This letter is the first one in chronological order. The folds in the letter are torn and blackened with age so there are missing words here and there. I can use contextual hints to fill them in but have shown the missing words with [--------]. I will let the reader fill in the blanks themselves.
June 13, 1907
Miss Bessie Barnhart
Miss Bessie Barnhart
Dear Sister Barnhart,
[--------] yesterday and received your welcome letter, and was glad to hear from you again.
I will answer yours tonight so that if I should take an unexpected notion to go to town tomorrow I can mail it.
I suppose you are acquainted with farm life enough to know that going to town is to a great extent governed by circumstances.
[--------] I say [--------] home for several days and something occurs (often) that I sometimes that very day.
This is the busiest time of the year for me, and we have had so very much rain this spring that the weeds are getting a good start.
I managed to [--------] of an acre of ground this afternoon but it was none to dry.
It has been thundering a little [--------] with rain all around [--------] this evening. I thought for sure it was going to pour down but it didn’t.
I hope it will not rain before I get the seed in the ground.
I have often been constrained to lift my thoughts with praise to God for, what has seemed to me, [--------] in my farm work.
True it is that seems he has chastened me to some [--------] that a com------] instead of discouragement then we “despise not” the “chastening of the Lord.”
“Happy is the man whom the Lord correcteth.” Job 5:17
The verse you drew my attention is full of comfort and encouragement and causes me to praise God for leading me to his [--------] who love to “speak often [--------] the godly fear.
Yes I received the regular and special numbers of the instruction for which I thank [--------] with interest.
I do hope I might attend camp meeting but I am so afraid the rain has set things back so it is doubtful, but I will hope.
I wish you success in your studies and selling the Signs.
If you go the Joplin High School [--------] not be like our schools, will it? It will be a school world[--------].
[--------] wonder if [--------] folks do like worldly teachers, that is, become an efficient teacher and then marry and cease to teach.
I can not say that I condemn it but it seems so unprofitable to spend money and energy to become an efficient teacher and then stop.
I think that should be left entirely with the teacher and the Lord.
I will close at this time hoping to hear from you soon and that the Lord will fulfill his promise in Luke 21:15 in you. “And I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
Yours for truth and righteousness.
This is Monday and I have not been to town but Mother is going, and [--------] was not [--------] in reaching you as it has been, but better late than never.
But this makes me think that we can be to late in accepting salvation.
I hope to hear from you soon.
your friend in brother in Christ