My College and Mission Years

After I graduated I worked for the Forest Service during the summer. I was called to the ?? mission on ?? then on 3 December 1962, I went into the mission home. Aunt Hattie Bell Black was in the mission home and also Pete Black from Blanding and a few from Arizona who were all descendents of William Morely Black. Hattie got us all together for meals so we could get to know each other. There was no cafeteria so we would walk down the hill to Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City by the Joseph Smith Memorial.  During this time things were a little bit different for missionaries. The missionaries went to the temple once you got to the mission home all the elders would go together. The year I was in the Mission Home the Salt lake temple was closed  so we went to the Logan temple to have our endowments taken out.  I was in the Mission Home for two weeks and at the end of our training we had a testimony meeting in the tabernacle and all the missionaries sat in the choir seats. Families were welcome and would come to this testimony meeting. When we got to Chicago the mission home was on the shores of Lake Michigan and it was so cold that the waves of the lake would come in and freeze. I spent about three days in Chicago and then went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I spent 5 months. While I was in Milwaukee they were having some of the coldest temperatures on record. I had many good experiences while I was there but one of my experiences was not good. My companion and I were involved in a car accident that involved 4 cars and we both got whiplashes from the accident. We were admitted in a hospital for this and put  in traction, this was during the unusual cold spell. It was so cold in the hospital the nurses would come in and put blankets on the window to help keep the rooms a little bit warmer. My good experiences were, I baptized two really neat families while I was there.  The  Zappe family came from Germany there was the mom and dad, two boys and a girl that were old enough to be baptized, however they also had twins but they were too young at that time to be baptized. There was another family named Seitman that we had the opportunity to teach the gospel to and also wanted to be baptized. We were able to baptize the dad, the  oldest boy and the  two oldest girls. The mom had just had a baby so she got baptized two weeks later. The biggest challenge for me being in Milwaukee was the temperatures I had never been in a place that was so cold. During the day the temperatures would warm up to 20 below 0 and then get down to 30 below at night, Lake Michigan completely froze over that year. I transferred out of Milwaukee on the fifth of May and went to Chicago Heights. My first companion there was Kelly Summers from Monticello I was there only a month then I was transferred to Kankakee. They had a Corn Flake company there. They heated with coal heat so there was lots of pollution and they would dump there sewage in the rivers. The buildings were all black from the suite and the smoke. I was only there a short time then I was transferred to Chillicothe, Ohio there was about 2500 people that lived there. There was no church in Chillicothe but members lived there in the town. it was always on trains that we were transferred on this time I met a member who was working on the trains and there was a nice man who took me to my apartment we had a referral on a member family that returned to the Lutheran church because there was not a church in the town. This family always wanted there kids to go to MIA. When the Lutheran Minister found out about this he was mad. We were able to reactivate this family. They got a referral to a family who lived way out on a farm there names Tedrecks they lived in a little Metamora. They were a family that came out and went to the temple before I was drafted into the army I went through with them. Then when there daughter got married I was invited to the wedding. When I was there at the wedding the conference center just opened up so we toured it. Danville Illinois it was about 50 miles from where Janene lived so she came up and picked me up for the conference it wasn’t too long after that she ran over her little son Chuckie. I was in Danville for about 3 or 4 months. Then I was transferred to Wausau, Wisconsin this is where I spent my last winter and into the spring then I was transferred to Southern Illinois, Benton. While I was there our area Carbondale branch and Westfrankfurt branch. We worked in both of those branches. Milwaukee was my favorite place in my mission. Last part of mission I reopened up Clinton, Iowa it was by Davenport Iowa and Moline Illinois it had been shut down due to misconduct of previous missionaries. My mission consisted of Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa. In Chillicothe we had a mission conference in Nauvoo and Carthrage. The reorganized church owned that area. When I was over in Clinton Iowa in one of the parks they had the star stone they had taken from the Nauvoo temple and put it in the park. I got home off my mission 0n the 3 of December in 1964. After my mission I went to Utah state and made such bad grades I lost my deferment. Not long after this I was called up to Fort Bliss Texas where I had my 8 weeks training I thought I was to be shipped off to Vietnam and at the last minute they changed my orders to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. From there I went to Erwin I had no idea where I was supposed to be I was in uniform and wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go someone told me I was supposed to go the Nike sights. I worked in the battalion headquarters they sent me out the to be the Housing NCO. Then they changes me to be a s2 clerk I had the best job in the whole battalion. My job was to process everyone and send there information to the FBI so they would see if they were reliable to have security clearance. In the office we also had a CBR and Senior dog handlers. It was interesting. I bunked with the typist from the other units. I was one of the top 2 clerk typist in the whole battalion. It turned out to be a really good experience my tour in Vietnam was 13 months I kept expecting to be transferred to be Vietnam but I never was. I had high scored in the military and could of become an officer but I decided not to. I was able to go to church while I was there the missionaries contacted me and they came and picked me up and we went to the district conference. There was an African American that came with me that joined the church in Korea. He had got a hold of the Book of Mormon and joined the church. I became the second counselor in the branch the Greenburg branch it was a town next to Erwin. At the time we were meeting in a Rec Hall. One day I was waiting to start the meeting and there was a black lady came in for church and she joined the church in England. Maryland Yule she was so hungry to meet Americans she saw missionaries and was excited to see them then she ended up joining the church. She had been raised a Catholic and she asked to missionaries why they thought they had the only true church. She came back to the states and joined the church. She was drafted to be a member of the tabernacle choir. She ended up marrying a member of the church whose wife had died. She wan’t able to get sealed to him because blacks were not able to hold the priesthood or have endowments at that time. I was able to do a lot of work with the missionaries while I was there in the military and spent a lot of time in members homes so I could get away from the base. On the 4th of July we had a branch picnic and Mike Young was on a mission there at the time and was from Monticello so I was a team captain for baseball and Mike was a team captain so it was Blanding against Monticello. in 1978 when President Kimball announced the black’s could have the priesthood that was one of the most inspired revelation that I had heard. I have a very strong testimony of revelation and the blacks at the time were ready to receive the priesthood that as people are ready the civil war
Vietnam war-Lyndon Johnson was the President he was at the top of the command and I never liked him. When I got released from the millitary I went and stayed with the Sietman family for about a month.

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