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Coming to Raymond: a Missionary's Story

One young couple, newly married, arrived as the first Raymond missionaries. The bride relates:

"As we arrived that first day in Raymond a puff of wind caught my pretty 'going away' bonnet. It flew off my head and rolled over and over on the frozen ground, never to be seen again. This was to be my first introduction to Raymond as we sat in our open buggy with hot rocks at our feet to help keep us warm. What a feeling of loneliness crept over me, a young bride, as we rode on and on over endless prairies. I had come from a mountainous country and the large stretches of prairie grass made me feel as if I were in the middle of the ocean straining my eyes for sight of land.
"We were met in Stirling by a friend with a buggy and fine horses and the next morning left for Cardston where we reported to President Charles Ora Card. I was immediately called as a missionary to labour amongst the Y.M.L.I. in connection with my husband who had been called in 1897 on a previous mission to Philadelphia for 27 months. When released, the authorities said to him, "go home a marry a good Mormon girl and we will call you on another mission." From his journal: "That next year I had a call to Canada as an M.I.A. missionary. As I was engaged to be married, we decided to go to Canada and were married in October and, nine days later, left for Canada."

The first thing they did as missionaries was to go to a store and purchase fur coats to keep the wind out. As they traveled from place to place she caught cold and got pneumonia. She was nursed back to health by a lady in Mountain View.

"As missionaries we traveled to all the towns in southern Alberta, holding cottage meetings, going from door to door, speaking in church and mingling at socials and dances. Our field of endeavour was from Mountain View on the west to Stirling on the East, covering all the towns in between."

Excerpt from personal journal courtesy of Evelyn Hendry from the Raymond Museum and Archives.

See also:

[back] [First People and Settlers] [New Beginnings] [Adventurous Albertans]

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            For more on the history of settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.