Reading about Grandpa's difficulties and successes, as well as his dilligent work ethic, inspired me to work harder and lift up my head during the rough times that all missionaries face. It was comforting to know someone I knew and loved so well had experienced the same thing before.
This past year my wife and I embarked on a project to make Grandpa's journal more widely available to the family. I had run across the original copy and did not want it to remain hidden in my grandparents' house for occasional discovery. With their permission, we took the journal home and did the following with it:
- Type - We transcribed the journal into Microsoft Word, preserving the original spelling and grammar as much as possible. Grandpa wrote most of the entries quickly at night and did not bother with periods or capital letters, so we divided the text into sentences as best we could. Once we finished the transcription, we gave the text a full proofread to fix our own typos and review parts that were difficult to interpret the first time around.
- Add mission letters - For a long time we've had the text of a handful of letters Grandpa sent home while on his mission. We put these in italic font and inserted them in the journal at the appropriate places in the chronology.
- Add pictures - We have several pictures of Grandpa near his mission age, which we inserted into the journal at appropriate spots. We also have his mission "business card" which we scanned and added to the journal near the beginning.
- Add maps - At the time of Grandpa's mission there tended to be only one branch or ward per large city, so he did a lot of traveling to surrounding towns. To help the reader follow the geography, we copied out maps of each area from Google Maps and placed them on a title page for each area.
- Add foreword - We wrote a brief introduction to the journal that communicated the journal's value to us, how we transcribed it, and what to expect when reading it.
- Print - With the above additions, the journal wound up taking about 50 double-sided pages. At 12 copies we calculated it was cheaper to buy a print cartridge or two and print the journals ourselves, rather than make 600 copies. We put the printer on a lower-quality "Fast" setting which, from what I could tell, printed everything well enough for distribution.
- Bind - We took the manuscripts to Office Depot and got them spiral bound with a plastic cover for several bucks each.
- Distribute - Our goal was to get a copy of the journal to each branch of Grandpa's posterity. We enjoyed wrapping up the journals as Christmas presents and mailing them to Grandpa, his seven children, and his three grandchildren currently serving or called on missions.