woodside Green. This morning I went out and notified the neighborhood that a Mormon elder from Salt Lake City would preach on the green in front of Mr. Turner's at 5:30 p.m. I fasted until five o'clock p.m. and went into the woods and prayed for help in addressing the congregation. We had a sacrament meeting at 3 p.m. and at the appointed time we went to the green and I talked to between seventy-five and one hundred strangers for half an hour. The spirit was with me. I felt good and that I had done my duty.
(One evening the journal reads, "I have been studying the writings of the prophet in the Doctrine and Covenants pertaining to baptism for the dead. What a glorious dispensation we live in. It is my soul's desire to live to be worthy of the great blessings and glories spoken
June 6. I walked from Woodside Green to Flishinghurst, a distance of twenty miles. At times I sat down to rest and read the good old Book. Cousin David and wife were pleased to see me. Louisa came from Biddendon to be baptized tomorrow. The ordinance was performed in a pond of nice water that covers several acres lying at the foot of a beautiful hill covered with fir and pine trees. The next morning Louisa started for her home at five o'clock. I walked to Cranbrook to have a further talk with Mrs. Drawbridge on our principles, and the next day I walked fourteen miles to Northiam. One heel was bloody and blistered and I had had no food or drink, nor did I find a good place to rest while on my way. Brother and Sister Elpheck were glad to see me.
June 8. Sister Elpheck washed my clothing. She is very reserved, but both of them are so good to me. I walked four miles to Brother Whatman's though my feet were so sore I could hardly make it. Next day was Sunday. Brother Whatman's family and I walked nearly five miles to Beckley to hold an out-of-door meeting. On the way we called at about twenty-five homes to tell them of our meeting. Brother Whatman occupied most of the time and did well. I conducted the meeting and spoke fifteen minutes at the last. On the way I lost my temper, because of something a rich farmer said to me. It was unbecoming in a man in my position; how watchful I need to be. Started toward London.
June 13. Visited Aunt Kate in Wrotham. My feet are punishing me. Stayed at Brother Jackson's at Wells Hill, London, and slept on a rug in front of the fireplace, but was cold when I woke up. Took train to London Bridge and walked to Brother Wells in Poplar Grove to try On the clothes he is making me. My trousers are so worn I am ashamed to walk along the street.
(For about three weeks from June 28 to July 18, Elder Paxman and father did intensive work, holding many outdoor meetings, some of which were well-attended. Two hundred persons attended a meeting at Powder Mills, "the best out-of-door meeting I have attended in
July 16. In the evening Brother Paxman and I held a meeting at Beckley. Five hundred people attended and were attentive. Two policemen came to keep order. We both spoke and felt well and were thankful for the opportunity of bearing testimony to so many of our fellowmen.
July 18. Today I baptized young Brother Sinclair Elpheck under the cliffs in the sea near Hastings. He had walked twelve miles to come to us. Brother Paxman confirmed him and then we enjoyed a bath in the sea. Today at four o'clock Brother Paxman left for Groves End. I went to the station with him. I can truly say I have learned lessons from him that I will ever remember.
August 8. Today I walked four miles to Battle to meet Brother Ebenezer DeFrieze, who has been assigned to labor with me. He embraced the Gospel four years ago in Australia, emigrated to Utah soon after and has worked on the temple in St. George all the time until he started on his mission. He and Brother Miles left St. George, starting on their mission. They went to Salt Lake City on foot, as they had no money. By the time they reached there they had enough money to take them to New York. The shipping company took them to Liverpool free of charge, as both of them were experienced sailors. Brother DeFrieze is a young man twentyfour years old, is not married and this is his first preaching tour.
[ Note: During the remainder of August the two elders followed the pattern of going from branch to branch to look after the needs of the local priesthood and the church members. They were faithful in their duties and also held some public meetings out-of-doors. The saints always seemed pleased to see them, and they seemed to have the missionary spirit, as shown by the way they provided for these boys who had no money. Otherwise the frequent visits of the, elders might have been burden-
August 11. We saw a threshing machine at work this morning, driven by a road steam engine. It will thresh 550 bushels per day and costs 440 pounds.
August 12. 1 feel my lack of education very much indeed. It would be comforting if I had more, but if I fill this glorious mission honorably and to the best of my ability, all will be well.
August 21. This morning I helped Brother Stedman in the harvest. I cut nearly one-fourth acre of wheat and did a little
binding. I was awkward with the scythe they use. Sister Stedman gave me a blessing before we left as this may be the last time I shall see her in these lands. I can truly say that she has been kind and like a mother to me ever since I came to this district. We went to Brother Swingard's and his wife was offish and said they could
not lodge us. We left there and went to Sister Tapps, who let us sleep on the floor. It was the best she could do as she is preparing to go to Utah.
Sister Spilhts and her daughter and son-in-law plan to emigrate in September. Sister Tapps gave into my charge sixty pounds ($300) in gold coin to carry to the office for their emigration. It shows the confidence they have in an elder to trust me with the money they had worked so hard for during the past five years. It is more money than I have had in my possession in many a day. As we left- she said: "We have treated you well for we have fed you and lodged you and put your dinner in your pockets, and given you all the money we have."
On our way to the London office Brother DeFrieze took me to see his parents who live on Bethen Green Road. His mother has just come into the Church and her eldest son is a member also.
September 11. Brother Simons gave me Volumes 35 and 36 and part of 38 of the Millennial Star. Brother Smoot and I made Sister Farrow a present of a nice album as a token of respect for her many kindnesses to us while she has been in the office since June 1875. I also gave them a carpetbag and some shoes and a coat. I feel to say, God bless them all.
Page 39MY MARRIAGE AND MISSION
This evening we had a council meeting at the office. Brother Paxman is our Conference President. We elders, DeFrieze, John Miles, Owen Smoot, Jr., and I are under twenty-five years of age. Brother Paxman gave us some fatherly counsel. We are perfectly agreed as to our assignments. Brothers Miles and Smoot go to the South Coast District; Brother DeFrieze and I go to the Kent District. There is a good spirit in our midst.
November 30. Arlington Sussex. This evening I am at the home of Brother Benjamin Barber. He has been in the Church for twenty years. I secured a great many old Stars that I need in my collection; also some copies of the journal of Discourses.
December 2. Brighton Sussex. Staying at Brother David Barber's home. After tea I took a walk on the beach, where the great waters of the sea ebb and flow. Enjoying happy thoughts, I was disturbed by two harlots, one after the other speaking to me and making advances. I jumped up and did not let them touch me and finally they went away. I offered up a prayer and thanked God I had been delivered from the power of the devil.
December 3, Sunday. Brighton. I fasted from six o'clock yesterday until five o'clock p.m. today for the special purpose that I might be given greater wisdom. Folks came to our meetings today from distances varying from eight to seventeen miles.
December 15. Portsmouth. This morning President Paxman gave me fifty dollars to apply on my traveling expenses
18. I secured here a great many old Stars to add to my collection
and also two volumes of journal.
Monday, January 1, 1877. London. This being the first day of the New Year, I feel to offer up a prayer to be handed down in remembrance of the beginning of this year. I ask God to direct me through this coming year as well as through my coming life, that I may do all things with an eye single to His glory. "Father, I ask for wisdom, for I feel weak. I come to Thee for I know that from Thee cometh all blessings; therefore in approaching Thee, I do so feeling assured that my prayer will be answered in so much as my faith does not waver. Father, I ask Thee to bless me in the ministry that I may have souls for my hire. I desire to bring souls unto Thee. I desire to benefit my fellowmen and above all I desire to work out my own salvation so that I may obtain the blessings that are in store for me. If I should go home this year, wilt Thou bless me there, that we may live pure and upright lives as saints of the Most High. Father, wilt, Thou be mindful of me and mine so that we may live in an acceptable manner before Thee. Bless us with power to overcome every power that is not of Thee. Father, I ask not for riches, but for faith, hope, charity and wisdom, that I may be Thy servant in both word and deed. I ask these blessings in the worthy name of Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer, even so, Amen."
[ Note: During the following week the elders visited in the homes of the saints. There were approximately eighteen baptisms and rebaptisms during this period, among whom was Fanny DeFrieze, sister of Ebbie DeFrieze. The elders went sight-seeing that week also.
| page 41
From January 11 to February 8, 1877, father labored with the saints, often pleading with them to live their religion; leaving his gratitude and farewell blessing with them, for he realized he would soon be going home and would not pass their way again. Often the dear sisters who had mothered him wept when they said goodbye. One poor couple insisted that he sleep in their bed while they sat by the fire through the night. ]
January 31. This morning I walked to Goudhurst and Anemon Farm for a farewell look at the birthplace of my father and the place where he grew up. In the afternoon I went to Cranbrook to bid our Drawbridge cousins goodbye. They are doing all they can for me in the way of gathering genealogy. This evening David Udall and I were reading and talking about the Gospel until one o'clock in the morning. I firmly believe that be is convinced of its truth, but for some reason he hesitates to embrace it, though he says our principles agree with the Bible. He came to my room to say goodbye before daylight for he goes to work very early. I have tried in my humble way to teach him our revealed religion. That morning I told his wife and children goodbye. They have been good to me.
[ Note: During February, letters from mother told of the death of Uncle Tommy's wife, Tamar Hamblin Stewart, and also of a good deal of speculation about father's being sent "across the river" to colonize after his return. She asked him how he would feel about it and he records, I shall be willing to go if it is a call from the Church Authorities, but I want to get through with this mission before I plan for another one."
The Star gave a full report of the dedication of the St. George Temple on the 1st of January 1877. Father comments that in reading the dedicatory prayer he is made to feel full of hope, full of prayers of thankfulness
to our Father who dwells in Heaven for His blessings to him; for the privilege of living when the Gospel is restored, when temples are built and dedicated, wherein men and women can enter into the holy and eternal bonds of matrimony, and can perform work for themselves and their dead progenitors. "Oh, I cannot tell the feelings of my heart, the joy, comfort and strength I receive from my reflections on the Gospel. This world's goods sink into insignificance when compared to the blessings that are in store for the saints who live for them. Truly the Lord has blessed me."
Father rather wistfully writes at this time: "President Carrington has not said one word to me or Brother Paxman about my release. Of course I am happy to stay if that is the plan." Father also states: "Brother Paxman gave me one pound for a pair of boots. It is from the London Conference tithing." ]
April 19. I had dinner at Cousin Gordon Stanley's in company with Uncle John. I had an opportunity to bear my testimony to them again. Uncle says that more unlikely things could happen than for him to come to Utah. He sends best regards to father and should like to see him again. I feel that in my weakness I have done all I could to teach them Mormonism. I suppose I shall not come this way again. They have promised to write to me and they think they will come to London to see me off.
On April 30th the Deseret News came to hand which contained an account of the April Conference. It states that "On April 7th" I was called to fill a mission to Arizona. I am willing to respond but it seems strange that I am called to fill another mission before I am released from this one. It does not worry me in the least, as I know all will come around for the best. Apostle Carrington smiled and said he had anticipated letting David go home this year.
On May 6th the monthly priesthood meeting convened. President Paxman said this would likely be my last priesthood meeting
before going home. He asked me to speak. I felt well in speaking. Brother Paxman presented my character in the highest terms before all and said he was pleased with my labors. He blessed me in the name of the Lord, and nearly all said, "Amen."
May 12. This evening I paid the town crier two shillings to go through the town of Hemelhempsted ringing his bell and crying: "Tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock and at six-thirty in the evening, an elder from Salt Lake City will preach in the Latterday Saints Chapel, Chapel Street, upon the Restoration of the Gospel to Joseph Smith by a Holy Angel." This is the first time I have taken this tack to spread the Gospel. It seems to have stirred the people up. I hope and pray it may do good.
May 13. The crier did some good by "crying" the town last night. There were nearly a roomful of strangers and I spoke for thirty-five minutes in the afternoon and for an hour and ten minutes in the evening.
[Note: Father left London for Liverpool June 12. During the week he had packed his trunks on time and began briefly visiting the relatives. He says: I left London at 9:30 a.m. No. 20 Bishop's Grove, Ball's Pond Road, Islington, London, is a noted spot on the earth in my history. A place of sweet communion with my brethren. My heart is full of blessings for the good kind saints who have so willingly ministered to my needs."]
Liverpool, evening of June 12. After all our luggage went on board this evening we boys went to the Liverpool office. President Smith gave me a hearty handshake and bad some supper prepared for me. When I went downstairs to the dining room, he went with me and be intimated that I would have to take charge of the company of saints. It came like a clap of thunder to me. I had never dreamed of such a thing. Brother A. 0. Smoot is here to see me off.
June 13, Liverpool. This morning President Joseph F. Smith appointed me to take charge of the company. He gave me the names of one hundred sixty-five souls, and all necessary information. He said I would be qualified for this duty, when I told him I did not feel so. He blessed me when we parted on the ship at seven o'clock p.m. I shed a tear or two when I took leave of Brothers Paxman and Smoot, for I was parting with proven friends. No regrets, just satisfaction and good will and blessings. I have never had such a feeling in parting with men before. May the Lord qualify me for my duties on my homeward journey. I leave England feeling that in my weak way I have done all that I could do to spread the Gospel of Jesus and I ask the Lord to bless my labors, that fruit may be seen after many days.
[Note: The boat father sailed on was the "Wyoming." The first evening the company was organized. Father chose two counselors; also a chaplain and overseer of the wards, and a captain of the guards, "as we expect to stand guard night and day." Father and the counselors
The "Wyoming" landed in New York harbor on June 23rd, ten days after she put out from Liverpool. Father was greatly annoyed when it came to light that some adults had been booked by the agent in Liverpool as children. He felt it had been a dishonest move to try to get adults through on half fare. Brother Stains helped him to 'straighten it out and assisted with baggage problems.
Now came the long train trip to Utah. It took from the 25th of June to the 3rd of' July to make the journey to Ogden. "Some of the saints had been dishonest in giving the weights of their luggage and we had to put up some money before the railroad would open our cars. Then we weighed each man's luggage and found who were dishonest." ]
July 3. This morning my wife and my sister, Mary, and father Levi Stewart came to Ogden on the seven o'clock train from Salt Lake to meet me. As our train was passing slowly by I recognized them and jumped off and then came the happy meeting. No pen can describe the emotions of the heart under such circumstances. Our cup of happiness was full, My dear ones looked so natural and welcomed me with all candor and earnestness. I met them with a clear conscience and a pure heart. As husband and wife we have been spared to meet again as was promised me by Apostle Erastus Snow when he set me apart for my mission. He said I would go in peace and return in peace.
[ Note: Father had to stay a few hours to look after the luggage difficulties and the folks' tickets required them to return earlier. However they met in Salt Lake at eight thirty, "We are staying at President John Taylor's for the night." ]
July 4. I handed to President Carrington the papers given me by President Smith to be delivered to Brother Jack at the President's office, as the Church Office was closed for the glorious Day of Independence. I am pleased with the assistance Brother Galloway and Brother Stokes gave me as counselors. Ella and I are staying at President John Taylor's again tonight.
July 5. We took train from Salt Lake at 7 o'clock a.m. and reached York at noon. Father and others of the family met us with a team and took us home. When we were three miles out of Nephi the Nephi Brass Band met us. The meeting was enthusiastic, but
nevertheless I could not approve of it because of the liquor aboard the outfit. They welcomed me with all zest, for which I thank them. Aunt Rebecca met me in tears, she was so overjoyed. Many friends came to see me. Aunt Rebecca had prepared supper for all the band and many of our friends.
[ Note: It might be well here to consider from another standpoint, an answer as to the why of father's successful mission. Found in a little book he carried with him during his mission is the following: ]
STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF MY MISSIONARY
From April 1875 to July 1877
FROM ELLA TO DAVID K. DURING THE
the record of my missionary experience, it seems fitting to give some gleanings
from Ella's letters written regularly to me throughout my mission. What
a comfort and inspiration her letters were! After sixty years I am thrilled
in reading them again because they show her love for me, her faith in the
Gospel and her devotion to the missionary cause. Her modesty even now questions
the propriety of including her personal, girlish messages to me, but I
am ruling out her objection. I am sure our children will appreciate a glimpse
into our lives at that time.
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