A fine and atmospheric letter from Hawaii, by Mary Ward, a teacher in the Third Missionary Company, who arrived in Hawaii in 1827. Ward writes that she is "not about 4 miles distant from the Mission house in the vally of Manoa, seated in the grove of ohia trees (a species of apple) which are now loded with fruit about half grown. When ripe this fruit is very unlike that which bears the same name in America. The pleasant shower in the morning, the cool refreshing breeze on the mountains, the singing of birds, the chattering of several parrots perched upon the trees about me; all form a striking and pleasing contrast between this peaceful retreat and the dry barren plains on which we reside."
After describing the mode of transport she takes between mission stations—a horse and waggon, when available, other an ox cart—Ward makes special note of her two-year anniversary in the mission filed. "I am far from having accomplished all that was anticipated at the time I embarked for these shores. Yet I trust it has not been in vain that the Lord hath permitted me to visit these heathen shores, where my heart has been made to rejoice and weep. To rejoice in beholding what a glorious change hath affected among the natives of this pagan land. And to weep and lament over the depravity of multitudes who visit these shores from a christian land."
But even the missionaries have some break from their focus on eternity. Ward reports that "The Vincennes arrived here three weeks ago, will leave tomorrow. The conduct of its commander; and officers has I believe given satisfaction and we hope great good may result from their proceedings and advice tot he Government. Our time has been much taken up with calls, visits and on last Saturday we were all invited on board, entertained with music etc. Last evening we were favoured with the band at our house. This evening the King makes and intertainment for the officers, Chiefs, and Mission family. In this hustling and confused way many of our weeks pass; at this station especially."
But what she terms "the great and last day" remains Miss Ward's principal focus. She concludes her letter with a summary of recent mission achievements: "A station is in contemplation in the interior of Hawaii for invalids. … The prospects of religion are encouraging at all of the stations and particularly so on Hawaii. There seems to be a new impulse awakened at the stations of Haavaloa and Haido. There has been upwards of 90 added to the church withing six monthspast. And five propounded for next communion. … Until we meet eather in this or a better world may our daily strength be deovted to the service of Christ's Kingdom and have the satisfaction of feeling that we are doing something for its advancement."
As a teacher, Miss Ward seems to feel that she needs to offer an postscript explanation of her orthographic and grammatical idiosyncrasies: "Excuse all mistakes. I think every time I write in such haste shall be the last, but then, when should I ever get off any letters. Friends must make allowances. Expose this letter to no one."
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