9

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1856
January 1st, 1856, Waialua. New Year's Day. We met with the Saints before breakfast. Had a first rate meeting. This day is Lakapu, that is the natives are not allowed to do any work today. They are required by the King to fast and pray.

About 12 o'clock Brothers Bell and King started around the Island Eastward and left Brother Keanu and I in charge of the Saints. We met in the evening. Brother Keanu spoke and one of the other brethren, then I spoke a few words and dismissed meeting by prayer. Before I got half way to the house one of the sisters and her mother got fighting and quarreling and roused the whole neighborhood. I went back and tried to put a stop to it, but did not succeed for sometime, for these women, when they once get their tongues going there is no stopping them. After talking to them for some time I returned home and suppered off poi and hee as tough as any old boots. Spent the evening talking to the Saints.

I can hardly realize that this is New Year's Day, it is so different to any I have spent. However, as a whole, I spent it very well studying the language, for this is my greatest desire to obtain it so that I can make myself useful in the Kingdom of God. Now that the New Year has come I mean to set out with greater zeal if possible, than I have done before. I find it is rather difficult to put the words of the native language together, though the more I learn the easier it becomes. I want to get the language so that I can preach by conference. I wrote a letter to my Brother, C. C. Hurst. January 2nd. It has been very hot all day. Spent most of the day studying. ; Went down to the meeting house in the afternoon but did not succeed in getting a meeting. Most of the women had gone fishing. Spent the evening singing, talking, etc.

January 3rd. This is fast day. Met with the Saints before breakfast. We met again about 2 o'clock, four of the Saints attended. After hearing them I arose and spoke on the backwardness of the Saints and encouraged them to attend meeting more regularly. Spent the day studying and the evening singing.

January 4th. We had the poorest meeting this morning I have seen since I came here, about seven attended out of a branch of sixty or seventy. The Saints seem to be getting worse instead of better. I have caught a severe cold and have been feeling miserable all day. Food is very scarce again now. Spent the evening conversing with Brother Keanu. There is a South wind coming up this evening and the natives expect a deal of rain.

January 5th. Brothers Bell and King returned from their tour today at about 11 o'clock. Brother King has caught a severe cold in his throat so he can hardly speak. I had nothing to eat from yesterday until late today. I have fasted three days this week. I find I cannot keep up unless I travel for when we travel we usually get plenty of fish. I received a letter from my brother at Honolulu.

January 6th. The day has been very rough, raining nearly all day. Owing to having no bread we postponed having Sacrament until next Sunday. Spent the evening talking and singing.

January 7th. The weather cleared up a little this morning. I will relate a dream I had last night: I thought Brother Bell and I were sitting in the meeting house, and Brother King was preaching on the gathering. He quoted the following verse from the 1st chapter 10th verse of Ephesians, which reads: "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; even in Him." Before he had hardly said these words there came all of a sudden darkness and a very violent earthquake. The shaking was greater than I had ever felt in New Zealand, even when the city of Wellington was destroyed. I then awoke.

Stayed in the house all day studying and answered my Brother's letter. Spent the evening talking and singing.

January 8th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. We were in a Pilikia for want of food today. I wrote letters to Brothers Cluff and West. We had a meeting in the evening. Brothers Bell and King spoke of the slackness of the Saints in attending meetings and chose a man to see that we were provided with food. Suppered with one of the Saints on fish and poi.

January 9th. Nothing of importance. No fish.

January 10th. Had a poor meeting before breakfast. I forgot to mention yesterday that one of the Saints sent us a large quantity of bananas so we had quite a feast all day. We met again in the evening but very few Saints attended. I am busy reading the history of the Catholic Church in the native language.

January 11th. The weather has been very rough all night. We held meeting before breakfast. Spent the day indoors studying.

January 12th. The wind still continues accompanied by rain. We have been very short of food this last week, if we are not religious enough it is not because we do not fast enough. I am afraid if we live here long we would make good long faced Christians.

January 13th. I attended four meetings today. This day we partook of the Lord's Supper. ; The meeting house has been well filled all day. I feel very well and in good spirits. I got up and spoke in the last meeting. I told the Saints I rejoiced in the Kingdom of God and exhorted them to obey the commandments, watch and pray.

January 14th. We breakfasted about three o'clock this afternoon and then this evening we had to hunt around for some supper. At last we succeeded in getting some raw fish and some very sour poi. I wrote letters to President Silas Smith, Brother John A. West and my Brother, C. C. Hurst.

January 15th. Brothers Bell and King started around the Islands and left Brother Keanu and I in charge of the Saints here; we met with them before breakfast. This afternoon I took my letters down to mail them and then came back and held meeting with the so called Saints here. Brother Keanu got up first and when he had finished I arose and told them my mind for not attending meetings. I also told them we had nothing to eat at the house, and if they did not bring some I would leave them for I was thoroughly ashamed of them. I told them what Christ said; if they would not keep us in one city, we were to go to the next, and we were to shake the dust off our feet as a testimony against them.

January 16th. Nothing to eat as usual until sundown and then I managed to get a small Kalo to eat. We waited for the Saints to bring us something till after dark, we then walked very near a mile to Nauwila's house where we got a good supper. We did not forget to do it justice. Spent the whole of the evening visiting.

January 17th. Met with the Saints but very few attended because a man next door died. He had been sick with some kind of internal disease. They put him in a little house by himself yesterday. This morning a woman went to see how he was and found him dead. As soon as she found him she began weeping and wailing and roused the whole neighborhood. Having no coffin they sewed the corpse in a kapa (a kind of cloth the natives make from the bark of a small tree.) About 12 o'clock Brother Keanu and I went to hold funeral services over him. Brother Keanu officiated. Just spoke a short time on the solemnity of the affair and then prayed. They then took the body and slung it between two poles and four men carried it up to the top of a very high hill to their burying grounds.

Out of curiosity I went to see how they would bury him. They dug the grave barely two feet deep and laid him in and then filled in the earth and then I helped them pull down part of one of their old temples and piled the stones on the grave to keep the dogs away.

We met in the evening and I preached a funeral sermon. The man was not in the Church. He came from Lalakua, and his name was Papu.

January 18th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. I preached on the divine authority of Joseph Smith, followed by Nauwili and Keanu. I washed a couple of pairs of pants and spent most of the afternoon mending and patching them. Met this evening with the Saints, Brother Keanu preached. Spent the evening at Kumaluna's house.

January 19th. Ran about all over the place trying to get some breakfast but did not succeed. The Saints had nothing cooked. I walked half a mile to a waterfall and had a bath after which I returned and took a piece of the table cover and mended my trousers. In the evening Brother Keanu and I went down to Nauwili's for supper and spent the evening.

Sunday, January 20th. Met with the Saints before breakfast. I must say I enjoyed the Spirit of the Lord this morning for I spoke very powerful on the subject of repentance. Several of the Saints confessed; some of drinking, and others of adultery. The second meeting I preached for 1 or 2 hours on the first principles. The Saints were very much astonished and I must confess I was myself. I was told by the Elders that I would astonish myself getting this language. I feel that the Lord has been with me today, I have been able to get up four times today and address the Saints. To the Lord I ascribe the praise and glory. I have not seen the Saints feel so well for some time. Being very near barefoot, I got up and told the Saints my pilikia, whereupon one cried out he would give me a pair of boots; but when I got to the house they were lent to a Brother who was gone to Oahu. Another Brother offered me his but they were too big.

January 21st. A real uproar here this morning. In fact, nearly all night. A hauli or white man came to one of the brethren's house and got caught in the very act of adultery with Kahiki's wife. Kahiki is absent at Oahu just now. The natives took them the same hour of the night, and all that was in the house besides, down to Kamaula, about ten miles from here, to be judged according to the law. They were each fined thirty dollars, and any party knowing anything of the affair and trying to keep it secret were fined fifty dollars. According to reports the white man bribed the judge and got clear. So much for the laws of man.

Wrote my brother, C. C. Hurst.

January 22nd. Met with about five or six saints before breakfast, and about the same number this evening. I addressed the Saints on the necessity of cleanliness. I make a short extract of Nauwili's prayer: "Oh, Lord our Heavenly Father, I ask Thee to pardon my sins. When I was a poor man, I and my wife and son used to come to meeting, but now I am rich; I have got two cows, two horses, and pigs, and I have forgotten the number of fowls, and now Lord I come to meeting alone. My wife and son have to stop at home and take care of my riches."

I received three copies of the Deseret News from Brother Eli Bell. I have been very much interested in reading them; this evening especially.

January 23rd. Spent a great part of the morning reading the News. I rejoice to see how they are prospering in Zion. It rained most of the afternoon. Spent the evening describing a variety of things to Keanu.

January 24th. Met before breakfast. I got up and translated the Thirteenth General Epistle for the edification of the Saints. Spoke to them on the gathering to Lanai. In a pilikia for food. Held meeting in the evening, Keanu preached, after which we went in search of some food and succeeded in getting some raw fish and poi at Lu's. Spent the evening there because it was very dark and raining. Got home at 11 o'clock.

January 25th. Held meeting before breakfast. I preached from the following passage: "It is through much tribulation we enter the Kingdom." Acts 14.

I took Elder Keanu's likeness. I never saw anyone more delighted than he was. When it was finished he laughed and jumped about as if he was mad. In the afternoon he went with me up to the top of a high hill and took a sketch of the city of Waialua.

January 26th. As I was sitting in the house this morning studying a woman came in and began talking. She had not been in long until she asked me if I wanted to marry her. I told her NO. She said she wanted a husband and if I would marry her she would join the Church and gather to Lanai for she loved me very much, and if I would have her she would wash my shirts nicely and do everything for me. I had quite a hard job to get rid of her. She asked us to go to dinner with her, and as there was nothing to eat here we went. I told her I came here to preach and not to hunt after women. I went and had a bath in the afternoon.

January 27th, Sunday. Attended four long meetings today. The spirit of the Lord has been with us today. I got up to speak this morning and could not think of a subject. I thought of what Brother Brigham said to the Elders. "Preach Joseph Smith and you will not lack for words." I preached Joseph Smith and talked nearly two hours. I am certainly blessed in getting this language, every time I get up the easier it gets. I have spoken twice today quite lengthy and felt like preaching all day. I am in excellent spirits; I feel to ascribe all the glory to God, for I know that without his assistance I can do nothing.

Spent the evening singing. I almost forgot to mention I am nearly barefoot. The Saints held a Luna, that is an officer's meeting, and each one got up and spoke their feelings Keluli, most piteously. They collected two dollars and thirty seven cents towards buying me a pair of shoes, and Keanu got up and announced I took likenesses in pencil, 25 to Saints and 50 to sinners. I have seven on hand at present to do.

January 28th. Got a couple of horses and Keanu and I went down about nine miles to buy a pair of shoes but did not succeed. I got some letters from my brother and Brother W. W. Cluff. News good. Reports that Brother Earnest Bird's family are ready to sail for the coast this evening.

I took President Keluli's likeness; there is quite a number that want me to take theirs. Spent the evening at Keluli's, he is very proud of his likeness.

January 29th. I painted a likeness today of a native for which I charged $2. I got one and he promised another. Brothers Bell and King returned from their trip around the Island today. Were in a great pilikia for want of food.

January 30th. I painted brothers Bell and King's likeness. They enclosed some in letters to Salt Lake City to their friends. I fasted till night for this reason, I had nothing to eat.

January 31st, Lahaina. Brother King and I left Molokai for this place in a whale boat. Brother King was very sick. I steered the boat most of the way. I helped pull till my hands were very sore, I raised large blisters on them. We arrived here about four o'clock. I bought a pair of boots. We found Sister Hammond and children very well. Spent the evening very agreeably. I ate the first bread this evening for five months.

February 1st. I bade all goodbye this morning to start back for Molokai. Got about one third of the way back but the wind blew too strong and we were obliged to return. Got back about half past two. Wrote to my brother and Brother W. W. Cluff.

Waialua, February 2nd. I arose about 3 o'clock this morning and Brother King accompanied me to the boat. We started about 4 o'clock and reached here about eight o'clock. The wind blew very strong, we got wet to the skin. I found Brothers Bell and Keanu well. I wrote out a placard and gave it to Keanu to take down to Kaluaha, about seven miles from here giving notice in the native language that I would take likenesses and paint them for $2 each.

Sunday, February 3rd. Baptized a young man this morning, a native. Attended four meetings today, the Saints very dull. I addressed them once only on obedience to the Priesthood.

We want a man to go with Brother Keanu to Pelekunu but could not get one; one said he could not leave his wife, one said his children would starve if he left then, another would go in a minute only he had to get a job of work, and another said he would not mind going only he was afraid of the precipices.

February 4th. Spent most of the day painting a portrait. Very short of food; fasted till night then went to the next door neighbor's and suppered.

February 5th. I took Keanu's likeness and painted it today. He is exceedingly proud of it. Brother Eli Bell is very sick. I and two of the brethren laid hands on him this evening. I had to take charge of the meeting; met twice today. I spoke in the evening on my experiences in the Church.

February 6th. I took and painted Kamaaliwa's likeness today. Brother Bell is still very sick.

February 7th. Met with the Saints in the morning and afternoon, it being fast day. I spoke a short time on the privileges we enjoy. I drew and painted Lu's likeness.

February 8th. Took Keanu's likeness again. Attended two meetings. Addressed the Saints a short time this morning; exhorting them to be faithful. Brother Eli Bell is much better, he attended meeting this evening.

We had three meals today for the first time for I will not venture to say how long. We fasted about three days this week.

February 9th. Breakfasted about 11 o'clock, that is after searching all over Waialua. Owing to having no rain lately there is quite a famine here at present. I wrote a letter to my Brother, C. C. Hurst, in Honolulu.

February 10th, Sunday. Attended four meetings today. I spoke once on the restoration of the Gospel. Partook of the Lord's supper. The Saints felt well today.

February 11th. Have very little to eat today, one meal. Took Brother bell's likeness again.

February 12th. No meeting as the Saints did not come together. Breakfasted off salt and poi. No meeting this evening.

<<< Back Home Next >>>
Pages 47 - 54 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst