8

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1855
Wednesday, December 5th. I spent most of the day writing. I have not felt very well all day owing to having no sleep last night, my tooth kept me awake all night. This morning my face and head was very sore all up one side. The pain has been so intense I felt like fasting today. About 11 o'clock I was complaining about the soreness in my head. I went out soon after, I had a great deal on my mind as I had just been writing home to New Zealand. I retired by myself and prayed to the Lord to have mercy on me. Immediately all pain and soreness left me and it seemed as if I had never been troubled. This made me feel good and I feel to put my trust in the Lord, for surely his hand is over me for good.

December 6th. Fast Day, it being the first Thursday in the month. We held meeting early in the morning. Brother King exhorted the Saints to keep the fast and pray and serve the lord aright. He was followed very ably by Brother Keanu on Faith. The natives had a great feast today, they sent us some very good pork which was quite a treat after eating salt and poi for the last fortnight. We had two good meetings this afternoon, most of the sisters bore their testimonies. Spent the evening very agreeably discussing the scriptures and singing.

December 7th. I wrote to Elder Cooke and Thomas Holder at New Zealand. I also wrote to C. C. Hurst at Honolulu and enclosed all my letters home for him to post there. In the afternoon Brother Keanu and I went and tried to get the Saints at Kiliula to meet but did not succeed. We got back in time to hold meeting in this place. On the way home some of the brethren gave us as many bananas as we could eat. The natives are all preparing for a heavy Kona tempest.

December 8th. I wanted a horse this morning to go to Kaluaha to see if there were any letters at the store. I sent Brother Keanu to get one while I ate my breakfast. Bye and bye he came back and said his Brother would bring me one presently. I waited till about 12 o'clock and then went to see where the horse was. I asked the man about it, he said, "There is the horse if you can get a saddle as I have loaned mine." I could have said something to make him remember, but I thought it best to laugh it off and I gave up all idea of going. I then returned and Brother King and I went and had a bath in fresh water. It rained nearly all afternoon.

December 9th, Sunday. Met with the Saints before breakfast. About ten o'clock we met again. Most of the Kiliula branch attended and also a great many Calvinists. The meeting house was full. We had some first rate singing. The Saints seemed to enjoy the Spirit today. We met again about 1 o'clock and partook of the Lord's Supper after which I bore my testimony to the truth and read two or three passages of what the Holy Spirit was given for; also the fruits of the Spirit. Met again in the evening, had a first rate meeting. President Keluli layed it on pretty stiff about the Saints not giving Brother King a pair of boots as he is near barefoot. I got up when he had finished and spoke on the same subject. It took some effect for two or three cried out that they would give ten cents and some twenty-five cents. We then closed the meeting, the Saints feeling very well.

Most of the day has been very fine but it has poured all evening. Spent the evening singing.

December 10th. I forgot to state yesterday morning while at meeting one of the brethren brought me some letters from Clement and some note paper. Means very good, he feels well. Reports the foreign branch enjoys good spirits. I wrote an answer today giving him a little counsel. It has rained very heavy all day. Brother Keanu and I were to have started around the Islands this morning, but the weather would not permit.

December 11th, Pakea. Met with the Saints before breakfast. Brother Keanu preached.

We had some eel for breakfast, stronger than any shark I ever saw, it fairly turned my stomach.

Brother Keanu and I started for Kaualuna about eight o'clock and we stopped at Kamaloa for dinner at a Catholic's house, a relative of Brother Keanu's. After talking a short time on religion we again pursued our journey. The road very heavy, Brother Keanu got so lame he was obliged to walk barefoot. We reached this place, Pakea, about sundown. We found Brother Laipau at this place, he was very glad to see us and treated us very hospitably.

He, like a great many more, believes the Gospel and is well satisfied except the gathering to Lanai. The Saints say if the Mormons had taken the section of land (kalae) that was offered them on this Island, they would gather there immediately, in fact some seem to grieve very much about Lanai, saying it is the land of famine and if they go there they will starve to death. It is my firm belief the time is not far off when they will want to gather to Lanai but will not be able for the Lord will surely visit this people, much to their sorrow, if they do not speedily repent and obey His commandments through His servants.

December 12th, Kaualuna. After breakfasting on very thin poi and fish we pursued our journey toward Kaualuna. The heat was intense and not a breath of wind. We found it hard work ascending the mountain. We tried to get something to eat several places, but did not succeed. We stopped at one house, as usual a crowd gathered round so we preached to them for some time and then pursued our journey. We descended the Hill of Difficulty. On our way being very hungry, we cracked some kukui nuts and ate. They taste much like coconut and in size and appearance they are like the English walnut, but much richer, in fact they are almost too rich to eat alone. When we reached the bottom we fell in with an old man. He invited us to his house and eat. With pleasure we accepted the proposition and ate a hearty meal on salt and poi.

We reached this place about sundown and found Brother Kahakawila and wife feeling very well and to all appearances very glad to see us. We suppered on fish and sweet potatoes. Spent the evening talking about Lanai and Salt Lake Valley.

December 13th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. Brother Keanu preached on the gathering. We took a short walk this morning. I went down to the seaside to wash my feet. While I was doing so a large wave rolled in and wet me through to the skin before I could make my escape. Spent most of the day studying. In the evening I had a narrow escape of losing my life in the following manner: President Kahakawila has a young horse that has never been broken. He saddled him up and Brother Keanu rode him a short distance and back, I then mounted and rode a short distance and he bolted. I let him run for some time and then stopped him and was coming back again and got within a quarter of a mile from the house when he took fright of some children, one having on a red frock. The road was very steep and rocky, she reared up after jumping about for some time and fell on her back. As luck would have it I jumped quick or else she would have fallen on top of me. She served me this way three times successively, the last time before I was well in the saddle as the bridle broke. The last fall I was obliged to lead her home. It seemed a miracle to me that I got off unhurt for the road was very rocky and very large stones on the side. I could not help feeling thankful to my Heavenly Father, for his protecting care over me. While living here we have cold potatoes and salt as they are too busy to catch fish.

December 14th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. I spoke for a short time on the first principles, followed by Brother Keanu.

About 12 o'clock Brother Keanu and I walked about a mile and had a bath, coming back we tried to talk to some natives, who were very shy. We have been in a pilikia for food all day. The Saints here seem to get worse instead of better, and seem to have no love for us at all. In fact, living among them seems to burden them. Spent the day as usual, studying.

December 15th. I was troubled all night with the toothache. It kept me awake all night and has troubled me all day. Nothing to eat as usual now. I waited patiently until evening and then sent Keanu to get some from the neighbors.

In the afternoon Brother Keanu and I went with one of the sisters to baptize her as she had not been walking as straight as she ought to have done. She was confined about five or six months ago. The baby is still living.

Sunday, December 16th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. I tried to get the Saints to speak but did not succeed. Brother Keanu preached after which I confirmed this Sister Keanu had baptized yesterday. Met again at 11 o'clock, had a very good meeting. I opened the meeting and spoke for some time, followed very ably by Brother Keanu and Brother Kahakawila. We met again about 2 o'clock, Brother Keanu spoke for some length on the Lord's Supper, after which I spoke on the first principles proving this Church to be true from the scriptures, after which we partook of the Lord's Supper. A great many Calvinists attended. The Saints seemed to feel better than I have seen them for some time. We continued the meeting until nearly dark for Keanu got up again and thundered away for at least an hour and a half. I closed the meeting by saying a few words. I must say I have enjoyed the Spirit of the Lord today. I find it is very difficult to express myself yet as I would like. One time this afternoon I was speaking along and came to a dead standstill just for the want of a few words I didn't happen to know. My earnest prayers are that the Lord will continue to bless me so that I may stand up in His name and preach this Gospel in the Hawaiian language.

December 17th, Kaluakai. After a light breakfast of poi and salt we left Kaualuna with light hearts and set out for this place. We took our time ascending the Hill of Difficulty, called at a house and got a drink and then proceeded on our journey. We called at two or three houses on our way but did not succeed in getting anything to eat. We then walked about nine miles without houses or water. About fire o'clock we reached Maunui; was in hopes of getting a drink of water, but we were again disappointed for we found nobody at home. Keanu went inside but all the water bottles were empty. We searched for some time for the spring but all our efforts proved fruitless. We then went down to the seaside and bathed our feet for they were very sore. I pulled my shoes off and tried to walk without them but the road was very rough and I was soon glad to get them on again. Before dark we found some water in a rock, and drank of it although it was stinking. About one hour after dark we found some Ka, or sugar cane which refreshed us very much, for we had nothing to eat all day. After refreshing ourselves we pursued our journey in hopes of finding a house. Owing to it being very cloudy the moon didn't give much light, we lost the track or road two or three times. At last we succeeded in finding a house about nine o'clock. When we got there they said they hoped we were not hungry as they had nothing to eat. We told them we had had nothing to eat all day. The woman then lit the kukui or lamp and managed to find a couple of handfuls of potatoes mashed up; to make the most of it she mixed cold water till it was perfectly thin, after which we ate and drank the same with a little raw fish. And after a very long prayer by the host we laid down on the floor to rest for the night.

December 18th, Papahako. We arose early and after hearing our host sing a hymn and then Brother Keanu prayed and then we pursued our journey to this place; only having about four miles to go we arrived here about eight o'clock and found the Saints well and very glad to see us, greeting us with a hearty shake of the hand.

We found a small vessel just ready to sail for Honolulu, Oahu. They had just taken the sick woman, I spoke of before, on board intending to take her to Honolulu to the Hospital.

We ate a hearty breakfast of raw fish and potato Poi. My feet were so sore I could scarcely walk owing to my shoes being very low and one nearly off my foot and no socks. The road we had traveled was very sandy; I had to stop every now and then to empty the sand out of my shoes. In the afternoon we went out to see the melon patches and sugar cane.

We spent the evening singing. I almost forgot to add, most of the Saints are gone to Honolulu, some went this morning soon after we arrived.

December 19th. In way of helping to fill up I will relate a dream I had last night. It struck me as being so remarkable. I thought I was living at home with my mother. I thought I was very happy as I was very much loved. By an unlucky chance one day I changed my clothes and after so doing, all their love, like Ammon's of old, turned to hatred and distrust. This I could not account for; it seemed so foolish to think changing my clothes would make any difference. I lost all peace; at last they lost all confidence in me and hated the very sight of me; said I should not live there any longer, that I should learn my own living. In vain I tried to prove to them contrary, both by words and action. I thought my elder brother was very bitter against me; I also thought they used my youngest brother, Clement, shamefully. At last to prove me, my eldest sister gave me some cotton needles to hawk about the town, but not before counting them very carefully I spent one whole afternoon and only succeeded in selling two or three penny's worth. I returned home with a happy heart. My sister then recounted them with what I had sold and found all correct. She then called my brother and sister: "How apt we are to judge wrong, now I have proved Fred to be honest."

We held meeting before breakfast. Brother Keanu preached. This is a dreadful place for fleas; I had very little sleep and Keanu had none. The house is swarming with them. We had some papapas for dinner, they are a species of pea and taste just the same as the English kitchen pea, they are about the size of a french bean. It has been threatening to rain all day. Spent the evening singing and talking about New Zealand and Otahite, etc.

December 20th. Last night we laid down to rest, but found none for the fleas were very hungry. I lay down for about one hour and could not lay any longer so got up and went out of doors and shook myself and Keanu was half cranky so we made up our minds to sleep out of doors. We carried a mat and a blanket out and spread on the sand. I ought to have said we carried a lot of fleas out with us, and to make up the deficiency we had a lot of crabs crawling about the bed. One got hold of me by the back of the neck just as I got to sleep. I arose and shook him off and laid down and went to sleep for about an hour. Then it commenced raining so we packed up and commenced looking for a cave to sleep in rather than go back into the house. Being barefoot I hurt my feet considerably. After searching for some time we found a cave about a quarter mile away. We again made a bed and lay down close to the breaker, but could not sleep for some time. About three o'clock the rain began to pour in on us, as this was our last resource we were obliged to go back into the house. On our way back I ran some thorns in my feet and stubbed them against the rocks for I could not see it was so dark. However, we reached the house and I made out to sleep for I was nearly tired out for I had but little sleep the last three nights.

We held meeting before breakfast. The weather cleared up about daybreak and it has been a very nice day. Spent the day studying, but with fleas at night and fleas in the daytime I find it difficult to study. Spent the evening singing.

December 21st. Met with the Saints before breakfast as usual, Brother Keanu doing the preaching. It has been very warm today. I am troubled again with the toothache.

I find that I am getting the language fast now, I make it a practice to pray in native both public and private. My assistant, Keanu, is a very good companion and a very good man. He has a pretty good knowledge of the Gospel. He writes a better hand than any of the natives I have seen.

December 23rd. It rained very heavy during the night and this morning but notwithstanding the roughness of the weather, Brother Iakua came from Waiakane. Some natives told him we were here. We had a meeting this morning and one in the afternoon. In the one this afternoon we partook of the Lord's Supper. I spoke for some time, much easier than I have ever done before in their language. Brother Keanu spoke well. We enjoyed the Holy Spirit to a considerable degree today. Quite a number of non-believers attended our meetings. Spent the evening agreeably singing hymns in native.

December 24th, Waiakane. We started for this place in company with Brother; Iakua, but he, being on horseback, soon left us. He went and got some potatoes and about forty or fifty bananas so when we caught him we sat down and ate them. We reached this place about two o'clock, dined on potatoes and pork. The Saints here are very comfortable, we suppered off fish, bread and potatoes. Spent the evening talking.

December 25th, Christmas, Waialua. Brother Keanu and I left Waiakane about six o'clock this morning. When we started we had no idea of reaching this place. We walked about ten miles and then sat down and ate some cold potatoes, we had brought with us, by a big spring. I could not help thinking how different they would spend Christmas at home. I got into a sort of reverie and fancied I could see their happy faces around a table loaded with the good things of this world, such as plum pudding, roast beef, etc. I will say though that we are traveling in the hot sun and on a rough road.

I spent the day pleasantly thinking how much better off I now am than I was before I became a member of the Kingdom of God, not in the things of this world, for I have only a suit of clothes and they have seen their best days, for I see my elbows begin to show through my coat sleeves. I am almost barefoot. I have an old pair of low shoes and every now and then I have to take them off and empty the sand out of them as the roads are very sandy and heavy. I have no socks so I will leave the reader to imagine the state of my feet, especially when I arrived at the end of my journey. If I had liked I could have made myself miserable, but no! I put my trust in the Lord and He blessed me with a light heart, occasionally singing a hymn and conversing with Brother Keanu. I do not look for my reward in this life, I look for it in the world to come. I think sometime when I begin to get lonely what Jesus Christ suffered, also the apostles, Joseph Smith and others, and then I feel as if I ought to suffer at times. For one thing I do know it is with much tribulation that we enter the kingdom, and unless I run the race, how can I expect to win the prize. I try to cast all care aside and put my trust in the Lord. My earnest desire is to get the language of this people so I can declare the Gospel of Christ in its purity unto them. No one can tell, except by experience, what pleasure it is to stand up and bear testimony to the truthfulness of this work in the Hawaiian language. I realize already that it pays for all trouble of learning it. So much for my thoughts.

We called at Pokea but Brother Laepoe had gone to Lahaina. They had no poi in the house, but they gave us some fish, and after resting awhile we continued our journey to Kauwila where we stopped and bathed and ate some sugar cane. We reached Kamalua about sunset but could not obtain a house in which to stop so we had to continue on to this place, ten or twelve miles farther, in the dark.

We called at the store and got a letter from Brother Caine stating that he was well, also the Saints, both foreign and native, were pretty comfortable. He stated that he expected to go to Lanai to counsel with Brother S. Smith.

Brother Keanu being tired out stopped at Kiliula and I pursued my journey alone to Waialua. I arrived about nine o'clock. Brother King was praying when I got to the house so I stood outside until he finished although it was raining pretty hard and had been for the last mile or so. With the rain and perspiration I was wet through and had to change my clothing. I had traveled 15 hours and walked about 40 miles. I suppered on poi and hee (Squid).

December 26th. Very cloudy and an occasional shower of rain. I stayed indoors nearly all day on account of my feet being so sore after traveling. Most of the Saints are down near the seaside pressing oil out of kukui nuts. I feel very well and happy.

December 27th. We met before breakfast with the Saints. Brother Keanu preached after which I bore my testimony then closed the meeting. We went down to see the Saints press out oil, which they did in the following manner: They got a log of wood about three feet long and cut it nearly the shape of a boat. They then cut a gutter down each side so the oil can run out in vessels placed out for the purpose of receiving it. The nuts are first pounded then placed in a piece of cloth in the machine. They then lay a square piece of wood on top and then get a long pole, sixteen or eighteen feet long, and balance it on top. About twenty natives get on the pole and see-saw up and down and press out the oil that is as clear and bright as any oil.

About three o'clock Brother Eli Bell returned from Lanai via Lahaina. Reports the worms have been very destructive there among the crops. The brethren are all well. Heard this day of the death of Orson Spencer. He died at St. Louis, October 15th, 1855. Met with the Saints in the evening. I am sorry to say that Brother Bell returned in a bad state of health.

December 28th. Met with the Saints before breakfast and Brother Keanu preached. Brothers King and Bell and I went and had a bath after which Brother Bell felt better and was able to preach at the evening meeting. Rather in a pilikia for food. Spent the evening singing.

December 29th. Owing to our pilikia for food we did not break our fast till 11 o'clock. We took a walk in the evening down to the seashore and amused ourselves watching the natives horse racing upon the sand, a usual practice every Saturday night and sometimes more often. One woman was thrown off but received no injury. After watching them one of the brethren asked us in to have supper; being hungry we accepted the invitation. Having no spoons we squatted ourselves down on the floor native fashion and ate the poi with our fingers. We also had nice boiled fish. After doing justice to what was set before us we sang for the amusement of the merry Mormons and a few others, and then returned home and spent the remainder of the evening reading.

Sunday, December 30th. We met with the Saints before breakfast. Brother Keanu spoke after which Brother Eli Bell got up and told the Saints we were short of food. Soon after meeting we had plenty of poi and fish. We met again and Brother William King spoke from the 9th Chapter and 19th verse of Jeremiah, "For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, how we are spoiled! We are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land because our dwellings have cast us out." The President of this Branch, Brother Keluli, was in doubt about the gathering. Then Brother King said the verse referred to the Jews of old but is a warning to the Zion of the last days. When he had finished Brother Bell arose and spoke for some time exhorting the Saints to be faithful and gather to Lanai. We then closed the meeting for about five hours and then we met again. Brother Keanu preached an excellent sermon on Mormonism. He was followed for a short time by myself on the subject of the Kingdom of God. We met again in the evening and heard the Saints speak their feelings. They feel well. We have had good meetings today. In the evening, Brother Bell being sick, we laid hands upon him and after a little while he felt better. Spent the evening talking about Prophecy.

December 31st. This is the last day of the year 1855 and I cannot help thinking of the many scenes I have passed through during the year. This time last year I was in the Victoria Gold mines digging gold and now I am a missionary on the Sandwich Islands. I started with a company of Saints under the Presidency of Elder Burr Frost the 24th of last April to gather to Zion where I have been longing to go ever since I joined the Church. After a very rough passage of five weeks we put into Tahiti, one of the Society Islands. We lay there about six days. While there we saw Elder Hawkins and about three hundred Saints who treated us very kindly. They made us a great feast and invited all who were on board who were members of the Church. They roasted a large pig and served breadfruit, oranges, bananas, coconut and in fact a variety of food too numerous to mention. When we were leaving they brought us enough fruit to last to the end of our voyage. Brother Hawkins informed us that he was not sent from the valleys, but was ordained on the Island. We set sail on about the ninth or tenth of June and arrived at Honolulu on the fifth of July. Most of the Saints enjoyed good health although two of them died during the voyage. I believe my Journal will tell the rest.

This afternoon we went to Kiliula and found the Saints had gone to Maui. On our return we called on one of the Saints and had supper of fish and sweet potatoes. Then we returned home and spent the evening singing and studying.

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Pages 39 - 47 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst