Maxine Wakefield

Eastern States Mission

1940 -- 1942

Missionary in the Eastern States Mission for the LDS Church


(Letters home)

Taylor, Arizona

September 7, 1940

Dearest Mother,

We don’t write very often do we?  But we’re really all right and are anxious to know about Peggy.  How are you getting along now?  Our mail doesn’t seem to get to you when we address it  “L.D.S.” (Hospital in Salt Lake City).  Marjorie P. had one returned.  We addressed it again.  Did you get it?

Well, Mother, I’ve received my [missionary] call from Salt Lake.  Guess where?  Eastern Mission (New York).  I was rather scared at first because I’d told them a cheaper mission.  Then I felt like I had nothing to doubt or fear because Br. Hatch had told me there was a place waiting for me and that I’d be sent where I was needed.  (This proved the point, don’t you think?)  Also, he promised me I’d never lack for funds.  So what have I to fear?  Mama, in this blessing it said the country would be full of scourges which I should escape and return in safety.  Leland says when he read this he thought of where the Doctrine & Covenants states that New York and Boston shall be full of scourges and wondered at the time if I would be called there.  He said he thought I wouldn’t be that lucky. (You know everyone wants to go there).  At the time, I had no preference.  Now, however, I’m thrilled over it very much.  I think it’s the best one, of course.  That must be the influence of the Lord, too.

I’ll have to be up in Salt Lake by the 28th of October.  I will leave on my mission the 7th of November, so I have quite a bit of time, which I’m going to try to use up in the District School here if they’ll let me.  Thirty dollars will help quite a bit, I think.  Don’t you?  Somehow we seem to be doing better already.  Dad is working in Holbrook again, and our store is on the up.  We’re restocking, and we are getting more trade.  Even our mental and religious attitude is improved.

Well, I guess that’s about enough on me and my affairs.

Grant has Maurice’s car and is going to exchange it.  Maurice says he doesn’t need it out there.

Zoe has had a cold and is better, but she has that stomach trouble again.  I’ve put her on a diet, which she says starves her to death.  But she does eat the wrong thing and too much of it.

I pride myself (as usual) on the way I’ve been running the house (and probably the family).  I make them toe the mark (even on Sunday).  So long as they don’t see this written it’s okay, but I try to treat them good, too.  I think they’ll live!

I’m trying to answer all the letters.  Maurice doesn’t even know yet about the mission.  (He’s up on his car payments now.  I have to use a little diplomacy).  I guess I got that from you.  I can’t wait to tell Gerald either.  Thought I’d get my call before I did.

Did you know Jane Hunt got married again?  Isn’t that awful?  I think so, but then maybe I’m no judge.  A red-head (brother to Ina Merrill’s husband).  He smokes and maybe drinks, too, but Aunt Nell and Ammon seem pleased in spite of it (as before).   They say they think a lot of each other.  Well, I shouldn’t judge.

I guess I’ve about exhausted the subject, paper and reader, and it’s Saturday.  I’m trying to mail quite a few rush (as usual) Saturday letters.  Luckily my work is caught up pretty well, and I did get up early to get Dad off to work.  He took the car to bring back some groceries, and Melvin, I guess.Love and health to both of you—am sending Sr. Hoyt’s address.

The Family

Elmira, New York

November 28, 1940

Dear Mother,

It was lovely of you to send the money.  I just received it in time again.  It just seems that what I need comes about in time, but I never have a bit to spend on clothes.  Somehow it just takes all I have to get by.   I haven’t bought a thing.  I’m going to try to scrimp out a turban and a warm sweater or something out of this.  I just need it so badly.  Tell [Aunt] Zone and Arthello it was wonderful of them.  No, I’ll enclose a letter to them.

Sister Udall [Maxine’s missionary companion—Jessica Udall from Arizona] had a cold a few days ago and got over it yesterday and today.  I have it—one of those old flu spells.  I can feel is all over in my head, eyes, ears and throat, but I’ll take care of myself and see.  I think it will go away.  Seems to be going around.  One of the young men doesn’t feel so good either.

I’m glad Leland could come, but why didn’t he come through to see me?  I wish he could come at Christmas time.  We’d show him a good time, and it would be good for him.

Evening—missionary life and letter writing is rather chopped up.  We were invited to another Thanksgiving dinner (an old lady who believes the old way).  The dinner was delicious, but tonight I’m afraid I couldn’t have enjoyed it.  I think I’ve lost my taster.  Other than that I’m no worse.  My ears always plug up with a cold.

I’ve got to go visit another family this evening.  You don’t know how full a missionary’s days really are.  I never have time to worry about my problems.  We don’t always like to do everything at first, but we talk ourselves into it, and always enjoy it before we’re through.

I’m so glad that Peggy has had her operation.  Does that mean she is through?  How did it fix her?  Completely?  Or what?

Also glad Zoe has gone with Marva again.  Is Bonnie still with you?  How are Grace and the kids?

Grant sent me $8 but it’s spent on board.  He says he’ll try to send some more.  Haven’t heard from Maurice.  How are the Clay Springs folks?  I wrote to Andy but never received a letter, nor from anyone but you and Grant once.  Now you see how I’m neglected?  I’ve written to everyone, and I know they aren’t any busier.  I don’t even have time to wash my clothes.  But I love this work!

We’re just getting our organizations under control.  My goodness you really get the training out here.  I’ll be able to do anything (I hope).  At least I’m going to try to make a wonderful missionary, and I’ve done all right so far.

By the way, I wish you’d send me my “Recreation Book of Games” and “Mr. Durrant of Salt Lake City”.   I need them both.  There are lots of things I left like that that I could use.  Could you?  What do you think about our chorus?  You haven’t said.  Are or aren’t you proud of me?  Of course it’s expensive but those things make one’s mission really worthwhile.  The boys have bought an old (about ’29) Chrysler for $45.  If it runs it will help us out immensely although it does burn gasoline, which we girls will have to help out with.

O, Mother, I’ve been so happy.  Just seems like I can’t stand it sometimes because it seems more than I deserve, and then there are times (especially after Sister Udall and I have been tracting all day in the cold with no success) when we, revengefully, say to ourselves we just can’t wait to see their looks when we flop over on wings (in the next world, figuratively speaking).  Anyhow, we have fun even if it is a serious business We’re engaged in.

Sister Udall made a pie the other night and we laughed until we were sick.  The Elders—you should have heard the things they said about it and me too.  The next morning I fixed some hot cakes for them and it was the same—the following evening some biscuits on stew.  (Sister Udall called it by the name of meat pie).  And we’ll fix them some more when we have lived these down—anyhow good experience.  They just come over to eat until they are provided a place to cook in their apartments.  We go in together on the food and the Elders do the dishes, so we don’t mind.

I don’t care if Leland does say you baby me by writing so often.  I just wait forever for that one little page—so write (and long too!) about twice a week.  I guess I’ve just about done my duty, haven’t I?  I’d love to tell you (if I had the time) about the wonderful things, but there are too many.

By the way, we have about 10 inches of snow, so you have nothing over our selves.

Well, this time I’m really through (I think).  Hoping you’re all as well and thankful as I.

Your loving daughter,   Maxine

Elmira, New York


Morning—The room is a little cold this morning.  Don’t think the furnace is turned high enough.  I’m sitting in bed writing.

Did I tell you about the Social they had for us the other night?  Sister Udall and I were given a warm welcome by being given a pair of woolen socks.  I think that was the missionaries’ idea (Sister Udall and I both being from Arizona).   We’ll probably use them, too, before this winter is over.

I had the chance of tracting with the little lady (73) who Bernice Smith told about.  She’s just an inspiration to be with.  She certainly doesn’t beat about the bush—goes straight up to the door and bears her testimony—quite a little missionary.

Did you get the autumn package I sent?  Poor Dad must have thought it a belated birthday present.  The autumn leaves were nearly gone.  We hunted quite a while for those, but they have been so beautiful.  I didn’t know it would eventually turn into such a large package. Sister Judd and I wanted to do something about Thanksgiving—so the package.  Hers was larger, and she bought a table decoration extra, but I like mine even better.  Most of the things grow here.  The round red berries are bittersweet.  It’s getting quite scarce.  It will last all winter.  The oval red ones are California Privy (I think), growing here.  The snowberries are the white.  Don’t know how long they’ll keep.  The pods are waxed so should keep indefinitely.  Don’t know what they are.  I wish you’d straighten the stems out long.  I had to crush and rearrange them to get in the box.

Today (Sunday) I think I’ll have to go to Waverly (18 miles) to church there, and guess we have to talk.  Don’t know what on—yet.  I’ve done all right, so far, I suppose.

I was tickled to death about Leland.  I do so hope he can go, or come rather.  I’d like him to come here for Christmas if he could.  Well, everything is swell.  Don’t worry.

Love to all,   Your daughter Maxine

Elmira, New York

December 25, 1940

Dear Folks & Marva, Joe, Zoe & Joey,

I’m having the grandest Christmas—rather different, but one which I shall always remember.  There have been so many things happen this week that I can hardly begin to tell you about it all.

Last Thursday we started giving our Cantata to the travelers here.  We were home (in Elmira) Sunday for a broadcast and Monday left again.  We’ve done marvelously well (in fact sometimes we get a little puffed up about it), even if we can’t believe all that they say.  Some say we’re the best they’ve ever heard!  Ha!  But we do do all right (at times).

Last night and today we’ve been caroling in all the big hotels, and believe it or not, tonight we’re all guests at The Seneca hotel—one of the hotels here.  The most wonderful rooms, sinkey carpets, private baths, etc.  Sis Udall and I have twin beds with Simmons Mattresses (all free—just for singing for our supper”).  We’ve just finished a group of carols and about 10:00 expect to do our Cantata down in the mezzanine or whatever you call it.

(Later—Dec. 28th)    I was stopped right here, but I’ll go on and finish the days that have past.  We were appreciated so much that I can hardly put all of that in.  Imagine that nice treatment in the hotel.

It was funny, as we went up the mirrored elevators carrying our battered overnight bags.  Some of the boys even had a necktie extra in brief cases, but we were treated royally and asked to come again (they didn’t say it would be free next time, however).   We got in quite a lot of conversations.  Everyone was interested in knowing who we were and where we came from.  And we were more than willing to tell them.

People, I guess, thought we were drunk or crazy at first; one fellow answered our “Merry Christmas” with a “go sober up”.  One poor guy had a little too much, and we heard him say he had just got “a neck tie and three cards for Christmas” (with a wonderful expression).  But I think we carried a little more happiness into their hearts than any of them had felt in years.  They just crowded around us as we caroled in the Hotels, on the street, and even in the Grand Central Railroad Station, and asked questions.  And we left many of them with tears in their eyes.  I think they thought we were unearthly, and we almost felt so ourselves.  We were so happy inside.  You just had the feeling you were doing something for everyone there, and we did sing beautifully.  Many of them said it was the best singing they’d ever heard.  Many people back here are familiar with the Tabernacle Choir and think we’re the “right wing”.  That’s a laugh!  But we did good, for some reason.  Probably because we felt it more than any other time in our lives.  We were invited to sing in the big Jewish Synagogue Christmas night but felt that it was too much to stay over.  However, we did stay and sang in the Hotel after that (because of it being free).

I guess we carried a touch of gladness also into the drab railroad station that evening and Christmas Day.  If there’s anything less cheery than a railroad station, I don’t know what it is.  It was crowded, and we did our best, which was plenty.  People thought we’d been hired  (“big money stuff”) it was whispered about, to sing in the station.  Sounds funny now but we made quite a sensation, and it was our own little idea.  We would just start gathering little by little and suddenly we’d all be there like it was unplanned (which it nearly was) and do our stuff.  And we have a wonderful young leader from Canada.

Well, anyhow, you get the idea that my Christmas was a happy one.  When we arrived home, Mrs. Newell, our landlady, had piled our packages and cards neatly up (and we did pretty well in being remembered).   We four Elmira missionaries went on to take the Ithaca missionaries home to open our presents with them.  We made quite a heap of paper and string, stamps and general trash on the living room floor.  It’s a wonder we ever segregated it from the gifts, but don’t worry, we always find anything like that, even if it’s a nut, like I got, wrapped and wrapped and pasted and glued ‘till I thought I’d never get it undone. (Everyone here knows my failing for them, consequently).

The pajamas were lovely—just what I needed, and I got some beautiful white wool, fuzzy gloves from Canada, two slips, two pair of hose, four boxes of hankies (two extra besides), three different outfits of nuts (box, bundle, bag, etc.), a waist from Sis. Udall, two stationary, beads, powder, brassier, stamps, address book, pictures, cards and Gerald sent me “Joseph Smith’s Teachings” and $10 which made about $20. (I was able to pay Sister Udall $8 of the $10 I owed her, and back rent, and get a pair of much needed shoes.  So my Christmas was happier than I had thought possible.  I had worried about my trip, but it was a hundred times worth it all.  Thank you all for everything.  It was so sweet.  The only regret I’ll ever have was no presents for any of you.  Did you receive the telegram (the best I could do)? 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year filled with love enough for all,     Maxine

Elmira, New York

December 28, 1940

Dearest Melvin,

I was tickled to get your little letter, and Melvin, don’t feel I’m that hard on you if you can’t send me money.  I don’t have to have any excuses.  I understand.  Just write to me anyhow.  I’m like you.  I like to hear from you all.  In one way, I think this scattering of the family will be good for us all.  We’ll probably write more.  And about the present, your little letter meant more to me than most of my presents, and anyhow the hose you sent me was an early Christmas present.  So forget it.  Please.  People were good from home.  They would tuck in maybe a dollar in a card now and then or a pair of hose, a slip, or a box of handkerchiefs—some little useful thing.  Mrs. Larsen sent me fifty cents worth of stamps.  People are always good.  We just don’t see it when we are so near them everyday (no reflection there), I, too, was unhappy for the simple reason that I had no extra money for presents for the family.  I sent the folks a telegram on Christmas Day.  (I hope they got it and understood how I felt).

I had the most wonderful Christmas!!  The chorus went to Rochester where we gave two broadcasts and the Cantata at the Y.M. C. A.  Then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we went caroling on the streets, in the big hotels and down to the Grand Central Railroad Station.  We had the most fun!  People thought we were crazy or drunk at first (it had been so long, if ever, since they had seen or heard anything like this).  But we usually left them with tears in their eyes and many said it was the most beautiful singing they’d ever heard.  We did do good too because we felt it and did it so happily with big smiles on our faces and “Merry Christmas” to every one.

We were invited to sing in the Jewish Synagogue, Christmas night but couldn’t afford to stay.  However, when we caroled in the big “Seneca Hotel” here—one of the best in Rochester, we were offered free rooms for the night if we’d stay and sing in the hotel that night.  You can imagine our laughter and foolishness as we went up mirror-lined elevators to beautiful inch-deep carpeted rooms, tiled baths, twin beds etc. with our battered suit cases.  The boys had even carried their clothes in small briefcases.  O, we had plenty of fun staying in those nice rooms—about $7 a night.

In the big ballroom we were surrounded with the most beautiful gowns and tuxedos, but we didn’t care.  We stood up and sang in borrowed formals and drank ginger ale (on the house) and knew we were the happiest ones in the house.

If you think we are pious and don’t have fun on our mission you’re mistaken (as I was before I left).  They are all young kids--no chaperones—we’re just on our honor and we do have fun.

We drew names and gave each other (18 of us) presents amounting to ten cents.  I got a little pop out snake (of all the horrible things to give me), and to cap it all, as I was opening it I had the feeling it was something alive, and as I dropped it a little dog came up in the hotel and sniffed and circled about madly.  We nearly died laughing.  Sister Udall had just finished giving that little poem:

“One and one make two,

But how is it if they marry

In a year or so

There’s two, and one to carry?”

When she was handed her present, we just roared when we found it was a pair of rubber pants for a doll.  One of the new missionaries got arch supports and another, a darning kit—etc.

Melvin, you don’t know how much fun and real happiness there is until you live in the mission field.  We’re always enjoying ourselves.  Everyday something happens.  (There are dangers here just as other places, so you have to be on your guard).  I love it.  Well, write often, Melvin and long ones.  Tell me everything.Your sister,   Maxine

[In December, Maxine’s parents and Grandmother Perkins were involved in a serious car accident near Tucson, AZ.  Grandmother Eliza Jane Hancock Perkins was killed and Ira and Rhoda were hospitalized.  Maxine received a telegram from her brothers telling her of the accident.  Her mission President asked her to come to the mission office in NYC to spend some time awaiting further news about her parents’ condition.]

175 Riverside Dr.  NYC

January 10, 1941

Dear Leland,

I was rather disappointed that you couldn’t come in but hardly expected it.  Thank you for the money.  I’m sure you could have used it, but I did need it.

No, I don’t know how long I’ll be here in New York.  It all depends on whether I get any money or not.  I was afraid my mission was just about ended, but Joe telegraphed today not to come home.  He says Mother and Dad are doing better at Tucson Hospital.  He also says the folks were entirely blameless which make so much difference. They’d feel so awful if they thought it was their fault.  Yes, it’s all pretty awful, but we don’t always understand do we?  What are you doing to make your way, Leland?  You never said.  Write and tell me about everything.

Last night I went to my first Opera (rather two of them).  Sis. Udall and Elder Smith paid my ticket (about $2.00, I guess, because we had seats).  I couldn’t see very well as we were rather near the sides, but I thought it quite wonderful, especially the building.  They were short—1st Cavelleria Rustinana and 2nd Pagliacci Purchinello.   The second was superior to the first in plot and music.  I especially like the colorful peasant costumes.  I even came home wearing a gardenia.  Wasn’t that up and up? 

I went with Sis. Udall to get her a permanent yesterday, and we mentioned the accident to the beauty operator (a Mormon girl), and Leland, guess what?  She gave me a permanent before I hardly knew it-- for a surprise to make me feel better, and it did!  People are wonderful.  Well, tired and out of paper.  Write soon and thanks.Love,    Maxie

New York City

January 20, 1941

Dearest Leland,

How’re you making out now?  You didn’t answer my letter but then I know how it is to be busy, so I’ll overlook it.  I know you would want to know about the folks too, and as the whole family seem to have lost your address, I’m sending these letters of theirs on.  I just received them today and knew you would be as anxious as I was.

I’m so awfully glad they’re getting better, but it still sounds bad.  However, I know everything will be all right.  There’s really nothing much here to tell you.  I went to the Conference at Philadelphia with the mission office force.  It was really wonderful.  It, of course, makes me realize that I don’t want to give up my mission unless it is absolutely necessary. 

I’m suffering from another cold.  Don’t tell me they don’t have them here!  A cold and no money, to say nothing of the folks’ condition, makes me a little blue, but I’ll get over it all.   Do write to all of them so they’ll at least know where you are.Love,   Your sister

February 10, 1941

I felt that I should write and explain everything to you, and then let you decide.  If you think it best that I give up this mission, you know I will, but within myself I have a feeling that, somehow, (though I don’t have the least idea how) the way will be opened.

Melvin wrote the cutest little letter the other day and said something about ‘everything being all right—that it always had been’, and that’s my own thought, and I know that it is your thoughts.  Thank you all for your lovely letters.  I sent them all on to Leland, after reading them over several times, and in Marva’s she had told me about dear little Grace fasting for two days.  I couldn’t keep from crying a little over that.  Bless her heart.  How I hope and pray the folks are even better now than when I received your letters.  They’ve had the prayers of the mission arise here too.  I know it is only by such faith they are with us.  There are several who want to know which hospital the folks are in, so please, tell me next time.  When they are better they may have a few callers.  My companion, Sister Udall, will be home in not long and wishes also to visit them.

Well, you know how I love you all and know that I will do anything you wish me too.  I leave the decision of this up to you.  I feel if we all ask, with prayerful hearts, we shall know the Lord’s desires in all things.  Love to you all, and please let me know as soon as possible, won’t you?  I send my prayers and if possible a “hello” for the dearest of parents.Maxine

P.S.  I had just written the past letter when this one came—also a letter and $20 from the Bishop who says Maurice and Grant have written to him asking the ward to help until they can get on their feet next month.  I knew something would turn up.  Somehow I feel we’ll be able to manage.  I’m more than thankful for Leland’s change of mind than anything.  I wrote him a three page (like this) letter, and I know he’ll understand now.  I thank you all for everything, always.  The rent belongs to a higher source.Love,   Maxine

Elmira, New York

March 3, 1941

Dearest Mother,

Are you able to read this letter?  I do so hope you feel much better by now, but then I’m sure you will.  We have all prayed for you and know that our prayers have been answered.  We are all so blessed to have you with us still that I feel I can never complain again.  I suppose you are having beautiful spring weather down that way.  How I wish we were here!  The snow is still being shoveled off the sidewalks, but I think it’s getting a little warmer even here now.

We organized our Relief Society, here in Elmira, last Tuesday.  They’ve never had one here before, and the ladies are very enthusiastic about it.  We are planning on having the District Conference here in Elmira in about two weeks, and the ladies, for their first project, want to serve a dinner for the Conference visitors.  This will be a lot of work, but will add enthusiasm and maybe by this means we can get a little material to work on for the women.

We began our Primary that day too.  And it was just like a story you read.  It was getting late; minutes passed, and still no children!  Just as I was ready to give up, the door flew open and there were loads of them.  A little girl (the only member in her family, which has joined the church) had gathered them all up and brought them with her (consequently the delay).  We gave them each a penny candy bar at the close of Primary, and we’re living in hopes they’ll be back this Tuesday.

We’ve just come back from Buffalo where the chorus sang at Conference.  It was one of the most spiritual Conferences I have ever attended.  And never have I heard missionaries speak so well.   They all seemed so inspired and said the thing that was needed at the time.         Maxine

Sister Maxine Wakefield in Elmira, NY

Elmira, New York

May 13, 1941

Dear Folks,

How is everything now?  I was very glad to hear that you were all home (at least part of you).  I do hope you can put in a little garden and be able to manage—I know it’s hard (but somehow things will straighten themselves out again).  Poor little Grace is having trouble, too.  It just doesn’t seem right that the good have to suffer so.  My new companion says she likes to think that God gives us trials according to our ability to overcome them—and that’s the only explanation for things sometimes.

Your Conference sounded fine.  It’s been so long since I attended one in Snowflake that it seems funny to recall them, but I’m not homesick—too busy.

Zoe, I wish you’d write and Melvin—all of you.  I do so like to hear from you.

Leland, I’m glad you’re able to keep busy there in the ward and that you feel as you do about the church.  You should hear me give a discourse on it.  You’d hardly think I was the same me who went away (discounting, also, the pounds I’ve added.  I believe I weigh about 118 (?) pounds—hard as a rock).  And nothing fits me except the green suit Dad liked.  I’ve worn it everywhere continually.  I’ve had fine health and worked hard and long, but I guess the Lord is just watching over me.  I know he is!

Did I tell you about my new Junior Companion?  A sister Dyer from Salt Lake City.  That makes me quite important (in my own estimation) but also very humble.  It’s quite a responsibility to launch a new missionary.  You feel they should have so much, and their first few months are so important that it frightens you, and you feel very incapable.  I find myself wondering what I’ve done with my experience for the last six months.  I guess you feel even more that way when you’re released.  Anyhow the time is passing so rapidly it frightens me.  Seven months on the 21st.  In July I’ll have been out half my mission—I can’t believe it—so I just don’t think of it except, of course, when I wonder if I’ll be able to maintain myself out here.  But I’m sure I’m doing the right thing and that the Lord will help us so long as we are.  Right now I’m out of money again, but I just feel that somehow I’ll receive some soon.  As long as we have faith and prayers we’re not giving up are we?

Can you fancy me as head of the Relief Society here?  If someone had told me this last year I would have told them they were crazy, but here I am and I love it!

Dad, there’s a man named Wakefield here.  One of these days I’m going to call on him.  Maybe he’s a relative or needs the gospel.  Anyhow it’s worth the effort.  Some fine contacts result from just such.

Well, I love you all and wish I could help you instead of depending so much on you, but one can’t have everything and I’m realizing a great privilege. Bye--     Maxine

Elmira, New York

Spring 1941

Dear Folks,

Why don’t you ever write?  It’s been weeks since I heard from any of you.  I think you could write me a little more than you do.  Of course, I worry.  Everything is fine.  I’m well and happy but so busy that five minutes free seems wonderful.  My letters have to even be written while I’m doing something else.

Yesterday I wrote a letter between Relief Society and Primary and then left it at Mutual last night.  Three meetings in a day are too much.  My memory isn’t responsible.  I’ll try to get hold of it again and send it later.  It told what we were doing in our Relief Society.

Brother Butler sent me $4 the other day.  I suppose just a present.  He didn’t write.  It was just sent by the Bishop.

We’re having a little Branch play and dinner to try to raise our membership here in the Branch.  Just like every place, they’re a little hard to get out to services—especially Sunday School.  I’m in charge of the meal so there’s a lot of managing to do by tomorrow night.

I wish you’d write oftener.  You know I have about a dozen letters to write if I write to all of you and do try to do it occasionally.  But you ought to manage for me.  Everything’s starting to be Springy around here, so I feel wonderful--have missed the sun greatly.Love,   Maxine

Elmira, New York

May 26, 1941

Dear Folks,

I guess you think I don’t worry about you, but I try to write as often as possible—pretty busy these days.

Gerald, thanks for the money—needless to say that it seemed wonderful to get it.  Summers here—some days my wool suit gets plenty hot, but I’ll manage fine--if you folks can only get by somehow.  I do so hope mother’s better and that the trip was not too hard on her.

Everything’s Palmyra these days.  We just have a little over a month to prepare for the pageant, so we’re looking forward expectantly.  If I’m home in 18 months this will be the only one I’ll see out here.  They say it’s so wonderful that you can’t even imagine.  Well, I’ll tell you all about it later.

Leland, did you know it was going to be the 11th, 12th and 13th of July this year?  I certainly wish you could be here for one.

I don’t know whether I should have Zoe send my slacks out or not.  We’re going to need them, working on the hill, but they used to be tight and I’ve gained over 10 lbs.—probably couldn’t squeeze in.  Zoe, what do you think?  Are they worth sending?  If so, and you can, I’d like them done up and sent, please.

I spoke last night in church about the benefits of church activities—I wish I had realized myself before I came out, but I think I have a pretty good understanding of it.  We had close to thirty people out last night—pretty good for us.  You see, lots of these are investigators.  Well, bye.  Write and tell me everything.  I pray you’re all right.Love,   Maxine

It sounds as though you were being taken care of fine, by all the company you’ve had.  I’m glad, and especially that you are able to raise yourself up for a minute or so.  I think it’s wonderful and in no time you’ll be able to get around again, I’m sure, if you continue to improve as you have in the past.Yesterday we visited the sweetest little lady, 91 years old (brighter than a dollar and didn’t look a bit over 70)—neat and clean and a little starched crocheted collar on—so cute and did all her own work, lived alone, mowed her own lawns etc.  She’s simply fallen in love with the Elders because they washed her windows, emptied ashes, mowed her lawns etc. and took care of her all last winter when they lived close by.  She doesn’t even know she’s old—just trots around and springs on her feet like she’s in her youth—wonderful!  You can hardly believe it.  She’s passing out our literature to everyone that comes, and the Elders take it to her in large amounts.  She brags them up until everyone has to read it.

Sounds like a good old reunion there at home on the 24th.  We did take in a show here to celebrate and had dinner with the other missionaries.  No one, of course, back here knows what he’s missing.

Florene has written to me several times—fine attitude toward the gospel.  She says she’s going to be a good Mormon when she does join and wants to go to the temple.  She’s started The Book of Mormon, but says it’s hard to understand.  Grant tries to explain it but doesn’t know much about it himself.  It’s a shame—Can hardly wait to get back and help her.  Someone should, you know.  She wants to attend church all the time so Grant will get back in the habit.  She told me how thrilled they were over the baby—that they could talk of nothing else.  I do so hope she will keep up the enthusiasm she has now.  Tell all the family to write to me.  I need them.  Lots of love.Your daughter,   Maxine

Maxine was a part of the chorus performing with the cast in the Pageant here on the Hill Cumorah

July 1941

Sister Maxine Wakefield bearing her testimony in the “Sacred Grove” in Palmyra, NY.

(Many times over the years, Maxine expressed that bearing her testimony in the Sacred Grove was one of the most spiritual experiences of her life.)

Endicott, New York

August 18, 1941

Dear Mother,

I do love your letters and don’t think, of course, that you say things over and over.   Did I tell you that the Elders from Snowflake, under Bishop Turley, sent me $20:  Of course, I’m keeping track of all this, but wonder how we’re going to pay it all back—course I don’t worry, but can’t help but wonder.  People are all so good!  Just now the lady next door sent us up some belts.  She’s always giving us something--belts, corn, lettuce, cookies or something.  Well, everyone really is wonderful.  We’ve only been here a month and several wonderful friends already.  It seems there are good people all over and it’s just up to us to find them.

I’ve just read a wonderful book “Return of Religion” which I borrowed from the library.  The man, of course, isn’t a Mormon, but he talks like one, and I’d like to carry the gospel to him He’s a prominent Psychologist who tells how he prescribes religion for all those who come to him wanting to know what to do with their characters—wonderful.  He says not to do so much thinking but just do.  Those weren’t the words he used, but the thought is there (faith without works).  He says the people, in trying to build up intelligences, make them into an empty absorbent sponge, which will take in indefinitely but never give out.  Anyhow that’s the thought.  And I think I’ve learned more from that book than any but the church books.  Just hope I can put it into practice. 

How vividly, now, I recall the words you used to tell me about if I couldn’t make happiness out of what materials I had around me, I’d never be able to.  I didn’t understand then—didn’t want to, that happiness doesn’t lie in what you possess but how you use it.  Anyhow, I hope, Mother dear, that I’ll be able to do better after this.  Even if I can be half the woman you have been it will be worthwhile.

I’ve changed a lot—probably more than I will in any other ten months of my life.  I think I’m beginning to see what is worthwhile in life.

You asked about Otho.  He’s going to school this fall in Tucson, taking a course in radio and engineering.  He feels he’ll be safe for a year and then intends, maybe, to enlist himself so he can choose his field.  I don’t know how I feel concerning him, but feel that perhaps we’re just good friends.  I can’t tell, but it doesn’t worry me much anyhow.  There are plenty of good guys.  Perhaps my mission has spoiled me, but one sees so many good boys out here—well you just love them all.

Can you smell the good meal?  Homemade light rolls!  And I’m making them myself and green corn and good cabbage from the neighbors.  We get so tired of opening cans.  However they seem to agree with me, because I’m fat and well and what is more important, extremely happy.

We’ve been doing names in the cemetery until I’ve even got a tan and out here, that’s unusual.

Mother, you talked of Aunt Vinnie sending the dollar but on the piece of paper it was from Eva Hancock.  Well, this is quite a newspaper.  Write something to me about the family and everyone.       Thrilled about Leland’s intended visit.  Bread’s done.Love,   Maxie

Endicott, New York

September 18, 1941

Dear Mother,

We’re just getting ready for dinner, but this week is Sis. Hill’s to plan and cook the meals, so I’m a lady of leisure at the noon hour.  The postman just brought me a letter from Maurice with $20.  Bless his heart!  I was out and, of course, it always comes when I do my part in the work here.  He seems quite happy but says he has to bundle up like an Eskimo when he goes to work.

We’ve been busy lately—in fact we’re very proud of the little Primary we have organized, and we’ve loaned and sold six Books of Mormon within the back few days.  Pres. Iverson was here the other night and visited our little apartment and said we were good missionaries, so (besides the back patting we’ve been giving ourselves) we are trying still harder.  Everyday we strive to get rid of a Book of Mormon.  Needless to say that some of these days are not lived up to.

We met a man the other day who seems very interested in the West.  We have an invitation to show the slides and visit at their home, but he seemed to want some Indian Corn (with the shucks preferably) I suppose to hang in his home, so we told him we’d try to get some for him.  Neither of us have any idea where or how but if Dad can get a hold of some from someone—a half dozen ears—send it and I’ll pay for it.  The man would be tickled to death.   (It would aid our plans too). 

We feel pretty good today (another Book of Mormon loaned).  Sis. is singing away in the kitchen doing up the dishes and I must help so will close.  Zoe, it seemed wonderful to hear from you.  Hope everyone’s feeling better now.Love to all,    Maxine

(Florene sent me some stationery and some macaroni beads—nice.)

Endicott, New York

Oct. 13, 1941

Dearest Mother,

Many Happy Birthdays.  I thought of you all day.  The book isn’t much but will partly express my love.  Did you enjoy yourself?  I do so hope you felt well.

Well, Monday morning again and lots of work, but as usual it’s hard to start Monday off with a bang.  Last night the missionaries all attended a Spiritualist Church and this morning are just beginning to feel the “bad spirits”.  By the way, someone tried (according to them) to reach me—man and little girl—supposed to have been my dead sister.  They explained it all away by saying I was unable to understand the work.  Everything was certainly vague.  However, I myself could have gotten up and said approximately the same things and hit home as well as they did.  But it was interesting, anyhow, and we want to visit all of them (churches).

Last night upon getting into bed we ran across an imitation snake.  Sis. Hill’s even more afraid than I, so imagine the commotion (the darned Elders again).  We hung it up on the wall as a trophy from the battle of Gettysbed.  Aren’t we clever?  But we have such good clean fun together.  Sis. Hill and I just hurt our sides laughing.  Oh, oh, she just now tells me our toothbrushes and paste are missing.  I don’t know how they ever do it.  They’re so slick at it, we never see them.

Breaks my heart—I had my first tooth filled Friday.  It was just starting but thought I’d better attend to it.  Dentist told me I had a beautiful set, however, one of my front teeth (top) is either chipped or has a flaw, sort of hole, but isn’t decayed.  He says it may be a pre-natal fault, but to watch it carefully.  I do hope so.

Well, I’m well and happy and still love my work.  We’ve two Primaries coming along fine now, and we’re planning on starting them out on puppets about Thanksgiving or Christmas, twice presenting a puppet show by the children.  They’re all thrilled about it, and I do hope it’s one of those ideas of mine, which will work out.

Did I tell you about my being a chorister?  Hah!  But I do try and, flattering myself, think I’m okay.  But I enjoy it a lot.  You have to do so many things out here that you never did before—wonderful education.  But how much more I need yet!

I took my blue suit to the dyer—really worried about it, but I hadn’t gotten a bit of use out of it that way.  Tell you how it turns out.  You know the green suit has been a lifesaver, many, many times it’s price, and I wear it everywhere—look well in it and like it.  Wish I had another one to change off with just like it.  Had I known about it then and could have afforded it, I’d have gotten another one.  Haven’t found any so reasonable and cute here.  But there are lots of other things.  However, the prices are high!

We’re starting up Relief Society here, rather late, but the organization is rather weak.  Somehow the people just need something similar to Taylor folks—maybe a big kick (spiritually).  Yesterday I should have spoken in church, I suppose, but wasn’t told until time for Sunday School and meeting follows after.  So, of course, it was changed until next time.  But there was no excuse whatsoever—the Branch President is rather a strange man, however, and suppose has his own problems.  His wife has left him recently with two children to take care of, so you can’t blame him, but he is rather neglectful.

Well, that’s about all of the history now—gossip in it too—but I love them all.  We’ve a lot of investigators coming to church recently, but if the members could only see.  Wrote to Marva some time ago but no answer.  Don’t think I’m always to blame—no letters from anyone for ages.  So I do wish you’d write soon, and long.Love,   Maxine

In Endicott, NY Sister Maxine Wakefield had two missionary companions, both named “Sister Hill”.

Endicott, New York

November 1, 1941

Dear Folks,

Well, a lot has taken place again, and we’re in turmoil.  Apparently we’re going to be shaken up again.  I believe I’m going to be moved into Johnson City, close by here and another Miss Hill is being put with me.  She is the niece of the Br. McKay and apostle McKay—been used to quite a bit, but seems very nice and is very intelligent.  I don’t know what little I can teach her.  She’s about six feet and one inch tall and must weigh about one hundred and fifty pounds (seventy or eighty? I don’t know!)—well proportioned but very tall.  Seems funny to have two companions, one after the other, named Hill, and they’re both going to be here together I suppose.  Sister Hill (former) probably will remain here in Endicott as Senior to a Miss Beus.  Stanley Turley has also come out on a mission and will be in the same district.

We had quite a successful Branch party last night (Halloween).  I about ran my legs off, however, and was so tired could scarcely crawl into bed, nor out this morning.

Dear Norma and Aunt Claire sent me a dollar each.  I didn’t know about Fenwell’s baby.  Just got a letter from little Peggy that she’s going home.  Perhaps she’s there by now, and I do so hope she’ll be all right, and little Kay too.  Received $9.64 from Fed. Of Christian Women of McNary from Pres. Butler—donation to missionaries.  Thought it very nice of them.   This is rather hurriedly scrawled but I’ll try to write soon and tell all the developments.  Right now is mail time (Saturday).  Slow as usual.Love to all,    Maxine

Binghamton, New York

December 20, 1941

Dearest Leland,

Don’t think you’re forgotten or that your letters aren’t enjoyed because they are.  Just didn’t know where you would be located so could reach you.  You probably will spend rather a lonesome Christmas, by yourself, won’t you?  But want you to know how much we all love you and feel that you’ll make a success of those things you desire to do so much.  God bless you in your work and especially at this Christmas time.

Was very interested about your meeting and talking with the minister—also taking your friend to church.  Keep up the missionary work.  We need a lot more just like you.

I’m glad that you ran into the musician—keep on visiting her.  It will help a lot.


Didn’t get to finish this letter—so here goes again.  How did you enjoy Christmas?  Thank you for the nice card and I’m glad you appreciated the book.  Thought you would.  It’s a wonderful one.

I had a lovely Christmas.  Mother and Dad sent me a nice soft gown.  Sis. Hill gave me a nice set, and Marva too, of makeup and cases to carry soap, toothbrush, etc.  So Old Santa was pretty good to me.

We caroled Christmas Eve and then opened our presents about 12:00 o’clock.  Then Christmas day we all went up in the country and spent two days with members—seven of us.  Lots of fun.  

Our landlady has just been in and talked and talked.  She’s that way but a wonderful woman and good hearted in spite of that.

Well, Leland, hope you stay in one place long enough to get this letter and also that you’re doing fine in your missionary work.  Lots of love and take care of yourself,            Maxine

P. S.  Still a little peeved over your not being with me at Christmas.  What do you think about the War?  Isn’t it awful?

Binghamton, New York

January 14, 1942

Dear Folks,

We’ve had marvelous weather the last few days.   Even in spite of the snow, the sun has shone just like at home.  Somehow I think the climates are mixed up—seems just like it did at home.  And people here are actually worried because of the dry weather and sunshine.

Fine thing to start talking about the weather when we’ve had such wonderful tracting lately.  Today we ran onto a woman who says she prayed for the truth and has failed to join any church—just waiting for it come along.  In fact, she already talks like a Mormon—has invited us up anytime and wants to ask questions.  When we told the Elders, one of them said, “We have a baptismal service in May.”  But anyhow as usual we were thrilled and happy.  Days like we’ve had make your mission worthwhile and pass too rapidly.

We just loaned a Book of Mormon to a little man who seems ever so interested.  It’s so wonderful.  Every day you tract, you feel you are led to someone who is waiting for your message.  And today was such a beautiful day we almost packed a lunch basket for a picnic.  We were certainly glad we didn’t succumb to our desires.  One never knows, does one?

There’s quite a bit of sickness and colds here.  Then, too, one little man seems about to die with heart trouble.  Several people are losing voice, sight or hearing, very rapidly.  Don’t see hardly why so many do back here.  Sis. Hill gets awfully homesick.  Tonight she’s downstairs helping the little girl, Jeanie, who lives here, with her lessons.  I’m glad.  As long as she’s busy she’s fine.  ‘Fraid I don’t keep busy enough—Love,   Maxine

Binghamton, New York

February 21, 1942

Dear Folks,

It’s really awfully late, but I haven’t written to you for so long.  I’m ashamed.  But we’ve moved this week—also have had the films to show so have run every minute.  How are you all at home anyhow?  I hope as well as you were the last time you wrote.

We’ve moved to a small apartment of our own again, and by the way, seems much happier already—just seems somehow you are—when you have something you can call your own and feel independent doing it.  Everything is nice here with the exception of the old bed, which is rather bumpy and goes down on our side and up on the other.  But it’s all fun! 

We’ve just had a wonderful district meeting, and we fed the thirteen missionaries, which made quite a bit of work on me, but they do pitch in and help, and, of course, all go united order on the money business.  We’ve all decided on the month of April to go over the top in our mission activities, all of them, and outshine the other Districts.  Gives me a good send off for home too!

Tonight Sis. And I had dinner with the nicest little lady and her husband and showed them some beautiful Technicolor pictures of the West.  Had a wonderful visit and they brought us home—nice car, which was quite a treat for us.  She had rather poor health and upon her request we’ve been praying for her health, and she tells us she’s been getting along on very little medicine with no noticeable resulting evils.  Such wonderful people make it more than worthwhile.  Tomorrow we’re all celebrating Elder Turley’s birthday

Well, lots of love to every one of you and goodnight.  It’s now 12:00.Maxie

Binghamton, New York

March 1, 1942

Dear Folks,

Today was testimony meeting and you know what that would mean to one who has learned to value the Gospel above everything else.  My thoughts wandered back to the meetings in Taylor on Fast Sunday and how the same ones used to get up and bear their testimonies Sunday after Sunday and often repeated the same words in doing so, but now I’m realizing there’s much more beneath it all than that.

Again, after church, we went over to the Goodriches.  Remember them?  They’re the ones who are laying up the store of blessings for themselves.  Nearly every Sunday we’ve been fed by them and we never know where such good meals come from.  They’re really poor.

We’ve moved into our little apartment and are much happier already.  Sis. Hill has some grief keeping the toast from burning yet, but she’s improving.  Also we’re learning to crochet and do that now while we visit—conserves time.

Last Wednesday we went up to the big country club again.  A women’s club entertained us and the dollar tickets for all were paid by our friend, Mrs. Mason.  Every place we go, of course, we tell the people who, what and why we are—and they are quite willing to listen and even ask questions.  One of the best tracting conversations I’ve had was the one last Thursday at the shoe shop with a Greek Orthodox—Very broadminded one, too!

Yesterday we went up in the country to visit a member and his non-member wife and family.  She’s lovely and really should have been the Mormon herself.  Breaks your heart to see members of the church smoking, etc.--no matter who does it.

We’re just getting ready for a late snack.  It’s 9:15 now and neither one needs it, especially what with my bare 120 pounds.  I hope a little drops off before my homecoming.  But we love to eat, and use up energy, too, I think.

We’ve just finished getting out our District records.  Yes, we keep day ones, week ones and finally the monthly District ones.  And they’re a bugbear, but it’s such a big relief to get them done.  It’s almost worth it to do them

Well the District President is here for them so bye andLove,   Maxie

Binghamton, New York

March 8, 1942

Dear Mother,

Certainly looked for that letter that didn’t come last time (at least didn’t receive any this week).  Felt rather blue to all work, possibly because we didn’t get enough missionary work done (at least tracting).  Mrs. Goodrich (I’ve mentioned her to you before in connection with Sunday dinners) has had a lot of misfortunes.  For one thing, Mr. Goodrich fell and broke his collarbone.  Consequently we’ve spent one afternoon with her—did her work while she worked in the factory.  She has a lot of little kids.

Today we’re at her house and they’re singing together (the missionaries), so if this sounds a little disconnected…….Been rather blue this past week so guess I’m feeling sorry for myself.  Sis. Hill had seemed unhappy and I felt somehow it was my fault.  Today we both feel better.  Although somehow, as I talked in Church this morning, I couldn’t feel the inspiration and spirit.  I usually do.  The last few days have been sunshiny and gorgeous ones.  We just want to get out and absorb it by the layers, but it’s not too nice without your coat for long.  It’s probably been very nice there for quite a long time, hasn’t it?  What is everyone doing?  Don’t hear from anyone—perhaps the answer lies in my failure to write, but one feels neglected just the same—though I know you try.  Don’t know what we’re going to do tonight.  We like occasionally to attend Protestant churches.  Well, goodbye for now—try to write soon.Love to all,    Maxine

Binghamton, New York

April 3, 1942

Dearest Mother,

We’ve had the busiest of weeks—not an idle moment and it all began with a wonderful conference last Sunday.  President Iverson and Sister Iverson were here and all the missionaries spoke.  Never have I felt the spirit of the Lord any more than then—also felt,  at the same time, that my mission was worthwhile to others besides myself.

Do you know President and Sister Iverson made the strangest remark—they told me they both feared for my future as a missionary upon my entering the field.  Wasn’t that strange?  But both say I’ve grown so much and quickly—more than nearly anyone out here.  I felt a little hurt—thought I must have been pretty awful, but have since decided that all the time I saw myself as I was or could be inside while they just saw what I gave out to others.  Isn’t it funny that a mission can so bring out all one’s characteristics?  I’m thankful for what I have been blessed with and realize nothing is possible unless aided by the Lord.  (Have the stew on so if my thoughts are disrupted you’ll know I’m cook around here).

After supper—

The stew wasn’t the best in the world.  Slung in some untasty morsels.  But it was okay and filling.

Mother, I talked with President Iverson about going home.  You know I should be released about the 21st of this month, but I felt like I’d like to finish the month, at least.  You know we have the Aaronic Priesthood Celebration on the banks of the Susquehanna here in May (15th) and it seems rather awful to have to go home before that when it’s so near.  Told President Iverson that you hadn’t been consulted yet, and he says to let him know—that it’s all right with him whatever we decide.  However, today Sis. Judd wrote me about our going home together, and she wished to leave about the first of May.  Don’t know whether we can both get together on the subject or not, and would like to go home together.  What do you think in answer to all this?  And what do you advise?  I’d like to know as soon as possible so we can make our plans.  You know the time is rather short and passes so swiftly.

We’ve had the most wonderful tracting today.  One lady seemingly couldn’t get enough, and says it all sounds too wonderful to be true.  We’re invited back for dinner and to show the films, and it was the first time we had contacted her.  She believes in the logical phase of it all and says we’re so convincing in it and our love for it.  Well it’s all so wonderful, we came away on air, wanting to dance or sing or something.  Another woman, almost a reject, invited us back—such is a missionary’s life.  I’m awfully happy, though a little tired tonight.           Love,   Maxine

Binghamton, New York

April 11, 1942

Dear Folks,

Plan on leaving sooner than I expected.  Sister Judd didn’t want to wait for Conference so, I guess, I won’t either—too long of a trip alone.  Anyhow probably be home first part of May sometime.  Let you know later—unless plans change.  Haven’t heard from President Iverson yet so don’t know whether he’ll release me then or not.

Would like to make connections with Leland if possible and come home together.  Would enjoy the trip twice as much.  Have written him but don’t know if he’ll wait that long.  Haven’t talked it over with the group here yet.  Hate to leave them without a soprano at Conference time.

Mother, I’ve enjoyed your last half-dozen letters.  Never expected so many—so that made them twice as good.  Had a wonderful birthday.  Missionaries surprised me with a clever menu dinner in poetry, which you guessed at and ordered from the waiter—and ate whatever they brought.  My companion bought me a gardenia corsage and took me to a show.  Didn’t feel like a missionary at all!  Well, it’s late.  Tomorrow I’m supposed to talk and don’t even know what on—and it’s too late to think tonight.  Seems like there’s lots to do before leaving for home.

Lots of love and a goodnight kiss,    Maxine

Binghamton, New York


Dear Mother,

Missed your letter—at least it should have been here this week and I didn’t receive it yet.  Have tried to write several times, but seemed unable to do so.  Nothing really to say, but to let you know I’m fine—getting a little blue at the prospect of leaving all this behind—and yet I suppose all good things must end.  Naturally when a person finds, and is doing, that which makes him happy and satisfied, he remains so until circumstances cause one of those dread changes which come so frequently to our lives.  And then all over again appears the question, what and where?  Isn’t it funny how often one’s goal is reset?  The question uppermost now in my mind is: home to what and when?  Well, you know how I’ll love to see you again, but there must be something to do—always—and there’s not much in sight.

The Elders were just here on their way to Endicott for the lady missionaries and Sis. Elliot.  Tonight we’re having spaghetti at the Yeldon’s in commemoration of the Relief Society Centennial.  The Relief Society lessons have been my privilege, the last few months, and I shall miss them.  Tonight if we have the lesson it’s the one on literature.  I feel I gain more in the preparation than the others in the participation of the lessons.  Proving the old adage, “What a person puts in a thing……….”

Received a letter from Gerald.  First since Christmas, but realize with night school etc. he must be busy.  Sent Leland a nice tie for his birthday.  Hoped it would help his scanty wardrobe.

Did something awful the other day, but I found a bargain on some nice material so bought enough for a nice spring coat (navy) and possibly a suit or dress at least.  Was I awfully bad?  Materials are so high and you should see my little black coat on me.  It’s a laugh because I’ve added a few (?) pounds.  The coat is nearly done, but I’m going to line it.  Have nice pattern so it hasn’t been any trouble so far—the linings, though, I know are a job.

Did Bonnie get her scarf?  And is she still with you?  Zoe never even wrote to tell me how she liked her set at Christmas.  I do like to know these things—receive a little selfish satisfaction in knowing.

One of my contacts surprised me the other night when we went to see her, by having a little hood all crocheted and ready for me for the new baby.  So if you get it soon, you’ll know it was made especially for him by the nicest little lady, who seems to think everything of us. 

Well, have to quit when there are so many wonderful things happening.  I always wonder why it can’t be put down on paper.  I always could use my imagination before but some how seem too full, lately.  Mother, your letter was so good.  Please write me more like that, and I do need advice like only a mother can give.  How I’ve missed you.Love,   Maxine

[Maxine returned home from her mission in May of 1942.  After spending a few months at home with her parents she found there were no prospects for work in Taylor.  In September she moved to Prescott, AZ to live with her sister Marva Kinateder and her family, as well as her brother, Grant and his family, and to seek employment there.  After about a year, still with little prospects for a good job, her brother, Gerald, who was working in Portland, asked her and her sister Zoe, to come live with him as jobs were available in Portland.  In additon, he added that he had found a husband for her up there.  The two sisters were soon living with Gerald and Zelda in St. Johns, and Maxine found work at the down-town department store of Meyer & Frank.  In September, Vern Nebeker, who had previously met Gerald, came to Portland to buy a farm from an elderly lady who had moved there from La Grande.  He came to visit the Wakefields and there met Maxine for the first time.  A romance developed quickly and they became engaged to be married, which wedding took place on 16 Dec. 1943 in the Salt Lake Temple.]