Don and Lolane wintered each winter in St. George relishing their time together with family and seeking yard sales.
I need to give some background before I post this journal. The past few weeks I have posted some stories of Theodor & Christiana Andra. As the stories relate, Theodor died in 1902 due to a quarry accident. Christiana and the children converted to Mormonism and the family moved to Utah. After being in Utah for a few years, she met and married a widower, John Wendel on 22 May 1914 in the Salt Lake City Temple.
John became a father to her children who were teenagers. William Fredrick Andra, the middle born knew him toward the end of his teenage years in this home.
Johann Wendel was born 27 September 1856 in Wasserberndorf, Mittlefranken, Bavaria and died 20 January 1930 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He married Elisabeth Streckfuss 19 October 1880 in Wasserberndorf. Elisabeth was born 21 February 1850 in Buchheim, Mittlefranken, Bavaria and died 31 August 1913 in Farmers Ward, Salt Lake, Utah. Christiana Wilhelmina (going by Mina in Utah) was born 24 October 1869 in Radebuel, Dresden, Saxony and died 25 December 1957 in Salt Lake City.
Missionary Journal of Johann Wendel ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE GERMAN MISSIONARY JOURNAL OF JOHANN (JOHN) WENDEL. HUSBAND OF ELIZABETH STRECKFUSS WENDEL (and 2nd wife: Christiana Wilhelmina Knauke) ALSO FATHER OF ANNA BARBARA W. MAUERMANN, LEONARD MICHAEL WENDEL, JOHN WENDEL, GEORG FRIEDRICH WENDEL. MISSION TO GERMANY FROM JANUARY 25, 1922 TO OCTOBER 31, 1923
PREFACE This Grandpa Wendel is a Grandpa to all his living descendants in the year 1978. The younger descendants may have to put 2 or 3 “greats” before the “Grandpa”, but he is indeed a Grandpa to all of us. Grandpa John Wendel was born September 27, 1856. He married Elizabeth Streckfuss on September 17, 1880, lacking ten days of being age 24. He joined the Church in the Nuremberg Branch on October 4, 1902, just past his 46th birthday. He emigrated with his wife to Salt Lake City, arriving here in August 1905 — not quite 49 years old. His dear wife was killed by a car in Aug. 1913. when he was almost 57 years old. He was in the Church a few months over 19 years when he was called on a Mission to his Native Land of Germany — a few months past the age of 65. He had re-married to Wilhelmina Christiana Knauke on the 22 May 1914 at the age of 57. He died in January 1930, a few months past the age of 73.
This Missionary Journal is written in the Gothic German handwriting and in the German Language. The average American missionary who has served a mission to Germany has not learned to read this Gothic German handwriting. Ursula Hilbert Wendel, an emigrant from Germany, the wife of John A. Wendel, a grandson to Grandpa Wendel, was able to read this journal. Uncle Leonard Michael Wendel brought this journal to Ursula about 1966 or 1967. Ursula’s children were quite small at the time and she had the constant care of her father and part of the time her father-in law. Consequently she was unable to translate the journal as rapidly as Uncle Leonard had hoped, because Uncle Leonard had desired that his oldest grandson should be given the journal, he requested his grandson, John Richard Wendel go to Ursula’s home and get the journal. At the Grave side of Leonard Fredrick Wendel in early June 1977 Pearl Wendel, a sister-in-law to Ursula approached John Richard Wendel and asked him to please bring the journal to the Wendel Family Reunion in July 1977, so that Ursula may finish the translation of it. This he did. God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform! At this time Ursula’s oldest son Ronald was on a Mission. So, to help out financially, Ursula obtained a job with one of the schools in Bountiful to help with the hot lunch program. In January and February 1978, Ursula was forced to quit her job and spend much time in bed because of trouble with her legs. During this time she was able to complete the translation of Grandpa’s Missionary Journal.
She then gave the completed work to Pearl Wendel, who had volunteered to type it and have copies made for as many of the descendants of Grandpa Wendel who desired them. This Journal should be of particular interest to the families in the Leonard Michael Wendel Line, because one of the first people whom Grandpa called on was the father of Frieda Johanna Neuner (Uncle Leonard’s wife). He also mentions finding Fredrick Kohles completely blind. I tried to find how he fit into the Kohles line, but from the Genealogy sheets which I have I was unable to fit him in. He may have been a cousin of Grandpa’s. I, as typist, have tried to put the translation into the American way of saying things without destroying the real meaning Grandpa meant to say. I have worked very closely with Ursula on this so that the translated Journal will tell the story Grandpa wrote.
The reader of this Journal should keep a few thoughts in mind to get the true understanding of Grandpa’s Mission. Apparently In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the field of converts in Germany was ready to harvest. Many converts came into the Church and many emigrated to Utah to help build up the Kingdom here and enjoy the full blessings of the Gospel including Temple Work. World War I came along from 1914 to 1918. Germany and France were both hit hard by this war. To try to pick up the pieces and carry on as Nations was a great task. In 1922 and 1923 Inflation hit Germany so hard that it took bushel baskets of money to buy very little. The Spirit of Conversions seemed to have left this fruitful field. By the time Grandpa returned in 1922, it was an achievement and a fullness of joy just to have a long Gospel Conversation, let alone a Conversion. The Church also had grown fairly strong in Western U.S.A., so they were trying to encourage the members who were left and those newly converted to remain in the foreign countries and try to build up the Kingdom there. Elders often worked alone, and the discouraging moments often far exceeded the encouraging ones. The Great Grandsons and Great Grand-daughters of John Wendel, who have had the privilege of filling missions in the 1960’s and 1970’s when once again the Spirit of Conversion reigns upon the earth, will find that their mission journals and experiences were almost opposite to Grandpa Wendel’s. The number of Mission Fields have doubled many times since the early 1920’s. The Missionary Force is probably 10 or 20 times what it was then. Foreign Stakes are being created as rapidly as leadership will allow. Temples are being built in many Foreign Lands as rapidly as they can be built. The Modern Prophet’s Counsel “to widen our strides and hasten our pace” is being accomplished by the 1978 Missionaries. We hope the time spent in translating, typing, correcting and copying this journal will prove to be time well spent, by all those who will find true enjoyment in reading it, owning a copy, and having their testimonies strengthened by the testimony and experiences of Grandpa John Wendel. Sincerely, Pearl Wendel, 175 East 2nd South, Bountiful, Utah 84010
THE GOLDEN RULE DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO DO UNTO YOU.
DIARY Missionary Journal of Johann Wendel MISSION TO GERMANY FROM JANUARY 25, 1922 TO OCTOBER 31, 1923
On January 25. 1922. 5:OO P.M. I left Salt Lake City, through Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, arrived in Chicago, January 27, 7:OO P.M. sight seeing on the 28th, like Museum, Post Office, Michigan Lake, climbed the highest building and in the evening at 7:OO P.M. on the 28th, leaving for Buffalo. We arrived here on the 29 of Jan. at 4:00 P.M. One hour delay and then on to Montreal, where we arrived Jan. 30 at 8:00 A.M. From Vermillion till Buffalo, we traveled on the big river to Niagara Falls. In Erie we saw a lot of cultivation of grapes. After our passport was inspected by the German Consulate in Montreal and $10.00 paid for, we left on the 30 of Jan. at 12:OO o’clock noon for St. John. We arrived there on the 31st of Jan. at 7:30 A.M.
On February 1st at 11:00 A.M. we got on the ship “Montcalm”. In the afternoon 3:30 P.M. the ship left the Harbor. On Feb. 2nd. 9:OO A.M. we arrived in Halifax, where the boat laid all day and night till 2:OO A.M. and loaded 16,000 barrels of apples, a lot of sugar and cheese. I could hardly believe what such a ship could carry. The boat is 560 feet long and keeps going by oil. The City of Halifax is very mountainous and was covered by snow.
On the 3rd of Feb. 1922 at 5:00 A. M. the ship left. Everything is very noble and modern and we are 212 man. in First Class.
On Sunday. February 9, 1922. we held Church Service from the Church of England in the Dinning Room.
On Feb. 9th, we passed the Coast of Ireland, where the water looks light green compared to the Atlantic Ocean’s dark blue or even black.
On Feb. 10th at 3:00 A.M. we arrived in Liverpool. We the German Brothers Pitsch, Pohlmann and I, together with 3 others had to stay here one day, because our Passports haven’t been inspected, by the English Consul.
On Feb. 11 at noon, we left the boat, took care of our luggage and at 2:00 P.M. left Liverpool for Grimby Dock, where we arrived at 6:20 P.M. At once we went to the boat for Hamburg, Germany. In the Evening at 7:30 P.M. the ship left and we arrive in Hamburg, Feb, 13th at 8:00 A.M. We stayed in Hotel Stein. The Voyage till Hamburg, Germany, with Passport difficulties, food and tips cost $274.00. In Liverpool, we stayed half an hour in the passenger train, where Apostle Whitney and two other Elders visited us.
On Feb. 15th. I saw the Exotic Garden, but because of snow, I didn’t see very much. Then I visited the Volksmuseum (People’s Museum) and there was a lot to see. With a guide, it cost me 6 Marks and 50 Pfennige (cents). In the evening I went to the Bible hour and I liked it very much.
Feb. 16th Today I shall study.
Feb. 17th At 12:30 P.M. I left Hamburg for Berlin and arrived here at 8:30 P.M. A few good women I met on the train, looked after me. They showed me the way to a lodging and carried my luggage. I met here Brother Stoddard, he is the Conference President.
On the 18th of Feb. he sent me to a family, where only the woman is a member of the Church. The first night, I slept in Brother Stoddard’s Lodge Samariter Str. 38.
On Sunday the 19th. I visited Sunday School and got invited for Dinner with another Elder. I had a good time. In the Evening, we went to the meeting, where I had to speak for the first time. Afterwards we blessed oil and a sick person. The members were all very good to me.
On Feb. 20th It is very cold in the lodge.
On Feb. 21st I received word from Swiss that I was transferred to Nuremberg. Tomorrow I shall leave. The name of the sister where I’ll stay is Anders, Guntenerstreet 24.
On Feb.22nd at lO:OO A.M., I left for Nuremberg by D Zug (fast Train) thru Wittenberg, Halle, Jena Saaletal (River Saale Valley) up to Lichtenfels, Bramberg and arrived in Nuremberg 8:30 P.M., where Brother Strebel picked me up from the station. He took me right from there to a farewell for Sister Keil and Brother Ludwig. On Feb. 23rd. I visited Brother and Sister Adelemann and a family Harold, where I found Friedrich Kohles completely blind. A sad fate.
On the 24th. I visited Carl Neuner in Failhof in the poor Hospital. He is very weak, but was very glad when I introduced myself as Father-in-law to his daughter and gave him $10.00 from his Son-in-law. I spoke a long time with him about the Gospel.
On the 25th. I visited the Eckardt Hamer family. He recognized me at once, but not his wife. I had a very warm welcome here. Afterwards I made a visit in Birkenwald, where I was strongly welcomed and fed well by the Hartmann family.
On the 26th. I went to Sunday School in Nuremberg, Bucherstrasse 90 and noon meeting. They welcomed me good and I had to speak.
On the 27th, I went tracting, but had no success.
On the 28th of Feb., we have been by Brother and Sister Schneider’s place.
On March 1st, I have been in Birkenwald, where I explained the Gospel to Hartmann.
On March 2nd, we have been in Fuerth by Brother and Sister Habermann, and in Feucht with the Dannenfelzer family. On the 1st Brother Strebel and I were in Ziegelstein too, a colonie 2 by Brother Mueller, who was ill.
On the 3rd of March, I have been to Mrs. Hartmann in Birkenwald and Janitor Schwarm and Hass, where I was welcomed friendly.
On the 4th, I stayed in bed, and on the 5th, we had Ward Conference. Brother Stoof (Stover) Conference President, from Stuttgart was present and we had four meetings.
On March 6th, I visited Mr. Baurner and L. Gruensteidel. I was welcomed good.
On the 7th to the 11th, I visited some friends and had opportunity to preach the Gospel and did tracting.
On the 12th of March. Sunday School and after that meeting, I went with Sister Saum and wrote some addresses down. I visited then ‘Gg.’ and Kath. Schmidthammer, where I stayed over night.
On March 13th, I visited Conrad Hassler, Geutherstr. 1. Here I was welcomed good also.
On March 14, 15, and 16th. I was ill and stayed in bed. In the evening on the 16th, I got up from bed and visited Anna Schmied. She is married to a man named Lechner. I didn’t recognize her anymore, with her 35 years she is an old woman.
Today March 17th. I received my eviction. Such a dangerous Individual has no right to be in the civilized City of Nuremberg.
On the 18th and 19th, I was in bed again.
On the 21st, I got up and received another eviction. I visited Walz and Ditsch. Ditsch wanted to convert me.
On March, 20th….thru the 23rd, I was in bed.
On the 23rd, much snow and wind.
Until April 1st, I visited several inactive members.
April 2nd, I have been to the meeting and Sister Huber was sustained as a Sunday School Teacher.
Yesterday, April 6th, I attended a meeting in the Hercules Veledroon, a very good one, arranged by the inter-National Jehovah Witnesses. The Lesson was: “Can men talk with the dead?” They pointed out, that the dead ones with whom the Spiritualists communicate, are not our dead persons, but the spirits who were cast out of Heaven. “Rev. John 12:4,9” They want to show off and tempt mankind.
April 11. I was busy a half a day in the city hall because of my eviction. I made a petition.
On April 18. 19t and 20th, I was ill at Brother and Sister Schneider’s.
On the 22nd, I went to Frankfurt for Conference. I feel better. I arrived in Frankfurt at 5:00 P.M. I stayed with Brother and Sister Anton Huck, Schillstreet 5, 2nd story. A place where I was welcomed good.
Sunday morning — Sunday School and 3:00 P.M. Meeting.
Monday from lO:OO A.M. till 3:00 P.M. Missionary meeting. Present were President Balif and President Stoof. Twenty-one men received good instructions how to tract. In the evening at 7:30 P.M. Priesthood Meeting until 10:00 P.M.
On Sunday I had to speak briefly and I mentioned by the way, that I would like to see from our big branches here a compliance for our German Wards in Zion, so that they may receive the blessings of Temple Work with us, and so on. After the meeting President Balif said to me, if I speak again about emigration, I would be released from my mission at once. Now I don’t understand how to reconcile this with my opinion, but I’ll try as much as possible to obey.
On Tuesday, we went home, 6:00 P.M. in Munich, in Wuerzburg some hours delay and so we could go and see the city. Twelve of us were from Nuremberg. Brother Strebel, myself and two Sisters Strecker drove home together, but first I came alone. The trip to Frankfurt and back cost 200 Marks. Frankfurt is a beautiful city and I liked it very much.
Today, Rain April 28th. I walked all day and visited four friends and explained the Gospel to them. Afterwards I visited 5 astray members, who didn’t want to know anything anymore, because they know already enough. The whole day I didn’t eat anything. So, late in the evening, I visited The Schmidthammer’s, they were just thru eating. They did not invite me, Well, the Gospel creates not all the time friends. On the way back home I wanted to buy something to eat, but all the stores were closed. When I reached home, my landlord, Brother and Sister Strebel had gone to bed already, I went to bed, the first time hungry and I felt very weak, and wished I were home and my mission complete.
On the 29th, I bought with Sister Ceder’s help a Fur for my Mina (2nd wife, Wilhelmina Christiana Knauke). Sister Strebel will send it to her. The price is 2600 Marks. Today I received my sanction for my stay until July 15th, and payed 442 Marks for it. Sometimes I feel very sad because people have so very little interest for the Gospel. We have rain again.
The weather suits my mood I am in today, May 1st.
May 6th. I visited several lukewarm members, and invited them to a special meeting, where they will have to declare if they are for or against the Church, concerning excommunication.
May 7th The divorced Mrs. Wieleitner got excommunicated from the Church today because of adultery. President Stoof was here today and we had all day long meetings, where I had to speak too. I administered to Sister Ceder also today because of her headache and blessed a child of Brother and Sister Wieleitner, which received the name of Bruno Wieleitner. The weather is beautiful today and it seems as Spring is coming.
May 8. Today Sister Stern’s son Bruno got buried at the Johannis Kirchhof Cemetary. He was a member, fallen away from the Church. The Sermon was given by a Priest. He was 20 years old. (Translator’s note* I guess the son was 20 years old, it is not quite clear, who; Priest or son.) Afterwards I visited some members and friends and talked with a Catholic nurse in the Hospital, about the Gospel but without success.
May 9. I visited Mrs. Hartmann’s family Reichel in Birkenwald and bore my Testimony; also to Hempfling and Hefner, where the women were very attentive.
May 13th. Today I went to the Cemetery (Sudfriedhof) where a former Co-worker, Work Master Schlegel from Birkenwald is buried. I visited him several times before his death. He associated with the International Bible Investigators and was buried from them also.
May 14th. Today was Mothers’ Day. It was appropriately celebrated and. the Mothers received flowers from six girls dressed in white. Brother Dinse remembered the Mission Mothers especially. It was a splendid Sabbath and we had a beautiful time.
May 25. In the morning 4:45 A.M. I drove to Steppach (I assume by train the only transportation possible) passed Strullendorf. Till here the fare was 18 Marks, and till Steppach 6 Marks. At noon I visited Gg (Georg) Holler in Pommersfelden the Castle. There was much to see, like wonderful paintings and a Hall that was completely adorned with sea shells, a herd of Deer with antlers, (Steinbocke) and so on.
May 24th I moved out from Mullner Street 23, Brother and Sister Strebel and moved in with Fritz Hefner, Peter Henlein Street 25 third floor.
May 25 to 26. I stayed over night in Steppach with Lisie Grau. I visited then Mrs. Vogel at the Hutzolmill, then preached the Gospel to the Holler Family afterwards traveled by train to Simmersdorf, paid 2 Marks for the ticket. Then I traveled to Horbach and to Weingartsgreuth, where I went to the Parson’s (Minister’s) Office, and received Genealogy from the Wendel families and paid 20 Marks for it. Then I went back to Weingartsgreuth and preached the Gospel to a family by the name of Kronester and tracted in this town. In Horbach I stayed over night with Blacksmith Master, Matthaeus Rost and preached the Gospel and gave him tracts also.
On the 27th. I went on to Wagenroth, where I looked up the minister for Genealogy and received some. Then I asked the Minister “What do you think about the Mormons?” He answered, “Well, you teach the Bible also, but the Bible contains many unclear passages, where one without a leader cannot understand what is said and therefore every Sect interprets it differently.” I wanted to give him tracts, but he refused to take them. Then I rode to Schluesselfeld, paid 3 Marks for the Ticket, from here I went to Ashbach and Wasserberndorf, visited on my way Blacksmith Matthaeus Hassler in Heucholheim; then Vogelsfrieden in Aschbach. In Wasserberndorf I lodged with my godmother.
May 28. I went to Wasserberndorf, my birthplace, and I found many changes there, my people and the town itself. Most of the old people are dead and the young ones grew up.
May 29. I visited F. Wendel in the Hutzol mill and the old Ritzau and many other acquaintances.
On the 30th, I went to Langenberg and Abtswind, where I stayed over night by F. Herrmann, visited the Wendel families in Langenberg and was here well received.
On the 31 st of May. I returned and had a long conversation with J. Uhl and also with Mrs. Doctor in Geiselwind.
On June 1st, I went to Fuettersee Kleinbirkach and Grossbirkach, Gg.(Georg) Kleinlein accompanied me. We had great joy as well as all others I met. With Mr. Teacher in Grossbirkach, we stayed a longer time and talked about the Gospel.
On the 2nd and 3rd, I made several visits in Wasserberndorf and preached the Gospel, but had not much success. I gave the teacher of Wasserberndorf tracts and explained the Gospel to him.
On June 5. I was in Church in Fuettersee. At noon Gg. Kleinlein visited me and we talked half the day about the Gospel. What kept him interested, June 6, I was in Burghasslach with H. Dekon for Genealogy and visited F. Paul and conversed with him for a long time about the Gospel.
On June 8. I went (by train) with Fritz to Ziegenbach and visited Gg. (Georg) Wendel and there I tried to explain the Gospel.
June 9 and 10. I stayed in Breitbach with Martin Kohles. There I met a man from Altenschoenbach and we talked for a long time about the Gospel. His name is K. Lamprecht and he is a Blacksmith.
On June 14. I went to Kirchrimbach and Taschendorf to get Family Records and in Taschendorf I had a conversation about the Gospel with the Minister for one hour. He don’t believe in a pre-existance. Furthermore, he could not understand how blessings can result in having a big family (many children).
June 17. I went back to Nuremberg.
June 18. We had a nice meeting, Brother Stoof gave a good speech. The branch was re-organized because the Branch President, Brother Strebel is emigrating to America (United States). Two Brethren were ordained in the Aaronic Priesthood. I ordained one of them, Brother Schneider, as a Teacher.
June 25, Today we had a beautiful meeting in the Forest and Sunday School in Erbanstegen. The Branch from Fuerth was present also.
July 6, We had a great Conference July 2nd in Stuttgart, where all the Missionaries from Holland, Swiss, Austria and all Germany were present. We received good instructions and it would be desirable if all the instructions could be followed. About 112 American Missionaries went to Oberammergau (The town for the Famous Passion Play in Germany). Most of the German Missionaries stayed in Stuttgart, probably because of lack of money. I went with Sister Zeter sight-seeing in Stuttgart and I liked it very much. I stayed three days in a Hotel, but it was too expensive; I paid 102 Marks the night. The last two nights I moved to Sister Zeter’s Landlord, which let me stay without any pay. They were real nice people, their name is R. Hald and they live in Strohbergstrasse 36, three stories high in Stuttgart.
July 5. We returned to Nuremberg and had there photographic pictures made.
July 9. Today the Branch Moegeldorf-Hammer was organized and the first meeting was held 3:00 P.M. In Nuremberg at Sunday School the following brethren from Salt Lake City were present: Brothers H. Rueckert, L. Schobert, Gasser and Little. In the evening we had a beautiful meeting in Nuremberg, and I blessed a child of Sister Buchholzer and gave her the name Bertha Edeltrude Buchholzer. In Stuttgart, I met many friends (acquaintances) from Salt Lake City. The first one I met was the son of Brother Curtis. I stayed there in one room with Brother Glissmeyer (Glissmaier) and saw Brother Pitsch and Brother Pohlmann, The first time again, since we departed from each other in Hamburg.
July 13. Today I was at a Catholic funeral. The wife of Mr. H. Popp, a past job-colleague, was buried at the South Cemetary. She was 39 years old.
On July l6th, We had some well attended meetings. . In the after noon at 3:00 P.M. I went from here to Moegeldorf with Mr. Hiltmann and his wife to her sister and brother-in-law whose last name was Fink. While there, we had a long conversation about the Gospel. We had a beautiful time. In the morning I visited M. Huegelschaefer and was invited for Dinner, and had opportunity too to explain the Gospel.
July 27. This morning I went with the Brethren Dinsi, Schmidt, Karl Weiss to Brother Binder to bless him. He has to go to the “Martha Haus” (Hospital) for a nose operation, because of probable cancer.
July 29. Today I went to Fuerth and visited Maria Klein of Holzberndorf. She lives with her daughters, one of them is married and lives in Marien Street 5. She is divorced, but her husband is married again.
July 30. I was laying in bed at night and had a toothache and was thinking about something, when suddenly someone called out loud “Hauner” Mr. Wendel. At once I recognized the voice of Woodworker Uhl from the Hutzelmuehle. I thought at once, why is he coming here. He probably came by train and has no night lodge (a place to stay for the night). At once, I jumped out of bed in my room, went to the window where I called out: “What is the matter?” I got no answer. I leaned out of the window and saw nobody. After a few minutes there came a few pedestrians. I turned on the light and it was 10 minutes before one o’clock in the morning. I layed down again. Now, I can understand when people have so many visions.
August 6. We had Fastmeeting. We had six meetings on Sunday. One before Sunday School, Brother meeting, Priesthood meeting, Fast meeting, and afterwards a short meeting, where a brother by the name of Foerster got excommunicated, who was against the Church and probably asked for his excommunication. Afterwards we visited Sister Ancon who is ill.
August 12. We drove to Munich for a Sunday School Conference and we arrived there at noon. In the evening we had Priesthood Meeting with President Stoof conducting. There was a Brother by the name of Spengler ordered to come, who was accused of adultery and therefore was to be excommunicated. But because he showed remorse and promised to improve and seriously repent, they forgave him.
Sunday, August 13, The Elders fasted for him. We had that Sunday three meetings and returned home in the evening at 9:00 P.M.
August 14th. We visited the Industrial Exhibition and the “Bavaria”.
On the 15th, We viewed Starnberg and Schlossberg. It was really nice there. But when we enjoyed the Observatory the most, did we get surprised by a rainstorm and got quite wet. Afterwards in the evening we returned to Munich. It was very cold on the ship and we did freeze very much.
On the 16th we drove back to Nuremberg and in the evening we had a meeting too. My hostess (or housewife for renting a room) baked a big Goloph (I guess a cake) for our return, that we enjoyed. Besides, there was a letter waiting for me from my Mina with five dollars in it.
On August 19. I went to Reusch to visit my friends there. I had opportunity, a Mrs. Rike Hahn, Stusdamm(?) was in the train who visited her Sister in Reusch. I saw my relatives again after a long time. My brother-in-law Gunder (?’) looks proportional good with his 82 years. With a daughter of my sister-in-law Geissendorfer, who is married to a man named Schumann in Reusch, I stayed over night. From Reusch I went to Ippesheim, where I stayed with M. Herrmann. I visited my old friends and afterwards I went to Gallhofen and Rakenlohr and visited all acquaintances and preached the Gospel to them as good as I could. I didn’t think that there are so many people who had never heard about Mormonism. M. Herrmannn, Gg. Serbi and two girls from my brother-in-law were interested about the Gospel.
On August 25th I went back to Nuremberg. In Ippesheim I registered for my stay.
On August 30th. I was in Fuerth with Brother Habermann where I was invited for dinner. In the evening we had a Bible hour (meeting) here in Nuremberg and from here we went to Sister Baer, who doesn’t feel good, and administered to her. She has a baby. Today, September 1. Gg. Friedrich Kohles was buried. He died August 30.
September 3rd We had 5 meetings. The evening meeting was well attended by friends. In the fast meeting Brother Piclo and myself blessed the child of Sister Baer and it received the name Dorothea Baer. We had a very good time there.
September 12th. Today I have to report a great joy. I received from my good wife a package. In it was: 6 cans of milk, sugar, one box crackers, candy, one dollar and 50 cents, a beautiful shirt, and a tie, I was very happy about it and also happy, Sister Fetzer let me know, she will send a full basket of clothing for our children at Christmas celebration, God helps all the time again.
Today the 23rd of September, we buried in Fuerth, Brother Ernsberger’s sister, Mrs. Beck. She wanted to be baptized, but got ill and died without being baptized. Brother Hans Schmidt and Brother Hofmann were the speakers at the grave and I dedicated the grave. The choir sang two songs.
September 25th. We rode to Frankfurt, where a Missionary Meeting was held, President Balif and President Stoof and all the Missionaries of Frankfurt were present.
On September 26. We had a meeting from 2:00 P.M. until 6:l5 P.M. and received good instructions and admonitions from the Presidents. In the evening 7:30 was a big meeting for members and friends which was very well attended.
On September 27. I stayed with Brother and Sister Gg. Schloer, Franken Allee 59. Here they Congratulated me on my Birthday. I received delicious pastry and Dinner.
On the 25th, I stayed over night with the family Wolfermann, Spahr Street 33- Besides I visited Elise Walz, who is married to a certain Mr. Wuenschbach, a Jew, and lives in Finkenhof Street 28. We had good weather and a pleasant time.
On the 28th. In the evening we rode back to Nuremberg again. By Gemuenden happened a big Train Accident and we saw many smashed train wagon (cars) and freight railroad wagon and had a delay of some hours till the rail road was cleared and we could pass. President Stoof rode with us to Nuremberg.
On September 29th. I visited together with Brother Stoof, some of my investigator families, which will get baptized in the near future.
On September 30. We had early in the morning 8:30 A.M. a small Missionary meeting with Brother and Sister Hofmann, KoernerStreet, where I was asked to ordain Brother E. Otto Holstein an Elder.
October 1. Was Fast meeting. We had five meetings. Brother Stoof was in Fuerth in the morning, and in the afternoon in Nuremberg, where he was present in the Priesthood meeting and Sacrament meeting. After the meeting, two brothers got ordained. Brother F. Georg Leupold became a Priest and Brother Bayerlein a Teacher. I ordained Brother Leupold and Brother Bayerlein was ordained by Brother Holstein.
On September 30th, we celebrated my Birthday with my landlord Hefner. They had baked and cooked a lot of food. Brother Stoof, myself, and my landlord’s family had a good time.
On October 3rd We had here in Nuremberg 18 Baptisms. They were performed in “Wild-Swimming pool”. Ten friends from Fuerth which were baptized by Brother Otterson and eight friends were from Nuremberg: Marie Walter Regina Schneider Babetta Walter Grethe Walter Elise Walter Elise Anna Walter Babatta Maria Zader Anna Katharina Eysser which I baptized I confirmed Marie Walter and Elise Anna Walter. We had a very good blessed time and many friends and members were present. And I am very grateful to my Heavenly Father for the great mercy I received that I may work in His Gospel.
October 4th was my 20th anniversary of my baptism and I was in Fuerth where I was baptized 20 years ago. Brother Habermann invited me and we had a good time together. In the Evening I went to the Bible Hour in Fuerth and I liked it very much.
October 5 I received a big package from my Anna which gave me great joy. Everything are Blessings of the Lord.
October 16. We had Relief Society, Two sisters were urged to come, Sister Amon and Sister Seykauf. Sister Amon claimed that Sister Seykauf did steal about 600 Mark from her. She surprised her when Sister Seykauf was busy with her purse. But Sister Seykauf denied it and threatened to leave the Church. Her excommunication was granted.
November 1. President Stoof was the Brethren and afterwards 7:15 a main meeting (like Sacrament Meeting). There were three branches, Nuremberg, West-Moegeldorf and Fuerth were present. Prosident Stoof gave us once more some good instructions and mentioned afterwards that this is his last meeting as Presiding Conference President because he will soon be released. Afterwards all the missionaries gave a speech, Brother Gardner spoke as successor of Brother Stoof, then Wendel, Brother Otteson, Brother Bigolow, then the three Branch Presidents, Holstein, Hofmann, and Weiss. After the meeting four Brethren from the Moegeldorfer Branch were ordained as Deacons. Brother Kuefner, Weiss, Loscher and Strecker. Brother Schwemmer from Nueremberg was ordained also. The Hefner family were present too, as friends.
November 4. Missionary meeting at Brother and Sister Hofmann.
November 6. Missionary meeting with Brother Hofmann
8, 11, and 15.
November 20 and 21. In Munich my Passport was extended.
On December 23. my Mina and Otto arrived here in Nuremberg.
Sunday the 24th, we had a Christmas celebration for the children in the Buchenstrasse 90. On the 25th, we went to Dinner at Brother Habermann in Fuerth,
On the 26th, we went to the Christmas celebration in the Tulnau Hall. It was everywhere real nice.
On December 27th, we both went to Stuttgart where a Missionary Conference was held. We stayed with Brother Mueller over night and also with the Hald family, who are good people.
On December 30th in the evening my Mina went by train to Meissen.
JANUARY 1923 On the 13th, 14th, and 15th. Conference in Frankfurt. Saturday Priesthood meeting from 7:00 until 9:30 (probably evening). Sunday, Sunday School from l0:00 until 12:00. Afternoon from 2:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. Meeting. Evening from 8:00 P.M. until l0:00 P.M. Meeting on Monday from 9:00 A.M. until 11:30 A.M. Missionary Meeting, then from 2:30 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. another Missionary Meeting.
On the l6th. at noon we went back home by train.
On the 23rd, Bible Hour in Hammer with Brother Schobert, with Heinrich Weis we ate and had Bible hour.
On January 28, I went to Meissen. My Mina was a little ill with influenza but she recovered again. In Meissen we were invited on the 29th by several friends; Zinka, Backer, Koehler.
On January 30, we went by train to Freiberg, passing through Dresden, and visited Hugo Mauermann’s relatives. We found there much poverty.
On the 31st, we went to Chemnitz and visited there the relatives. In the evening we attended Bible Hour, which was well attended and we liked it very much.
On February 1, I went back to Nuremberg and by train I passed through Hof and Bayreuth and arrived in Nuremberg at night 1:00 A.M. Mina went back to Meissen. I had some difficulties with my train ride. The Conductor said to me I should transfer in Hof, but I went naturally in good moods till Pirk. There a Conductor said to me, I should have transferred in Plauen. Then I rode two Stations back to Plauen and had to pay fair once more. From Plauen I went to Hof where I transferred again, came through Bayreuth to Nuremberg. The Railroad Company had several Trains restricted and also the Express train, because of occupation of the Ruhr Area by France, the coal is quite limited.
On February 6, I went to Ippesheim where I was expected by my relatives and was well received. I stayed over night with Karl Almoslechner, and the second night with his sister Wiesen. The Mayor by name of Doeller went with me to the City Hall in Uffenheim, where the District Official read to me, that a new law is effective since January 11, 1923. All Foreigners in the City or County have to be treated equal and a three week’s stay permit will be 35,000 Mark, more than three weeks till two months will cost 70,000 Mark. I induced my leave.
On the 12th of February, I received a letter from Anna, she informed me about a prescription for Gallstones.
On the I5th of February. I went early in the morning to Wuerzburg and from Sanitaetsrat Dr. Sprins, I received the prescription. I sent it to the drug store (Schwanenapotheke) to Steinbuehl with a letter and was able to receive the medicine. The medicine expenses were 750 Mark, the Doctor expenses were 3,000 Mark and the train expense was 1,680 Mark.
On February 16, we went to Berlin by train. There was a great conference. Apostle (David 0.) McKay was present. From the German Mission there were 207 Elders present.
We had on February 17th a Missionary Meeting from 9:00 o’clock A.M. until 5:00 o’clock P.M., Everyone was called on to speak.
On Sunday, February 18, we had meetings, Sunday School at 10:00 A.M. and so on! Saturday we had another evening meeting from 7:30 until 9:30 P.M. Sunday afternoon there was a general meeting from 2:30 until 6:00 and in the evening from 7:00 until 9:00 P.M. another meeting was held.
(NOTE: At the time of the typing of the mission diary of Johann (John) Wendel by Pearl Wendel in July 1978, it was revealed that Otto had been living in Preston, Idaho at the time Grandpa, John Wendel, received a Mission Call while living in Sugar House with Elder LeGrande Richards as his Bishop. Otto moved down to stay with Mina (Grandpa’s Second wife and Otto’s mother). In November 1922, Bishop LeGrande Richards then had a call for Otto to go to Germany on a Mission. Otto informed him that he had come to take care of his mother while her husband filled a mission. Bishop Richards just suggested that he take Mina with him. Even though it did take them a little longer to get ready, Otto did accept his mission call and his mother went with him. Part of her time was then spent with Grandpa in visiting various places, relatives and conferences. The remainder of her time was spent in Meissen visiting her sister and other relatives.)
MISSION JOURNAL CONTINUED: My wife was present, she came alone from Meissen, also our son Otto was here, he works in Stettin. We had dinner in a restaurant Sunday together with Brother Kraemer, Brother Hirschmann from Wien and Brother Mauermann. In the evening I lodged in a Hotel with my wife and several Brothers. Most of the brethren lodged in the hotel.
On Monday, my wife and I went to Lauchhammer where we stayed over night with brother-in-law Kamprathen, and were welcomed very friendly there. I saw here big manufacturers and a Priket (brown coal) factory. The brown coal is laying openly and maybe only 3 feet deep is cleared and then the coal is ready for processing; it gets ground up and then is pressed into the form of a Priket (which is about 12 inches long, 4 inches wide and about 6 inches high).
On February 20th, we went by train to Meissen, where my wife stayed with her sister.
February 22, I went by train back to Nuremberg again and arrived here safely in the morning at 9:00 o’clock. All expenses must have been about 70,000 Mark, February 24. I registered my stay in Nuremberg for three months and had to pay a fee of 210,100 Mark. They told me that I couldn’t do any more Mission Work. Today.
March 8th, the 3 month old daughter of the Kail family, living in Zirkelschmiedsgasse was buried. The father of the child is a member of the church, but the baby was not blessed by our Church. Our choir sang 2 songs, Brother Waldhaus gave a speech and I dedicated the grave.
Friday, March 9. Brother Schoberth, Brother Waldhaus and myself were invited to a wedding by Brother and Sister Hofmann. The son, Hans Hofmann married Sister Olga Kail, There were about 30 persons present, good dinner, music and dance and we had a good time.
March 13 Brother Schobert is ill. I conducted the Bible Hour in the home of Brother and Sister Adelmann.
On March 17 we had a celebration and Bazaar in Relief Society (I guess a Birthday Party of the Relief Society organized in 1842). It was held in the Bucherstrasse. There were several members from Fuerth and many friends present. It was pretty well attended. We had a good time. Many handmade items were displayed which the Relief Society had made and were selling. The proceeds were more than 97,000 Mark. Besides a good program was also presented.
On March 19. we had missionary conference in Stuttgart. Brothers Schobert, Waldhaus, Otterson and Brother Barri from Fuerth and myself went by train 8:30 from here and arrived in Stuttgart 1:00 P.M. We went right away to the meeting house. There we got a meal, afterwards was meeting held until 6:00 P.M. Then we went back to the Railroad Station, but we were too late. I went back to the meeting house and the Brethren Hamon and Braun went with me to Sister Christina Scholl, Schloss Strasse 57 first floor. I was welcomed here and stayed over night. In the morning at 6:30 we went by train.
On March 26, Brother Schoberth, Brother Otterson and myself administered to a friend by the name of Wilhelmine Carl, rossweidenmuehl No.31 Room 19, who has been ill for ten years already and cannot do anything and presumably was possessed by spirits.
On March 27. my Mina arrived from Meissen and March 28. we went by train to Wasserberndorf. We stayed here until the 2nd of April and then returned to Nuremberg. We received one round loaf of bread from G. Senft and sausage and eggs, which we shared with Hefners. April 7. I didn’t sleep very good last night, woke up at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. I ate in the evening one bowl of soup and two soft boiled eggs.
On April 14. I moved from my lodging people Hefner, Peter Henleiri Strasse 25 to Brother and Sister Hofmann, Koernerstrasse 58, third floor, I hope I can stay here until I go back. (To Utah.)
On April .15. We had a beautiful meeting in “Goldenen Schwan” ( a room in a Restaurant). The Sunday School got re-organized. Brother Huinrich Weiss as Superintendent was set apart by Brother Schobert. Brother Johann Leipold as first counselor was set apart by me, and Brother Willeithner as second counselor was set apart by Carl Weiss.
April 24. One day missionary meeting in Stuttgart.
May 10th. Mother and I went to Eichstaedt to visit Mrs. Fetzer, Friedhofstrasse 54. We were welcomed very well. Eichstaedt is a city with 3,000 Population, the majority is Catholic, and is surrounded by mountains. We visited several churches to look at, and in the Walburga, Church there is an Alter, the bones of the corpse of the holy Walburga rested in a tomb like place covered with stone plates. I was told, nobody could enter the tomblike place. The stone plates develop a moisture (caused from heat in the tomb) which they catch in containers and is used as holy Walburga oil. It is said the oil has a great healing power. There are many pictures which indicate the great healing power in miracles.
Today, May 12, Mother went to Kaubenheim.
May 19. We both went by train to Windsheim. In Neustadt, we had five hours delay, and we reached Windsheim at 10:00 o’clock. We stayed in Windsheim over night and had a good lodging for 2,800 Mark.
Penecost Sunday, we went to Buchhoim, Monday to Rudolshofen, where we were welcomed.
Tuesday we left by train from Ermetzhofen where Georg Streckfuss accompanied us to Hernbergtheim, from there we went to Ippesheim and we were made welcome by Wiessner, Herrmann and Almoslechner.
On May 23 we went back again to Nuremberg.
On May 24 in the evening 8:OO o’clock, we had baptisms in Wildbad. The following people were baptized: Georg Walther, Simon Genthner, Miss Seiferth, Luise Seiferth, Miss Haeberlein, Mrs. Genthner and Mrs. Grauf. Brother Schoborth executed the baptisms and I blessed the baptismal water. I confirmed Brother Genther and Sister Luise Seiferth, Brother Schoberth confirmed Brother Walther and Sister Haeberlcin, Brother Sinsul confirmed Sister_____________ Brother Kufner confirmed Sister______________ May 28. I went to Wasserberndorf and registered there, made several visits in town and attended a war monument dedication in the Churchyard of Hohn in Berg for the dead soldiers from 1914 until 1918.
June 3. We had Fast meeting, from 8:30 in the morning until 4:00 P.M. we had meetings. Brother Binder got ordained a Priest by J.W. Me.
On June 4. I went to Munich and had my Passport extended for six months. I had no good time there, it rained all the time. I visited the Hofkirche (famous Church in Munich), the Hofbrauhaus, the Art Museum and several other places.
June 9 until June 12. Conference in Stuttgart. I stayed with a Hald family, StrohbergStrasse 36, third floor, where I was made very welcome. I had a good bed and very good meals. Sunday morning I went on a walk with Mr. Hald. Tuesday, he accompanied me to the railroad station. Sunday, we had Sunday School, Priesthood meeting and in the evening Sacrament Meeting. Monday, we had from 9:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. and from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. Missionary meetings.
Tuesday at noon, I arrived again in Nuremberg. With Brother Schoberth, I made some visits and in the evening we went to Hammer, where we had a small cottage meeting with the Weiss Family. Wednesday and Thursday, I didn’t feel very good and stayed in bed.
Friday, the 15th of June, I got up again and made several visits with Mina. The weather is always very cold and rainy.
June 21. I am ill and Minna is sick too, she has a rash on her face for eight days already, July 1st.
Fast meeting, Sunday School in the forest near Klettschen Fabrik. Brother Otto Baer was ordained a Deacon by me in the Bucherstrasse, July 1, 1923.
On July 9. Sister Haeberlein was set apart a teacher in the children’s class by me in the “Goldenen Schwan” (Resturant).
On July 25. Mina and I visited Brother Habermann in Fuerth. Afterwards, we went to the Klein family, where we had a good time. In the evening, we visited Brother and Sister Schneider and then we went to the Bible Hour where I received my release from Brother Erdil.
On the 27th. I visited with my Minna and several friends in Johan’s ——-. In the evening 5:00 o’clock, we went by train to Roethenbach, where we had a Bible hour (cottage meeting) with the Hahn Family. Brother Schugk gave the lesson. It was the third time I was in Roethenbach for the Bible hour. When we returned home at 9:00 o’clock in the evening, Brother Hofmann and myself went to Fuerth where we administered to Brother and Sister Plesol’s two children age one and one-fourth, and three years old. They were very ill. One o’clock in the morning we returned back home.
On July 31, We had 16 baptisms in the “Wildbad”. I baptized seven persons and Brother Schoberth baptized nine persons: M. Wilhelm Baer from Roethenbach Babetha Geist From Roethenbach Konrad Geist from Roethenbach Hahn from Roethenbach Frieda Naehr from Nuremberg Michael Oberseider from Nuremberg Margaretha Weis from Nuremberg Those are the persons I baptized. Anna Geist from Roethenbach Kunigunda Geist from Roethenbach Walburga Hahn from Roethenbach M. Margaretha Hofmann from Nuremberg Johanna Gak from Nuremberg Cristonsia Gak from Nuremberg V. Franz Stiller from Nuremberg Helena A. Stiller from Nuremberg Those are the persons Brother Schoberth baptized. *Angela Stiller from Nuremberg Page 46 was left blank.
On August 1, Our Otto came to visit us from Landsborg and we went to Fuerth to Brother Habermann’s home and had dinner at noon.
August 2. We visited the Naehr family, afterwards we visited Otto. Brothers Schoberth, Kanfild and myself then viewed the Klettsche Fabric (Plant).
August 3. We, Minna, Otto and I went to Streitberg and Muggendorf, where in Streitberg, we visited the Bing-Cave. The cave is 396 meters long and 70 meters under ground level and very interesting, because of its drop formations.
On August 12, We had a meeting in Erlenstegen in the forest and there we took a branch photograph.
Last Friday, we had a Farewell meeting for me and for Brother Schoberth, who went then to Breslau as Conference-President. August 19. I received word from Leonard, he paid for the (Schips ticket) Ship’s ticket, American Line, for Mother and F. Naehr.
(NOTE by Pearl Wendel: The Frieda Naehr who came home with Grandpa and Grandma Wendel was a niece to Frieda Johanna Neuner, who was the wife of Leonhardt (Leonard) Michael Wendel, the oldest son of Grandpa John Wendel.)
August 24. was farewell for Brother Dotzler, who received a Mission Call. August 28. We had in Nuremberg, a wonderful conference. The mission President, Brother Tadge was here and Brother Hueckert, from Fuerth, who is now released, was the first speaker, followed by Brother Erdli, Conference-President, and Brother Tadge was the last speaker. Brother Mueller conducted the meeting. There were more than 300 persons present. A great part of the attendance were investigators (friends). On August 27. Conference was in Fuerth. There were 400 persons present.
On August 29 We went with Frieda Naehr to Munich, American Embassy (Consulate) to obtain a Visa for Frieda. We have no idea yet, when we can leave here.
Today, September 1, I received a letter from Brother Schoberth from Breslau. September 1, 1923. There were seven Baptisms in Fuerth, but I could not attend,
On September 2, I was with my Mina in Fuerth, attending Fast meeting and afterwards visited Sister Igelhaud and the families of Klein and Goissler.
On September 14. Brother Canfild, Brother Cunningham and myself administered to Sister Leupold. She has (Ischias) like Arthritis, and is in great pain.
On September 15. We arrived by the Hefners and had a good dinner and supper.
On September 16, I blessed the oil in Sunday School (consecrated the oil). After Sacrament Meeting, Brother Canfild, Brother Sus, Brother Mueller and myself blessed the child of Brother and Sister Baer, which was born August 30, 1923, and gave it the name of Otto. I administered the blessing.
On September 17 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning, my Minna went by train to Meissen to say “Good bye” to her relatives.
On September 18. I went by train to Neustadt and visited there an old friend by the name of Vogel (Liessweth) (I guess Liessbeth), whom I hadn’t seen for about 33 years. Then I went by train to Windsheim and then to Buchheim, where I stayed for three days by Georg Streckfuss. They gave me a warm welcome. From here, I went by train, with Johan to Ermetzhofen and visited Mrs.______ Donner, who told me all about her suffering, but she was happy to see me. She went with me to Rudolshofen, where we visited my Brother-in-law Streckfuss. But I was not welcome here. The old ones and the young ones had a quarrel and Brother-in-law H. Georg said it would be the best for us to leave at once, because he cannot accommodate me, and the young ones would look upon me like a pig in a Jew court yard. It was raining real hard at this time, and so I stayed until the rain got less; and then I left without shaking the hands of the young ones. In the night I reached Uffenheim and went to the Busch family. His wife is a twin sister to Reuscher Gundel. They gave me a warm welcome and they were happy I visited them. Here I stayed overnight and in the morning I went to Gallhofen and I visited first the Serbin family. They were just butchering a pig. I didn’t go in the house, said “Good bye”, and went to the Herbst Family, who married the youngest daughter of Gundel. But they had not much time for me. Then I went away and walked in the Street. It was raining a lot and I opened up my umbrella and walked without turning around. It was one and one-half hours until I reached Oberruekelsheim. I had to turn around and walk half way back. After half an hour’s walk on a very dirty road I reached Herrnbergtheim and then to Ippesheim, where in the evening I reached cousin Wiessnar, very tired and stayed overnight. They gave me a very warm welcome. I stayed here until September 25th. There was an American visiting with his wife, who came from Wienna (Vienna). They visited his parents. We had a good conversation together.
On Sunday, he traveled back home to New York. Sunday I attended a funeral and Tuesday I went to Reusch and visited Brother-in-law Gundel. Here I met a son of the Busch Family, who is enrolled in the Technical College in Nuremberg. Then I went to W. Geissendorfer and her daughter, who is married to a certain________________ in Reusch. Then I went back to Ippesheim and from there bo Herrnbergtheim. From here I went back home by train to Nuremberg, and arrived in the evening at 8:00 o’clock.
On September 27, My Birthday, I was invited at noon by the Hefners and in the evening for Dinner by Brother and Sister Schneider. Later on at 9:00 o’clock in the evening came all the choir members and youth and gave a serenade of three songs “Befehl Du Deine Wege” – “Trust Your Ways In The Lord” “Du Was Ist Recht” – “Do What Is Right” and “Nocheinmal Will Ich Singen” – “Once More I Will Sing”. It made me very happy.
October 4, 1923. My Minna came back from Meissen.
On Friday, we went by train to Helmmitzheim and from there to Ziegenbach to Georg Wendel. They gave us a warm welcome and we stayed over night. The other day, Saturday, we went to Wasserberndorf. We arrived there in the evening. I gave notice of my leaving at the Registrar, and we visited several friends and stayed over night with the Rodammer’s. Next day at noon we went back to Nuremberg again by train.
On October 9, We left Nuremberg by train at 2:30 P.M. Anna Herold helped us carrying our small luggage to the Railroad Station. The Elders and several members and Sister Naehr accompanied us to the platform. There they wanted to give me a helping hand, but I refused. We rode then all night thru and arrived in Hamburg in the morning. There we came to the emigration building and stayed in one room with other people like a herd of sheep. One after another got called out and the emigration papers brought in order. Our turn was finally at 4:00 P. M. The other day we got vaccinated and that lasted almost all the day long because all the passengers for three ships were all together.
On the 12 of October, we all had a physical examination by an American Doctor. It lasted until noon. In the afternoon, we went into town for a little while. There are three mealtimes: at 8:00 A.M., 12:00 Noon, and 5:00 P.M. The food is good and enough of it. But the quarters I cannot praise. In our hall are forty-eight beds. The beds are very hard and cold. Men and women are separated and also the different races. With me, there are only Germans. There are four halls in those quarters. The Poles and the Jews are by themselves.
October 13. We all had to gather and then we received our Passports. Afterwards several formalities were settled and 12:00 o’clock, after we received a good bread and a piece of sausage from the barracks, we entered the ship. The bigger luggage was transported, the small ones we had to carry. From this ship, we all were transported to a Hall, where again, we got treated like a herd of sheep. Here again, several formalities were settled. Then, we were transferred again to another ship, which took us, after showing our papers, to the huge ship “Bayern”, which was pretty far away in the ocean. Here one had to show the passport to a German Officer, who put a seal on, and then one was allowed to enter the ship. We had difficulties. When our turn came, the officer put our Passports aside and said, we have to wait, probably to wait for the next ship, because we have not paid the consumption tax. Mina got real mad and scolded the Officer. The Officer said cold-hearted, “What will you do when I don’t let you go? It is the Americans fault that we have a bad life.” She gave him a Dollar and after the Captain from the ship came, we paid the consumption tax 240,000,000 Million Mark, he let us go. When we were on the Ship and got our cabin, the dining room, served coffey and cake. I have cabin No. 100 and Mina and Frieda have No. 58. In my cabin, there are 14 beds, and in Minna’s are 4 beds. In the evening was served goulash, potatoes, Tea, bread and butter. After the meal we had a concert. The mealtimes are arranged in three, one after another following divisions. We three are in the first division, at table No. 1 in front at the first chair.
October 14. Morning. Today is Sunday. The morning is quite calm, some fine rain, but the sun is always shining again. It is a little windy. In the morning was served fried eggs, bread, butter, coffee and rolls. Many people are sea sick and have to feed the fish. Some had to get up during the night to go on Deck, even one man from my cabin, who is from Nuremberg ______________________(probably space for his name). We feel so far, pretty good. Only I think a lot back on Nuremberg. At 10:00 o’clock I went to bed, as I was tired. At Noon we had noodles, red cabbage, Roast with sauce and coffee. In the afternoon it was raining quite a bit. We were mostly alone in the room. We were together with a man from Saxony, Leipzig, by the name of _________________________he is 56 years old. In the evening they served Potato salad, sausage, and meat balls, Tea and butter and bread.
October 15 Today, I slept very well, got up in the morning at 6:45 A.M. It is a beautiful morning. We went at once to the Deck. It is a little windy, but otherwise nice. The sun was a little hidden in the clouds when he came up, but then at once, it was a clear morning. Just now, we passed England and could see very close the English white coastline, like white rock. With the telescope, we could see English Towns and many fishing boats. For breakfast we had Coffee, Rolls, Hash (like fried cornbeef) delicate pickels and bread. It is a beautiful day today. The ocean seems so calm and the sun is shining so warm. Everybody Is on deck today. At noon we had pea soup, potatoes, lamb roast, sauce, green beans mixed with white beans, coffee and cake, bread and butter. After the meal, we saw at the English Coast seven English battleships maneuvering. Oh it is beautiful. Now I think of all those beloved ones we left behind in Germany, could they not be with us now? But it had to be farewell. At Noon, I had a conversation with a man from my cabin. He is from Berlin. He don’t think much about Religion, but was quite interested in the Gospel and wants to hear more about it.
October 16. Today I saw a Sunset. It was a bright sky and splendid to see how the sun disappeared in the water (Ocean). He went down European time 6:20 until 6:25 P.M. Our supper was fried or baked fish, potato salad, Sausage, bread, butter and Tea. In the evening, 9:00 P.M. I went to bed.
October l6.(?) The morning is beautiful. The Ocean is smooth like a mirror. I feel good, Breakfast Coffee, Rolls, Meatballs, butter and bread, Potatoes, and Schelle?
(NOTE by typist Pearl Wendel: page 25 under the date of October 16th where he is giving the breakfast menu, we now think the last food mentioned was “jelly”. However, if that is what he meant he misspelled it.)
Noon meal at l:00 P.M. Hamburg, Germany time: Potatoes boiled, beefbreast with Kohlrabi (German vegetable) cut in little squares, soup and coffee. The afternoon is a little windy. Now we are a short distance out of the Channel (between England and France). The time difference is one hour and 10 minutes. Evening meal: Potatoes, white cabbage, beef meat, bread, butter, cheese and tea. The Ocean is a little restless. The sunset was very beautiful from 7:50 until 7:55 P.M. Hamburg time.
October 17. This morning is very gloomy weather. The Ocean is still pretty calm. Breakfast: Rice, Macaroni with meat, coffee, bread with butter, I feel quite good. At noon: bread, peas, mash with meat, coffee, rolls, butter, meatsauce, potatoes, and pudding. Evening: Potatoes with beefbreast, sauce, coffee, bread, butter and pudding.
October 18. In the morning, I slept well, feel good, the weather is a little stormy and some rain. Breakfast: eggs fried with potatoes, coffee, bread, butter, and wek? The weather is very windy. The water splashed to the Deck. Noon Meal: Soup, potatoes, white cabbage, beefmeat, sauce, butter, bread, coffee, and cake. Afternoon sleep. The wind is pretty strong and the water always uplashes over the rail. Evening Meal: Ricemash with meat, frank furter Liverwurst, bread, butter, tea. I have not a good appetite.
October 19, slept good. The weather is gloomy and unfriendly. Breakfast: fried meat, potatoes, rolls, butter, I didn’t eat much. Noon Meal: Vegetable soup with sausage, potatoes, fish marinated with sauce, coffee and pudding. The weather is windy.
October 20. The weather is windy and gloomy. I layed down all day long. I have a temperature from my vaccination, evening meal: I ate herring (fish) and potatoes and went right after in bed again. Pain at the bladder.
October 21. In the morning the weather was rainy, later on it cleared up. Breakfast: fried eggs, coffee. Noon Meal: noodles with chicken soup, boiled chicken with sauce, rice, sweet rolls and coffee. At Evening Meal: Potatoes with sauce, Livercheese sausage, butter, coffee and bread. Afterwards there was a program in the Dining Hall, it was decorated. Several plays and productions were presented. I went to the Doctor, too. He bandaged my arm which is inflamed. I have pain.
October 22. I got up early and feel a little better. The weather is rainy and gloomy. In the night the Foghorn made noise every few minutes. Breakfast: mashed potatoes with cornbeef, pickles, coffee, rolls, butter, and one apple. Mina is not feeling well. Noon Meal: Potatoes, beef stew-roast, beets, sauce, noodles with vanilla and Coffee. The Ocean is wonderfully calm, but the fog is all around us. The foghorns shake the air uninterrupted. Mina is not feeling well. Evening mealt Rice, sauce, canned meat, tea, bread, and butter.
October 23. In the morning rainy. The Ocean is calm, the fog is decreasing. Mina is still sick . The Doctor gave her some medicine. My appetite is not big, but I feel good. Breakfast: Meatballs with sauce, coffee, bread, butter and raisins, Noon Meal: red cabbage with porkmeat, potatoes, sauce, and Coffee. Today I took up a collection for the Steward, but didn’t got very much, Mina is up again.
October 24. It is Mina’s Birthday, She feels a little bettor. Breakfast: Porkchops, one Apple, Coffee, rolls, butter, and jelly. After the meal we were all counted. Then we went on Deck, It is beautiful weather. The sun is shining warm and the Ocean is beautiful, beautiful mirrored in the sunlight. We stayed mostly on Deck. Supper: Soup with Livermeatballs, Sausage, Rolls, butter, and pudding with vanilla. Afterwards, we went once more on Deck. It was a beautiful warm and bright night.
October 25. In the morning 6:00 o’clock a tidal wave. One big wave came through our open port hole and flooded our cabin completely. It is raining and we have fog. Breakfast: coffee, two eggs, one apple, rolls, and butter. I have no appetite. Mina did not come for breakfast, she is in bed, I dreamed today about last Dec. 29 and 30th and about 2 Saturday and Sunday of February.
(It is a little confusing as to whether he meant two Saturdays and Sundays in February, or whether he meant the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of February. At the time of typing this I do not have that part of the diary here to look up and see if some outstanding things happened then.)
October 26, I got up this morning at 5:00 o’clock. At 5:30 Coffee, and then I went to the Deck. When the sun came up, we could already see land. It is a glorious morning. The sun came out of the Ocean in blue-red color. After awhile, we could see many ships. About 7:00 o’clock the Pilot ship picked us up and the German flag was taken down. The American flag and the Mail Flag were put up. Afterwards, another boat came and picked up the mail, and the mail flag was taken down again. Then another little boat came with the Doctor on it. Now, once more, there was a physical examination. Men and women had to disrobe separately and walk in front of the Doctor. When I noticed that this procedure was not done thoroughly, I didn’t follow it. There is a lot to see all around us. The ship is standing still at this time. It is 9:00 o’clock in the morning, American time and 3:00 o’clock P.M. Nuremberg time. At noon, we had once more a meal on the ship, then the amusement started. First, the people from second class could leave the ship, after them all American citizens. We had to go to the Custom hall and go through all the struggle, because Frieda was with us. We were once more counted and had to go from one room to the other again, then back to the ship where all the luggage was and then we went to the Island. Here, we came to a big building where we had to run up and down stairways. Each time we were sent from one place to another. All the time, there were three or four men, who looked at us and searched through our belongings, and with everyone we had to show different papers (like ship release papers, emigration papers). One had to follow the correct procedures. But we could not leave before we got another certificate, because we had no ticket for further traveling. We had to go back to New York, to the American Express Company and get our money. And so, we were sent from one place to the other, until we had permission to travel to New York. We went with several “suffernden” companions back, and there we ended up in a big hall. Afterward, we went with three other people to a Hotel, where a bellhop showed us the way. We had to climb stairs again to the elevated railway. Soon we could not drag our luggage anymore. After we rode a distance, we had to travel by foot again to the hotel, “The New Hotel Keller” 385 West Street, New York City. We had a pretty good place with a comfortable bed, which was pleasant after all those exhaustions. We paid five Dollars for three persons without meals.
On October 27. In the morning, I called President Roberts and Brother Ina was at the telephone. They sent a Missionary by the name of Carl B. Wever, 2825 Lincoln Ave., Ogden, who brought my ticket and our money, 200 Dollars, which was paid by the American Express Company. He helped us to get the two tickets for Mina, and Frieda. It cost $171.54 from New York City to Salt Lake City. We then went back once more to look after our basket luggage to get them to the railroad. Afterwards, we went again to the hotel and paid our bill and to eat something. Then we crossed the Street and entered a ship and went directly to the railroad Station. We did not have much time and left by train at 2:30 P.M. We had beautiful weather.
October 28. Sunday, we arrived in Chicago at 6:00 o’clock P.M. and held a delay until midnight 12:00 o’clock. In a Restaurant, we strengthened us a little, and the rest of the time we stayed in the Railroad Station. It is the most beautiful Railroad Station, I have ever seen.
October 29. Early in the morning (just past midnight) at 12:15 A, M. we left Chicago and arrived in Omaha (Nebraska) in the evening at 4:30 P.M. We had here a delay of 45 minutes. We had beautiful weather until we reached Council Bluff, then it started to snow violently. Now the train wagon (cars) starts to be shaky, so much so, that I can not write anymore, besides the ink is all gone, too.
October 30. The sun got up really beautiful and bright and it is a sunny day. We came to Juliusburg. There is a little snow cover and it is very cold. Even though the sun is shining so warmly, icicles and snow are hanging on the train wagon. By 11:00 o’clock A.M. we reached Cheyenne, (Wyoming). Here, we had a delay until 2:25 P.M. We went sight-seeing at the Capitol and the Museum. We saw here much Indian-war-equipment and works. Also several German war-equipment from 1870 and from World War I from 1914 until 1918. Afterwards, we got some food.
October 31 We arrived in Salt Lake City at 8:00 o’clock in the morning. Anna came with Loni to the Railroad Station and picked us up with the car. We went first to Fetters, where Leonard took Frieda home by car. Afterwards Loni drove us and Anna to her place, where we had a good meal. After that we went to Frieda, (probably Frieda Greaves— Mina’s daughter) then to Klara, then home to our paradise.
END OF MISSION FINAL NOTE by typist Pearl Wendel: A call made to Otto Andra — At the time of the typing of this diary by Pearl Wendel in July 1978, it was revealed that Otto had been living in Preston, Idaho at the time Grandpa, John Wendel, received a Mission Call while living in Sugar House with Elder LeGrande Richards as his Bishop. Otto moved down to stay with Mina (Grandpa’s Second wife and Otto’s mother). In November 1922, Bishop LeGrande Richards then had a call for Otto to go to Germany on a Mission. Otto informed him and he had come to take care of his mother while her husband filled a mission. Bishop Richards just suggested that he take Mina with him. Even though it did take them a little longer to get ready, Otto did accept his mission call and his mother went with him. Part of her time was then spent with Grandpa in visiting various places, relatives and conferences. The remainder of her time was spent in Meissen visiting her sister and other relatives. The Frieda Naehr who came home with Grandpa and Grandma Wendel was a niece to Frieda Johanna Neuner, who was the wife of Leonhardt (Leonard) Michael Wendel, the oldest son of Grandpa John Wendel.
As if the name is not enough in and of itself! She is my Great Great Great Grandmother and since we stopped at her grave in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon this past week, I thought it fitting to write about her.
Constance was born 23 April 1857 in Drammen, Buskerud, Norway to Olaves Jorgensen and Hanna Mathea Christensen. According to the 1875 Norwegian Census, her name was Konstanse Elise Olavesen, but when she immigrated to the United States she was given her father’s last name, Jorgensen. Actually according to the 1875 Norwegian Census, however correct it is, the last name is Jørgensen, but Americans don’t use that extra letter in our alphabet, so it dropped to the regular ‘o’. I don’t know where she picked up the Josephine, if she ever really did.
She married Ole Christiansen about 1874, I have yet to find that date and location. The two of them immigrated in 1889 through New York, New York, New York. However, they both took the long way to America. Walborg and Martha, their daughters, were born in Fredrikstad, Ostfold, Norway in 1875 and 1879 respectively. Martha is my Great Great Grandmother. Eivelda and Constance was born in 1881 and 1883 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Then Henry was born back in Fredrikstad in 1887! Then, the remaining six children were all born in Cache County, Utah starting in 1890.
Her parents later emigrated and lived nearby in Richmond, Cache, Utah. Two of her sisters, Matilda and Amanda, also emigrated and lived in Cache Valley.
Her husband Ole passed away 27 February 1900 in Richmond, Cache, Utah and is buried there. She passed away 10 December 1932 in Portland while staying with her daughter Jennie. She had stayed for some time with Jennie as she was listed as living with her on the 1930 census. I don’t even know what she died of for certain. I was told at one point she stepped off a trolley in Portland, slipped and hit her head, and she later died from those injuries, but I cannot confirm that lore.
I knew she is buried was Multnomah Park Cemetery in Portland and while driving through made it a point to stop and visit her grave this past Wednesday. I knew she had passed away and was buried there, I am not aware of another single relative in the entire cemetery. Not that the cemetery is that large. But I knew she was there, that she has an empty grave in Richmond so the circumstances were such that her body was not brought home for burial beside her husband.
It struck me how solitary her grave is. She does have two daughters buried or interred in Portland, but neither of them are in this cemetery.
It even took me a while just to find it, it is near one of the roadways in the cemetery.
I cannot help but think of how far away she is from her parents and husband, even though she does have two daughters at least in Portland. But for some reason her location disturbs me. I don’t know why, I obviously had nothing to do with the decision 80+ years ago to bury her in Oregon. Any person who might have known is long gone. A death certificate might tell me more about her death, but not the reasons for her burial in Multnomah Park. Some things we will likely never know in this life.
William and Mary Rogers are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Hannah Maria Rogers to Stephen Coley, son of James and Letitia Coley. They were married 3 October 1852 in Halesowen, England.
This family has limited information, but since we stumbled upon a picture recently, I thought I would make it available. Hopefully some other photos of the family will appear. Another appeared, it is posted below. A darker picture, but closer. Hopefully I can get the whole thing at some point with the clearer resolution.
Stephen was the third child born to Letitia Willetts and James Coley on 28 January 1830 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England. James, as far as I can tell was a hired man, but we do not know anything more. The family stayed in Lutley and by the age of 21 Stephen was working as a servant for the widow Ann Page as a farm laborer on her farm. Stephen continued working as a farm laborer until he took a job in the Iron Works of Haley Green by 1871. The 1881 census lists him as a mender, we do not know what kind. When he shows up on the 1900 Census in Syracuse, Davis, Utah he is a day laborer.
Hannah was the first child born to Mary Harris and William Rogers on 4 June 1832 in Romsley, Worcestershire, England. Some of the census records show Lutley too. This family we know little about as a whole. Mary died in 1859 and Roger in 1862. We do not know his occupation or even where the family and other children end up. The name is too common and tracking down siblings to this point has been unsuccessful. The family lived near enough Romsley to be married there and each of the children christened there. The only reason we know anything more about Hannah is because she left her own record with her posterity and church.
We have records of 7 children born to Stephen and Hannah Coley.
William Coley born 19 October 1854 in Hasbury, Worcestershire, England. William married Sylvia James 19 Aug 1877 in Dudley, Worcestershire, England. We do not know anything more about this family.
Charles N Coley born January 1857 in Hasbury, England. Charles married an Ann and had 7 children we know of.
Martha Ann Coley born 18 August 1860 in Haley Green, Worcestershire, England. She married Theophilus France, and more is written of them at that link.
Arthur Coley born 17 January 1862 in Lutley and married an Elizah Willett. We know nothing more about him.
Herbert Coley born 12 February 1864 in Lutley and married Martha Christiansen 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah. This are my Great Great Grandparents and I will write more of them later.
George Harry Coley born 16 April 1868 in Lutley and married Caroline Wilson, and more is written of them at that link.
Francis Henry Coley born 8 October 1871 in Lutley and died 10 July 1893. We do not know where, but that is the date passed down by the family.
While the family lived in Lutley, Mormons came to the community. We do not know the conversion story, but Martha joined 23 August 1867, Herbert 1 June 1881, George 22 August 1881, and Frank 2 June 1882. The call to gather to Utah was strong enough that these four children decided to make the venture. We do not know if Stephen and Hannah came begrudgingly or not, but they accompanied the children on their journey.
The family boarded the RMS Wisconsin in Liverpool. They arrived 23 October 1890 in New York City, New York. Stephen traveled with Hannah, daughter Martha, niece Letitia Lea Willetts, one of Letitia’s daughters Clara, and an unknown Frank and Mary. We don’t know who these last two children are, but they traveled with the company. The confusing thing is that Clara is listed as a Coley, yet her mother Letitia is a Willetts. We believe it is this same Frank who shows up in the 1900 Census living in the Martha France household where he is listed as a step-son to Theophilus. Therefore, it appears this Frank is Martha’s child, but we have no record of his birth, father, or where he ended up after the 1900 census. Mary may be the daughter of Charles Coley, but the age is two years off, and she disappeared once they arrived in Utah, so we do not know.
Martha married in Logan, Cache, Utah on 4 November 1891. Interestingly, Hannah was baptized a Mormon that same day. Martha was sealed to Theophilus in the Logan Temple. It is likely that Hannah attended to the temple the same day and was baptized in the font of the temple. (They used to allow convert and children of record baptisms in the temple font) Stephen was baptized 5 January 1892, we do not know the location.
Stephen and Hannah were both endowed on the 12 October 1892 in the Logan Temple. They were sealed to each other the same day. George married 23 November 1892 and his parents likely attended.
Hannah died 22 October 1894 in Franklin, Franklin (then Oneida), Idaho. I don’t believe they were living outside of Lewiston so she was probably visiting or died there for some other reason (Lewiston and Franklin are only a few miles apart). She was buried two days later, 24 October 1894 in Lewiston.
By the time the 1910 Census rolls around, Stephen is staying with Edwin Paice, step-son of his niece Letitia Lea Willetts who had remarried to William Paice. Edwin lived next door to William and Letitia. The photo above was likely taken between the death of his wife his own death 19 years later. I am guessing somewhere after 1900, which year would put him about 70, since I guess he looks like he is in his 70’s.
Stephen died at home in Lewiston 22 October 1913 (same day as his wife) and was buried two days later, 24 October 1913 in Lewiston.
With the suicide of a dear young man, Bryce Allen Sanderson, I thought I would share these thoughts and this talk once again. In memory of Garrett Lee Smith and Lowell Eugene Hansen. Both of them forced the concept of suicide into my life and required I come to some understanding of the idea. I wanted to give some memories of these two individuals and the doctrinal concepts surrounding suicide. What is suicide? How does God look at suicide? How am I supposed to deal with suicide? How does God deal with those who commit suicide? I hope this talk will help address some of these questions as we all ponder once again this unthinkable act, that brings upon a person their own death.
Lowell Hansen was an acquaintance I knew in Paul, Idaho. I was young enough that I knew who he was, but did not really know anything about him. After I was charged by a bull at our house, I remembered that within days he appeared at our home and removed the charge from the bull. I watched him shoot, hang, gut, clean, and cut the bull. It was fascinating. I remember recognizing the butcher truck each time when I would see it on the road or at some other location. I knew he built a log home because I always saw the truck parked near it. Years later after I became involved in the same congregation and came to know him a little more as Brother Hansen. It was not until I returned from my mission that I realized he even had a family. I moved back to home in the fall of 2002 and I was assigned as a Home Teacher to one of Lowell’s daughters. It was only then I really started to get to know the Hansen family more on a personal level. It was shortly after that Lowell decided to end his life much like he did that bull. I attempted to help minister, however weakly, somewhat to the needs of his daughter and her then boyfriend. The talk I reproduce in full below was given at his funeral and has provided much of the basis for my feelings and ideas on suicide. I have gained my own testimony of the talk and testify openly of its principles and truth.
Garrett Smith was on a bit more personal level for me. I first learned of him in Manchester, England when he was assigned my companion as a new missionary. I was called as a trainer to him, although I only knew of him as Elder Smith. We served together, 24 hours a day, for 6 weeks. We had many a conversation and became close friends. I had some frustrations with him due to some of his learning disabilities and my lack of patience. He knew of this and I do not think it always helped in our relationship. When the 6 weeks were up, we had both profoundly influenced the other. He convinced me that I should consider leaving civil engineering and looking more into political science and law. I think I had convinced him that his disabilities were not a very good excuse for settling for mediocrity. I left England to return home in 2000 and he finished in 2002. We had planned several occasions where we would get together for old time’s sake, but they kept falling through due to poor scheduling and other issues. We finally set a date to get together on the 13th of September in 2003. I was going to drive down to Orem, Utah where he was and spend the weekend. Unfortunately, I received a phone call that week only to find he had hanged himself in a closet after consuming alcohol and sleeping pills. I had a great desire to attend his funeral so a roommate from Logan drove with me to Pendleton, Oregon for the funeral. I took a copy of the talk from Lowell’s funeral with me and gave it to Garrett’s parents. Garrett’s mom, Sharon, later thanked me for the talk. Our Mission President, Phil Wightman, spoke at the funeral and while I doubt he had read the talk, he referenced very similar themes as Hyrum Smith did at Lowell’s funeral (Hyrum Smith was Lowell’s Mission President too). Sometimes I find myself wondering what Garrett’s life would be like if he wasn’t reposing at Weston, Oregon.
I lost the talk over the years and had repeated requests come to me for a copy of it. Those asking were mostly individuals I had shared with at the time of Garrett’s funeral who were moved by it and wanted to give a copy of it when someone else took their life. I had probably a dozen requests for the talk in 2010, so I ended up contacting Lowell’s widow for a copy.
Here is a copy of the talk by Hyrum Smith given 6 December 2002 at the funeral of Lowell Eugene Hansen in Paul, Idaho. At the end, I will give some other thoughts I remember Phil Wightman giving at Garrett’s funeral.
My brothers and sisters, I wasn’t really sure until about 3 o’clock this morning why I was asked to be here, but somewhere around three, I knew. The spirit indicated to me that I am uniquely qualified to speak here today, and I’ll share with you why as I share some thoughts with you.
I’m honored and humbled that Emma Jean asked me to be here. When she called Monday, I was stunned as I’m sure all of you were.
Public speaking is not something that is foreign to me. I do it for a living. I’ve spoken before thousands of audiences, but never an assignment like this. I’d like to begin by suggesting that we are met here today in the house of God. That same God who sent Jesus here to help us. We meet today in the name of Jesus Christ who died to save us. I would ask that you keep that in mind as I share a few thoughts with you this morning.
I’d like to begin by sharing four scriptures with you that describe, as many scriptures do, how our Father in Heaven, and our Savior feel about us. I think we need to be especially reminded of that. I’d like to go first with the 29th section of the Doctrine and Covenants and read verse 5 “Lift up your hearts and be glad for I am in your midst and am your advocate with the Father. And it is His good will to give you the kingdom.” I would then take you to the 62nd section of the Doctrine and Covenants and read verse 1, “Behold and hearken, o ye Elders of my church saith the Lord your God. Even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.” Now go with me to John, Chapter 3, verse 16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him, might be saved.” Last I would take you back to the Doctrine and Covenants, in section 18. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. For behold, the Lord, your Redeemer, suffered death in the flesh. Wherefore He suffered pain of all men that all men might repent and come unto Him. And He hath risen again from the dead that He might bring all men unto Him on conditions of repentance. And how great is His joy in the soul that repenteth.” I share those scriptures with you, brothers and sisters, as a preamble to what I would ask you to consider as we have met here today.
This wonderful man, father, husband, son, brother, missionary, I knew him well as a missionary. He was one of the great missionaries of our mission – most of the Idaho people were. He made a big mistake the other night. Huge mistake. He knows that he made that mistake now. It cost him his life. But only his body died the other night. His soul, his spirit, his brain, his mind are still very much alive – very active. It’s like going into another room.
I was led to a talk that Elder Jeffrey Holland gave at a very similar funeral. Jeff Holland and I served as missionaries in the same mission, British mission, lots of years ago. He’s a very dear friend. He was asked to speak at the funeral of a young man who had taken his life. This is what Elder Holland said, and I am going to interject Lowell’s name into these remarks, because they fit perfectly today. “We’re here to celebrate Lowell’s life, not his death. We’re here to praise the Lord and love God for the atonement and the resurrection, but we’re also here to say, particularly to the youth in this congregation and others who struggle, that Lowell made a mistake. Now he would be the first to say that. Someone said, ‘A man to be good, and I would add a woman, must imagine intensely and comprehensively – he must put himself in the place of another – the pains and pleasures of the man that has become his own. Until he can do that, he must never sit in judgment on a man or his motives.’ We need a better vocabulary, Emma Jean. We know what we mean when we use the language of death. But the master of heaven and earth, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of all mankind, the living Resurrection said that, “When you live and believe in Him, you never die.” So, we’ll let Lowell go for a while. But he’s not dead, in any eternal sense, and you know that. You know that now, you’ll know it tomorrow, and you’ll know it next week. You’ll especially know it when he is spiritually close to you, whispers to you in your dreams, helps through the veil to raise your grandchildren. You’ll know that Lowell lives. It is important to me to bear testimony to you that Lowell lives – just as we testify that God lives and Jesus lives. We testify that Lowell lives and spiritually and is loved of God and of us. We miss him. Death was an intruder this week. We weren’t ready. We do miss him and we are sorry, but none of that diminishes the brightness of his life. The grandeur of God’s plans – the reality of life and the resurrection – of eternity and the Celestial kingdom. Lowell is being buried with all the promises and symbols of his covenants safely around him. God in his mercy will work out all the arrangements even as Lowell works out his acknowledgement of his mistake.” Un-quote.
Those are words of an Apostle of God. I would like to pose five questions to you now. The first of which no one has an answer for, but I think we need to deal with it, because I don’t think there is a person in this room that hasn’t asked this question in the last five days. The second, third, and fourth question, I came from southern Utah this morning, to answer. Because there are answers to those three questions, and I believe I can answer them for you. The fifth question, only the people in this room can answer. I don’t know what that answer will be, but I’m going to pose it.
Here’s the first question, which has been on the minds and lips of probably everyone. “What was he thinking about?” What possibly could have driven him to make this mistake? What’s the answer? I don’t know. Nobody here knows. What sort of despair and anguish and pain causes someone to do that? I don’t know! He made a mistake, so we really don’t know the answer to that question. But that’s not the important question.
The second question, the one that I think I am uniquely qualified to answer, and one of the reasons why I think I was asked to be here is, “What is Lowell thinking now?” Lowell’s very much alive. He thinks, he breathes; he has probably had an opportunity to walk with his Father in Heaven. DO you want me to tell you what he is thinking now? He’s afraid. He’s sorry. He’s in anguish. He’s suffering. He’s wishing he hadn’t done it. I know that. How do I know? Several years ago, I made some big mistakes. We all make mistakes. Hopefully not as big as the ones I made. Because of those mistakes, it was required that I lose my membership in the church for several years. And after I went through the process of approaching my Bishop and my Stake President, and going through the church judicial system – which is amazing, I found myself asking the first question a lot. What was I thinking? I couldn’t even answer that question for me. But I know what I thought about after. I know about the pain. I know about the anguish. I know about the suffering. It’s awful! So rest assured, and knowing Lowell as I know him – the integrity of this man, he’s in a lot of pain.
Third question, “Will the Lord allow Lowell to repent?” Every natural instinct in your body knows the answer to that question – Of course! He allows everyone to repent. There’s a myth that floats around the church from time to time. It suggests that people who take their lives have committed an unpardonable sin. I’m here to tell you today that’s just flat not true. The Lord will allow Lowell to repair that mistake. He’ll walk him through it. He’ll help him do it. He’s going to allow that.
Fourth question, “Will the Lord forgive him?” Every natural instinct in your body knows the answer to that question. The answer is yes. He will. He will forgive him. And Lowell will receive all the blessings that he rightly deserves from a wonderful life.
Those are the three questions I can answer with surety. The fifth question, I can’t. The fourth question was, “Will the Lord forgive him?” The answer is yes. The fifth question is, “Will you?” I know from sad experience that lots of people don’t. But the Lord has asked us to forgive. He said, “I the Lord will forgive whom I choose to forgive, but of you, you’re required to forgive all men.” I need to talk about forgiveness for a moment. Does the mistake that Lowell made the other night blot out all the good that this man did in his life? No! Elder Holland reflected on that. He was a wonderful missionary. He was a great father. He was a great man. He was dedicated to his Father in Heaven. Like many of us, he made some mistakes, one big one. It doesn’t blot out everything he was. We heard of a wonderful tribute from a beautiful daughter today about the kind of dad he was. None of that gets wiped out.
As I went through the initial stages of my repentance process, one of the major sources of the anguish was the worry that no one would forgive me. Because I somehow got it in my mind as I grew up in the church, that to ultimately forgive someone, for a transgression, you had to forget it. Because we were taught in the scriptures, that when repentance was real and complete, the Lord forgets. How does He do that? He forgets! Wow! Can we, mortals, reach a level of spiritual maturity where we can forget what happened the other night? I don’t think so. Do you think that anybody in this room will ever forget that Lowell took his life? Not in this life. I don’t think so. Do you think anyone, who knows me well, will forget that I was excommunicated from the church? Nope – Hyrum Smith…business leader, great, great grandson of the prophet’s brother, Hyrum? No one will ever forget that! Do you think my kids will forget that? No! BUT, and this is one of those moments where the spirit instructs and saves, in the middle of the night, the spirit taught a great lesson. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. Forgiveness means remembering – but it doesn’t matter any more. I think we can achieve that. I think we can reach a point, as mortals, where we can remember and have forgiven to the point where, in remember, it just doesn’t matter anymore. I challenge each to deal with the fifth question, “Will you forgive him?” I believe you can – you must! That’s what the Lord wants you to do. But you’ll never forget.
I want to share a concept with you that has helped me think through a number of things. During the Vietnam War, I was in the military during that period of time; there was a man by the name of Stockdale. He was an admiral. He was the highest-ranking man to spend time at the Hanoi Hilton as a prisoner of war. And while he was in the prison, for about six years, he discovered that there were three basic types of people incarcerated in that prison. He discovered the same thinking that Victor Frankl discovered at Auschwitz during the Second World War. Victor Frankl wrote about it in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Then Stockdale wrote about it, and it has become known and has been written about in a number of books since – the Stockdale paradox. The three groups of people that he discovered were these. There were pessimists, optimists, and realists. And this is how he defined each group. The pessimists saw the brutal facts around him and quit. The optimist had boundless faith and ignored the brutal facts. The realist saw the brutal facts, but had faith they could be dealt with.
The reason I share this with you is that in this book, when he wrote about this he said the interesting thing about these three groups is that the first two groups of people died in the camps at Vietnam. Died! Didn’t make it back! I understood why the pessimists didn’t make it. They saw the brutal facts. They were in the middle of South-East Asia. They were 8,000 miles from help and the Marines aren’t going to get in here. We’re going to be here forever, and they died. And some very healthy bodies died.
The second group stunned me! The optimists died! How come the optimists died? Because the optimists had boundless faith but were not willing to look at the brutal facts. And they said to each other, “You know we’ll be out of here by Christmas.” “We’ll be out of here by Valentines.” Every rustle in the bush was the Marines coming to save them. And when every rustle in the bush wasn’t the Marines coming to save them and when they weren’t out by Christmas, and when they weren’t out by Valentines, they died. They gave up and died.
The realists survived. They saw the brutal facts. “We’re in the middle of South-East Asia. We’re not going to be rescued for a long time, but you know what guys, we’ll stick together. We can handle this.” And they did.
A good friend, by the name of Jensen, was in our mission – Lowell knew him – served six years in that prison. There were several LDS fellows there, and the way they kept themselves sane was they would try and remember LDS hymns. They would tap by Morse code on the bars of the jail, and they would send what they could remember of each hymn. They gathered lots of hymns. And one hymn they worked on for four years. They got the first three verses in about 18 months, but the fourth verse took two and a half years to get. They finally got the fourth verse. When they got back, there was only three verses. They had created their own verse, but they survived. Now why do I share that here? I want to ask you the question as what are you going to do about this issue? Pessimists see the brutal facts – Our dad killed himself. It’s pretty awful. Nothing so wrong, it’s awful! And you can give up – if you want. The optimist ignores the facts – puts on a smiley face and pretends it didn’t happen. And the optimists live a lie. The realist sees the brutal facts – We lost our dad, our husband, our son – pretty awful. We’ve got to gather together and help each other now to survive financially and economically. We’ve got to get through school. We’ve got to do stuff that dad normally would have helped us with. It isn’t going to be easy. The optimist has the faith that we can do it. And so I’m asking you today, “What are you going to be?”
On the 19th of October of last year, not this year, but 2001, Steven Covey and I, we have a business together, were asked by Mayor Giuliani of New York City, if we would come back to Manhattan and do a free, one day, workshop for the families of those affected by the 9/11 disaster. He told that their mid-town Manhattan Sheraton had donated their ballroom. They donated our rooms to stay. Would you come back? We’ve got people in some real pain. Would you come back and speak? We said, “We’re there!” We got there on a Thursday night. The seminar was to be on Friday. I got there about midnight. I’ve been in Manhattan many, many times. As I flew up the East river, I was coming from Chicago, and saw the lights where the World Trade Center used to be, it was kind of an eerie feeling. It was a very different landscape now.
At five o’clock the next morning, Mayor Giuliani had arranged for a tour, a private tour of ground zero for Steven and me. At that point, which was just five weeks after the event; sixteen hundred policeman had surrounded ground zero, and had blocked it off. You couldn’t get down there without a police escort. We had to go through four checkpoints to get to ground zero. About 5:15 in the morning, we found ourselves standing on the street in front of where the Marriott Hotel used to be. It used to be called the Vista Hotel. I’ve stayed in that Hotel many times. Only I wasn’t really standing on the street. I was standing on 16 feet of compacted debris. And as we stood there looking at this horrific hole in the ground, the policeman who had been assigned to be our guide began to tell us his story.
He said, “You know, I was here that day. I was standing on the street right about where we are. I heard this big bang, I looked up, and all this stuff came flying out of the World Trade Center.” He said, “You know, it looked like paper when it all came out until it started hitting the ground. It was fifty foot I-beams killing everyone it hit.” He said, “I watched 34 people jump from those towers. Four of them holding hands. I watched eight firemen lose their lives from falling people.” I’m not even believing this. Then he looked at me and said, “Mr. Smith, how many computers do you think there were in the World Trade Center?” I said, “Probably a lot.” He said, “We haven’t found one!” I said, “How come?” “3,000 degree fire. It’s still burning.” As he was talking, a crane pulled a big I-beam out of the rubble, and the end of the I-beam was dripping molten steel. Then he said, “You know the second plane hit and then the building started to come down – we all thought we were dead. We got under a car, and somehow we lived.” That’s how our morning started.
When we got back to the hotel at about 7:30, we had to shower. We were covered with soot. At 8:00, this meeting began. There were 2,000 people jammed into a ballroom designed for 1,500. People were sitting on the floor. It started by two New York policemen and two New York Firemen, carrying the American flag in. I will tell you, It’s hard. And then the Harlem girls choir, sixty young women from Harlem, filed in and sang three patriotic songs, and the music that came out of those kids was amazing. I was very grateful that Steven Covey had to speak first because I was a mess. He spoke for two hours, and then I had to speak for two hours. As I approached the front of the room, there were people all around on the floor. A fireman, about half way back, in uniform, stood up, and he said, “Mr. Smith, are you going to tell us how we get of bed in the morning when we just don’t give a darn anymore?” That’s how it started. It turned out to be one of the toughest, and ultimately the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I said these words to the fireman – and I want to say these words to you – Emma Jean and the children, and their extended family, and everybody here. If you don’t remember a think I’ve said, remember this statement. I said to this fireman, “Pain is inevitable. Misery is an option.” And he seemed a little stunned. Now what do I mean by that? The fact is, brothers and sisters, bad things happen to good people. They just do. Airplanes fly into buildings. Rivers overflow their banks. Dams break and flood out villages. Accidents happen – people die prematurely. Bad stuff happens to good people. How we choose to deal with the pain is ultimately a measure of who we are.
That’s why the Lord gave us the gospel of Jesus Christ. To help us deal with the pain. Some of the most serene, magnificent, wonderful people I’ve ever known have gone through some major pain in their lives.
Will the Lord forgive? Yes! Ten days ago, tomorrow, President Hinckley and Elder Maxwell, laid their hands on my head and restored all my blessings. Not just some of them. All of them. And President Hinckley mentioned three times in the most amazing blessing I’ve ever heard, all the blessings. I’m here to testify to you today that that will happen to Lowell. He’ll be there. He’ll be ready, Emma Jean. He’ll welcome you with all his blessings. So the challenge for us as the living – to go on.
When the pioneers came across the plains, they periodically had to stop and bury the dead. And the scene was always the same. There’d be a family standing around the grave, and if you looked off into the distance, you could see the wagons – and the wagons were ready to go. The wagons had riders in them. They were waiting for the family to get through with that funeral so that they could move on because they knew, “If we don’t move on, then we’ll die!” They buried their dead, and they moved on.
Well, the wagons are surrounding the building, and they’re ready for us to move on. We pulled off the highways of our lives to pay tribute to a great human being – who made a mistake that can be fixed. And when we’re through here today, we’ll get back in our wagons and move on. We’ll survive. Don’t ever forget the brutal facts, but never lose faith that they can be dealt with. I bear you my testimony that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. He loves everybody in the room. He’ll take care of Lowell. He’ll take care of us too. I bear that witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Here are a few more thoughts from my memory of Phil Wightman’s talk from Garrett’s funeral. The talk centered around the scripture in 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 which states, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
In essence, since I went to the funeral with Lowell’s funeral talk in my mind (in fact, my friend, Taylor Willingham, read it to me again on the drive up and I gave a copy to Garrett’s parents) the basics of the talk were the same. Brother Smith approached it with some practical questions and answers to those questions. President Wightman approached it from a doctrine side that we do not really know what goes on in the minds of these individuals when suicide is completed. But we have to have charity, love them and their families, and move forward. In the end, the Lord will sort all things out.
Rest in peace Garrett and Lowell. I look forward to meeting up with you both again some day. Until then, I hope we all can appreciate the suicidal act and hopefully help avoid it in the future, and work forward from those who do commit this unthinkable deed.
First published 5 Jun 2011.
More of the photos of more peripheral lines of my family tree.
George was born 10 October 1871 in Joyceville, Frontenac, Ontario and died 8 December 1943 in Watertown, Jefferson, New York. He lived virtually his whole life in Cape Vincent, Jefferson, New York.
George met Florence Martha Carey and married her 9 January 1896 in Clayton, Jefferson, New York. She was born 5 July 2874 in Burnt Rock, New York and died 14 January 1943 in Watertown.
Together George and Florence had four sons.
Howard Belmont Donaldon born 11 August 1896 in St Lawrence, Jefferson, New York and died 29 August 1945 in Millhaven, Lennox and Addington, Ontario.
Horace Tarbell Donaldson was born 25 October 1898 in St Lawrence and died 5 January 1926 in Watertown.
Floyd Donaldson born 2 April 1902 in St Lawrence and died April 1977 in Delray Beach, Palm Beach, Florida.
George Wesley Donaldson born 14 June 1909 in St Lawrence and died 28 May 1947 in Chaumont, Jefferson, New York.
“I was born December 4, 1862 at Neuffen, Wuerttemberg, Germany, the eldest son of [John] Christopher and Agnes Barbara Spring Nuffer. After attending the common grade schools for eight years I was confirmed in the Lutheran Church, at age of thirteen years.
“I was apprenticed to an architect builder in the building trade in the city of Stuttgart where I labored with the stone cutters and masons six months in the summer time, and attended the Architectural college the six remaining months alternately for three years, when I received my diploma as a journeyman in the building trade. The following spring I emigrated with my father’s family to America the first week in May 1880.
“My mother died when I was four years old. There was another boy, Fred, of the same mother, a year and a half old when she died. Father married another woman, Eva Katrina Greiner. Through her influence the family joined the Church.
“This is how the Nuffer family joined the Mormon Church:
“In the year 1879 the missionary, Henry Flam, a distant relative of the Nuffer family came to the city of Neuffen, the State of Wuerttemberg, Germany, preaching his religion to the family of John Christopher Nuffer in a cottage meeting. The following families attended the meeting: Jacob Schweitzer, Anton Lalatin, Abraham Kneiting. They all joined the Church and in 1880, immigrated to Utah, with the exception of the Kneiting family who emigrated in 1881. Now Eva Katrina Nuffer, wife of John Christopher Nuffer, being a very religious woman accepted the doctrine first, being somewhat out of harmony in her belief with the States’ Kirche, (State Church), the Lutheran Church, especially on the doctrine of child baptism, vicarious atonement and the punishment for Adam’s transgression. It was she who kept the doctrines before the others, so when Elder John Theurer followed Elder Henry Flam, the following year to visit them, the four families Nuffer, Schweitzer, Lalatin and Kneiting were ready to be baptized by Elder Theurer, which took place at the house of Christopher Nuffer. There was a running millrace at the rear of the house which they dammed off with planks. The baptism took place at night to keep them from disturbance, for there was much hostility in the town. The town parson especially made a tirade against it in his Sunday sermon. To avoid persecution, they decided to emigrate as soon as possible.
“They sold their holdings at once at auction sale, at a great loss to the real value. In the first days of May 1880 the three families Nuffer, Schweitzer and Lalatin left Neuffen by team to the capitol of the state, Stuttgart, from where they took the train to Mannheim (Home of Men) on the Rhine River. Here they joined a party of about thirty from Switzerland under the leadership of Elder John Theurer. From Mannheim they took two boats down the River Rhine to the North Sea. Here they took the steamer to Hull, England and then crossed England on the railroad to Liverpool. Here more Saints joined them. They left Liverpool in the company of about two hundred. After three weeks on the Atlantic Ocean they arrived in New York. From here the leaders chartered a special train which in about a weeks time went directly to Ogden, Utah, where they were royally received by some of the Saints.
“The Nuffer family then went to Logan (1880). I was baptized on the first Tuesday in August in the Blacksmith Fork River by Nicholas Summers, confirmed by John Lederman. I got a job working on the Logan Temple the first winter as a stonecutter. Father’s family bought a home in Providence and settled there. The second year I worked in Salt Lake on the Deseret University building for contractor Elias Morris as a stonecutter and mason.
“In 1882 I went with Tom Ricks to Montana to do some mason work on the Great Northern Railroad. I stayed there about six months. I came back to Logan and worked on the Logan Temple helping to finish the baptismal font and helped to point (to point is to fill and finish carefully the joints with mortar) the Temple until it was finished on the outside. In the fall of 1883 I persuaded father’s family to sell their home and we moved into Idaho and took up a homestead in Worm Creek, Oneida County, then called Preston, now called Glendale.
“On September 18, 1884, I married Louisa Zollinger and was sealed in the Logan Temple in 1891. She was the daughter of Ferdinand and Louisa Meier Zollinger. We lived at Glendale until the fall of 1890 when we moved to Preston, having been called by the Church to take charge and superintend the building of the Oneida Stake Academy.
“In the spring of 1895, I was called on a mission to Germany. I worked in the city of Stuttgart eleven months, presiding over that branch and baptized five persons. From there I went to Nuremberg where I labored six months. From there I was called to Mission headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, to edit the “Stern”, the German edition of the Millennial Star. While there I translated B.H. Roberts’ “The Gospel”, and Wilford Woodruff’s “Experiences”, and “The Key to Theology” into the German language, which were published as serials in the “Stern”.
“In the summer of 1897 I received my release and taking charge of a company of Saints, I arrived in Salt Lake the third of July and arrived at my home in Preston on the 4th of July 1897.
“After coming home I was contracting building in partnership with Joseph S. Geddes, building several residences, the Weston Tabernacle, The First Ward chapel, and several school houses and other buildings. After that I opened an architect office and planned most of the older business blocks, the Opera House, State Bank building, the Oneida Stake Science building and several other school buildings outside of Preston at McCammon and Grace.
“When Preston was organized into a village I served four years as a village trustee, and two years as village clerk until Preston was organized into a city.
“Eleven children were born to us: Luther Jacob, John Willard, Louis Ferdinand, Herman Christopher, Austin Ekert, Karl Aaron, Agnes Louise, Myron David, Florence Myrtle, Edwin Joseph and Athene Barbara.
“The foregoing was told to Jennie Smart Nuffer
John Nuffer raised apples for many years. His orchard was located at the family home East on Fourth South Street. When he retired from public office, he continued to look after his fruit raising as well as dairy cattle. He was very proud of the fine fruit he raised and never over-charged for his produce. His health failed very fast following the death of his wife on October 1945 and he followed her in death on June 4, 1946. He was buried in the Preston Cemetery. He was a High Priest.