January 26, 1939
Dear Edith and Family,
As we are sending mail in to Tahiti in the morning, I better get a short letter written to you. It won't be much due to how I feel tonight and because I have written two letters to Mother which you undoubtedly will read.
I do indeed thank you for your very thoughtful remembrance of me on Xmas. It is quite a sacrifice to you, and I certainly appreciate it; more so by far according to the spirit of the givers than the actual money value. I pray you shall be blessed for it.
Von and June... you don't know how glad I am to receive your letters. Though I can't answer each one personally, you know that every one I send home to the folks are for you too. Darn, you almost make me homesick.
As I stated a little while ago.. 'I won't write much 'cause I don't feel so hot'. Well, I am rather low in vitality tonight due to two big boils on one knee, just below my knee. Besides that, and a little fever, my physical strength is a little low.
I have been lying down most of the day, and am still in the same way while writing this, but I hope to soon be up and going again. My blood just seems too weak to get rid of the poison caused through eating so it comes out elsewhere. Now I understand what the expression "Sore as a boil" means. Imagine three right close to each other.
Well, enough of a little trouble. Now just for a little connection onto the finish of Mother's letter:
We took our second trip around the Island beginning Monday. I made that, incidently, with one boil. We made a very speedy trip, traveling light and delivering tracts as we went. When we returned we were tired out again but glad we made the trip. I even threw away my first pair of shoes when I reached home, as they were worn completely out. We waded mud, wormed through jungles, climbed steep mountain trails, and rode a canoe over one stretch of water. All in all we had harder going than before but due to lighter load we made much better time. The tide was in and the sea is high due to the moon so we had much more to go around and more to wade through. I'm glad Elder Hunting can "take it" so I don't have to worry over him. But it seems I'm the one not able to take it by all appearances. I feel justified in blaming it on to my rather run-down condition held over from Hik. and the sudden, complete change of diet. All we eat here it seems is fruit and there it was fish & coconut.. a big change of diet.
Before I can write again we'll have made another "wild" trip around here, being gone almost a week and then we pack up and hit Raiatea and work her in the same manner.. 'round and 'round until we are acquainted.
Our work is just "preparing the way and clearing a plot" for the next Elders. We hope, of course, to "sow the seed in many places". The next Elders will maybe nourish it and coax it, and then next will help it grow. In that way, a few years from now.. it can't all be done in a few days... we will have a "trunk" and maybe a "branch" will start and in the end our little "clearing away the brush" will have attained the goal.
Say, but the "brush" is thick! I never found a much stauncher bunch of Protestants anywhere. But, the truth always wins. And honestly speaking, and not in synonyms either, the trees and vines and willows we do push through in spots would make a Mormon Elder red in the face. And I'm not kidding either.
Edith, as I can't write to Ree, Nane & Ern, etc. thank them.. or I will.. Thanks all of you for the Xmas cash & cards and letters. Hap, Una, write again My Goodness! It seemed good to read a line from each of you.
Dad, I'll be seeing you going "stepping" again if you keep on. My! you sound as young as ever and still working hard. I'd hate to see you rest a month... it just wouldn't seem to fit you. However, take it easy, fellow... don't figure you have to put in that extra hour or lift a little heavier load just on account of me. I surely would hate to think that is what you're having to do.
And good old Mother! You're as sweet as them all. Everything of the best is none to good for you.
Well, I got to write my diary and go to bed now so time to close.
Edith, I would like to write a letter to the Beehive class but I haven't it in me tonight. Tell them I wish they had a "cell" to fill quite often, and that I was very glad they all wrote.
So Long, Love, Dean