April 15, 1939
Dear Mother, Dad, and All,
We are expecting a ship any hour now so I better dash off a note to you. If I catch the ship, this letter will get to Papeete in time to catch the Tolten on her return to the States. We received word to that effect from H.Q. yesterday, and it has been keeping Elder Haslem and I busy, getting reports off, letter to Pres., a few.... very few... to the States, etc. Believe me, the life of a Junior Elder was better than I thought when I was one. Now a million and one things have to be answered, decided, etc. It keeps one man pretty busy... but happy. I'm afraid the kids Karl, June, Glenna, etc. will have to get all they can out of the letters I write to everybody.
We are out, about five days of the week, tracting, traveling, etc. Sunday we rest and the other day we work getting ready to work again the next five days. Just one merry-go-round after another.
Elder H. and I have been here a week today. Have spent 33 hours working (this includes straightening things, shaving, etc., 4 hours travel, 26 hours tracting, and 23 hours study.. this is for 6 days; Today isn't over. Have given 79 tracts, sold ve'as. I have written up three and Teina three. Of the six, four of them are three year sub.
I am getting a big kick out of Sen. duties, but it is a worry. I imagine my 171 lbs. will soon be going down. It's a great life if you don't weaken.
Justs for a mention here: My account in H.Q. reads $103.00 cash and I have enough with me now to see me until we go in May. This last week here has cost us 4 francs.. or 10¢ Am. money. The people we stay with absolutely won't take money for our board and room, and the native Miss. on the other side of the Island, whom we stay with half the week to work districts over there, is the same way. It costs us 4 F a ride from one side to the other. These weeks we will go and come once a week; a little different than on Raiatea whre we were putting out almost 100 F a week. (The Lord will provide... if only you are able to keep on top???)
I would like to write to Vern & Fern; I owe them so many letters, but really, I couldn't say a thing different. They read these lines do they not? Of course I can write them once in awhile, but I'm surely behind now.
These are a few pictures we took on Raiatea with Elder Haslem's kodak. What condition are the ones I sent home in? Did they stand the trip, bent, etc. I am a lover of pictures so I'm surely hoping they are being well taken care of. I'm only keeping a very few with me.. just to show natives and the rest are going to you. I have plans of a good album someday when I get back. Very few Elders have ever seen the scenes we send home from this country. Pioneer pictures, you might say.
More will follow, providing I get a good report next time as to their condition. Are they turning yellow like some of mine taken in the States are?
You know, it wouldn't be a half bad idea if you would send me some. A good idea, in fact!
Can you ship me down a roll of newspapers once in awhile? Especially sport pages with pictures. The natives are wild over sports and pictures, etc. Even I would like to read about what's going on in the world once in awhile. (P.S. They also like funny-paper pictures.)
We shall receive our next mail next week from the States. The last I received was very enjoyable... 10 all told, counting three native letters. Very glad to hear Aunt Bertha and family are well again. Give them my best wishes.
I guess I've run down now so I better stop. Boats seem to be running more regular now so you won't have to go more than five months again without a letter. Never can tell... still hope I get to Tubuai.
Write often... you know letters are always welcome.
(P.S. Where is the letter you were going to write "tomorrow", Una?)
Mother, or somebody, spread these stamps out among the Barrett and Reeder and Hall boys. I promised them I would send them some from down here. If anyone else wants any, I'll do what I can to pick some up here and there.
P.P.S. I haven't the negatives to these pictures so haapao maitai. (Take care.) Don't think me crazy for typing upside down; all of it is for a wise purpose.