RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
On 6 States & 2 Continents,
from Plain View Farm,
Feb. 15, 1950
It was in her heritage collection since 1950, and she may well have read it a number of times, as she was accustomed to rereading her mail, no matter how ancient, to remind herself of past doings and God's blessings lavished over the year on the Stadems as they sought to serve and love God and man.
At the top is written in ink by Alfred, "You sure do not have to read this scrib. Anyway not till you get time to spare."
The letter is first typed on a mimeograph, and the blurry blue copy is poor, so Alfred wrote over the illegible words to make them clear, only it is tough going, but worth the trouble anyway. I really like his testimony about depending on grace, unmerited grace for personal soul salvation, not works of any kind. This proves he knew what soul salvation is based upon--Christ alone, not our own works or righteousness or goodness. The letter is not going to be very preachy, he says, and gets down to very practical descriptions of farm life, and also references to letters already read from loved ones, and Alfred's responses. Yet he is asked for spiritual counsel, and gives some, based on his readings of good books, a devotional, and his own reflections.
This gives us a picture of the whole family at that time, how it was doing spiritually and the things they were concerned with. We are very grateful it was preserved so it could be offered on-line.--Ed.
I have come to realize this is not the kind of a letter you want or expect, but guess it will have to serve the purpose [the mimeographed copy].
Happy to inform you we are well and happy. Have not even had a cold yet this winter, no snowbound yet or floods, blizzards nor cyclones as we hear of elsewhere, no, not even a strike of any kind, but plenty to eat, a good place to sleep, work to do, good books and lots of literature to read and messages of good cheer from friends and dear ones.
What more could a person wish for? True enough all of this would not be worth living for, unless we inclued in the word "happy" the peace with God unmerited on our part. Yet it's there. Yep, it's a good thing the plan of Salvation is not based on works or "do's" and "don'ts", otherwise there sits one here who would be "skunk" on the day of reckoning.
Yet it is evident to me where there is "do's" or "don'ts" the first transaction has not been made! Nope, I'm not going to preach but just write a letter.
Taylors...thanks a 1000 for all we have heard from you. It's all been read and reread with much interest. The "chivante," the round robin through three Hills, the personal letter of Feb. 1st, also of last year. Yes, the "Brown Gold" is read with more interest now that we are better acquainted. And the box arrived and all done as directed, but do not mention that cash item any more unless you want to fight.
To be sure we followed every move at Coohabomba at the family reunion [so this proves there were family reunions going on at PVF back in the late forties!--Ed.]. You were not the only ones bawling!!! Indeed it was sad to hear of the 5 young soldiers for Christ [the five missionaries, Tate, and Jim Elliott, and three other young men of the missionary New Tribes Mission team, killed by the Auca Indians as they were then named--Ed.], have to give their lives. Yet they are to be envied wearing the Martyr's crown to be sure. We are thrilled to hear about "the first nugget." [his reference to "Brown Gold" and an Indian convert?] Expect to meet him in heaven some day.
Now this is the next day allready, 9 p.m. Possibly you say, "what are you doing on P.V.F. anyhow? Well, it's the usual program of course, such as dusting the barn and what goes with 27 head of cattle, 5 horses, 6 hogs, 8 sheep, dog and cats, and 200 hens, etc. It takes a tremendous lot of water every day, 10 to 15 gallons for hens alone. Hope my young lady does not help me with this either. She has her stoves, dishes, food and patching, etc. And of late she has been writing letters to the lawmakers of Washington. She gets answers too [so is her Mama where Ruth got her example to write publicly with a Christian viewpoint to express on issues? If only we had copies of those letters and the responses from lawmakers!--Ed.].
Well, the other day to Co-op, and tied a quilt. Today she made two big boxes of soap.
I just mended water-pails and tin cans and put a iron band on the butterchurn for extra.
Loren [Lorin Ginther, recovering from rheumatic fever] is allowed to be outside now so he goes down and gets the mail, and visit Waldows. He is feeling O.K. but his temp. runs irrigular yet. Dr. said Fri. to try a month without remedie now. Am sure you all know by now Darrel expect he will pass the 8th Gr. this spring. Sure a different boy then he ever was.
It's 9 p.m. on the day after the day yesterday. The daily grind was not so different, only for the extra an old man and a man-to-be [Lorin] drove down to the old Bill Brown place with two plugs on the twowheel trailer and brought home an old binder I bought on an auction sale last fall.
We took along the rifle for protection as we do not want the big jackrabbits to run over us. Well, one just would not get up and go, so we took and shot him. My [aim] did not do so much extra to crow about. Just washed dirty cloths.
AND this is the day after the day after that. Yes, Sonney Bill [son-in-law Bill Svanoe], your letter from Tucson is at hand and read thrice, also the group letters and cards sent by Myrtle and it will all be on the way tomorrow. Thanks for it all, not the least for wanting our humble opinnion about the whole matter.
Frankly, I must say I do not know what to say about it, and I'm curious to see this what follows myself. Yes, indeed we have prayed about this in particular in addition to asking God every day to guide all our dear ones in all they do and say, and direct us all in our individual problems, but most of all to the wellfare of our immortal souls.
Will say at the outset, that we do believe you are following the right course so far. We are indeed happy you have the desire to step out more fully for the Lord and of service in His kingdom. We believe in the Christian's life the Lord creates the desire. What I mean is "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord"--Ps. 27:14
And the result will be "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary,; and they shall walk, and not faint."--Is. 40:31. That's to be in His will.