Saturday, November 12, 2011

Relationship:  Martin Wilford Mangelson is my Grand Uncle;
his parents are Carl and Emma Eliza Mangelson, my great grand parents;
he is a brother to Charles Adolph Mangelson, my grandfather;
Charles' daughter is Vera Mangelson Christensen, my mother
            Martin Wilford Mangelson was born in Levan, Utah, February 23, 1880 to Eliza Nielsen and Charles Frederick Mangelson.  In 1888, at the age of eight he was baptized by Eric Petersen, the father of his sister Millie’s husband.
He started school in Levan and completed eight grades.  As a grade school student he was diligent and serious in his studies.  He enjoyed figuring out different ways of doing things and quite often used the expression, “I think this is a good scheme.”  As time went by he was called “Schomer.”   Three years in school developed in him a love for reading and this was one of his enjoyments to almost the end of his life.
In September of 1899 he went to school in Salt Lake City.  The Social Hall and the Lion House were used for classrooms.  In order to help himself financially he milked cows, curried horses and kept up the carriages for his board and room.
After a few months of schooling he returned to Levan.  From here he went to Tintic to work in the mines.  He took a grub box with him and lived in a shack.  A tramp moved in with him and stayed until the food was gone.  Each day he went out to ask for a job and finally he did get one hauling ore.  He worked for Mr. Beck who owed the wagon.  The road was steep.  A heavy chain was secured to one wheel and this chain, boring into the ground, helped to check the speed of the loaded wagon.
One time, however, the chain broke, the wagon tipped over and was completely ruined.  Martin was thrown out and injured his back.  However, he felt he should work so he asked Mr. Dunn for a job.  This work consisted of breaking up the ore with huge hammers so that magnets could draw out the metals.  This was really hard work and more than Martin could do because of his injured back.  But rather than give up the job he gave his wages of $2.00 a day to another man who worked for him until his back could take this kind of labor.  Martin was 20 years old now.  During this time Charity married George Garrett.  Martin gave them a clock for a wedding present.  It was a square clock with a gold horse on top.  Still at Tintic, Martin now batched with a man from Santaquin who did a washing job at the tanks for $2.50 a day.  Here Martin also was employed.  Water was run over the crushed ore to wash out sand and dirt.
In the early spring of 1902 Martin was called to go on a mission to the Scandinavian Countries.  A Farewell Party was held in Levan of Friday, June 20, 1902.  Saturday he said goodbye to friends about town.  Sunday a farewell was held at Church.  (From this point on the writing will be in the First Person and for the most part will be Martin’s exact words taken from diaries he kept every day.)

Monday, June 23,1902, Father took me to Juab to catch the train for Salt Lake City.  I arrived at Salt Lake at 10 am and visited with Aunt Camilla, Uncle Fred’s wife.  Tuesday, June 24th  I was set apart for my mission.  This was done in the Temple Annex at 2 pm.  I received instructions, purchased a ticket for Liverpool from Pres. for $67.00.
Wednesday, I went through the Temple and at 8:20 pm; took the eastbound train, the DRG RR.  Saturday, June 28 arrived in Chicago at 11 am.  From here went on to Buffalo, N.Y. arriving at 7 am June 29, 1902.  Visited the sights at Niagara Falls.  Took train for Boston at 6:15 pm arriving Monday, June 30, at 9:30 a.m.  Here in Boston I visited Bunker Hill Monument, Old North Church on which lanterns were hung as a signal to Paul Revere.  I visited the ship I am to cross the ocean on, the S.S. New England.
July 1st I saw the training ship Wabash and Dewey’s flagship Olympia, our oldest warship Constitution built for the Revolutionary War.  I went out to Cambridge and visited the church where Washington worshipped in 1775, where the Constitutional Convention was held in 1779, and where Lafayette worshipped in 1824.  I stood under the old Elm Tree where Washington took command, July 3, 1775.  Also saw Longfellow’s home.
I took the steamship for Liverpool, England at 6 pm, July 2, 1902.  The first land we sighted at 5:30 pm, July 9th was the mainland of Ireland.  Arrived at Queens Town, Ireland the same day 11 pm.  Thursday, July 10th at Liverpool.  Met the mission president and attended an informative meeting at 8 pm.  Friday, July 11 purchased ticket to Hamburg, Germany, visited art museums and enjoyed many wonderful things on display.
Saturday, July 12, at 1:40 pm took the train for Grimsby, England., arriving at 6:30 pm and took the 8:30 pm steamer S S.  Leicester for Hamburg, Germany.  This was first class passage giving me a chance to see how they travel.  I was on the North Sea Sunday July 13th.  We arrived at the mouth of the Elbo River late at night.  At 5 a.m. Monday morning we pulled into the harbor of Hamburg.  It had been a very pleasant trip across the North Sea.  Now, my problems began.  No one spoke English. I wandered around for five hours finally finding some Mormon missionaries.  They helped me locate a hotel, then we went sightseeing – art galleries, zoological gardens, parks.  Here I saw my first stork.
Tuesday, July at 8:15 am and arrived at Keil, Germany at 11:15 am.  We went on a steamer immediately for Korsor, Denmark landing at 4:30 pm.  Took train here for Copenhagen, Denmark arriving at 7 pm.  Wednesday, July 16, met mission president and was assigned to labor in the Bergen, Norway Conference.  Changed money.  Visited museum and art gallery and left at 8 pm by steamer for Aalborg, Denmark.  We arrived at Aalborg at 8 am and reported to the mission home at Urbansgado no 26.
Thursday at 2:30 pm took the train for Fredrick shaven, Denmark and stayed overnight.  Friday, July 18 took steamer for Christiansand.  The trip from Fredrick shaven to Christiansand was difficult, rough seas.    Saturday, July 19 still feeling effect of rough sea through the night in hotel bed helped.  We took the steamer for Egersund, Norway arriving at midnight.
Sunday, July 20 took train for Stavanger.  Monday, July 21 visited about Stavanger.  (Tommy and I stayed overnight at Stavang and enjoyed this peaceful old town.  We stayed out in the country.  Huge rocks had been cleared from the land.  These rocks did not have to be very high for no cow could possibly walk over the slippery rocks. )  At 8 pm we took the steamer for Bergen.  After breakfast in Bergen we visited the Famous fish market.  Wednesday, July 23 preached or tried to in the Norak Sprog to about 100 saints and visitors.  Thursday, July 24 enjoyed strawberries and cream in remembrance of Pioneer Day.
First Sunday, July 27, 1902 attended Sabbath School in forenoon, 100 saints and visitors present.  This brought sweet memories of Levan.  Afternoon walked to mountain top for Bergen is surrounded by mountains and looked down on the city.  Bergen is beautiful.  (I, too have looked down upon the city.)
On the evening of July 28th large bonfires were kept burning on the peaks of all the surrounding mountains until 12 midnight.  All of this was done in honor of the day when Olaf introduced Christianity to Norway.
August 3rd tried again to speak in Norsk Sprog.  First time to partake of Sacrament since leaving home.  (Evidently the sacrament was not served every Sunday.)  August 4th a Monday was assigned my first companion, Joseph Jeppsen.  Together we sailed Sogn.  Sister Augusta Iversen gave each of us a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
From Ankvold began the tracting over hill and valley on foot.  Beginning August 6th Joseph Jeppsen and I walked many miles every day stopping at night with any people willing to give us an evening meal, bed, and breakfast for an agreed upon amount of money.  The food was mostly sour milk and potato cakes for supper and for breakfast flat bread, potato cakes, sour milk, molasses and butter.  The pans used in these country homes were made of wood 15 to 18 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep.  Spoons were made of animal horns.  Plates and saucers were also made of wood.  Some of these plates were 200 to 300 years old.
Even in August there was a great deal of rain and at times it was bitter cold.  In the evening at time we went to bed to keep warm.  August 22, 1902 the FIRST LETTER came from home.  We found a good deal of opportunities and were sent out of the house by one man we were trying to talk to.  His wife followed us out and apologized.  Every day except Sunday we tracted always in rough weather.  By September 1st we had crossed over the mountain to “Nausdal.”  What an experience, tracts in one hand and our lives in the other.  Elder Jeppsen had birthday August 31.  He is 33 years old.  This was our monthly report for August 1902.  Tracts – from door to door 130; sold 80, loaned 1, gave away 11, with first tract only 127, Gospel conversations 10.
We found only rough foot paths and consequently when it came to crossing mountains we were climbing from rock to rock.  At times, after snow falls, we had to retrace our steps and hope to get back where we started.  Always we walked unless a boat trip was necessary.  The miles we had to cover did not dismay us.  At times we separated, Jeppson going one road and I another, or each side of a stream.  At Lavik, on the shore of Sognofjord we stayed with an old couple who had a son living in Ogden, Utah.  These young people in America had embraced our faith.  The old folks were investigating the church and were very kind to us.  Monday, Sept. 29th we took a boat back to Begen.  October 1st I ordered a suit of clothes to be made.  Monday Oct. 6th Elder N. C. Mortensen and I baptized a new convert, Sophio Hendrickson.  At night we held a testimony meeting.  It was a great satisfaction, as well as a pleasure to me to hear the powerful testimonies that were borne.  The 9th of Oct. missionaries from Egersund, Stavanger, Haugosund and Aalasund, fourteen in all, came to Bergen for Conference which lasted several days.
President Skanchy gave us much valuable instruction.  Pres. Jensen assigned us to our new field of labor for the next half year.  Ernest Jorgensen became my new companion and Egersund our new place of labor.  Several sessions were held at the Conference.  The members were present as well as investigators.
Saturday, Oct. 18th, we took a boat for Stavanger arriving in the morning at 10 am.  Twelve hours on the water.  (By hydrofoil, July 1966 Tommy and I spent four hours on the water.)  There in Stavanger we attended church, Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting with five saints and eleven visitors present.  Monday we took the train for Egersund.  The Expressman at the station took us directly to the mission office for he was a member of our church.  The missionaries were replacing had been released to go home.  The people in the ars of Egersund are not very kindly toward us, mocking and shouting after us.  We took a boat for Flekkofjord on our way to Lesteland to do a bit of tracting.  The seas became so rough and the passengers so frightened the captain returned to port.  A notice by telegraph had been sent by a school teacher from Flekkofjord to the town warning them that the Mormons were coming.  But in spite of this the Priests previous meeting we had no undue difficulty.
At Egersund our meeting are quite well attended with 25 saints and visitors coming.  Some of our saints live out on farms so we walked out to visit them.  Sunday Nov. 23 we had an appointment to baptize a man.  After a long walk through a rain storm we arrived at the appointed place.  The convert was there but wet and cold and seemed to lack the required faith and there was ice on the water, so we returned without baptizing him.
December 1902 began very cold weather, so cold it’s almost impossible to keep warm and hugging the stove.  This could last several days.  Sunday 7th we held Sacrament Meeting in the forenoon, Priesthood at 12 noon and Sunday School at 3 pm and at 7 pm another regular meeting.  At one home we stopped  at there were lice which necessitated having our clothes boiled.  At a hotel we encountered fleas which kept us busy rubbing all night.  The weather again kept us at Egersund and kept our meetings shorter.  Here we together saw the first snow storm at Egersund and I wrote my first letter to Mother in Norwegian.  Monday, Dec. 22 received a letter from home with $7.00 enclosed as a Christmas present.
Next addition - December 5, 2011

Each Saturday I got a bath at the public bath house.  The times we would go out we spent reading, studying, writing letters, and taking care of necessities.  At times our saints out in the mountains invite their neighbors in to hear us explain the gospel.  And at times these saints that could get to each others homes meet together when we  come to visit.

My first Christmas in Norway was interesting and very much enjoyed.  Christmas Eve we spent at N. Petersen’s where we enjoyed supper, danced around the Christmas tree and sang Norwegian songs.  Elder Jorgensen and I received a nice linen pocket handkerchief.  Christmas Day we were invited to the “old folks” Albertsons for dinner.  We had an enjoyable time.  In the afternoon we were refreshed with chocolate, Christmas cakes, oranges, apples, etc. and at dinner we were served with the palatable Christmas dish of Norway “Smor Crot”  (butter mush).  At night we held a regular meeting devoting the time to Jesus Christ’s birth, mission, and its purpose and importance to us.  This stimulated a long, enjoyable discussion on authority.  Seven visitors and five saints were present.  On the second day of Christmas we visited with the Petersons and the Flaadens being treated to food again.  We held another meeting in the evening where we discussed Joseph Smith and his mission.  We have had a snow fall of 6 inches and rain shortly after that melted all the snow.  The next day thunder and lightening added to the variety.

At 2:30 a.m. December 29 a knock was heard at our window.  It was Olaf Olsen (a saint) who desired us to come and administer to his wife.  She had suddenly became very sick and he feared for her life.  We found her hollowing and crying in great agony.  Her teeth chattered as a result of the pain in her breast.  We administered to her and immediately after she changed for the better.  During the administration the spirit rested upon me to such an extent, and she, whom we administered to seemed as helpless condition.  I weakened in my legs, my throat seemed to be squeezed and the sweat ran off my face in large drops.  We stayed for some time after.  She continued to improve.  We went home to continue our sleep.  In the afternoon we visited Olsen’s again and found her almost well enough to get up.

On December 31st we took the road for Sogndal walking and coming to the Hammersmarks home.  The snow was from 6 to 8 inches deep.  Never before have I been so tired.  I ate a little supper which caused a pain in my stomach and this, added to my stiff and weak feeling made me feel miserable.  All the Sogndal saints, and Sister Tonnesen and son were to enjoy New Years Eve with us but I was too tired to enjoy it. 

January 1st I arose so still that I could hardly raise my feet from the floor and I ate nothing all day.  January 2nd I felt better but still stiff.  That evening we held a meeting at Hammersmarks where we were staying.  A rich flow of spirit was present.  January 3rd I was so much better that we undertook a walk down to Hotlands.  Here we stayed overnight and after dinner we fasted until the next evening for the deaf and dumb son of Pintor Tomench.  Sister Hotland was sick in bed when we arrived.  We administered to her.  The next day, Sunday, she was well and up as usual.  In our testimony meeting all the saints bore their testimonies.    We administered to Hans.  He seemed better immediately and next morning he had a voice and could say words we understood.  Before this he could hardly make a sound.  We feel if he continues to be faithful and tries to speak he will be normal.

Monday, January 5th we took the road for home, Egersund, arriving at 5:30 pm.  I was very tired but not as much as when we left.  A letter awaited me from Bishop J. E. Taylor, also cards from saints, a letter from Florentine Sorensen and Seymour Rosequist with $2.00 for Christmas.  A letter from Helma Beckman awaited us requesting that her name be drawn from the books as she was tired of being a Mormon.  She had asked for this before but we wanted her to be sure.  After our regular meeting on Sunday we held a special meeting for the purpose of excommunicating from the Church Helma Beckman and child Sidna Beckman.

The days were now mostly spent in contacting people in town on the streets, getting into discussions with them, and giving our tracks.  Sometimes we were favorably received but often rejected.  The saints living in this area we visited often and we did tracting to the homes.

Father sent a letter which I received January 23, 1903 enclosing $25.00.  When visiting Elders came through from other areas such as Stavanger our meetings were rich experiences and our discussions after the regular evening service often would last to midnight.  Other nights than Sunday were spent in discussions with Saints and visitors as well.  March 1st 1903 I was sent a new companion, Elder Soren Anderson of Centerfield, Sanpete County who had been in Aalasund.  He is to be with me the remainder of the winter.  Elder Ernest F. Jorgensen returned to Bergen from where he will shortly go home.  This is the Sunday, March 1st, 1903 schedule.  Fast meeting at 10 a.m.  Short Priesthood meeting after.  At 3 pm is Sunday School and at night regular meeting with saints and visitors.  President Jensen arrived on the night train from Bergen on his way to Denmark.  He has been released and is looking up relatives in Denmark before going home.

Often we were at the Hammeramark’s home or at Hotlands.  Always they invited the neighbors in for an evening of discussion.  We tracted up into the mountains with mixed results.  This time we planned to take the steamer back to Egersund but arrived too late so of necessity we used the Apostles horses (our feet).  Conference was held in Bergen with the first meeting Saturday April 18, 1903 at which President Skanchy presided, assisted by Brother Fjelsted.  This was the location of Elders and their partners.

Bergen --  President N. C. Mortensen and Amor Hansen

Hangersund – Jens C. Westergaard and Axel L. Fikotad

Stavanger – Soren Anderson and Niels P. Jeppsen

Egersund – Martin W. Mangelson and Andrew L. Thorpe

Many inspiring meetings were held at this conference in Bergen.  The missionaries enjoyed being together.  Two very pleasant walks were planned out into the countryside of Bergen and these gave us an opportunity to enjoy Norway itself.  The oldest Christian churches in Norway are the wooden Stave Churches.  These were created by an enthusiastic people inspired by the new Christian gospel.  One of these early wooden churches built in the 12th century was being sold for removal in the year 1879.  The village of Fortum wanted a new building.  A citizen of Bergen, Consul F. Gade bought the church and had it moved to an area known as Fantoft, 5 miles south of Bergen.  I visited this historic old Catholic Church Fantoft where sin forgiveness was sold.  (I, Helen, visited this same beautiful old Fantoft Church June 11, 1966.  It is now used only occasionally for weddings, and is not considered a Catholic Church.  I enjoyed this building with Mr. And Mrs. Karl Sovig of Pardis.  They took us for a short walk from their home to this church.  In memory of my mother and her native land I sang a short Norwegian song in this church.  Not until I read this diary of my father did I know he had even been in a stave church and especially this one.)

We were assigned to labor in Egersund.  We traveled by ship from Bergen to Stavanger.  Stavanger is rather flat and a very pretty place.  There is a certain picturesque about the countryside.  From Stavanger we took the train to Egorsund arriving May 4, 1903.  One of the Saints, Bro. Laurentson’s wife had just given birth to a baby girl.  Sister Laurentson was very sick.  The baby died.  We prepared a funeral service with appropriate songs and talk.  We walked to the cemetery.  Four small boys carried the coffin.  Elder Thorpe dedicated the grave.  Sister Laurentson remained very ill for many, many days.  In fact she is failing a little each day.  We have been asked by President Morenson to get permission from the Chief of Police to hold an open air meeting.  This permission was granted.  We wrote out a number of bills and posted them around town to advertize our meeting.  At 8 pm Tuesday, June 9, 1903 our meeting was held in the middle of the street.  We used a box to stand on.  At first only children came, then adults when we started singing.  In all we had 250.  They listened attentively up to the closing prayer.  President Mortensen spoke for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Next night we held another meeting with 300 present.  Tracting into far away areas was done sometimes by boat.  We met many people with false ideas about us.  After explaining the right ways friendly feelings resulted but that was all.  Getting back to Egersund we found Sister Laurentson some better.  The doctors had lanced her in four places and now we hope she will pull through if her leg is not amputated.

June 23 is St Hanns Dage.  We went out on the fjord in a boat, we are one among countless boats, to see the force on the hills around town.  Also each family makes a large wreath of flowers and hangs it outside of the house.  (We, Tommy and I saw those same kind of fires and a large wreath of flowers in Oslo June 23, 1956.)

July 1, 1903 I helped carry Sister Laurentsen to the hospital where she will undergo an operation on her leg.  This was no small job getting her through several doors, down a narrow stairway, and through town as every little move was torture for her.  The doctors who operated cut out a piece of diseased bone in the knee.  This will leave her leg stiff.

July 7, 1903 I went to the doctor to have my ear examined for I was experiencing such a ringing.  The doctor told me I had a broken ear drum, that I should have the ear tied up for 5-6 days, and to inject a mixture of carbolic acid and glycerin prepared by the druggist, two or three times a day.  This I did with no improvement.  I was getting to where I could hardly hear myself speak or sing.  I went to Bergen to get medical help.  At first I was encouraged that my hearing would improve, but as the days went by I could see no real improvement.  Then the doctor told me he was going to Germany and suggested I go either to a doctor he recommended in Berlin or one in Copenhagen.  President Mortensen answered my letter saying I could go home or to Copenhagen to get medical attention for my ear.

August 8th eight to ten German Battleships arrived in the harbor at Bergen.  We hired a row boat and rowed out among the battleships.  There were torpedo boats, one was the Emperor’s ship on which he personally sailed, and the remainder were common gun boats.  Sunday August 9th we attended Sunday School in the forenoon.  In the afternoon we went to a Catholic service.  With all their formality and customs this was an uncommon sight.  On our way home we saw a great wedding marching toward the Lutheran Church.  There were three to be married.  Two were from the country and these were wearing country customs with silver crowns on their heads.  The third couple was from town.  We joined in the march bracing up and though we were relations, and a right to be there.  Thus we were right up to the front getting a commanding view of all the performances.

Monday August 10th.  In the evening I went to the circus on the sly.  It was good fro Norway.  Wednesday August 12 I preached my farewell sermon to Bergen.  I visited friends in their homes finding it difficult to say goodbye, realizing full well we would never see each other again in this life.  We met together at Bro. John Hansen whose life’s hour is soon to be ended.  Death’s expression now covers his brow.  We sang a song or two and united in prayer giving ourselves over in to the hands of our maker or until it was his desire that we should meet on the other side.  At 7 pm many saints and investigators were at the docks to bed me goodbye.  Although I had been in Bergen a short time I had many friends.

As the S.S. Dronningen steamed out of the harbor in my mind’s eye I seemed to see again all of the beautiful sights of this historic old city and my mind, like a phonograph, seemed to repeat the many conversations and things I had heard and said in past moments, yes in the one year I had been in Norway. 

I traveled by ship to Stavanger.  Here Elder Jeppsen was at the docks to meet me.  Together we visited the town water works which gave us a commanding view of the city.  Saturday, August 15th I left for Egersund.   Here I visited old friends that I had enjoyed when I labored here.  But time came for me to say farewell to Egersund and Bogndal and the travel by ship to Christiansund.  The Elders met me at the docks and arranged for me to stay over night with them.  It was pleasant talking with them which we did until 12 midnight.

The S S Nyland was to leave 4 a.m. for Fredrickshavn so I went aboard and went to bed before the ship was to sail.  This now was my last and final farewell to Norway.  At 2 pm I arrived in Fredrickshavn, found the LDS headquarters and made myself at home.  The two missionaries here were Don C. Sorensen, Ephraim, Utah and Rupert Olsen of Brigham, Utah.

The next day I took the train for Aalborg.  Here I met the Conference President Lars P. Christensen of Preston, Idaho and Cluff Petersen.  Elder Petersen suddenly remembered a man who had called at the office inquiring for me.  The address was taken so we went to the man’s home.  On the door was the name of G. Mangelson.  A young woman answered the door.  Her husband had just taken the train for Hjorring.  This was his occupation.  However, he would be back the next day.  I learned his father was Hjorren Mangelson so I knew we were cousins.  She extended an invitation to me to return the next day. 

Thursday August 27 I was back at Mangelsen’s door.  She answered the door and conducted me into the fine room.  Her husband soon appeared.  He was a man of 32 years, light in complexion, small mustache, about 5’6” tall, weighing about 165 lbs., light hair.  I told you it was a feeling of pleasure for both of us to meet.  We sat down and conversed on family affairs, mixed with Gospel.  They were very bitter toward the Mormons but I believe by explanation had some influence on them.  After enjoying her very nice dinner I left for he had to get back to his work.   He was the RR conductor.  Before we parted he did extend an invitation for me to return whenever I could for I was always welcome.  These folks had three children, two boys and a girl.

Friday I took the train for Copenhagen.  My first evening I accompanied two Elders to the amusement park Tivoli.  Everyone, almost for the past hundred years, visits Tivoli when in Copenhagen.  My first home was at Dagmars Gade No. 38 1sto. Sal.  The doctor whom I decided about was Dr. Schmegolow at Norregade No. 18.  He didn’t give me much encouragement.  The punctured ear drum he felt was of long duration possibly from childhood.  Nothing could really be done, that my hearing would never be as good in that ear as it had been, however, the hearing I had should last many, many years.

I have attended Sunday School, Sacrament Meeting, Mutual, Relief Society so I am getting acquainted.  I have tried tracting but I find it very difficult to get to talk to peop0le.  But one happy experience sort of made up for the disappointments.  In tracting I met an old lady who 33 years ago had been a Mormon when just a girl.  The men she married had not allowed her to attend but now he was dead she thought she would like to come again and be one with us.

The meetings here in Copenhagen are well attended and the saints often invite us home to eat with them.  Sometimes we get to share in the birthday parties.  Then we have a genuine good time.  The Elders here have administered to me asking that my hearing be saved.  Thursday, Sept. 17, 1903 I helped remodel the stand in the big room.  This is the first work I have performed since I left home.  Each day I do some tracting, meeting with the saints and attend all the Church meetings as well as write letters to friends and missionaries in Norway as well as writing letters home.  The saints are very good to us.  We meet in the homes often to discuss religion, sing songs, tell stories and generally enjoy ourselves.  It’s a good feeling we have.

I have had a tailor make a suit for me.  It cost me 60 kroner’s.

Wednesday Sept. 8 1903 we baptized five new members.  I have been going to see Dr. Lango.  Sept. 18th a special fast day was held for me and I was administered to by the brethren, President Fjeldsted being the voice.  When next day I saw the doctor he was very pleased and said the hold was much smaller.  However, as the days went by and the doctor continued to see my ear washing it out with warm water after the oil drops of previous days the ear appeared unchanged.  My concern became one of trying to avoid head colds for these congestions really made my hearing less effective.

Christmas is again with us.  We missionaries are surely treated royally.  The Scandinavians have their Christmas trees in the center of the room.  Dancing and singing while going around the tree is the custom.  We do enjoy the many delicious things to eat but Christmas time is special and many days of Christmas are celebrated.  The saints meet often, not waiting until the weekend or Sunday.  On New Years Eve, firecrackers are set off in the street.  I had been to Sister Speths for dinner.  I left in time to hear the clock on the Court House chime twelve.  The Court House grounds and all the streets were packed almost solid with people.  The thousands of Danish crows burned, you might say, on those firecrackers and rockets shot off made me feel these people were not too poor after all.  Police with clubs had to herd the people like animals to keep them from crowding each other under foot.  I managed to get out and on my way walking home.  No trolleys were running because the crowd had cut the power lines. 

New Years Day 1904 I received a picture from my brother Lorenzo showing his baby named LeGrande.

I do tracting for a few hours every day.  Sometimes I am asked to return and explain the Gospel more fully.  These are interesting times.  Many gospel subjects are brought up, even polygamy and though I do not convert always I do inform people of the truth and always I feel I have made a favorable impression.  One him I tracted I was invited in.  The woman was a widow having been deserted by a thoughtless husband to raise five children alone.  Lying in bed in this room was a very beautiful young woman with large brown eyes, face and lips each resembling a wax doll.  She looked pitifully up from the bed.  She had married a shiftless man unable to keep up a home, pay rent and soon they were put out on the street.  The daughter came home sick with an 18 month old child and another soon to be born.  The second child lived 6 weeks.  The father came to see the child, buried and then left never returning nor giving an ore to their support.  So here lay the daughter now paralyzed on one side.  This is the medical care one can expect in Denmark if one is poor.

The good people I have found while tracting have become my friends.  Mr. Omark is one of these.  Mr. Omark suggested that I might enjoy a visit to Rosenberg Palace.  We arranged to meet at the entrance and the two hours we were allowed to spend there went all too soon.  Later in the week we went again.  Such riches I have never seen before.  To actually see the personal property of these kings and queens dating back to 1449, to note the worn appearance from use made me feel this was the present that I was seeing not the past.  Charles IV built this palace.  Mr. Omark took me to the House of Congress, to the Royal Family Residences Amaliahberg and to the Fredricksborg Castle.  What an experience and one I will not so soon forget.

Another family I have met while tracting, the Nordins, have been especially kind of me and often I have enjoyed their home, their daughter’s piano playing and their general good company.  Mrs. Nordins father died on a Tuesday.  She sent me a written invitation to attend the funeral Sunday March 6, 1904.  This was a fast Sunday and I knew after the funeral there would be food but I felt I could not rightly refuse to be there.  These people had extended to me many kindnesses.  At the set time they awaited me with a hack which rattled us over the cobbled streets to Vester Kirkogaard (west Church Yard).  In the “Kapel” (chapel) where the funeral services are held, the coffin had stood since death, a custom here observed.  The Priest gave a very nice sermon, the family having paid for a first class sermon, therefore had reasons to expect such.  The dead man belonged to a Lodge and to do honor to him four lodges were out with their banners and members.  At the grave the Priest cast dirt on the coffin, and banners were waved over the grave three times and the services were over.  The hacks were awaiting us and we were soon back to Nordins home where we partook of delicacies prepared for the occasion.

April 8, 1904 I visited Carlsberg Brewery which next to St. Louis, Mo. Is the largest in the world.  They bottle 260,000 bottles daily.  This same day I saw a show displaying a large, strong woman.  She weighed 500 lbs.  She could bear 400 lbs on her bosoms.  Her breasts were so large that a piece of cord could be laid on them and a 200 lb. Man could be standing on this board with ease.

Still more to come.......................

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to read more from Martin's journal. Hope you get more free time to blog it soon!