January 23, 1938

Handwritten letter of Nephi to Hilda from Salt Air, Utah. He hasn't written for a year and makes excuses. At Christmas he was on a long auto journey through Arizona, Nevada and California, where he found the warmth and the Pacific particularly attractive. He goes into ecstasies about America and California. He makes jokes about being lazy. He often feels like a German.

    Saltair, Utah
    23 January 1938

    Dear Hilda:

    For a whole year now I've been meaning to write you a good letter, but I haven't succeeded till now. Only today do I make it so far as to take the pen in hand and write something to you.

    First I have to make the usual excuses - I haven't written because I was too lazy. I have a lot of work in school, that's true, but there's always time to write a few words. I like to think that I have a lot of work at the university so I can always have an excuse if someone asks why I haven't written.

    I take it for granted that you all had a good time at Christmas. At that time I was on a long auto trip through the cities of Arizona, Nevada and California. I was in Hollywood and Los Angeles for a week. It was really very beautiful there. A lot of sun and warmth can be found there. The Pacific makes a magnificent sight when you look west and see a big ship. This ship is on its way to Hawaii. In Arizona it's very beautiful, too. The weather is always summer - even in winter. Here you'll find oranges, figs, cotton, lemons, and all kinds of tropical fruits growing. It's summer year-round. In America you can find everything. In the north it's cold in the winter and in the south it's warm. We have in our large country the mountains of Switzerland, the deserts of Africa, the salt lake of Palestine, the industrial areas of Germany, big cities like England's London, the beauty of southern France in California. We have so much beauty here that you can look around your whole life and not be able to see it all. From here to California is almost 1500 kilometers. My whole trip took three weeks, and after my return the odometer told me I had gone 4000 kilometers.

    Well, it is certainly very tiring to hear something like this from me, so now I have to write something interesting. (So far it's going okay with the writing) but I make a lot of mistakes. I haven't written any German for a long time. I'm used to English again and my tongue has to do a lot of work to bring out any German. But still, I think I won't forget the German language. I love the language of the Germans almost as much as my own language.

    As for health, things go well for me almost all the time. I am sick very seldom and made it through the whole winter without a cold or anything else. We should be very grateful for our health.

    Father is still working like always and I'm not working at all ----- like always! But that's the way you should go through life --- as easily as you can. That is, I avoid all unnecessary work; that's the way to enjoy life more.

    The things I said up above are meant as a joke - right?

    Yes, I must also say that I often long for Germany. It is an extraordinarily beautiful country. I have many lovely memories of your country.

    When I was in Germany, I was a German - through and through. Now I'm in America - I am now an American. It's funny how you can change.

    This winter there was very little snow. The cold hasn't been so bad yet. Recently we had a few days that were cold.

    Well, now I've written enough. I have to marvel that I can write at all. ---- And you have to wonder about it too ---- right? ---------

    Well, for now I close with the best wishes and greetings from me and father.