After her arrival in Oakland, Ellen threw herself into the program of strengthening the church. She spoke that first Sabbath in the Oakland church, and the San Francisco members were invited to attend.
Two camp meetings were planned for late spring in the North Pacific Conference, which comprised the state of Oregon and the Washington Territory. The first was to be east of the Cascade Mountains at Milton, May 20 to 31; the second, west of the mountains, June 9 to 15, in the vicinity of Salem."Mrs. E. G. White will be present at both our camp meetings," read the notice in the April 22 issue of the Signs of the Times."It will be a most favorable opportunity for all our brethren and sisters to become acquainted with her, and receive the valuable instruction she is able to give." After wrestling with the matter of the proposed trip for some days, she wrote to James:
If the Lord places the burden on me, I must go however unpleasant I may regard the matter. I do not want to move one step farther than the Lord shall direct by His Holy Spirit. I fear sometimes it is a cowardly dread of the water that makes me not decide at once to go to Oregon. But I mean not to study my will but the will of God. . . . Oh, I tremblefor myself, lest after I have preached to others, "I myself should be a castaway" (letter 22, 1880).