27

The Diary of
Frederick William Hurst

1876
Called to see Mrs. Lawe, she was glad to see me. Informed me old man Eagle's friends had sent money to Utah to bring him back, and she fully expected Henry Allington and family would return also. I told her I would prophecy in my own name, if they did leave Utah the time will come when they will be ten times more anxious to get back there again than they are to come back here. At the same time I wouldn't persuade either them or anybody else to stay there against their feelings. I told her that I should heartily thank the Lord when the time rolls round for me to return there. New Zealand has no charms for me compared to my much beloved Mountain Home in Zion.

Feeling very much troubled about Mother I walked to Wellington again yesterday to see what can be done. I called at Mrs. Bowler's old residence, but she had moved. I then went to see Mrs. Redman where Mother had formerly stayed, but she said she was too weak and feeble to have Mother again. I then went to see Mrs. Emma Stratford. Met with an icy reception from her; she also told me about the Alingtons and old man Eagle, and like the balance, she seemed to think Mormonism was now about played out. She couldn't think of taking Mother to live with her.

I then went to Mrs. Duff's and told her what I had been trying to do, and that I was willing to do all that was in my power. She said she would see Mrs. Bowler herself, and if she could do no better would let Mother have a little room upstairs and keep her.

I told her old Mrs. Wiley at Oharia was willing to take her but I was afraid Mother couldn't stand the long ride, however, Mrs. Duff advised me not to take her out of town, especially as I told her we had just received a letter from Brother MacLachland, telling me if it was possible to raise the funds, he wanted Charley and I to go down to Christchurch to attend Conference in October.

He also stated in his letter that they had baptized eight new members here and blessed four children, and they expected to organize a branch in Poparuri, 3 miles from Christchurch.

After telling Mrs. Duff if we got any money we would do the best we could for her I returned. So much walking made me very sore and tired. I called to tell Mrs. Wiley about Mother and she would have me eat. Well, I was hungry enough after my long walk, for I had nothing to eat in town.

We had dinner there today, and took tea at Mr. Albert Brown's, but there was no possible chance to talk religious subjects, so we returned home early for I wanted to post my journal.

Oh, Lord, hasten the day when we can meet with Latter-day Saints in meetings to worship Thee, and may we be directed and guided to where we can do the most good. I ask it in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Charley has finished three chains of fencing for Albert Brown, and has cut another cord of wood to pay the rent. Last Wednesday week, I went up to help him for an hour or two. While he was driving a post into an upright position the maul flew off the handle and struck me with great force on the abdomen and left thigh. I was a cripple for several days; I used some of old Mrs. Wiley's Ointment well rubbed in. It soon took the soreness out. Thank the Lord it was no worse.

We have received orders for two more Tombstones. One for Mrs. Lawe's husband, and one for Mrs. Kilsby's daughter, aged 15 years.

This is the 15th of September. My dear wife's birthday.

Mrs. Kilsby sent over a splendid leg of mutton. Towards paying for her tombstone Charley said. I wish we could drop one into each of our families as good; and that puts me in mind, Mrs. Brown sent over a roll of butter and a large old fashioned meat pie, made in a deep dish. We are beginning to live better now, we also get a quart of milk every night from Mrs. Kilsby's, which is a treat to me.

I thought today: "May the Lord abundantly bless my wife, and may she live to see many happy returns of the day, not forgetting all our dear children he has blessed us with.

Charley has been suffering with toothache. He had no rest all last night, but is better now. Coal oil stopped it.

I had a singular dream last night. I thought I went down to Christchurch, attended meeting, and hoped they would not call on me to speak, especially since it had been so long since I attended meetings of any kind. But my fears on that point were soon dispelled by Brother Burnett, who arose and said he wanted to make a few remarks, followed by Brother Steed. I cannot remember what they said, but some person sitting next to me on my left said: "Do you know what the difficulty is?" I replied no. He says, "Well, I'll tell you. They have built a small vessel, and the trouble is every man here wants to be Captain. Elder William MacLachlan is the right man, but the others think they have as good a right."

Last Tuesday I again visited Mr. Darby and applied for the schoolhouse. He got very much excited and replied, "No, no, you can never have it again."

I asked him if he refused on his own responsibility, for our message was very important to him and all people; life and salvation.

He acted very disrespectful, and said: "The committee were all against it."

I told him Mr. Bassett was one of the committee, and he had no objections.

Still getting more excited he said it was no use, the rest of the committee, Mr. Pryer and Bryant had declared they never would give their consent.

Again I asked him if he had read the "Voice of Warning" I lent him 2 or 3 months ago.

He said: "No, and I had better take it away as he had no time to read it." I did so feeling very sorry he was so bigoted and blind, and that willfully.

Saturday night I received letters from my wife and each of the children except Harris, Brother Curtis, and one from Joel Ricks Jr. I don't know how to feel thankful enough to God for His continued watchcare over my family, and I heartily thank and say, God bless all who are kind to them.

My wife says she went down to the city on the 24th of July. Mary furnished the money for one ticket. Brother Curtis sent $1.50, Brother G. E. Hyde got a free pass for Lucy and gave them $2.00 besides. She says they had a pleasant trip, started on the 22nd and returned on the 25th. She writes in excellent spirits, and encourages me all she can, God bless her.

She also says she has been rebaptized and confirmed, for which I thank the Lord with all my heart. The children are all anxious to know when I am going home. Their letters are all so full of love to me that brings more comfort than worlds, or than I can express.

Monday, September 18th. Yesterday we took dinner with old Mr. Wiley. The Old Lady's gone to the Wairarapa on a visit. We spent the evening at home writing HOME.

Charley has suffered dreadfully with neuralgic toothache. I burned several of the nerves in his hollow teeth with a hot wire on Saturday, since then he has been better.

On Wednesday, September 20th, I walked to Wellington. Mrs. Brown took Mrs. Compion's Tombstone but did not get the pay as Mr. Compion was not at home and had not left any money. She said I could call and get it anytime after that day.

Mother is troubled with a bad cough, and is far from well, but was delighted to see me. I gave Mrs. Duff five shillings. I also bought Mother some fruit tarts or pies. Mrs. Bowler left word if we moved Mother out of town she would have nothing more to do with her, and Mrs. Duff seems very willing to keep her for which I am very thankful.

I bought a book each for Harris, Reigo, Lucy, Lillie, three drawing books for Willie, a lot of pictures besides for the girls. Also a book for Mary and little May, a pan of very large Helmet Shells for my wife, pin cushion each for Lucy and Lillie, pair of some kind large shells for Mary, and one pair of beautiful spotted shells for her also. And there area a few odd shells besides, however, I managed to return penniless.

I rode part of the way with Mrs. Brown and her two daughters and son Ralph. I also got a sketcher to send home and the "Herold" for Charley.

It took us till 3:00 a.m. to get our mail ready. We filled our books with ferns and moss. We sent off a large variety. I wrote to my wife, also to each of the children and Brother Curtis.

Thursday Charley took our mail into Wellington; bought himself a pair of gaiter boots. It cost 10 shillings and 2 pence to send our mail off, that is books, ferns, letters, and news papers.

We have had two very pleasant days. I chopped wood Tuesday and that with walking to town made me dreadfully sore and tired. Mr. John Valentine took the picture I painted (Serapis) to the Hutt to raffle off as Mr. Albert Brown could not get a sufficient number in this place.

Thursday, October 5th. We are keeping Fast Day today. We have been very much disappointed in not getting letters from Elder MacLachlan, especially as some little time ago he wrote up word that he wanted us if possible to go down there to Conference. I feel very anxious to be directed to where we can do some good in regards to our mission, and feel like putting my trust in the Lord, and most earnestly seek the guidance of His Spirit. I desire to labor where I can do the most good.

Mr. Valentine raffled the picture, Serapis, for six pounds. We shall probably get about five pounds, as I gave two tickets to old Mr. and Mrs. Wiley, and there was 12 shillings expense. I have finished a portrait of old Mr. Shepherd, Albert Brown's grandfather, and am now engaged painting Mrs. Valentine's portrait. Both are quite a success for which I am heartily thankful to the Lord.

A week ago yesterday I went to town and received fifty shillings from Mrs. Compion for engraving a tomb tablet for her son, Francis Compion, aged 18 years. I gave Mrs. Duff ten shillings to help Mother.

On Saturday evening I received letters from my sister Selina and from Brother David Cluff Jr. He reports things favorable where he is laboring at Galbourne; nothing doing in Sydney or Tasmania, but the brethren are doing their best, and like us meet with very little encouragement.

We have been very much blessed lately in getting money from pictures, tomb tablets, and once in a while cutting firewood. When we get all in that is due we will be able to fit ourselves out good and have something to pay traveling expenses, please the Lord.

Sometimes I think it would be a good idea to go into the country; Albert Brown started yesterday for Manawater, and says he will send word what the prospects are up there in regard to the Maoris. Yesterday was a lovely day, beautiful and calm.

Tuesday, October 11. On Friday last Mrs. Brown called in as she was returning from town and said Mrs. Compion wanted to see me. Accordingly, Saturday morning I started early and walked to Wellington. Found out that Mrs. Compion wanted me to paint and sand the Tomb Tablet. As they would not be ready until afternoon I went down to Mother's for two or three hours.

Mother was as usual, glad to see me. No word of Alfred yet.

In the afternoon two of Mrs. Compion's sons accompanied me. Instead of hiring a cart, they actually wheeled the tablet, spade, sand, paint, in a wheelbarrow. I assisted them. We set the Tablet in place and then I painted and sanded it. It looked splendid; I painted it stone color.

Just as we had finished, a Mr. Carr (Sexton) stepped up and inquired of the boys who had done the carving and they told him I did it. He said: "That is a very handsome piece of work." Turning to me he said, "Did you do that?"

I replied, "Yes Sir."

He answered, "What a pity you should be so foolish as to throw away your lifetime and talents in such a place as Salt Lake City among those Mormons."

I soon gave him to understand that art was as much or even more appreciated there than here. Mrs. Compion gave me six shillings.

Louis Brown had engaged to meet me at Lengg's Corner (boot and shoe store) at six so I hurried and had the pleasure of waiting two mortal long hours and then I started for home in disgust, but I soon met him.

We went to the theater to see the play, "The Convict," after which we walked to Ngaraunga and from there took turns on horseback as he had left his horse there. It was a lovely night, calm and the moon had just risen. We reached home about 3 a.m.

Sunday, October 9th. One of Mr. Wiley's sons came to visit us, and we went there to dinner. We preached Mormonism to him, and he seemed anxious to hear and invited us to come and see him and his brother in Wairarapa. In talking to him I never before saw saying so clear in regard to the Spirit of the Lord being withdrawn from the nations. The salt being gathered out and not having the preserving elements they will crumble to pieces and they will be in the same fix as we might see a man noted for his strength and manly bearing and beauty stricken down, depriving him of life. His body will soon go into corruption. So with the Christian world. Oh! Ye stiff necked people, why will ye not listen to our warning voice. Behold we have the Gospel of Salvation, we come in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ. Wo! Wo! Be unto you if you will continue to reject the servants of God. Oh! How can you escape the judgments of the Almighty.

Friday, October 20th. On Wednesday, October 12th I received letters from my wife and sons Willie and Harris, and quite a number of papers, "Deseret News", etc. The twins and Riego had been sick but were better, all the rest are well. My wife sent some of Leo and Lolie's hair surrounded with forget-me-nots and roses.

They report grasshoppers in vast numbers, and doing a great deal of mischief. Harris has earned 15 bushels of wheat, binding in the field. Willie was thinking of taking a house to paint for Brother Charles Barrett and calculates to paint from daybreak until seven so as not to neglect learning his trade. Well, may the Lord bless them in all their labors. I am glad the boys are getting energetic and I expect my getting away for a short time will do them good. I think it will tend to make them feel more independent. I heartily thank the Lord they are all getting along so well.

Sunday the 15th. As usual we took dinner at Mrs. Willey's. The old gentleman has gone to Wairarapa to see his sons and the place. We spent most of the day and evening writing home to Utah.

Monday afternoon Charley and I went to the top of Mount Prospect. I took a sketch of Wellington, a birds eye view, and will make a good picture. It was a lovely day; we saw a great many very large flowers called the Clematus. I gathered some and put in my folio.

Wednesday evening we received a letter from Elder McLachlan telling us to fix up and go down to Kaiapoi, South Island. We think we can be ready to start on next Tuesday week if all is well.

Yesterday the 19th I walked to town to send off our Utah mail. It was raining when I started but cleared up afterward and with the exception of a high wind the day was fine.

As I reached town early I thought I would run up and have a chat with Sister Lawe. The door was opened by a strange woman and she was surprised I had not heard of Sister Lawe's death and burial. I had left a small box of shells there but this lady knew nothing of them. She expected they were sold or perhaps Mr. Lawe had taken them to the other end of town.

After mailing the letters, papers, etc., I went to the store and saw Mrs. Lawe's brother, Walter Reading. He informed me that Mrs. Ann Elizabeth Reading Lawe died on Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock of inflammation of the lungs, September 26, 1876, at Wellington, New Zealand. She was sick nine days.

Mother was glad to see me. She said she was not at all well as she suffers from Rheumatism from head to foot. No word from Alfred. Saw Mrs. Bowler and had quite a talk with her. She said Mother should not suffer as long as she lived, etc., etc.

On my return I bought a pair of gaiter boots, 16/6. Coming through the brush I gathered a great variety of ferns as Brother McLachlan wants us to take down a good supply.

I had almost forgotten to state, Mr. Walter Reader told me my parcel of shells was alright in the store. I concluded to leave them there until we leave for Lyttleton.

Sunday, October 22nd. Took dinner at Mr. Wiley's and tea at Mrs. Brown's. They all seem to express sorrow at our leaving this Island.

Thursday, October 26th. It has been very dull and cloudy all week. I have been very busy trying to finish up my pictures.

Last Saturday, October 21st, Robert Wiley accompanied me to Mount Prospect, as some call it, Camden Hill, I wanted to get a larger sketch and took some colors with me to get it as nearly correct as possible. We stayed the whole day and had a very pleasant day. I gathered some very handsome ferns.

Quite a number of vessels and steamers were both coming in and going out.

I had a very pleasant dream last night. I thought I was home talking to Willie and Harris and the rest of the children about the goodness of God to us. I told them that there were many blessings that we received from day to day that come as inexpressible as the dew upon the flowers and took pains to show them how necessary it was for us all to live humble, pure and faithful before the Lord and try to live worthy of His many blessings bestowed upon us.

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Pages 160 - 166 in the 1961 edition of the Diary of Frederick William Hurst