An invitation to spend the weekend at Charlotte, 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Battle Creek, had come to the Whites. A. O. Burrill was holding evangelistic tent meetings there. James was glad that he had given word that he and his wife would drive over, for it would provide her the change and rest she needed. The weekend activities were like a camp meeting. James spoke three times and Ellen four. Many from the community attended the meetings. There was none of the strain of the preceding week in Battle Creek, and Ellen claimed she gained some rest (RH, July 26, 1881; letter 8a, 1881). Not long after this carriage trip she recalled their conversation as they drove through the countryside:
My husband seemed cheerful, yet a feeling of solemnity rested upon him. He repeatedly praised the Lord for mercies and blessings received, and freely expressed his own feelings concerning the past and the future: . . ."The future seems cloudy and uncertain, but the Lord would not have us distressed over these things. When trouble comes, He will give us grace to endure it. What the Lord has been to us, and what He has done for us, should make us so grateful that we would never murmur or complain" (MS 6, 1881).